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Accused Labour Party Staffer Resigns

Written By: - Date published: 5:32 pm, September 12th, 2019 - 252 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, jacinda ardern, Kelvin Davis, labour, Parliament, paula bennett, Politics - Tags: , ,

The person from the Labour party Parliamentary team accused of sexual assault has quit his job. This was probably inevitable, whether they are guilty or not. His position was effectively untenable once the allegations went public.

As I understand it, the person has not been actually put through an employment related disciplinary process. However, I can see a claim of ‘constructive dismissal’ looming, particular if the accusations are not proven.

Language around the case has been interesting; Kelvin Davis has been accused of trying to diminish the claims by supposedly referring to them as ‘rumours’.   Mind you, that requires a specific reading of the word “kōhimuhimu”. If you are an expert on te reo, and Paula Bennett apparently thinks she is, this is damning. I look forward to her attempts to parse ti tiriti o Waitangi. A grateful nation awaits …

Another linguistic tic has puzzled me. Why is this appalling situation being referred to as a ‘sex’ scandal?

Sexual assault is not ‘sex’.

And using ‘donkey deep’ to describe the PM’s involvement is equally puerile.

This is a really nasty situation for Labour. As with the accusations of anti-semitism levelled at Jeremy Corbyn’s UK Labour Party, it could dog Jacinda Ardern for months, even years. The handling of the matter has been appalling, possibly out of a misplaced duty to protect the leader. It’s right that Nigel Haworth has resigned. What would be better if we knew exactly why.

It potentially could significantly hurt Labour to the point where they may have to continue with the current three party arrangement post election, when a Labour/Green Government was on the cards.

But that’s small beer in the long run.

First up, support for the alleged victims.

Then a swift, effective recalibration in Labour about culture, and the installation of better processes for addressing misbehaviour, whether by staff or ordinary members.

My instinct is that the Labour leadership will learn from this and do things better in future.

If they don’t, then the politics of niceness mean nothing.

 

 

 

252 comments on “Accused Labour Party Staffer Resigns ”

  1. Anne 2

    So glad to see you back TRP. I have missed your ability to get straight to the heart of a matter – no holds barred.

    First up, support for the alleged victims.

    Then a swift, effective recalibration in Labour about culture, and the installation of better processes for addressing misbehaviour, whether by staff or ordinary members.

    Yep. the situation in a nutshell .

    The irony here is this ‘scandal’ could have occurred in any political party. There have been plenty of stories over the years to suggest National has a bit to hide in this regard. Unfortunately for Labour the dice ended up falling their way

    There is one aspect I hope will be part of the investigation:

    Who among the seven complainants were complicit in the decision to approach Paula Bennett, and what were the circumstances that led them to do it? I know the young lady who has reported serious allegations of sexual abuse was not one of them.

    Given Bennett's own political past, she was the wrong person to approach. So, were they coerced by someone to go to Bennett? Because if that proved to be the case, then there is definitely more to this story than meets the eye.

    • Chris T 2.1

      "Given Bennett's own political past it seesm to me she was the wrong person to approach. So, were they coerced by someone to go to Bennett? Because if that proved to be the case, then there is definitely more to this story than meets the eye. "

      Why?

      It got people to actually do something.

      It isn't like the Labour Party hierarchy were helping

      • alwyn 2.1.1

        Anne says "Who among the seven complainants were complicit in the decision …."

        What does the word complicit mean

        "involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong"

        It is rather sad that Anne is continuing with the Labour Party's standard policy. Blame the victim. They, not the ratbag in the Party Office are the ones to blame. Accuse them of being involved in unlawful activities. No wonder they felt they couldn't get any justice from Labour. All they can expect is that they will be smeared. Have you no shame Anne?

        • In Vino 2.1.1.1

          alwyn, has anyone ever warned you not to over-egg? If you do, the egg will end up on your own face. Let's wait and see.

          • Anne 2.1.1.1.1

            S'alright In Vino.

            They get all riled and spit out porkies when you blow their own dirt back into their faces.

            • alwyn 2.1.1.1.1.1

              You aren't embarrassed at all are you?.

              So much for "support the victims".

              You simply want to smear them. Pretty typical of the Ardern acolytes unfortunately. Shame on you!

          • alwyn 2.1.1.1.2

            Well, I can see the side you are on.

            Embarrass the party and we will destroy your reputation. You exhibit your true Labour level of immorality don't you?

            Why, I'll bet you laughed at the action of the lawyer defending the slob who assaulted the young Labour members at that "camp" they held. When she was defending him against charges of indecent assault on much younger girls who had had the courage to make a complaint to the Police the lawyer said

            "Priest said the accused had a complete defence to the fourth charge, an allegation of unwanted kissing.

            "She wanted it," Priest said. "There is no indecent assault here." ".

            How wonderful. Go to the Police and you will be viciously attacked and smeared. Didn't you find it thrilling?

            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12263955

            • In Vino 2.1.1.1.2.1

              alwyn I am not a member of the Labour Party, and the rest of your rant is totally inapplicable to me – I wonder what on earth you are quoting. Something that suits your case, no doubt. But you have not impugned me with it – I would agree with you that what you have quoted is a wrong, but just waffle on when it suits you. I do not see you as a trustworthy source of unbiased information.

              • alwyn

                It doesn't really matter whether you are a member of the party or not. I accused you of adopting their attitudes and you have certainly done that.

                As for you not being able to understand what I was quoting can I make it very easy for you. I am quoting the Herald article for which a link was provided at the bottom of the quote. You just click on it and you will see the material quoted in that story. Easy, isn't it?

                I'm afraid you are just going to have to wear the comments about you. Surely you have heard the old aphorism? "If you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas"

                [lprent: The problem is that neither I nor apparently In Vino appear to understand what in the hell you were talking about. Could you make your comments relevant. Possibly lay off the vino. As fast as I can tell “In vino veritas” with you just reveals gibberish. ]

            • cleangreen 2.1.1.1.2.2

              Vicious as usual we see you are , right to your point Alwyn?

              Any feelings of hurting others?

        • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.2

          It is rather sad that Anne is continuing with the Labour Party's standard policy. Blame the victim.

          So many comments from people whose concern about rape culture is confined to those occasions when it provides an opportunity for partisan propaganda.

          • cleangreen 2.1.1.2.1

            Psyhco Milt,

            Yes there is plenty of ‘partisan propaganda’ around as the national Party and their supporters embark on the early beginning of the 2020 election campaign?

            • Climaction 2.1.1.2.1.1

              so a labour sexual assault case marks the start of the next election campaign? Just this time? Just while it’s in government?

              Don’t trivialise the issue at hand. Your as bad as Anne. there is something wrong with your generation and how it views the heinous act of sexual assault

          • alwyn 2.1.1.2.2

            You really are a contemptible SOB aren't you Psycho?

            I call Anne out on her abusing the victims of the sexual assaults by claiming they were indulging in unlawful and morally wrong actions when they complain and what do you do?

            You don't discuss the merits or otherwise of her actions. You simply make up lies about me. Well tough luck mate. If people are going to blame the victims I am going to call such people out. Your trying to defend the totally indefensible is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

            • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.2.2.1

              You referred to "the Labour Party's standard policy: blame the victim," and are then surprised when someone points out you're treating this as an opportunity for partisan propaganda? Why would you be surprised?

              • alwyn

                Well no mate. You said, and I will quote it in full.

                "So many comments from people whose concern about rape culture is confined to those occasions when it provides an opportunity for partisan propaganda.".

                You are accusing me of only reacting to sexual assaults on women when they are done by people in the Labour Party.

                You are lying about my beliefs and behavior. I don't accept it at any time, unlike, apparently, you and Anne who seem to forgive it when it is being done by one of your own.

                • marty mars

                  crocodile tears suit you alwyn – be good if you upped your game so that you don't attack the Prime Minister and her child eh because until you do you are marked as a dirty type imo

                  [You cannot rely on your memory so please provide a link in which Alwyn “attack[ed] the Prime Minister and her child”. Over the last few days, the accusations have been flying high and dry here and this needs to stop. People have to understand there are consequences for making unsubstantiated accusations – Incognito]

                  • alwyn

                    "Prime Minister and her child"?

                    You really can't make any honest remarks can you?

                    Attacking her child the lying little s**t claims. Given your complete inability to tell the truth why do you think I should take any notice at all of your crap statements?

                    You really are just about the biggest turd I have ever seen.

                    • marty mars

                      truth hurts eh – I don't forget pricks like you and your disgusting attacks

                    • alwyn

                      Your memory is as faulty as you integrity is lacking,

                      I have never attacked Ms Ardern's daughter.

                      You are a liar. I repeat. You are a liar.

                  • gsays

                    wtf marty?

                  • Incognito

                    See my Moderation note @ 4:09 PM.

                    • marty mars

                      I can't find the comment as evidence of what I remember so I withdraw and apologise.

