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Another Nat MP Quits

Written By: - Date published: 2:52 pm, July 20th, 2020 - 205 comments
Categories: class war, crosby textor, Deep stuff, democratic participation, Politics, same old national, workers' rights - Tags: ,

One term Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon has quit politics, with the National Party saying he is dealing with “significant mental health issues”.

Falloon says he will not run in September’s election, citing concern for his “own health and well being”.

He’s the third MP to quit after Judith Collins was appointed leader last week.

In a statement Falloon touched on the deaths of friends when he was younger.

“As I noted in my maiden speech three years ago, when I was younger I lost three close friends to suicide.

It was an extremely difficult period in my life. Unfortunately, recently, another friend took their own life, which has brought back much unresolved grief.

“I have made a number of mistakes and I apologise to those who have been affected.

“Recent events have compounded that situation and reminded me of the need to maintain my own health and well being. I have again been receiving counselling.”

This is a really sad situation. Being an MP is a terrible job, with ridiculously long hours, regular public abuse and repeated isolation from friends and family.

Having said that, I note that one of the lines of attack used by the NZ National Party’s dirty politics brigade was to destroy MPs’ mental health. Clare Curren was probably the most prominent victim of that nasty, brutish  approach. However, recent events suggest that the Tories are happy to torture their own as well.

All the best to Andrew Falloon. I hope he finds nothing but kindness, positivity and practical support in the future.

UPDATE: NewsHub are reporting that PM Jacinda Ardern received correspondence outlining the incident involving Andrew Falloon late last week. Consistent with her regular calls for kindness, Adern kept the correspondence confidential, and privately alerted National’s leader Judith Collins that there was an issue.

UPDATE: It was reported earlier this evening that Falloon’s behaviour involved sending pornographic pictures to  “a woman not his wife”. NewsHub are now saying that Falloon sent the pictures to a schoolgirl, which may bring the earlier suggestion that he had done nothing criminal into question.

UPDATE:  It is now reported that the young woman was a uni student in her late teens, and her age means no criminal act was committed. It is also reported that Falloon claimed that friends took his phone and sent the pic without his knowledge. And that this happened weeks ago, which raise the possibility that Simon Bridges and/or Todd Muller knew about it.

 

 

205 comments on “Another Nat MP Quits ”

  1. Gosman 1

    Ummm… I see nothing to suggest National party people are attacking National MP's over their mental health status.

    • observer 1.1

      It was less than a week ago. Remember Todd Muller?

    • Sacha 1.2

      I see nothing to suggest National party people are attacking National MP's over their mental health status.

      https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-20-07-2020/#comment-1732242

      [Link fixed so that it displays in full]

    • Chris 1.3

      Of course you don't.

    • woodart 1.4

      should have stopped your post after the first three words.

    • nzlemming 1.5

      JLR comes to mind as well.

    • rrm 1.6

      Hi… "National Party Person" here. Or at least, voter.

      Being a stupid fucking fuck stick is not a mental health issue, and pretending that it is in your resignation announcement is weaselling in the extreme.

      I am appalled that he ever thought this was a good thing to do.

      CRUSHER kicked him to the kerb within 24 hours, hopefully it isn't too little too late.

      • novacastrian 1.6.1

        Really, is such vile language necessary…most here manage to express themselves in more civil tones and still get their point across.

        We don't know all the facts, just some media speculation at best. This gentleman may have genuine mental health issues, or he may not, however in the absence of documented facts, we should allow his health issues to be the primary consideration at this time.

  2. Ad 2

    That many suicides around him over so few years would be a massive set of shocks to deal with.

    I am impressed with Mr Falloon openness exposing his grief and damage like that.

  3. Peter 3

    "This is a really sad situation. Being an MP is a terrible job, with ridiculously long hours, regular public abuse and repeated isolation from friends and family."

    Except if you're Jacinda Ardern. Then you're only a part-timer and the only stuff you do is glamour PR stuff.

    Those mantras put out by those actually involved in the business who should know better are swallowed and repeated by thick nasty National supporters.

    All the best to Andrew Falloon and his family.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    “I have made a number of mistakes and I apologise to those who have been affected.

    “Recent events have compounded that situation and reminded me of the need to maintain my own health and well being. I have again been receiving counselling.”"

    What mistakes has Mr Falloon made?

    What recent events have "compounded the situation" ?

    What is his "situation"?

    Could it be that Andrew has understood the nature of the National Party and has been wise enough to recognise its toxicity?

    • Sacha 4.1

      How would it ever help us knowing the answers? Sounds like bog standard acting-out of emotions before getting appropriate help.

    • Chris 4.2

      No, his behaviour was probably about to be exposed. Fearfully he told Collins. Collins sliced him off like a piece of gangrene, but in a way that elicits sympathy instead of disdain.

      • Sacha 4.2.1

        I'd put money on people much closer to him intervening before she was ever told.

    • It appears that was an incident last Friday, Robert. No point speculating on what occurred, but clearly it was significant enough for Falloon to realise he needed help more than he needed the job.

