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Another National MP accused of bullying

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, December 1st, 2018 - 135 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, national, newspapers, Politics, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

I am sure this is just a case of awful bad luck and there is nothing to the allegations.  But Maggie Barry is the latest MP to be accused of bullying.

The Herald has the details:

National MP Maggie Barry has been twice investigated over bullying claims this year – including accusations she expected staff to do political party work on taxpayer time, which would be unlawful.

The Weekend Herald can reveal two employees in Barry’s four-person office have accused her of bullying since May – one in a personal grievance complaint, and the other during the investigation of that complaint.

Neither staff member now works for Barry, the MP for the North Shore and the former host of Maggie’s Garden Show, a once-beloved staple of New Zealand television.

Barry concedes there were issues raised by former staff, but they were resolved “by mutual agreement” and “there was no finding that bullying or harassment had occurred”.

And she is backed up by a different former staff member who said she never saw any bullying behaviour from Barry, though she added that everyone has different ideas about what constitutes bullying.

The details make interesting reading:

The Weekend Herald has obtained documents which show that during its investigations in August this year, Parliamentary Service heard allegations that Barry:

• swore and yelled at staff;
• called an employee “stupid”;
• used derogatory terms about other elected officials, which made staff uncomfortable;
• referred to people with mental health issues using offensive terms like “nutter”;
• discussed her employees’ sexuality in the workplace;
• expected staff would do work for the National Party during office hours, which they felt unable to refuse while knowing it was wrong, because they were scared.

One staffer told investigators he believed there was a huge power imbalance and that Barry was “terrifying” and could “destroy my career”.

When questioned by Parliamentary Service in August, Barry denied all of the allegations.

“In particular, she disputes the claims regarding her attitude and comments attributed regarding people with mental health issues,” the investigation notes from her interview read.

“[She says] she does not use profanities and doesn’t swear or behave inappropriately… MB absolutely refutes that she expects staff to complete party work during work time.”

However, the Weekend Herald has heard recordings which appear to show Barry swearing in a work context, and others where she appears to call a local board member “barking”, one a “waste of space”, and another “a duplicitous piece of shite”.

I wonder who she was referring to?

There was some interesting disclosures in the Herald story that raise questions about National’s use of Parliamentary Services resources:

A former staffer who came forward to the Weekend Herald told Parliamentary Service that, during some weeks, up to half his work was party work. Parliamentary rules strictly stipulate party work is not part of support staff’s job.

According to her interview with investigators, Barry knew it was against the rules.

But in a different recording obtained by the Weekend Herald, Barry said the opposite to the staffer the day he was due to give evidence for his co-worker’s personal grievance case.

In it she said writing brochures on office time was “legitimate”, while acknowledging the investigators would not be impressed if they found out.

“It’s how the world goes around,” she said. “You know the lay of the land.”

No doubt the right will say WHHAAATT AAABBOUTT MEEEKKKKKAAAA.  They are right that all instances of bullying and inappropriate treatment of staff need to be dealt with.  But Whaitiri received a significant consequence.

And what is it with all the recordings of conversations.  Does everyone working in a National Party office engage in the surreptitious recording of conversations?

It will be interesting to see how Simon Bridges handles this.  I suspect that his complete lack of power over his caucus will show and nothing will happen.

Update:

This tweet did not age well …

135 comments on “Another National MP accused of bullying ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Looks like we can rule her out as a feasible contender for National leader. Depending on what the inquiry finds, she may even have to leave politics. There’s enough evidence compiled in the Herald report to show she has failed in several respects. And there’s more than one complainant.

    And “two employees in Barry’s four-person office have accused her of bullying since May – one in a personal grievance complaint, and the other during the investigation of that complaint.” So her bullying rate is 50% – raises the possibility that she’s even better at it than Brownlee…

    • alwyn 1.1

      That is a very tough standard you are setting isn’t it?
      Still, if we enforced it that would get rid of the current Speaker.
      “Trevor, you are fired”.
      He wouldn’t be missed of course.
      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/11/he-was-a-bully-christine-rankin-accuses-crude-trevor-mallard-of-bullying.html

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Does Rankin have tapes?

      • Lucy 1.1.2

        Can one laugh at Christine Rankin accusing anyone of being a bully. That woman was a legend for her “performance management” style and her ways of ensuring loyalty to Christine!

        • SPC 1.1.2.1

          She claimed eveyone knew she was the most bullied person in New Zealand, while her department was bullying tens of thousands of people.