                    • Incognito []

                      Thank you.

                      The reason I raised it (with you) is that readers of this site may not know where you’re coming from and what you’re getting at (i.e. the context).

                      From memory, Alwyn did go a little hysterical about the PM taking her baby into the General Assembly of the UN but I personally would not call that an “attack” as such.

                    • alwyn

                      A great deal better, more accurate and more honest apology would have been something like.

                      "My memory has failed me. Alwyn did not attack Ms Ardern's child. I apologise for my false claim".

                      Your weasel words aren't an apology at all. They are merely a claim that I really said it but you can't actually find it on-line. You are still claiming you remember it.

                      Alternatively you could try the Parliamentary standard. "I withdraw and apologise" Nothing else may be added of Trevor will be down on you.

                    • marty mars

                      @ Incognito – I did need to take some time and I am happy to comply with your reasonable request – thank you

                      @ alwyn – I sincerely meant what I wrote in my response to the moderation request

                • You are accusing me of only reacting to sexual assaults on women when they are done by people in the Labour Party.

                  I'm suggesting your comment was an example of right-wingers only being concerned about rape culture when there's partisan propaganda to be had from it. Rape culture isn't a synonym for sexual assault, and you guys not understanding what the term refers to is part of the problem. If you're so upset by my comment, do a bit of reading on the subject and demonstrate a bit of concern for it outside of a Labour Party context – otherwise, people are going to make assumptions about you.

                  • Climaction

                    if you are such a tireless warrior against rape culture psycho, you wouldn’t be looking at it through the privileged optics of a male looking at the party political angles

                  • Chris T

                    With all due respect, as I can't remember if you were one of the posters doing it, but it wasn't that long ago, this place was undermining all Ross's alleged victims, saying National had him committed to a mental institution against his will, all based on the assumptions his "secret recordings" behind peoples backs might hurt National.

                    There is history here of Labour supporters tending to preach believe the women, "except" when it doesn't promote Labour

                    • Lol, actually I did immediately assume Bridges had dobbed him in to the cops to have him committed, it seemed like just the kind of thing Bridges would do to shut him up. That was separate from the allegations against him though, which I assume were well justified.

            • Anne 2.1.1.2.2.2

              I've had enough of you and one or two others claiming I'm abusing the victims:

              Here's a comment from a couple of days ago and there are others of mine along similar lines:

              Open mike 10/09/2019

              • alwyn

                If you want to link to a comment you have made at an earlier time can you please do it properly? That link simply goes to the start of Open Mike for that day.

                I really don't think that I should be called upon to read all 140 comments to try and find yours and, if there are multiple ones, decide which it was you meant.

                • Anne

                  I've been trying to get the link Master Impatience.

                  Since the new format was introduced it will no longer work for me.

                  I've copied and pasted the comment:

                  It's time people thought more about the trauma and hurt suffered by this young woman and made so much worse by the publicity surrounding it. Many women over the years have gone through this process and been left feeling shamed, disbelieved and rejected by those who should have supported them and helped to facilitate a proper investigation.

                  I sincerely hope for her sake that such an investigation will eventuate because otherwise she will have to carry the consequences around for the rest of her life.

                  And for your info. I've been through an experience which, although slightly different in nature, had a similar outcome and I made mistakes in my handling of it too. It is an inevitable side effect for victims of these types of crime. Just because I have alluded to as much does not mean I'm victim blaming. Far from it. I believe I understand better than some people what these young people have been through and how it has felt for them.

                  • alwyn

                    Thank you for putting this in.

                    I seem to be able to get the link down to the comment alone, rather than the whole post, by clicking on the first line under the name of the person putting in the comment. This will put it up at the top of the screen in the box that gives you the link. Then I cut and paste that into my comment, like this

                    https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-10-09-2019/#comment-1653602

                    This will go straight to the comment concerned.

                    Not sure if that is a very clear way of explaining it but it seems to work for me.

                    I am sure that you do accept the view that one should not blame the victim. The trouble is that the original comment I objected to did seem to do that.

                    It talked about the complainants being "complicit". As I noted that is an extremely pejorative term to use about the complainants. It then says they shouldn't have gone near Bennett, even though they had been getting nowhere in the last year or so of dealing with the Labour Party.

                    It doesn't help[ of course that some other commenters then jumped in boots and all. Marty is seldom helpful for example. Neither is Michelle proposing in this post that sacrificial lambs have to be provided. Nobody should be provided as a sacrifice to protect some bastard in the Party Office.

                    "Labour need to do all they can to ensure that does not happen even if it means sacrificial lambs" That really isn't an acceptable viewpoint for any political party to take, is it?

                    • Anne

                      Now that is a reasonable comment alwyn.

                      Yes, I link in the same way and it appears correctly but as soon as I submit… the first half of the address line drops off. God only knows why.

                      It talked about the complainants being "complicit". As I noted that is an extremely pejorative term to use about the complainants. It then says they shouldn't have gone near Bennett, even though they had been getting nowhere in the last year or so of dealing with the Labour Party.

                      Yes. I fluffed up there. I should not have used the word "complicit". By doing so, I was laying myself open to wrong interpretations. I didn't mean the victims were in anyway complicit in any subterfuge, but rather those to whom they sought assistance which of course does seem at this stage to have included a few people in the Labour Party.

                      I do believe they made a mistake going to Paula Bennett but
                      I understand why they did so. Bennett – or indeed whoever in the Opposition they may have gone to – was always going to use it for political gain. The temptation is just too much.

                      I did something similar. I confided in someone whom I later discovered was actually complicit in my experiences and I ended up in a worse position than ever.

                    • lprent []

                      I confided in someone whom I later discovered was actually complicit in my experiences and I ended up in a worse position than ever.

                      One of the worst cases of that was Jordan Williams of the Taxpayers ‘union’ and the way that he absolutely and deliberately violated the trust of Rachel MacGregor by (as a writer at the Spinoff put it):-

                      Despite promising MacGregor and her lawyer he would keep her story and documents she’d entrusted to him confidential, Williams used the information in what a judge later described as a “campaign” to have Craig removed as leader of the party. Williams told the party board members, informed Garth McVicar of the Sensible Sentencing Trust that he should prepare to fill the party leadership, and authored posts for Whale Oil under the pen name “Concerned Conservative” alleging Craig sexually harassed MacGregor as well as publishing a poem Craig had sent her.

                      Or as the trial judge put it

                      Williams sued Craig, saying Craig had defamed him by calling him a liar and implying Williams was dishonest, deceitful, a serial liar, not to be trusted, and lacking in integrity. Williams won and was awarded $1.27 million, the largest defamation award ever made in New Zealand. (The trial judge did, though, find there was some evidence that Williams had been dishonest and deceitful, and could not be trusted.)

                      But then in my opinion, Jordan Williams has always been a sychophantic weak kneed arsehole fond of violating people’s trust. You only have to see the transcripts in Dirty Politics about how he seems to get a kick out of re-victimizing victims. As far as I can see he displays all of the high moral hypocritical authority of conservatives acting with the absolute highest of motives. It has nothing to do with being a arsehole of human being that only a mother could (maybe) really love.

                      /sarc

                    • Anne

                      @lprent.

                      In my case the individual was actually implicated in the covert crimes that were committed over a period of time – stalking sessions, breaking and entering, damage to car, smashed windows, obscene messages and mysterious injuries to a couple of my pets which culminated in their demise. Oh and nuisance phone calls – lots of them.

                    • alwyn

                      @Anne at 7:27pm

                      Jesus. Now that is a real case for using complicit.

                      And of "implicated" for that matter. A definition is.

                      "show (someone) to be involved in a crime."

                      I hope you were able to get some action from the Police. You have my sympathy over this. The bastard.

                    • Anne

                      Thanks for your expression of sympathy alwyn.

                      No. I never saw justice. There was a cover-up job and it took me years to unravel it and get to the truth. There was a political element. Not on my part. I wasn't involved in politics at the time. But I knew enough to be a threat to certain individuals who were involved in politics. The primary perpetrator was actually a woman. No, she was not a politician but she had her nose in all sorts of shady shenanigans.

      • Rae 2.1.2

        How about this

        Bennett "Psst. Over here. I heard a whisper around that you had a bit of strife with ……… come to Aunty Paula's office, tell me all about it, and I'll see what I can do", nudge, nudge, wink, wink

        • Chris T 2.1.2.1

          Well no really

          More try to get Labour to sort it, get screwed over so send email to media and National to try to get some help.

        • Chris T 2.1.2.2

          Interesting you call it a bit of strife by the way

          Will remember that

        • Rapunzel 2.1.2.3

          PM on the news – the complainants and the Crown have agreed on the terms and references to be covered by the QC a load of desperate "reckons" trying to prop up Bridges & Bennett are irrelevant to that consensus.

          • alwyn 2.1.2.3.1

            Does what she said today agree with what Stuff has reported after they saw the terms of reference?

