Thursday, September 15, 2005


That is the only way to describe the allegations from the Tamihere camp that activists from the Maori Party assaulted and kidnapped one of his campaign workers:

"The 16 year old campaign worker was repairing my damaged placards and hoarding on Wednesday night. In an act I do not condone, he was also attaching ‘Vote Tamihere’ stickers to Maori Party hoardings.

"However, the treatment meted out to the youth, when discovered by members of Dr Sharples’ campaign team, were completely out of proportion. He alleges he was threatened, assaulted and kidnapped before being forced to make a statement on video.

"We are talking about a 16 year old boy. He alleges he was held for seven hours through the middle of the night by Dr Sharples and members of his team. The boy felt intimidated and terrified."

I'd hope that these allegations have been reported to the police, and if they check out, that the people involved go to jail. OTOH, if they don't check out, they seem to be exactly the sort of thing S 199A of the Electoral Act 1993 was intended to apply to.


There’s a lot of spin in this story, courtesy of Tamihere.

Granted, tensions are running high this late in a close campaign. And mucking about with hoardings is taken a bit preciously by most candidates.

From the top: the youth is spotted by Maori Party workers defacing billboards around 11pm. The Labour guys who are with him – including Tamihere’s campaign manager – shoot through, leaving the kid there. No concern from mother about kids being out at midnight working for Tamihere.

The kid was not roughed up in any way, apart from by his conscience.
The kid was able to leave at any time, but wanted to face up and make right what he’d done.
Within the hour, he’s made a statement and seen the police.
The boy had any number of opportunities to leave or ask for a ride home and could have done so – and indeed WAS dropped at home by Maori Party workers (not the Labour Party workers who had taken him out that evening and then abandoned him to face the music alone). Sharples’ guys even gave him a meal at a public fast food place. Pretty strange kidnapping.

After talking with Tamihere’s campaign manager, mother calls Sharples, expressing regret that her son was ‘tricked’ into interfering with the hoardings for Tamihere. There’s no complaints of how her son was treated and no distress. But by late afternoon this has turned to hysteria.

There’s plenty of strings being pulled here.

It would be a very good question to ask WHO gave the payment to the boy and WHO provided him with the stickers – and which house they were collected from.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/16/2005 10:51:00 AM

I heard Tamihere and Sharples this morning. And to be honest, I think Sharples came across more plausible.

Probably a spin job by JT to get noticed. He's been a bit quiet lately, suddenly people have remembered who he is.

Posted by Steve : 9/16/2005 11:39:00 AM

I love this:

"Sharples’ guys even gave him a meal at a public fast food place. Pretty strange kidnapping."

So is it OK if I kidnap your daughter - as long as I spend $5.00 on a Big Mac and give it to her?

Come on - if anyone else had done this they would be in a police cell already. But because he is a "maori leader" somehow the law does not apply here.....

Posted by Anonymous : 9/20/2005 03:46:00 PM

From the NZ Herald 16/9/05:"It came just hours after the Maori Party laid its own complaint against Labour MP John Tamihere for allegedly vandalising its billboards.
Police have confirmed they are investigating both complaints."

Well anonymous, the police are investigating, they know where the people involved are. Do you think that another politician would be would be getting different treatment?

Posted by Anonymous : 9/20/2005 04:09:00 PM