        • Bullying and accusations of bullying are complicated and should be investigated properly particularly when a favourite bullying tactic as is often practiced by the National party is to accuse the victim of whatever they themselves are doing. Donghua Liu and the accusations of the $100,000 bottle of wine spring to mind here.

      • Gabby 1.1.3

        Will Slick Bodges show some leadership do you think wally?

      • Gabby 1.1.4

        Bullies are notoriously whingy about being bullied themselves wally. They have a godgiven right to dish it out but can’t take it.

        • alwyn 1.1.4.1

          You are possibly right Gobby.
          It is certainly the behaviour exhibited by your mate, and deputy PM, the drunken dwarf, isn’t it?
          Were you impressed with his grubby little attack on the wife of that man Sroubek in Parliament in Parliament on Thursday? See Question 1.
          https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20181129_20181129_08

          I expected to see a great outcry here about it, as we would have seen in the debate about Kavanaugh in the US when people commented on the behaviour of his accuser but it appears to be entirely acceptable for the left of politics to smear people under the protection of Parliamentary privilege, doesn’t it?

          Please explain what Winnie the Pooh’s outburst was if not bullying from a man who screams and moans and threatens legal action when people tell the truth about him.

    • ScottGN 1.2

      Do you think she ever really was a feasible contender for leader? She certainly didn’t have the chops as a minister in the last government.

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        An outsider, for sure. Could have become a better front-person for the bluegreens than Smith. I see the Nats having only two ways forward: conservative or progressive. Becoming part of the solution on climate-change is progressive. A bluegreen leader seems a better way forward for them. Conservative is their default position, but it leaves them in a cul-de-sac knife fight with NZF. Not a clever way into coalition govt. Taking a while for them to figure that out.

  2. ScottGN 2

    All the taped conversations. I’m reminded of Muriel Spark’s wonderful little allegory of Watergate, The Abbess of Crewe.

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      ” He said Parliamentary Service clearly knew about Barry’s behaviour – his manager from the service had even warned him during his induction Barry could be a difficult boss. When he later complained to the manager that he was having trouble, he says he was told to document any inappropriate behaviour – which is why he had the recordings.”

      Interesting, this. His employer advised him to “document”. Traditional meaning: write it down afterwards, from memory. Current meaning: record electronically.

      Which is more accurate? Obviously, the latter. Which would therefore be given more credence by a court? Obviously, the latter. Barry “said she had “constructive and positive employee relationships”, and may refer the recordings of her to police.”

      Why? To prosecute the staffer? But he was just doing what he was told by PS, his employer. Is she suggesting the police ought to prosecute Parliamentary Services? One part of the govt taking another part of it to court would be most entertaining. Has it happened before?

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        As long as one person in interaction is aware of recordings being made, it is legal.

        And there have been in the House, speakings from Barry which equal P Bennett or Collins for venom and spite. Easily see that being visited on Barry’s staff.

      • ScottGN 2.1.2

        The fact that Barry is a nasty bully will probably come as no surprise to anyone. It’s all the covert taping and the way the tapes are getting aired that’s interesting. It suggests a party that, under more secure leadership, had managed to keep a lid on things, could be about to go through a period of unpleasant upheaval. All of which is good news for those of us who would like to keep National far away from the Treasury benches and for as long as possible.

        • NZJester 2.1.2.1

          All the dirty stuff was hidden from the public, but now the Teflon shell has cracked and it is leaking like a sieve about the infighting in the National party they used to have hidden.

  3. Ankerrawshark 3

    Barries suggesting/threatening she may take the tape to the police says a lot. Up the ante when your cornered

    • Anne 3.1

      Absolutely Ankerrawshark. That’s how the super nasty bullies operate. Threaten to “go to the police” or “threaten to sue for defamation” or ” threaten to make life intolerable for the victim” – the last is often carried out in a covert manner.

      All of them work because the bully is invariably in a position of authority over their target – and therefore people are more inclined to believe them.

  4. jam tomorrow 4

    Anyone who went on her garden trips overseas would confirm she is a a selective bully.

    • ianmac 4.1

      One of the owners of a garden on her Garden Show came away feeling battered and used. (Kaikoura in the 90s.)

      • Whispering Kate 4.1.1

        It goes back earlier than this. A dear deceased friend of mine went to secondary school with her and she said her bossiness was legendary. If I remember rightly our Maggie was a prefect (as they were called back then) and exercised her rank to the max.

  5. Pete 5

    … and there is nothing to the allegations…?

    The allegation which seemingly hasn’t been made is that Barry is a lying cow.

    Any reading of the Herald piece would have that though. The only questionable bit is the cow reference, but it’s what my mother would’ve said having read it.

