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Facing Meka

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, August 31st, 2018 - 143 comments
Categories: Ethics, health and safety, national, Politics, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri is facing an allegation of assault. Various media outlets suggest she is accused of pushing a staff member, physically forcing that person out of an office.

If the allegation is proven, then Whaitiri must be sacked as a minister. Serious consideration must also be given to de-selecting her as the MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti. She first won the seat in 2013, replacing the late Parekura Horomia and has gone on to hold the seat in the 2014 and 2017 general elections.

There have been a flurry of gossipy comments on Meka Whaitiri’s personality; there are claims that she is verbally unpleasant and difficult to work with, and for. The turnover of workers in her Ministerial office is astonishing. All, or nearly all, of her original staff have resigned and been replaced in less than a year.

This situation follows swiftly on from the demotion of Minister Clare Curren and the report into the assaults at a Young Labour camp. The usual anti left hacks are piling in and the right are tut tutting.

So far, so bad.

There are some good things to note in this situation, however.

Firstly, when the allegation was made, Meka Whaitiri went immediately to the PM, explained the situation and offered to stand down. That offer was accepted and the matter was made public.

The significance of this sequence is that the Ardern led Government has higher standards than the Key led Government. Key dealt with a series of scandals behind closed doors, starting with hiding the details of inappropriate sexual behaviour made against Richard Worth in 2009.

Key flubbed that early test of his morality and transparency. Ardern has not made the same mistake, accepting Whaitiri’s stand down offer, and leaving the investigation into the alleged incident to the appropriate authorities.

Secondly, the PM has dealt properly with Clare Curren, whose tendency toward self sabotage is fairly evident. It must be gutting to have two Ministers stood down in quick succession, however, Ardern’s treatment of both has been appropriate and, importantly, open.

Compare that with National’s approach to issues around Phil Heatley, Aaron Gilmore, Nick Smith and Pansy Wong. In those cases, John Key initially minimised the offences, effectively allowed the guilty parties to determine their own fates and made it clear there was a swift way back to Ministerial status for Nick Smith.

Key’s response to the scandal around the odious ACT MP David Garrett is telling:

“I don’t think I needed to know”. 

Ardern is clearly made of sterner stuff than Dunnokeyo.

Finally, one obvious takeaway from this week is that the PM must now be seriously contemplating an early cabinet re-shuffle. Most Ministers seem to be doing an excellent job, quietly getting on with their work.

However, re-assessing the team and making early changes, if needed, sets the Government on course for re-election.

The simple fact is that the role of Minister is difficult, stressful and demanding. Better to move on those that aren’t coping sooner rather than later.



143 comments on “Facing Meka ”

  1. Sam C 1

    “There are some good things to note in this situation, however.”

    Wow. You reckon?

    • mac1 1.1

      Yes. It is important to have proper processes to deal with human frailties and inabilities. It is important to have a PM who can be trusted to ensure that proper process is followed. We have both.

      Examples of improper process and leadership may be seen currently overseas.

      Both are lessons to us all as to how to deal with inevitable problems.

      I cannot think of a NZ government that did not have them.

      Luckily I can edit in that such a list has been compiled from the 1890s onwards! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_scandals_in_New_Zealand

  2. Sam C 2

    Or the full story of David Benson-Pope shoving a tennis ball into a kid’s mouth, since you seem keen on ancient history.

    More relevant would be finding out what happened at the Labour Youth Camp, but that has been brushed under the carpet.

  3. Vaughn 3

    Good post. I note, however, Simon Bridges has now weighed in on the matter, proclaiming the people deserve to know what happened. I’m still waiting to learn what happened in Tod Barclay’s office.

    • Kevin 3.1

      Yeah, Jacinda should have just dipped into the Prime Ministers fund and paid hush money so it all goes away…

    • D'Esterre 3.2

      Vaughn: ” I’m still waiting to learn what happened in Tod Barclay’s office.”

      Yup. Me too.

    • Cinny 3.3

      lololol was thinking about dirty todd in comparison as well.

      The nat’s seem to prefer to let issues perpetuate for as long as possible and/or pay out hush money than tackle an issue head on.

      Cabinet reshuffle, good idea as it looks like a bit of a learning curve for some to say the least.

      Loads of talent and experience to choose from. Nurturing required for some others.

    • BG 3.4

      Playing “whatabout” doesn’t really cut it.

      I raise your Todd Barclay with the “I wanna really know what happened at the Labour Youth camp”?

      …and don’t try to hide under “police investigation is ongoing”.

      • woodart 3.4.1

        I’ll see that and raise you a “do you know who I am”

      • cleangreen 3.4.2

        What about the todd Barclay affair as he is now swaning around the mediteranean with his private secretary now!!!

        So he ‘conveniently escaped the glare of the national “Gottcha minions.”

    • Marcus Morris 3.5

      Thanks for that. I was about to use Google to find Barclay’s name. I bet we never know the full story of that debacle.

    • mary_a 3.6

      Vaughn @ (2) … same here, particularly the content of those 400+ texts sent to Barclay’s electorate secretary, Glenis Dickson, from Bill English!

  4. Tuppence Shrewsbury 4

    “Please everyone, remember 9 years ago when we told you we’d be better than how that lot behaved, now isn’t like that at all”

    polishing a turd isnt fun but TRP has been sent out to do it

    • Cinny 4.1

      Didn’t brownlee push someone? Yeah he’s pushy..

      “2. In 1999, Brownlee was prosecuted and fined $8000 for assaulting an environmental activist at a National Party conference.

