Carmel stood down for possible conflict of interest

Written By: - Date published: 6:48 pm, February 25th, 2015 - 230 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour - Tags:

From RadioNZ

The Labour Party has stood down its social development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni – following charges of benefit fraud being laid against her mother.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little said the charges against her mother meant Ms Sepuloni had a conflict of interest in the social development portfolio.

Mr Little said she would remain Junior Whip and remain at number seven on his front bench.

Ms Sepuloni had assured him she did not know her mother was facing charges until today, he said.

I just heard this on the parliamentary round up. It is nice to see that Labour has learnt how to deal with possible conflicts of interest. Not bothering to cover them up and removing people from a possible conflict of interest.

While I’m sure that we will still get the dribbling trolls, this is how potential conflicts of interest should be handled.

No hanging around while #dirtypolitics junkies like Judith Collins, John Key or Michael Woodhouse dribbles out the details to their favoured bloggers and journos.

According to the radio report that I heard; Carmel found out when asked by a journo, rang her mother to see if it was true, and once confirmed talked to Andrew Little and was stood down from her conflicting social development role. All within the news cycle.

I have to say that this is such a relief after having many years of  dithering around the Labour caucus in many previous incidents since I started with this blog. Good on Carmel and Andrew!

230 comments on “Carmel stood down for possible conflict of interest”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Yep total contrast to how other scandals have been handled by the right. No attempt to hide or suppress or divert …

    • lprent 1.1

      TV3

      Her mother, Beverley Anne Sepuloni, is due to appear in the New Plymouth District Court tomorrow morning on 19 charges laid a month ago, TVNZ has reported.
      She is accused of claiming the sickness benefit and applying for the disability allowance when she shouldn’t have, as well as claiming rent subsidies she wasn’t entitled to.

      She is also accused of not telling welfare officials she was living with a partner for more than 10 years.

      “There is a conflict of interest at the present time,” Mr Little said. “She remains junior whip and at number seven on my front bench.”

      However, Mr Little says Ms Sepuloni is not responsible for the actions of her mother and did not know she was facing charges.

      “Carmel is an adult and her mother is an adult.”

      She was first informed by a reporter today, he says.

      “She then spoke to my chief of staff and I was informed immediately.”

    • lprent 1.2

      TVNZ including the onscreen report

      I don’t have a issue with the way that TVNZ or their reporter handled this. It is obviously of public interest and they appear to have approached her for comment on something that is in the public sphere, only to find she didn’t know about it.

      • Ergo Robertina 1.2.1

        When you say it was in the public sphere – when was the first court appearance? Report says charges laid a month ago, but no mention of previous appearance. Might be reading too much into it, but the story has a dirty politics feel.
        Not the fact it’s being reported per se, but that Carmel found out by media (even if she doesn’t have a lot to do with her Mum, she surely would have discovered it soon from family networks).

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1

          (even if she doesn’t have a lot to do with her Mum, she surely would have discovered it soon from family networks)

          Not necessarily. Some people just don’t talk about some things with their family.

          • music4menz 1.2.1.1.1

            I doubt that there will be many NZers who will believe that Carmel Sepuloni did not have some knowledge or inkling about how her mother funded her lifestyle. Even within a family that is not very close adult children still manage to find out- and want to know- what sort of an income their parents have and where they get that income from.

            This situation is, of course, no reflection upon Carmel herself, but I fear that it will taint her political career from now on.

            • Ergo Robertina 1.2.1.1.1.1

              There’s no suggestion her Mum was living a lavish lifestyle though, so how it was ”funded” wouldn’t have been an issue.
              Anyway, we’re making way too many assumptions about this, but I don’t see the matter affecting Carmel long-term. Very embarrassing for now, but will be forgotten.

            • DoublePlusGood 1.2.1.1.1.2

              Since when has being on a benefit ever afforded sufficient money that anyone could call it anything so grandiose as a ‘lifestyle’?

            • amirite 1.2.1.1.1.3

              As if Mrs Sepuloni would be so stupid to encourage her mother to commit fraud when it can come back to bite her hard. Get real.

            • Tracey 1.2.1.1.1.4

              John Key seems to escape un-tainted though so…

            • greywarshark 1.2.1.1.1.5

              Smear, sneer music4menz.
              Why don’t you just keep your mind open and your keyboard shut till the full information is revealed by eager media.

      • Redbaiter 1.2.2

        Carmel didn’t know her mother was living with a guy she wasn’t married to?

        Carmel had no knowledge of her mother’s financial situation?

        I don’t believe it and I don’t think anyone does.

  2. tinfoilhat 2

    Not sure what else Labour could have done after the media parasites blindsided her.

    I feel desperately sorry for Carmel.

  3. Anne 3

    Yes, mickysavage! I’m too angry to say too much at thIs moment, but I will repeat two words in capital letters:

    PAULA BENNETT?

    • tinfoilhat 3.1

      Do you think she is behind this Anne ?

      • Anne 3.1.1

        I don’t know tinfoilhat, but I will never forget her vicious behaviour towards those two solo mums who were doing no more than pleading for the chance to go to evening classes and improve their educational qualifications so they could apply for good jobs. She accessed their files and attempted to publicly discredit them.

        • Ant 3.1.1.1

          Yeah, wouldn’t be surprised if they chucked Carmel’s whole family under the microscope after she became opposition spokesperson, they can be a vindictive bunch.

    • Pete George 3.2

      “PAULA BENNETT?”

      Raising suspicions like that presumably absent any evidence may be letting anger get the better of good sense.

      I doubt Paula Bennett has had anything to do with the alleged offending.

      Why try and turn what looks like a positive political story into a shitty fight?

      • A tumbleweed is a structural part of the above-ground anatomy of any of a number of species of plants, a diaspore that, once it is mature and dry, detaches from its root or stem, and tumbles away in the wind. In most such species the tumbleweed is in effect the entire plant apart from the root system, but in other plants a hollow fruit or an inflorescence might serve the function.[1] Tumbleweed species occur most commonly in steppe and arid ecologies, where frequent wind and the open environment permit rolling without prohibitive obstruction.[2]

        Apart from its propagules, the tissues of the tumbleweed structure are dead; their death is functional because it is necessary for the structure to degrade gradually and fall apart so that the propagules can escape during the tumbling, or germinate after the tumbleweed has come to rest in a wet location. In the latter case, many species of tumbleweed open mechanically, releasing their seeds as they swell when they absorb water.[3]

        • infused 3.2.1.1

          That is a good way of describing yourself.

          • Pascals bookie 3.2.1.1.1

            lol. good one

            Hey, Do you still have that thread bookmarked where you were predicting war between Iran and Israel because something something North Korea? I could use another laugh. How did that go again? You knew it would happen because you saw some comments get deleted on a thread somewhere? Brilliant.

      • Sacha 3.2.2

        Am in rare position of agreeing with PG.
        Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

        • felix 3.2.2.1

          Standard operating procedure for this government suggests the opposite. It’s actually more of a stretch to assume they had nothing to do with it.

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.2.3

        I doubt Paula Bennett has had anything to do with the alleged offending.

        WTF?

        • Ed 3.2.3.1

          Pete got the wrong end of the stick. Obviously the thought was that perhaps Paula Bennett had been advised of an upcoming prosecution, and seeing a fairly unusual name made further enquiries. If that is the case (and it may of course not be), I hope the reporter does let Carmel know where the information came from . . .

          • DoublePlusGood 3.2.3.1.1

            I think it’s also possible that Bennett ordered some digging on the Sepuloni name, and went after the mother.

      • lprent 3.2.4

        The problem for National in government is that they have been quite asiduous in finding and releasing dirt on their opponents. Most of the time we don’t actually find out that they had until long afterwards.