  6. Chris 6

    Ross must be just about ready for round 2 by now.

    • Tricledrown 6.1

      Probably been paid to keep quite

      • Muttonbird 6.1.1

        THIS!

        A settlement will have been reached.

      • Rapunzel 6.1.2

        That’s a possibility given his lack of “prospects” he had recently bought a $2m home in Howick if manages to fund that into months when he is possibly not going to receive and income that would meet the cost of that there would have to be questions.

      • Chris 6.1.3

        Suggesting that would be too dangerous for the nats. Ross must be planning revenge on Bennett. That’s my prediction. Peters is a clever man.

    • peterh 6.2

      13 th december round two

  7. JohnSelway 7

    I’m not surprised, she seems like that type.

    She reminds of a woman I used to work for. She liked me and we got on very well but she had a very acerbic way of treating staff who had failed to live up to her high standards.

  8. adam 8

    Where are the resident rwnj’s calling for her head?

    Isn’t this totally unacceptable, or is that only if it’s a not a Troy MP?

    Well at least they are consistency bias.

    • James 8.1

      If proven – then she should be fired.

      Got to be proven first however.

      I’m pretty consistent on that.

      • dV 8.1.1

        James
        Can she be fired?
        She is an electorate mp?

        PS I agree with the sentiment.

        • Graeme 8.1.1.1

          Or the Party has another candidate liked up and are doing a constructive on her. Just extrapolating the JLR situation, and she’s not the most stellar performer.

      • adam 8.1.2

        Nothing like point out the hypocrisy of the right to kick you into action ah james.

        • James 8.1.2.1

          I can only speak for myself.

          As for the rest of the right they will have their own views and I’m sure they are many.

          To assume everyone to the right of you Adam things the same way just shows how little you know.

  9. SenseOfTheAbsurd 9

    Way back when Barry first went into politics, there was puff-piece interview in one of the women’s mags, which I thought was very revealing. She told of how her mother had been an extremely partisan rabid National Party member, and how she treated people based on that. Described her mother going on some kind of door-knock community service type activity, asking the people who they voted for, and if it wasn’t Nats, not carrying out the service to punish them. The revealing part was that Barry seemed to think that this was acceptable behaviour and told it as if it was heartwarming and endearing, rather than narcissistic and vindictive.

  10. Chris T 10

    Weird bit is, it seems so far that the women MP’s seem to be just as bad as the males, which I wouldn’t have expected.

  11. Puckish Rogue 11

    So my view is basically take what I said about Meka Whaitiri and copy and paste Maggie Barry in its place

    So with that being said I don’t think this inquiry is going to do much beyond a smack on the wrist with a wet bus ticket because well what can you do, you can’t fire an mp, the mp can’t be moved to another and judging by the deafening silence from the left I’m guessing theres more than a few skeletons lurking in closets (sort of like MAD situation) so both sides are probably hoping this goes away without too much collateral damage

    Which is a shame because it needs to be dealt with

    • Ankerrawshark 11.1

      Actually I listened to the tapes and to be fair they don’t seem to include her actually bullying anyone. Just speaking in not a nice way about others.

      I think the issue of bullying needs to be bi-partisan. It appears to happen across parties and it needs to stop.

      Good on Trev for calling an enquiry into this. Even if he was a bully in the past. It’s almost like we need a truce on this and sort out the issues so it stops. Asap

  12. Kat 12

    Barry’s gardening experience should prepare her for the judicious pruning National is looking like it will receive at the next general election. Expect more dirty laundry aired and closet skeletons to emerge from National over the next 24 months.

  13. Regarding taping conversations, there are are a couple of points worth noting.

    Firstly, recording conversations is not unlawful, for the most part. We all have the right to record whatever we want. We do not have to tell anyone that they are being recorded, except in very limited circumstances (eg there are some institutions that specifically prohibit recording of sound or video and entry is conditional on it not being done).

    However, it is what we do with the secret recording that triggers the law. Use the recording to harm the person being recorded and you are in trouble.

    The situation in employment law is actually quite liberal. The Employment Authority and the Employment Court have the ability to allow secretly recorded tapes to be used as evidence. This reflects the nature of those tribunals, particularly the Authority, which is inquisitorial in nature. That is, the Authority has wide powers to consider any evidence that exposes the true facts of the matter.

    Additionally, it is accepted that a worker is often in a power imbalance, particularly if they don’t have professional representation. So recording a disciplinary meeting (or just random abuse in the workplace) is not unlawful in itself.

    To give an example, I recently gave advice to a migrant worker who was subject to an allegation that ultimately turned out to be unproven. While he spoke English reasonably well, he couldn’t keep up with the technicalities of the disciplinary process, so recorded the meetings for later review. That’s entirely appropriate.