      Neil Abel, 58, a sympathiser of the Native Forest Action Group, said Brownlee grabbed him by the belt, thrust his knee “up my backside”, and manhandled him from the venue. He said Brownlee then threatened to throw him down a staircase, and that he feared for his life during the scuffle.”


      • Chris T 4.1.1

        As opposed to Mallard punching someone in the face

      • cleangreen 4.1.2

        Cinny 100%

        Joyce was worse still. Even though Brownlee was a threatening character he was a pussy compared to steven Joyce.

        Remember the political stash between David Parker and Steven Joyce on The Nation before the 2014 election?


        Joyce was standing over parker physically blocking him from even speaking and was criticiced repeately and after that Joyce was obviously told to stand back and not get into further stoushes as he stoppped..

        • Tuppence Shrewsbury

          On what planet can an altercation between two mps be somehow be worse than a minister of the crown physically assaulting a staff member?

      • Jimmy 4.1.3

        I didn’t know Bownlee did that back in 1999. I have a greater respect for him now.

      • Gosman 4.1.4

        That person was not an employee of Brownlee’s and I suspect was in a location that they were not allowed to be in.

  5. Stunned Mullet 5

    More to the point what would King Dick Seddon have done………… or indeed Pitt the Younger.

  6. roy cartland 6

    Pushed someone and is said to be mean.

    I liked the nat-leaker story better, as far as molehills go.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    It’s all about when push comes to shove, eh? As Mike Williams said to the physics prof this morning, poking him in the shoulder with finger, “that’s a technical assault”. Eyewitnesses? If none, her admission to Jacinda will dictate the outcome.

  8. Darien Fenton 8

    In a disagreement with a ministerial or parliamentary worker, the worker comes off second best. There is an out clause around “irreconcilable differences” in parliament and Ministerial IEAs and CEAs which gives the worker three months pay. There is a mountain of those in parliamentary history. And scandals. Let’s face it ; it’s one of the most insecure jobs around. Theres that clause, and then theres the three year “events based” contracts. I’ve seen hopefuls come and leave disillusioned many times. Its complicated and its worth seeing what they do in other jurisdictions. I think its even worse. But that said, no Minister or MP, particularly in Labour should get away with being bully bosses. We’ve got enough of them in the country thank you.

    • Cinny 8.1

      Well said Darien.

    • Ad 8.2

      +100 well said.

    • veutoviper 8.3

      Exactly, Darien. I worked in the Parliamentary precinct quite a few times over my Public Service career but always as a Departmental secondee and there is no way that I would work as a Ministerial Services or Parliamentary Service employee for the very reasons you have expressed, although I was approached a number of times to do so.

      Re Meka my only comment I am going to make is that I worked with and for Meka for a year or so back in the early 2000s in a certain government Dept. Working with/for Meka was not for the fainthearted or sensitive souls (and I am in no way implying that the staffer in this instance is either of those) , and some people found her difficult. Personally I really enjoyed that time and found it very rewarding. We worked hard but also played hard. There were a lot of long hours but also a lot of laughs – especially when Parekura Horomia came visiting which was often. And John Chetwin our Secretary was the best CEO – and in particular the most supportive of his staff and a top role model in this regard – that I worked under in my whole career.

      I hope that this situation can be cleared up very quickly for all concerned.

  9. ankerawshark 9

    Yes, if the allegations are true, it is extremely disappointing and Meka has let us all down, especially the alleged victim. I want to add but lets let due process follow and the complaint be investigated properly. But I don’t want it to sound like I am minimizing it or trying to suggest it didn’t happen.

    Its not good.

  10. cleangreen 10

    very true there Darrien;

    While I agree with your premise that we cannot tolerate “bullies” in politics”

    we just had nine years of this under natiional as many Labour MP’s accused National of this.

    I cite; Alleged bullying
    1/ Speaker David Carter.

    2/ Chair of the Transport select Comittee David Bennet.

    3/ Parliamentary services ministerial staffers.

    All these wings of Government were accussed of over-reaching tactics of blocking labour ministers from discussion in select committees or parliament often or speaking in public..

    Now getting back to the issue of what seemed to be a war between the minister of government and her “Parliamentary ministerial staffer.

    So now’ it appears that in the last day I myself was bullied by a staffer at the Minister of transport Phil Twyford’s office in the Wellington office during a phone call, when MP Twyfords Staffer would not answer a simple question I asked her that I was directed by parliamentary services to ask of her.

    She threatened to cut me off the phone if I continued the question to her as i was told to do by parliamentary services.

    After that threa, she slammed the phone down on me me as I was finishing the question to her.

    That was a deliberate threat she used to silence me and violated my human rights to request information from a public servant in Parliament and left me shocked still now.

    So yes bullying in parliament is still indemic since john key ruled over with steven Joyce and David carter kept suppressing us all together for nine long years so we need the whole system reviewed and bullying stamped out even from the lowest levels of “Parliamentary services up to the top.

    • Gosman 10.1

      Nobody is obliged to answer your questions in a way that you like.

      • Wayne 10.1.1

        Also it depends on the tone of the questions. Cleangreen is pretty free with insults on this site. Maybe that also translates on how cleangreen asks questions on the phone.

        • WILD KATIPO

          Pretty hard to ‘translate questions on a phone ‘ when it is a prerecorded message, Wayne…

          As for insults,… Geez Wayne… does criticizing anything the National party opposition does equate to ‘ insults’ in your book?

          I think thats more the problem here than Cleangreen, just quietly.