        For instance (and these are just two indicative examples because I am short of coffee – there are a number of others)

        1. The two beneficiaries who were making the case against cuts to educational benefits for beneficiaries. Paula Bennett violated WINZ privacy and released a pile of information about them

        2. Michael Woodhouse organising an OIA from his favoured bloggers and journos on the Liu letter from Cunliffe.

        National have to be presumed to be guilty unless they or their complicit government departments prove themselves innocent. In this case by proving their innocence to someone like the privacy commissioner.

        What would you have this government do? Run roughshod over everyone elses rights for the titillation of perverts and you?

        This one looks suspicious because it looks like something that WINZ probably had onfile and undergoing for a long time. However WINZ lays charges a month after Carmel takes up the social development role?

        To me, it rather looks like someone started a search immediately after she got the role, made it public by charging, and then pointed it out to the press.

        So I am going to ask some questions about it for the next few months. It does look like #dirtypolitics. The interesting part is by whom. The surprising part will be if it is not.

        • Pete George 3.2.4.1

          I support holding this Government to account, for far more than the titillation of perverts and you.

          National have to be presumed to be guilty unless they or their complicit government departments prove themselves innocent.

          So you shouldn’t have any problem with presuming perverts and you must be guilty?

          Are you and perverts overplaying your obsession with ‘Dirty Politics’, or are you trying to divert from Sepuloni’s embarrassment (regardless of any factsa of the matter it must be embarrassing for Carmel).

          Seeing as you raised the concepts, can you prove you’re not a pervert?

        • Tracey 3.2.4.2

          Remind me, how long after the publication of her possible/probable conflict of interest did former Deputy of Auckland Law Society, Lawyer, former Police Minister and Minister of Justice step down? And in the time in between how did she and her supporters behave?

      • framu 3.2.5

        But when interrogations were further reduced to 3 days per week and some detainees were even made redundant, many terrorists said enough was enough and went out on strike. They refused to engage in any interrogations until a full 5-day week, as well as tea breaks and afternoon naps were reinstated.

  4. Murray Rawshark 4

    Standing down is the right thing to do in these circumstances, even though her mum is most likely innocent. Many cases of so-called benefit fraud arise because WINZ are so useless and incompetent.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      UNACTs are so devious and full of spite to beneficiaries that a few years ago Ann Tolley or her like were foaming at the mouth because some State house renters had paying boarders. Instead of looking with positivity at people trying to help themselves who were providing needed accommodation for extra family from away, or single people needing a room, they were villified. With those sort of attitudes it’s easy for WINZ to find fault with bennies. There is no let-up in their negativity today.

      And the news about Britain’s welfare cuts is awful. Being British hasn’t been a case of being part of an enlightened civilisation. Their attempts at that were just temporary and passing like the old empah.

  5. Virginia Linton 5

    I wonder why Carmel needed to be stood down completely from her role. She’s a mature woman who may not even be close to her mother. There are ways to handle conflicts of interest without sidelining someone just because a member of their family may or may not have done something dodgy. Carmel is an important face for Labour in social development. I could understand if it was a spouse or one of your own children but how many of us would want to be held to account as adults for the actions of our parents, some of whom aren’t the greatest role models? Personally I don’t like it that she was shunted out so promptly. I’d like to hear the whole story. And I cringe to think who might replace Carmel, however briefly, in that crucial role for Labour.

    • lprent 5.1

      Basically because it appears likely that Mike Sabin was under the cloud of whatever “personal issues” caused him to resign parliament recently since 2011. It is likely that the National hierarchy and probably John Key knew about it since then. However they still appointed him to the police oversight committee, which appears to have been a major conflict of interest.

      Labour has been pushing that, so it is likely that they evolved a protocol for it if it ever happened to them. I know that has been on the cards for several years now because I have moaned that they didn’t appear to have one (and had the process explained to me).

      I’d expect to see her back in a few months unless the court case drags on.

      Of more interest, as pointed out above, will be when the political arm of the National party became aware of it from the WINZ staff, and who they told. After all we have the horrible Paula Bennett and her attitudes to spreading private information from WINZ to reporters as an example.

      OIA time…

      • Anne 5.1.1

        OIA time…

        lprent you are registered as media. How about it?

      • lprent 5.1.2

        Oh anyone can do it

      • Chaz 5.1.3

        Of course because the story is all about how bad the nats have been right.

        It is not beyond the realms of possibility that for that last 10 years Carmel Sepuloni has not known that her mother was incorrectly claiming benefits (if she has – yet to be proven of course) but at the very least Ms. Sepuloni needs to make a personal statement in parliament to that effect.

        So far all she has been reported as saying is that she did not know her mother had been charged. That’s not really the same thing, is it?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.3.1

          Do you know what benefits your parents are claiming?

          • Chaz 5.1.3.1.1

            I am quite happy to confirm that I do not know and have never known of any benefits claimed by my parents now or at any time in the past which were or might have been fraudulently obtained. I further confirm that at no time have I ever been given the remotest cause to suspect anything of this nature might have been occurring.

            Wasn’t hard, now let’s hear Carmel say it.

            If she won’t then the issue is not about conflict of interest, but more about whether or not she was complicit in an alleged fraud (nothing proven yet of course.)

            • te reo putake 5.1.3.1.1.1

              Bullshit, Chaz. That’s the scabbiest thing I’ve seen written on the matter all evening. Mind you, I haven’t checked WO.

              • Chaz

                It’s a fair question Putake.

                Any politician that knew of a family member committing fraud of this nature is a blot on democracy.

                I would have thought that under the circumstances the very first thing Sepuloni would want to establish is that she was not in that position.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Nah fuck your guilt by association line. That’s totalitarian state material there. McCarthyism. And it’s exactly what the NAZIs used to do – make children swear oaths distancing themselves from their parents, family members and friends.

                • weka

                  I don’t have any reason to think that Sepuloni knew. Do you?

                  “I would have thought that under the circumstances the very first thing Sepuloni would want to establish is that she was not in that position.”

                  I would have thought that making premature statements might prejudice a court case and/or create unintentional political problems for herself and/or Labour.

                  • Chaz

                    “I don’t have any reason to think that Sepuloni knew. Do you?”

                    I don’t know either way. Little has been hammering John Key for weeks to prove he did not know about Sabin’s issues. Well actually he has gone further and called Key a liar.

                    How is this different? Sepuloni is a public servant not a private citizen and she is in a role that demands the highest probity.

                    It remains a fair question and is easily answered by a simple statement made by her. In no way could any such statement prejudice a court case since as far as I know Carmel Sepuloni has not been charged with anything.

                    The only way it could cause a political problem is if later on it were shown to be untrue, but if its the truth, she has nothing to fear, yes?

                    • She doesn’t need to make a statement, you arse. She’s not connected to the alleged fraud. It’s only trolls like yourself who will go down the pigfucker route.

                    • McFlock

                      🙄
                      See, in Key’s case people knew he was lying about not knowing about Sabin’s investigation, because they’d told him.
                      So “when did he really know” became a valid question because he was obviously lying from the get-go.

                      There is no indication Sepuloni knew a damned thing about her mother’s issues until a journalist was on the phone.

                      But your goal is to get Labour MPs denying something for which they had never even been accused because you know mud sticks.

                    • Chaz

                      So if she is not connected to the alleged fraud why has she stood down?

                    • She’s standing down because of an obvious conflict of interest, trool. If you don’t know what that is, look it up.

                    • McFlock

                      So if she is not connected to the alleged fraud why has she stood down?

                      lol
                      toryboy is so fucking right-wing that he’s now arguing that an act of integrity is a tacit indication of guilt.

                    • Chaz

                      i admit to a degree of dis-ingenuity, but let’s be honest guys, Carmel was not stood down for any noble and virtuous reason to do with conflict of interest.

                      She was simply stood down because while she has this hanging over her family she would be dogmeat the minute she tried to question Bennett. Can you imagine if she asked tomorrow the question she asked last week on why spending on travel at MSD went from $208,000 to $595,000 in the last financial year.