    Barry can complain to the Police if she wants, but nothing will come of it. Something she probably knows, or at least should know. As I would see it, saying you’ll involve the Police to an employee who has complained about you is actually bullying behaviour.

    • Dennis Frank 13.1

      The Weekend Herald has “seen messages from Barry – who rarely used email but instead spoke into the voice-to-text function on her phone – appearing to request political work be completed during office hours. Examples included writing her column “Maggie’s Messenger”, where she encouraged people to vote for Northcote MP Dan Bidois, and completing a “Super Blues” brochure for an over-60s National Party conference.”

      “A former staffer who came forward to the Weekend Herald told Parliamentary Service that, during some weeks, up to half his work was party work. Parliamentary rules strictly stipulate party work is not part of support staff’s job. According to her interview with investigators, Barry knew it was against the rules.”

      “But in a different recording obtained by the Weekend Herald, Barry said the opposite to the staffer the day he was due to give evidence for his co-worker’s personal grievance case. In it she said writing brochures on office time was “legitimate”, while acknowledging the investigators would not be impressed if they found out.”

      Seems to me the investigators will be impressed – by her self-contradiction! And the most obvious result of her making a police complaint about the recording would be confronting the cops with evidence that she broke the rules. If an MP breaks parliamentary rules, and evidence of doing so becomes public and available to the police, can they prosecute her? Who enforces accountability for rule-breaking on MPs?

  14. Anne 14

    …the Weekend Herald has heard recordings which appear to show Barry swearing in a work context, and others where she appears to call a local board member “barking”, one a “waste of space”, and another “a duplicitous piece of shite”.

    It could be the Devonport/Takapuna local board she is referring to.

    The rumours about her bullying tendencies have have been floating around the Shore for a long time.

    As an ex-recipient of intensive bullying inside the Public Service here is a brief list of the necessary requisites for bullies:

    a) An inflated sense of entitlement based on the perpetrator’s belief they are a superior person to the victim.

    b) A premeditated determination to deal to a particular subordinate because they either feel threatened by them or they don’t like their background.

    c) The ability to instantly metamorphose from a tyrannical bully to a charming and caring person the moment someone appears in the vicinity of the office space where the bullying is occurring

    d) If the victim dares to raise the bullying with the perpetrator’s superiors they are able to turn the problem around and blame it on the victim. The victim is then re-victimised by the superiors.

    e) Finally and most importantly they have to be pathological liars.

    It would not surprise me if Maggie Barry possesses an element (at the least) of all these ‘attributes’.

  15. Bewilderd 15

    We are becoming the snowflake society, every ones a victim, people just need to toughen up, a dose of stoic philosophy would go a long way in sorting out our precious petals and soy boys Be nice if Mickey got off national as a topic they have been out of power now for over a year, it’s getting tedious and to the point of an unhealthy infatuation

    • Anne 15.1

      Bewildered is clearly bereft of the brain power and the empathy to comprehend what it must be like to be on the receiving end of big bad bullies, I hope it happens to him/her one day soon: I can hear it now… the wailing and the tears. I would say “serves you right. 🙂

      • Bewilderd 15.1.1

        You can’t stop some one being a bully, how you respond or react to such is totally in your control, read a bit of Marcus Aurelius or other stoic philosophies Anne it may help you with your anger and victim hugging condition 😊

        • Dennis Frank 15.1.1.1

          “I affirm that tranquillity is nothing other than the proper ordering of the mind.”
          [Marcus Aurelius, book four of his Meditations]

          Probably better to pass on your advice to Maggie: she needs it more. A tranquil Maggie wouldn’t bully. She ought to order her mind. Beats tranquilisers.

          • Bewildered 15.1.1.1.1

            Your on to it Dennis; good advise for Maggie and Anne

            • Anne 15.1.1.1.1.1

              So, you get a kick out of attacking someone who was bullied and intimidated? Then you have the gall to lump that person in with a bully? What does that make you? Yet another bully?

              My experiences were in part conducted at an RNZAF base where I had been transferred, and the perpetrators had the extensive resources of the Defence Force to carry out their acts of harassment and intimidation which ended up going beyond that base. It happened 25 to 30 years ago now and it was the most terrifying period of my life. What’s more I had to cope alone without any support because in those days there simply wasn’t any support available.

              I had not asked for any of it nor was I guilty of any misdemeanours. When the truth of my innocence eventually came to light those responsible moved into “cover-up” mode and that is where the whole episode has remained since.