      • TED 4.3.1

        RNZ just now said it involved txting explicit images to someone – not of himself and not to his wife.

    • NZJester 4.4

      What mistakes has Mr Falloon made?

      RNZ: Retiring National MP Falloon believed to have sent indecent pictures

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/421602/national-mp-andrew-falloon-to-retire-at-election

    • gsays 4.5

      C'mon Robert, the statement is a word salad and is true to the menu description.

      It is just meant to be swallowed, not actually have attention paid to it, and once mental health is alluded to, no more questions…

  5. tc 5

    Admire his honesty and hope he gets the support necessary to get through.

    Nobody deserves that sort of repeat event in life.

  6. observer 6

    This shows the stark difference between Ardern and the "dirty politics" crew:

    PM received info on Falloon and passed it on to Collins' office.

    Not sitting on it and thinking "how can I use this? leak to media? score points?"

    So much for every idiot commentator who does the "both sides" cop-out.

    • ScottGN 6.1

      Yep. Starkly illustrates the difference between the two parties.

      • Sacha 6.1.1

        Ardern has just spent several minutes gracefully turning away repeated questions in the post-cabinet media conference: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/421613/live-prime-minister-jacinda-ardern-speaks-to-media-following-cabinet-meeting

        • ScottGN 6.1.1.1

          Of course. We’d expect no less of her. She’s all class.
          But I bet I’m not the only person left wondering what the outcome might have been if it was info about a Labour MP provided to the office of a National PM?

          • Gabby 6.1.1.1.1

            There would have been questions in the house, I expect, probably from champion of health the Woodlouse.

          • Anne 6.1.1.1.2

            But I bet I’m not the only person left wondering what the outcome might have been if it was info about a Labour MP provided to the office of a National PM?

            My thoughts exactly.

            Add to that, just imagine the media feast that would have accompanied it.

            Look what happened over the sexual harassment case at a Labour Youth event. The media kicked up merry hell for months on end. Even after the court case was over and the culprit duly sentenced they still hammered Labour despite the huge effort by Labour officials to ensure the victims received justice.

            I'll guarantee the media will pack this one up smartly and by the end of the week we won't hear another word about it.

    • infused 6.2

      except its now reported the pms office had it on wednesday, not releasing it until friday.

      • McFlock 6.2.1

        Had to get permission to pass the complaint to the leader of the opposition. That could easily have taken a day or almost two, especially if they were worried it should maybe go to the cops instead. Not exactly sitting on it.

  7. Peter 7

    While there are tides of humanity and sympathy flowing around and out of National do you think Metiria Turei could come out and say that at the time of her indiscretion she was under great stress and did not know how she would survive?

    Any chance they'd pull the knives out and offer a hand? Or lean down, give her another kick and twist them.

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      They didn't.

    • I Feel Love 7.2

      agree, and remember she got bollocked from lefties too. I have no idea why there's such a high standard for Greens & Labour, and none for Nats & Act (What Turei did compared to English double dipping & Collins long detour to the Chinese airport + ACTs hand out of a safe Nat seat).

      • Sacha 7.2.1

        Turei admitted defrauding the state. The others denied it.

        • I Feel Love 7.2.1.1

          Ouch, Sacha, nail head, succinct and spot on.

        • Visubversa 7.2.1.2

          Not only defrauding the State, but a bit of Electoral fraud as well. And as her child's father's family would have given her their last cent for their first grandchild, all totally un-necessary. The circus lasted until one of them told the true story to John Campbell.

          • RedBaronCV 7.2.1.2.1

            Appears they may not have checked at the time . John Key didn't live in his electorate and Bill English took all that housing allowance stuff and had to pay some of it back. Leave Metiria alone. It's debatable whether she ever had benefit money she was not entitled to to the tune of about $150.

    • mark 7.3

      [Deleted. Allegations of that nature don’t need to be made. TRP]

  8. Treetop 8

    Being a first term opposition MP would have its challenges. MPs have a private life and taking time off or resigning is their decision.

  9. observer 9

    From the details made public so far, Collins knew on Friday (if not before) and the statement (agreed between Falloon and leader's office) is released today.

    It's a safe bet that Collins did not want her big weekend of interviews and announcements to be about this, overshadowing the headlines she wanted. So it was delayed until now.

    So let's remember what didn't happen here: the PM's office could have chucked a hand grenade into Collins' plans with a simple leak (while keeping PM at safe distance), but chose not to. That is exactly what Collins/Slater would have done. It’s exactly what Key’s office DID. People need to realise what is at stake at this election: basic decency versus total shits.

  10. mickysavage 10

    Radio New Zealand has more details. Looks like the info came from within National. Leak leak leak leak …

  11. Ken 11

    It is increasingly obvious that being a Nat is detrimental to one's health.

  12. anker 12

    Jacinda Ardern complete class act 100%……..

    It seems like there were some behaviours of Mr Falloon that caused problems associated with his mental health problems. Most people who have mental health problems don't behave in a way that causes problems for others……..I am just saying…….

    Another National MP resigning like this is bad news for National. National must be an unbelievably toxic place.

