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Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, June 16th, 2009 - 45 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: , , ,

During his time in parliament Richard Worth has cost the taxpayer well over a million dollars yet John Key won’t even be straight with the public as to why he’s gone.

First Key wouldn’t tell us because he claimed he didn’t want to contaminate a police investigation, now he won’t tell us because, having resigned as an MP, Worth is simply a member of the public.

All Key will say is that Worth lost his confidence. If Key keeps this up he’ll risk losing the public’s.

45 comments on “Bullsh*t ”

  1. burt 1

    Things have changed all_your_base. Key is not keeping Worth on garden leave while he uses his vote and he’s not going to have him back if no charges are laid (not in the public interest to prosecute because he is an MP).

    Keep up, Labour crooks saying “move on – only guilty of helping people” are not in charge now.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      Do you think it better that a precedent has been set for a PM to not only sack a Minister, but have him railroaded out of parliament, and refusing to explain why?

    • burt 1.2

      Frankly, chucking MP’s out without clear explanation is better than keeping them against all logic and reason. I care more about the integrity of parliament than the integrity of individual MP’s CV’s.

      • Pascal's bookie 1.2.1

        Why don’t we do away with an elected parliament and just have the PM pick whoever he wants then?

        Just trust him burt. onya.

  2. exbrethren 2

    Guyon & Plunkett show no willingness to “move on” from this issue. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have struck Key that this is public office and not some sack who you like private company.

    Skeletons in the closet will always come back to haunt you. Better to tell the truth now Shon rather than have this drag on and on.

  3. Maynard J 3

    Things have changed all_your_base. Key has opened up a new era of accountability – one in which he refuses to say what standards people must meet in case he must hold people to those standards in the future. He does not want to be accountable for that!

    Anyway, as burt says – “look at the other team! The one I hated so much! Look what they did! It does not matter about this at all because I am so impartial! Look at my impartiality! Everyone is as bad as everyone else, that is why you must look at the other team and not at Key!”

    • burt 3.1

      Not quite. More like look at the low standards you defended in your own team and look at the high standards you demand of the opposition.

      • Maynard J 3.1.1

        Why are you not demanding high standards then Burt? Why are you trying ‘they did it too’ on? It makes a mockery of your entire approach.

        You can not pretend to be impartial and above all this partisan stuff when you are worse than anyone else.

        • burt

          Maynard J

          Why are you not demanding high standards then Burt?

          I’m certainly demanding high standards – Worth resigned and police are investigating. What higher standard can we ask for ?

          If the police say “a prima facie case exists but it is not in the public interest to charge” I will be vocal about it – history tells me that in situations like this the anon authors at the standard will back Worth and tell us it is time to move on and Worth should have his ministerial job back – but what about you Maynard J ?

          • Maynard J

            What higher standards do I want? Well that is the crux of the problem. We do not know why Worth resigned or what Key’s standards are. How is it possible to make a judgement in an absence of information? Perhaps he should have been expelled from Caucus by his party weeks ago. Resignation and a police investigation is not the most severe punishment available, so we do not know whether what has happened to him is appropriate. It could go both ways – maybe Key is being vindictive, petty and draconian and was unjustified in forcing Worth’s hand.

            I tend to look at the specific curcumstances of the situation, and recognise that all situations are unique. I would not pretend that they are all alike for partisan reasons. But if that happened (prima facie case etc) I would gladly stand up with you in lambasting Key for his grossly unfair actions and poor judgement, if Worth’s infractions were so frivolous as to not even warrant a charge. I would temper this, though, with the unique elements of this case and would not call for Worth’s reinstatement, since his earlier infractions were enough to have warranted some ‘decisive action’ from Key months ago.

          • burt

            A bob each way then – how much more non comittal can you get?

          • Maynard J

            But perfectly justified. And I managed to make it all look like Key’s fault while keeping Worth out, without going through logical gymnastics.

  4. Key has become the Sledge Hammer of New Zealand politics,

    “Trust me I know what I’m doing”

    Maybe he has earned a new nickname?

    For those of you too young to remember information is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sledge_Hammer!

  5. Tigger 5


    (gotta hand it to the press here – they were asking the sorts of questions that they should have been asking)

  6. Lanthanide 6

    I really hope that various journalists keep asking the why Worth resigned until John answers. That is, keep asking at every press conference until either they get an answer, or National is no longer in government.

