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About Trevor Mallard

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 pm, May 5th, 2021 - 67 comments
Categories: chris bishop, Parliament, parliamentary spending, sexism, trevor mallard, workers' rights - Tags:

Issues surrounding Trevor and his role as speaker of the House have been bubbling away for a while.

The background is a frankly toxic workplace that we know as Parliament.  For decades it has not been a safe place for workers. There is too much concentrated power and too many egos present for a normal civilised workplace to exist.

Trevor Mallard knows this.  He has made a concerted effort to change the tone of the place.

For instance he thinks it should be a family friendly place.  New mothers ought to be able to look after their babies and continue to work if they want to.

He attempted to address the toxic nature of the place by calling for a report from External Consultant Debbie Francis.  Her report was incendiary and for some it was cathartic.  One person’s comment on the report, recorded at the beginning of the report, said this:

My hope from the Review is we actually do some things to change this place for the better. I hope it’s not just all talk. We can be better. We have to be better, for democracy’s sake.”

Francis’s primary conclusions were these:

  • Bullying and harassment are systemic in the parliamentary workplace.
  • The story is complex, involving harmful behaviour by and between staff, managers, Members, media and the public.
  • There are unique features of the workplace that create risk factors for bullying and harassment, including:
    – A high-intensity culture
    – Lack of investment in leadership development
    – Unusual and complex employment arrangements
    – Largely operational, rather than strategic, workforce management
    – Health, safety and wellbeing policies and systems that are not yet mature
    – Barriers to making complaints; and
    – Inadequate pastoral care.
  • Unacceptable conduct is too often tolerated or normalised.
  • The identities of many accused are an open secret, and there are alleged serial offenders.
  • A core perceived problem is low accountability, particularly for Members, who face few sanctions for harmful behaviour.

While writing the report she received 14 allegations of sexual assault occurring in the precinct.  Her report rightly recorded that these sorts of allegations tended to be underreported and the actual frequency of these sorts of incidents is normally higher.

After the report was released Trevor Mallard said that a staffer had been stood down and a “threat to the safety of women” had been removed.  He also, unwisely, said there was a rapist on the premises when it appears that the allegation was one of sexual assault.  And even though it appears he discovered this was an overstep he did not immediately walk the statement back.

All sorts of legal action then took part.

Clearly Mallard overstepped the mark in calling the person a rapist.  This brought back memories of Helen Clark describing John Yelash as a convicted murderer.  She should have called him a convicted manslaughterer.

An ex gratia payment has been paid to the person.

National has gone to town on it and raised the matter regularly.  They have required Trevor Mallard to appear before Parliament to answer questions, which he did.  They have also continuously asserted that he should resign as speaker.

It is interesting they should choose to litigate a situation that is traditionally difficult.  Who do you back?  The guy who lost his job he complains because of a breach of natural justice or the woman who has complained that she has been sexually assaulted.  Deft sympathetic steps are required in handling this sort of situation.  I see no evidence of these steps being taken.

Jacinda Ardern was not pleased about the tone of the debate that happened last night in Parliament.  And she is right.  From Newshub:

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Ardern said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Any investigation of claims of sexual assault should be in a manner that takes a victim-centric approach. It also needs to include principles of natural justice for the person allegations are made against.

Ardern said she spoke with Mallard on Wednesday morning.

“He retains my overall confidence; however I have expressed serious concerns to him about the manner in which he conducted himself in the House last night,” Ardern said.

“It did not meet the standards I expect. Nor do I consider it to have met the needs of the victim in this situation. The Speaker acknowledges he did not meet his own standards either.”

Ardern also slammed the Opposition’s “inappropriate” behaviour.

“Issues of this serious nature should not be litigated in Parliament in such a manner. It was wrong. Parliament rightly needs to set standard for others to follow.”

Jacinda is right.  Parliamentary privilege should be preserved for the most important of situations.  Not a testosterone driven battle for supremacy between MPs.

Trevor has been working really hard to improve things.  Parliament right now is a lot better place because of his efforts.

Please do not comment on the identity of any of the persons involved in the complaint.

