Editorial: Seeking out truth good thing

By Greg Taipari

11 comments
It's been alleged Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi and her daughter in-law Lynda Tawhiwhirangi used about $10,000 on their company credit cards for non-business purposes. Photo / Stephen Parker
It's been alleged Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi and her daughter in-law Lynda Tawhiwhirangi used about $10,000 on their company credit cards for non-business purposes. Photo / Stephen Parker

News can be a fickle thing and timing can be everything.

I've watched with interest, over the last few weeks, the saga unfolding around allegations of inappropriate spending from a subsidiary company of the Te Kohanga Reo National Trust Board.

It's been alleged Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi and her daughter in-law Lynda Tawhiwhirangi, the managers of the trust's commercial subsidiary Te Pataka Ohanga, used about $10,000 on their company credit cards for non-business purposes.

Maori TV broke the story on its Native Affairs programme. However, that same week, Len Brown admitted to having an extra-marital affair, and John Banks resigned from Cabinet.

On any other week a story of an iconic institution having issues around allegedly inappropriate spending would lead the news. Unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the story was overshadowed by the Brown and Banks sagas.

Maori TV has taken flak over the kohanga reo story, with some saying it wasn't balanced and was over-dramatised. Even Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia came out on Radio Waatea questioning whether Maori TV had forgotten its purpose, which she believed was to promote Maori. If you go by her comments on Waatea, it should only be positive stories on Maori.

In my opinion, Native Affairs presenter Mihingarangi Forbes did a great job with the story.

Considering the Te Kohanga Reo National Trust Board wouldn't front on the matter, Native Affairs was never going to get "both sides of the story".

To say Maori TV has lost sight of its kaupapa is wrong. Maori TV does promote Maori in a positive light, however Native Affairs is a current-affairs programme. It's there to expose the truth, be it good or bad.

If the programme covered only positive stories then it would be letting its viewers down.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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