Tamihere seeks grudge matches

By Ainsley Thomson

John Tamihere wanted to take on TV3 political reporter Duncan Garner, who broke the story that cost the Labour MP his Cabinet position, in the boxing ring during last week's Fight for Life.

Mr Tamihere last night said he had been keen to fight "that slug" Garner because of the history between the pair.

But when TV3 news and current affairs chief Mark Jennings was contacted by the event's organisers, he quashed the idea, saying it would have been inappropriate.

"Our view was that issues we reported on Tamihere were very serious. Duncan is a reporter doing his job. The idea of some sort of square-up in the boxing ring was ludicrous."

Mr Tamihere said Fight for Life organiser Dean Lonergan approached him to take part in the event. At first Mr Tamihere said no but then changed his mind and said he would if he could fight either Garner, National candidate Tau Henare or Maori Party candidate Hone Harawira.

None of the men agreed to fight.

Last October Garner broke the stories that sparked probes into the Labour MP's time running West Auckland's Waipareira Trust and the $195,000 golden handshake he got when he left.

Garner won this year's Qantas Media Award for best television political news story for his coverage of the story.

Mr Tamihere was cleared of financial impropriety over the allegations.

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