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Time for a change

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, June 5th, 2009 - 109 comments
Categories: corruption, john key, richard worth - Tags:

Sorry for the long post. This is my transcript of John Key’s interview with Mary Wilson on Checkpoint last night. It’s just incredible. Key obviously shielded Worth with a *nudge* *wink* ‘investigation’ into the sexual harassment complaint and his now trying to cover his own arse. I’ve added my own comments in italics and taken out a few repetitive pieces for length:

Key: Firstly, Phil Goff made it clear to me that the woman who was making the allegations did not want to go public. Effectively my recollection of the conversation I had with Mr Goff was he said he had seen those textes [yes, textses] and certainly no one was able to produce those textses for me.
Wilson: Did you ask for them?
K: Well I’m sure if he had access to them he would have given them to me [so, no]
M: He says he told you he had them
K: He certainly would have provided them when I went back to him, when my office went back [ see how he’s trying to distance himself from his office in case he needs to turn one of them into a sacrificial goat]…. I got my office to go back to Mr Goff’s office.
M: And asked for texts and phone logs?
K: Look, to relay exactly Mr Goff’s versions, Mr Worth’s versions of events [so, that’s a ‘no’]. Now, if those textses were there and they didn’t substantiate the version of events that Mr Worth had presented to my office then I’m sure Mr Goff would have presented those and if he’s got them or anyone’s got them they should produce them today….
M: Well, he is quite happy to organise a private meeting between you and this wo…
K: No, let’s not have a private meeting. Let’s have the textses. if they’re real [why would he think they’re made up?] let’s produce them. And if he gives them to me I’ll give them to the media. As I’ve said all along, if those textses were real and they, they were of the nature that Mr Goff said that the complaint said they were and Mr Worth adamantly denies then I would have sacked Dr Worth on the spot. No question about that.
M: Why does it have to become public? Why can’t this woman simply show you the information without becoming public? Why does her name, she’s got a small son and she wants to keep her name out of the public arena. If this man has hounded her for months and she is incredibly embarrassed
K: That’s your characterisation [why is he attacking the woman and defending his scumbag MP?]
M: No. Why, I’m asking you, why on earth would you demand that she go public with them when what she can do is have a private meeting with you and provide the evidence? Why would you force her into a situation where she has to go to the media?
K: I’m not, I’m making it quite clear and I made it clear that if there was evidence I would act. And there was none.
M: Do you want to see this stuff now? Without forcing the woman to go public?
K: Well I do want to see them [so, no?]
M: Without forcing her to go public? Are you prepared to accept them?
K: I’ve always been prepared to accept them…
M: Right and just a few moments ago you ruled out a private meeting. Are you prepared to look at this stuff without making this woman go public?
K: OK. If she can produce the textses but I wish she had done that a month or so earlier then we clearly would have sacked him. If they’re correct and if they’re there.
M: But you’re prepared to look at them privately now
K: Ah, well, OK. [that’s decisive leadership my friends]
M: OK. Having decided last Tuesday that you have no confidence in him as a minister, why did you wait a week before taking action? Why was he allowed to continue with ministerial responsibilities..
K: Because it’s a very complex issue [why?] that we actually had to work our way through [also, who is ‘we’ in all this?]
M: No it’s not complex if you’re simply saying you had no confidence in him on Tuesday. That’s pretty black and white. No confidence
K: No I lost confidence in him on Tuesday [semantic defence, oh dear]. Umm..
M: What’s complicated about that?
K: There was a range of different matters that had to be resolved [what were they?] and it all through to the weekend to get that information
M: Why couldn’t he have been stood down immediately you lost confidence in him [like Parker, Samuals, Field]
K: Because we needed to resolve all the matters first
M: But what on Earth could that mean if you have already lost confidence in him? It just simply doesn’t make sense [exactly]
K: Well it does actually if you can see all the facts [what does that mean?] but obviously you can’t [Oww, bitchy]
M: Can you tell us..
K: All I can tell you there are a number of component parts to it [what parts? is there a manual? can we see it?] It took a while to get all the facts [yeah, until just after the Budget]. Worked as quickly as we could to get those facts
M: So it sounds like you’re saying that you lost confidence in him on Tuesday night before you knew all the facts
K: Urr… umm, well I didn’t know all the facts of everything but there was enough that I knew to know that my confidence was rapidly rescinding [sic] [so, now he hadn’t lost confidence on Tuesday? Did he lie to the House or Mary?]

  • Lying to cover his own arse and the inadequacy of his investigation.
  • Attacking the woman who was sexually harassed.
  • Lying about his reasons for not sacking Worth when he learned of the police investigation into Worth’s alleged sexual crime.

This man is not suitable to be our Prime Minister.

Please, pinch me. I want to wake up in a world where we have a decent Prime Minister.

109 comments on “Time for a change”

  1. All I want is a Minister of Tourism who can say texts.
    I thought the woman whom Worthless allegedly e-groped was from Texas.

    • indiana 1.1

      is the word “text” a noun or a verb?

      what is the plural for the word “text”?

      if the plural for the word “box” is “boxes”, does the same rule apply for the word “text”?

      Stupid English language!

      • Sounded a lot like “Textors” to me ;)

        • Tigger 1.1.1.1

          Text is both a noun and a verb. Key is using it as a noun here as he is referring to the messages that were sent.

          The correct plural is ‘texts’ (it’s informal, if you wanted to be precise you would actually say ‘text messages’ but ‘texts’ is acceptable and widely used). It’s the same word as in ‘Scripture text’ or ‘text (book)’ and you would never turn either of those into ‘textes’.

          The plural is certainly not ‘textses’ (or whatever the hell Key’s saying here).

          Yes, I am a spelling fascist…and yes, I wish our PM would learn how to speak.

