Dirty Politics 2024?

Written By: - Date published: 12:50 pm, January 11th, 2024 - 89 comments
Categories: Dirty Politics, greens, uncategorized - Tags: , , , ,

I’m not a particular fan of Golriz Ghahraman, at times she’s a bit of a loose unit in ways that tend to get excused by the left. But she brings useful experience to the Green caucus and parliament and is an experienced MP.

She is also an MP who is subjected to some of the worst misogyny and racism from the reactionaries who appear to delight in attacking a political opponent who is also female and brown. This is still a huge issue for women online and in public life, and the abuse compounds for women of colour. Sometimes it’s blatant, other times it’s hard to tease out from the surrounding political abuse, but I think we can take it as a given that it will be happening now, that its wrong and that New Zealand society has an increasing problem of misogyny and racism.

I also believe that it is intentional beyond the inherent racism and misogyny, because it is a potent political tool. At the most obvious level it makes becoming an MP unattractive for many people who would bring more diverse perspectives to parliament and upset the patriarchal hegemony. Or it makes it harder for existing MPs to do their job, or stay in politics.

Yesterday it was reported that Ghahraman has been accused of shoplifting, and the Greens have stood her down from all portfolio responsibilities until this is resolved. I don’t have much to say about that, mostly because we know hardly any details.

Meanwhile, we can glean some things about the political context.

For instance, the RNZ link above is a reprint from the NZ Herald, and includes this paragraph,

According to sources, Ghahraman is understood to have been accused of shoplifting during the festive season from exclusive boutique clothing store Scottie’s Boutique in the electorate of fellow Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick.

There is no explanation for why the electorate of the alleged offence has relevance, nor the relevance of it being the electorate of Ghahraman’s MP colleague. Are we supposed to take an implication here? I don’t think there is an implication, but my brain did automatically go there when I first read it. Funny that.

The writer of the original piece at NZH is Philip Crump, who happens to be the founder and editor of NewsTalkZB Plus (or whatever alphabet soup they’re using currently). I wonder if there is an implication to be made from that? Feel free to consider if there is an actual connection rather than just an absurd, meaning-free political slur. Here’s his substack if you want to see if he is politically biased to the right or against the Greens.

Nick of @StrayDogNZ on twitter has pointed out the connections between the original blogger of the shoplifting story, Marc Spring, and Dirty Politics key player [link] Cameron Slater,

Whatever the outcome of the shoplifting story is, the blogger responsible for ‘breaking’ the story sure has it out for Golriz. He’s been pushing for her to leave NZ since last year. This has the Whale Oil stink of dirty politics all over it.



And sure enough, Marc Spring and Whale Oil’s Cameron Slater go way back. This Golriz story is Dirty Politics 2.0


Lprent has written about Dirty Politics here at The Standard in the past, here’s Marc Spring’s tag for posts that include him. The post Whale Oil – the book is particular pertinent here.

Is this Dirty Politics? At this stage, who knows. I’m not aware of any NACTF government involvement, nor of a connection between Crump and Spring. Maybe they acted off their own bat, it’s certainly possible that someone involved in the shoplifting allegation contacted Spring and that is all there is to it. Nasty pol rather than Dirty Politics itself. Likewise, there are journalists willing to skew the narrative because of personal politics or clickbait.

But given the history, why would we assume that there isn’t something else going on? One of the features of Dirty Politics is the two tracks, the background one that the public doesn’t know about, and the foreground one that we do.

Dirty Politics since its inceptions has been well orchestrated and caused serious problems for individuals and New Zealand’s political culture and society generally. It has undermined trust in the political process, and this too in my opinion is intentional. Less trust equates to more chaos, and the new right are adept at manipulating that towards reactionary rather than democratic politics. That empowers the right and often leaves the left struggling to makes sense of what the fuck is going on.

Time will tell here, but I hope that whatever the truth about the allegations, Ghahraman and the Greens are able to work through this unscathed and with due process.

89 comments on “Dirty Politics 2024? ”

  1. clyde perkins 1

    An act mp shoplifts and this would be a different headline.

    • Anker 1.1

      Highly likely Clyde Perkins

    • Terry 1.2

      Any MP caught shoplifting will always make the headlines, and for good reasons.

      Regardless of political affiliation, all of our MP’s should be held to a high standard of behaviour.

      Cabinet ministers must be held to an even higher standard of behaviour.

      The has always been dirty politics, that however doesn’t make it right. The people who are involved in “dirty politics” no matter what their political affiliation, are an abomination to God & man, and should be used for tackling practice for the All Blacks.

    • weka 1.3

      please pick one user name and stick to it.