                      Bennett’s likely answer? “I am not sure petal but they may have been researching methods on how to detect benefit fraud.” badaboom.

                      That’s the reason Little pulled her out of the front line, we all know it, how about we stop pretending.

                      The fact remains that for as long as she doesn’t come out straight and say ‘I I knew nothing about any of this (The alleged offending, not the charges)’ then lots of NZers will suspect her of having known.

                      She is playing down the relationship now but in the past she has made a great deal of political capital about her upbringing. And although she has now said “I am not close to my mother” she has not said “and I knew nothing at all about her benefit or living arrangements.”

                      She needs to for her own sake. It would be very difficult for anyone to make political hay out of a straight statement of this kind. Silence on the other hand, and denial of the nature posted on this blog, simply invites it.

                      You know I’m right in this guys, you just don’t like me saying it.

                    • mickysavage []

                      Hey Chaz do you have any evidence that Carmel found out about this before yesterday?

                    • framu

                      shit chaz – why dont you pop round and start peering in her windows while taking notes?

                      yes its a political move designed to minimise any smears from the nats – and to show more integrity than the nats at the same time

                      but so fucking what – thats all it is, get over yourself

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Chaz is one of these insidious inadequate personalities who delights in his own self declared moral superiority and the inherent inferiority of everyone else. All he needs know is some real power – say to waterboard or surveill people – and he will become the perfect career sociopath.

                    • Chaz

                      OK How about I just quote your own words back to you Mickey.

                      “Proof beyond reasonable doubt is an important safeguard in our criminal justice system. The level of proof required before a minister wears some political heat is much lower.”

                      The same thing applies to any MP, especially a person that is spokesperson for a party.

                      Cake. Eat it too.

                      Goose. Gandar.

                      Other such comparisons.

                    • McFlock

                      lower.
                      Not absurdedly low because some moral degenerate with a political axe to grind wants a denial for something that has no shred of suspicion in the first place.

                      Forget “reasonable doubt”, what about even a tenuous reason to believe the assertion?

                      I’m not sure I’ve ever even seen a form my parents have filled in for the government, let alone audited its truth. Your demands for a denial for something you have no grounds to think occurred are accusations by stealth, and you know it you little trool.

                    • mickysavage

                      Weird Chaz. A lower threshold just means the evidence does not have to be so pristine. You still need some though and right now you have zilch.

                    • Tracey

                      Was Carmel in a position to appoint someone to Chair a Law and Order Committee undertaking a review of police when she may have been the subject of a current police investigation?

            • mickysavage 5.1.3.1.1.2

              Weird …

              Lets all dump on a relative for political advantage.

              You know we should wait to see if her mother is actually guilty before criticising her.

              • Pete George

                You know we should wait to see if her mother is actually guilty before criticising her.

                I agree.

                Weird …

                Lets all dump on a relative for political advantage.

                Doesn’t the same apply to a number of people here trying to dump this on Paula Bennett and National? With absolutely no evidence?

                It’s a shame that what looks like a good example of responsible politics by Little (and possibly Carmel) has been turned around into dirty political slanging and smearing.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Paula Bennett has a history of such behaviour – the conjecture is therefore plausible – and presents an opportunity for erstwhile journalists or fact-checkers to establish the facts.

                • mickysavage

                  Lets see what the OIAs come up with and what the Minister was told. This particular form of behaviour (leaking info to the media for political advantage) happens far too often for it to be a random event.

                  Besides the timing is exquisite. I would believe it was random if it happened shortly after a court appearance but this one happened the day before. So there will be a big media crush at court today and breathless reports of what happened so the story will dominate for a second day.

                  • Pete George

                    Media found out somehow. .

                    Apart from the presumption of innocence until proven guilty for both Sepulonis and Bennet (you do understand that concept don’t you?) – what’s the problem with how the media found out?

                    Should all stories with political connotations be run by a committee first to determine the timing of publicity so no one gets any political advantage?

                    Why is this becoming a story now a problem? If it hadn’t come out until after the court appearance what would be different?

                    Apart from Little and Labour acting after the event rather than proactively. I’d have thought the timing was good for Little and Labour.

                    • mickysavage

                      Apart from the presumption of innocence until proven guilty for both Sepulonis and Bennet (you do understand that concept don’t you?) – what’s the problem with how the media found out?

                      FFS. It appears you do not. Proof beyond reasonable doubt is an important safeguard in our criminal justice system. The level of proof required before a minister wears some political heat is much lower.

                      There is this book by a guy called Hager who detailed this really sophisticated practiced system where innocent people would be slimed for political advantage. You should read it some time. It will open your eyes.

                      Should all stories with political connotations be run by a committee first to determine the timing of publicity so no one gets any political advantage?

                      Should politicians we are paying leak information supplied to them to gain political advantage?

                      Why is this becoming a story now a problem? If it hadn’t come out until after the court appearance what would be different?

                      Its the timing Pete, its the timing. This suggests that instead of it being random it is planned.

                      Apart from Little and Labour acting after the event rather than proactively. I’d have thought the timing was good for Little and Labour.

                      How much more proactive can you get? Sepuloni agrees to stand down from her role as soon as she finds out.

                    • Pete George

                      Should politicians we are paying leak information supplied to them to gain political advantage?

                      It depends on how they got that information.

                      Can you name a politician or party that hasn’t leaked information supplied to them to try and gain a political advantage?

                      The level of proof required before a minister wears some political heat is much lower.

                      Isn’t no proof a bit low?

                      Here’s some advice. By all means investigate possible conspiracies. That’s an important part of holding politicians to account.

                      But don’t go public with them until you have evidence to back up your suspicions.

                      Then we only get to hear about the crap that matters and it’s not hidden amongst a cacophony of lame claims.

                    • mickysavage

                      Here’s some advice. By all means investigate possible conspiracies. That’s an important part of holding politicians to account.

                      But don’t go public with them until you have evidence to back up your suspicions.

                      Then we only get to hear about the crap that matters and it’s not hidden amongst a cacophony of lame claims.

                      But Pete you have been suggesting/implying that Carmel knew about her mother’s situation before yesterday. Don’t you think it would be best not to suggest/imply this without proof?

                    • Pete George

                      But Pete you have been suggesting/implying that Carmel knew about her mother’s situation before yesterday.

                      I don’t believe I’ve suggested that. Any ‘implication’ taken is a false presumption.

                      I don’t know anything about what Carmel knew or didn’t know, nor do I know the strength of the case against her mother, nor do I try to predict it’s outcome.

                    • mickysavage []

                      Read your comments.

                      Apart from Little and Labour acting after the event rather than proactively. I’d have thought the timing was good for Little and Labour.

                      Appropriate and prompt action by Carmel Sepuloni (apparently) and Little.

                      There’s some aspects that could raise questions but that’s best left until the outcome of the court case is known.

                      You have been sliming Carmel in a deceptive way. Stand by as you respond by denying this …

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You’re right MS, Racist George’s dirty political smears are on public display. Again. His denials are simply more lies.

                    • +1 to micky. It’s standard Pete passive-aggressive snideness, all thoroughly defendable just as soon as he finds another set of pearls to clutch.

                    • freedom

                      Pete George,
                      “Apart from Little and Labour acting after the event rather than proactively,… ”

                      Mickey Savage has twice asked for a response to questions regarding this specific comment. It is an interesting comment and the questions asked, could hardly be said to be unexpected after making such a statement.

                      That was about ten hours ago. You’ve obviously had the time to figure an answer. I imagine a few souls here wonder what you meant. So please, could you tell us exactly what did you mean by your statement?

                      “Apart from Little and Labour acting after the event rather than proactively,… “

                    • Pete George

                      I didn’t realise it was a question that demanded an answer, and I ran out of time this morning anyway.