      • felix 1.1.2

        Not English, Key.

        Stupid Key language.

        ps why would the plural for box have anything to do with it? Because it has an x in it? Are you serious?

        • Maynard J 1.1.2.1

          Why not start with basics. Is text a noun or verb.

          Problem is it is both, noun: the object, verb, the action of sending the object.

          And on to more serious matters: Pork: Noun or verb?

          • felix 1.1.2.1.1

            I do miss Billy. For him, pork can be both a noun and verb simultaneously.

          • Maynard J 1.1.2.1.2

            Worst mental picture ever. Wait, nope, not getting anything now. Curious.

        • doc whose asking 1.1.2.2

          first two pars – nicely played, felix.

          keystrokes.. huh

  2. Craig 2

    This man was never qualified or suitable to be prime minister. He was elected on a media drive anti Helen campaign.

    He stands for nothing credible and like many of Nationals policies, it is so badly thought out, it could and is in some cases drafted on a napkin( 50 million on cycle track).

    Key obviously lacks management experience, this issue is no different to any situation in any company where serious allegations have been made against a employee.
    Worth should have been suspended on leave until a investigation was carried out and all the facts gathered then a decision made about guilt or innocence.
    Key lacks middle management skills and this situation makes it glaringly obvious.

    What we now see is the National party doing what they always do, blaming some one else ( usually Labour) for the situation they have created. The next line will be.
    this is more dirty tactics from Labour BLah BLah.

    • Andrew 2.1

      LOL

    • OhPlease 2.2

      “Key obviously lacks management experience, this issue is no different to any situation in any company where serious allegations have been made against a employee.”

      You mean like Fonterra – where they first tried to cover up. Then shifted the blame. And now claim it was a media coup and they are the darlings of the Chinese Dairy market??? Sound exactly like out of the playbook of Corporate management.

      It’s just that when you have voters rather than customers; the third estate rather than a fawning managed funds analysts, and a whole opposition rather than poor Bruce Shephard it’s more difficult to run the kind of shoddy PR exercises that pass for the over hyped and under-achieving world of Corporate management in New Zealand. I am still to see more than a few CEOs in NZ that I thought had any real strategic ability. Key is certainly not one of them.

      • rainman 2.2.1

        Well said. Corporate NZ is indeed no better, in all but a few cases.

        Pity that being PM is actually a bigger and more complex responsibility than running a company. JK does seem to be floundering.

  3. vto 3

    I been ignoring this issue because each side always does the same sort of thing. For labour or the nats to claim some sort of moral high ground in these areas is laughable. They are both as bad as each other.

    But I just do have to laugh as the cries emanating from this site become more shrill with each passing day (or passing few hours – seems not a few hours go by without yet another post on this – all in the same vein).

    Eddie, your entire post is a replica of the Helen Clark – Winston Peters fiasco just before the election last year. Swap a few names and voila – identical.

    And you last two sentences provide the best evidence of all..

    “This (wo)man is not suitable to be our Prime Minister.

    Please, pinch me. I want to wake up in a world where we have a decent Prime Minister.”

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    (actually, Key is outperforming Clark on the moral stakes (if not the pronunciation stakes) – at least inappropriate ministers go when they should)

    • r0b 3.1

      For labour or the nats to claim some sort of moral high ground in these areas is laughable. They are both as bad as each other. … Key is outperforming Clark on the moral stakes (if not the pronunciation stakes) – at least inappropriate ministers go when they should

      Like hell. The only comparable event in the last Labour government was Samuels, who was stood down at the first sign of trouble (for events that happened before he was a politician, and for which the police later cleared him). Helen Clark acted right away.

      John Key has in effect sheltered an alleged sexual predator (multiple allegations) for weeks, if not months, and only finally took action when the police became involved.

      Best summary so far is from Gordon Campbell:

      Secondly, there is the little matter of accountability. Regardless of whether a criminal case will finally be made, Worth had been shown remarkable leniency by Key over the past few months. This has been in stark contrast to the strong messages about accountability that National had sent out in opposition when Labour Ministers had transgressed and subsequently, in government. When it comes to public servants, the National caucus is very quick to issue demands that ‘heads must roll.’ Not so ihowever, when it is one of their own. All this year, Worth has appeared to benefit from a series of ‘final’ warnings and been on ‘final notice’ which in his case, seemed to mean only ‘until next time.’

      The third dubious element has been Key’s fumbling of the events yesterday morning, when the fact of a Police investigation became public. After first disclosing the bare facts and saying there would be no further comment ie, he would let the Police investigation proceed without political intrusion – Key then, two hours later, virtually prejudged aspects of the affair, by commenting further that if Worth hadn’t resigned as Minister, Key would have sacked him, and further indicated that perhaps Worth should consider his future within the caucus, and as an MP.

      At every point, Key has either delayed taking action for months, over Worth’s well publicized lapses of judgement and then when action became inescapable, he delayed again lest the affair should overshadow the Budget coverage. Having promised not to comment publicly ( apparently,lest that should taint the Police investigation) he then proceeded to do so.

      In other words, this has been a tawdry disaster, abysmally handled.

      I hate this whole affair, and I hope everyone who discusses this tries to do so with sympathy for the women who have been dragged in to this sorry mess.

      • vto 3.1.1

        It certainly seems to have been handled not too well. But, putting aside comparisons in competencies in dealing with errant ministers, try to look instead objectively at the actual acts of the relevant ministers and PMs.

        The Winston Peters fiasco and Clark’s handling of it was fraudulent. Why did Clark not fire him? Well it was obvious why, and fraudulent too.

        Not that certain sectors of the pollysphere will want to, or ever, admit to anything less than savoury about dear past leader..