      • Terry 1.3.1

        My apologies, my usual ipad had died from old age. I was considering getting a new one, however my eager young nephew convinced me that android devices are far superior, so against my better judgment, I bought one.

        I will never buy another android device again, it’s diabolical…

        Plus apparently I need reading glasses….

    • infused 1.4

      Yup. This place is odd at times. Some of the left have gone to a funny place since losing the election, just read Reddit.

      • weka 1.4.1

        Dirty Politics is something that the right in NZ developed. The left don't really do it. If an ACT MP was caught shoplifting of course the headline would be different. But if an ACT MP got caught shoplifting and that's all there was to it, I doubt I would bother writing a post about it. In the same way I didn't bother writing about the shopllifting, but instead wrote about the political DP context.

        If you want to argue that the left do it too, under my post, you will need to present some evidence while you make the argument. And it better be good, so my time isn't wasted.

        Nicky Hager's book is the best resource on DP and the right.

        • Stefan

          The Labour sent Mike Williams to Sydney to try did up dirt on John Key. Thats just one example. Both sides engage in dirty politics. You can absolutely dislike the tactics but to say one side doesn’t engage in it is clearly ignoring facts

          • weka

            Please provide a reference for your claim that Labour did that, so we can all know what you are referring to.

            I'm doubtful that it counts as DP, but feel free to convince me. And that's a single example, not an ongoing pattern of behaviour and intentional strategy.

            • Anne

              My recollection is that it was over a single alleged incident. Mike Williams was in Australia and while there he looked into it to see if there was any truth to the claim. He found nothing and so nothing happened. I’ve forgotten what the claim was about.

              Iirc, he was acting in his position as Labour Party president and not conducting illegal activity in the process.

  2. millsy 2

    A young brown liberated woman from an Iranian refugee family who advocates for the poor, LGBTQ and Palestinans. No wonder the right want her gone. Wouldnt be suprised if they turn their sights on Chloe next. One wonders if this a deliberate act by anti Palestinan interests to cancel anyone who speaks out against the progroms against them.

    • Powerman 2.1

      Yes, the right had a great time demonising Jacinda now they need fresh targets. So outspoken, female, young, talented MPs had better look out.

      • Stefan 2.1.1

        Not to be mean but Gloriz hardly fits the profile of young talent. She’s 43 years old. I wish I could consider 40s young but I can’t.

  3. UncookedSelachimorpha 3

    I had a glance at kiwiblog yesterday to see what that side was saying about this event. A great deal of really nasty misogyny and naked racism was on open display.

    I have no opinion on the shoplifting allegation at this point. But if what I saw is any representation, then Ghahraman is subject to vile abuse from the right.

    • weka 3.1

      thanks for doing that. Farrar has a choice about whether to let that happen or not. He let's that happen. Farrar has a whole chapter to himself in Hager's Dirty Politics book 🤷‍♀️

    • joe90 3.2

      A great deal of really nasty misogyny and naked racism was on open display.

      Golriz Ghahraman doesn't belong in our parliament.


      Why am I saying this? I suppose I’m saying it in part because Claudine Gay, who was until recent days President of Harvard, resigned this week, a lot of people seem to be operating under the assumption that it was over plagiarism, in the name of academic integrity.

      But it was actually because Chris Rufo and his fellow eliminationist supremacists, who don’t care a bit about plagiarism or academic integrity, and who in fact are participants in a decades-long conservative campaign to demolish the academy, wanted to destroy her reputation and that of her work and of the institutions and programs of diversity and equity and inclusion that she represents to them. And they did this because their intentions are supremacist and eliminationist, so they targeted her for elimination from her position, trusting our various media institutions to make the accusations against her the story, rather than the motivations and intentions of those bringing the accusation. And Chris Rufo trusted that our media would do as they expected, just because they, the eliminationist supremacist who were targeting Claudine Gay, said it should be so.



      • Anker 3.2.1

        Are you saying that Gay didn't plagiarise? If that is not what you are saying and she did plagiarise, do you think she should still be President of Harvard?

        • Belladonna

          It appears to me as though the original article is implying that the (now established) plagiarism would not have been an issue if Gay had been a male WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant). And it is only because she is a person of colour that she has been "targeted for elimination". There is zero evidence supplied for this point of view.

    • bwaghorn 3.3

      It's the rights whole way of being , we had it here just a few days ago , attacking the partner of a commenter here, it's why I hate them,

      That said I kinda hope it's dp in this case , it's a shit look for the greens a well paid mp thieving.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    I am not sure the reporting of this situation could be construed as dirty politics against the left due to right wing bias in the media. One only has to look at the media frenzy over the Sam Uffindel saga to disprove that idea. And that was for an event that happened when he was a teenager.