67 comments on “About Trevor Mallard ”

  1. Corey Humm 1

    Parliament should be less of an adverserial place all workers should be safe but the issue the speaker abusing privlidge and intervening in a workplace manner, all the stuff here I agree with and it'd be all well and good if we weren't talking about a bully whose been in parliament for 37 years far too long in general but also a guy whose punched mps, muck raked and threatened and slandered mps, tried to link mps to scandals, called gay mps tinkerbell scalped tickets I mean this guy is a jerk the should never have been speaker in the first place based off all the above he should have retired when Helen Clark did, he is dead weight and a pretty abysmal speaker, and I'm sorry but the speaker of the house should not be using privlidge like this, it's disgraceful. He has to go. If this was Carter or Lockwood we'd be rioting. He needs to be sacked and retire from parliament so we can move on from this and he can bloody well pay for his own legal fees next time he shoots off at the mouth.

  2. cricklewood 2

    Trevor needs to step down, he's essentially a bully himself and he's brought the position of speaker into disrepute… which has undone the good things he has accomplished.

    Sadly he can't help himself when provoked and rightly or wrongly his presence as speaker is going to mean parliament will be a shambles as it was last night on a regular basis as the opposition away and a percieved weak spot.

  3. lilman 3

    Trevor is an idiot and a lazy one.As one labour staffer told my niece "he is sleaze".That about sums the guy up I would say.

  4. Gosman 4

    Ummm… Mallard was one the of the main drivers of it becoming a testosterone driven battle for supremacy between MPs last night. That was what the PM was so very annoyed at. Apparently Labour was worried he would do this and attempted to ensure he didn't lose the plot by walking him through what was likely to occur the previous night. Mallard was obviously incapable of controlling himself.

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    Henry Cooke has a superficially plausible write up on the stoush, but when he got down to

    Now, clearly there is an honest view within the party …

    I spilled my coffee. No honest views within that party, friend.

    The issue is pretty irrelevant in terms of speaker role, notwithstanding the bitterness of Chris Bishop. If Labour are foolish enough to lend them any credence they'll take offense at someone else next week. Woodhouse's involvement is a fair litmus test – the man has a penchant for dirty tricks, from toilet 'humour' wielded against Clare Curran, to the 'homeless man' who was in fact Michelle Boag.

    Mallard has often been a bit on the dodgy side, moreso in the years before he became speaker, but in this dispute he is, remarkably, the lesser evil.

  6. Byd0nz 6

    Trevor's a good bloke, and despite the rabid posts above who may have to eat there words in the long run.

    Good on him for hangin in there, how the red neck party and their ilk wriggle and spew while he stays on, shows them up for the rat class they are.

    Good on ya Trev.

    • Gosman 6.1

      Why did the PM dress him down if he was acting in an appropriate manner?

      • Incognito 6.1.1

        Where did Byd0nz say that?

        • Gosman 6.1.1.1

          Where did I state that Byd0nz said anything? I asked why did the PM dress down Mallard if he was acting in an appropriate manner.

          There are three answers to this that could be offered up as far as I can tell

          1) The PM was wrong to dress him down because he was not acting inappropriately during the debate.

          2) The PM actually did not dress him down and was only really directing her anger towards the tone of the debate which was the fault of the Opposition.

          3) The PM was correct to dress him down as he was acting inappropriately.

          Which of these three (or another option if you have one) do you agree with?

          • Incognito 6.1.1.1.1

            Piss off!

            You replied to Byd0nz with one of your idiosyncratic leading questions as you did in your reply to me; it is your MO, which is disingenuous and wasting time of good people here.

            So, piss off and stop those leading questions; I have warned you about these just recently.

            • Siobhan 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I avoid the Standard because of this sort of carry on…but today I thought I would give it a tentative read ..and here we go…Gosmans comment is absolutely on point and clear…an entirely valid question in response to BydOnz casual statements… whichever side of this argument you are on..so why the reactive reaction? Why the foul language?

              Whats wrong with people…

              • Adrian Thornton

                Sort of reminds me of this sometimes…

              • Westykev

                Bang on with your comment Siobhan, the moderation at times is so over the top on certain commentators while others are given a free pass. I suppose it primarily comes down to what team you support.

              • Jimmy

                I agree. I don't see anything wrong with Gosman's comment. He never stated BydOnz said anything. I think it's good to have comments from differing viewpoints on here. As Westkev says it depends which team you support.

              • gypsy

                I'm new to The Standard, and have enjoyed reading a variety of comments over recent days. But if this is an example of the attitude of moderators here, I'm not sure it's for me.