        • r0b 3.1.1.1

          But, putting aside comparisons in competencies in dealing with errant ministers, try to look instead objectively at the actual acts of the relevant ministers and PMs.

          Contradict yourself much?

          The Winston Peters fiasco and Clark’s handling of it was fraudulent.

          Ohh bullshit. So tired of all this. Peters cleared by SFO and police, mishandled some Electoral Commission declarations, so did ACT.

          None of this is relevant to what Worth is alleged to have done, and Key’s sheltering of Worth. If comparisons with the past must be made the only relevant case is Samuels.

          Goodbye vto, hate this stuff, and I’ve better things to do.

          • vto 3.1.1.1.1

            bullshit too r0b. helicopters around the electorate not worth recollection?

            and quite frankly it is completely relevant – it is the standard which keeps making claims of poor prime ministership and ministership. If these claims are to have any merit or credibility then there should be no hypocrisy. But the hypocrisy is thick on the ground.

            I don’t understand why you keep getting your back up r0b when the same claims are levelled at labour as well as the nats, but no doubt you will have a good reason. For you to continue maintaining labour is squeaky clean and Clark was 100% pure simply dents what is no doubt a credible and honest real life persona.

          • Spectator 3.1.1.1.2

            “helicopters around the electorate not worth recollection?”

            … What does Anne Tolley have to do with all this?

  4. gobsmacked 4

    A common failing of political pundits is to focus on the “palace” issues – the insider talk of who’s up, who’s down – because the pundits are as wrapped up in all that as the players themselves (that includes us on the blogs!)

    What they miss is the bigger picture. How it looks to the general public.

    I’d suggest that John Key’s attitude to the female complainant is far more damaging to him and his party than the see-saw argument between him and Goff. Memo to John: if you haven’t got the empathy, at least try and fake it.

    The Nats have long struggled to get support from women voters (just check out the numbers). Key won the election by changing that.

    More performances like the one above, and he and his party will be losing the very people who put them in power.

    • andy 4.1

      The wife was horrified after the third time Wilson asked Key: ‘But you’re prepared to look at them privately now?, his non answer shocked her.

      It was almost as if Key wanted to ‘out’ the victim. Poor taste, and from reports the lady in question may come from a culture that its a womans shame/fault with anything sexual .

      Already over at the bog they are asking why she didn’t ‘do’ something after the 20th text, blah, blah its the victims fault, blah blah, ick.. She may not have felt in a position to talk to her husband let alone a third party, very sad.

      (massive amounts of speculation on my part)

      • doc whose asking 4.1.1

        interesting, Andy, this matter of the victim..

        allow me add a recall of RNZ broadcast prior to the last enzed General Election when voiced was a young female media person (in Auckland..?) who, attendant the then PM, repeatedly – yes insistently – asked “Do you like sex.”

        No answer. I supposed deemed irrelevant by the PM. Even so.. personal taste suggests to me that this question was unanswerable. In the public good, not least.

        And has me wonder whether the subject of sex is extant in the Auckland media.? If so, to whom..? For whom..? And why..?

        Could it be that certain interests exist there.. and have willing audience to such things. Plus.. if so, then mebbe politicians need the protection of media self-regulation..

        After all put (on) are not simply financial tools..

  5. vto 5

    I have to admit that Key’s woeful lack of experience in dealing with issues like this in public was clearly highlighted by Wilson in that interview. He comes across quite shoddily at times.

  6. John Dalley 6

    Now do you see why Goff held back on going public.
    He has given John Key plenty of opportunity to do the right thing or drop himself right in it.
    He has given Key enough line to hang himself and he is doing a grand job of it so far.

  7. Tim Ellis 7

    This wasn’t Mr Key’s strongest interview. It reminds me a bit of Helen Clark’s explanation that she didn’t go back to ask Owen Glenn for evidence that he made a payment to Winston Peters’ party, after Mr Peters claimed he hadn’t received any money.

    Either Mr Goff or Mr Key is lying about whether Mr Goff said he had the texts and phone records.

    The claim in the complainant’s statement that she has “phone records” which she is happy to provide to the PM sound very suspect, in my view. The substance of the complaint is that Dr Worth pestered this woman with phone calls and text messages, and that she has the texts and phone records to back this up. My phone company has never sent me a bill with a record of incoming calls.

    • Zetetic 7.1

      Playing at being John Key eh Tim? Attack the woman. Did she have it coming Tim?

      Here in the 21st century we have cell phones. Every call I’ve made, received, or missed is recorded on my cellphone with time, date, and length.

      Its easy to ask for phone logs from your landline provider should you need them.

    • andy 7.2

      Tim

      Technology always leaves a trail. I can upload from my phone to pc all my Text messages (content and contacts), and a log of calls and duration (my phone is very low end too.)

      I suspect Goff would make sure he has some proof, and he will slowly leak it to make Key look bad. I think Goff has been around enough not to totally shoot himself in the foot.

    • gobsmacked 7.3

      Hmmm. Let’s see.

      Private citizen invents stories in order to destroy a Minister who has already gone. An MP who has resources for a PR firm, top lawyers, and all the power of his connections, wealth and experience.

      Private citizen wants to be fed through the media sausage-grinder. To put her family through all that, for no purpose. Just because she is a fantasist.

      Tim, that’s not a credibility gap. It’s a bloody Grand Canyon.

      But do keep attacking the woman. It’s good to see National’s true colours on display.

  8. Boggles the mind doesn’t it, and this “man” calls himself our Prime Minister.

  9. vto 9

    folks, folks, a judgment based solely on the prosecution is a worthless judgment.

    don’t you think you should wait to hear all sides of the story re the phone calls and text messages?