    But I do think reporting needs to be fair and accurate. And, I agree that the slur against Cloe Swarbrick was totally uncalled for. It is irrelevant which electorate the alleged offence happened in.

    But this is just par for the course for the media. Aiming to sensationalise the situation as much as possible to get attention I think. But I think this sort of behaviour should not be tolerated.

    • weka 4.1

      I am not sure the reporting of this situation could be construed as dirty politics against the left due to right wing bias in the media.

      I didn't say that the reporting could be construed as DP. In fact, I highlighted one piece of stupid media bias and encouraged readers to follow the links to see if there was RW or anti-Green bias (because if Crump was going to be an idiot, may as well point how that he's a politically biased idiot). But DP isn't simply political bias.

      I also specifically said,

      Is this Dirty Politics? At this stage, who knows. I’m not aware of any NACTF government involvement, nor of a connection between Crump and Spring. Maybe they acted off their own bat, it’s certainly possible that someone involved in the shoplifting allegation contacted Spring and that is all there is to it. Nasty pol rather than Dirty Politics itself. Likewise, there are journalists willing to skew the narrative because of personal politics or clickbait.

      You appear to not understand what the post is saying. Please reread and think about it differently before you comment again. Ask for clarification if you need to.

      • weka 4.1.1

        to pre-emptively clarify, what I am saying in the post is that there are already DP connections (Spring breaks the story and has connections to Slater). Around that there is context: racism/misogyny, and some in the MSM being willing to run slurs and bias (gratis, they don't have to be involved in DP). And, that DP from its inception engendered mistrust politically. And, we can't trust that it's not DP because two track had a whole hidden realm. It's valid to look at this and be aware that it could be DP.

        You can also read Lynn's comment below for background 😈

        • tsmithfield

          I guess the proof will be in the pudding in that whether the story was reported accurately or whether it has been blown out of all proportion. If it has been reported accurately, then any such connections are likely irrelevant.

          But, I think you are looking at this from a left wing perspective in referring to the likes of Slater when there are likely people on the left who would likely leap at doing the same if the have the chance.

          So looking at it from a neutral perspective, rather than a left/right thing, I think it comes down to the way in which the media can filter out the bias and slander and report the facts of the situation so far as they are known at the time.

          If a source, regardless of how nasty they are, points to a valid story, then it probably needs to be reported. But the journalists need to do a healthy amount of due diligence before going to print IMO.

          I suspect the gratuitus reference to Chloe Swarbrick's electorate probably shows the media has a way to go in that respect.

          • weka

            you sound like another person who doesn't understand what DP is and is confusing it with media bias.

            I guess the proof will be in the pudding in that whether the story was reported accurately or whether it has been blown out of all proportion. If it has been reported accurately, then any such connections are likely irrelevant.

            This doesn't make any sense. Whatever Ghahraman did or didn't do, if DP is happening, it is happening. If she did shoplift, DP can still be running. If she didn't DP can still be running.

            I don't know what you mean about if the story has been blown out of proportion. She's been accused of shoplifting, it's only come to light, she's been stood down from her portfolios in the meantime, and there may be a legal process from that. That's the story. MSM will try and make hay out of that, because clickbait and profit. Outfits like ZB will go harder than say RNZ, but it's all the same old tedious churn. None of that is DP.

            DP is in the timing, who is running the story on social media and how they are doing that, and whether there is any organising mind behind that, to what extent journos and bloggers are being fed lines of attack and so on. I can't see a connection to the government, but they're probably not going to do that anymore anyway after Hager's work.

            The other aspect is that DP lite can be done fairly easily because of SM and the connections that already exist. I doubt there will be phone calls between Slater and the PM's office, but there doesn't need to be now.

    • weka 4.2

      is this in the wrong place?

    • Vivie 4.3

      tsmithfield: Re your comment "And that was for an event that happened when he was a teenager". Some media have perpetuated the notion that Sam Uffindell's assault on the 13 year old was the only incident of him assaulting and bullying while at school. As reported on RNZ, Ufindell admitted he bullied other pupils.

      "I was a bully at school and I'm not proud of it," he said in a stand-up this morning….He said he punched a 13-year-old boy in the arm and body "multiple times" when he was a student at King's College, and was asked to leave the school the following day, at the end of his fifth form year….He also apologised to any others who he had hurt while at school.

      "There will be other people as well at high school that I have hurt one way or another and for those people as well I just want to apologise for that. I'm not proud of it at all and I've reflected on it a lot." …Other incidents may have included tackling or hitting some people, and name calling, he said".