              An apology would be nice but I shan’t hold my breath.

              • Bewildered

                won’t apologise as an opinion is nothing to apologise for but sorry to hear you went through a tough time Likewise walking the talk I take no offense you wishing harm on me 😊👍

                • In Vino

                  Magnanimous and arrogant at once.

                  • Anne

                    Well, I accept Bewildered has recognised I went through a frightening experience so I will take it as an apology of sorts. 🙂

                  • Bewildered

                    A key stoic principal In Vino

                    Don’t take anything personally

                    Nothing others do or say is because of you

                    What others say and do is a projection of thier own reality, thier own dreams

                    When you are immune to to the action, opinions and options of others, you won’t be the victim of endless suffering and anger

                    I hope this helps

                    • In Vino

                      I learnt that long ago, but I also came to appreciate the Epicurean attitude. I don’t need your help.
                      What you write is a projection of your own reality, your own dreams.
                      You don’t make them look good.
                      Forget your wishful thinking about what you like to see as ‘victims of endless suffering and anger’. You almost make it sound like you might be one yourself.
                      Bewildered indeed.

                    • Bewildered []

                      Your not making any sense man To much red mist, I will leave you alone to let you calm down and as a long term favour will desist in entering into any correspondence with you as you appear to upset and jump to offense very easily which can’t be good for you

                    • In Vino

                      Convenient for you if nothing else. You seem to have a pattern of feigning incomprehension when it suits you.
                      Yours in blissful tolerance
                      In Vino

              • Ankerrawshark

                Sorry to hear that Anne. Absolutely dreadful what goes on

                • Anne

                  Thanks Ankerawshark. It wasn’t quite as simple as my comment might suggest. The DF and others were misled.

                  An official apology would have gone a long way to satisfying me, but instead it was swept with a large broom under a large carpet.

          • Herodotus 15.1.1.1.2

            Pity how MA’s son turned out even with a good dad to guide him
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Aurelius
            Commodus was the basis of the emperor in The Gladiator ,MA was played by Richard Harris

            • Ed 15.1.1.1.2.1

              We live in the age of Commodus.
              The 1970s were the age of Marcus Aurelius.

            • Dennis Frank 15.1.1.1.2.2

              Turns out he was quite a leftist: “One of the ways he paid for his donatives (imperial handouts) and mass entertainments was to tax the senatorial order, and on many inscriptions, the traditional order of the two nominal powers of the state, the Senate and People (Senatus Populusque Romanus) is provocatively reversed (Populus Senatusque…).” [Wikipedia]

              Could be why they felt the need to assassinate him? Actually, no.. “early in 192 Commodus, declaring himself the new Romulus, ritually re-founded Rome, renaming the city Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana. All the months of the year were renamed to correspond exactly with his (now twelve) names: Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Herculeus, Romanus, Exsuperatorius, Amazonius, Invictus, Felix, and Pius.”

              Having to learn new names for each month would have irritated Romans so comprehensively that he would have lost all support immediately. Having to call Rome by a different name was another step too far to take. And giving it a new name four words long must have infuriated the linguists.

            • Bewilderd 15.1.1.1.2.3

              Not sure how much he passed on, much of his work was simply meditations that he had no intention for any body else to read, he intended them to be burnt Lucky they where not as very little Roman and Greek stoic literature exists today

    • Pete 15.2

      Apparently Parliamentary rules strictly stipulate party work is not part of support staff’s job. If you in the job and told you have to do party work how do to toughen up and not be a snowflake? Just do it?

      Or tell the MP to fuck off and do it herself. And then get the order of the boot and be labelled a trouble maker?

      And then sit and home jobless and read crap about unions not being needed to protect workers.

      When you’re a victim, you’re a victim. When you’re an arsehole boss you’re an arsehole boss. That’s the famous ‘Real World’ we’ve heard a lot about over recent years. The real world that shows the necessity of unions.

      • Bewildered 15.2.1

        What a sad and depressing view you have of human nature, I suggest this is your reality but not reality as a whole By far most bosses are not bad and similarly nor are all workers, at the end of the day every boss has a boss and is worker in some degree

        • Pete 15.2.1.1

          Hang about. On this page you’re on about “becoming the snowflake society” and “anger and victim hugging condition.”

          Any sad and depressing view is formed by knowing there are those who weasel around with stuff like that and accept that some are going to be bullied at work and not come out and condemn that, big and brave like. And seeing stuff in the present situation and simply ignoring it or excusing it.

          To wit: From information the Herald has it seems that Maggie Barry has tried to get staff members to undertake stuff they shouldn’t do because Parliamentary rules strictly stipulate party work is not part of support staff’s job. One person said that during some weeks, up to half his work was party work.