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      Worth is all quiet though vto. Won’t talk, even though he told Key he would sue. Silence, not even a denial.

  10. Tim Ellis 10

    I would be interested to know if somebody from the Labour Party or attached to Mr Goff transcribed this woman’s statement. Parts of it, and the language it uses, stretch credibility for a non-native speaker of English.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      Here, take this shovel, I also have a spade if you feel the need..

      • gobsmacked 10.1.1

        Tim’s job is just to keep this up until the Bain verdict comes in and this story (and all other news) disappears.

        Like a number 11 batsman waiting for the rain.

        • Maynard J 10.1.1.1

          I’d have used the night-watchman analogy.

          Whether you are prepared to attack the accuser as Tim is doing or want to be decent and let it play out, you have to look at Key’s performance – the only worse performances I have seen are partisan tory hacks on blogs. Not a good look for a PM.

    • exbrethren 10.2

      Just because you adore an idiot that has trouble with his own language doesn’t mean that all people are challenged linguistically.

      Those pesky scheming foreigners eh Tim. Funny how you leapt to the defense of Lee, double standards?

    • r0b 10.3

      Just FYI Tim, plenty of Indians are native speakers of English. Not having been born in NZ, I thought you would know such things.

    • exbrethren 10.4

      I’ve now read the statement and surmise Tim that either;

      a. you are spinning against the woman, ie she’s a thick immigrant being led on by nasty Goff
      b. you have a very low expectation of people’s grasp of language.

      Do you think the Korean woman who laid the police complaint is wrong as well? Was her statement jacked up by Tau Henare?

      • Tim Ellis 10.4.1

        exbrethren, I’m not spinning against the woman. I think that Dr Worth is clearly sleazy and he failed to disclose to Mr Key that a police investigation was likely forthcoming, which in my view is a sackable offence.

        I don’t know the merits of this second complainant. There are elements of it that cause me to doubt whether she personally wrote the statement, whether she actually has phone records of incoming calls, whether Mr Goff has ever been in possession of the phone records and text messages, and whether Mr Goff stated to Mr Key that he was in possession of such records.

        It is not clear in the statement that Dr Worth made an offer of a public position in exchange for sexual favours, which is the substance of the allegation.

        • exbrethren 10.4.1.1

          OK Tim,

          there are separate statements where she says Worth offered her a job if she switched party allegiance and that he made vulgar, sexually explicit calls (amongst other things).

          This not bad enough?

          I fail to see anything in there that would be difficult for an Indian to write, I can’t understand what elements would have been difficult to write. Any illumination?

          Goff says he has seen the communications and he told Plunkett that he told Key that he had seen them at the time he took the complaint to Key. To me Goff’s line has seemed to be the same throughout whereas Key’s has changed. My opinion is that Key seems unreliable on this, although I except I could be proven wrong.

          • Tim Ellis 10.4.1.1.1

            Exbrethren, if I recall correctly Mr Goff made a statement that David Shearer had been selected unanimously as Labour’s candidate for Mount Albert. Other reports indicate that Mr Shearer lost the floor vote, which would make the actual vote 6-1 at best. That isn’t unanimous.

            Mr Goff has not been clear from the outset whether he had the documentation, including copies of texts and phone records (of incoming calls). It seems to me over the past day that National has been challenging Mr Goff to provide the evidence, and he hasn’t done so, which suggests to me that National believes that Mr Goff has never had this evidence in his possession.

            I further note that the statement from this woman is not dated. I would be interested to know not just who transcribed it, but when it was provided, and whether any massaging was involved.

            These are quite simple questions and are easily cleared up.

          • exbrethren 10.4.1.1.2

            Tim,

            good tangents there. Oh dear the shits starting to stick, look over here.

          • Tim Ellis 10.4.1.1.3

            No, exbrethren, that isn’t bad enough to fire somebody in my view. When an anonymous person is making allegations that aren’t backed up by evidence, and the person who is alleged to have committed this things swears it isn’t true, says he will make an affidavit that the allegations are untrue, and says he will take legal action against the person who makes the allegations, then you don’t automatically assume the allegations are true and fire the minister.

            Mr Goff had plenty of time to produce the evidence. Some 75 days in fact. He didn’t.

            Goodness me, and some people were criticising Mr Key for taking a week to dismiss Dr Worth.

          • Pascal's bookie 10.4.1.1.4

            Why didn’t Key ask to see the evidence Tim?

            It was National that was doing the investigation, not Goff.

            Goff told Key there was evidence to back up the claim. National decided not to ask for it as far as I can tell.

            Some investigation.

          • Kaplan 10.4.1.1.5

            In this case, with these serious allegations, the PM had a duty to do much more than just listen to Worth’s side of the story.

            At the very least Key should have met with the complainant to privately view the texts. Something he has now only agreed to do after being forced to accept it was fair during a radio interview.

            It doesn’t matter how much weight you inject into Worths protestations. Whether he said he would sign an affidavit, stick a needle in his eye, eat his hat, swear on his mothers grave… It boils down to an accused person saying, predictably, ‘I’m not guilty”. Without investigation it means nothing.

          • Tim Ellis 10.4.1.1.6

            In this case, with these serious allegations, the PM had a duty to do much more than just listen to Worth’s side of the story.

            Substitute “Worth” for “Winston” and voila! You have the New Zealand First party funding fiasco that lasted a year. Except Mr Key didn’t let this issue drag on for a year. He dealt with it promptly.

        • Pascal's bookie 10.4.1.2

          “…and whether Mr Goff stated to Mr Key that he was in possession of such records.”

          Effectively my recollection of the conversation I had with Mr Goff was he said he had seen those textes

          Not sure why possession would matter, Key’s office should have asked to see them. End of story.