                      You’ve only part quoted. This is what I said.
                      “Apart from Little and Labour acting after the event rather than proactively. I’d have thought the timing was good for Little and Labour.”

                      I think that Little acting on it yesterday was better for him and Labour rather than waiting and being pushed into reacting after it got more publicity today around the court appearance.

                      By bringing it up TVNZ yesterday did Little a favour.

                      And that makes claims of dirty tricks being behind yesterday’s publicity look pointless.

                    • freedom

                      It’s not complicated. I quoted the part you have yet to explain.

                      No one is asking for an explanation of the second part of your statement. It needs none. The first part however is not yet explained at all.

                      How Little dealt with it after being told of the situation is reactive and that does not explain what you meant when referencing proactive action. “Apart from Little and Labour acting after the event rather than proactively…”

                      Proactive how? Against what?

                      That is the point needing explanation and only you can supply that explanation. So go on, give it a go!
                      Or will you widdle-waddle oodle-oddle ay

                    • Pete George

                      I thought I’d explained it.

                      Little couldn’t have been proactive before he knew anything about it, obviously. But acting quickly was smart and refreshing to see from a politician, especially a party leader. (Tracey in her ignorance seems unaware I’ve been very critical of how Key has dealt/not dealt with Sabin).

                      Little didn’t wait until he was pressured to react, which is likely to be what would have happened if he tried to ignore it until today. That’s excellent.

                      I have no idea what point you’re trying to make.

                    • freedom

                      🙄 why do I ever bother trying to get a straight answer 🙄

                • Tracey

                  Thing is Pete, even when there is evidence of stuff you dismiss it with your version of Labour does it too or other defences such as suggesting name calling is dirty politics.

                  BUT when a timeline is posted pointing out the latest lie of the PM, you have nothing to say… But today, you are all over this (labour related story) asserting you are championing innocence til proven guilty.

                  • Pete George

                    Don’t talk crap Tracey. I don’t think you have any idea what I say everywhere that I say things. Have you?

                    I didn’t think it was a blog rule that no one is allowed to be critical of anything unless they had also been critical of everything Tracey things should be criticised.

                    You’re getting as lame as some of the others.

                    • Yes, Tracey, don’t make racist Pete have to explain his weasel words. It’s not like his own hate site is filled with anti-Labour and TS posts and almost exclusively commented on by a handful of right wing drones. Oh, wait ….

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yawns is too gutless to qualify as a fully fledged hate site.

                    • Pete George

                      One of the original labouring lamers. Followed closely by the lamest.

                      Do you think your latest approach will somehow be more effective that all your past failures TRP? It doesn’t sit well with your new role but hey, your choice.

                    • tc

                      You want lame go look in a mirror Petey you’ve been caught yet again using DP tactics.

            • Tracey 5.1.3.1.1.3

              Where do you stand on all of the PM’s lies and implausible memory lapses? Do you believe he should resign?

        • McFlock 5.1.3.2

          Do you hold key to the same level of semantic precision? I doubt it.

        • Murray Rawshark 5.1.3.3

          Sure. She can make her statement immediately after Key makes his about how he knew nothing about Sabin and Brownlee makes his about why we should pay because he went through a security door.

          • Chaz 5.1.3.3.1

            Murray – Key has made that statement a number of times, you just don’t believe him, which is your prerogative.

            As for Brownlee, not only has he issued a statement, but he has apologised. Once again, it’s your choice whether or not to accept that, but he has made a statement.

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/63297518/Gerry-Brownlee-fined-for-airport-security-breach

            .

            • Colonial Rawshark 5.1.3.3.1.1

              How do you spell gullible? C-H-A-Z.

            • Murray Rawshark 5.1.3.3.1.2

              Whoosh. We paid $43,000 into an inquiry about Brownlee avoiding security. He hasn’t apologised for that. I think the recommendation was that side doors have a maximum width of 1m to stop him doing it again.

              And yeah, FJK lied, lies and will lie. Almost like conjugating Latin verbs.

            • framu 5.1.3.3.1.3

              “Key has made that statement a number of times”

              which one chaz? – key regularly makes statements that contradict the one he made the day before, and fly in the face of evidence to the contrary. Thats why he gets called a liar

            • Tracey 5.1.3.3.1.4

              Do you believe Key and Brownlee? If yes, why don’t you believe Carmel?

              • Chaz

                Tracey

                I would most certainly believe Carmel just as soon as she makes a statement saying she was unaware of any offending on her mother’s behalf.

                You do get it don’t you that she has not actually said that?

                All she has said is that she was unaware that her mother had been charged, which is akin to saying “I didn’t know she had got caught.”

                I totally believe that statement.

                • “All she has said is that she was unaware that her mother had been charged, which is akin to saying “I didn’t know she had got caught.””

                  It’s only akin to that only in your head, troll.

                  The original TVNZ report that you are relying on (because it’s the one and only time Carmel has talked to the media) also said this:

                  “ONE News political reporter Heather du Plessis-Allan says there’s no suggestion of any further action against Carmel Sepuloni to follow, “because it’s worth remembering that Carmel Sepuloni herself has done nothing wrong”.”

                  • Pete George

                    Andrea Vance added a bit to the story today:
                    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/66677822/carmel-sepulonis-questions-on-benefit-fraud

                    In a written statement this morning, Sepuloni said the first she knew of her mother’s charges was when she was contacted by the media yesterday.

                    But Vance also outlines written questions asked by Sepuloni that make her new knowledge yesterday an incredible coincidence.

                    If she doesn’t stress her case any more many people will be remain dubious about her claims.

                    Put simply it looks bad unless she can make it look ok.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Not just a racist then. This vicious nobody wants McCarthyism too.

                    • Guilty until proven innocent. If only there was a comedy clip that explained how racist Pete sees the world. Hang on! There is:

                    • mickysavage

                      Pete how about you detail how the questions suggest that Sepuloni learning yesterday was an incredible coincidence? Go on knock yourself out. I have a post ready on that article that I am thinking of publishing (it seems the rest of the media think it is BS). But go ahead …

                    • Pete George

                      It’s detailed in the link Greg, but here are some pertinent parts.

                      One question asked for details on the process the Ministry of Social Development used for “establishing whether suspected benefit fraud relating to a client having a partner despite saying they live alone”.

                      Sepuloni’s mother faces 19 charges of claiming benefits and subsidies she was not entitled to and failing to tell Ministry of Social Development officials she was living with a partner.

                      The MP’s questions also related to money spent by the ministry on investigating suspected cases of benefit fraud, and how many clients were convicted.

                      She also asked: “How many [reports] were proved to be correct and how many were found to be incorrect?”

                      Sepuloni was also interested in information on the Benefit Review Committee – the internal panel set up to review decisions. She wanted to know details about how they were appointed and how much they cost.

                      In a written statement this morning, Sepuloni said the first she knew of her mother’s charges was when she was contacted by the media yesterday.

                      You said yesterday “A lower threshold just means the evidence does not have to be so pristine.”

                    • mickysavage

                      So Pete

                      How many questions have been asked this year by Carmel?

                      How many related to benefit fraud?

                      How many could be considered to be directly applicable to Carmel’s mum?

                      Go ahead. Knock yourself out.

                      And not knowing what actually happened should not be an excuse to smear.

                    • Pete George

                      She’s asked 43 questions in the last week but it’s irrelevant how many questions she’s asked.

                      This is the question that has been highlighted by a number of media:

                      1091 (2015). Carmel Sepuloni to the Associate Minister for Social Development (23 Feb 2015): What is the process that the Ministry uses for establishing whether suspected benefit fraud relating to a client having a partner despite saying they live alone, has taken place?

                      Hon Jo Goodhew (Associate Minister for Social Development) replied: Reply due: 03 Mar 2015

                      http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qwa/QWA_01091_2015/1091-2015-carmel-sepuloni-to-the-associate-minister

                      That was on Monday. On Thursday in a Labour Party headed statement she said “The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday.”