          Hows the inquiry into Operation Burnham going, Wayne?

          • Ed

            Looks like it’s a sham.

            New Zealand government launches sham inquiry into Afghan war crimes.

            The purpose of the investigation is not to establish the truth but to whitewash the NZDF’s war crimes and restore its tarnished reputation as it prepares to enter new wars to advance New Zealand’s neo-colonial interests alongside the US.

            A Strategic Defence Policy Statement, released last month by Defence Minister Ron Mark, demands stepped-up measures to protect “national security.” It echoes the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defence Strategy in addressing looming inter-imperialist conflicts and targeting China and Russia as the principal “threats” to the “international community.”

            Mark is an MP for the right-wing populist NZ First Party, a former soldier and ardent militarist. He served in the Sinai, completing two back-to-back tours in 1983, then joined the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces from 1985 to 1990. Oman, a close ally of the US and the UK, is ruled by an unelected hereditary Sultan, who has brutally put down opposition movements.

            The inquiry into the 2010 Afghanistan raid is far from “independent.” It is led by former Supreme Court judge Terence Arnold and ex-Labour Party Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer. In May, General Keating announced that an office for the inquiry had been established, led by former deputy navy chief Commodore Mathew Williams.

            The inquiry’s terms of reference are limited to determining whether the NZDF complied “with the applicable rules of engagement and international humanitarian law.” It will determine if the “rules of engagement… changed over the course of the Afghanistan deployment” to justify the “offensive use of lethal force against specified individuals (other than in the course of direct battle).”


          • Stuart Munro

            “does criticizing anything the National party opposition does equate to ‘ insults’ in your book?”

            Pretty much.

            There’s no defense like “How dare you ask me that!” It allows scoundrels like Wayne’s colleagues to completely avoid the substance of any complaint. Which in most cases is the only way they could secure their desired result, justice invariably not being on their side.

      • WILD KATIPO 10.1.2


        … ‘ Nobody is obliged to answer your questions in a way that you like ‘ …


        Therefore no one should feel obliged to answer to your inane demands for your questions.

        And don’t forget , – you said it first , a-hole.

  11. pete 11

    How John Key reacted is irrelevant when you spend a lot of time trying to get people to see the positive side of the current government and the Labour Party.

    They knew when they went in that they were on a hiding to nothing if the tiniest smidgen of a hint of anything being less than perfect in a perfect world happened.
    Or could be built into a hint of anything being less than perfect.

    The distractions are far more than than the actual incidents. The distractions are from the attention and energy of supporters being diminished by the unnecessary.

    The trick is always to be the arsehole you think you need to be behind the scenes while presenting the “everything’s okay”relaxed visage and persona to the masses. The smiling assassin. Fighting images of incompetence and incompetents and turning those around is not easy.

  12. Wayne 12

    There was never a suggestion that Richard Worth was involved in anything that was a breach of the criminal law. A huge difference to Meka Whaitiri.

    • Ok, Wayne. So what did he do?

      • cleangreen 12.1.1

        te reo putake.

        Wayne Mapp will never say anything wrong about national nor would Gosman because they are nationals pupperts.

        • WILD KATIPO

          And at least one of them held a place of high office when the decision to mount Operation Burnham was affected.

          Then promptly left office,… much like ‘ Sir ‘ John Key after things got too hot,

          ‘Sir ‘ … John Key.

          What a lot of thinly veiled trash.

          The man was a self interested, self serving arse hole.

          ‘Sir’ John Key my bloody arse.

          That mans got blood on his hands. Mr ‘ Get Some Guts’ BLOODY Key .

      • Darien Fenton 12.1.2

        I found myself stranded with this man once when our plane full of politicians made an emergency landing in Ohakea. That encounter is for the book.

    • dukeofurl 12.2

      Todd Barclay ?

      They knew exactly that was a breach of criminal law, and yet he stayed in Caucus and was even re-selected.

    • Anne 12.3

      Well , we will never know Wayne because the young lady in question was so traumatised by events, she couldn’t face the prospect of being dragged through a court case. Lucky for Richard Worth eh?

      • cleangreen 12.3.1

        100% correct Anne.

      • Stunned Mullet 12.3.2

        [Deleted. Unintentionally defamatory. Find another way to word it. TRP] perhaps there’s more than a fair share of sexual predators, rogues, bullies and vermin in all the political parties and their hangers on.

        • Darien Fenton

          And he left. Resigned. Held himself accountable, despite being cleared later on. And gone on to do marvellous work.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.4

      Lying again Wayne?


      Key subsequently referred to an unrelated and resolved allegation related to “making a nuisance of himself toward women.” He said the current instance was serious enough to warrant criminal investigation. He said Worth’s conduct did not befit a Cabinet Minister in his administration, that he would not have Worth in Cabinet, and that he had lost confidence in Worth as a Cabinet Minister. The New Zealand Herald indicated that the Prime Minister had known about the current allegations at the centre of Worth’s resignation for the preceding fortnight.

      My bold.

      And Key tried a huge amount of prevarication and distraction to protect Worth until it became obvious that he couldn’t.

      • Ross 12.4.1


        Yeah Key did say that about Worth but Key was never the most reliable person in the room. 🙂

        • dukeofurl

          “In early July 2009 it was reported that the woman who made the original allegation to police had withdrawn her complaint and police dropped the matter.”
          Police complaint made

        • Draco T Bastard

          Even a stopped clock is right every now and then.

