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Hide vs Armstrong on Sabin

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, February 9th, 2015 - 114 comments
Categories: accountability, journalism, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , ,

The Sabin issue is a slow burning crisis for National, and it’s interesting the things that you learn about people in a crisis. We learn, for example, that National will never have a more loyal supporter than John Armstrong:

Frenzy over Key’s knowledge of Sabin affair pathetic

There is one word that adequately describes this latest instalment in Key’s enemies’ long-running fixation with typecasting the Prime Minister as being nothing more than money merchant turned political huckster who, at times, enjoys a strange and somewhat strained relationship with the truth.

That word is pathetic.

Armstrong goes on to list the lies and evasions that he is happy to excuse Key of, and seems quite prepared to add Sabin to the list. The trouble for Armstrong is that it isn’t just Key’s enemies that are raising concerns. It’s his friends too, and the “frenzy” is occurring in very same pages. Rodney Hide:

Democracy can’t be compromised

I am a John Key supporter. I would very much like to dismiss the questioning of when precisely he knew or didn’t know of the issues that caused Mike Sabin to resign as an MP. But that would be a mistake. Our parliamentary democracy and justice system must be bigger than John Key. And they are at stake.

TV One has reported that police were investigating Sabin in August last year. It’s inconceivable to me that they would not have told their minister and the Prime Minister. It’s especially important that they would do so with Sabin because he’s ex-police and on October 22 he was elected to chair the law and order select committee.

According to One News the chairman was under police investigation. And the Prime Minister didn’t know?

Anyone could see how our Parliament was conflicted and potentially corrupted.

Parliament meets this week for the first time this year. John Key has some explaining to do.

So we learn that Rodney Hide, for all his many (many) faults, has the odd principled bone in his body. Bravo Rodney #sentencesyouneverthoughtyoudwrite.

Now if someone could please arrange for Rodney to take The Herald’s senior political reporter out the back for a bit and explain to him what is going on here…

114 comments on “Hide vs Armstrong on Sabin ”

  1. Skinny 1

    Armstrong has made a mug of himself with his stupid spray supporting John Key against the grain of logical opinion. So now the police have come out saying they did inform the Justice Minister under the no surprises policy.

    Let’s hear what Armstrong has to say about Peters taking on the National candidate in the upcoming By-Election.

  2. Gosman 2

    What’s the hidden agenda some of you lefties are likely thinking of behind Hide’s speech?

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      Are you suggesting Rodders is in Camp Collins?

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        And there we have it.

        I’m not implying anything at all. I was wondering what take on Hide’s views leftist’s would have considering they are complementary to their views. Now I see that one of the positions is that Hide is laying the ground work for a Collins leadership challenge.

        Is there not a media piece from a right wing commentator that hasn’t got a hidden agenda?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1

          🙄

          This is what you get for asking nonsensical leading questions, Flamebait.

          • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1

            It is hardly nonsensical if it achieved it’s purpose of flushing out the opinions on what Hide’s hidden agenda was. There are a number of theories being offered up. It is fascinating stuff.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Provoking speculative questions about what is in your fevered little brain is not “flushing out the opinions on what Hide’s hidden agenda was”.

              It’s merely flushing out opinions on what you might be trooling about today.

        • Te Reo Putake 2.1.1.2

          And there you don’t have it, Gossie. I asked if you thought it was the case. Plenty on the right might agree with you if you did. Me, I’m with Anthony Robins; I think Hide has the occasional twinge of conscience and can even remember when ACT were a party of principle on matters like these.

          • Gosman 2.1.1.2.1

            If that is your position then it is similar mine. However lots of people here probably think otherwise.

            • felix 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Please show some examples then.

              • Gosman

                See Sabine and Crashcart’s comments below.

                • crashcart

                  Are you saying that Hide has no personal stake in this and that his position is based compeltely upon his desire to do the right thing?

                  I don’t think it is some mass conspiricy to put ACT back in a position of strength. However I do think that Rodder’s saw an opertunity to look like the guy who use to be admired for trying to make politics honest. My opinion is that it was personal interest that drove him as opposed to anything altruistic.

              • Gosman

                And Skinny’s comments.

                • felix

                  Gosman, I have read all of the comments you listed and none of them support your contention that commenters here believe Hide is laying the groundwork for a Collins challenge.

                  If I missed one, please link to it.