            Or are they very restrictive as Stuff says?

            • Sacha 2.1.2.3.1.1

              Do you have a link for that? I can't see anything on the Stuff website.

              • Anne

                See my comment below to Rapunzel.

              • alwyn

                Sorry. The story was this one. I missed putting in the link.

                https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/115773503/labour-scandal-terms-of-reference-dont-include-initial-investigation-prompting-council-stoush?rm=m

                On the other hand the story is there now. Anne seems to think it has been removed and that it has been debunked.

                Does she have anything to back up the last paragraph which says the story was BS? Given it is still there, and has not been deleted as she says, perhaps she may want to reconsider her opinion.

                • lprent

                  As I understand it, this was the inquiry that was already underway? That would mean that the terms of it were set some time ago – about 3-5 weeks ago.

                  What appears to have been argued yesterday is that the terms of the enquiry be increased – by at least one member of the NZ council according to this article – to cover allegations made in the last two days. In particular the claim of having sent e-mails with the sexual harassment details.

                  Which makes the title of the article as expressed in the slug and title to be highly misleading and veering into outright fraudulent. Technically it is correct. However the implication that the terms of reference were being limited looks like it is a fabrication.

                  Incidentally I suspect that this article has actually been offline and probably rewritten which is likely to be why I couldn’t find it earlier either after I read Anne’s comment. But unfortunately it could also just be the crap search on stuff – it is usually easier to use google than their search engine.

                  But perhaps you should moderate your comments and read the article – at least enough so that I don’t have to moderate …

                  • Anne

                    A point of interest lprent… I read online earlier this evening ( must learn to make a note of where I see these items) which is a little intriguing.

                    The victims are adamant they emailed certain senior members of the party and reported the alleged sexual harassment and assault case. The senior members in question are equally adamant they did not receive the emails.

                    I'm not doubting either side at this stage. There is much room for error in so far as the members might have missed them, or the victims sent them to the wrong address (unlikely I would have thought) but the members are certain enough they didn’t arrive and want a search undertaken to see if they can be located. Something like that anyway.

                    I can't be bothered trying to find the item at this late hour but thought you might be interested.

                    • Incognito

                      You can only be sure that your e-mail has reached the intended addressee if you get a response that confirms it.

                      It’s easier for an e-mail to get lost in ‘hyperspace’ than a letter in the mail.

                      Besides the institutionalised and personalised filters, e.g. to filter spam, junk mail and other crap, there are personalised settings for e-mails to be directed to certain folders and what have you. There are settings for automatic forwarding to colleagues, e.g. for when on leave, shared inboxes, multiple access, etc. Then there are also settings for automated deletion of e-mails in certain folders.

                      I don’t expect the Labour Party to be on top of these things any more than you and I because the weakest link is and always will be the human element.

                    • Anne

                      Thanks for that Incognito.

                      It might explain why the victims got no responses. The recipients never saw them.

                    • Incognito []

                      It might.

          • Anne 2.1.2.3.2

            The top item on Stuff early this afternoon was a story about the terms of reference for the Inquiry. Stuff claimed they "understood it did not include any of the investigative processes inside the Labour Party. Instead it would be confined to the victims’ claims of abuse”. (my precis) An hour or so later I went to copy and paste to TS as it was an important new development. It was gone.

            It turned out it was BS. I wonder where the story originated, or whether the author just made it up? Quite possibly the latter as there's been a lot of 'media making up stuff’ since this story broke.

            • alwyn 2.1.2.3.2.1

              "An hour or so later I went to copy and paste to TS as it was an important new development. It was gone."

              Are you sure? The story I saw, which appears to be the same one and doesn't appear to have changed is at the link below. Why do you say it was BS?

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/115773503/labour-scandal-terms-of-reference-dont-include-initial-investigation-prompting-council-stoush?rm=m

              • Anne

                Why do you say it was BS?

                Because Ardern was interviewed on TV1 tonight. I think she was in ChCh to mark the 6 months anniversary of the ChCh massacre. She emphasised the fact that the terms of reference included the L.P. handling of the case. I had the impression she knew about the Stuff article and wanted it to be known it was not just confined to the victim's allegations.

                When I went to the Stuff site around mid afternoon I couldn't find it. It was originally the top item but it was nowhere to be seen. I don't know what goes on on these sites. Items come and go and come back again at the apparent whim of the site administrators.

                It hasn’t appeared on the TV1 web site which is odd. They’re usually posted within an hour of the item being broadcast.

                What is going on. 😕

    • michelle 2.2

      Yes Anne coerced to go to pull the benefit now who would have coerced them, we know why but who, we also know national are trying to damage Jacindas credibility this is what they ultimately want and in my view Labour need to do all they can to ensure that does not happen even if it means sacrificial lambs cause that is exactly what national did they protected their leader teflon john

    • SHG 2.3

      The irony here is this ‘scandal’ could have occurred in any political party.

      Disagree. One of the reasons this has become such a clusterfuck is that Jacinda has been stepping on landmines in the media all week and looking totally ignorant of what her party is and looking incapable of leading it.

      Jacinda is the Labour party's greatest asset. She is the only chance that Labour has of winning the next election. So the party – run by old white men like Haworth – seems to have taken a position of protect the asset at all costs. She can not be allowed to know inconvenient facts. She must be kept ignorant.

      Other parties don't have this problem. Politics being what it is every party will have its own scandals, but this one is a particularly Labour scandal.

      • SHG 2.3.1

        That is, of course, assuming that she really didn't know and that she hasn't just been lying all week. I would prefer to make that assumption.

      • Jimmy 2.3.2

        It's pretty hard to believe Jacinda didn't know….where has she been and does she not look at any newspapers or talk to anyone else?

        • SHG 2.3.2.1

          The possibility that Jacinda has known for a long time, that her concern and apology were just an act, that she was happy for young female sexual assault victims to get gaslighted into silence in order to protect a politically useful member of her staff… is so nauseating that it hardly bears thinking about.

          • Psycho Milt 2.3.2.1.1

            Not quite. The possibility that the above is being peddled by right-wingers as propaganda is so nauseating that it hardly bears thinking about. And yet, there you are doing it…

          • Anne 2.3.2.1.2

            @ SHG
            Jacinda has more caring and compassion in her little finger than you and others of your ilk have in their whole bodies.

            If you choose to go down that path then here is one for you:

            Paula Bennett's feigned concern for the female victims of bullying and sexual assault is so nauseating it hardly bears thinking about. Her motivation from the start was to make maximum political capital out of it – and for as long as possible – firstly for herself and then the National Party.

            • michelle 2.3.2.1.2.1

              plus 100 Anne which makes it hard to watch maybe when pulla has finnished with politics she could take up acting maybe a stint on shortland street

            • marty mars 2.3.2.1.2.2

              + 1 yep the low ones love this shit – they don't care about ANYTHING except the political hits – they are known for it

            • gsays 2.3.2.1.2.3

              Hi Anne, what was it in SHG's comment that you took as a slight against our Prime minister?

              Your final paragraph seemed to sum up what SHG was saying.

              • Anne

                Read SHG @ 2.3.2.1

                It was a nasty attack on Jacinda Ardern's high level of integrity. I repeated his comment but with a name change to emphasise the point.

                Psycho Milt made a similar observation only in a different way.

        • Psycho Milt 2.3.2.2

          It's pretty hard to believe Jacinda didn't know….where has she been and does she not look at any newspapers or talk to anyone else?

          The logical fallacy "Argument from personal incredulity"

          Longer form: the idea that a prime minister works on the basis of information from officials rather than stories in the newspapers or gossip among parliamentary staffers is an unremarkable commonplace. Your personal disbelief isn't an argument for rejecting that idea and replacing it with some kind of conspiracy theory.

          • Chris T 2.3.2.2.1

            So you are saying Ardern does not read the news?

            • alwyn 2.3.2.2.1.1

              Well, not this week I suspect. I am sure that she, like all politicians, only reads news items that say nice things about her or nasty things about her opponents.

              Not too many stories in either of those categories this week are there?

              • marty mars

                I am sure you are completely wrong again – your hatred of our Prime Minister distorts your already jaundiced view alwyn

            • Psycho Milt 2.3.2.2.1.2

              So you are saying Ardern does not read the news?

              Er, no. How do you parse "a prime minister works on the basis of information from officials rather than stories in the newspapers" to mean "a prime minister does not read the newspapers?"

              • Chris T

                So she reads it, but doesn't take it in, or ignores it.

                Even if it involves her own office.

                No, "Mental note here. Might want to ask someone about this"?

                • Naki man

                  "So she reads it, but doesn't take it in, or ignores it."

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsZJKpbEoNE

                • No, "Mental note here. Might want to ask someone about this"?

                  If we ignore her explicit statements that she asked about it, maybe. Why have you chosen to ignore those statements? Do you not read the news?