          So is someone so brave they condemn workers as snowflakes when they think they’re being bullied at work also going to condemn what seems to be shabby practice from Barry?

          • Bewildered 15.2.1.1.1

            Condemning is strange choice of words interpreting what I siad I am simply disagreeing with your view of reality and ( colloquially ) opining some people ( not all) maybe better off taking a concrete pill

    • Puckish Rogue 15.3

      Mickey does seem to be the go-to for National posts and you are right but I think the reason hes doing so many is

      A. When your opponents are down then keep them down and

      B. The more time going on about National the less time people spend looking at the Labour led coalition which, lets face it, are a shambles right now because:

      You’ve got the minister for open government Clare Curran having to put herself out of her own misery and resign

      You’ve got Kiwibust

      You’ve got Mega Fightery

      You’ve got trees being planted (oops sorry you’ve got trees not being planted)

      You’ve got a leader that apparently doesn’t know what GDP means

      You’ve got an immigration minister that doesn’t know the rules around immigration and thinks a drug dealer is a benefit for NZ

      You’ve got a PM that tells us to “read between the lines” ok then reading between the lines the drug dealer was dealing drugs to someone, someone with enough pull to get residency (I mean if we’re reading between the lines and all)

      You’ve got Kelvin Davis, actually where is that guy?

      So yeah I totally understand why Mickey is doing so many posts about National, wouldn’t you if you were in his position?

      • te reo putake 15.3.1

        Missed one:

        You’ve got a ten point lead in the polls. Oh, wait … I can see why you left that off the list 😉

        • Kat 15.3.1.1

          Ah, and the polls. National still haven’t come to terms with being in opposition so its going to be interesting to see how they handle losing a swathe of MP’s at the next election.

        • Bewildered 15.3.1.2

          Polls are fleeting this time 2 years ago labour where in low 20s national in mid 50s, National can go higher labour high thirties party at best in the only poll that matters

        • Puckish Rogue 15.3.1.3

          Must have slipped my mind 😉

        • Robert Guyton 15.3.1.4

          Ha!

        • James 15.3.1.5

          Ok that made me laugh.

          Only internal polls (but it wouldn’t surpris me if public polls were the same).

        • alwyn 15.3.1.6

          And what are these “polls” of which you talk?
          Publicly available are they?
          Recent figures?
          Or are they the numbers taken a couple of months ago on the one day when UMR got a set of values that favoured Labour?
          Come on. If you are really sure of your facts I’m sure you will be able to provide a link to the published numbers.
          Or not.

      • Ankerrawshark 15.3.2

        Hey kelvin Davis has implemented a small change that is responsible for the prison population reducing since he’s been in power. That is good news. Saw it on Maori tv.

        I am going to smile at the rest of your post PR I like your presence on this site cause you attack govt policy, mostly not the commenters and I am on a personal mission to call that out on this site. Have a good day

        • Puckish Rogue 15.3.2.1

          A while back a few contributors left (including Weka which was a real shame) because the site was becoming a bit uncomfortable for some so I thought I can’t change over peoples opinions (if I could we’d all be voting National) but I can at least modify my own behavior so I now try to self censor so hopefully I, at the very least, don’t make the site worse for people

          Having said that some posters do make that a bit hard… 🙂

          • Rapunzel 15.3.2.1.1

            How does that work? They wouldn’t be people’s opinions, they would be your opinions – that is not how opinions work.
            Are you still one of those people who imagine that, no I’ll change that to why “should” we all be voting National?
            I’ve never seen any evidence for why that must happen in the minds of people like you.
            Do you also hold and peddle the notion that people who don’t vote National are some how less than whatever you see or believe yourself to be? You’re very out of touch and narrow-minded.

        • alwyn 15.3.2.2

          “kelvin Davis”.
          Gosh. That is a real name from the past. I had forgotten about him since he vanished from the news.
          What is he up to these days? I hadn’t heard a peep out of him all this year. In fact I even considered the possibility that he was no longer alive, such was the silence about his whereabouts.

      • Bewildered 15.3.3

        Good point totally rationale response from MS , go for it Mickey

      • Kevin 15.3.4

        And yet despite all your perceived flaws in this government, people in the main are happy with what they are doing. JA is a popular PM with a high approval rating and they are getting on with business. I remember the early days of JK’s government not exactly being a cakewalk.

    • Gabby 15.4

      I don’t recall the kiwibuggers laying off the labour leadershiprevolving door when the gnatz were in government beewee. Refresh me.