              • Incognito

                Really? You’re that easily shocked by rather tame language? Surely, you’ve seen worse here? Here’s an example: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-25-07-2019/#comment-1640129. Perhaps you’re more offended by who said it than what was said? Just guessing, of course; I know I won’t be receiving a Christmas card from Adrian and you 😉

                It could be a wasted effort trying to explain to you and the others why Gosman’s dirty debating style is wasting good time of good people. Somebody yesterday described his incessant lines of questioning as Gosman Gallop, which is an apt description. Gosman will bait with questions, often leading or loaded questions, and tricks people in answering his trap questions, which he then follows up with more questions or pounces on the hapless victim telling them they are (obviously) wrong. This goes on and on, wastes time, and is a no-win situation for the person(s) who tries to engage in good faith with Gosman. Do you recognize any of that in Gosman’s comments? Well, the Moderators do, which is why Moderators here always see a bright blinking blip on their radar screens when Gosman is commenting.

                I don’t expect you to agree with me on this. It doesn’t really matter because Gosman will not change his spots and Moderators will deal with him, usually when they have had enough of him, which is just a matter of time, I’m sad to say. That also addresses Adrian’s video clip; two birds with one stone 😉

                It puzzles me why Adrian and you are still commenting here when you find it such an abhorring blog.

                Lastly, and for the record, but irrelevant to the above, Mallard’s conduct during the debate was utterly unprofessional and sub-standard at any level. My comment to Gosman was never about taking sides; you and others got the wrong end of the stick, again, but I’m getting used to that 😊

                • Siobhan

                  I never mentioned 'taking sides'…in fact if you could focus you would see I actually made clear reference to the fact it didn't matter what side of the debate the reader was on…."abhorring blog". ?..no…when have I ever said that. I enjoy the rough and tumble of debate…and am fine with a touch of niggle now and then…the problem is 100% you…you're out of control…sure..hammer someone when they need it…but get over your relentles Hatfield-McCoy vigilantism when its really not needed.

                  …and maybe consider not answering people latter in the evening when you are clearly a tad, um, emotional…

                  • Incognito

                    <sigh>

                    They say that explaining is losing but anyway …

                    When one starts a sentence with “for the record”, most (but not all!) people would understand it to be addressed to a general audience. In this case, I addressed the comments by Westykev (https://thestandard.org.nz/about-trevor-mallard/#comment-1791326), Jimmy (https://thestandard.org.nz/about-trevor-mallard/#comment-1791342), and others who have suggested that I’m not sufficiently impartial. So, you do have the wrong end of the stick, I’m afraid.

                    Your comments have given me the impression that you abhor this blog. Similarly, Adrian’s comments have created and reinforced this impression too. In fact, recently he did appear to speak on your behalf (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-27-04-2021/#comment-1790118). Despite the many shit fights and pile ons here with others (i.e. with the usual suspects and with the usual triggers), the two of you actually abhor my style here, e.g. the fact that I finally, after all these years, put a stop to those tedious transcripts. No other Moderator here has objected, and I have asked them specifically. I get that you don’t like what I do here and/or how I do it, but I don’t always act alone/in isolation; I just happen to be around the most and most proactive. That said, I speak for myself, I stand by my actions, and fully own them.

                    You could consider ignoring my comments, as suggested by others to others (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-27-04-2021/#comment-1790044).

                    Please don’t tell me when moderation is not needed or how I should or should not moderate.

                    Please don’t tell me what time I should not answer people and your dig at my presumed emotional status could be construed as a personal attack.

                    You may wish reading the Policy again.

                • Jester

                  Seems like everyone got the wrong end of the stick except you Incognito.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    @Jester "Seems like everyone got the wrong end of the stick except you Incognito." +1

                • Adrian Thornton

                  "Gosman will bait with questions, often leading or loaded questions, and tricks people in answering his trap questions, which he then follows up with more questions or pounces on the hapless victim telling them they are (obviously) wrong.'

                  We are all adults here right?…so if Gosman can corner someone (an adult) so easily with a couple of "loaded questions and tricks", then good on him, then hopefully whomever got caught in one of his dastardly "traps" will think a little more deeply before answering one of his questions in the future, thereby becoming a better debater and probably more au fait with their subject matter next time, which all seems like a positive to me.

                  I know that when I first came onto The Standard I got pretty cornered and pummelled a few times, I thought it was great…here was a place that if you go into a conversation/debate without a handle on the subject, there is a good chance you will get you arse handed to you..so from then on I made sure I do the research to make sure that I at least stand a good chance of standing my ground if I end up debating someone…it was and is good for me and for my political understanding and positions overall…I have no idea why you seem to want to take away and/or control so tightly (like strangle) some of the best parts of TS?