                  • Chris T

                    If she asked about the reports she would have seen they were reports about sexual assault yet says she didn't know they were sexual assault till recently.

                    Hosking, bless his biased arsehole self actually asked her a direct question about sexual assault allegations weeks ago and she didn't pause before answering.

                    • Given that she was asking the party, and the party says there was no allegation of sexual assault, what reports would the party have given her that were reports of sexual abuse?

                  • lprent

                    Why have you chosen to ignore those statements? Do you not read the news?

                    He judges everyone else by his expectations of his own behaviour. He assumes they’d be like him and National and would just blatantly lie.

                    It does seem like the simplest explanation.

                    • Rapunzel

                      That sums it up judgements by people with no scruples and a need to make Bridges at least ½ way viable. I doubt though that all Nat MPs can see that this sort of agenda is what their campaign brief will be based on, imagine going into that with no policy and no facts.

                    • Chris T

                      I would expect my PM to read the news

                  • Chris T

                    Sorry, there was no reply link on your last post.

                    The media reports months ago saying there were sexual assault issues in her office

                    I mean is this like hidden from her

                    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/112908908/parliament-staffer-stood-down-following-historic-assault-claim

                    [lprent: It is a link that has absolutely nothing to do with this instance – it is from May and appears to be completely unrelated – there is no reference to her office.

                    If you’d actually read it, then it would have been obvious. From memory this was related to claims of sexual assaults inside parliament and the fallout from the Jamie Lee Ross saga. But as the article said there were no released details.

                    Banned for 3 months for what appears to be an deliberate attempt to spread false facts. ]

          • Jimmy 2.3.2.2.2

            I don't expect her to believe what the papers or journalists say (I mean who does?), but she would be aware of what they say and would probably ask someone "is this going to be an issue for us?" or even "what should we do about this?" or in this case "is this going to blow up in our faces?"

            • Psycho Milt 2.3.2.2.2.1

              Which she did, and was told the allegations were of bullying and harrassment, no sexual assault involved, the Party's handling it. Right-wingers' spin about how the magical properties of leadership would have told a real leader not to believe the answers is just laughable.

              • Jimmy

                Well if its proven that some high up people knew and didn't tell her then they could be in deep #hit.

                • Oh yeah, I bet there's going to be plenty of shit to go round. You wouldn't want to be even remotely involved in having answered Ardern's questions right now.

      • Rapunzel 3.1.1

        I'm lost for words, the media has mixed and meddled and not in the interests of anyone who has been harmed. For some inexplicable reason I see Colin Craig and the situation that evolved from that. Media and Paula Bennett have bleed people dry for their own ends, roll on the QC to restore some commonsense.

        • Incognito 3.1.1.1

          Not many have had the interest of others at the forefront of their minds. Self-interest is the way to get ahead in this day and age. There is even a name for this affliction ideology: neo-liberalism.

        • Anne 3.1.1.2

          I gave Bennett the benefit of the doubt this morning that she might be reasonably sincere about her concern for the alleged victims. I take that back.

          She doesn't give a damm. Nice bit of acting though.

          • Rapunzel 3.1.1.2.1

            I would say with the resignation and possible counter-claim that this story may not end up suiting "Paula's" intentions.

            It's sad because NZ has been ignoring workplace abuse and bullying for too long, trying to get to the bottom of it, even extended to immigrant employment abuses, is almost impossible while a too large proportion of NZ is in it for personal and political gain.

          • michelle 3.1.1.2.2

            plus 100 Anne which make sit hard to watch maybe when pulla has finnished with politics she could take up acting maybe a stint on shortland street

        • New view 3.1.1.3

          Rapunzel, I would have said that labour have sat on information that has not been in the alleged victims best interest. How is that anyone’s fault but Labour’s. The other coalition partners must be cringing. But you go ahead and blame Colin Craig Paula B and any body else who doesn’t support Labour’s debacle. Regardless. .

      • Chris T 3.1.2

        Nice try, but I heard Tove O'Brien as Shane Jones on the radio and he said "rumour"

        What Kelvin is doing is called trying to squirm his way out of a cock up, with pretend ambiguity

        • Incognito 3.1.2.1

          If it is a “cock up” then heads should roll, don’t you think? We cannot tolerate ambiguity and subtle linguistic nuances.

          • Anne 3.1.2.1.1

            Good grief Incognito- those words are far too complex for Cristy.

          • Chris T 3.1.2.1.2

            Not really.

            It is Kelvin.

            He ain't the "sparkiest" spark plug in the V12 that runs the Labour Caucus engine.

            It was a mistake

            Mincing words are his thing

            • Incognito 3.1.2.1.2.1

              The V12 that runs the engine!? In any case, the Labour Caucus is more of a diesel engine so no spark plugs at all.

              • Chris T

                Technically the V12 prt is the cylinder head.

                Not the engine.

                The engine is the whole thing.

                Forgive me if I am getting too technical.

                Typical that Labour are diesel and not electric.

                All do as we say, not as…..

              • Dukeofurl

                All diesel engines have 'glow plugs'

            • marty mars 3.1.2.1.2.2

              do you speak te reo Māori there chris? If you don't understand that words in the language CAN have different meanings based on context then head off to a class to improve your understanding of these deep concepts

              • Chris T

                "Some" words can have different meanings depending on context.

                According to the Maori dictionary and Shane Jones, Harvard graduate and one of the best speakers of Te Reo in the place, that ain't one of them

                • Rapunzel

                  Some have deeper meanings like "mana" adopted outside NZ for its depth, another is whakama which takes "shame" to another level again if you understand it.

                  • Chris T

                    Yes

                    Not sure how that changes Kelvin cocking up one that doesn't

                    • If people like Kelvin didn't receive the actual complaint and wasn't part of the investigating panel, then he probably did hear rumours, so that was correct.

                      I am gob smacked that the complaints went to Paula B. Obviously it is there right to do so, but most people who have been members of Labour, would know that Paula is using them for political advantage.

                      I guess it is giving them a sense of justice, so maybe it helps them.

                • Incognito

                  Ok, you convinced me that Shane Jones is superfluent in te reo Māori because of his Harvard education and that Kelvin Davis got it wrong because he cannot boast the same credentials. That settles it for me.

                • marty mars

                  yep you're a real expert now eh chris lol fail again from you

              • lprent

                This isn’t exactly news. Surely even Chris T can think of examples in English. In fact even in variants of English? Like the way that ‘shouting’ has a different meanings here.

                Where was that article I read recently that mentions reactions of the English to kiwi use of “shouting” and “shout”.
                https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/kiwi-traveller/115679899/is-kiwi-humour-really-totally-weird

                Fortunately in Chris T’s case (praise be!), I think that “ignorant dipshit” is universal across the english speaking world.

                Updated: And in the case of the UK they also apparently have yet another meaning for the word ‘shout’ – something about it meaning roughly ‘great idea’ or ‘thats a good point’. Never quite understood it myself.

            • michelle 3.1.2.1.2.3

              how condescending Chris can you kororo Maori = no

          • Jimmy 3.1.2.1.3

            Well I don't think Kelvin has exactly helped the situation

        • Rapunzel 3.1.2.2

          Tove? Paul, Si, cool. I'm taking the old-fashioned approach, every side of the story, independent view, facts. that'll do me.

          • Chris T 3.1.2.2.1

            Cool

            I'll go with the official Maori dictionary and Jones who is fluent in Te Reo.

            You go with the guy Labour only wheel out to talk when unavoidable.

            • Rapunzel 3.1.2.2.1.1

              If you think that matters cool the thing that will matter will be the last and lasting memory of the assault.

              • Chris T

                I agree.

                I was just commenting on the defending it in the article, to the point of slagging off another MP for calling Kelvin up on his mistake.

            • marty mars 3.1.2.2.1.2

              chris you forgot harvard – come on bubby get the spin righter

    • Rapunzel 3.2

      Oh dear Paula's gonna be after your *ss too, "rumour" how very dare you

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12267145

  2. Ad 4

    The Civilian just made me laugh out loud on Ardern's behavior throughout:

    http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/the-moment-i-found-out-that-you-found-out-i-acted-swiftly/

    • Anne 4.1

      It's a boring old cliche these days but you know what Ad?

      Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Sarcasm will do just fine until justice arrives.

        • Rapunzel 4.1.1.1

          Do you remember who set this in motion this week, it had burbled along in many forms that few could really get the gist of for weeks. I've even considered it's an attempt to divert from Bridges fawning trip to the East. Counter-claims from the resignation adds another layer to this.

            • Ad 4.1.1.1.1.1

              So these loyal Labour activist complainants, who had something massively bad happen to them in their workplace, and who have been investigated over a long time, and had the process of their complaints investigated, and were so pissed off about it that as long term loyal Labour activists working inside the Labour government, felt so triggered that it was time that they as sleeper agents for National decided to rise up and use this political moment to go straight to National's lead spokesperson on all things gender and welfare and betray their Labour government they just fought years for, in order to undermine an Ardern media plan.