          • Jasper 10.4.1.2.1

            You have the New Zealand First party funding fiasco that lasted a year. Except Mr Key didn’t let this issue drag on for a year. He dealt with it promptly.

            Except that Helen wasn’t in the same party as Winston. Totally irrelevant to hold up as a comparison Tim.

      • Maynard J 10.4.2

        I am not sure what the document Tim is talking about, but often the written language used by people who do not speak English as their first language is far superior to native speakers, as they have a better technical knowledge of it.

        Let me put it this way; I have never seen an ESOL student write “should of”.

    • Kevin Welsh 10.5

      Well Mr Tim, your hero John is a native speaker of English, although you wouldn’t think so when he opens his mouth.

  11. exbrethren 11

    I had been wondering why Goff had presented this this week. His interview on Morning Report cleared this up.

    He said he took the complaint to Key a month or so ago. Key assured him that he would deal with the matter seriously because, Key told Goff, Worth had a history of this type of behaviour (this is what Goff said Key told him). Goff took Key at his word, I think that Worth had been dealt to so this type of thing wouldn’t happen again. Goff and the complainant were happy to leave it there until Key said that he took Worth’s word on this matter (i.e. the woman was lying).

    Whatever the outcome of this it would indicate that Key doesn’t think sexual harassment is that major an issue. His determination to try and out this woman is disgraceful. It is something that will come back to haunt him.

    Memo to Nat Party image makers – please get him some elocution lessons, texas indeed.

    recaptcha : sapping week

    • Andrew 11.1

      Maybe someone can tell me why Phil Goff waited 70 odd days to present evidence about Dr. Worth’s alleged misconduct to Mr Key?

      • exbrethren 11.1.1

        He says he took it to Key when the complainant asked him to.

        • indiana 11.1.1.1

          …according to the statement tabled by Goff, he simply rang Key…can’t understand why he didn’t send him the evidence even if it wasn’t asked for.

          • exbrethren 11.1.1.1.1

            Plunket asked him this on Morning Report, and I think what Goff said was that Key said he would deal with Worth, the complainant was happy with that until it became clear that Key hadn’t dealt with Worth, just believed him.

            Can’t understand how Key can claim to have completed an extensive investigation when he didn’t ask for any evidence, which he was aware was there.

  12. felix 12

    Am I correct in my understanding that the matter the police are investigating in regard to Dr Worth is a separate matter from the one being discussed here, involving a different complainant?

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      yep, but at this point in the interview, they switch to talking about the police case:

      K: Ah, well, OK. [that’s decisive leadership my friends]
      M: OK. Having decided last Tuesday that you have no confidence in him as a minister, why did you wait a week before taking action? Why was he allowed to continue with ministerial responsibilities..

      • felix 12.1.1

        Ah, thanks.

        So the shit hasn’t even begun it’s airborne trajectory toward the fan yet.

    • exbrethren 12.2

      I think I have read that she is a Nat Party worker who approached Tau Henare about this matter.

      Filthy Labour Party tactics.

  13. aj 13

    “”he asked me if I prayed for something to happen to my husband so we could be together”.

    How can anyone remotely leap to the defense of a person who may have said this astounds me

    • vto 13.1

      you’re right aj – people should just believe all allegations. Makes the justice system nice and simple ay.

      • exbrethren 13.1.1

        Key told Goff that Worth had previous form (this was in Goffs interview on Morning Report). He shouldn’t have taken allegations as true, but he should have seriously investigated instead of taking Worths word.

      • aj 13.1.2

        If it’s in a signed affidavit it it likely true

        • Kaplan 13.1.2.1

          Yep, and apparently if your pants aren’t actually in flames it’s not a lie.

  14. grumpy 14

    Tell us again. Why did Goff wait 75 days before taking the allegation (with no supporting evidence) to Key. How come Goff first claimed there were e-mails and now there are none?

    It’s clear that Key couldn’t wait to get rid of Worthless – he had made that decision after the Indian fiasco but needed something concrete to take to his caucus. Goff, giving unsupported allegations from a Labour activist was not that. As soon as Key had real information (from Tau Henare) he acted.

    • Andrew 14.1

      Agree completely. Goff most certainly shouldn’t be acting all holier than thou … makes him look ridiculous.

      • Maynard J 14.1.1

        Can you give an example, that someone who is not a total partisan hack would agree to, that shows Goff acting holier-than-thou?

        • Andrew 14.1.1.1

          From the press:

          “Labour leader Phil Goff now has the gall to claim that Key has displayed a lack of leadership, as the Prime Minister had known of the issue for a week before acting. Yet Key actually showed a sense of natural justice in making his own inquiries into the accusations before casting Worth adrift.”

          Goff is most certainly trying to take the moral high ground. Now please, don’t for one second think i am sticking up for Worth … the guy is scum and deserves to be sacked.

          • Kaplan 14.1.1.1.1

            Andrew… please explain how you defend this, because I could use a laugh right now:

            M: So it sounds like you’re saying that you lost confidence in him on Tuesday night before you knew all the facts
            K: Urr umm, well I didn’t know all the facts of everything but there was enough that I knew to know that my confidence was rapidly rescinding [sic]

          • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1.2

            What enquiries?

          • gobsmacked 14.1.1.1.3

            Andrew, out of interest, why does Worth deserve to be sacked?

            He denies any criminal action.

            So why are the allegations against him sufficient to condemn him, while separate allegations (and the woman making them) must be discredited?

          • Andrew 14.1.1.1.4

            Worth was most certainly on thin ice already after his previous screw ups and key just made that clear. But still with all that you cannot just sack someone from unsubstansiated accusations without evidence.