                      If she is correct – and I’ve seen no evidence that proves otherwise – then this is an awkward coincidence. And it’s difficult for Sepuloni to address it. Perhaps that’s what you’re going to try and do for her? But it’s going to be difficult showing it was simply a coincidence. Like it or not that’s a problem Sepuloni has.

                      If you don’t like it being publicised take it up with Andrea Vance.

                    • Clemgeopin []

                      As an spokesperson on that social welfare portfolio, she would be asking various questions about the working of the department including the one you refer to which is a very well known issue for thousands of people receiving benefits.

                      Most important bit for you to understand is that it is not Carmel that is facing the charges.

                    • Ecosse_Maidy

                      Obsessive.

                      Adjective.
                      1 (psychiatry) motivated by a persistent overriding idea or impulse, often associated with anxiety and mental illness .
                      2 continually preoccupied with a particular activity, person, or thing .
                      Noun,
                      1 (psychiatry) a person subject to obsession .
                      2 a person who is continually preoccupied with a particular activity, person, or thing .

                      Insomniac.

                      Adjective.
                      1. exhibiting or causing insomnia
                      Noun.
                      2. a person experiencing insomnia

                      Badger.

                      Adjective.
                      Any of various stocky omnivorous musteline mammals of the subfamily Melinae, such as Meles meles (Eurasian badger), occurring in Europe, Asia, and North America: order Carnivora (carnivores). They are typically large burrowing animals, with strong claws and a thick coat striped black and white on the head Compare ferret badger, hog badger Yet in New Zealand, the Badger wears Beige and hails from Dunedin.

                • Anne

                  Chaz @ 6.01pm
                  You’re a liar. Is your name Chris by any chance…no, I’m not referring to Chris73.

                • Clemgeopin

                  She does NOT have to say anything at all. She is not the one charged.

                  And in any case, what difference does it make anyway, if she knew or not? She HAS stepped aside for the court hearing due to any operception of conflict of interet.

                  were you so vocal and demanding about Banks, Dunne, Kaye, Collins, Maurice Williamson, Smith, English, Brownlee etc?

                  • Clemgeopin

                    Where as, she is not EVEN the guilty party! What sort of fairness and ethics do you and the national RWNjobs have?

                  • Chaz

                    “And in any case, what difference does it make anyway, if she knew or not? ”

                    Clemgeopin – It makes a big difference because IF Carmel did know that her mother was defrauding the system then she is complicit in that fraud.

                    Carmel is not some soccer-mom that can thumb her nose at legality and say “not-my-problem.”

                    For a start she is an elected official. Secondly she is (was) the official charged by the major opposition party with ensuring this kind of thing just didn’t happen.

                    So yeah, it does kind of make this enormous difference whether Carmel was aware of any irregularities in her mother’s benefit arrangement. It goes right to the heart of democracy.

                    Nepotism and corruption I think we can agree are the opposite of the democratic principle?

                    Carmel can end the issue instantly by simply making a statement to the effect that she was unaware of any irregularities in her mother’s arrangements.

                    The longer she sticks to her single precisely worded statement to the effect that she did not know her mother had been charged then the longer this is going to hang over her.

                    The more closely her statement and Little’s are examined the more threadbare they will be shown to be.

                    Little is already on the back foot because his excuse for demoting her has no foundation.

                    It is only going to get worse.

                    Sooner or later Carmel’s child’s illness will get better and she will have to front up.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      You should start applying some of your much vaunted behaviour standards for public officials to people who actually have power in this country – like John Key.

                      Of course, despite your worthy protestations, you have no genuine interest in holding power to account.

                    • Pete George

                      That’s a stupid attack line CR. It’s possible to criticise more than one MP or party. This ‘if you haven’t criticised x you can’t criticise y’ nonsense seems to be becoming more common.

                      It’s essential that the Government and the Prime Minister are held to account – and for example I think (and have said) that Key has been crap in the way he’s handled the Sabin issue.

                      But it’s also important to hold non-Government MPs and parties to account. Some of them will be running the next government.

                      Isn’t it best that the poor performers and unreliable and dodgy MPs are identified before they get into positions of power?

                      I’m pleased that Aaron Gilmore was exposed before he became a Minister.

                      Like any MP Sepuloni should be examined on this. If she’s innocent of wrongdoing and good enough she will be the better for being held to account.

                    • mickysavage

                      Chaz why dont you question what she knew about JFK’s assassination and why she doesn’t deny being on the grassy knoll. And then ask it again and again.

                      She has said she had no idea about the charges.

                      She has said she is going to say nothing further for a very good reason, the matter is before the Courts and it would be totally inappropriate for her to do so.

                      BTW are you as upset at the allegations made against the prominent New Zealander?

                    • Chaz

                      Micky

                      As stated ad nauseum, whether or not Sepuloni knew her mother had been “charged” is not the issue. I suspect you are intelligent enough to know that and your continued arguing beside the point, again and again and again, just shows how bereft you are of a substantive answer.

                      By all means descend further to non-sequitur and if anyone else wants to call me names, impugn my motives or question my sanity, go ahead.

                      Once again, these are not arguments, they are merely the protests of a weak position that has no better rebuke.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      That’s a stupid attack line CR. It’s possible to criticise more than one MP or party. This ‘if you haven’t criticised x you can’t criticise y’ nonsense seems to be becoming more common.

                      And you’re another one who refuses to hold truth to power.

                    • Pete George

                      Lame response CS. Is that the best you can come back with?

        • framu 5.1.3.4

          well, your right – but you dont know why

          the story is really about how shit the nats are – this is labour removing the amunition from the nat diversion and slander machine.

          and in case youve forgotten – conflicts of interest are as much about perception as reality – especially so when we are talking govt

          this is labour showing vastly more integrity than the nats, all the rest of your slander is unproven bullshit

      • McFlock 5.1.4

        We also have Labour quietly informing the nats about rumours around Sabin, as soon as they were aware.

        • Tracey 5.1.4.1

          sadly they didn’t inform Key… apparently… neither did the police… or his Ministers… or his staff… but back to Carmel, Chaz is pretty sure she MUST have known all about her mum, cos. Just cos.

    • Tracey 5.2

      Because it is a potential conflict of interest which makes it hard for her to retain her reputation in the minds of the public. It is as much, if not more, for her protection than as a punishment. ANYTHING that happens now can never be attributed to her influence or backroom dealing.

      Contrast with Judith Collins (husband and Oravida)

    • Ffloyd 5.3

      I think if she had not stood down she would be attacked on all fronts by the nats. Followed by weeks on the front page of the herald. The thinking person’s dunny paper of choice. They would totally keep it going to take attention of the public’s negative feelings towards Spinner Key and his *canned applause* party.
      Remember when everything that David Cunliffe did was spun out for weeks.
      Carmel standing down immediately will have taken the wind out of their sails before it even started blowing.

  6. On the fence 6

    I’m no labour fanboy but I like the way this was handled. Open, transparent and quick. Personally I feel sorry for Carmen as this would be the definition of a super awkward family moment.

  7. Alpha z 7

    paula bennet minster for welfare, & opposit of carmel sepuloni at parlement & elections. may be extra special utu from bennet & Tolley against carmel. can be or not, but I think yes.

  8. Pete George 8

    Appropriate and prompt action by Carmel Sepuloni (apparently) and Little.

    While it’s odd to claim “even though her mum is most likely innocent” with limited information pre-court case if that turns out to be the case Carmel will be easily reinstated with no political damage done.

    There’s some aspects that could raise questions but that’s best left until the outcome of the court case is known.