                  • Gosman

                    You asked for some examples. I provided them to you. You then asked for a specific example linking it to a Collins coup. Who is shifting the goal posts now?

                    • felix

                      Silly me, expecting examples that back up your assertions. Obviously I really just meant examples of any old tosh.

                      🙄

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.3

          What about Gossie that Hide realises that the Police must have told the Government about the Sabin inquiry. Why speculate about motivation when the facts speak for themselves?

          • Pete George 2.1.1.3.1

            It is undisputed that the police told the Minister of Police something.

            There are no facts about what they were told, and when they were told it. There are no facts about what if anything was passed on to the Prime Minister. Unless I’ve missed something.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.3.1.1

              And PG comes in with his Defense of the Indefensible as he works to protect Key from the truth by distracting from Key’s lies.

              • Pete George

                I presume from that you don’t have more facts.

                I’m not defending Key. As has been said elsewhere it’s important to pick your fights, and to be armed with facts when you choose to fight.

                If you fly into it half cocked too often you make it easier for them to avoid scrutiny.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  🙄

                • Draco T Bastard

                  It’s simple logic moron. The police told the minister, the minister would have brought it up in cabinet at the next meeting. At that point Sabin should have been stood down pending the result of the inquiry.

                  If the minister hadn’t brought it up then Key should have been standing down both the minister and Sabin when he, according to him, heard back in December. As this didn’t happen we can assume that Key was told back in August and that the cabinet then worked to hide the fact that Sabin was under investigation.

                  We’re seeing high levels of corruption right across this government.

                  • Pete George

                    “the minister would have brought it up in cabinet at the next meeting”

                    I haven’t seen anyone suggest it should have been brought up in a Cabinet meeting before. Is this really what should have happened?

                    • Macro

                      FFS Pete! Get a life! – or get real! Practically the whole of Parliament know everything about this matter, and have for sometime.

                      To suggest that Key was blissfully unaware of all of this is ludicrous.
                      It was a calculated (morally wrong, and politically stupid – but that is what we have come to expect from the Key Govt) decision, to try and hide this from the public, based on the premise of innocent until proved guilty, and he’s such a fine chap it’s all a big misunderstanding, and it will wash over and be forgotten.

                      However, the shit is now starting to hit the fan, and the stench is going to be horrific.

                    • Pete George

                      I haven’t claimed Key was blissfully unaware of all of this. I’d be surprised if he was. And I don’t think it will be washed over and forgotten. I think it’s most likely Key has seriously misjudged on this given the gravity of what seems to be a the centre of this.

                      But getting all excited before sufficient facts have been made public isn’t going to achieve anything.

                    • Clemgeopin []

                      But getting all excited before sufficient facts have been made public isn’t going to achieve anything

                      What ARE you saying here?
                      Don’t you understand that unless the public, the opposition, the MSM and the ‘honest’ commentators of integrity question the Government’s and Key’s actions, in-actions, behaviour and statements, and take him to task for those, trying to get the ‘sufficient facts’ as you put it, how will we ‘get the sufficient facts’ and anything be achieved other than letting political crooks and dodgy commentators simply get away scot-free?

                    • Macro

                      I haven’t claimed Key was blissfully unaware of all of this.

                      That was the implication of your previous comment:

                      I haven’t seen anyone suggest it should have been brought up in a Cabinet meeting before. Is this really what should have happened?

                      “Duplicitous” springs to mind.

            • Te Reo Putake 2.1.1.3.1.2

              🙄

              • Sacha

                Who gets to determine when evidence is ‘sufficient’ is always an interesting question. What threshold is set? Politics aint court.

            • Skinny 2.1.1.3.1.3

              You posted something about Sabin the other day Pete, I raised the elephant in the room which was the police informing the minister. You chose not to answer, but only now you add your 50 cents worth.

              I just can not take you serious Peter you play silly buggers too often.

              • Pete George

                I may have missed that amongst the noise but I’ve commented a number of times about the police informing the minister, including posting about it.

              • Tracey

                I think once Hide suggested, an impeccable member of the ACT party, one of the 83% not convicted of fraud of some kind, then PG was on board. he doesn’t rate commenters here (as is his right).

            • McFlock 2.1.1.3.1.4

              According to you, under the no surprises policy the police could have informed the minister of … what, if not that Sabin was being investigated for serious offences?