      Do you consider RNZ reporting Uffindell's admission that he assaulted pupils while at high school to be dirty politics, media bias and/or sensationalism? If so, why?

  5. The reactionary Right has really jumped the shark if even guys like Damien Grant are telling people to stop being abusive shitstirrers

    Ok. We do not know the facts. We do not know the full story. Can we just let this play out without partisanship.

    No matter the righteous of your cause, when you delight in the misfortune of another you demean yourself.


  6. mickysavage 6

    Thanks Weka. I was thinking of writing something very similar.

    Right you are to refer to previous posts here about Mr Spring. The kindest thing I could say about him is he is a wanna be Cameron Slater.

    A couple of comments:

    1. Bridget Morten's reported comment that whether true or not, Golriz Ghahraman’s reputation will be tarnished after this claim is a ridiculous one for a lawyer to make. Has she not heard of the presumption of innocence? This sort of weaponised attack for the sake of it is a major problem with politics.

    2. I wonder about the timing. The alleged incident happened two weeks ago. South Africa's case against Israel is due to start soon and instead of focussing on that local media's attention will be focussed on this circus.

    Maybe Ghahrahman is completely innocent of this claim, maybe she made an innocent mistake, maybe she stuffed up. If she did stuff up this will not be the first time that a Parliamentarian has made a mistake and I would expect either there to be no charge or if there is one then diversion would follow.

    And to those right wingers claiming that the left did the same with Uffindell, the difference here is there is at this stage no finding of guilt. In Uffindell's case he admitted it by apologising to the victim of his offending unreservedly. And he has never resiled from that.

    And beating a kid with a bed leg is way more serious offending than pinching a bag, even if it did happen.

    • weka 6.1

      I wasn't following the timing argument people were making, but just remembered Slater's connection to Israel!

      I thought the Morten comment weird too, started to see where she fits in, got as far as Pundit before I ran out of time (didn't listen to the audio).

      But now I've just seen this bio


      coincidence? DP creating chaos narratives again? 😕

      • Anker 6.1.1


        I found Golriz unworthy of any positive consideration when she talked of fighting Nazis in Albert Park and for calling gender critical feminists Terfs.

        • weka

          really? Do you think you should be subjected to vile misogynistic attacks because of your politics? Because what you just said is akin to the TRAs.

          • Anker

            I am not sure what you mean Weka. I don't think anyone should be subjected to vile misogynistic attacks. Just because I don't think Golriz is worthy of any positive consideration, that doesn't mean I endorse negativity towards her or mysogynistic attacks on her.

            I don’t think I have ever commented on Golriz up till a couple of days ago and I don’t thing anything I have has said has been particularly negative, certainly not mysogynist. Actually it is Golriz. with the sign calling women Terfs, a term of abuse

            • weka

              it's unclear what you mean then. Speaking out against the attacks is positive consideration. You've basically denied the attacks and it comes across as if they're not big deal and she doesn't deserve to be protected or considered. If that's not what you mean, perhaps you could clarify.

            • weka

              Just seen your edit. As you know I think the Greens are utterly wrong on GII, and yes, there is hypocrisy around abuse. I don't see how that is relevant to this situation though. Are you implying that somehow she deserves less consideration now because of her GII politics?

              • Anker

                No I am talking about how I feel about her, not anyone else. Since Albert Park and the "fighting Nazis" and the Terf sign, I don't have anytime for her. But that is completely different from condoning abuse she receives.

                I hope she had support through this, but if she is guilty, I have no time for anyone who shop lifts, unless they are hungry and have no money for food.

                • weka

                  No I am talking about how I feel about her…

                  ok, that makes sense, thanks. I was taking your earlier words as politics, but that's clearer now.

                  If she has been stealing she should face the consequences.

    • Anker 6.2

      The left can't leave the Sam Uffindel thing alone. Bloody disgusting what he did as a 16 year old. But wheeling it out everytime someone on the left allegely stuff's up comes across as a little, well childish.

      Politicians from all stripes will stuff up. And when they do, their opponants will use it against them (often)

      Yes it is alleged, but the police are investigating. I think that if it is true, the voters have a right to know about this.

      • Obtrectator 6.2.1

        Yes, it might seem unfair, banging on every time about Sam Uffindell, when there've been many other egregious examples from his end of the political spectrum. Trouble is, though, he's the only known one remaining who's still a serving MP or likely to be. Nothing to be gained politically by continuing to pillory any of those others. He'll just have to go on wearing it until someone else emerges from under their stone.

      • bwaghorn 6.2.2

        I'd imagine there is a huge amount of talented solid citizens in this country that'd make very good mps , but due to maybe making some poor choices on occasions in their young years they are never going to , incase the witch finders come sniffing.