        • Macro

          Ross are you implying that the matter was even worse than what Key inferred in his statement? He would hardly have said what he did, if it was an insignificant indiscretion.

      • OnceWasTim 12.4.2

        Wayne doesn’t lie @ Draco! he ‘mis-speaks’

        • WILD KATIPO

          Yeah – he prevaricates and lies. Still,… good to have him keep on keeping on as a show-board for the far right wing nutjobs he aligns himself with.

          We need a few more just like him to help smear and detract from his own party. I think hes a fifth columnist against the National party tbh…

    • mickysavage 12.5


      You know the details. Why not let us know why Worth was sacked so we can compare Worth to Whaitiri?

    • ianmac 12.6

      Wayne. Your inside knowledge appears to show that Meka has committed a criminal breach. Please tell us the detail?

      • WILD KATIPO 12.6.1

        Geez Wayne’s a has been and out of the loop. Its all second hand news now.

        All we have left is a rogue neo liberal idealist.

        Its no coincidence why Nicky Hager wrote ‘The Hollow Men’ .

    • KJT 12.7

      Unlike Key fondling waitresses hair, repeatedly lying about meetings to Parliament (Currens crime?) and keeping Brownlee and others on, after their manifest incompetence and entitlement.

      I expect MP’s to meet higher standards, than simply avoiding being caught by the police.

      I do expect higher standards from Labour. Adern’s handling of these has been exemplary.

  13. Gosman 13

    The scandal around David Garrett? What scandal? His conviction was revealed to his party before he became an MP and he was not a Minister. He was essentially hounded from office by the Media.

    • That’s ‘convictions’ not conviction. You’ve conveniently forgotten his assault case.

      To your point: I think fucking with dead babies is scandalous, Gossie. If you search Garrett + scandal you’ll have plenty of hits to choose from.

      And the fact that he told ACT about it before they selected him to be an MP says all you’ll ever need to know about ACT.

      • chris73 13.1.1

        So you don’t believe in second chances then?

        • cleangreen

          What are you saying Chris?
          “you don’t believe in second chances then”?

          For whom about what?


        • te reo putake

          Yes, I do believe in second chances. There are plenty of MP’s and ministers of all political stripes who have gone on to have successful careers despite having made early mistakes.

          But third, fourth, fifth chances? Nah. As well as the offences themselves, Garrett was caught lying, repeatedly. Ask the Law Society if you don’t believe me.

          • cleangreen

            Yes TRP one case is avid cunliffe he was a gem and should have remained in parliament fancy being let go because he apoligised for being a man?????

            What has Parliament come down to now??

            • Darien Fenton

              I think you’ll find that it was the public who “let go” David Cunliffe with one of the worst election results for Labour in recent history in the 2014 election.

              • Bill

                That’s one interpretation.

                And there would probably be very similar interpretation flying around had the attempt to stop Corbyn standing in the second leadership contest for UK Labour been successful.

                Much that went on around Cunliffe was striking in its similarity to what went on around Corbyn – from how MPs ran their election campaigns, to the back stabbing and “talking down” of prospects, to the media jumping merrily on board…

                The only thing that saved Corbyn was the empowerment of UK Labour’s membership. Cunliffe didn’t have that and…well, how is that process of democratisation of NZ Labour coming along?

              • Draco T Bastard

                No, it was the Labour caucus which backstabbed him and the MSM who attacked him mercilessly. Both operating with the specific goal of removing him from Labour’s leadership as they didn’t want a return to even a mildly socialist state. The profits are great as things are I suppose.

                • Bloody well right.

                  And although I support Adern ,- it was Cunliffe who really threatened the neo liberal establishment . In so much that David Cunliffe was an important figure in NZ’s political history.

                  No one could deny who he was speaking to on his 2014 year election speech . It was electrifying in its potency.

                  Campaign Launch 2014, speech from David Cunliffe – YouTube
                  Video for david cunliffe election speech you tube▶ 30:31

                • Darien Fenton

                  You are wrong. I was there in caucus. You weren’t. Another story for my book.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    That’s not what we saw from outside. Leaks and statements that undermined Cunliffe at every turn. Fractious and incompetent.

              • Anne

                @ Darien,
                You haven’t taken into account that “Dirty Politics” was released in the August – not long before that election. Key and co. chose to lie through their teeth and the public in their ignorance chose to believe them. A majority of the public now know it was Hager who was telling the truth.

                You also fail to take into account there was a concerted campaign of deceit around Cunliffe in the lead-up to that election, including media set ups (remember the Donahue Liu case) and other suspect claims designed to impugn the credibility of Labour.

                Only one journalist had the courtesy to apologise to Cunliffe afterwards – a long time afterwards – and that was John Armstrong.

                • Marcus Morris

                  Best Prime Minister the country never had. Should have been the successor to Helen Clark. Key would probably not have got a second term and we may still have had total ownership of our prime assets. Those Labourites who ran the ABC campaign have a lot to answer for. That is not to say that I am not completely supportive of Jacinda Arden. But imagine a Cunliffe Adern ticket. We will never know of course.

      • Gosman 13.1.2

        Do you have a problem with Frank MacKasy as well then?

        • McFlock

          I’d have a problem with him being an MP, sure. Especially if he turns into a “tough on crime, ban name suppression” hypocrite who tried to hide his own previous convictions.

      • greywarshark 13.1.3

        Garrett didn’t…with dead babies. He. however used coumentation of dead babies.

        Best when throwing mud that it hits the bullseye.