    • A limpet is an aquatic snail with a shell broadly conical in shape. The term “limpet” is purely informal, a term of convenience; it refers to any gastropod whose shell has no obvious coiling such as one sees in familiar garden snails or in winkles. Although all limpets are members of Gastropoda, the group is highly polyphyletic, meaning that the various lines that we call limpets have descended independently from different ancestral gastropods. This general category of conical shell is technically known as “patelliform”, meaning dish-shaped.[1]

      Some species of limpet live in fresh water,[2][3] but by far the majority are saltwater inhabitants.[citation needed]

    • Alpha z 8.2

      you are 2 much shit pete

    • Bill 8.3

      How’s about either answering to the comment you’re quoting from or at least let people know what comment you’re quoting from?

    • Tracey 8.4

      so you didn’t just copy and paste this story to spread the news you commented extensively… unlike the John Key Liu thread

      Just coincidence that this one is Labour and that one is the PM being caught in another lie.

    • Murray Rawshark 8.5

      In fact PGtips, I should have said her mum is definitely innocent. Under the law we still have until Slimeon Bridges or someone manages to change it, we are innocent until proven guilty. What information do I need about the case to stand by that principle of justice?

    • Ecosse_Maidy 8.6

      Beige noise draws its name from beige light, although light that appears beige generally does not have a flat spectral power density over the visible band.

      The term beige noise is sometimes used in the context of phylogenetically based statistical methods to refer to a lack of phylogenetic pattern in comparative data.[3] It is sometimes used in non technical contexts, in the metaphoric sense of “random talk without meaningful contents”.

  9. fisiani 9

    How could anyone in business stand someone down because of the ALLEGED offence of their mother? That in not natural justice for a worker. She should get her union to complain to her boss. Disgraceful treatment of an employee. Little should be ashamed.

    • Fuck me, fisi, I’m used to you spouting off without having read the post, but this must be the first time you haven’t even read the title. Mind you, it’s a concept you Tories aren’t familiar with. Y’know, personal responsibility, transparency, ethical standards … stop me if I’m confusing you.

    • McFlock 9.2

      Prime ministers being rented for dinners at $25k a pop doesn’t mean parliament is a business. It means you’re a moral vacuum.,

    • Clemgeopin 9.3

      “Disgraceful treatment of an employee. Little should be ashamed”

      fisiani, you idiot!

      This is not an employment court issue, you fool. It is political management of a conflict of interest and perception issue. It has been very creditably, fairly and wisely managed by Mr Andrew Little, unlike how the ‘gutzy’ Key deceptively manages issues. I always perceived you as an idiot. Now I think you are a bloody stupid RWNJ idiot. At least Pete George does it in a cunning, boring and deceptive way. You do it like an uneducated bush lawyer from Tinloo.

    • Tracey 9.4

      Fisi, you are soooo cute. Thanks for bringing sharing your incredible knowledge and for bringing a chuckle into my daily life. Continue to be awesome.

  10. DH 10

    I don’t believe this. There is no conflict of interest here. None.

    • Have a read DH. Carmel recognised it straight away.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_of_interest

    • McFlock 10.2

      Well, it might appear to be a conflict if welfare crops up in parliament again, as it’s likely to do.

      It’s quite reasonable to recuse oneself because of an apparent conflict of interest until it cannot even appear to exist, let alone be an actual conflict.

    • ankerawshark 10.3

      The conflict might arise when Carmel challenges Paula Bennett in the house. I wouldn’t put it past PB or many others to use Carmel’s mother as ammunition against her, I really wouldn’t. We saw John K do it with David C’s house. Bring in personal issues to deflect from opposition criticism.

      So fisi who commented early with that trash about Little treating an employee badly, it is likely to protect Carmel and well as not to put the social development spokesperson in a conflicted position.

      I too wonder where TVNZ got the heads up from/??? Wouldn’t put it past the Nacts….

      • Anne 10.3.1

        Oh I can think of a few TVNZ so-called celebrities who may have been the conduit…

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.3.2

        The conflict might arise when Carmel challenges Paula Bennett in the house. I wouldn’t put it past PB or many others to use Carmel’s mother as ammunition against her

        Sure it gives the NATs some snide ammo for House debates. But that’s not a conflict of interest issue.

      • DH 10.3.3

        “The conflict might arise when Carmel challenges Paula Bennett in the house.”

        That’s an interest. It’s not a conflict of interest.

        Carmel isn’t in any position which could influence her mother’s situation and that’s what conflicts of interest are really about.

        • Colonial Rawshark 10.3.3.1

          It’s what I would call a “bad look” or a media “credibility hit” more than any *actual* “conflict of interest” where one might change a work decision to personally benefit one self or materially advantage a preferred party. Although I accept that the appearance of a conflict of interest is damaging in itself.

        • weka 10.3.3.2

          “Carmel isn’t in any position which could influence her mother’s situation and that’s what conflicts of interest are really about.”

          Unless she ends up the Minister of Social Development in the next govt. WINZ staffers can think ahead, and some MSD staffers will be involved in preparing answers to any questions raised by Sepuloni in the House.

    • Tracey 10.4

      What?

      You must be joking. This is, imo opinion, about protecting Carmel not some kind of punishment.

  11. Sacha 11

    Much better political management already, Labour. Thank you.

  12. Colonial Rawshark 12

    I don’t think Labour have thought this through. Whereas others have heaped praise on Labour for its actions I think they get a just passing 5/10. Mostly for appearing strong and decisive in tackling a potential speedbump rather than any deeper political nous.

    I have no problem with the idea that standing Sepuloni down removes a potential political and media distraction from Labour. But that’s not “a conflict of interest” problem. I have no problem with standing Sepuloni down on the basis that knowing her Mum was going through a difficult court case, her focus on the job might be affected. But that’s not a “conflict of interest” problem either.

    What I have a real problem with is the statement that Sepuloni is conflicted in her portfolio work because her Mum has been charged with benefit fraud. This to me smells of guilt by association. More prescisly – how exactly could any supposed “conflict of interest” be material in the slightest to the judgements, decisions and work effort that Sepuloni would put into her portfolio. Would she go lighter on welfare fraud? Would she go too hard on welfare fraud? And more importantly how can that conflict be shown to have passed if her Mum is finally found guilty of these charges? After all, she will be just as close to the issue as ever.

    To me this looks like Labour is not only accepting the premise of guilt by association, it also creates a longer term problem for themselves where Sepuloni may be seen to be *more* conflicted in the portfolio if her Mum is found guilty of these charges.

    It would have been smarter for Labour to say – “Carmel has voluntarily stood down from her Social Welfare portfolio after learning about the difficult court case that her Mother is going through. We believe that this is a proper and professional course of action that she has taken, and look forward to welcoming her back to her position once court proceedings have concluded.”

    • Murray Rawshark 12.1

      I agree, CR. I think standing down was the correct action, but it is not a conflict of interest situation. Sepuloni has no influence whatsoever over WINZ or any investigation or prosecution. On the other hand, Mike Sabin…………

      It would have been far better for her to step down voluntarily, but Little may have seen an opportunity to appear tough, principled, and not FJK.

      • te reo putake 12.1.1

        She did stand down voluntarily, Murray. She went to Little because she recognised it was a conflict of interest.

        • Murray Rawshark 12.1.1.1

          Above it says that the Labour Party stood her down. I don’t agree with her that it’s a conflict of interest situation, but she has to act according to what she thinks. A conflict of interest is when a NAct minister develops policy on tax avoidance or corruption, for example.

          Did you accept that John Banks could be Minister of Police despite his father having been in prison?

          • te reo putake 12.1.1.1.1

            “We’ve agreed that she will step aside from her role as spokesperson for Social Development. There’s an obvious conflict of interest,” Mr Little says.

            She approached him because it’s a blindingly obvious conflict, he agreed that it was and she was stood down. The semantics of the wording around the process is not the issue.

            Carmel did the right thing because she knows what a conflict of interest is. Andrew Little did the right thing because he knows what a conflict of interest is. The real issue is that Labour knows what to do in these situations, but our governing party doesn’t.