      • CharlieB 6.2.3

        I can't speak for every one regarding the Sam Uffindel story. But, from my perspective, the issue wasn't what he did as a 16 year old. The bigger issue is how that played out once he began the process of selection to become a National Party candidate.

        It seems as though those involved in that process were informed of this part of his history and then also seem to have coached him to some how make amends.

        The story broke because he tracked down and contacted his victim and arranged to go to that persons house were they had a chat and Uffindel made his apology. The victim was quite touched by this and felt it was quite genuine. Then a couple of weeks later Uffindel reappeared as the national party candidate for Tauranga so the victim called him out on the whole apology thing,

        At that point the national party and their enablers set about moving the focus of the story away from how there might have been a poorly managed attempt at damage control via national party HQ, and instead turned it into a "boys will be boys" and "he's paid the price" type dialogue all wrapped up in "you can't place the acts of a boy onto the shoulders of the man" attempt at diminishing what actually happened in respect to how the victim was treated, but also how National seemed to know about this part of the Uff's history and figured it didn't matter and an apology would make it all okay.

        So there are now two issues.

        Uffindell's abuse of a much younger boy as part of a gang with a chair leg, and the National Party attempting to diminish the importance of that by thinking that if the Uff apologised it would all be alright and the Uff would be a super cool MP. with a background in investigating financial crime.

      • Vivie 6.2.4

        Anker: "But wheeling it out everytime someone on the left allegely stuff's up comes across as a little, well childish". Why do you consider it childish to raise this issue? Uffindell informed RNZ that his assault of the 13 year old was just one of his assaults and bullying incidents of other pupils.


        Wouldn't this repeated behaviour raise concerns about a person's character, regardless of it happening while he was at high school?

        • Anker

          I said I thought Uffindell behaviour was bloody awful (probably could also use stronger words than that).

          I have more respect for people if when something bad has happened, like a stuff up or worse, people on their side acknowledge its bad or potentially bad if proved rather than wheeling out mistakes the other side has made.

          Mark my words, there will be at least one person in the coaltition who will stuff up before their three years is up. When it happens I hope they say, not good, we'll investigate and if found guilty your out. End of. Not bring up Kiri Allan or Golriz.

          I did think the left were the ones who like to offer forgiveness to violent criminals (thinking of Uffindell here). I guess though if people behaved badly in their youth long before they become a politician I am not sure how that should play out in terms of whether they stay in politics or not.

    • tsmithfield 6.3

      Maybe Ghahrahman is completely innocent of this claim, maybe she made an innocent mistake, maybe she stuffed up. If she did stuff up this will not be the first time that a Parliamentarian has made a mistake and I would expect either there to be no charge or if there is one then diversion would follow.

      I actually agree with you on this. And perhaps there should be some restrictions on what can be reported before charges have even been laid, as in this case. Especially for high profile individuals who are likely to have their reputations tarnished permanently even though they may be found to have committed no crime.

  7. lprent 7

    My opinion about Marc Spring is that he is a deranged arsehole who is deeply into dirty politics but who is somewhat thick. I suspect that I am being charitable in my opinion. I am just surprised that anyone thinks that Marc Spring was capable of thinking on his own. I thought that he was just a meat puppet being fiddled by others – generally Dermot Nottingham or Cameron Slater.

    Apart from the Blomfield case, Marc Spring was the person that Dermot Nottingham (I usually abbreviate the name to 'Dimwit') chose to deliver his legal documents for a private prosecution of me by hand, NZME as owner of the NZ Herald, and Pete George.

    The reason why I refer to him as Dimwit is because after several years of running it through the district court, he managed to go to trial. We wound up with a number of days of prosecution by Dimwit which were rather astonishing for their complete ineptness..

    When the defence finally got a say, NZME stated that Dimwit hadn't managed to establish that they owned the NZ Herald and had a immediate dismissal (they had sold NZH a year or possibly two before the article was published). My barrister got up and stated that Dimwit hadn't managed to establish in factual evidence that I had any association with the The Standard (choke) let alone any ownership – and got a immediate dismissal. That was like course 0.01 of legal understanding – you can get that from reading or watching legal fiction.

    Subsequently we won the appeal to the High Court, and I had the distinct pleasure of helping to bankrupt Dimwit (along with a number of other claimants) for not paying court-awarded costs from failed cases. Much the same as I laid charges against Cameron Slater for attempting to hire a hack of my servers and subsequently supported Matthew Blomfield for court-awarded costs and awards for defamation.

