Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

Holes in Wewege's shining CV

Charity dumped South African and Palino warned to avoid him because he was 'toxic'

Luigi Wewege (left) Bevan Chuang and John Palino during Palino's campaign for the Auckland mayoralty.
Luigi Wewege (left) Bevan Chuang and John Palino during Palino's campaign for the Auckland mayoralty.

Helping rid the world of malaria and setting up Germany's first pie restaurant are among some of the colourful claims made by Palino political organiser Luigi Wewege.

The Herald on Sunday obtained a copy of Wewege's 2011 CV in which he claims membership of nearly a dozen global associations spanning science, humanitarian and leadership initiatives.

He also claims to have been executive director of a tyre company while an undergraduate in the United States.

One achievement listed was the "creation of the KwaMashu Township initiative" with Westville Golf Academy, near Durban in his native South Africa.

African National Congress staff in KwaMashu had never heard of the initiative, and could not locate any evidence of its existence.

It has also emerged Wewege was fired from a job with a volunteer organisation soon after arriving in New Zealand after clashing with staff.

A director of a respected Auckland-based charity said Wewege was asked to leave the volunteer organisation, which asked not to be named to protect its reputation.

"He came to us with some big talk involving an organisation he had been involved with in the States. It wasn't that he did anything extremely bad, he just didn't really do anything.

"He had an argument with a couple of volunteers. We asked him to step down and he did."

A National Party activist warned John Palino Wewege was "toxic" and he should not go anywhere near him.

Hamish Price said he warned Palino against the idea of Wewege writing policy.

"I said Luigi has a reputation for having issues with women, young women in particular.

"That has been evident in the National Party: he was pulled aside and spoken to about it, his behaviour didn't change and he was shunted out as a result."

Wewege has gone to ground since the Len Brown scandal broke and did not respond to calls.

However, a former girlfriend, TV beautician Angela Stone, said he had a good heart. "He's already said to me, 'Look Ang, this is not what it's appearing like,' and I do trust him. He has a good heart.

"There's more to this, there always is."

- Herald on Sunday

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