‘HARRIS DAW MUST GO’ – TERRY COE
A long serving member of the Niue Assembly and former cabinet minister Terry Coe is calling for the removal of Toni Harris-Daw from national radio. Harris-Daw hosts a regular morning radio programme on national radio. In a letter to the Broadcasting Corporation of Niue, Terry Coe had accused Harris-Daw of a “gross breach of ethics and misconduct”.
The letter arose following a question that Terry Coe had asked in the last sitting of the Assembly in relation to work done by one of the Niue Government’s State-Owned Enterprises known locally as Civil and Quarry. The Assemblyman had asked why work being done in clearing a house site had not been paid for first and named Wayne Harris-Daw who is the CEO for State-Owned Enterprises. Premier Sir Toke Talagi answered to the effect that, irrespective of who you are, no work can be carried out without payment first. While the matter may have ended there for the Assembly, not so for the Harris-Daw.
In his letter of complaint to the BCN board, Terry Coe said: “In one of her morning broadcasts, Mrs Harris-Daw saw fit to launch an attack on myself and demanded an apology. . .In our view her action is a gross breach of conduct; she is using the National Radio for her own personal propaganda.”
Those who heard the broadcast say that Harris-Daw advised her listeners that they had paid – two years in advance – before the work was carried out. She then demanded an apology from the Assemblyman before playing a song called Blah Blah Blah. She followed this up a day or so later with a post in social media showing a copy of a receipt for the payment.
Terry Coe said in his letter that if the Harris-Daws were upset by a question in the Assembly then. . .”like every resident on this island, there are appropriate avenues for them to pursue…Using the national radio in her official position…to push her own personal propaganda shows an appalling lack of respect for the position she holds”. Coe went on to say that Toni Harris-Daw’s programme…”serves no useful purpose and has no relevance for the island other than to satisfy her own ego”.
“In order to restore some degree of credibility to our iconic local radio, Mrs Harris-Daw must be removed”, wrote Terry Coe. He added that if the Board and management fail to act they will be setting a precedence where anyone working on the national radio can use it as if it was their own personal facility.
This is not the first time that the former cabinet minister has had a run in with Toni Harris-Daw. Following a report on RNZ International and questions in the House regarding the water bottling project, a project driven by husband and CEO of State-Owned Enterprises, Wayne, Mrs Harris-Daw took to social media with a scathing attack labelling Coe a ‘two faced dick’ and a ‘pillock’ who is putting ‘a multi-million dollar industry for Niue in jeopardy’. There are no signs yet of any bottled water.
We contacted the general manager of BCN Mr Trevor Tiaki for any reaction to Terry Coe’s demands and was told that the matter will be referred to the Board at its next scheduled meeting. When that will be is uncertain as the Chairman of the Board is overseas.
Staff Changes at BCN
BCN’s has lost one of its long-serving employees and only journalist Inangaro Vakaafi who has left for further studies in New Zealand. General Manager Trevor Tiakia said that in the meantime, Fiafia Rex has joined BCN in an effort to try and plug the gap until the arrival in October of a journalist recruited on contract from Fiji. This will be the first time that a foreign journalist will be working full-time on the island. It remains to be seen what the reaction will be from our notoriously thin-skinned leading citizenry when the foreign appointee moves away from reporting on endless workshops and visiting experts and dignitaries to casting a more critical eye on island style policies.