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Daily review 16/09/2019

Written By: - Date published: 6:01 pm, September 16th, 2019 - 73 comments
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Daily review is also your post.

This provides Standardistas the opportunity to review events of the day.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Don’t forget to be kind to each other …

73 comments on “Daily review 16/09/2019 ”

  1. Kat 1

    Good press conference from the PM this afternoon.

    The 'backfire' fuse has been lit………………


    • greywarshark 1.1

      After reading that I feel confused. But I would have expected those on the panel to have been experienced and followed through slowly and thoroughly through the matters raised. The woman read out an email that hadn't been received by some of the panel. So everything stops while a copy is made for each person. Then it is numbered and that is placed on a list of documents that accompanies the notes for that meeting.

      So a complete record is held, and the complainant also numbers her email so it can be referenced when referred to. And so on.

      The way it has been written in the stuff article makes it sound very amateurish. (And Anne is not referring to me in her annoyed comment below.)

      • Dukeofurl 1.1.1

        Where does it say that

        "So everything stops while a copy is made for each person. Then it is numbered and that is placed on a list of documents that accompanies the notes for that meeting.'

        when he says this

        "Mitchell met again with the woman on May 29 "to clarify the allegations and the matters that we were investigating," his statement says."At no time during that meeting did she say that she had been sexually assaulted by the subject of the complaint…"

  2. Anne 2

    After this is all over, I hope the Labour Party (or someone in it) takes that piece of stinking offal above to court. No not Kat.

    • Dukeofurl 2.1

      What if the forensics supports his claim about the emails ?

      “Mitchell said that she emailed him on June 17 and thanked the panel for their hard work.”

      • Anne 2.1.1

        Duke, I was referring to today's DR image at the top.

        My understanding is; the forensic scientist has supported Mitchell’s claim which adds even further intrigue to the story.

        • Dukeofurl

          I believe her story completely but I have experience of emails and such not going where you think they did.

          Today an email I thought I sent my brother had gone somewhere complely different but was super sure I did sent it too him

          • Dennis Frank

            Yeah, exactly what I'm now wondering. She does seem to be telling the truth, and believes she sent them that email, but if she sent more than one she may have gotten confused about the details. Memory does that.

            • SHG

              she may have gotten confused about the details

              when in doubt, gaslight the victim

              • Dukeofurl

                Not at all . Theres another link in the story, and it makes sense if you believe the victim and the panel.

                There is a something unusual about The Spinoff that doesnt pass the sniff test

                The business is owned by Greive and his wife Niki, a lawyer at the Serious Fraud Office, and has two parts – the website and a copywriting agency. Spinoff staff writers are both journalists and copywriters for paying businesses…


                A strange arrangement where your staff are both journalists and creative writers…at the same time maybe .

                • SHG

                  when in doubt, insinuate that the young woman who helped "Sarah" tell her story isn't a real journalist

                  • Dukeofurl

                    The young woman is Alex Casey of course, Grieve was also on the byline and his her Editor and the site Publisher.

                    As for whether she is a real journalist linkedin gives some clues

                    "Celebrity treasure Island Power Rankings.To the Victor go the Toasties

                    Hard hitting stuff or fluff pieces for when Alex had her copywriters hat on. Spinoff has a political tab and its stories barely feature their Hard hitting writer TV reviewer

                    "The Batchelor Australia is Absolutely out of this world"

                    "How to Find the most Cursed Shit on Trademe

                    The tribute to the Pie Shop that saved my Terrible Soul"

                    The Spinoff better have some really good lawyers

                    • SHG

                      Exactly. If the work Ms Casey has done to date isn't exclusively rape investigations, is the complaint even real?

                    • Dukeofurl

                      I said Political stories show a complete absence of Alex Casey until now .

                      These things are mostly Toby Manhire ..Duncan Grieve and a few others.

                      For some reason Grieve and Manhires byline has disappeared from the story next to Caseys now

          • Anne

            Yes. It's starting to look like something along those lines has happened. I've had emails disappear into the ether or they haven't arrived for a day or two after they were sent.

          • McFlock

            Except if she hadn't sent it, she wouldn't have been able to read it out to the committee.

            This is such a load of half-arsed shite.

            Firstly, hiring your own person to "forensically examine" your computer and pronounce it clean? At least tell us he had them make a forensic copy of his machine to give to the latest investigators.

            Secondly, scanning one of probably several devices for emails rather than contacting the email provider[edit: as in service, not sender]? Even if the messages aren't archived out of your control, they might store metadata (including attachment names).