              Have I got that right Rapunzel and Pete?

              • Anne

                …long term Labour activists?

                As far as I can tell, the ages of these young women is around early to mid 20s. The one who has reported serious sexual assault is 19. Does that mean they joined the Labour Party when they were still in nappies?

                If that's the level of accuracy of your comment, then I don't hold out much hope for the rest of it.

                • Climaction

                  What type of progressive women puts a parties needs against the hurt inflicted by those needs on another women?

                  • Lucy

                    Most parties will put the needs of party over their workers. The old white guys follow process and young women get bulldozed. Most parties have gone through similar – anyone remember DPF National Party after party or UK SWP splitting thanks to a really bad sexual assault and we have the Christian Heritage party who's leader went to prison.

                    Labour handled these cases badly and needs to go back to basics – dry retreats and interns and activists need to be treated differently to workers. These young women and men who should not be in work environments for long periods – they are volunteers not employees. I think Labour need to rethink using volunteers with little life experience. This is not a criticism of the complainants, most work places have guys that target younger work mates – the problem tends to be the wall of silence from other staff that allows the behaviour to keep going.

                    • Climaction

                      And insinuations and finger pointing from true loyalists doesn’t help either. Opinions like psycho Milts than the critics have only recently become caring about rape culture only highlights the silence and lack of belief in addressing it when it’s evident in ones own camp. And reveals how psycho milt actually is

                    • In Vino

                      Climaction – please get literate. Your raves are pretty well incomprehensible.

              • Chris

                Perhaps the complainants felt so betrayed by Labour they really wanted to hurt them and one way of doing that was to go to Bennett and National?

              • patricia bremner

                "At their workplace" No Ad, one incident, the complainant went to his home.

                You want us to believe Bennett is acting out of altruism?

                You want us to believe Jacinda "must have known, and has only acted since she was found out"?

                Some of us know Jacinda and know she is ethical.

                • SHG

                  "At their workplace" No Ad, one incident, the complainant went to his home.

                  Was invited there. By a workmate. To do work. It was a workplace.

                  • patricia bremner

                    But she said he had been a problem previously.

                    So why didn't she draw a line under that?

        • Anne 4.1.1.2

          If you are proven to be wrong will you apologise?

          • alwyn 4.1.1.2.1

            "will you apologise".

            You certainly don't do you? Have you no shame?

          • Ad 4.1.1.2.2

            Weep not for me, weep not.

            The Prime Minister has apologised in person to the complainants already. She's repeated her apology on RNZ and TVNZ news yesterday and today.

            The President of the Labour Party has apologized and resigned.

            There's a report from a QC already just on the process of the internal investigation which was so bad the Prime Minister has also apologized for that.

            And then there's another report coming out, the results of which is that Ardern will continue to apologize.

            Labour has done so much apologizing, and is about to do so much more apologizing, that an ocean of tears is forming all over Wellington.

            • patricia bremner 4.1.1.2.2.1

              Well Ad unlike the previous lot who acted like nothing had happened!!

            • Jimmy 4.1.1.2.2.2

              I didn't know Nigel Haworth had apologised? I thought he was standing by his claim that he was not told there was anything sexual in the complaint? Someone is lying…either the complainant, Nigel, Jacinda or the accused person (who has also now resigned).

            • Dukeofurl 4.1.1.2.2.3

              AD the new investigation is because what the Party Panel of 3 says happened during the interview with the victim is totally at odds with her recollection and notes.

              How do suggest resolving that …ask Paula?

            • SHG 4.1.1.2.2.4

              There's a report from a QC already just on the process of the internal investigation

              Not so. So far the scope of the QC's investigation appears to be only the allegations of sexual assault. It sounds like the process of the internal investigation is excluded.

              Summary: coverup

              • Dukeofurl

                They havent released the Full scope

                'Rumours' about it say

                'The scope of the investigation does not explicitly rule out looking into how the party handled the complaints.

                But it does not mention doing that either."

                • lprent

                  I think that this was the QC inquiry that probably got their terms of reference weeks ago? In the light of recent events I know that some NZ council members want the reference term widened.

            • Sacha 4.1.1.2.2.5

              The Prime Minister has apologised in person to the complainants already. She’s repeated her apology on RNZ and TVNZ news yesterday and today.

              The President of the Labour Party has apologized and resigned.

              Ardern has offered to make an in-person apology.

              She has apologised via media, which is more than Haworth has done.

    • Sacha 4.2

      Civilianised:

      And I said “I didn’t know the extent of it! I thought it was just bullying!”

      I never promised that our party would be free of bullying. Government is about compromise, and we are in a coalition with New Zealand First.

    • opium 4.3

      Yes,Ben Uffindell is very insightful.Not to mention funny.

  3. Maggy Wassilieff 5

    In Hansard, September 11, 2019 kōhimuhimu is twice translated as rumour.

    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/document/HansS_20190911_053400000/davis-kelvin

    If Kelvin Davis did not use the word in that sense, he should have corrected Hansard.

    Paula Bennett quoted correctly from Hansard.

    Kelvin Davis could have used whakapae to be explicit.

    • He didn't correct an ambiguity in Hansard? My God, is there no end to the perfidy of these demons in human form!?

      • Dukeofurl 5.1.1

        Its stamped DRAFT.

        Mps can and do correct drafts

        The full sentence is this

        "We are aware of rumours about their party, but now she stands to disagree with our actions and the work we have done, all based on rumour.

        Bennett has also been freewheeling with her claims about who knew what and when.

        This is the person , who after her version of events during her social life employment and residences at Taupo and the Napier including running its Tattoo club was challenged on social media, she had lawyers letters sent to the main media outlets . Presumably warning of dire consequences

        Including a warning by a Retired Judge

        • gsays 5.1.1.1

          It has to be said that Bennett (despicable as her motivation is) was given the opportunity because justice was not coming from the PTB within the Labour party.

          • lprent 5.1.1.1.1

            Please explain what kind of justice that you expected the party to provide?

            They can’t sack a parliamentary employer without confirmed cause. They can’t go to the police themselves. The complainants must fo that. Same for any complaint to parliamentary services. They can’t even publish the details of the allegations or the names of anyone.

            They aren’t a judicial body except for within the labour party membership.

            The worst that they could probably do is to remove party membership and be subject to a judicial review. Somehow I don’t think that is going to satisfy your need for ‘justice’s.

            How about engaging your brain instead of your d… heart to do your thinking. Then I probably won’t feel the urge to be sarcastic.

            • gsays 5.1.1.1.1.1

              For a programmer and engineer you display a profound lack of imagination.

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/115746984/who-knew-what-and-when-on-labour-abuse-scandal

              "The woman decided to contact Austen, and wrote a letter to the review's dedicated email address, spelling out what had happened in Hamilton. Unsure of who would read the email, she chose not to mention the later assault.

              Three days later, Austen replied, offering to meet up and asking the woman to provide some screenshots she had mentioned in her email.

              But the meeting never happened, because Austen said she wanted to concentrate first on interviews relating to the youth camp assaults."

              Follow this up with meeting with the president of the Labour party and Dianna Lacey

              • gsays

                oops, i hit submit before i finished that and ran out of editing time.

                The alleged offender could have been stood down by his employer till appropriate enquiries had taken place.

                If by your implication the Labour party couldn't do anything else, or done things differently, then as a member of the party you deserve each other.
                BTW it ain’t my need for justice that is being discussed.

                • Incognito

                  The alleged offender could have been stood down by his employer till appropriate enquiries had taken place.

                  That sounds reasonable enough but easy enough to say for us who have no good handle on the facts and circumstances. Employers can’t just flick a finger and say “make it so” and this is something the Labour movement has fought long and hard for.

                  https://www.employment.govt.nz/resolving-problems/steps-to-resolve/disciplinary-action/suspension/

                  • gsays

                    This is not asking for a flick of the finger.

                    I think the pedantic point lprent was making was that the alleged offender isn't employed by the Labour party but parliamentary services.

                    I can not accept that nothing more substantial could be done. After all, this is not about taking home some stationery.

                    Whenever these things occur (from bullying to serious repeated sexual assaults) the only people who do know what happened are the perpetrator, the victim and any witnesses.

                    Kind of ironic that after years of fighting for this protection, it enables, what appears to be a repeat offender, protection to create more victims.

                    The idea that this is about preventing an unfair dismissal is laughable.

                    This appears to be about being unsure of challenging power and folk entrenched in last century thinking. Dare I say it – male, pale and stale.

                    • Incognito

                      I don’t know if “nothing more substantial could be done” and I don’t want to speculate let alone pass judgement because I don’t know shit about this.

                      I know protections are in place and they generally serve their purpose. As always, each situation is unique and depends on interpretation, subjective judgement, and appropriate action under the circumstances and given the available information. This is then followed by a due process with various steps along the way that are guided by a set of rules as well as limited by the same principle set of criteria and conditions. We can and should only act on the information that we have through a step-wise process.