    In my opinion, both Dimwit and Slater are several orders of magnitude smarter and more honest than Marc Spring. Neither are honest and both have a long history of just making up their stories. If any of them are involved then it wouldn't surprise me if that 95% of what is claimed is a complete fabrication that will unravel when examined closely. They all specialise in innuendo and finding people willing to make up shite from their work.

    My general advice is to always see if you can take the arseholes to court to help take them out of circulation for a while. Never believe anything that they claim because they invariably cannot support the whole or even the major portion of what they claim with facts.

    • weka 7.1

      I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time, but this had me laughing out loud,

      When the defence finally got a say, NZME stated that Dimwit hadn't managed to establish that they owned the NZ Herald and had a immediate dismissal (they had sold NZH a year or possibly two before the article was published). My barrister got up and stated that Dimwit hadn't managed to establish in factual evidence that I had anyassociation with the The Standard (choke) let alone any ownership – and got a immediate dismissal. That was like course 0.01 of legal understanding – you can get that from reading or watching legal fiction.

      • lprent 7.1.1

        My mistake above. It was APN that was targeted in the private prosecution, not NZME. NZME brought NZ Herald and other companies from APN in about 2013/4.

        It was funny at the time. What wasn't funny was just how long it took to wend its way through to a resolution – something like 3 odd years.

        What annoyed me was that the great wad of paper (I think first one was about 5cm thick) that Marc Spring 'served' on me was just complete rubbish, most of which had nothing to do with the alleged offence. I don't think that there was more than about 5 pages of actual content. Most of it was repeated scans of online pages.

        Mostly it appeared to be aimed at the NZ Herald who wrote the article that the blogs wrote opinion on. If any of us had been allowed to submit on the complete crap that was in that wad.

        The Blomfield case was more like 7 years. I think I first wrote about it in 2013..

        If you want amusement about this group of dimwits including the derangement of Marc Springer, I think that my best one was The comical farce of Cameron Slater et al

      • Obtrectator 7.1.2

        Even state authorities aren't always immune from dimwittery. I once committed a minor traffic offence, and was notified that the court hearing would be on a date that turned out out be Easter Monday …

  8. Mike the Lefty 9

    Its all quite simple.

    To the political right Labour are just silly misguided fools that annoy them a bit.

    To the political right The Greens are the enemy that pissed on their parade in Wellington in last year's election and thus have earned their enduring hatred.

    The Greens get up their noses and laugh at them.

    Thus any opportunity to smear them is is not wasted, whether it is true or false matters not.

  9. Squirrel 10

    I don't see any Dirty Politics in this at all, the reporting has been very mild and unsensational. Pretty much as if they would rather have not had to report on it at all.

    Unless GG had nothing to do with the alleged shoplifting incident then it is hard to see how she can come out of this unscathed. The Green Party might be able to salvage something however – though contacting the shop sounds like bad judgement as it could be seen as interfering in the process.

    • weka 10.1

      report on what? A Green MP has been accused of shoplifting, been stood down from her portfolios while the process works itself out. They've reported on that. What else is there it report on?

      Perhaps you don't understand what DP is. It's not about MSM reporting (although some journos were complicit to varying degrees in the original DP). Are you confusing DP with media bias?

      It's not about Ghahraman either, which is why I didn't talk about what she may or may not have done. It's about whether the DP machine (do you know what that is?) is active with this issue currently as a way to damage the Greens/left.

      • Squirrel 10.1.1

        I don't believe DP is involved simply because there is almost nothing to the story. It is actually a very dull story. I think you are looking for something that just isn't there. If the allegations are true then GG will be discredited because of her actions, as she should be.

        • weka

          ok, it's clear you don't know what DP is. Of course it's a dull story, and yes, if Ghahraman is guilty then she will have some fallout from that.

          DP doesn't need a big sensational story, because it's about the systemic use of politics of slurs and other tools to damage political opponents. They don't need a Green MP caught murdering kittens with their bare hands and eating them, they just need the DP machine to churn out all the bullshit so that some of it sticks.

          The post isn't saying the GP politics machine is running. I don't know what is going on in the invisible track, that's the point of the invisible track. I do know that DP history in NZ means we can't trust people like Slater, Spring, Farrar and so on, because of the nature of DP and their involvement.

  10. Anker 11

    voice of reason Squirrel

  11. Matiri 12

    A few years ago in my small rural town, a local dairy farmer absconded without paying for petrol from Mobil. The police were notified and the miscreant was apprehended promptly.

    The real story: the local Mobil owner (an ex cop) was at the counter chatting to a serving cop and said "xxxx has just driven off without paying!". The cop said "I'll get her!", flipped his blue lights on and drove off after her and pulled her over.

  12. Corey 13

    Im glad you wrote this post.