            Thirdly, the secretary of the committee should have been storing copies of all correspondence, including electronic. If something gets sent to a committee member, they forward it to the secretary. That's literally their job.

            Fourthly, the head of a committee having an informal, unrecorded (even after the fact via an "thanks for meeting with me at HH:MM DD MM YY at [location]. The main points I have taken from our discussion are…") discussion with a complainant/witness? FFS.

            It might not have been an official criminal investigation, but lawyers should have known that if serious shit came up, their actions might have been reviewable in a court. Heck, any employer handling an issue this lazily would get their arse handed to them on a plate.

            I know who I think has more credibility, that's for sure.

        • Naki man

          Andrew Little??

      • Rapunzel 2.1.2

        No one would say that if they don't have an email to show, not at this stage of what has happened. Victim support can be necessary as a safety measure for a number of reasons not just the obvious.

    • Dennis Frank 2.2

      Court action does seem likely but now that the plot has thickened, it's too murky to see who will be involved. I wonder if the Spinoff has a good lawyer and/or a good computer forensic specialist. I wonder if they validate their reports sufficiently.

      Here's Spinoff editor Toby Manhire on Saturday, discussing "the Labour Party, and that’s a party where a poison has clearly seeped in – within Young Labour especially, unequivocally and horribly. We knew already about the Summer Camp scandal; The Spinoff has been contacted over the last few days with other stories that would chill you to the bone." https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/14-09-2019/on-the-labour-party-crisis-and-jacinda-ardern/

      So, as-yet unpublished stories that will spook readers, in their pipeline. Fact-checked?? If aggrieved Labour members tell tales to them, does investigative journalism validate the tales, or do they go with the current media trend toward sensationalism. Will the news be fake? Or will it be validated by a Spinoff forensic examination of emails?

      Next step: their source Sarah will have to establish credibility. Computer forensic proof that she sent Labour the email seems required…

      • Sacha 2.2.1

        Relying on an old-fashioned medium like email may be part of the party's problem. Must seem quaint to the young people.

        • weka

          What should have been used instead of email? Because I'm thinking go old school and have someone sit and take dictation, write it up afterwards, and then give everyone a copy. Also needs someone to manage the information flows, and track who sends and receives what.

          Never go into a meeting without a support person, preferably one who can take good notes (not that vulnerable people always have someone who can do that, but that's another thing that could be mended).

        • Graeme

          Also, using medium that most likely goes through multiple content (spam, explicit content etc) filters between sender and recipient.

          Reasonable likelihood that the email contained multiple words or phrases that would have triggered these filters and led to it's disappearance.

          I'm quite a bit older and really from the paper age, but wouldn't you establish contact to say you have a complaint, then reply providing the details in a second correspondence, and then follow up to check it had been received if you didn't get and acknowledgment.

      • weka 2.2.2

        "Next step: their source Sarah will have to establish credibility. Computer forensic proof that she sent Labour the email seems required…"

        I don't think so. Labour aren't on trial here, no matter what the right are trying to do. We already know that Labour have an internal problem with rape culture, and that were obviously not equipped to handle these investigations internally. I think it's important to remember here that this is true of lots of organisations, and the solution here isn't to prove accusations to the nth degree, it's for Labour to change its internal culture.

        Making this a she said/he said, adversarial situation doesn't help. We don't have to know the full truth of the situation for things to change for the better. The point isn't t find out who is innocent or guilty, it's to made redress to the people harmed, and to change things so it doesn't happen again.

        • Dennis Frank

          Well, I haven't read the terms of reference that the QC is using but lawyers are required by the judicial process to establish facts, so I'm assuming she will attempt that, and if so the factual basis of Sarah's complaint will be established as far as possible.

          However the evening news reported that several other enquiries have now been launched to accompany the QC's, so I will await clarification…

          • weka

            I was thinking of the public debate now rather than the QC investigation going forward (I haven't seen the terms of reference, process etc for that).

        • Pat

          "I don't think so. Labour aren't on trial here,.."

          seriously?…at the very least they are on trial by media…and the penalty could be considered somewhat more serious than home detention

          • weka

            Full sentence: "Labour aren't on trial here, no matter what the right are trying to do."

            The left might want to look at why some people want Labour on trial instead of addressing rape culture.