              The police would not have violated “no surprises” if they had left it at all possible for the minister to infer that the investigation was for a parking ticket, rather than a serious offence.

          • Skinny 2.1.1.3.2

            I will give Hooton advance credit before his RNZ gig at 11 am this morning for having a real crack at Key’s admins shabby handling of the Sabin affair. If we are to believe Tolley and or her side kick never bothered to notify Key directly, Collins simply would not have made the same error. I wish the MSM would ask her.

    • sabine 2.2

      ntothing hiding in the bushes here.

      roidney Hide is as always out to support himself, protect himself and advance himself.

      so if he is ready to sacrifiece Dear Leader than he does so because it would benefit him and his political ambitions….and yes, Rodney still has them :). Eventually the rest of the right voting public and politicos will do the same. Dear Leader is becoming toxic.

      There are only so many lies one can swallow without gagging…are you still liking it Gosman?

    • crashcart 2.3

      Agree with you completely on this one Goss. There is nothing princapled about Hide’s stance here. It is all about what can he gain from the situation. If that means putting the knife into someone he has supported for years then it would appear he is more than happy to do it.

      What annoys me is Armstrong. I could accept his arguments if he was consistant. After all there are a number of commenters who agree with him. That does not mean that I do but you can respect someone who is consistant and holds the same princaples all the time. However as has been pointed out before, for this guy to claim that Cunliff needed to resign over forgetting a form letter from years before to then go on and say we should ignore the lies that he lists from our PM is beyond hypocritical.

      • phillip ure 2.3.1

        yeah..armstrong has totally tanked any reputation he may have had left..

        ..with this blatant example of extreme-toadying..(‘nothing to see here..!’..)

        ..and eye-watering double-standards..(c.f..cunnliffe must resign..!..)

        ..he is just a fucken joke..

    • Skinny 2.4

      By 2017 Hide will think the public would have forgiven him for rorting the taxpayer and are ready for him to make a comeback into politics. That’s what is motivating him, either through ACT or a new party. It doesn’t take a genius to workout brand National will be leaking votes (water) like a an old rowing skip. He may even contest the By-Election for ACT.

      • phillip ure 2.4.1

        i agree that hide is using this to try to revive act..

        ..(and he may well succeed at that..if what everyone assumes will happen..happens..

        ..and there is a subsequent serious backlash against national/key..

        ..i mean..act can’t go further down in the polls..can they..?..)

    • Draco T Bastard 2.5

      Why are you trying to set a diversion from John Key’s lying?

  3. ScottGN 3

    The whole Press Gallery seem to be downplaying this matter. It seems that their only concern is whether or not National has done enough to distance the PM and the party from any fallout.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      The only thing the press can report about this situation is the extent of the National Party’s collusion in it. Once Parliament sits the drip-feed can start.

      Pure conjecture. Let’s see what happens.

    • In fairness, it is extremely difficult to report or commentate on this matter.

      • freedom 3.2.1

        Maybe change tack in your radio segment and instead of commenting on any particular issue, you could refresh the public’s knowledge of the standard communication/reporting protocols that exist between Government agencies and their Ministers?

        I doubt I am alone in admitting limited knowledge of the current protocols.

      • Anne 3.2.2

        I can’t see why journalists and commentators can’t demand answers as to why [best we do not go there Anne – MS] but the current state of affairs smells of either political interference or a judicial attempt to protect the government.

        • Lanthanide 3.2.2.1

          “but the current state of affairs smells of either political interference or a judicial attempt to protect the government.”

          The judiciary is simply putting protection of the victims of the crime above absolutely everything else.

          • lprent 3.2.2.1.1

            And that level of suppression isn’t common except in one area of the criminal law.

          • Tracey 3.2.2.1.2

            Interestingly in a recent high profile case where the police denied having a formal complaint and had dragged the chain investigating made the news and was commented upon by none of other than our PM.

            The victims remain unidentified to my knowledge but we know who the alleged perpetrators are (one a son of a police officer).

            Given the ages of the alleged perpetrators they may have warranted name protection, and may have applied for it but if they did were refused.

            IN addition, Identification of the victim/s by naming the perpetrator can lead to suppression of all names. This is most common with, sadly, incest cases.

      • adam 3.2.3

        On that Matthew – do you think will Armstrong feel like a twat for using the words “personal issue” if the case against Sabine includes custodial time? Will he be called on it – probably not.