    The story has given me mixed emotions (humour, anger, sad, concern)

    While I'm firmly in the innocent until proven guilty camp, it's hard to say that about Golriz when her and members of the Green party have partaken gleefully in trials by twitter.

    She has made many ill thought out decisions and comments since entering parliament in 2017 but has faced a disgusting level of hatred.

    If she's not guilty and it's just a smear or misunderstanding I hope her career rebounds, at times she has added value to parliament, especially on foreign affairs issues like with China and Palestine.

    If she is guilty, I hope it's the end of her career and she she gets a criminal record for shoplifting like anyone else

    The country is beyond sick of MPs playing fast and loose or acting like they are above the rules and I'm sick of our extremely well paid representatives acting like 12 year olds.

    I have no doubt that dirty politics is back and it's distressing, if all politicians have to be angels and have no past, then all we will get is more robots like Chris Hipkins and we will not get any diversity of class in our parliament and our political parties already do all they can to keep ordinary people out of politics.

    • Robert Guyton 13.1

      "While I'm firmly in the innocent until proven guilty camp, it's hard to say that about Golriz …"

      So, not so firmly then, Corey.

  13. Ad 14

    The fact Gharanan is currently overseas makes the reporting look like a hit and the Green Party suspension look injust.

    • Belladonna 14.1

      Being overseas no longer means that someone is out of contact.

      I would think it highly unlikely that the GP would have suspended her from the portfolios without talking to her first.

      • Ad 14.1.1

        Too many serious political moves are done while MPs are overseas for coincidence. Remember 8 months ago Robertson, Little and Parker releasing tax policy while Hipkins was in Europe?

        Green Party operators did really poorly against Kerekere 6 months ago with reflex overreaction. They need to circle wagons for Gharaman.

        • Robert Guyton

          Bet they do.

        • weka

          Kerekere was a complete liability for the party. My memory was that once the co-leaders became aware of the issues, they engaged the usual internal party processes and worked through them. EK did things like calling a members zoom, published her resignation while on the zoom but didn't tell the people on the zoom, and slagged off the party there and in public. No way should she have remained and many of us were relieved it all went down at the start of the year and not during the election.

          Ghahraman is in a completely different situation and imo unlikely to either shoot herself in the foot or attack the party.

          • Ad

            The comparison is in how Green Party staff protect their own MPs once battle is enjoined. Not the specific personalities.

            By comparison there was a swarm of politicos assisting Tory Whanau in her crisis, and it's worked.

            ACT have seasoned pros in their camp; their Chief of Staff is straight out of head of comms at Ports of Auckland.

            Greens are now much bigger than ACT, and they need greater skill at handling political attacks.

            That doesn't mean hiring assholes. It means winning through major media attacks better than they have, and this current one is case in point.

            • weka

              Ok, but I'm not sure why you think the Greens don't already do this.

              Kerekere is a really bad example for the reasons I mentioned.

              • Ad

                Obviously Shaw and Davison have been spooked, otherwise they wouldn't have stripped her of portfolios on a very small-time allegation and then their staff talked directly to Scotties.

                Kerekere is a fine example. Metiria Turei's implosion is another example: a fully vetted standup election speech. The 2023 internal attack against Shaw. The unnecessary resignations of Kennedy and Clendon.

                All of the above just self-inflicted damage caused by staff not standing up and stepping through with them what was going to happen next.

                What we need to see, rehearsed from the Tory Whanau playbook, is:

                – Some X/Twitter crafted contrition

                – Followed by a Snapchat and TikTok one

                – A nice wee Women's Day interview, soft as possible and lots tears

                – A super-soft tv breakfast interview on 3, again lots of tears

                – Fly her to Geneva to support the South Africa genocide case

                – A follow-up soft Stuff article on her adventures, some witness stories from the evidence, recounted with some emotion

                – Get her in front of the next pro-Palestine march,

                – Diversion from the Cops since it's a first offence

                All fresh and rehabbed for Parliament

                so then by the time September's MS Week rolls around again, she's a natural to turn to for all the interviews.

                This really isn't that hard.

                • weka

                  Obviously Shaw and Davison have been spooked, otherwise they wouldn't have stripped her of portfolios on a very small-time allegation and then their staff talked directly to Scotties.

                  there's nothing obvious about that. I'm highly confident that they know more about what happened than you or I. So it's just as likely what they know from talking with Ghahraman is informing their decisions. Also, my understanding is that since 2017, they've implemented processes that need to be followed. Do you know what those are? If not, then all you're doing here is guessing based on whatever.

                  Kerekere is a fine example.

                  Only if you believe that she should have stayed in the party. I suggest you talk to the GP members who know she had to go because she was a liability in election year.