            • Pat

              Labour are very much on trial here…and 'the right' may well be a cause but they are ably assisted by elements of the left who appear to have forgotten the principle of innocent until proven otherwise….like everyone else I have no knowledge of what has or hasnt occurred but Im buggered if I will leap to uninformed conclusions/accusations especially on the back of statements by the likes of PB and a media of dubious competency/motivation

              • weka

                I don't know what you are referring to there, but my own focus is on rape culture and what can be done about it. If you pick a side, it implies the other side is lying, and that is what is creating a trial atmosphere. Imo this is unnecessary and unhelpful.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Who Bennefit’s from the Labour party's current trial by media? If it's not antisemitism, then it's a failure to adequately address endemic rape culture!

              Don't for a moment think that the NZ Labour party's rape culture issues are any more serious than the NZ National party's – but the NZ media seem to ‘think’ so. A rather cunning strategy to use against a political party that was led to power by a charismatic young woman.

              Dirty Politics 101, IMHO.

      • Psycho Milt 2.2.3

        Next step: their source Sarah will have to establish credibility.

        Oh yeah, that would really show all those doubters that Labour's got this rape culture stuff sorted, right?

        Pretty much the last outcome any of us should want from this is that a 19-year-old ends up getting a performance review of how she submitted a complaint about that sexual assault she was subjected to.

    • weka 2.3

      Take Hoskings to court for what?

      • Anne 2.3.1

        Defamation… misinformation and possibly even slander. It's been ongoing since the day the Labour led govt. was elected to power. David Lange did it back in the day and won. Least I think he did.

        • weka

          I almost never read or listen to him. I'm guessing his boss' lawyers are keeping an eye on what he says and he is staking within the law?

          • Anne

            I was actually thinking in terms of the current attacks on Labour and Jacinda Arden in particular. The waters are getting decidedly murky with the revelation that at least one of the Council members did not receive the email.

            If it transpires that none of the recipients received it and knew nothing of the sexual abuse claims then they have done nothing wrong. How could they act on something they had no knowledge of.

            The searchlight will then be on Bennett and the more vociferous journos who have been revelling in the smearing activity – particularly of Jacinda. It's been a horrible sight to behold.

            • weka

              I think that angle is a red herring, and not particularly relevant unless one thinks the point is to bash Labour. The QC can look at those kind of details I guess. I'm more interested in what gets made right. National and the RW MSM as far as I can tell don't care about that, appear to not care about the Young Labour people affected, and are making this all about party politics.

        • Naki man

          " David Lange did it back in the day and won. Least I think he did"

          This might help your memory

          Lange burned financially by libel battle


          • alwyn

            I understand Lange made quite a nice little income suing various publications for libel. They would often pay up because defending the actions cost more than simply paying him out.

            N & S defended this one to the end and one. Note that it supposedly cost them about $500,000 to do so and come out victorious and Lange only had to pay them $6,000.

            The victory was such, I believe, that it is almost impossible for anyone in the public spotlight, and politicians in particular, to win such a case. A Lawyer reading may be able to give a more accurate, expert, opinion of the outcome of this case.

            Certainly I don't think that Ardern would get anywhere at all if she sued Hoskings. The law, thank God doesn't allow the Singapore situation to occur here where the Government sue and bankrupt their opponents.

    • Kat 2.4

      Anne, the almost complete right wing bias in the media is the real offal, the out of service picture on the back of the bus is a rather complimentary caricature of a maggot belonging to the aforementioned offal.

  3. In Vino 3

    Inclined to agree about Hosking, Anne. He wrote such drivel today about how all Ardern's capital has now been destroyed. Has he ever thought about what minimal 'capital' he himself has?

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Capital, the folding sort is all he cares about. And his employers are the same. What outfit are they by the way, so I can make sure I avoid them.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Gordon Campbell points to apparent evidence that Sarah is telling the truth about her email: "A month after the alleged assault, the [Maria] Berryman review into the Labour camp assaults invited others who had experiences of sexual misconduct to come forward. “I thought I might as well deal with it with people I know and trust, and that was through the party.”She made contact with Berryman in April 2018, and, in an email shown to The Spinoff, described the incident on the party trip in detail…" http://werewolf.co.nz/2019/09/gordon-campbell-on-labours-mishandling-of-the-alleged-sexual-assault/

    So it's a duel, in which an email sent is clashing with an email that didn't arrive. Forensics will have to discern which computer the email was sent to, and establish if it was a Labour Party computer, or belongs to the Labour lawyer.

    • Sacha 4.1

      It is not unusual for an email to be sent but not received. Do not need forensics to show that at the sender's end.

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        Yes, I just posted to that effect before I saw your comment, due to an inane claim by lawyers reported by Newsroom.