      • ScottGN 3.2.4

        Sure particulars of [yes they are – MS] are out of bounds but as Hide showed yesterday there’s nothing to stop any journalist from taking a closer look at the cosy and increasingly unhealthy (for our democracy) relationship between the governing party and agencies of the state like police and justice.

        • Murray Rawshark 3.2.4.1

          Particulars of [agreed – MS] are out of bounds. I have no knowledge that [I understand the sentiment Murray but speculation involves interesting legal issues for the site – MS]

          • Murray Rawshark 3.2.4.1.1

            It seems that we do live in a police state. The whole thing reminds me of Rumsfeld:
            “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

        • Ron 3.2.4.2

          At the very least questions about the number of police make a beeline for the National Party when they decide to enter politics. That alone makes me question the sort of person we hiring as Police Officers. Surely the Police should reflect society but we seem sadly lacking in any sort of balance that would indicate that Police hire equally.

          there’s nothing to stop any journalist from taking a closer look at the cosy and increasingly unhealthy (for our democracy) relationship between the governing party and agencies of the state like police and justice.

      • Skinny 3.2.5

        Hooton stop ducking and diving the obvious question. It would be helpful if the National Government would confirm the timeframe of when exactly Mike Bush informed them one of their MP’s was under investigation. And who was informed by what method, like if written or oral.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.6

        That depends what you think “this matter” is. You can discuss the MP selection process, the select committee chair selection process. You can reveal the NBR’s evidence that Key has known since April last and National before the 2011 election.

        You can investigate National Party sadists who are still sitting in Parliament. Are they organised, for example, do they have one another’s backs?

      • Skinny 3.2.7

        So Hooton you briefly comment on RNZ about a no details nvestigation into allegations of an assault. One can deduce the likelihood of which goes a fair way back to the NBR exposure pre 2011 election. So is Key about to use this as a get out clause, I would say yes!

      • Tracey 3.2.8

        What is your understanding of the ability to comment on in August 2014 or earlier, legally and defamation-wise I mean?

        Key commented on Roastbusters… victims, to my knowledge, still have not been named (rightly so), but he commented. I posted the other day a statement he could have made that didnt breach any suppression order (if indeed there is such an order) but instead he chose to publicly say he was considering him for a ministerial post such was the confidence he had in him.

  4. English Breakfast 4

    Anthony you have completely missed the point of the Armstrong column. Re-read paragraphs 2 and 8, and you may get the drift.

  5. ianmac 5

    I re-read Armstrong’s column and can read into it a sort of criticism of the Key “errors.” If Armstrong really means that he thinks the matter trivial why cover the other other “errors” of truth/judgement? Many of Armstrong’s words say one thing but may mean something quite different – perhaps.

    • English Breakfast 5.1

      Armstrong’s point is not so much that the matter is trivial, but that it is seen as trivial by the public. His comment “Such high levels of public apathy have given Key a reliable measure of the degree of public tolerance of his and National’s less attractive attributes” sums it up beautifully. I have repeatedly made the point that Key, like Clark, will not be brought down by attacks on personal integrity, simply because so few people expect politicians to know what integrity actually is.

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        Yes English: “Armstrong’s point is not so much that the matter is trivial, but that it is seen as trivial by the public.” And in writing that he is drawing attention to the bad stuff and not really supporting Key’s position even though he seems to be so pro-Key – again.

        • Clemgeopin 5.1.1.1

          Then, why did the fool discredit and describe people who are questioning Key’s appalling behaviour here as “pathetic” in one word, as he puts it?

          • ianmac 5.1.1.1.1

            Maybe the instruction is to “dampen down Sabin talk.” OK boss. Done that and of course just happen to draw attention to the dodgy Key. Bob both ways? I just think Armstrong’s piece is not what it seems.

          • English Breakfast 5.1.1.1.2

            He didn’t. He described the fixation with “typecasting the Prime Minister as being nothing more than money merchant turned political huckster who, at times, enjoys a strange and somewhat strained relationship with the truth.” as pathetic. And it is. The right did this with Clark, over and over, trying to discredit her. The left have been trying this with Key since before he became PM. NZ’ers hate it, and vote accordingly.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1.2.1

              The fact that Armstrong even used the phrase might indicate how mainstream the opinion has become. I note he implies Key is more than “a money merchant turned political huckster who, at times, enjoys a strange and somewhat strained relationship with the truth.”