                  • Incognito

                    This reply will likely go straight into the TS archives and I apologise for the belated response.

                    Thank you for a rather interesting comment.

                    Let’s start at the end.

                    I have no idea why you seem to want to take away and/or control so tightly (like strangle) some of the best parts of TS?

                    I reject your premise. I have no intention whatsoever to take away some of the best parts of TS. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I’d love to see more and better robust debate here. It seems you and I want the same thing!! Could it be?? 🙂

                    We are all adults here right?

                    I reject this premise too. What matters is how we behave on this forum, which in some cases is nothing like adult(s). And I’m not referring to puerile infantile comments only.

                    … then hopefully whomever got caught in one of his dastardly "traps" will think a little more deeply before answering one of his questions in the future, thereby becoming a better debater and probably more au fait with their subject matter next time …

                    This is wishful thinking (cf. "hopefully") going by the experience on this site. The quality of debate has been at an ebb and this is not just my opinion. People fall in the same traps and for the same tricks time after time; it is déjà vu all over again (AKA Groundhog Day).

                    Intellectual dishonesty can be as hard to detect as fake news. Some commenters (…) here are extremely good at intellectual dishonesty; only a semi-professional will be able to detect and deal adequately with all the tricks & fallacies these people use; there are only a few of those dishonest disingenuous regular commenters on TS, fortunately, and the odd troll who tries it on, and you and I both know who they are.

                    This site has good tools to weed out certain things but these are not sophisticated algorithms and we wouldn’t want that anyway; human intervention based on the Policy is how we manage this site. I’d argue that this blog is the best run large NZ blog where commenting is allowed and we only have to look at some of the sewers here in NZ and overseas what happens if you use slack & sloppy rules and moderation.

                    Over the years, there have been a few on either side of the political spectrum who have lamented the ‘state of affairs’ on TS. Some choose self-exile, usually after throwing a ‘wobbly’, but then after a while they come back for more!? Some lambast TS and individual Moderators on other blogs, which they’re entitled to, of course, but it’s a damn small world, sometimes. You should see some of the comments of some in the Trash folder in the back-end; it is quite shocking and I’m not easily shocked – some people seem to have real issues [no joke].

                    To wrap this up, Moderators have enough crap to deal with here and they do this in their spare free time. In addition, they also endeavour writing posts. I have had enough of people running interference with (my) Moderation and it doesn’t impress other Moderators either. Let this be warning for all; it is mentioned in the Policy, for a reason.

    • Cricklewood 6.2

      Is that you Trev?

    • Jimmy 6.3

      I'm sure he is "a good bloke" as long as you are not the one he's bullying, or accusing of sexual assult or rape or even punching you!

  7. Peter 7

    Mallard is a terrible speaker. I mean I've seen experienced people like David Bennett ask dumb questions and thought, "You can't ask that, you can't put it that way…"

    And Mallard has said words to the effect, "The member is experienced and knows he can't ask that …"

    Some knob somewhere in the House makes a knobbish interjection and Mallard says something like, "That's three supplementary questions less…"

    It's a bugger when the ref makes you play to the rules. It's not a very good game when one team goes out with the clear intention of disrupting the game and disrupting the ref.

    National still haven't got over the fact they were done over by Winston in 2017 and thrashed by Ardern in 2020. What do they offer as 'fightback'? Petulance and vindictiveness. They deserve their place down the political dunny.

    They think they are flush with success when one of their 'rising stars' Chris Bishop goes on the attack. That he has the status he enjoys signals how far down the tubes they are.

  8. Incognito 8

    I wouldn’t want to do Mallard’s job.

    • gsays 8.1

      I am assuming Mallard did want to do the job.

      Could speak to the culture of "…too much concentrated power and too many egos…".

  9. Jester 9

    Mallard needs to resign. Only the very hardcore Labour people will defend him to the death just like they did for David Clark and Clare Curran. He is making Jacinda look weak having to defend him. He's a distraction when they have far more important things that they need to get on with and actually deliver on. He has to be the worse speaker ever with so much controversy surrounding him.

    I do think it's ironic that he is the one getting the report done on bullying when everyone knows he is one of the biggest bullies in Parliament. He is the only MP (other than Henare?) that I can remember getting in to an actual punch up.

  10. Patricia Bremner 10

    Woodentop and Hissyfit Trying to shoot down the Duck. Duck hunting season.

