October 03, 2022
Tamihere councils cost of speaking up
Waipareira head John Tamihere says speaking out could put the organisation’s funding at risk, but it’s the right thing to do.
Mr Tamihere has attacked the New Zealand Herald over stories on whether Waipareira’s assistance with his local and general election campaigns breached rules around charities.
Mr Tamihere says there’s little point suing the newspaper for defamation, because the bar for damages is set so high, but the way it has gone after Maori politicians shows it’s a racist rag.
He says Waipareira has past experience of political backlash to its advocacy for Maori.
“(Former National Government social development minister) Paula Bennett took our tamariki contracts off us for being uppity brown people, not on performance but on what they call repurposing this money and they took it and gave it to non-Maori as usual because they do what they’re told because they do very well,” Mr Tamihere says.
He says Waiareira has built its credibility in the Maori community as a provider.