              How much more, dare we ask?

            • Clemgeopin 5.1.1.1.2.2

              Even if that is true, why the hell Armstrong needed to mix that up in the article about Key’s handling of Sabin?

              Two completely different issues.

              I haven’t seen any Labour leaders referring to Key in terms of being “a money merchant turned political huckster” in relation to the Sabin scandal.

              Pretty stupid and biased of Armstrong to have done that.

              Instead of keeping the focus on the serious issue, he turned it around to an attack on Labour when in fact it was NBR that exposed this serious and appalling issue.

              • English Breakfast

                I am of the view that Armstrong’s terminology about Key is somewhat ‘representative’ rather than literal of what the left think of Key. The left underestimates Key, and always has. It’s exactly the same as when Clark was PM.

      • Tracey 5.1.2

        perhaps because the public don’t read the online rumours and innuendo and are assuming a “assault” of the two guys got angry and one punched the other kind (which this might be)

        • Anne 5.1.2.1

          Its way, way more than that Tracey. Why would the judge order “exceptional” suppression on all matters relating to the case if it was just a couple of guys punching one another. On that basis the Tau Henare /Trevor Mallard affair would have been suppressed. It wasn’t.

          Edit: I’ve walked in on this conversation without knowledge of what has gone on before, so maybe I’ve missed something in Tracey’s remark.

          • Tracey 5.1.2.1.1

            Anne

            Re-read my post… all the general public know is a prominent nzer got name suppression for “assault”, to my knowledge the media have not connected that item to sabin resigning for personal and family reasons, and why would they? For anyone to say the public don’t care is trite because the public are VERY uninformed on this matter.

            For example if any bother to read this, they wont have even an inkling of what you and I think he did.

            http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/265669/key-stands-by-his-sabin-decision

            • Anne 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Oh I see. You are referring to the general public’s reaction. Apologies.

              Note to self. Read the preceding posts before you jump in to comment.

      • Tracey 5.1.3

        And I point you to the downfall of Clark which involve very targetted attacks on her and her husband and the pulling of her into the Glenn/Peters thing in a way the press and labour cant get traction with Key despite more direct connections (Fletcher… Office implicated through Ede… this ) – and yes, it was personal integrity they attacked, relentless for 18 months.

        • English Breakfast 5.1.3.1

          And then there was the despicable attempt by John Campbell to hi-jack Clark with the Corngate interview.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.3.1.1

            What has that to do with the fact that the National Party brought Clark’s family into it? Are you pretending some sort of equivalence between journalism and the filth that John Key promotes?

  6. Observer (Tokoroa) 6

    @ English Breakfast

    I tend to agree with your post. Armstrong has listed for posterity the major and the trivial flaws and deceits of John Key.

    Key’s religious like association with dark and horrendous characters such as Slater is an indicator of Key’s major preoccupation in destroying people.

    Bullies enjoy immorality and they enjoy skating along the edge of detection and they flock together to enhance their evil. Hence Key’s lavish liking for Slater.

    I seem to remember John Armstrong being really upset at Key’s destruction of the camera man at the so called public Tea Party affair. He and a national party Colleague got the Police roped in on that. And the police have since been doubted for their association with Key.

    I am not praising Armstrong for being a saint. After all, he is a journalist and has to do what his masters tell him. His own destruction of David Cunliffe was and is unacceptable. John Key at election time paraded through the town declaring he is not sorry for the violence of NZ males towards their partners and families.

    One in three Wives and Families are bashed up by people who have the same mindset as Key.

    Key looked so proud and pleased with his tee shirt. He is a bully and is on the side of the violent at every opportunity.

    The National Party also slavishly love the lies and deceits of Key. Not a single one of them has the morality to question Key’s behaviour or note his darkness.

    The middle class have shown by voting for him that they appreciate his belief and practice in lying and deceit. Lying is in. Especially in Auckland. The home of so many crooks, financial and otherwise. Auckland gives us the majority of New Zealand’s crime. Incarceration second only to USA. Auckland and its politicians drag us down down down.

    Old fashioned values such as truthfulness will return. Society cannot function without it.