  7. Burt says chucking an Mp out without reason is OK in his book!! Hilarious. Does anyone get any more one eyed? pathetic.

    • burt 7.1


      Can you define “without reason”?

      Is it “without reason” because you don’t know the reason or because there is no reason and Key just had a bad day at the office?

  8. gobsmacked 8

    It looks like John Key deliberately misled Parliament.

    On the day Worth resigned (Wed June 3), he faced questions in the House:

    Hon Phil Goff: Why did the Prime Minister attempt to keep the reasons for the resignation secret this morning?

    Hon JOHN KEY: The police are going to conduct a preliminary investigation, as they noted in a press release they issued. I think any New Zealander is entitled to a fair investigation. I do not think it would be appropriate for me to contaminate that investigation by making loose comments.

    Hon Phil Goff: What is the nature of the police complaint again Dr Worth?

    Hon JOHN KEY: I am not at liberty to say.

    (Source: Hansard)

    Opposition MPs did not pursue the issue because when the PM says he cannot comment because of an ongoing police investigation, MPs must accept his word.

    Now it’s clear that was not, and is not, the real reason for Key’s silence. He should apologise to the House.

    • Maynard J 8.1

      Though I see your point I am sure it was a convenient truth at the time, and technically correct.

      When the police are involved in a criminal matter, it must be left alone, and they were investigating. This does not mean Key should not say now what the situation was at least in general terms, since he is no longer using this excuse. ‘Loss of confidence’ is a bit too general.

  9. sonic 9

    Does Worth get a payoff for resigning, pension contributions etc?

  10. Craig Glen Eden 10

    Keys stance is quite unbelievable! As we can all see this has pissed the Journo’s off.

    The arrogance that has been shown is quite unparalleled.This will bight him big time down the track.Key is treating New Zealander’s like small children. The trust me I am working in your best interest line when clearly he is working in his own interest is just not believable.

    Key is protecting something way bigger than Worth.I say this not as any great conspiracy theorist but rather just because if he isn’t protecting some thing or someone why would he just not say

    ” I have lost confidence in Mr Worth because his initial representations to me on this matter have not held up to further scrutiny by my Chief of staff “.
    “I have told my ministers to inform me of any potential personal matters that may damage this National governments reputation Mr Worth has been tardy in this regard I have given Mr Worth time to consider his future he has done that and I accept his resignation.” “I accept that some may see these standards as tough but high standards will be set and maintained for ministers in this Government”

    Or some thing similar.

    Key has made a mess of this he just keeps leaving it open for the media to keep asking questions. It doesn’t make any sense how he is now appealing for the public to just trust him. How long can anyone trust a Politician for if they keep changing their story or arn’t seen to be transparent!

  11. Daveski 11

    Ironic title given that this post is complete and utter BS.

    I think a Professor of Public Policy at the bastion of National Party stooges (VUW) has a little bit more credibility than the spin here:

    Backing for Key on Worth Silence

    Now if I was Goff, I’d want this kept quiet because Key’s damage is now exposed and limited. Things will only get worse for Goff and Goff going to ground on this topic supports this view.

    Anyway, I’m sure Aunty Helen told everyone everything she knew about Uncle Winnie’s financial arrangements and if she hadn’t ayb would have demanded honesty and transparency.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      Yes yes dave, Boston is quite right in saying there is no legal reason for Key to explain why he has lost confidence in a Minister. That’s not the same thing as saying we don’t have right to know why he has run an elected MP out of parliament.

      Are you comfortable with that precedent?

      • Daveski 11.1.1

        Funny PB, I think you could be challenged on your statement that Key “run an elected MP out of parliament”. I would have though Goff and the baying left would have taken the credit for this.

        As I pointed out, there are precedents for PM’s saying nothing (which is not the same as lying as everyone here maintained last year).

        I would also suspect that until the police investigation is completed, Key would be wise to keep quiet.

        So can someone tell me that if you were so certain – as you were – that Worth had to go (he was hung, drawn and quartered from day 1 here), why then does Key have to offer any explanation? You can’t have it both ways (but I suspect you will nonetheless try).