      • Bewilderd 15.4.1

        Ah but I thought the standard in name and practice sets itself to a much higher bar and intellectual rigour than kiwiblog

        • Gabby 15.4.1.1

          Sounds like the line trotted out by snofwakes everywhere – you can’t be mean jus cos I am.

      • Puckish Rogue 15.4.2

        When your opponents on the ropes your best course of action is to keep them there

        • Muttonbird 15.4.2.1

          Absolutely. National needs to be man-shamed, prison style. The foot of social conscience needs to be kept firmly on the throat and no mercy shown because they’ll worm they way back eventually and pick up where they left off. Destructive and vision-less policy for communities and people will once again become the norm. It’s important to delay this as long as possible by showing what corrupt individuals the Nats and their followers are at every moment possible.

          • James 15.4.2.1.1

            “National needs to be man-shamed, prison style.“

            What does that even mean ?

            And when you say National – are you taking the actua MPs or people who support them ?

        • Observer Tokoroa 15.4.2.2

          Dear Puckish Rogue

          You do a great job on here. You support the extremely wealthy Nationals and rubbish the underpaid workers.

          You are a perfect selfish man. I salute You !

          • Puckish Rogue 15.4.2.2.1

            Why thank you kind sir though to be fair I really only support National because thats the party Jude the Magnificent has chosen to grace with her presence 🙂

            I didn’t choose the Judelife the Judelife chose me

            #Jude4life

            Jude is love Jude is life

          • James 15.4.2.2.2

            Who are nationals?

            We are not all extremely wealthy.

            Ironically there are a lot of labour supporters who are also extremely wealthy? What do we do with them?

    • mickysavage 15.5

      Be nice if Mickey got off national as a topic they have been out of power now for over a year, it’s getting tedious and to the point of an unhealthy infatuation

      I just wish they stopped offering up stories. There have been so many …

      This particular post did not take long to write. I wish I had more time to write more in depth pieces but things are really busy.

      The story is relevant. This blog has spent nine long years dissecting National in Government and its modus operandii. Forgive me if I keep focussing on their behaviour.

      • Bewilderd 15.5.1

        Remember the standard is not a labour attack blog 😊

        • mickysavage 15.5.1.1

          It is not.

          It is just that currently attacking National is like shooting fish in a barrel.

          And you will note that MPs have been very quiet over National’s problems.

          And just to confirm this site and the authors do not receive instructions or suggestions from the party on what to write.

  16. Chris T 16

    I think the most obvious thing to do would be to make the staff employed under the MP rather than other independent departments, like parliamentary services.

    It seems to be the only job where you can be sacked for no reason with stuff all notice, have no right of appeal and there is no employer responsibility on the person you are actually doing work for, the MP.

  17. Morrissey 17

    Barry was particularly repulsive and bullying in 2012:

    The nasty government

  18. Ankerrawshark 18

    Too true Morrissey. Bloody unacceptable way to talk to another woman in parliament.

    Extremely condescending.

    One can’t help but think though the old saying that those who laugh last laugh loudest. Ms ardern has clearly gone a lot further in her career than ms Barry

    • Bewildered 18.1

      Is it about career or service, I think that is the problem on both sides of the house re talent or lack of it parliament attracts , now honest JK he is the standard bearer for service and sacrifice that other mps and Jacinda should aspire to

      • Drowsy M. Kram 18.1.1

        The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED)

        Please spare us your “honest JKnonsense.

        On a trip to White Sands Missile Range, Toftoy met a Texan man who was prone to making unbelievable statements. Whenever anyone expressed doubt about the man’s claims, he would respond, “Why, around these parts, I’m called ‘Honest John!'”

        • Bewildered 18.1.1.1

          1 billion trees
          100000 kiwi build houses
          Most honest and transparent government ever
          Stop immigration
          ………..

          Give me honest jk any day over this lot

          • Drowsy M. Kram 18.1.1.1.1

            Such a small list.

            Each to their own, but it’s going to be genuinely difficult to take what you write seriously if you persist with this “honest jk” myth.

          • patricia bremner 18.1.1.1.2

            10 000 dear, not 100 000 ok?

            • James 18.1.1.1.2.1

              Hey Patricia – when you’re trying to be smug and condescending at least try to be correct.

              Labour’s kiwibuild policy is to build 100 000 homes – not 10 000

              I know it’s so ridiculous it’s hard to believe.

            • Bewildred 18.1.1.1.2.2

              100000 over 10 years petal

          • rod 18.1.1.1.3

            @ Bewildered, Give me honest jk any day. You’ve certainly got the right name.