                      Sometimes mistakes are made, sometimes very big mistakes with huge (negative) consequences for one side (party) or the other or both.

                      Personally, I think a thorough independent investigation is the best thing to do get some (but not all) answers and start healing wounds, first and foremost, and learn from mistakes. The current environment is not a healing one by any stretch of the imagination.

                      In other words, what could and/or should have been done are now the experiences from which people have to learn and change. In many ways, these are the stages of grief but the grief, for example, of the alleged victim(s), of the alleged offender, the Labour Party, and of many (?) other people are different in nature and in degree and they are most likely at different stages too.

                      Much has been said and written about this and (too) much seems to be based on ignorance, insensitivity, and lack of nuance and context.

  4. Moggles 6

    No linguistic tic, while our law only counts penis into vagina as rape, a hangover and outdated idea of what 'sex' is. Please educate yourself to what constitutes sexual assault – it is any type of unwanted sexual contact (anal, oral, object, digital as in fingers and toes or vaginal). This was tacked on to the original law but the maximum penalty is the same.

    This video (produced in NZ for NZer's) is for year 10's but I wish adults would watch it for Consent 101. Especially the writer and those commenting on this thread.

    https://www.villainesse.com/real-sex-talk/episode-2-consent

    • Hi, Moggles. I think you misunderstood my point (or I'm misunderstanding yours).

      This is not a sex scandal. Sex scandal suggests consensual activity between adults that should not have happened. Usually that means an affair or the like. Profumo, Lange, Jami Lee Ross etc. A moral failing, rather than criminal behaviour.

      This situation, if proven, is assault. To call it a 'sex scandal' is, to borrow your word, outdated.

      My point is that using the phrase 'sex scandal' betrays a conservative, old fashioned thinking that minimises the experience of the victims and effectively equates them with the perpetrator as equal participants in the events.

      • Dukeofurl 6.1.1

        Good point .

        The best example is 'Aaron Smith sex scandal'

        Hosking seems to writing his own 'sex scandal ' headlines

      • Moggles 6.1.2

        I did misunderstand and appreciate the clarification. I hope other readers will too. Cheers.

  5. Moggles 7

    I will add that the opposition would do well to remember that when Jamie Lee Ross plagued our news reports for weeks with his behaviour and problems, Labour didn't comment and maintained the dignity of his wife and family, commenting only that they considered it a party matter.

  6. Chris 8

    "My instinct is that the Labour leadership will learn from this and do things better in future. If they don’t, then the politics of niceness mean nothing."

    If they do the politics of niceness will continue to mean nothing. Labour's got far more to do than sort this mess out before the politics of niceness can get anywhere near meaning anything.

  7. patricia bremner 9

    I agree Te Reo Tupake, it is never about sex as such, more about abuse of power.

    This reeks of "old boy's club" attitudes. I will be amazed if a woman is sacked. (I will get clobbered for that lol)

    The attitude on the Right that Jacinda is a"Girl" is also held by some on the Left.

    She trusted them and they let her down horribly IMO and have opened a door for Bennett, who can smell blood on the wind.

    Will it affect the Election.? "Ad thinks this Government is not good for the country". I personally think we are lucky in her, and the reforms coming will improve New Zealand and New Zealander's lives. National NEED this to affect the Election

    Those who have misled Jacinda will find she has a core of inner steel, and will make personally painful decisions if called upon to do so. She is no fool, and will cut out the rot.

    As for being culpable, What about the Todd incident? That did impact the last Election, so is that the plan? Use these complainants? Hope mud sticks? I certainly was NOT surprised to find the National Party Deputy Leader stirring the pot.

    She has history after all.

    Now the QC has the job, and Jacinda can get on with delivering more results.

    • gsays 9.1

      Hi Patricia, your comment about the PM's inner core and ability to make tough decisions, is this based on knowledge or hope?

      I ask as this as it would be a time for important decisions to be acted upon.

      • patricia bremner 9.1.1

        gsays, Our PM is an ethical person, who will do what is right, even if that is painful. Jacinda is honest. We have just come to expect lies because of some past office holder's behaviour.

        Yes she has backbone, and I know she will handle this now she knows the extent of it, just as she handled mico plasma bovis, the Christchurch shooting aftermath and numerous face to face meetings with very self interested business people in Facebook Twitter..et al.

        I have met her and talked with her, and know people who admire just what I have described. I would not want to be one of the parties who fudged this and caused such pain for her and the compainants .

        • patricia bremner 9.1.1.1

          I would add, Helen Clark has stated much the same far more succinctly.

          That Jacinda has been let down. She will deal with it and move on.

          • gsays 9.1.1.1.1

            What you write is reassuring.

            I sense she has integrity in spades. With that comes strength. With a bit of luck, that means real change can occur.

            Trimming, not so much deadwood, as strong vibrant branches that are growing in an unhelpful direction.

  8. MickeyBoyle 10

    This is just a sad situation. I feel very sorry for the victims and as for the party as a whole, I believe they should've handled it far better. Issues like this need to be handled with speed, honesty and integrity. Unfortunately Labour have been found wanting on several accounts. Let's just hope that lessons have been learned and if a situation like this ever presents itself again, it is dealt with in a manner that puts the victims welfare first, not the parties.

  9. Sacha 11

    Recommended read: more from Andrea Vance about the timeline and people involved in the whole process: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/115746984/who-knew-what-and-when-on-labour-abuse-scandal

    • Incognito 11.1

      Marvellous! She saved the QC a whole heap of work and the public don’t need to wait four weeks.

    • The list of people who are claimed to have known about it

      By July 12, the complainants had lost patience, decided to go public and sent an anonymous email to several media outlets.

      Just over 10 days later, general secretary Andre Anderson wrote to the complainants.

      "The email to the media has had the unfortunate effect of increasing the number of people who know something about these matters, which is undermining confidentiality. I think it would be reasonable for you to assume that the content of the email has been circulated to a number of people," he wrote.

      "I'm aware that at least one of you has been approached by one or more MPs. But they may only know one of you and the content of the email, rather than all of you."

      He then listed "the people who I either know are aware or I've been told are aware". This included Robertson, though Anderson wrote: "I don't know how much Grant was told."

      He says that he, or Haworth, knew the following people had been told: Ardern; her former chief of staff Mike Munro; new chief of staff Raj Nahna​; chief press secretary Andrew Campbell; and the party's solicitor Hayden Wilson. "These people only know the basics, including [the man's] identity, but we haven't told them who you are," Anderson wrote.

      He then says the man, or a member of his family, had told him four other people knew. These included the man's lawyer Geoff Davenport and E tū senior national industrial officer Paul Tolich, who also sits on the NZ Council. Wellington city councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, and Beth Houston, who works for Cabinet minister Phil Twyford were also listed – both are on the council. "I don't know the extent of their knowledge," Anderson said.

      MPs Kiritapu Allen and Paul Eagle are also mentioned: "I don't know the extent of their knowledge," Anderson said. Eagle has since denied he was in the loop.

      But not Ardern. The latest claim I have seen her make is that she hadn't seen allegations of sexual assault made by complainants, but that doesn't rule out other knowledge.

      This headline is misleading: PM Jacinda Ardern 'absolutely refutes' National's claims

      But:

      Ardern said: "Some of those allegations that I've heard I just absolutely refute".

      Only some allegations refuted, which leaves a lot open.

      She (and Robertson) have refused to respond to specific allegations, which leaves an impression that they are not arguing with them.

      • Psycho Milt 11.2.1

        This headline is misleading…

        It sure is. "Refute" means to demonstrate a claim to be false, via presentation of evidence or a compelling counter-argument. A lot of people who should know better seem to use it as a synonym for "reject," which it isn't.

        • Pete George 11.2.1.1

          I refute that.

          refute verb
          BrE /rɪˈfjuːt/ ; NAmE /rɪˈfjuːt/
          (formal)
          Verb Forms

          ​refute something to prove that something is wrong
          synonym rebut
          to refute an argument/a theory, etc.

          ​refute something to say that something is not true or fair
          synonym deny
          She refutes any suggestion that she behaved unprofessionally.

          https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/refute?q=refute

          • Psycho Milt 11.2.1.1.1

            Their second definition effectively renders the term meaningless, ie it removes the first meaning and makes "refute" a pointless additional synonym for "deny."

            Just goes to show – language is a democracy, and if enough ignorant people use a word incorrectly that makes it an acceptable usage as far as dictionaries are concerned.

            • Sacha 11.2.1.1.1.1

              That slide towards the softer meaning has been exploited over recent years by people using it in media to make their mere denial seem larger.

              • Now that you mention it, that makes sense. "I absolutely deny that" sounds like you're guilty as hell but trying to cover your arse, whereas "I absolutely refute that" has gravitas and implies you've utterly destroyed the pathetic arguments of your opponents. Weaselry is highly toxic to language.