    • observer 12.1

      But very drunk people do very stupid things. That has nothing to with politics.

      • Tiger Mountain 12.1.1

        Well old bean, you might just find that if a Labour MP had been sending “dick pics” say, from their phone, it would be considered as very political indeed!

        • observer 12.1.1.1

          I'll clarify: all the evidence so far suggests that Falloon's actions and resignation are not related to the game of musical chairs in National's caucus.

          People get pissed at 50% in the polls as much as 25%.

          • anker 12.1.1.1.1

            Yes people get pissed at 50% Observer. Very few of them send pornography to a school girl when they do

            • observer 12.1.1.1.1.1

              You're missing the point. Of course I'm not defending Falloon, especially as we learn more about it.

              But it has little or nothing to do with all the other toxic stuff in his political party. Separate issues.

              • anker

                Yes Observer, not connected to National's toxicity and I never said it was.

                Sending Pornography to a school girl is a separate issue. Although it seems National is dirty in sorts of ways………………..I don't buy mental health issues as a way of accounting for his behaviour. Nor do I necessarily by getting pissed either. Many people get pissed and don't send pornography to a school girl………………..

      • Ken 12.1.2

        But people with careers in politics don't get very drunk and do stupid things if they want to be in government.

    • Muttonbird 12.2

      Jacinda Ardern complete class act 100%……..

      Yep. So refreshing to see how politics should be done.

      A complete contrast to Peters, who is permanently in court and now indulging in Trump-like Twitter battles. And the National Party, who had to turn to the Black Sheep for salvation, and is now possibly more toxic than ever.

  13. anker 13

    Yes indeed Observer.

    Yes Ken you have a point too.

    I am glad that people can get help with their mental health

    I do have to say sending inappropriate pictures is as reported by Radio NZ is not a symptom of a mental health disorder

    • Just Is 13.1

      It might be when your caught red handed, the embarrassment could easily cause some mental issues to deal with.

      • anker 13.1.1

        Yes Just Is. Mr Falloon is likely having mental health issues right now. No doubt about that.

  14. Peter 14

    The Michael Woodhouse story was a little cork bouncing on the water which turned out to be an iceberg with massive bulk below the water. How much more to come into the open after the Heron report about that?

    The story this afternoon changed as time went on and more details came out.

  15. ianmac 15

    Someone cannot count. For the period since the last Election:

    Sarah Dowie, David Carter; Ann Tolley, Paula Bennett, Nicky Wagner, Amy Adam; Alastair Scott; Maggie Barry; Jonathan Coleman; Steven Joyce; Bill English; Chris Finlayson; Jami-Lee Ross; Nuk Korako; Nathan Guy; Jian Yang; Hamish Walker; Nikki Kay. + Falloon makes not 13 but 19.

    • Treetop 15.1

      Not much of an opposition left to oppose the government. This may also be having an adverse effect in the National caucus when it comes to loyalty and looking out for each other.

      As for new National candidates finding their footing could be a bit wobbly and they should not be put in a position to defend the National Party vote because they are not part of the disruption.

    • ScottGN 15.2

      I don’t think they’re counting the ones who bailed immediately after the levers of power were denied them following the formation of the Coalition government.

    • Anne 15.3

      Yes, but 6 of them have already gone. 13 to go. I think that is what is meant.

  16. ScottGN 16

    Love to know why the complainant sent the info to the PM’s office rather than dealing with Falloon’s boss the Leader of the Opposition first up?

    • lprent 16.1

      Probably the sender looked at the relative kindness factors between Jacina and Judith? Would you send it directly to someone whose nickname is ‘Crusher’ if you wanted the person to get help? Sounds like behaviour that just isn’t ok. MP needed help.

      From the RNZ article I just read, Jacinda’s office just recognised it being a National MP and passed to Judith’s office to deal with. I’m a bit surprised that it didn’t go to the speaker (in their role as controller of the house) as well.

      • Sacha 16.1.1

        Or it was someone who is not that political and believed the PM is in charge of all MPs?

    • Halfcrown 16.2

      ScottGN @16 wrote
      “Love to know why the complainant sent the info to the PM’s office rather than dealing with Falloon’s boss the Leader of the Opposition first up?”

      Probably remembers or heard of, the way that waitress was treated by the Spivs office and the media when the perverted spiv kept pulling her ponytail.

      • Cinny 16.2.1

        Maybe because national had no leader last week at that time…..

      • anker 16.2.2

        Or compare to how Paula Bennett dealt with the sex assault complaint made by Labour volunteers.

  17. anker 17

    OMG. Apparently Falloon sent pornographic material to a school girl! This is serious shit and not accounted for by drinking or mental health isssues.

    Also on tv news tonight Fallloon being upbeat a few days ago and going for a mid winder swim

    • Cinny 17.1

      WOAH!!! That's serious. Ewwwwww

      Edit…. While I’m supportive and understanding of those with mental health difficulties, I’m fast becoming skeptical about it being possibly leveraged as an excuse in this instance.

      • Cinny we have a lovely family member who can not drink alcohol.

        He completely changes after 3 drinks and does not always remember his actions, which are totally out of character.