        • te reo putake

          I don’t agree. Stealing a person’s identity fundamentally fucks with them. It’s arrogant, creepy behaviour that denies the humanity of the victim. Garrett, as far as I know, has never apologised directly to the family and has only been self serving and defensive about the matter.

          • greywarshark

            Well try and restrain your language then TRP. Then when worse things happen you haven’t run out of words. Because worse things have, are, and will happen. That can be observed from the past and forecast for the future.

            • te reo putake

              Good point regarding language. I did actually tone it down. I was originally just going to refer to David Garrett as a ki**ie f***er, however that seemed potentially confusing so I went with went with ‘David Garrett … f***ing with dead babies’. To be fair, that’s confusing too, as I far as I know David Garrett only f***ed over one dead baby and didn’t f**k with multiple dead babies.

              I trust that clears things up?

              • greywarshark

                Good try TRP. Still a bit robust. When there are real people interfering sexually with babies and vulnerable persons, for real, then using emphatic language like that to make your point doesn’t define what sort of f…ng your mean. Unfortunately we are getting inured to the 100 degrees of grey and black and need to see it measured on a depravity scale. I trust that clears things up?

    • dukeofurl 13.2

      really .
      Hide wasnt told all the details
      Act leader Rodney Hide said he isn’t sure if Garrett told him how he obtained a fake passport in the name of a dead child.
      ”I actually couldn’t remember if he declared it, how he did it to me,” Hide said. “I don’t know what level of detail I knew.
      ”I think I remember that he got something off the cemetery. I didn’t know the age of the child.”

      Garrett knew how to cover and minimise his offence as he did for the passport case when the Judge talked about a blameless life
      The assault conviction in Tonga was ignored
      “Hide said he had doubts that Garrett told the full truth in that affidavit, given the judge’s comment that Garrett had lived an otherwise blameless life. It has since emerged Garrett had an assault conviction at the time of the 2005 trial.”

      Day of the Jackel ? The more likely story is tax evasion

    • dukeofurl 14.1

      We had been discussing it all week, Its a bit all talked out the issue over the visa but good its come through

  14. James 15

    “The significance of this sequence is that the Ardern led Government has higher standards than the Key led Government. Key dealt with a series of scandals behind closed doors,….”

    Given the way labour handled the sexual abuse claims from its youth camps – I’m amazed you could believe this.

    • chris73 15.1

      I’ve never heard of this guy Mike Hosking before but I just read an article he wrote and it had a pretty good summation


      ‘Labour can’t run a summer camp, they can’t control ministers, they’ve got a former leader barking advice and the economy is in trouble.’

      I reckon he’ll go far

      • Dennis Frank 15.1.1

        When Hosking began on Morning Report it was such a breath of fresh air. Sad that he’s failed to mature with age. Nothing wrong with his take on Labour but why not the historical context that the Lab/Nat duopoly always produces the same shambles regardless which is currently in power? Too trite an analysis renders him lightweight – so he’s hired to preach to those as simple-minded…

        • cleangreen

          100% correct Dennis,

          So back on 9.1 and 9.1.1 both Gosman and his sidekick wayne Mapp said the Ministerial staffer that just threatened me not to ask her a question that Government services requested i ask they said to was fine that the Staffer was withuin her rights to slam the phone down after thretening me to stop asking what the name of Phil Twyfords PA was??????

          I had called Government main office to ask who the PA for Phil Twyford was and they said I had to ask the Phil Twyford office and request the name and the staffer and when I did as they said she refused to answer that simple question???

          If Labour want to be “transparent” then they need to direct their Ministerial staff to comply with any community citizens requests dont they?

          it is obvious that the right wingers like Gosman and wayne Mapp dont care about human rights or transparent and will accept a lower standard as we had under national.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.1.2

        You know, I’m pretty sure that it’s not a political parties role to control its members.

        Hosking, as per normal, is talking out his arse.

      • marty mars 15.1.3

        Lol great impression of right wing humour there Chris – you’ll go far in rwnjs circles with that outrageous comedy.keep it up lol

      • Gabby 15.1.4

        That Horeskin fellow needs a bit of a tidy up don’t you reckon chrissy. Bit of a scruff.

      • pete 15.1.5

        How far? How soon?

        Won’t be far enough or soon enough.

      • Marcus Morris 15.1.6

        How old are you Chris and how long have you lived in this country. The arch prat Hosking has been around for years in various guises. On of the most opinionated commentators ever take to the air waves.

      • WILD KATIPO 15.1.7

        … ” [ I’ve never heard of this guy Mike Hosking before ” ] ….

        Are you a foreign import from the USA, … furthermore,… do you even have the right to vote in this country ?

        Are you a neo con, chris73 ?

        And if so,… why is it your concern about what our govt does or does not do?

        Are you part of the Peace Corps?

        You certainly do not act like it. So fuck off, please.

        Even a comedian like John Candy seems to have more integrity than you do….

        Volunteers Trailer – YouTube
        Video for john candy comedy film peace corps you tube▶ 2:19

      • KJT 15.1.8

        Hosking is an ignorant twit. A radio shock jock promoted way beyond his competence level, because he excels in repeating National party lies, with a straight face.

        Says a lot about you if you take anything he says, seriously.

    • James

      … ‘ Given the way labour handled the sexual abuse claims from its youth camps – I’m amazed you could believe this ‘ …

      Have you any proof of what you are implying ?

      Or are you just going on hearsay and points scoring?

      This is why you are easy meat to be lampooned, my old son.