        • SHG 11.2.1.2

          It's a "Jacindaism". Like bigly for Trump.

          Jacinda uses "refute" to mean "reject" and has done so in lots of different interviews when confronted on different subjects. For some reason it's just one of her linguistic tics.

  10. A party member sent a submission on sexual assault to the Labour Party (November 2017).

    In November 2017, a party member sent a written submission on and sexual assault and bullying within the party, to the Labour Council. In it, the young woman warned Labour that something had to be done to change its "intimidating" reporting process.

    The Submission made it onto the Council's agenda for the meeting on November 25th, 2017.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/115753506/a-party-member-sent-a-submission-on-sexual-assault-to-the-labour-party-this-is-what-it-said

    • Rapunzel 12.1

      That's almost two years ago and based on that have you ever considered that making "changes" in trying to get processes right and seeking not to unfairly influence things might in fact have led to the current situation?

      What the public has received this week are various "news" stories that have conflated one or more incidents together when in fact they were not related.

      • Sacha 12.1.1

        When an organisation does something over and over again, it is 'related'.

        • Rapunzel 12.1.1.1

          Descriptively it may be related but actively it is not necessarily the same thing. When and if it is then all "organisations" should be held to account, that way people would know what efforts were made, or not, to stop future abuses. Nothing yet is clear to me except self-interest is leading this issue possibly without all the facts. It is also the case that the events and the handling of them are entirely different, I hope the QC can clarify that.

  11. PhilA 13

    One thing that puzzles me is why didn't the complainants go straight to the Police? What is the law here? Are employers legally expected to handle this sort of complaint? If so why and how? It seems unreasonable that to expect an employer would have the necessary skills to fairly and accurately investigate such complaints. The labour party is hardly the only employer to make mistakes in this regard: not long ago a law firm had similar problems.

    So, does the law need to be changed to insist that allegations like this are passed on to the Police, and to set up a Police unit to investigate them with the necessary sensitivity, skill and timelyness?

    • ianmac 13.1

      Paula Bennett would know that by not going to police, it gives endless opportunities to spread rumour and heresay without any means of the Labour Party to say other than it didn't happen. This gives cause to Bennett calling coverup and denial.

      So the victim would rather endure the damage to her chosen Party than front up with a Police Complaint. Funny that.

      Note that the Volunteer Party member this morning on NR said that all the information he/she has is only via the media.
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12267339

      • Pete George 13.1.1

        It was never Bennett's decision to make about going to the police.

        Victims often don't go to the police, or go to the police and don't follow through with charges, because the judicial process can be as traumatising as the original assault, with one difference, it is spread over months if not years.

      • michelle 13.1.2

        sounds like someone has had the wool pulled over them i agree with you ianmac

    • There is a good explanation for complainants not going to the police here:

      Open mike 12/09/2019

    • Anne 13.3

      One thing that puzzles me is why didn't the complainants go straight to the Police? What is the law here?

      Yes. It's a mystery. I can't believe that no-one told them to go to the police. After all there were several of them who reported assaults of one sort or another so they could have supported each other. You have to wonder whether someone was advising them not to go to the police. And where were the families? Did they not provide help and guidance as to the correct courses of action?

      There's a whole other side to this story but we can't expect our 'News of the World' tabloid standard journos to dig into it.

      • Pete George 13.3.1

        You're giving more credence to some media conspiracy for which you have provided no evidence as opposed to what multiple complainants have said to multiple journalists/media?

        And to what Jacinda Ardern has said?

        “This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue.

        “Raising an allegation of sexual assault is an incredibly difficult thing to do; for additional distress to be caused through the way those allegations are handled is incredibly upsetting. On behalf of the Labour Party I apologise to the complainants for the way this matter has been dealt with.

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1909/S00078/jacinda-ardern-accepts-labour-party-president-resignation.htm

        • Anne 13.3.1.1

          You're giving more credence to some media conspiracy.

          You do like to imagine all manner of conspiratorial garbage in people's legitimate comments.

          And stop repeating your links over and over again. We can read you know.

          Please leave my contributions alone. I can't be bothered awith your inane responses.

          • Pete George 13.3.1.1.1

            PhilA asked why the victims hadn't gone to the police.

            As both of you have done over the past few days you dumped on the victims for not going to the police, and tried to blame Bennett and the media.

            I thought that better information would be better for PhilA, so I provided quotes and links them to help answer their query. It wasn't for you – you may be able to read, but you seem intent on ignoring what you don't want to know, while defending the party at the expense of the victims.

            I think that this party first mentality has in part got Labour into the serious predicament it is now in. It is symbolic of entrenched defensiveness and disbelieving and dumping on victims in wider society. The victims have chosen to confront this toxic culture, but have also so far chosen to not go to the police (as far as I have seen).

            • Anne 13.3.1.1.1.1

              Eff off and stop lying! If you don't I will lay a complaint off "harassment" with the sysop.

            • Stunned Mullet 13.3.1.1.1.2

              I find myself in the strange position of being in complete agreement with Pete.

              "I think that this party first mentality has in part got Labour into the serious predicament it is now in. It is symbolic of entrenched defensiveness and disbelieving and dumping on victims in wider society."

              …and for Labour you can substitute and other political party's name under similar circumstances.

    • … why didn't the complainants go straight to the Police?

      Are the reasons why a woman might not want to take a sexual assault/rape complaint to the Police still that much of a mystery to people? It's feminism 101.

      • SHG 13.4.1

        Great sexual-predator strategy, huh? Target idealistic young Party members who will be afraid that complaints might hurt the Party they love. "No no, I don't want to go to the police, I don't want Jacinda to read about this in the Herald…"

        • marty mars 13.4.1.1

          yep sexual predators are cunning and use all the tricks to predate on people – this is known and is why many people who get abused by these predators find it challenging to go to the authorities and police – so sad that we have not created safe places for people to tell what happened – not good enough by any measure

          • Dukeofurl 13.4.1.1.1

            The party has already said after the Young Labour Camp it couldnt and shouldnt investigate sexual assault claims.

            Safe places for people tell what happened.

            She says she did tell them.

            It wasnt investigated by the party , nor should it have been thats for the Police – which was her choice not to go to.

            • SHG 13.4.1.1.1.1

              #blamethevictimfornotreportingit

              • Dukeofurl

                No ones blaming the victim. But plenty are blaming the party for something it couldnt and wouldnt do.

                Funnily enough blaming the victim was strong from people like Hosking during the revelations of John Keys assault/harassment.

  12. G Harris 14

    With the involvement of Dianna Lacy anything is possible.

    Hopefully Andrea Vance will dig a little deeper.

    Shake that tree hard enough and it will become clear.

  13. bwaghorn 15

    I heard on te news this am the person at the center of the allegations has resigned.

    But the complainants are calling it a hollow victory.

    What more could the have hoped to have happen to him given that they never went to the cops ?

  14. patricia bremner 16

    bwaghorn, Perhaps they wanted system change rather than sacrifices.

    Perhaps they didn't realise there is only some form of flight or fight when faced with a threat.

    Perhaps they thought Labour could do what no one else has been able to do in regard to human nature.

    • bwaghorn 16.1

      Mmm well if this doesn't change how labour does things in the future then fuck them (labour that is)

      My only other thought is that while I believe victims when they say its hell going to the cops . I think it still needs to be encouraged, and that this repeated message from some that comment her that it's to harrowing is actually not helping .

      • Sacha 16.1.1

        How would an individual complaining to the police change the Labour party's internal culture around abuse?

        • bwaghorn 16.1.1.1

          I had kind of shifted to another issue .

          But I guess labour needs to put in place a system of guiding the more serious complaints to go to the police. And work on making the police system more victim friendly.

          • Sacha 16.1.1.1.1

            None of that addresses reducing tolerance of abuse inside Labour's organisation.

          • Dukeofurl 16.1.1.1.2

            'of guiding the more serious complaints to go to the police."

            What if the person complaining is adamant they dont want police involvement as that can be harmful. I dont know what you mean by 'guiding' – its her decision.

            The Labour party doesnt want to and shouldnt investigate sexual assault.

            Is the only answer – Going to Paula who will tell the world , unless its in the National Party?

  15. cleangreen 17

    I will recite 'JohnKeyism' here,
    ;At the end of the day the Labour party is to PC for their own good.

    We must’ve heard that inference many times he was accused during the ‘pony tail pulling’ saga eh?

    Well now we see it is the national party that are skillfully using the’ PC card’ against labour ;at the end of the day?

  16. Alan 18

    there is nothing PC about sexual assault

  17. rozgonz 19

    I hear Labours internal polls are through the floor.

    [lprent: Jez – the missing link returns. You can even see fresh troll bones. Looking back through the midden of your comments – that is all I can see. And I think the amnesty is up for you because you haven’t evolved.

    Bye. ]

    • Cinny 19.1

      Evidence?