            (Righto, past my bedtime. Haere ra, Murray!)

            • Colonial Rawshark 12.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re simply asserting over and over again that it’s a “blindingly obvious” conflict of interest. You can’t list any actual work issues as portfolio spokesperson where Carmel’s judgement or decisions would be altered of course because it isn’t.

              • A conflict of interest (COI) is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests (financial, emotional, or otherwise), one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation of the individual or organization.
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_of_interest

                Saying there’s a conflict of interest isn’t saying “Carmel’s judgement would be altered.” It’s saying that there’s an obvious conflict when the social welfare spokesperson, for example, wants to challenge the government on crackdowns against beneficiaries, or on its overemphatic focus on welfare fraud over tax evasion, while a member of that spokesperson’s family is being prosecuted for those exact “crimes”.

                If as some suggest above the issue isn’t one of deliberate fraud, but rather somebody accidentally filing the wrong paperwork because WINZ is a labyrinthine monster, it’s an additional conflict for Carmel to attack the government for making it so bloody difficult for beneficiaries to get the support they’re entitled to.

                If we apply a standard of “but she’s a person with integrity so it doesn’t make a difference” then I guess Amy Adams can say exactly the same thing about profiting from Canterbury irrigation while Minister for the Environment. At which point, the concept of a conflict of interest becomes meaningless.

                I honestly don’t get the whinging about this. Carmel Sepuloni and Andrew Little have assessed the situation, recognised the obvious conflict and the potential political damage, and acted decisively in a way which allows Carmel to resume the portfolio as soon as the matter goes away. It stands in stark contrast to the way Key has obfuscated and danced around multiple resignation/firings/we don’t even know in his own caucus. It’s good!

                • Tracey

                  ^^^^ This

                  and my comments below about how MPs have influence whether in government or not.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  It’s a loss of credibility in the media arena. I grant you that. But that’s not the same as a conflict of interest where one could be personally and materially advantaged by ones position (or a party close to you could be personally and materially advantaged).

                  It’s also damn close to guilt by family association.

                  If as some suggest above the issue isn’t one of deliberate fraud, but rather somebody accidentally filing the wrong paperwork because WINZ is a labyrinthine monster, it’s an additional conflict for Carmel to attack the government for making it so bloody difficult for beneficiaries to get the support they’re entitled to.

                  I tend to look at it exactly the other way. It adds substance to any such points made when you can say that a family member has suffered from, been a victim of and dragged through the courts because of WINZ’s paperwork labyrinth.

                  • Tracey

                    a family member who is in some kind of conflict with an agency for which an Opposition MP is spokesperson isn’t a potential conflict of interest in your mind?

                    IF she were spokesperson for Education, then the conflict is less capable of being asserted?

                    How do you feel about perata hiring her sister and similar things? Conflict of interest or not?

    • Tracey 12.2

      When i was having problems with ACC in the 90’s I went to my local MP. I had tried for months to sort it out with ACC directly. Within 10 days of my contacting my local MP the matter was resolved, in my favour. Coincidence? The idea that only those in Government carry influence is a little naive. My MP at the time was in the main Opposition party. certainly my impression was her direct intervention (she copied me the letter she sent to ACC) prompted a major change of heart on ACC’s part.

      That being the case, Carmel is in a potential conflict of interest situation.

    • Enough is Enough 12.3

      I agree. There is no conflict of interest here.

  13. Reddelusion 13

    I am with chaz, hard to believe Carmel would not had a sneaky suspion over the years this fraud was perpetrated, she needs to come out and deny any such knowledge if it was national you lot would be demanding a royal enquiry and nicky Hagar to right a book

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      Fucking McCarthyism right here. Guilty unless you denounce your own family members. Not a surprise from Chicken Hawk Deluded of course.

    • McFlock 13.2

      So you saw every form your parents filled in for the government, and countersigned its truth?

      Especially their tax returns, you being a tory and all.

    • Tracey 13.3

      If it were National we wouldn’t know about if for another 4 years.

      You realise this comment from you contradicts most of your beliefs expressed here in regards to behaviour of PM and National?

    • ankerawshark 13.4

      You are expecting much higher standards of Labour than Key and National.

      Key never confirms or denies anything, just fudges and brain fades.

      Clean up your own team first.

      Our team are operating on standards light years away from you.

    • tricledrown 13.5

      Reddelusion Minor affairs compared to imprisonable offences that former and existing MP’s 4 current MP’s 3 ex MPs have name supprression i would not be surprised if they are from the blueloon brigade get away with by claiming name suppression.
      Changes to name suppression were made by National so perpetrators of serious crimes could be exposed and other Victims come forward.
      However it seems National ‘s own have managed to get name suppression.
      Especially as one of their own former MP’s tried to out his own parties hypocracy.
      Ironically he got name suppression himself just to mock the hypocracy.
      One law(no consequences no personal responsibility.) for the rich and powerful!
      Bluelooney.
      Baloney.

    • Murray Rawshark 13.6

      If you lot knew anyone literate you could write your own book.

  14. adam 14

    People Know I don’t like the labour party much. But, I respect certain people inside the beast – Carmel Sepuloni is one of those people.

    This is far from the end of her career. And anyone whose had a parent do a dickey thing knows – only fools and idiots hold those actions to the children.

    I see only fools and idiots make the connection on this post.

    Get a grip – I’m sure if I rattled your extended family – something unsavoury would fall in your lap.

    Carmel Sepuloni is a hard working, fair minded member of parliament. I don’t care what political party she’s in. Attacks by the right or anyone on here for the actions of her mother leave me saying just one thing to you.

    SORRY FOR YOU!

  15. millsy 15

    I guess there goes any chance of Sepuloni holding Social Development in a future cabinet. Chaos And Mayhem strike again.

    • felix 15.1

      I don’t see why.

      If you’ve ever had a family member in court can you not be minister of justice?

      If you’ve ever had a family member in hospital can you not be minister of health?

      If you’ve ever had a family member get a speeding ticket can you not be minister of police

      If you’ve ever had a family member fail an exam can you not be minister of education?

      • sabine 15.1.1

        only if you belong to the National Party.

        if you belong to he Labour Pary or the Greens than you can not.

        • Colonial Rawshark 15.1.1.1

          As I said above, Labour has stood her down for the wrong reasons, and created extra political complications for Carmel over the medium term.

          • Sabine 15.1.1.1.1

            I disagree.

            it does not matter what happens on Labours side, it will always be blown out of proportion. And while there might not be a conflict of interest, especially considering that she actually does not have any power within the MSD, with her standing down for the time being they have effectively shut down what ever the Paula Bennett (who also had no conflict of interest dismantling all the services she so amply used) would like to throw at her.

            Carmel can in the meantime look after her family, do her job for the people that elected her and re-gain her position once the whole thing has blown over.

            It is about playing hardball, and Labour just showed the National Party how it is done when MP’s have personal issues that might affect their workload.

            • Colonial Rawshark 15.1.1.1.1.1

              As I said above, I am totally fine with Carmel deciding to stand down in the interim. It’s the PR framing and use of the term “conflict of interest” that I disagree with.

          • tricledrown 15.1.1.1.2

            It shows little isn’t like Key with Sabin Collins etc.

            • Colonial Rawshark 15.1.1.1.2.1

              I agree with this point. As I said early on, it makes Labour look strong and decisive which casts a clear comparison.

    • Ffloyd 15.2

      Millsy. Andrew Little has just stated that Carmel will be resuming her portfolio regardless of the outcome of the Court case. No CaM.

      • Colonial Rawshark 15.2.1

        Explain to me why the “conflict of interest” exists during the court case but not 1 month afterwards when sentencing has occurred.