      Far too easy meat, in my opinion. Like an old deer is to a pack of hungry wolves… and even though you may give links and quote quotes… do you really have any proof? … were you there? … and even if one of your mates were there… how do we know they are not politically biased ???

      Personally , in my opinion …and as I’ve always suspected , … that you Sir, are an idiot.

  15. bwaghorn 16

    High staff turn over two I heard ? Always the managers fault if that’s happening . Sacking for pushing maybe on the second offence . Send her to anger management and the back benches .

  16. Cynical Jester 17

    This is a disaster 🙁

    If there’s any slither of truth to the alegations of bullying or violence she should be kicked out of the party,out of parliament.

    Two ministers in two weeks. Luckily it’ll blow over but cmon.

    Ardern showed bad judgment with Curran (personally I think she shouldn’t be an mp let alone a minister hell I don’t think she should even be in the party post Cunliffe she’s a known backstabber) Ardern should have been much tougher on her and the media will be pushing her to go hard on Meka and I think Ardern should make an example of her to let other ministers know she means business.

    This will blow over but the. ..
    There are a few people in labour who have no business being in government (Tamati is the next biggest liability) and the party leadership needs to think long and hard about whether it’s made the right choice in its minister selections.

    • Gabby 17.1

      Sliver jessy, sliver.

    • dukeofurl 17.2

      You obviously never heard of Nick Smith then….. Will Bridges expose him as the leaker and kick him out …finally.
      As an MP he was convicted by 2 judges for witness tampering over a court case…. yet the NP leadership took on the Solicitor general for referring the case.
      So much for the rule of law within national caucus, as was later shown in Todd barclays criminal actions and its coverup by the NP.

      • veutoviper 17.2.1

        Nah – he was really busy and in his element – and loving it – over the period that the leaker leaked, leading the attack on the Electoral (integrity) Amendment Bill in the House during its second reading and Committee stages, including under urgency. He hadn’t been that centre of stage for a very long time.

    • greywarshark 17.3

      Stop being cynical and give us some more humour, jester. Do you support Labour or not? If you sit on the fence too long you’ll cut off your blood supply to your legs. And that’s a pathetically boring way to get legless.

  17. We’re pretty mild over here in New Zealand where our punch ups only include 2 MP’s in the corridors, … we should thank our lucky stars we dont have this sort of thing….

    Incredible scenes as fighting breaks out in Turkish parliament – YouTube
    Video for punch up in parliaments you tube▶ 0:58

    • Or this ….

      Punch up in Taiwan parliament – YouTube
      Video for punch up in parliaments you tube▶ 0:58

    • greywarshark 18.2

      Wow that’s a new form of excitement and viewing ‘Men at Work’. And they try and ban ultimate fighting in prison!

      While they are going on like this the ordinary person is in stasis on important issues while they indulge themselves in personal disputes petty or not, and the politicians can plainly not be discussing problems while fighting in their comfortable shelters, wearing their power working suits. Men at Work sing about us in Overkill

      How do those women politicians who are flighty attack each other, with hatpins? No too old fashioned. Style sarcasm and Gucci handbags from the Right (low average $1500, high average $3000). Would it be more prestigious to be hit by a high-value bag?

  18. Goodness, that Cleangreen person does go on, and on, and on………

    And sometimes, people/staff are so incredibly stupid, bullying is too good for them – decapitation’s the only remedy.

  19. McFlock 20

    In some workplaces you can claim that either the work culture or necessity requires a shove on occasion.

    I fail to see how a parliamentary office would be one of those workplaces. Shoving is unacceptable behaviour, which alone would risk dismissal (depending on degree). But the high staff turnover points to some blatant failures in running that office, as well.

    We shall see what happens, but this is a serious matter.

    • Hard to know what happened without being a fly on the wall, but it doesn’t look promising.

      My main gripe is with MP’s who are charged with greater society’s safety and yet are not leading by example,- we are not some banana republic and this sure is not cricket.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.2


      Especially about the high turnover

  20. greywarshark 21

    A fair summation TRP.

  21. Perhaps Jacinda is really the strong leader we have been needing for decades , and the situation regarding said person should be this… contrasted with the Key led corrupt govt…

    Santana- She’s Not There – YouTube

  22. cleangreen 23

    Wild Katipo.

    I hope like hell that Jacinda will step up to the challenge that is in front of us all as the climate goes to hell in a handbag.

    • cleangreen, …

      There is much water to pass under the bridge yet,… the Bible has said these things will happen, whether that be by a meteor strike, or the weaponization of space, or some other natural catastrophe… but we CAN rest assured it will happen before we ever have to sprout gills because of global warming…if anything,… global warming and rising sea levels will be the least of our problems. Here’s some prophecy’s from the book of Revelations.

      The First Four Trumpets

      6 ] And the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

      7 ] Then the first angel sounded his trumpet, and hail and fire mixed with blood were flung to the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, along with a third of the trees and all the green grass.

      8 ] Then the second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned to blood, and third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

      10 ] Then the third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star burning like a torch fell from heaven and landed on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.

      11 ] The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter like wormwood oil, and many people died from the bitter waters.

      12 ] Then the fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun and moon and stars were struck. A third of the stars were darkened, a third of the day was without light, and a third of the night as well.


      Interesting it talks about a ‘star’ called ‘ Wormwood’ . It could just as easily have been talking about a nuclear exchange between the USA and another superpower. As we are well aware of Ronald Reagans Star Wars project and the Donald’s executive orders to build a system…

      I have my doubts about ‘anthropocentric climate change’.

      Personally I believe it is a lot of contrived crock.