        He has had counselling and the full AA thing, but does fall off the wagon on occasions.

        Some of what Andrew said struck a chord. Addictions and chemical poisoning are hard to handle, and pressure does not help. Just hope he and anyone caught up are ok.

    • Roy cartland 17.2

      Which explains why he busted out the 'mental health' card. Everyone knows you can't kick a man when he's down. Such a shame he had to pin blame the poor people who took their lives for behaviour which is ultimately his personal responsibility.

      • Shanreagh 17.3.1

        The RNZ report says the incident relates to a 19 year old female, hardly teen and definitely not tween.
        Not even really a ‘young person’
        So says someone who was at uni at 18years and married at age 20years, in workforce from 21years.

        Sending this kind of pic is not on. If the age is as said then it was not sent to someone young.

        Older teens are mostly well adjusted and able to cope without drama with many things that life throws at them.

        Counselling would not go amiss for both parties and should be offered.

    • Treetop 17.4

      The school girl needs a lot of support and her privacy to be respected.

      Falloon needs support as well.

      • Cinny 17.4.1

        The school girl, her family and Falloons wife need support.

        Falloon needs to get help.

      • I Feel Love 17.4.2

        I wonder if the Nat DP Intelligence Unit are looking for dirt on the family … they better not be.

        I like how the PMs office even asked the family for permission to share with Collins, contrast with Bennett's sharing of the sexual assault women.

        I'm kinda angry, & I hope this family keep their privacy and get plenty of support & love.

        Of course this isn't political as such, but how hard is it to just be a decent man, drunk or not?

        I know if indeed 100% true his reputation is shot, I don't want him to harm himself, time heals and softens, I hope he's around friends who love him.

        • Cinny 17.4.2.1

          As a mum of a tween and a teen that have received numerous unsolicited dick picks,

          As a person who has lost friends to suicide

          As a human who has been diagnosed with severe depression

          I'm fucking fuming… think it's time for me to split some wood for the morning fire.

          • I Feel Love 17.4.2.1.1

            Yes I have daughters, under 12, we have discussed this before believe it or not, and I'm a victim of sexual abuse as a child, but I'm ok. And as a 47 year old single man that regularly dates women (including dating sites now & again), I've never sent a picture of my genitals to anyone! (Consenting adults can do what the fek they want of course!). & I too, better take a break, Twitter is having a meltdown.

          • Patricia Bremner 17.4.2.1.2

            Sorry this has been hard for you Cinny. Bloody drink and selfies.

      • mark 17.4.3

        fallon needs jail

        [I’m assuming you are not the Mark who used to comment here. Please choose another handle, thanks. TRP]

  18. observer 18

    Story is changing by the minute, but IF the allegations in the media are true (and we should be cautious) then Collins has to say what she knew and when.

    If she knew before today, about the serious allegation in detail (rather than just vaguely "inappropriate behaviour") then she had a duty to act immediately – not delay. And Falloon cannot simply stand down at the election, National must take disciplinary action.

    • I Feel Love 18.1

      Ben Thomas (doesn't he work for Hootons Ex-wasit? PR company) as political commentator on RNZ saying Collins "acted swiftly", he did sound like a drowning man in need of a life preserver (tonights Checkpoint, after 6 o'clock news, link not up yet).

    • Treetop 18.2

      Collins would have known and it was her job to manage the situation. Going public over the weekend was not in the best interest of anyone including the police.

    • ianmac 18.3

      The time line was message received in the PM's office late afternoon on Friday. It was straight away sent to Judith Collins with total secrecy.

      So Judith's office knew on Friday Afternoon. Judith had a conversation this morning with Falloon. Fallon resigns today. Collins unavailable for comment. Some Media think she should have fronted. In the morning Collins has a media scheduled.

      • Sacha 18.3.1

        I believe it's best to avoid trying to score political points with this situation. The PM only said her chief of staff responded within 48 hours – so it could be that her office was notified earlier in the week, or that Collins was told on Sunday. Let it go.

        • ianmac 18.3.1.1

          Dunno Sacha. Just the facts as known.

          Collins said "the National Party was advised of an issue relating to Andrew late on Friday afternoon and we have dealt with it this morning".

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=1234950

          • Sacha 18.3.1.1.1

            Fair enough. I just do not think there is much to be gained here.

            • ianmac 18.3.1.1.1.1

              Sacha. It is not about the teenage victim or the resigning MP. It is about the integrity/competence of a Leader of the National Party.

              • Sacha

                Oh I'm furious now. Someone decided to use being mentally unwell and a connection with suicide as part of the cover story.

                Would not put it past Hooton or his fellow scum. I’d like to see the person/people fired and publicly disgraced.

        • mauī 18.3.1.2

          National set out to lessen the political point damage by talking this up as a mental health issue. That needs to be corroborated, and I don't believe it will be. What we're left with then is a big slap in the face to anyone who has had to deal with suicide.

      • ScottGN 18.3.2

        I think PM’s office received the info on Wednesday and once permission was sought and given by whoever provided the info, gave it to the Oppo Leader’s office on Friday. Be interesting to know the timeline of the police investigation too though.

