Minister Flavell says Tāmaki Makaurau candidate not confirmed

Despite reports that Shane Taurima will be standing in this year's election, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says that the appointment is yet to be confirmed. "The (Tāmaki Makarau) electorate has met already but will have to present their case to the party's head council."

Minister Flavell said that the Māori Party has not yet confirmed their candidate for the Tāmaki Makaurau electorate.

Labour MP Peeni Henare has held the Tāmaki Makaurau seat since 20 September 2014, succeeding Dr Pita Sharples who held the seat for nine years.

When questioned on how he would fare against Taurima, Henare told the media he has worked with Taurima in the past and looked forward to some strong debate,  "It will be a tight competition."

In 2013, Taurima unsuccessfully sought the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti nomination for Labour, then in 2014, was planning to run for the Tāmaki Makaurau electorate whilst still in his position as General Manager of the Māori and Pacific Programmes Department at TVNZ.

An investigation found no evidence of a political bias in TVNZ's Māori and Pacific Programmes, it did find TVNZ resources, including a meeting venue, travel, email, telephone and photocopying resources were used inappropriately for Labour Party political purposes.

It also found Taurima was also involved in extensive Labour Party political activity soon after his return from the Ikaroa Rāwhiti by-election, and up until his resignation in February 2014.

This breached TVNZ's policy on conflicts of interest, and he should have disclosed these activities sooner and in more detail than he did.