    I agree Peter 1+ and Incognito.
    National people forget the shocking behaviour displayed by some of their own people. Woodhouse, Bishop, Collins and Gerry Brownlee to name a few.
    Carter was no angel.

    • gsays 10.1

      I am no fan of members of the opposition, the low bar that they set is no excuse for Mallard to behave the way he has through this tawdry affair. Not to mention us funding his legal defence.

  11. McFlock 11

    Looking at those performances from both sides, I believe Mallard has heard complaints of something far more serious than a hug.

    But I also believe that the nats, if they have even heard those complaints, do not believe those complaints to be true.

    Throw in the personal acquaintances and frictions in what doesn't seem to be the biggest workplace ever, where the people speaking might well know some or all of the unnamed people directly involved, and this has happened many times all around the country. Doesn't always have a clear resolution, but people can usually learn to work together again.

    Trouble with it being Parliament, there are folks with an interest to keep it running even if the main participants try to take a step back.

    • gsays 11.1

      From what I heard on the radio, Mallard was not one taking a step back.

      • Anne 11.1.1

        I watched the episode in the House and for 2/3rd of the debate Mallard withstood some serious allegations Woodhouse and Bishop were making about him – under parliamentary privilege. Some of them were couched as questions, but still slanderous by inference. It was a deliberate ploy of course and eventually Mallard cracked and responded.

        The media report 'the crack' but neglect to point out what led up to it.

        Business as usual.

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          What did Mallard do behaviourwise that led to Ardern’s comments?

          • Lucy 11.1.1.1.1

            I thought that his siting sexual assault allegations was what caused the comment. The woman has not gone to the police (as is her right) so the allegation is legally untested. From my reading there was an assault but not a rape in the legal definition and that caused the payment. Trevor is right in that a man that sexually assaults his work mates should be removed. National looks petulant and very misogenistic with their attempt to reinstate a man who may have assaulted one or more of his co-workers. It's tough when of the three main protagenists Bishop was caught sending inappropiate snapchats to young girls, Woodhouse was caught lying about MIQ and withholding information, Collins was caught leaking information to Whaleoil not the moral high ground!

      • McFlock 11.1.2

        Nor would one expect him to, if he genuinely felt the nats were protecting a man whom he believes has done some serious things.

        Nor were the nats, as one would expect if they believed someone was consistently defaming an innocent man (especially if they know the person being accused).

  12. Tiger Mountain 12

    National has such a motley crew rump of MPs left that it is hard to take them seriously on anything much. Was not Mr Bishop being a little over friendly with teenage girls on Facebook at one stage? Not that it negates any factual points he might make in the house, but really when you start using terms like unsuitable for the Speaker…

    Mr Mallard has not really helped himself one little bit with his utterances from the start in this affair despite good intentions as listed by Micky.

    • I Feel Love 12.1

      He was chatting to teen girls on Snapchat from what I recall. It is hard to take them seriously.

      • Infused 12.1.1

        A girl with links to the labour party.

        Chris opens up a variety of ways for him to keep in contact with the younger crowd.

        The left insisted that it was gross for whatever reason. I suspect it's just computer illterate dumbasses

        • McFlock 12.1.1.1

          Snapchat has a rep for some lifestyles, like Tinder or Pornhub.

        • Muttonbird 12.1.1.2

          Chris opens up a variety of ways for him to keep in contact with the younger crowd.

          I bet he does.

    • Treetop 12.2

      Go all the way back to Jamie Lee Ross and Sarah Dowie. This was played out in the public and in parliament. Even though there were no charges damage was done to their reputation and this played a part in them not being MPs. I do not think their relationship was a private matter once the toxic behaviour was not shut down. Tax payer dollars spent on seeing any power play played out to win against your opposition has to be shut down and legal advice given for those who are involved. National were incapable of looking after Ross and Dowie. National are slow learners.

  13. weka 13

    What happened in the House last night, and what did Mallard do?

  14. Treetop 14

    Did Mallard mislead parliament?

    Mallard was incorrect to have called the man a rapist. He has corrected his terminology. Mallard is not going to budge when it comes to saying a sexual assault did not occur. The man who was investigated by the police has not been charged.

    Employment conditions of the man, it is up to his employer to look at his contract.

    Common assault can leave a person shaken up and a charge of common assault may have been proven.

    The complainants need to feel safe and have a process where they will be listened to.