        As a qualifier, I continue to point out that I have never defended Worth and am glad he’s gone. I don’t see what the issue is – he’s gone and that’s what you demanded.

        Perhaps this is all classic deflection aimed to take the rising heat of Goff?

        • Pascal's bookie

          I wanted him gone, from him ministerial role, after the india trip. Now he’s gone and no one knows why.

          That’s not having both ways you dishonest little oik.

          Stop deflecting and projecting and tell me whether or not you are comfortable with a PM railroading an MP out of parliament without explaining why. It’s not a difficult question. Goff didn’t do it, that’s ridiculous. Goff just asked questions that Key didn’t want to answer.

          • gobsmacked

            It’s pretty clear what is happening, if you go through the timeline of events.

            On Tuesday, May 26, Key was asked in the House if he had confidence in all his Ministers. He said he did. Prime Ministers always do. Trouble is, it has to be true.

            Then, on on the same afternoon (according to Key) he lost confidence in Worth.

            If he gives more detail about why he lost confidence, then more questions will be asked about when he had the information that led him to lose confidence. The classic “What and when did the Prime Minister know?”

            Everything stems from his expression of confidence in Dr Worth on that afternoon, and the need to keep that story straight.

            Otherwise he’s a goner.

          • Daveski

            PB I don’t resort to personal abuse (don’t get smart!) nor should you.

            I agree re India and Worth.

            Worth resigned under pressure because his behaviour was a bad look for National.

            The evidence of poor behaviour and judgement is abundantly clear. That’s not to say there has been proven illegalities or at least yet. Worth seems confident that this won’t be the case.

            Key is within his rights to do so. Quite clearly he’s lost confidence and that really is the central issue. That after all is the only criteria for a minister.

            My position would be forced to change if it is shown Key has lied or fabricated statements. Worth resigned by the way (unlike Field et al).

            Likewise, there are still questions about Goff’s exploitation of the issue and the victim which I can understand are uncomfortable for the left.

          • Pascal's bookie

            gs, I reckon he asked for that affidavit and Worth wouldn’t give it to him.

        • Merlin

          daveski. sorry “As I pointed out, there are precedents for PM’s saying nothing” , where did you point that out? What are these precedents?

          “I would also suspect that until the police investigation is completed, Key would be wise to keep quiet.”

          Key has said he will keep quiet forever, the police investigation is not his excuse anymore

          “that Worth had to go (he was hung, drawn and quartered from day 1 here), why then does Key have to offer any explanation? You can’t have it both ways.”

          yes you can. you can want him fired for other wrongdoings but still expect to be told the reason he is fired for.

          Imagine if Clark had not fired Benson-Pope over the Setchell thing but instead fired him a month later and refused to tell us why. You would have demanded to know and so would have I, don’t pretend otherwise.

        • Pascal's bookie

          “You can’t have it both ways (but I suspect you will nonetheless try).”

          That’s personal abuse, you’re calling me a hypocrite, do that without foundation and I”ll call you on it. I won’t be cute about it, and I’ll make no apologies.

          Worth resigned under pressure because his behaviour was a bad look for National.

          He resigned because Key made it clear he had no future in the National party. In any case, if whatever he did was so bad for National that he had to go, shouldn’t we as his employers get to know about it?

          What possible reason, other than to avoid political fallout, is there for the silence? What is being covered up? Is it something that reflects on Worth? National? or Key?

          You are yet to state whether or not you are comfortable with a PM forcing an MP out of parliament without explanation.

          • Daveski

            Gee PB I’m not often painted as virulent extremist wingnut who must be eliminated but it will do heaps for changing my wishy washy boring image.

            First, I must admit I’m surprised by the reaction (not just here) so I may be out of step somewhat.

            Having said that, I can’t see how those who railed against Worth and want him gone for some good reason (nothing illegal proven yet) yet find diffculty with what Key’s done.

            Worth resigned first as a minister and then as an MP. A technical point but important nonetheless. I accept that he was undoubtedly under extreme pressure.

            The “without explanation” is a little amusing given the lengths various people, Goff included, have gone to expose Worth.

            To answer your question, yes if the PM loses confidence in a minister then they go. That is consistently the case.

            The action and reaction is entirely predictable given that we are talking politics, as is the changed positions on both the left and right since the Peters saga.