    So instead of asking Key to use his deceitful memory and his golden threads to the ever obliging Police – ordinary NZders should ask and ask about the $!00 Billion debt that Key and English have put us into. A debt that continues to rise.

    I suppose a lot of it is heading off to Key’s grander gambling den. Now there is a deceitful thing if ever there was one.!

  7. Clemgeopin 7

    By that stupid article, culminating among some other stupid sycophantic articles, ‘John’s-arse-kisser-John Armstrong’ has completely lost his credibility as a sensible, fair or balanced commentator, and by osmosis, NZ Herald has lost its credibility too for keeping this pretty biased spinner as their chief political commentator! By and large, what an idiot of a fourth estate we have here in NZ. A disgrace!

  8. Rodney should take The Herald’s senior political reporter out the back for a bit? Yes indeed, a bit of medication. If Armstrong actually ever had a plot, this column proves he has totally lost it.

  9. ianmac 9

    Facts are useful?
    “Labour leader Andrew Little says Prime Minister John Key allowed former MP Mike Sabin to chair the Law and Order Select Committee at least once after Mr Key found out he was being investigated, showing a “cavalier attitude” to Parliament.

    Mr Key has said the first he knew Mr Sabin was facing personal issues that resulted in his resignation was on December 1. Mr Little said Mr Sabin had chaired the meeting of the Law and Order Select Committee on December 3, two days after Mr Key was told.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11399005

  10. Pete George 10

    Littler on Key/Sabin interviewed by Duncan Garner:
    http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Is-Little-calling-Key-a-liar/tabid/506/articleID/70799/Default.aspx

    Little is on the the key questions and has pointed out Key knew at least by 1 December but Sabin still chaired the Law and order committee on 3 December.

    In the meantime Key has commented on this in his weekly media conference saying he made a judgement based on what “he knew at the time”. That last phrase could be critical in how much to pin on Key.

    • Tracey 10.1

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/265669/key-stands-by-his-sabin-decision

      and why would any member of the public connect resigning for personal and family reasons and what many online are accusing Sabin of, when all that they might link is the prominent NZer charged with assault.

      • Murray Rawshark 10.1.1

        The charges against the prominent Newzilder were also suppressed, as far as I remember.

    • freedom 10.2

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/northland/65525102/MP-Sabin-to-grill-cops
      “Police Association president Greg O’Connor says Sabin is entitled to natural justice. But he believes it is unfair the MP, who is an ex-cop, is not held accountable to the same standards as police staff put before him.” – 29 January 2014

    • Clemgeopin 10.3

      @Pete George who wrote,

      Littler on Key/Sabin interviewed by Duncan Garner

      Littler? You are being a rude smart arse here to refer to Mr Little as ‘Littler’.
      I think you woe an unreserved apology to Mr Little, the leader of the Labour party and the leader of the opposition, and to all the Labour party members and supporters who take offense to that remark and characterisation. I do. Withdraw and apologise.

      [lprent: Don’t push it. Most likely a typo and if it becomes a distracting name meme for juvie minds then I’ll deal with it the usual way. The misused word or phrase gets added to auto-moderation until its use dies down. ]

  11. Pete George 11

    Andrew Little was interviewed by Duncan Garner on Radio Live about John Key’s handling of the Mike Sabin police inquiry.

    Garner: What are you alleging, why is this important?

    Little: This is important because the Parliamentary committee that Mike Sabin chaired provides the oversight for the police.

    A very important role, and the idea that the person chairing that committee would be under a police investigation and at the same time to continue to chair potentially calling the police officials to account on it is just a level of conflict of interest that we should just never tolerate.

    Now the idea is waht is pretty clear is the Government knew this and allowed him to carry on chairing that committee even though they knew he was under a police investigation.

    Garner: No but do we have any proof though that the Prime Minister had been told?

    Little: Well even if you take the Prime Minister at his word when he said the earliest that he knew was the first of December, we know that Mike Sabin chaired the law and Order select committee on the third of December.

    So when the Government knew, when the Prime Minister knew, he allowed the guy to carry on chairing the select committee that provides oversight for the police, and this was a major conflict of interest. It would be never be tolerated in any other organisation.

    That is obviously of concern.

    Garner: John Key has said that yes he found out that his Northland MP was being investigated on December the first and he allowed, he allowed Sabinto carry on chairing the Law and Order select committee two days later.

    Key at his press conference:

    Him remaining as the chair of the select committee was appropriate course of action.