      We had a warm Medieval period but no mention is ever made of that (conveniently). Yes we will see change,- but not like some are trying to predict. And it is always interesting when we look at the benefactors of the carbon tax scheme.

      Those who stood most to gain were the very same ones who instigated it.

      The Bilderbergers.

      And they wanted govt’s around the world to funnel cash into their coffers via tax credits , – while still exporting their polluting industry’s to third world country’s to take advantage of sweat shop labour rates – with the added bonus of non compliance with western standards of lowering ‘carbon’ rates…

      Don’t we smell a rat?

      Esp when all life on this earth is primarily carbon based… what are they trying to say here?

      If we really wanted to reverse ‘global change’ we would simply reverse deforestation (Shane Jones has the right idea about tree planting ) and outlaw mass forest clearance globally.

      But big business is too cunning for most of us to see what they are up to.

      Whatever , man … what the hell ever.

      Do you think that they would ever listen?

      Sick of the garbage.

      Johnny Cash The Man Comes Around with Lyrics – YouTube
      Video for when the man comes around johnny cash youtube▶ 4:28

      • cleangreen 23.1.1

        Yep Wild Katipo.

        They will pay for their sins.as the good book says; – what they will sow they will reap.

        Fools all they are.

        jacinda should be stamping on those that are encouraging more and more emissions of climate change CO2 such as using yet more and more truck freight and roads to just carry freight that should now be on rail.

        This will destroy us all.

        Fail by Jacinda here in her first test against the trucking lobby.

        truck lobbyists = one
        Jacinda’s “Nuclear moment of her generation.” = zero.

  23. RedLogix 24

    Seems all a bit OTT. In the past decade I’ve worked for some real tough nosed bosses, it’s not necessarily been easy, but in many ways I’ve come to prefer them.

    Usually these are the ones who expect you to deliver your best.

    • McFlock 24.1

      Spent some time with one foot in security work and the other in bureaucracy. In the security break rooms there’d be some bullshit, not much biffo though. But it wasn’t bullying, it was just that everyone had a higher threshold for physicality and a lower threshold for language (I did accidentally drop an f-bomb while giving a presentation once, but fortunately it was appropriate to content and not to clients).

      The toughest bosses I encountered were capable bureacrats who never raised their voice, let alone a finger.

      A sterile office in a larger organisation seems to tend towards producing more flighty characters – the slightest variation is noticed, dwelled upon, gossipped about, whispers happen, and the appropriate paperwork gets filed. Every office has it’s own cultural level of noise and activity (one lot used to play indoor cricket with rolled up printouts as balls), but variations outside of that controlled environment make folk scurry and either worry or giggle. I’ve heard that prisons are similar – changing the environment slightly can overwhelm folk into spending ages trying to figure out what’s happened. Heck, now a lot of offices have card access only, so you can’t get randoms or spouses popping in to pick up keys or what have you. Completely controlled environment.

      tl:dr: sometimes loud people with big gestures and suchlike are acceptable bosses. Not so much in a govt bureaucracy.

  24. Had a theme unexpectedly about wolves on another post. That was concerning a young family’s plight in having to pay $520 every week for the privilege of living in what was described as a ‘swamp house’ by our govt .

    The wolf and the raven were symbols of the Vikings, and for good reason.

    And that same spirit of pushing back hard against those who would challenge decency in such basic things as housing, wages and food prices need to be always put to the forefront. Thus I leave you with Led Zepplin’s Viking inspired ‘ Immigrant Song’.

    Signing off for the night


    Led Zeppelin – Immigrant Song (Live Video) – YouTube
    Video for immigrant song youtube▶ 4:08

  25. Darien Fenton 26

    I should not have mentioned the DC thing. It’s clear some on this thread are still hanging on to things that never happened. There was a lot of hurt all round. Turns out I was right about Jacinda however. And btw I saw DC the other night. He’s doing well, as am I. As he said, ten years taken off our lives leaving politics.

  26. Darien Fenton 27

    Oh and just one other thing : if a Minister loses their warrant, their staff are sacked along with them. So I find the baying for blood pretty difficult, knowing there are a number of workers who are affected.

  27. veutoviper 28

    Yesterday, I replied at 7.3 to some comments Darien Fenton made about the insecurity of working in Parliament for MPs etc as employees or contractors for Parliamentary Service or Ministerial Services. In doing so, I also commented on my experience working with and for Meka Whaitiri some years ago and said that would be the only comment I would make.

    On reflection and having talked last night to another former work colleague who also worked with Meka for much longer than me, I want to make a few more comments that this other person and I discussed and think may possibly be relevant to the situation that has arisen. This other person is Maori, closer to Meka’s age and background than me, and while not a great fan of Meka, was shocked at this latest news.

    According to Meka’s own CV, she was raised in Manutuke (Rongowhakaata) and Whakatu by her marae Kohupatiki (Ngati Kahungunu); and her whanau are hard-working labourers. Her first jobs were in East Coast shearing gangs and then in freezing works, before going to university in Wellington.

    In our opinion, probably as a result, Meka does not put on airs or graces, calls a spade a spade, and is quite forthright in what she says. What you see is what you get. I personally found this quite refreshing and was well able to cope with it – from the perspective of a pakeha female with over 10 years more under my belt than Meka and from a very different urban background. While I officially worked under Meka, we actually treated one another as equals and the pakeha/Maori aspect never came into the equation. Not all of my colleagues at the time felt the same, however, and interestingly one or two were other Maori women of a similar age and background to Meka.