          • Pascal's bookie

            The point is about due process Dave. We need to see that Worth is gone because of something he did, and to know what that something is. As it stands we don’t know that. He could well be gone simply to save the PM face. It could be that the reason the PM isn’t saying anything is because the PM is covering up the PM’s woeful mismanagement.

            The Pm’s mismanagement is something we are entitled to know about. Surely?

            To answer your question, yes if the PM loses confidence in a minister then they go. That is consistently the case.

            That wasn’t my question. I’m taking about making an MP’s position as an MP untenable. PM’s get to decide who hold ministerial warrants, not seats in parliament. And yes, he ‘resigned’, but the pressure was real, immense, and needs to be justified. Saying that it was Justified by the opposition saying things will make for lot’s and lot’s of by-elections if Key is to be consistant. Especially when he maintains that Goff was overstating the case.

          • burt

            What do you really want PB? Is it for Key to say Worth did nothing ‘illegal’ and therefore natural justice dictates Worth should have his ministerial job back?

          • Pascal's bookie

            Burt, What I really want, what I really really want, is for Key to tell us what Worth did that justified sacking him from his ministerial role, and making his position in parliament untenable.

          • burt

            I guess I have to agree that is a better outcome than knowing what he did and having the PM refuse to fire him because the police decided that although a case exists charges would not be laid.

            Yes, I agree with you – it would be good to know the details as well as to know that the PM has a high standard of accountability.

          • Pascal's bookie

            But we don’t know what the PM’s standard is burt. Maybe you get sacked only if you embarrass the PM. We know the India trip didn’t meet the threshold.

    • Merlin 11.2

      “I’m sure Aunty Helen told everyone everything she knew about Uncle Winnie’s financial arrangements” – even if she didn’t, are you happy with that and what she did tell us is on all her minsterial sackings is a far higher level of disclosure than we’re getting from Key.

    • Boston said there was no legal reason requiring Key to release the information.

      This may be so, although a well drafted OIA would be interesting.

      But isn’t this a dramatic development. Key railled against Helen’s supposed breaches and weaknesses. The “C” word kept being used. Higher standards were promised.

      And this is what we get?

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    (Daveski) you are as believable as Key and whats more make about as much sense.

    (Burt)chucking people out of parliament or pressuring them out when the are democratically elected makes no sense, unless they have done some thing pretty bad.

  13. Pat 13

    I always thought the Left have missed a trick on the Worth attacks. We now know that the press were tipped off by Labour to ask Key about “any other issues” regarding Worth. Key straight away owned up to the Goff complaint, and the wheels started spinning from there.

    Notice there was no hesitation from Key about disclosing the Goff complaint. My pick is Key himself had been tipped off that the question was coming (probably by someone in the beltway press).

    • Maynard J 13.1

      How do ‘we now know’ the press were tipped off about it? I read comments that mentioned Soper offering that as a theory, but I have not seen anything that offers a reasonable explanation as to why this would be true.

      Is there anything, or is it an assumption that it is not a question that would have been natural to ask (Key: “here is something bad going on.” MSM: “anything else?”).

  14. sonic 14

    The tip off story is always weakly sourced, “most think” “many believe” and is a distraction to the main point, Worth admitted;

    “”Like most of us, if we are honest, I may at times during my life have said and done things which, when analysed in the cold light of day, may seem to have been unwise. ”
    I’d like in ankling of what they were, does that rule out anything?

  15. Ianmac 15

    Isn’t it equally possible that Key’s staff leaked it in the hope that it would reflect badly on Goff???

  16. chris 16

    shame on you john key and phill goph, i sent them emails re my concerns for my daughters safety and have never got a reply. shame on you ruth dyson for calling me and telling me it was everybodies right to go for legal guardianship of anybodies child. shame on you barbara colliss lawyer of opotiki for saying in family court that the bodysnatchers stealing a body from christchurch and burying it in kutarere could not be proven. shame on you nicola williams family court lawyer in dunedin for telling me i had no right to see what the sleeping arrangements were before a teenage male and her uncle jumped in the sack with my little girl. shame on you family court for letting this all happen and not taking responsability for it and not giving as so much as an apoligy. shame on all of you involved.

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