  19. George 19

    As someone who works professionally in mental health . There seems to be little empathy for the young person who was the target of the abusive images from the national party camp. The young person would be/ have been at the very least horrified and possibly absolutely traumatized. I'm not seeing any remorse there where I would have expected it. There has only been a lot of talk about the mental health of the person that sent her the images. I believe that she deserves more than that. I hope she is coping well and receives a full and properly given apology and amends from all that are responsible for this.

    • Incognito 19.1

      My advice would to be take this away from the media spotlight and magnifying glass and out of the political arena ASAP. The longer it is associated in any way with Ardern, Collins, or any Party, the more damage could be done and the more traumatic it could be for the people directly involved; they need time to heal and recover. Falloon has removed himself from politics but the politics haven’t been removed from him yet.

      • RedBaronCV 19.1.1

        Not sure about that. If we go back to the malaysian diplomat or the roast busters there can be no doubt from the sledging the privileged decision makers took, that the general community was firmly on the side of the people targeted. That in itself could lessen the feeling of aloneness.

        • Incognito 19.1.1.1

          I struggle with the idea that this political scandal – because that’s what it is – and the ensuing frenzy in mainstream and social media could somehow lessen the feeling of aloneness of and for the victim. It is now morphing into a giant web of lies, excuses, and cover-ups. In my view, the victim will receive the appropriate comfort and support from close friends & family and possibly professionals and not from a marauding pack of journalists and keyboard warriors hitting their keyboards with bloodshot eyes of outrage and baying for the blood of the culprit who may or may not really suffer from mental illness. Applying the precautionary principle, I’d suggest: first, do no harm. But it looks like I’m on my own in this 🙁

          • Sacha 19.1.1.1.1

            Grace is well beyond the character of the current Nat people unfortunately. This was never going to end well.

            • Incognito 19.1.1.1.1.1

              I wish it was just ‘the current Nat people’ …

              I’m gonna bail on this topic.

          • RedBaronCV 19.1.1.1.2

            I've seen stories from people in these types of situation's who have had years of agony over coverups that have been used against them. It does seem to leave lasting agony – the instigator not being called to account.

            But one size never fits all – so I do hope the person targeted has the support needed. But at some level this is going to stay out there. How many MP's do we have who have now behaved badly towards others? 2 in southland, 1 in Dunedin, this guy- leaves a big question over candidate selection and mentoring in Nact

            But I’m not an expert on this by any means

            • Incognito 19.1.1.1.2.1

              Fair comment. Police are not pursuing it but does that equal a cover-up or the culprit not being held to account? One career is sunk. The focus has shifted to the Nat Party, their Leader(s), and possibly some other Nat MPs. That has got SFA to do with helping the victim – Collins didn’t send any pics, did she?

              One size doesn’t fit all, indeed, and almost none of us here is an expert. Enough said.

    • anker 19.2

      100% George. Absolutely

      • George 19.2.1

        And I would just like to add that the person who SENT the images is in no way a victim here..no matter what their mental health situation is or was.

  20. mary_a 20

    If the information which is evolving from media concerning Andrew Falloon proves to be fact, then it becomes more than simply a mental health issue, requiring him to resign immediately and seek professional help asp.

  21. ScottGN 21

    Stuff reporting that police have investigated and decided sending the image wasn’t a criminal act? So we’re supposed to believe that no one in National knew anything all the while a police investigation was going on?

    • Sacha 21.1

      Police may have only been investigating since Collins was told – and that they believe there is no offence does not suggest much depth.

    • RedBaronCV 21.2

      Wonder what the outcome would have been if the sender had been young, brown and from the wrong side of town? Charged?

      Be interesting to see what our police commissioner says about this. Roast busters II?

      I wonder if the leak to Labour was because the cops refused to charge?

      The cops need to remember that they act for the whole community and cannot be seen to be making excuses only for any rich white guys.

      Much support to the young lady.

  22. ScottGN 22

    Am I right that Collins has so far only issued a statement? She’s hasn’t fronted at all on this? Not fucking good enough!

    • Sacha 22.1

      May be waiting on focus groups or polling, given that she can't rely on integrity as a guide.

  23. Bryan 23

    Suddenly in the fast moving clusterfuck that is the resolute and united confraternity of Tory tunnellers – it is believed that all those National MPs who have had "inappropriate thoughts" in regard to their fantasies about Judith are about to resign en masse – and they will be blaming a gastroenterological causative event.

  24. mickysavage 24

    If this was private enterprise it would be a sackable offence.

  25. I Feel Love 25

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018755779/ben-thomas-discusses-impact-of-falloon-s-resignation

    Ben Thomas tries very hard, I think he desperately needs a lie down and cuppa. Ok, I'm out, but I think if National have dealt with this appallingly. Take care everyone.

  26. observer 26

    What's really coming through on social media is that a lot of people (not just pol hacks) feel they've been played. First there's natural sympathy on mental health issues, but then the rest comes out.

    National should never have put out a statement like they did this afternoon.