    • Sweet. Clearly, there'll be no need for you to vote at the next election, coz Simon's got it in the bag. Maybe you could organise a barbie for your rightie mates on election day and instead of wasting time going to the polls, you can all get pissed and wait for the inevitable National landslide to be announced.

      On a less sarcy note, I'd remind you that this is not FPP and votes lost by Labour do not automatically go to National. And the Nats still have two significant problems; having to win outright because they have no mates and, er, Simon Bridges.

  18. Cinny 20

    These old stat's are shocking. I think I got the math correct, please correct me if I didnt… one person in every 24 will be sexually assaulted annually in NZ….

    A conversation worth having rather than political mud slinging…..

    Every time shit like this goes down we don't seem to change the culture of our nation as a whole, what's up with that ?!!

    In New Zealand there are an estimates 186,000 sexual violence offences committed against adults per year (New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey, Ministry of Justice, 2014).

    Only 7% of sexual violence offences against adults are reported to New Zealand Police (New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey, Ministry of Justice, 2009 [not collated in 2014 survey]).

    24% of women, and 6% of men, will experience high-end sexual violence in their lifetime. (New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey, Ministry of Justice, 2014).

  19. Chris T 21

    NZ First and the Greens being completely absent in media for the last week is rather telling

  20. peterlepaysan 22

    The NZ police should have been involved.

    Given their indifference (at least) it is no wonder the complainants took the route they did. there are plenty of reports of machismo bullies in the police.

    They are voluntary workers betrayed by the organisation they worked for.

    The employee was a employed by Parliamentary Services.

    Why is there a not a "storm" , to quote Radio NZ about Parliamentary Services?

    The employee resigns and it is a Labour Party problem (only partly), The party structure handled it badly, no doubt. The govt were not involved.

    Why is there not a "storm" (courtesy RNZ) about NZ police?

    I heard that some RNZ reporter suggesting that the resigned employee could bring a case of "constructive dismissal". With how many witnesses against him?

    Time the media grew up. Sigh!

    Paula is revelling in it, remember what she did to vocal beneficiaries when she was voted in?

  21. Whatever happens now, the complainant has just been re-victimised through terrible advice, and endless media speculation (hoping for more salacious crumbs no doubt); I bet she just wants to crawl under a rock.

    Labour party president has resigned. Accused Labour staffer has resigned. What more do the media want. Nobody has even laid a complaint with Police, but 2 careers have been ruined. Nice one, media smear merchants. Guilty until proven innocent eh?

    Mike Sabin: hushed up. Todd Barclay: covered up. JLR: no resignations. JK hair pulling: no resignations.

    Double standards

    • Anne 23.1

      My sentiments too roblogic:

      I am on record here describing the current state of the MSM as… a bunch of mindless "News if the World" type tabloid journo hounds mindlessly barking and baying to the full moon.

      They have got so much to answer for over this matter, and when the time is right I hope they get every bit of stick coming to them.

      Our professional journos and commenatators – poeple like David Fisher, Max Nippert and Brian Gould and there are others – must be appalled at the level to which these half-baked so-called journos have plunged.

      • roblogic 23.1.1

        +1 It will be terribly ironic if it turns out the staffer did something on the scale of pulling hair. Sense of proportion needed

        • Anne 23.1.1.1

          Umm no… it is alleged he went further than that.

          The young lady should go to the police because following the huge uproar this week they will do a thorough job investigating the compliant. Her chances of seeing a resolution are correspondingly high.

          • Incognito 23.1.1.1.1

            Her chances of seeing a resolution are correspondingly high.

            What has been said, cannot be unsaid. What has been done, cannot be undone.

            In my completely ignorant and uninformed view, resolution might not be best achieved through the justice system. I would guess that going through the ordeal of that could prolong the healing process and even rip open fresh wounds. Most of us believe in natural justice; some want heads to roll.

            Collectively, we do want these alleged actions to stop – much of what we ‘know’ is based on speculation in the media – and a trial by media with blood-baiting lynch mob is likely to lead to more public shaming and blaming and sensationalism in the media IMHO. I am not sure that even the complainant knows what the best way forward is, if I were in her shoes I certainly wouldn’t …

            • Anne 23.1.1.1.1.1

              I should have said:

              Her chances of seeing justice done.. .

              It is a very important part of the healing process to know justice has been achieved Incognito.

              In my case, I was denied justice so there has not been full closure for me. But I am only one of many thousands of women in this country who found themselves in this situation.

              • Incognito

                Yes, I was wondering what you meant and thank you for clarifying.

                Yes, justice is undoubtedly important for closure. May I ask whether you think justice could only be achieved through the justice system/process or also though some other form/process of justice?

                I guess each case and each person is different and there might not be one size that fits (suits) all.

                Some stuff in Family Court makes you weep. Litigants can be quite vindictive and try to use the system to hurt the other party and/or penalise them for things they may or may not have done, deliberately or otherwise. Anyhow, I view both the justice system and the hospital system as things to avoid at all cost. This is my very personal view and no reflection on you or on the allegations against the former Labour staffer.

                • Anne

                  May I ask whether you think justice could only be achieved through the justice system/process or also though some other form/process of justice?

                  It depends entirely on the nature of the offending and the circumstances around it.

                  In my case I was on a hiding to nothing. The circumstances were complex and some of the people I came up against were in positions of influence and considerable power.

                  There was a political element to the story which ended up including an off-shore entity. Think Lange Labour government… anti-nuclear legislation… and the first round of hostilities with Iraq in the early 1990s, at which point I was working on an Air Force base. The principle offender was a New Zealander and that person had been making false allegations to my immediate superiors in the Public Service.

                  I lost all faith in the Public Service for not assisting me and giving me the support I needed. Pretty much wherever I went I came up against a brick wall. There was clearly a cover up job in progress.

                  • Incognito

                    Apologies for the delayed response.

                    It reads like a harrowing account of a nasty series of inter-linked experiences. You said that you were denied justice and closure. That’s a hard one to live with and I do hope that one day you will find or achieve some kind of closure. It does however give you a unique perspective and insight into the recent story engulfing the Labour Party and holding the media and TS in a firm grip.

                    As with many (all?) traumatic experiences, it often helps to restore a new normality for want of a better description through the symbolism of rituals. A court case might be such a ritual. A funeral is another one, deeply embedded and embodied in symbolism. The individual and others involved are changed through the experience. I will stop here before I get accused of being flaky or cheesy.

                    • Anne

                      Thanks for the kind thoughts Incognito.

                      You are right. It was a series of inter-linked experiences and it covered a number of years. I had no idea who was at the bottom of it, but after a long period of research (work I might add which should have been carried out by the police but wasn't), I was able to narrow it down to one associate who proved common to all those experiences. From that point everything started to fall into place.

                      Unfortunately the 'abuse' and its aftermath took it's toll on me (PTSD I suppose) and I didn't feel strong enough to return to the police with my findings – a very common outcome especially for women.

                      However the experience did give me a good insight into human behaviour and that is something to be grateful for.

              • lprent

                Personally I’d prefer not to get into the closure rates on reported sexual assaults of heading to less than 5% – which is what appears to be the case in the UK and US at present. It is just too damaging over the long term for both the victims and society.

                But the only realistic way that I see that going forward is to improve the access to investigation and enforcement. In other words the police and the courts.

                In NZ that means fixing some of the more obnoxious aspects of our adversarial court system, which is in the process of happening. And getting more police in into the sexual assault investigation teams so they aren’t so over worked. Then the excuses about why they were doing K3s on the reported instances will diminish and we might get more people reporting sexual assaults.

                Currently just about every women I have talked to about the police and sexual assaults will say that they won’t go to the police because of the perception and probably the practice about how they will be treated. Badly and nothing ever seems to be done. And that does appear to be the case.

                Only about a third of the sexual assault cases convict in court. That is probably less than a tenth of those actually reported to the police. Even that has been hard to tell. It appears that at least half of the reports to the police were marked as K3 – no crime until a decade of hard work got them to start coding them correctly. The number of coded correctly has now more than doubled. This is while the underlying actual reporting rate has probably dropped. It certainly didn’t help that the Louise Nicholas and other cases of quite senior police raping and sexually assaulting women has now become a meme throughout the social networks – one that keeps getting repeated.

                While that really makes me want to get out the hot wire for some swift scrotum and ball removals to eliminate offender’s need to sexually assault. But I really think that we could probably be more effective over the long term with improving the police force and raising their standards of behaviour.

                I think that we really need to increase their staffing levels over time. They are understaffed compared to most similar jurisdictions, and according to the unallocated files piling up on sexual assault desks – quite over worked. Since the level of reporting off offenses is only going to increase as the midden gets opened up – we may as well start recruiting now.

      • Louis 23.1.2

        Anne have you read Hamsih Keith's tweets? he holds asimilar view examples

  22. Never trust the word of a Nat.

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