After being elected by the committee in a democratic manner as the candidate, she says she was wrongfully and unfairly treated by the executive and the party, and that the subsequent pain that has been inflicted on her and her family has been unbearable.
“The level of corruption in this organisation is unbelievable and has become more and more evident with the events that have taken place to date,” Matenga said.
“Furthermore, I feel I was not heard when voicing my grievances, and was totally ignored by the executive.”
Even when she presented the TCIP committee with a notice from a legal advisor, asking for an apology and for her to be named as the candidate, Matenga says she was ignored.
She claims the central branch of the party also intervened in the issue, going against what the CIP executive had agreed in previous meetings. She says it had been understood that each puna would be left to sort out their issues in deciding on a candidate, and that the constitution did not require a run-off to decide on a candidate.
“I believe the committee was more than capable of sorting out the issue, but the comments made by finance minister Mark Brown complicated things further, and contradicted everything that was agreed by the committee rotopu.”
Matenga also claims bribery became “a vehicle” for nominees. She adds bribery is an issue over which the CIP has previously taken the Democratic Party to court.
She claimed prominent members misappropriated their roles to access grants or funds to induce voters, while also paying for members’ membership fees to allow them to vote.
“To accept this at a preliminary stage of elections is a recipe for disaster. If we are going to promote/embrace corruption here, then where will the buck stop?”
She says “the nail in the coffin,” was the TCIP’s refusal to postpone the runoff after the passing of Papa Poaru, who was a local community icon.
“I am disheartened that the executive ignored the respect that Papa Poaru and his family deserves.”
Matenga nevertheless wished current TCIP chairman Adrian Teotahi “all the best” in future endeavours and says she prays he will have the strength and courage to make the right decisions for the Titikaveka community.
“Unfortunately, we have come to this; I will continue my mission to serve the people of Titikaveka and my Lord in my quest as an independent candidate.”
Teotahi declined to comment on the issue, saying that he had been “unwell” all week.