        • Tracey 15.2.1.1

          “A conflict of interest (COI) is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests (financial, emotional, or otherwise), one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation of the individual or organization.”

          You are assuming MPs who are not in Government have no influence or no access to information that others might struggle to obtain (or would take ages) through official channels. You assume that Opposition MPs don’t build up relationships within and without their portfolios within departments which may tempt them to seek information they wouldn’t otherwise be entitled to.

          Also, is Carmel her mother’s MP? I realise she hasn’t stood down as an MP BUT by publicly stating her conflict of interest (potential) allows her to distance herself in that role too (from her mother)

          • Colonial Rawshark 15.2.1.1.1

            And an MP’s motivation isn’t going to be possibly altered (or corrupted) after their Mother is sentenced? Might the MP not also be tempted to go digging around in government departments for more information, say for an appeal, after sentencing?

            • Tracey 15.2.1.1.1.1

              By publicly declaring a conflict of interest situation (or possibility thereof) the departments and anyone who works there is also now in possession of the knowledge, and can act accordingly should Carmel approach them. Then her approach can be dealt with pre or post sentencing, should guilt be established.

              Conflict of Interest declarations are as much about protecting the reputation of the person with the conflict as serving the public interest.

            • Olwyn 15.2.1.1.1.2

              I am not sure whether this comes under “conflict of interest”, but I understand that Carmel has recently been challenging the DSD over excessive spending within the department. Her mother’s situation, coming as it has as a curve ball, might well undermine her ability to drive her points home. I hope that whoever is appointed to stand in for her in the meantime is well up to keeping the Tories on their toes. Like Mickeysavage and others, I am suspicious about the timing of this revelation.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                I agree that the revelation has undermined Carmel’s credibility in speaking to her portfolio.

    • tricledrown 15.3

      If Mike Sabin can get on a police select cmmittee.

  16. It is not fair for commentators to generalise how a family of adults may or may not be with each other and then imply Carmel Sepuloni must have known about the charges her mother is facing because ‘well families talk’. It’s bullshit, a lazy assumption.

  17. Brian 17

    Lord above! This is awful, timely but awful. I will wait until the outcome of proceedings.

    In the meantime- John Key is a liar. When this has passed, as all things do, this fact will remain

  18. tc 18

    One minister has form and proven history on such matters and a belligerence when caught out. Highly unlikely the leopard skin spots have changed.

    Regardless of the outcome Little has shown how it should be done in contrast to shonkey so imo this helps them frame the Sabin narrative…..thanks PB.

  19. mary_a 19

    Although a disappointing outcome for Ms Sepuloni, both she and Andrew Little did handle the unfortunate situation in the best way possible. Well done Sepuloni and Little for having the fortitude to act decisively and quickly. Something not so common with the Natsy mob of miscreants!

    Now watch the Natsies and their msm have a field day with this one. It will be in your face, blown out of proportion to score points at every opportunity, all the while still ignoring the more serious Lui, Sabin and Sky City scandals!

  20. ScottGN 20

    Predictably Trevett in the Herald is going all out with this and Cunliffe using his phone while driving. They hardly even bother to try and hide the machinery of dirty politics anymore.

  21. One Anonymous Bloke 21

    One thing’s confirmed beyond any doubt whatsoever: the right wing has declared that John Key’s kids are fair game.

    • Tracey 21.1

      Oh but OAB… no one from national was involved in the outting…

      • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1.1

        I’m judging them by comments on this post: anything a family member does is evidence. Not to mention the hate-filled screaming about “Hone Harawira’s nephews”.

      • nadis 21.1.2

        Well it is in the public domain, reporters scan court documents for recognisable names as part of their daily.

        But notwithstanding how it came to pass, this story is a non-event. No need to stand her down. There is no conflict of interest unless Carmel intervenes in any way, which she hasn’t.

        There is no problem having apparent conflicts of interest – NZ is a small place and they happen all the time. What counts is how they are managed. All Carmel had to do was come out and say “This is sad for my Mum, we now have to let the justice system take its course. I will support her through the process as her daughter.” That would sound good to mainstream NZ (family and all that), National couldn’t attack her based on their own history. No need to stand down but also no harm she has.

        Already this seems to have died in the media.

        • Colonial Rawshark 21.1.2.1

          My feeling is that Labour has created another long term rod for their back given the way that they have done things this time. What if in some future scenario it was a step-dad and not Mum who had been charged. Or a son or a daughter. Or an ex-spouse. Or a business partner.

          Still step down? If not, why not. Etc.

          • Tracey 21.1.2.1.1

            Do you think Collins had a conflict of interest because her husband is a director of Oravida?

            • Colonial Rawshark 21.1.2.1.1.1

              Absolutely, especially with the way Chinese business people like to deal with people of importance and standing. Collins was certainly in a position to materially advantage herself and her husband.

    • Anne 21.2

      …the right wing has declared that John Key’s kids are fair game.

      Yep, and I’ll start the ball rolling:

      Max is turning into a chip off the old block. Get the impression from a young female rellie who knows him – he’s into the high life in a big way. The older kid (Stephanie is it?) has inherited his attention seeking habits.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 21.2.1

        The right wing declares lots of things: mostly oxymorons. They’d pay lip service to outrage at any attempt from the left to use their family members as political footballs.

        Then they go ahead and do exactly that.

        I suggest we set better standards.

        • ankerawshark 21.2.1.1

          Yes I have my own views of Stephanie Key talent commensurate with studying at an overseas art college and the focus of her work, but let’s not go to their level.

      • freedom 21.2.2

        would still like to know how Stephanie ‘won’ the scholarship to that Paris art school.

      • nadis 21.2.3

        Anne – That comment says more about than it does the Key’s, and it’s not a pleasant message. If the kids were charged with something illegal you might have a point, but this just looks vindictive and childish.

        And this nebulous “right wing” is probably a few idiots – not the 50% of the population who votes for National, so feel free to alienate the 90% of NZ (of all political leanings) who is offended by mucky attacks on family members who don’t choose the public political life (plenty examples on both sides of the spectrum).

        An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.

        • Anne 21.2.3.1

          Well, precious little nadis… what I said about them is extremely mild compared to the behaviour of the NActs. As OAB recommended, I wouldn’t dream of descending to their level of vitriol. You know… lying about Liu and Labour donations, lying about Cunliffe, making up tawdry stories about political opponents, ridiculing Meteria Turei’s ‘castle’ in Dunedin, stooping to illicit and illegal dirty political tactics involving JK’s own staff and certain MPs and ministers, laundering questionable donations, attempting to hide the perverted proclivities of some of their ex-MPs and their’s plenty more examples of dirty dealings. And don’t lets go back to the obnoxious behaviour and claims concerning
          Helen Clark and her lovely husband Peter Davis.

        • Tracey 21.2.3.2

          so when Key posts “family” images with katie perry, or let’s Max post planking pictures and so on, that is all ok, cos it paints the kids and Key in a good family way? Even though it is undoubtedly a very deliberate manipulation by Key and his advisors?

          As an aside Bronagh appears to keep a very good distance from publicity, almost like she laid down some ground rules.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 21.2.3.2.1

            John and Bronagh allow their children to be used this way.

            There are very good reasons to recoil in disgust.

        • greywarshark 21.2.3.3

          Yes nadis – as Pam Ayre says in one of her pomes –
          Don’t be so quick to heave half a brick, It’s the Missis Meself and the Boys.

          However don’t be one of those prissy right wingers who are always criticising us because we don’t behave like little gentlemen and ladies. Venting some annoyance is better than heaving half a brick. Even in a Court of supposed Justice provocation can be a pleading in mitigation. And this is a place of strong interest in political matters and practices, remonstrations against our demonstrations of irritation and disgust about bads from the pollies is out of place.

  22. Takere 22

    Good on Mattavelli … control the story and kill it before the nutcases on the right make a meal of it. She’ll be back, not before too long.

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