    Another factor is that physically Meka is tall (c 6 ft) and well built. In her younger years, she was selected as a national representative for softball and netball, including being selected by the Silver Ferns as a reserve player.

    As this other former work colleague reminded me, Meka is not one for staying sitting down and behind a desk for long periods of time. Her restlessness meant that she preferred to talk standing up or walking around, and often made hand movements when talking. So physically she is quite imposing when standing and talking face to face.

    This colleague also reminded me that Meka tended to step into your space without her realising it. I now recall subconsciously stepping back from her on a number of occasions, and in fact several times pointing out to her that she was in my space. She would be very embarrassed, apologise profusely and ask that I point it out every time because she did not mean to do this. Perhaps an indirect result of the close proximity that netball is played in defending and attacking, particularly around the hoop area?

    So, we just wonder whether these factors or similar came into play last week with this new employee who had had little experience of Meka.

    The post also suggests that “If the allegation is proven, then Whaitiri must be sacked as a minister. Serious consideration must also be given to de-selecting her as the MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti.“

    As the post also notes, Whaitiri first won the seat in 2013, replacing the late Parekura Horomia and has gone on to hold the seat in the 2014 and 2017 general elections.

    That does not give the real picture. From the time she first went to work for Horomia in the Community Employment Group of the Department of Labour in 1989, Whaitiri was very much Horomia’s protegy. This close relationship continued when Whaitiri returned to the DOL in 2003 – 2007 as a Senior Manager then Deputy Secretary after working outside the public services (eg as GM of the Maori Women’s Welfare League). She then worked in Parliament as Senior Advisor to Horomia as Minister of Maori Affairs 2007 – 2008 (and initially to Pita Sharples 2008/9) before becoming CEO of Ngati Kahungunu 2009 – 2013.

    With Horomia’s death in 2013, Whaitiri was the preferred (and designated by Horomia?) successor as Labour candidate for the resultant by-election which saw her win the Ikaroa-Rawhiti seat with 41% of the vote against six other candidates (including Marama Davidson).

    She raised this personal percentage to 45.2% in the 2014 general election against five other candidates (including Marama Fox this time); and to 55% in 2017 against Marama Fox (36%) and Elizabeth Kerekere (8.6%).

    IMO any idea of deselecting her for the Ikaroa-Rawhiti seat would therefore seem to carry with it considerable problems and risks in view of her popularity and mana within the electorate.

    • Dennis Frank 28.1

      Very informative context, thanks. She has a lot going for her. I can see that it could be a case of unconscious physical contact on her part. As I already suggested, it’ll hinge on whether others saw the incident & if the premature departure of the other staffers indicates a pattern of offensive behaviour by her.

      I wonder how well Ardern will be served by whoever conducts the investigation. I presume that will be done by PS on an impartial basis, but how thoroughly? If no decisive evidence shows up in the report, the PM will probably make a judgment call on the basis of perceived character, using her intuition in regard to the benefit of the doubt & likelihood of further problems. I suspect the outcome will be conditional tolerance a la Clare Curran. Nats will howl, but compassion may be appropriate.

      • veutoviper 28.1.1

        Sorry for the delayed reply – too many balls in the air at present.

        Since writing the above (and 7.3) I had a long conversation with another former work colleague of both myself and Meka who is of the opposite opinion to me. LOL. Meka certainly polarises people.

        The investigation is being carried out by Ministerial Services (DIA) as the staffer would be employed through MS, not Parliamentary Services who are not responsible for providing funding/staff for Ministers such as press officers, researchers etc. IMO and experience, MS are very professional and well versed in such matters as employment law, investigations etc – and are very thorough and careful. They have to be. They may well employ an outside independent investigator such as an employment law firm or similar.

        RE the turnover aspect, the fact that many staff have left her Ministerial office is actually not unusual because of how the allocation of Parliamentary staff (both Parliamentary Service staff to MPs and Ministerial Services staff to Ministers) operates. As I understand it, each of these Services have a pool of staff of various skills, qualifications and experience available for allocation at the beginning of a new government which are then allocated to MPs and Ministers. Other staff are employed to fill any gaps, very specific roles etc. But it is all a bit of a ‘mix and match’ lolly scramble and the first year of a new government is a bit of a shakedown period as MPs and Ministers and such staff find their feet and whether the employment relationships fit or don’t. So there are often turnovers of staff during this period in particular. I can think of many other MPs and Ministers over the years who have had similar levels of staff turnover – but some of them also had/have other employees who have worked for them for eons. One such is Winston Peters.

        As well as MS and PS staff, departmental advisers seconded from the relevant Ministry(s) or Department(s) also work in Minister’s offices (as I did a number of times over the years), as do political policy advisers/press officers whose sole allegiance is to the Minister and their Party. So Minister’s offices (and to a lesser degree MP’s offices) can be real mixture of people with different roles and objectives, different employers and employment contracts – all of which can add to the potential for things to be less than smooth unless managed carefully.

        Imo and again experience, Ads post is complete over-exaggeration vis a vis bullying etc by MPs and Ministers, and I have not been able to bring myself to post there to refute a lot but not all of what he said without any real evidence or examples. Blood pressure shoots up every time I think of that post! His reply to my questions re whether he has worked there was carefully worded but basically said that he hadn’t but had heard things from people who had. Enough said.

        Spent a little time looking at what may come up in Parliament this week (still an addict despite retirement) and will post something later today or tomorrow morning. Eg doesn’t look like the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill will make it back into the House this week but will write up a short comment as to why.

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