      • ianmac 4.1.2

        But Sarah said that she had told the Panel and then supplemented it with the e-mail. The panel say that they did not receive a spoken complaint or the email.

        • Dennis Frank

          Good point, Ian. So, if she's telling the truth, everyone will learn that it's unwise to complain to any Labour investigative panel unless accompanied by their own lawyer (or independent eyewitness)…

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Hey, check this out: ""Regrettably the statements by the complainant that Mr Mitchell received such information are untrue,” the letter from Mitchell’s lawyers said." https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@politics/2019/09/16/811922/labour-party-doubles-down-on-its-version-of-events

    I bet the complainant made no such statement!! Media reports of what she told them refer to her saying she sent such an email. How could she possibly know if he received it or not?? Lawyers live in la la land…

  6. mauī 6

    Haworth needs to be reinstated. He cannot resign for mishandling allegations that in large part might not have ever existed!

    Labour were cowed by the neoliberals… yet again. They should have front footed the odious media and sent the spin-f-off packing.

    • Dennis Frank 6.1

      Only if he's innocent. Careful reading of Sarah's statements to the Spinoff reveal that she reported the sexual assault to him via email in May last year, after reporting it to the panel in April via an earlier email. He didn't deny receiving his!

      • mauī 6.1.1

        From what I gather Haworth has denied that allegations of sexual assault were bought to him at all. 2 of the 3 panel members also deny those allegations were made to them. That's quite a comprehensive denial.

        • Dennis Frank

          Okay, I must have missed that bit. I agree, it is comprehensive. I’ve not seen a report of the acting president (female, apparently) joining the denial, having been the third member of the panel, but if that has indeed happened then it is fully comprehensive.

          • lprent

            One of those is Simon Mitchell. I've known him for about 25 or so years on a moderately casual basis. He is a lawyer, so knows exactly the consequences of any outright shading of the facts if it heads to court. He has a pretty good reputation in the employment law area.

            Personally I have never known him to lie or even to be particularly evasive – which has always been welcome (I'm kind of blunt). Might not tell you everything he knows.

            In this case the framing from one of the complainants is that he was informed of a sexual complaint and is lying – which is a direct attack on his reputation. So it appears that he has decided to put his position in public. Probably to the concern of the parliamentary wing.

            The spinoff has his full statement

            I have to say that is a clear and direct statement targeted specifically at matters of fact that can be determined. As is the response from the complainants lawyer which is a direct refutation of Simon Mitchells statement of facts. Obviously both cannot be correct and are diametrically opposite.

            The complainants are hugely disappointed that Mr Mitchell has come forward with his statement just as the complainants and the Labour Party are making some positive progress.

            I would anticipate that they are. I can't imagine Simon Mitchell making a statement like that without having the required evidence to back it up. It is way easier to make accusations against a organisation than it is against individuals.

            By effectively targeting the members of the panel with statements about the individual volunteers on it saying they are lying, they have just hit the issue of making statements of fact about individuals and the personal liability that goes with it. Also moves it well past the limits of the parliamentary side to control it.

            I would say that this will be heading towards court.

            And I reiterate my original point – there is no way that the Labour Party should get involved in these kinds of disputes about bullying or sexual misconduct. They are legal matters and have specific remedies inside the legal system.

            That being said, if you were involved in a bullying situation, then Simon would be exactly the person you’d want to determine and resolve it. He would also be the first to point any claim or sexual assault directly to the police as the only avenue of redress. As well as being a lawyer and required to do that, I don’t think that he’d ethically do anything else.

            • lprent


              National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett, who has been advocating on behalf of some of the complainants, said Mitchell's decision to release a legal letter and media statement showed that Ardern had "no control of the process".

              "On the very afternoon that the Prime Minister has gone out and just announced that she's got these two processes underway and that she's going to show all of this respect to the victims, one of her own council members that was involved in those decisions has made a statement that is very much victim-blaming, and yet again hangs those victims out like that."

              What does this arsehole think people are – self-interested drones like her?

              This does start to explain why she has been making statements about individuals only under parliamentary privilege. Weak evidence and effectively attacks outside of the politicians on individuals. Ok if you can keep everyone behind a faceless curtain like 'the labour party' – which can't effectively fight back.