    Is there a parliamentary law that the speaker cannot be questioned about an incident they were in error over when in the speakers chair?

  15. Robert Guyton 15

    I'm a Mallard supporter. I've watched a good deal of his Speakerin' and I reckon he's genuine.

    • Ad 15.1

      He's a genuine Rena: rocked, cracked, ready for breaking yard.

      • Robert Guyton 15.1.1

        Pump his bilges, patch his battered hull and re-float him for at least one more year on the high-seas! He's salty, is our Trev!

  16. Muttonbird 16

    The right wing call him a bully. Ironic, given their recent history.

    Rather than him being a bully, I think he stands up to bullies. And the bullies don't like it.

  17. Ad 17

    The fun thing for Ardern now is to choose one of National's people to become the next Speaker. It's a sinecure of a job if done well. Paul Goldsmith or Andrew Bayly would be suitable as they are both fairly detail-focused people, and would take out much of the remaining policy-forming capacity from National.

    Ardern could also use the moment to remove a few in a post-Budget reshuffle to take out the lower performers like Mallard, and unfortunately Kiri Allen, and Phil Twyford, and probably Damien O'Connor.

    She seriously needs to take some more of the load off Hipkins and Woods, two of her starts. Post-Budget is the optimum moment to bed them in for a run into a third term election cycle.

    • Patricia Bremner 17.1

      Ad that is inopportune!!

      • Ad 17.1.1

        Politics is where you are supposed to stride over the battlefield bayontting the wounded.

        Ardern could do worse than prepare her own replacement as well. Which is all part of it.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 17.1.1.1

          Ardern could do worse than prepare her own replacement as well.

          A replacement with babies – should be possible with a bit of forward planning wink

          …ahhh but babies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          2022. Second baby. Gets a third term. Retires from politics end of Year 8. Job done.

          Baby+Massacre+Engagement extends the vibe pretty well

          And in the next term, another baby please.

          Nice white flowing gown with veil please. Maybe borrow Princess Di’s dress.

          No; that should be her official name – Three Point Bump Ardern-Gayford

          Except the answer to every question and more above becomes: Babies

          • Ad 17.1.1.1.1

            Holds true esp with COVID.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 17.1.1.1.1.1

              So COVID boosts the (political) cachet of our PM's childbearing properties?

              A dated PoV imho, but "We've got to protect our childbearing properties!" laugh

        • Patricia Bremner 17.1.1.2

          Oh get a grip !!She is 40 not bloody 65.

  18. Jimmy 18

    I think Trevor needs to step down from the speaker's role. The speaker should be someone that is beyond reproach (Like auditor general position). They gave him a chance but he just can't control his temper. Now he is starting to 'stink' and has to keep relying on Jacinda defending him and it's not a good look. Jacinda should find him a position somewhere.

    • Forget now 18.1

      Carter was not beyond reproach, and that just going back one speaker:

      seven women stood in Parliament to reveal they are victims of sexual violence.

      Some of them were saying it for the first time.

      They stood because Prime Minister John Key had accused them of “backing the rapists” for voicing concerns about the dozens of New Zealanders locked in a detention facility on Christmas Island, facing deportation from Australia for having served a year or more in jail…

      If you wonder why sexual assault victims don’t speak up, just note how Speaker Carter dismissed those who did.

      It’s chilling to watch a woman who represents you muster up the courage to say she has been a victim of sexual assault, only to have her microphone cut off mid-sentence and her words fall on deaf ears.

      https://web.archive.org/web/20160127044944/http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/newsworthy/the-consequences-of-speaking-up-2015111119

      • Gabby 18.1.1

        My theory is the gnatsies are especially furious because sexual assault is a perk for them. How very dare the peasants try to make them feel bad about a bit of fun.

        [we’ve had a conversation in the back end about this comment, about whether it warranted an instant ban or a warning. A quick look at the mod history shows me that you don’t seem to learn or care about bans. I’m going to leave the comment because I want it to be visible what the problem here is. Other mods might add their views.

        Jokes about sexual assault aren’t funny. They’re especially not funny under a post about how to deal with sexual assault.

        While I’m less concerned about perception of National, saying that as a party they like to sexually assault people for perks is so way over the top. My sense is that this will largely fall on deaf ears with you, so I’m going to make a note in the back end. Next time you come to my attention, directly or via another mod, I’ll be looking closely at your commenting history here and considering why you should keep comments privileges at all. – weka]

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