    • Fireblade 26.1

      Judith Collins and the National Party tried to cover-up the real reason for Andrew Falloon's resignation.

      • observer 26.1.1

        Given that the PM's office passed on the correspondence to Collins, that would be an incredibly stupid cover-up!

        I think they just totally misread the room, and thought a bland statement would work. Very strange.

        • ScottGN 26.1.1.1

          That assumes though that no one in National knew of the police investigation until the PM’s office intervened. I don’t believe that. I do think however that the chaos in the party in the last few weeks was so great that everyone just ran for cover on this.

          • Anne 26.1.1.1.1

            Police have investigated but are not laying any charges.

            "Police conducted an investigation after receiving a report of an individual sending an unsolicited image," said a spokesperson. "The investigation determined it did not meet the threshold for prosecution. As such, no further action will be taken."

            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12349504

            At the first whiff of political scandal that involves National the police will always run for cover.

            • ScottGN 26.1.1.1.1.1

              The young woman is a uni student apparently. Not that that excuses anything.

        • Fireblade 26.1.1.2

          The PM's office received information that Andrew Falloon sent dodgy images to the young lady. That information was then passed on to Judith Collins.

          Collins and Falloon's written statements did not mention the images or the Police investigation. They attributed his resignation to several other sensitive issues, which made it difficult for the media to investigate further. Someone leaked more details to the media late Monday afternoon and then Collins refused to comment. That looks like a failed cover-up attempt to me.

      • Muttonbird 26.1.2

        This is a fact, and I hope the media show no mercy to Collins.

        She's not been in the top job before, and it shows.

    • ScottGN 26.2

      Nope. And it looks like Judith failed on her first real test of leadership. It’s harder than you think eh Judy? She hasn’t fronted at all. So now the story goes around her and she loses control of the narrative.

    • anker 26.3

      Yes totally agree. I completely understand why people feel played……..

  27. Jackel 27

    There do seem to be a number of these lower functioning, easily decompensating types in the National Party. But I guess that's unsurprising from a party that champions privilege.

    It is a bit of a convenient get off my back excuse to say that your mental health was being affected by whatever. Mental illness may require treatment and support but it isn't an excuse for poor behaviour or a way to cover things up.

    • Treetop 27.1

      A lot of partial burnout and inattention is occurring in the National caucas, probably looking for new employment is not helping either.

  28. Stuart Munro 28

    You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus New Zealand. Goats and monkeys!

    ~ Othello Act 4 Scene 1

  29. RedBaronCV 29

    Not a smidgeon of empathy for the young lady targeted from either nats or Act

    • ScottGN 29.1

      Hopefully that lack of concern will be canvassed fully tomorrow when the shit really hits the fan.

  30. I Feel Love 30

    Scandal over, it wasn't him, he left his phone unattended and someone else sent the image(s), … https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12349534 reckon this will kill it like he/Collins/Herald hopes? Even Soper is pissed off.

    • Muttonbird 30.1

      How old are his mates who are supposed to have sent it, 12?

      • I Feel Love 30.1.1

        I know, Falloon, grow the fuck up! Take responsibility, bow out with some dignity. So what's all the MH stuff? The friends who harmed themselves? & because the woman is under 20 (but not a minor) it's ok? These guys give us guys (who grew up a long time ago) a really bad name, wankers.

  31. observer 31

    Latest twists –

    Falloon: "it wasn't me, ref"

    Which begs the question: Why the hell didn't he and National say any of this before?

    Taking Nat MPs at their word is a ship long since sailed.

    (key words from story: “several weeks ago”)

    • So some mates grab his phone at a pissup, locate a dick pic and send it to a young woman?

      I have questions. Many, many questions.

    • Treetop 31.2

      So who are the friends and can they corroborate that Falloon did not do it?

      Were I a true friend I would not do this to my friend.

      • observer 31.2.1

        If they can corroborate, then they have had several weeks to do it.

        Falloon must have known that the picture was sent. We are now asked to believe that all kinds of possible contacts did not happen in those weeks (woman to him? woman's family to him, to National HQ? Falloon to friends?). Finally the woman's family contacted the PM's office.

        All Falloon had to do was make a statement at any time during those weeks. He certainly would not have been charged, and probably would have kept his job. But only if his story is true.

        • Treetop 31.2.1.1

          There is a process for when you are being framed (a mate sending a sick pic to a 19 year old) you go to the police.

          Did Falloon think that somehow the pic on his phone would not become an issue for him or did he not want it to become an issue for National?

          Either way it was career ending for him and it reflects on some National MPs as they would have known about it.

          Dissecting the rot in the National caucus, it will go for weeks as no where to hide with an election.

    • George 31.3

      If it wasn't him, and he wasn't there, and he didn't do it, and he was mentally ill, etc …why quit?

  32. ScottGN 32

    So for all of her Thatcherite bluster Collins has no control over the party at all?

  33. Robert Guyton 33

    "

    "Sending harmful content is one of Collin's zero tolerance issues.

    As Minister of Justice, Collins put up the Harmful Digital Communications legislation which primarily targeted cyber-bullying, and covered the sending of objectionable material.