              Jacinda Ardern doesn't have as much 'control' over members of the NZ Council. The council itself doesn't have much control. They are all volunteers with expenses covered at the most. The council itself is the ruling body of the NZLP. Ardern is a member of the council and leader of the parliamentary wing of MPs

              This isn't like the National party. The Labour party is almost entirely volunteers

              Paula Bennett really is a complete arsehole. A contemptible politician playing this while aware of the facts. Ducking under parliamentary privilege to avoid being a party to the evntual litigation.

              You can see why Simon Bridges isn't involved in this. As a lawyer he'd probably be looking at the questions of evidence and liability and getting terrified.

            • weka

              Hypothetically, if both sides were telling the truth as they understand it, is it possible that with the emails this is a technical issue? Emails were sent but not received?

              In terms of accusations against Mitchell, did the main complainant say he had received the emails? Or just that she had sent them?

      • Pat 6.1.2

        he has..as have both other members of the panel

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      "Ardern said a third party review would look at the paper evidence provided to the Labour Party, including whether complainants' evidence included a sexual assault complaint."

      Only the paper evidence? Electronic file info doesn't qualify as evidence? Let's hope the emails get printed then…

  7. Sacha 8

    Beige Badger claims conspiracy: https://yournz.org/2019/09/16/labour-behaviour-problem-deeper-and-wider-than-leadership/

    What followed looked like a planned and coordinated plan to shut me up. I don’t think all involved were working together, but that’s how it looks to me, and I have seen these executions often in the past.

    • Anne 8.1

      That's interesting. I listened to Ardern's post cabinet conference this afternoon and there was a noisy journo (sounded like Newshub's Tova O'Brien) attempting to ask her questions about a supposed witch-hunt being conducted by Labour. From memory, Ardern brushed her aside as not worthy of a response.

      I immediately thought of PG running to the journos complaining bitterly about his supposed ill treatment on TS over the weekend, and how we were all running down the complainants (big lie) and all he was trying to do was be fair and reasonable (even bigger lie) blah blah blah.

      • Kat 8.1.1

        Winston is back and calls it all a "disgraceful orgy of speculation"…..expect some colourful exchange across the floor in the house.

      • Anne 8.1.2

        Addendum to 8.1

        And sure enough:

        The Standard blog is strongly (but not exclusively) aligned with Labour. The way the issue has been dealt with there is a sign that the culture of bullying, and of burying bad news, runs deeper in the party than party and parliamentary leadership.

        There was nothing mentioned about last Mondays biggest political story until I posted about it here.

        I kept posting comments about it through the week, and it was well discussed.

        It wasn’t until Thursday until the first and only post, by Te Reo Putake – Accused Labour Party Staffer Resigns

        It was a light week for posts at The Standard, with Labour stalwart mickysavage doing his best to divert to National bashing and trying to portray National as worse at dealing with scandals.

        Saves people having to read all of the rubbish.

        • Anne

          And look… Sacha n me got a mention :

          Sacha and Anne immediately started to niggle at me (Anne is a long time Labour supporter, Sacha leans further left). Earlier in the week Anne had told me to eff off from responding to her comments, so ironic. She had called on moderators to deal to me more than once.

          lprent started to give me lectures, like

          Perhaps you and the idiot who wrote that quoted piece should engage your brain rather than your lust for gossip and consider what options gets killed if that kind of report gets released. For a start, just think of the consequences for victims.

          Sometimes you are just an idiot.

          Yeah and it goes on in that vein. (snore)

          • Sacha

            Yeah, I didn't want to give that tosh more oxygen here, just let people see the tone of what was being said.

        • Incognito

          Petulant Pete started with this https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-09-09-2019/#comment-1653247 @ 11:53 AM on Monday. He’s obviously in awe of his own self-importance and he overlooked the fact that the same topic was already discussed the day before and also after Petulant Pete was banned for a whole week (!) for sloppy and selective quoting (as well as having a go to another commenter for the same offence despite that commenter being innocent).

          Petulant Pete’s Magnum Opus entitled Copying, Pasting and Linking for Dummies is a yawn-fest of the first order. Instead of crying in his soup about being “shut down” he could spare a moment of his thoughts for people who are feeling real stress about and because of the situation. His petulant pining for attention is cringy.

    • Beige Badger claims conspiracy:

      I see he's still under the impression that the lengthy discussions of the subject on this blog constitute an attempt to shut down discussion.

      • JohnP 8.2.1

        It's well known that the best way to suppress someone's speech is to give them the opportunity to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk about the issue and their freedom of speech being curtailed as they talk and talk and talk and talk, eventually completely robbing them of any speech whatsoever by surrounding and suffocating it with all of the words they've said.

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