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Te Pāti Māori scandal erupts as allegations of corruption and misconduct shake the party

Summarised by Centrist 

The Te Pāti Māori scandal has erupted with serious allegations of corruption and misconduct involving MP Takutai Tarsh Kemp and Party President John Tamihere. The former also serves as CEO of the Waipareira Trust and Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency.

The party has responded by claiming the allegations are baseless and allege colonialism and racism are at play against them. According to Tamihere, he and the party are innocent. He writes that the public and media need to investigate ‘vested interests’ including “rich landlords” (of whom he says he is one) – along with cigarette, tobacco, pharmaceutical and mining “barons.”

Since the allegations emerged on Sunday, the party has remained uncharacteristically silent, with Kemp avoiding public comment. 

The scandal includes claims of misuse of government funds, electioneering with taxpayer money, and mishandling of sensitive census data. 

Employment lawyer Alan Halse revealed new details in the scandal, including police investigations into breaches of the Public Records Act and Privacy Act. He criticised the Ministry of Social Development for allegedly misusing resources for electioneering and called for an independent investigation into public service agencies.

Dr Bryce Edwards points readers to commentator Mathew Hooton who says that New Zealanders need to stop buying into the notion that NZ doesn’t have a corruption problem. 

Critics, including rival Brian Tamaki, are calling for a Serious Fraud Office investigation. Broadcaster Jack Tame is calling for a full public inquiry.  

Editor’s note: Read Te Pāti Māori’s statement here.

Read more over at Democracy Project


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