                  Metiria Turei's implosion is another example: a fully vetted standup election speech. The 2023 internal attack against Shaw. The unnecessary resignations of Kennedy and Clendon.

                  Yeah, nah. The issue now is what they learned from 2017. You seem oblivious to what, I see it in everything they do.

                  It's day two, I assume you have no idea what is in their playbook for the coming weeks.

                • SPC

                  This is a starter post. On its own or within the wider orbit of public relations management.

                  • Pat

                    A starter post!?….more like a piss take.

                    Good grief…I despair.

                    • SPC

                      Of course its piss-take, as per more gaslighting of Green, but this is no reason not to inquire as to Ad's perspective on political party media management on behalf of MP's.

            • Anker

              Not sure what the personal attack is? GG has alledgely shop lifted on two occassions. And as the story is coming out, it is looking more and more credable. If she is innocent she will be able to prove it and clear her name.

              I think the reporting has gone on for longer than I would have expected, but I don't think you can call any of it an attack.

              My god I was brought up in the 60's where we had it drummed into us not to take a pin from someones floor.

              • weka

                did you read the post? of course there is an attack. This is the norm in NZ politics now. Go look on twitter and see what is going on. Look at Kiwiblog. Then read this from 2017.


                I don't care if she shoplifted or not. If she did, the police and her party will deal with it. If she didn't she didn't. Once we know either way, then there can be a public debate about how the Greens have handled it and what they have/haven't done.

                Meanwhile, there is shit being thrown at her and the Greens of a kind that should be abhorred in a democracy.

                There are now three things happening

                1. an MP being accused of shoplifting
                2. the attacks, via DP or not
                3. that there are two allegations and the Greens didn't front foot this

                The latter is not good but I'm not seeing too much wrong with the Greens' press release on this other than that they're yet again coming across as having poor comms.

                The attacks are as I said a problem in a democracy.

              • Ad

                The current problem is that Parliament hasn't started, and Gharaman is silent, so into that space this story feeds on itself because she isn't fronting. Silence isn't working and never does.

                Sure hope the team that rallied around Tory Whanau also get to rally around Gharaman. And do it fast.

  14. Thinker 15

    Never liked the title "Dirty Politics"

    "I think I smell a Nat" would been far more catchy IMHO…

  15. Grey Area 16

    Classic! Made my day.

  16. Morrissey 17

    weka, would you please detail how Golriz is "a bit of a loose unit in ways that tend to get excused by the left"?

    When has she ever been "a bit of a loose unit"?

  17. Peter 18

    Without reading all of this I am familiar with Marc Spring. I would not call him a scumbag slime ball because that would be unfair to scumbag slime balls.

    Cameron Slater? He had health problems years back and there were all the sob stories and sympathy seeking for him. Sadly his ailments did not shut him up or give him any worth.

    [potentially defamatory anecdote deleted]

    I was instantly incensed and responded when I first read of Spring and Slater in the column. Having written the [deleted] I've gone back and read through to find Iprent's contributed and the possible link about Ghahraman.

    That was enough for me. The story wasn't particular enough to introduce Nottingham but with the other two there was enough shit.

    • weka 18.1

      Mod note. I deleted the potentially defamatory sentence. Please be more careful in future. If you want to tell a story like that you have to present evidence that it is true, at the time.Please acknowledge you have seen this note.

  18. Muttonbird 19

    I didn't make the connection. Philip Crump is the recently outed Thomas Cranmer.


    Get a load of the columnists at ZB PUS:

    Bruce Cotterill: A respected company director and in-demand advisor to business leaders. Bruce is the author of the book, The Best Leaders Don’t Shout, and host of the NZ Herald’s new podcast, Leaders Getting Coffee.

    Oliver Hartwich: Authoritative and insightful, Oliver is the Executive Director of The New Zealand Initiative.

    Jamie Mackay: When it comes to the heartland, Jamie is New Zealand’s best-known rural commentator and host of The Country.

    Muriel Newman: Founder and director of the public policy think tank New Zealand Centre for Political Research, and a former ACT MP.  Muriel is analytical and relentless in her commentary on the economy and politics.

    Fran O’Sullivan: One of New Zealand’s most-respected business and political commentators, when Fran speaks her mind it has an impact.

    Katherine Rich: A business advisor and former National MP. She is currently interim CEO of the Aged Care Association Katherine and brings huge experience in the public and private sector.



  19. Anker 20


    Update about Golriz. Probably the story is being drip fed, because this is what happens in politics. Like it or not.

  20. Any MP proven to have been shoplifting should be gone. People need to stop defending the un defensible.

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