            Worth stated to Key that he was willing to sign an affidavit (spelling??) to state that the allegations were false and also threatened to sue Goff. Key had to take him at his word (just like WP). Once the police investigation was made clear he had no other choice and made him resign as his position in parliament became not longer acceptable.

            Yes i know im a wingnutt national supporter, but it all seems pretty fine to me. Even if Worth is cleared by the police, there is absolutely no way he will make it back as an MP for National. That’s more than i can say about the previous government.

          • Andrew 14.1.1.1.5

            “Andrew, out of interest, why does Worth deserve to be sacked”

            Because in 6 months he has had more serious fuck-ups than most MP’s will have in a life time. He is the weak link of the national party and shouldn’t be an MP.

            He is most certainly not up to the job. I would have asked him to resign even before the latest allegations came to light ,… but that’s just me.

    • Maynard J 14.2

      “Tell us again. Why did Goff wait 75 days before taking the allegation (with no supporting evidence) to Key”

      Goff was doing one of his jobs, in taking an issue of a NZer to a person he thought might be able to resolve said issue.

      This was, and read carefully, not a political action. Running in straight away would have been a political action. Goff was acting one the complainant’s behalf, not acting out of his own interest. And then decent folk like you complain that he waited, when it is pretty obvious he was just trying to do the right damn thing.

    • gobsmacked 14.3

      It’s clear that Key couldn’t wait to get rid of Worthless – he had made that decision after the Indian fiasco but needed something concrete to take to his caucus

      Wow. So you’re saying that Key, with sky-high approval ratings, lacked the leadership strength to sack a Minister that nobody cared about? And he could only act “decisively” after getting permission from a bunch of sycophantic MPs who owe him their jobs?

      Key must be even weaker than anyone thought.

    • doc whose asking 14.4

      gee, buddy, plain to see you aint listening!

      And yes you’ll have to excuse me for in future sighting your commentary as g-RUMP-y

  15. Anthony Karinski 15

    Ha! Key’s turning into a mini-Worth himself. Let him keep stumbling along and the nats will be in pieces pretty soon. Looks like our next PM will be English. He got less than 21% of the votes last time he contested an election as party leader, so Goff looks quite likely to succeed him come 2011 or thereabouts.

    • Kaplan 15.1

      Yes Bill must be positively buoyed by all this.

      I wonder how soon until a steady stream of leaked documents starts flowing from the upper floors… Just another turn of the screw on Johnny boy from the old guard.

  16. jerry 16

    This is an extremely sad reflection on NZ politicians.

    Goff and Key between them had the chance to put a firm bipartisan stamp of authority on how they expect MPs to behave.

    Key should have suspended Worth immediately on evidence being made available of behaviour unbecoming an MP and Goff should have provided that evidence in a more timely and forceful manner – the way it is being played out for political gain/harm minimisation by Labour and National does nothing apart from bringing politicians in NZ into a state of even more disrepute …. if that’s possible.

    • gobsmacked 16.1

      Jerry, I think your comment shows how successful the Nats’ spin-machine has been at muddying the waters. It’s a classic tactic.

      For the record:

      1. The allegations from the ‘txt’ complainant (not the separate police issue) were first put into the public arena by John Key, speaking to the media on Wednesday afternoon. NOT by Phil Goff.

      2. Phil Goff then, on Wednesday evening, provided further detail. Until that point he had NOT made the woman’s complaints public. He had only taken them to John Key, privately.

      Now you might argue that Phil Goff should have gone public earlier, to attack Worth, to score political points, maybe to force Worth to resign. It has been done often before in the House, under Parliamentary privilege.

      But he didn’t. He respected the woman’s privacy. This was personal first – as personal as it gets – and political a distant second. The wishes of the woman are what matters. And so National are using that against him now. It’s nasty, and it’s a shame you have fallen for it.

      John Key is due to meet the woman today. Let’s see what he says after that. I think you might want to reconsider.

      • Tim Ellis 16.1.1

        Gobsmacked, have you got a reference for your claim that Mr Key is due to meet with the complainant today?

        It has now been revealed that Mr Goff first knew that Dr Worth was sending texts and making calls to this woman for some five months before he raised the matter with Mr Key. He seems to have sat on the issue for much, much longer than was originally thought.

        • Pascal's bookie 16.1.1.1

          None of which explains why Key didn’t ask to see them of course. Which is the point.

          And in case you want to bring up Winston’s red herring again, look at this:

          I was Damien O’Connor’s advisor when, last year, a few (to be unnamed) blogsites (followed by frenzied inquiries from MSM outlets) were heavily insinuating that he had raped or sexually assaulted a woman, and which he had then covered up. After alerting the Chief of Staff, I went through 2 years of Ministerial diaries to find his whereabouts on every day, called numerous people who were supposedly tangentially involved (e.g. proprietors of establishments) and others who could vouch for his whereabouts, and gathered other miscellaneous proof that such claims were ridiculous. And I did this knowing that he hadn’t committed any sexual assault, and based on his word.

          here, scroll down

          That’s called an investigation Tim. Key had reasons to be suspicious of Worth’s honesty, yet took him at his word and didn’t ask for the evidence against him to be even looked at. Not good enough, don’t you agree?

          • Tim Ellis 16.1.1.1.1

            PB, the O’Connor case appeared to be an attempt to entrap the right wing bloggers, using a falsified story of Mr O’Connor as bait. I don’t see the relevance to this case.

            The falsified O’Connor allegations would have amounted to criminal conduct on Mr O’Connor’s part. The allegations about Dr Worth amount to sleazy behaviour. There is a clear difference.

            Mr Goff has said his main motivation for raising the issue with Mr Key was to stop the sleazy behaviour from continuing. Mr Goff did nothing for five months to stop this from taking place. If his interests were to protect this woman, why didn’t he simply call up Mr Key, and say: “Listen, Prime Minister. I have reason to believe that Dr Worth is making unwanted approaches to a woman via text message and phone calls. These approaches are of a sleazy nature. Please ask him to stop.”