      • ankerawshark 18.1.2

        I disagree profoundly with your view of John Key Bewildered………………….

        There was no service to the people of NZ. Look at the state of Health education and housing he left the country in. Where was the service in the flag referendum.

        What is his legacy?

        • Bewildred 18.1.2.1

          Got us through GFC and
          Chc earthquakes
          The healthy economy
          COL enjoys today
          International credibility and relationships
          A sheep farm in Saudi 😊
          all just a start

          • Ankerrawshark 18.1.2.1.1

            Iwhat did he do to get us through the gfc? Really Chechen eq?.. how come stiff an f up down there?

            This against housing crisis, school teacher shortage and schoo underfunding, underfunding health oh and let’s talk about Middlemore.

            John sweep everything under the carpet key…

            Re international relations jacinda is pissing all over him in terms of that

            • Bewildered 18.1.2.1.1.1

              I Lost you on coherence of first paragraph, sorry

              Jacinda and international relations surely you are joking on par with my Saudie Arabia sheep farm effort China cancelled the invite, her relations with US relegated to Mrs Pence and Au can’t stand her, There was also the empty UN hall speech where any one who was anybody was on the plane home

          • James Thrace 18.1.2.1.2

            Got us through GFC and – Would not have happened but for Labour paying off the excessive debt National left the country in, in 1999.
            Chc earthquakes – again, see above.

            The healthy economy – the economy is in better shape due to Labour cancelling National’s ill-advised tax cuts when they resumed power.

            International credibility and relationships – largely due to MFAT’s work. Nothing to do with politicians.

            A sheep farm in Saudi – which cost the country millions on the basis of false information perpetuated by Murrary McCully. What legal advice said there was a risk of NZ being sued by the Saudis? Oh that’s right. None at all!

            How many sheep survived? Oh, None. They’re all dead now. Sheep are not made for sand.

            all just a start – of the wrongness that is continually propagated that National are “good economic managers” of NZ. Nothing could be further from the truth. They might have been good economic managers once upon a time, but that falsity has not been a truism since some time in the hazy mists of pre – 1984.

  19. Fireblade 19

    Maggie can’t respond and the issues have been resolved by mutual agreement (paid off).

    Nothing to see here, move along, I’ve got gardening to do.

    “The issues that you refer to have all been resolved professionally and by mutual agreement,” she said.

    “I cannot respond to anonymous and unsourced allegations nor can I talk about individual employment matters under the Privacy Act and employment law.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/109015842/bullying-claims-against-north-shore-mp-maggie-barry-thoroughly-investigated

  20. Paul Campbell 20

    Put down the poor takehe!

  21. Incognito 21

    Bullying and pulling rank are not the smartest ways to get the best and most from staff on your team. Any manager will tell you that. The problem with many ‘managers’ is that they see their subordinates as a means to an end and for personal benefit and advantage.

    People skills are something that you (have to) learn from a very early age and hone during a lifetime of experience.

  22. OnceWasTim 22

    In my humble opinion MB is just another relic with a supposedly progressive varnish.
    All that ancient Wairaraps ‘old money’ self-entitled doncha know who I am Riddiford kaka.
    And yes….during the 80s she was Ok on radio…..in a competely different era.
    It never really surprised me she came out as a gNat. What else could she have done.
    Maybe she’ll do us all a favour and get herself a bolt hole in Kenya or Botswana amongst those natives feigning concern for their circumstance (over a G&T) and we’ll see how she goes.

    • OnceWasTim 22.1

      Probably MB’s biggest hidden campaing within the gNats (and the trigger for her outbursts….nuttering et al) is to bring back a bit of ‘COUTH’ to the party of her heritage.
      Soimon: Diction Darling – you’ll be able to disguise all the rest of those shortcomings

      Paula Bennett: Leopard Skin is out dear, unless you can get Kaaaren do do something jushie with it

      Mark Mitchel: Let’s not even try shall we?

  23. Observer Tokoroa 23

    Hi there Puckish Rogue

    Will Simon Bridges be getting Thousands of personal donations from the China Communist Party this Month ?

    Will you help him disguise it? A bit of splitting it all up into smaller amounts.

    I am sure you are helpful to your wonderful Leader. You are a real asset PR.

    However, the New Zealand public don’t much like getting paid off secretly by dubious China Communists.

  24. Anne 24

    From the HoS

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12169635

    The former employee claimed Barry asked staff to keep files on political opponents, including Miriam Clements, a Logic Party member who contested North Shore and believes the area should be completely independent from the rest of the country.

    I wonder what previous North Shore Labour and Green candidates might think about the probability she kept files on them?

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