    Collins said "the National Party was advised of an issue relating to Andrew late on Friday afternoon and we have dealt with it this morning".

  34. observer 34

    And there's more:

    Collins has tweeted on this … but said nothing.

    Make a statement or don't. But choose one.

    • Sacha 34.1

      If you want many of us to see whatever Collins tweets, you will need to screenshot it. Also better if we do not give her social media any traffic rewards.

  35. Robert Guyton 35

    His mates dun it? Then why the plea re; mental health???

  36. greywarshark 36

    It wasn't a criminal act. https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/20-07-2020/live-updates-july-20-returnees-might-be-charged-under-either-national-or-labour/

    7.55pm: Falloon ‘did not meet threshold for prosecution’ NZ Police
    Updated
    In response to questions around Andrew Falloon’s conduct, a police spokesperson told RNZ that it investigated the National MP after receiving a report he sent an unsolicited image but found it “did not meet the threshold for prosecution”.

    The NZ Herald is now reporting that the image was sent to young woman at university, not a senior schoolgirl as initially described. They are also reporting that Falloon claimed that he was at a party several weeks ago and briefly left his phone unattended, during which time acquaintances used it to send the sexual image in question. Despite this, he still offered his resignation to National leader Judith Collins.

    5.10pm: ‘Indecent material’ allegedly sent by Falloon
    Speaking on RNZ’s Checkpoint, political editor Jane Patterson reports that retiring National MP Andrew Falloon (see 2.05pm) sent “indecent material to a third party that was not his wife after he’d been drinking” on at least one occasion.
    National leader Judith Collins is understood to have met with Falloon at parliament this morning. After their conversation, Falloon agreed to step down at the election.

    This would be I think the Law that people were considering when they thought the recipient was a schoolgirl: Under section 124A of the Crimes Act, indecent communication with young person under 16 is a crime. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11731398

    (How far we have come when at one time it was hard to convey evidence of bad language between legals and client because sending it by wire or post was forbidden. Carrier pigeon, marathon runner? You probably don't believe this.)

    When one considers that a large majority of people in jail are regarded as suffering from mental illness and need treatment rather than incarceration it is interesting to see how cosseting National and Falloon's peers are.

    And consider that Judith Collins I think when Minister of Justice, brought in two bunks to a cell which increases stresses between depressed or disturbed inmates. Yet one of her own must be given the kind treatment that is withheld from anyone not in her 'class' or a National voter.

    • George 36.1

      And consider also the poor guy who is currently suffering the full weight of the three strikes law…for kissing someone. A man with learning disabilities and he's going to be jailed for 7 years now for a law that National created and that targets people who are like him and there is NO way around it. Yet here we have this travesty ..a mirror image of privilege to the one created for others .. of poorly conceived, punitive punishment at those who need support in our community.

  37. Maggy Wassilieff 37

    RNZ is reporting that the "schoolgirl" is a 19 year university student, aka a young woman.

    • Ken 37.1

      Perhaps if Judith had come clean on Friday when she was sent the info, we'd all be a bit better informed about this creep's pervy actions.

  38. Robert Guyton 38

    "“indecent material to a third party that was not his wife after he’d been drinking” on at least one occasion."

    At least…?

  39. RedBaronCV 39

    I've been over at Reddit which is not as polite as here.

    Suggestions that Kiwiblog has been receiving information in the last few days ( deleted and not posted- which is understandable) and that it has covered Falloon and another (with the implication that it may be another MP???) we await developments.

    Otherwise Redditt thinks he looks about 50++ not 37 and that depression and firing up porn sites and sharing the material are not usually err….. compatible urges. You may not wish to read that for yourself.

    • I Feel Love 39.1

      I can barely stand #nzpol, right now they're equating it with David Clarke, youth camp & are all arguing to the womans age, creeps. I am bemused an MP doesn't have a password on his phone, but I don't think anyone really believes the "my mates did it" story. Talk about fuel for the fire.

  40. Herodotus 40

    For correctness this update appears to require amending.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/421602/national-mp-andrew-falloon-to-retire-at-election

    UPDATE: It was reported earlier this evening that Falloon’s behaviour involved sending pornographic pictures to “a woman not his wife”. NewsHub are now saying that Falloon sent the pictures to a schoolgirl, which may bring the earlier suggestion that he had done nothing criminal into question.

    • I Feel Love 40.1

      It seems the woman is 19, RWrs on Twitter are demanding the journalists apologise, "we apologise that we reported National MP Falloon, 37, married, sent unsolicited porn pictures to a school girl, when in fact, National MP Falloon, 37, married, sent unsolicited pictures to a 19 year old woman".

      I do hope she can keep her privacy, the righties are getting fiery over there, but to be fair there's been a couple self confessed "conservatives" who aren't impressed & are distancing themselves from the Nats/Collins.

    • To be fair, Herodotus, it was accurate at the time of writing. As they say, an hour is a long time in National Party politics. If other authors don’t beat me to it, I’ll be writing a new post in the morning, covering the bullshit ‘my mates did it’ excuse and asking some pertinent questions about when the Tory leader knew. And which Tory leader it was that knew, Simon, Todd or Judith.