            Instead, by Mr Goff’s own facts, he didn’t intervene for five months.

          • Pascal's bookie 16.1.1.1.2

            “Mr Goff offered to take the matter up with Prime Minister John Key but the woman was afraid of the publicity that would surround that and wanted to keep the situation confidential.”

            And are you suggesting that Labour knew about this alledged ‘entrap the stupid tory bloggers’ scandal, so that is why they investigated?

            Likewise, are you suggesting that harrassment is not something worth investigating, because it is not always illegal?

            Key had reasons to be suspicious of Worth’s honesty, yet took him at his word and didn’t ask for the evidence against him to be even looked at. Not good enough, don’t you agree?

        • Kaplan 16.1.1.2

          I can’t see written reference yet but Radio Live news just quoted Key as saying he is rearranging his diary today in order to meet with her.

          It was against the complainants wishes for a complaint to be made at that time and according to reports it was only after Key was told privately, but failed to take action that she has agreed that it can become public.

          That Phil Goff did NOT personally, or through others, leak this information, despite it being so damning is surely a testament to his character

          Key was given ample opportunity to deal with this in a manner that could have avoided a hell of a lot of angst for him.

          Key has failed miserably.

        • Maynard J 16.1.1.3

          “He seems to have sat on the issue for much, much longer than was originally thought.”

          He was not sitting on the issue, Tim. You are deliberately putting a context around it that is false. Goff met with the complainant several times over the last few months, and finally acted – acted at her request. Obviously a difficult decision for the complainant to make.

          And then complete {self censored, with difficulty} like you try to make it look like Goff was doing nothing deliberately, to hide Key’s pissing about and pretend enquiry, when Goff acted very decently.

          For decency’s sake stop being a partisan hack, at least on this.

          • Maynard J 16.1.1.3.1

            Stuff:

            “Labour leader Phil Goff first knew that one of his party members was having problems with Richard Worth late last year.

            A spokesman for Mr Goff said today the woman had approached Mr Goff about the text messages and phone calls she was receiving at that time.

            Mr Goff offered to take the matter up with Prime Minister John Key but the woman was afraid of the publicity that would surround that and wanted to keep the situation confidential.

            Mr Goff kept in contact with the woman and her husband.

            It was decided in early May that Mr Goff should approach Mr Key, Mr Goff’s spokesman said.”

            Tim Hack Ellis:

            “Mr Goff had plenty of time to produce the evidence. Some 75 days in fact. He didn’t.”

          • grumpy 16.1.1.3.2

            This goes way past partisan.

            The left attacked Key over this, specifically that he acted too slowly, when Goff had pissed around even more and had no evidence.

            It’s clear that Worth has no defenders on either side of politics but what makes him absolutely a plonker is that he sent “60 phone calls and 40 texts” to a Labour activist.

            Not only his he the stupidest tosser imaginable but what about the woman – did she ever think about hanging up?? Calling his wife???
            Telling her husband????

          • Tim Ellis 16.1.1.3.3

            I’m not sure that this woman’s interests were very well served by Mr Goff in retrospect.

            Mr Goff could have said to this woman: “If you don’t want any intervention and want this situation to continue, then that is fine. If you would like me to raise this with the Prime Minister in a confidential way so that your name is not mentioned, and so that this conduct stops, then I am happy to do that.”

            Instead it appears to me that Mr Goff allowed this situation to continue for five months, knowing that this woman was keeping a record of incoming calls.

          • Pascal's bookie 16.1.1.3.4

            A bunch of conjecture, none of which explains why Key didn’t ask to see the evidence of course. Which is the point.

          • Tim Ellis 16.1.1.3.5

            PB, it isn’t apparent to me that Mr Goff has actually ever had the evidence. As I noted initially, I very much doubt that there is evidence of incoming telephone calls. If there is such evidence, then it is likely to be evidence recorded by the woman, which would seem to happily coincide with the time that Mr Goff first knew about this taking place.

          • Pascal's bookie 16.1.1.3.6

            But Tim, so what?

            Key said Goff told him that he (Goff) had seen the evidence. He knew that evidence was claimed to exist, yet he didn’t ask to see it before clearing Worth.

            Is that good enough?

            .

  17. grumpy 17

    Exactly Tim,

    A Labour “honeypot sting” that Goff dropped the ball on.

  18. Maynard J 18

    “Mr Goff could have said to this woman: “If you don’t want any intervention and want this situation to continue, then that is fine. If you would like me to raise this with the Prime Minister in a confidential way so that your name is not mentioned, and so that this conduct stops, then I am happy to do that.’

    Instead it appears to me that Mr Goff allowed this situation to continue for five months, knowing that this woman was keeping a record of incoming calls.”

    A pile of contradictions not uncommon among those defending Key lately.

    In hindsight, as two can play that game, your first option was useless, because taking it to Key is not the way to get anything done. No investigation at all apart from getting Worth’s “word”. Step one was not even ‘can I see some evidence’. Goff did not provide it, maybe because he thought the PM would have the integrity to act, or ask. That was Goff’s only error.

    Goff did not “allow” anything, in that he had no power to make it stop, and could only act upon the complainant’s request. There is a world of difference between Key and Goff – Goff acted upon someone’s request and was bound to confidence. Key was trying to protect his minister.

    This much being obvious, you are back to dumping on the complainant.

    Nice folk like grumpy call it a ‘labour honeypot sting’, but when someone in a position of influence, power and with a distinct lack of privacy starts doing something like that it would not be an easy decision to come forward publicly. Pretty fucking obvious why, aye Tim and grumpy.

    • grumpy 18.1

      Really getting desperate now Maynard. So Goff was holding her hand from day 1. Such a helpless defenceless woman.

      Perhaps if she hadn’t been strong enough to phone Mrs Worth, I’m sure one of Goff’s flunkies could have.

      • exbrethren 18.1.1

        grumpy,

        if this was as you state a honey-trap then there’s an issue to tackle. Why didn’t Key investigate it?

        If your opponent warns you there may be dirt on one of your MPs you’d surely look to neutralise any possibility that it may impact on you.

        Key should have gone to a lot more effort to make sure there was nothing here other than taking Worth’s word.

        He did nothing at all which suggests either;

        a. He’s too incompetent to make sure he knew this wouldn’t come back to haunt him or
        b. He was covering for his mate and hoped it wouldn’t surface.

        Not a good look either way.

        • grumpy 18.1.1.1

          Good point exbrethren.

          Maybe he did investigate and found out that it was a rip off. In that case he may have acted slowly but understandably.

          It may also be (as we are now seeing) that he predicted public opiniun and the media are now starting to turn on Goff in a clssic double scam.

          It is becoming clear now that it was a sting and Worth was fired for being stupid enough to be compromised.

          • exbrethren 18.1.1.1.1

            “Maybe he did investigate and found out that it was a rip off. In that case he may have acted slowly but understandably.”

            Very doubtful indeed. If it was shown to be a rip-off he’d surely have been telling the media all about the Labour party dirty tricks (and rightfully so).

            Glad you’re so sure that it’s all turning around on Goff. Its so clear it was a sting that Key is visiting the complainant.

    • Tim Ellis 18.2

      Maynard,

      If one of my staff members came to me and said that she was receiving unwanted approaches by somebody else in the workplace, I wouldn’t tell her to just continue taking a record of the phone calls and text messages. I would have a private chat to the person concerned and demand that behaviour ceased. As a manager I believe I would be not doing my job if I did anything else.

      It appears Mr Goff didn’t do that. Instead he allowed the conduct to continue for five months, by his own explanation.

      I can’t help but wonder whether it wasn’t in Mr Goff’s interest to allow it to continue, rather than intervening.

      I’m not dumping on the complainant. It isn’t clear from her statement that she told Dr Worth to cease contacting her. If she were in a vulnerable position, then she may have felt uncomfortable saying this to him. I believe Mr Goff had a duty to take more active steps to intervene on her behalf. He certainly could have done so at a much earlier stage without resorting to publicising her details.

      • Maynard J 18.2.1

        So what if the person does not want you to take your thoughtful, reasoned action Tim. Will you go in guns blazing regardless? What if that person just wants it to go away, and eventually decides to act because it does not?

        Funny that in all this you are saying what Tim Ellis would do, and basically who gives a toss about the person making the complaint – you have not even started to give that consideration. I can see why you come up with such a distorted view, given that you think the most important thing is what Goff did, not what the complainant’s wishes were. Perhaps distorted is too mild a term.

        What are those stages of trauma – anger then denial? First you dump on the complainant, then you pretend they do not exist. Curious. You ok about all this?

        Are you foolish enough to believe Goff could have “done something” against her wishes and it would not have become a public issue? Especially with great people out there like grumpy, who seem to genuinely believe it is a complete set-up? Grumpy can not even fathom that someone might want to make a decision for themselves and has to pretend that the person is now weak, and needed hand holding.

        With idiots out there like that it is no wonder this person was concerned about it becoming public. Maybe it took the comment alluding to someone’s death before she decided to take action. Quite a ‘trap’ to elicit that particular comment, no?

        P.s. grumpy, you are a real gem – someone who was not sexist might have come up with the idea that the complainant was calling the shots, and did not let Goff take any action. But you are not, so you did not. If Worth is not half as bright as someone with half your intelligence is then it is no wonder this came about.

  19. Zaphod Beeblebrox 19

    Key needs to employ better staff. I suspect he didn’t take the thing as seriously as he should have- coming from the other side, but his staff could easily have asked to see the evidence, instead of believing Worth.
    If this sort of thing were a diplomatic or national security problem the consequences could be serious. If I were him I would hire Heather Simpson (if she hasn’t left for NY yet)

    • grumpy 19.1

      Heather Simpson didn’t do very well with all the errant Labour MPs.

      On the other hand she probably had at least her hands full looking after the leader.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 19.1.1

        By all reports she wasn’t universally liked but was very good at her job.

  20. Paul Robeson 20

    Key said today

    “I’m the indecider. I make the indecisions!”

  21. Jum 21

    First the pay equity is gone because women are deemed by NAct to be only 80% as competent as men.

    Now Key is caught out protecting a man with a history of sexist behaviour towards women, according to Key, and who has now sexually harassed a woman. Even worse Key is now actively attacking the woman’s character in order to protect his disgraceful management of this affair.

    Score sheet for Key

    Herceptin bribed women in 2008, even though there was little evidence of efficacy over an extended period

    Current score:

    One vote for Key re the lengthier dose of Herceptin, for a few women but which is not even a proven cure

    Two votes against Key re gender wage discrimination, the obvious agenda for the lowered place of women under a NAct government, and sexual misogyny.

    The women’s groups are noting these new sexist attacks on their daughters’ independent futures and on their sons’ freedom to choose a life outside the macho machine. Any woman who seriously believes in John Key’s loyalty to women obviously does not believe in a fair wage for a fair day’s work philosophy.

  22. Pascal's bookie 22

    Key’s office got all testy after the interview apparently.

    http://lifeandpolitics.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/simon-power-for-prime-minister/

    free clue to the ninth floor: Key not getting to say enough was not the problem.

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