      • Herodotus 40.2.1

        Crap actions by the MP from the basis of the story. (if he was the author/sender) Not sure why there is a "mistake" as mentioned, if Falloon's version holds.

        A time line of events will be of interest, as the story evolves at a fast rate "facts" appear to also evolve and the sending was a few weeks ago. Reporters are seen to be writing pieces based on part truths, and feeding off the salacious nature of the story. So not sure what their sources they are getting are.

        "The Herald understands that Falloon's version of events is that he was at a party several weeks ago and briefly left his phone unattended – and at that time acquaintances used it to send the sexual image in question."

        • te reo putake 40.2.1.1

          There are all sorts of obvious questions about the phone story. For starters, if it’s true, why is he quitting? More practically, how did his mates unlock the phone? How did they get the young person’s phone number? Was the offensive pic already on the phone?

          • Herodotus 40.2.1.1.1

            Look forward to reading tomorrow how the story has evolved from the various blogs and media outlets, especially your post😀

            quite a few points need clarification especially the media’s sources as we have found some of the facts have been shown to be not so😱

  41. Peter 41

    I don't get it. Falloon said he 'made a mistake.'

    Then I read he said someone else used his phone. So his big mistake which caused him to have 'mental health issues' is that someone used his phone?

    • I Feel Love 41.1

      Pretty much, & I've got a few bridges I'll promise to build and sell you … ok, I'll stop my rubbish now, just this, riles me, ugh!

  42. Shanreagh 42

    Falloon said he had unresolved grief from long ago suicides that was exacerbated or revived by a more recent suicide.

    Often people, and often men, self medicate depression or grief by drinking alcohol.

    Often alcohol lowers boundaries/inhibitions and the ability to self censor one's actions.

    The inability to deal with grief is definitely a mental health issue and it is not uncommon for people getting stuck in the stage/s of grief to need to have counselling/medication.

    So not sure why anyone is denying that unresolved or undealt-with grief is not a MH issue. You don't have to have the permanent big MH problems to be classed as having MH issues.

    When the Ldr of the Oppn knew and what she/he did about it is relevant as I suspect that she may have wanted to bury it until after the policy announcements were made by Nats.
    Of course this is worth a para or two about the possible callousness of this course. We do not know what he asked her to say, if the manner of going and what was to be said was agreed.

    This should be dealt with as far away from Lab. PM did the correct thing and what the Nats did after that is their ballgame.

    • McFlock 42.1

      He's putting forward mental health issues as an explanation for something he denies doing.

      Seems odd to me.

      • Shanreagh 42.1.1

        He is putting MH issues as the reason he is leaving politics. Life obviously got out of control, including with alleged 'fiends' and he knows it is time to heal and go or perhaps go and heal is a better time-frame.

        • Sacha 42.1.1.1

          Somebody has decided to apply 'mental health' and 'suicide' to this story. Let's not assume it was actually him, given politics and the people involved in that party right now.

          • George 42.1.1.1.1

            Or are they taking a dig at Jamie Lee Ross. Who was actually struggling and playing it through the media.

  43. anker 43

    I am thinking of the episode of Fawlty Towers where Basil gets Polly to dress up and pretend to by Sybil sick in bed…………….

  44. newsense 44

    Considering Muller and this new situation, time to ask about policies around a return to free counselling and mental health funding.

  45. Fireblade 45

    It's a shambles!

  46. Tricledrown 46

    The Ads on TV of harmful viewing stalking of young people predatory behaviour.

    Trying to blame it on mental health because he had been drinking heavily a cop out.

    The shame of his behaviour has caused the mental health issue.

    • George 46.1

      Like I said earlier. Falloon is not the victim here. Whichever way they try to paint it. And it doesn’t matter if the woman was 19 or 29 she was still sent unsolicited pornographic images by a person she’s not in an intimate relationship with. It’s abusive. It’s still really all about HER mental health.

  47. M2M 47

    He left his phone unattended and unlocked? Or did other partygoers know the passcode?

    More National BS.

  48. Graeme 48

    Where's the National Party's pastoral care of their young rural MPs?

    They've had three young guys fuck up down here in the last three years. In each case there's questions around supervision, mentoring and even if the people concerned were suitable for the role. In the two Southland cases you could see it developing and the outcome wasn’t a surprise. If being an MP was a normal employment arrangement this would be in the employment courts.

    Another question is, how much pressure are junior electorate MPs under to move aside and make electorates available for more senior list MPs? It might not be overt but it would be their style to wage a subtle dirty campaign to move people on.

    • Sacha 48.1

      Definitely something rotten in that party.

    • anker 48.2

      Graeme as I already posted earlier politicians already have access to free counselling through their eap scheme.

      Excuse these terms, but counselling is effective with people who are mad not bad

  49. Tricledrown 51

    Another young women sent pictures more bad news for the Nasty Nats.

  50. Sacha 52

    Another fresh post about this: https://thestandard.org.nz/strong-team/

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