    I accept it’s a judgement call. Some people might criticise me for that but people make a judgement call on the information they have at the time.

    Much may hinge on “the information they have at the time”, but it should also be remembered that Key was still defending Sabin in late January/early February.

    It’s eyebrow raising that Key knew of the inquiry and still judged it appropriate to allow Sabin to continue chairing the committee.

    That Key was still defending Sabin up until what appears to be a related court appearance that is suppressed raises much bigger questions, considering what has been widely talked about as the possible nature of charges.

    • Tracey 11.1

      According to key not only did he not want to stand Sabin down, at any time, he wanted to make him a Minister… said as recently as, well after sabin resigned.

    • Skinny 11.2

      OK it looks like the power brokers within the Governing National Party knew Sabin was in a spot of bother. Key is going to play nieve and chose to cut his ambitious MP some slack and still appoint him to chair the law & order select comittee. So let’s back up, if your PM and one of your MP’s is in a spot of bother you would sit them down and ask;
      Is that it or is there ‘anything else’ that you have done that may possibly come to light in the future. If the MP answers no nothing at all to worry about. Then the message should be, good because if something does come to light I will sack you. So if additional issues arose that Key wasn’t told about by Sabin then why was he not sacked for breeching the PM’s trust. Rather than being allowed to resign.

  12. Atiawa 12

    Key continued in his interview to make reference to Helen Clarks fraud by signing a painting she wasn’t responsible for painting.
    What a piss poor excuse for a Prime Minister we have. School play ground tit for tat.

    • Pete George 12.1

      The painting signing was trivial and should have gone no further than a ‘whoops, I’ll be more careful next time”.

      By a number of accounts the Sabin offences (alleged possible, we don’t know what stage it’s at) were substantially more serious.

      My judgement is the painting was 1/10 serious, this sounds closer to 8/10 serious.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1

        Whose we? You and Ansell and Titford?

      • Tracey 12.1.2

        not according to Key when in Opposition and the media who let it draw out along with other stuff… it seemed to rate more like 8-10/10

      • Clemgeopin 12.1.3

        @ Pete Geotge
        “The painting signing was trivial”

        I don’t trust you or believe you that you had expressed such a kind, fair and generous view on that issue during the relentless painting hullabaloo and massive attack on Ms Helen Clark during that episode.

        Care to link to your comments in various left and RW blogs at that time stating it was a trivial issue? or are you just bull shitting now ?

        • lprent 12.1.3.1

          Bearing in mind that “paintergate” was in the early 2000s (indeed 2002 – nearly 13 years ago) that doesn’t seem likely.

          Interesting reading Armstrong in 2002

          In the case of the Great Art Swindle, the Prime Minister lost her Midas touch. She broke her golden rule: ‘fess up to a mistake, apologise and quickly move the agenda forward.

          She ‘fessed up, apologised and then tried to spread the blame by smearing other politicians with the same brush. Her apology was immediately devalued.

          As so often in politics, it is not the initial indiscretion that does the damage, it is the subsequent mishandling of it.

          It seems like there is a certain degree of inconsistency here. Wasn’t John just saying that the far more suspect Mike Sabin matter and John Keys piss-poor handling of it was a non-issue, when John Key was trying to spread the dirt back on to something from 13 years ago?

        • Pete George 12.1.3.2

          Clemgeopin – You made an accusation, back it up or I’ll assume this is just a pissy diss.

          I could not trust or believe that you didn’t worship Muldoonism or Rogernomics but that would be just as stupid as you demanding historical evidence. If you want to dispute my position on Clark’s signing of a painting then prove it.

          As lprent points out it happened a long time ago but it comes up from time to time. I’m confident that in my on-line commenting over the last ten years or so I’ve consistently said I think the painting saga was grossly overblown – but in retrospect I’m sure Clart would concede she didn’t handle the flak as well as she could have.

          • Clemgeopin 12.1.3.2.1

            @Pete George:
            “I’m confident that in my on-line commenting over the last ten years or so I’ve consistently said I think the painting saga was grossly overblown”

            Yet you can not provide a single quote of yours, even from your own silly rag, for your assertion that you supported Ms Clark in that painting episode!

            • Pete George 12.1.3.2.1.1

              I’ve had no reason to bring the topic up at YNZ (until today) because it’s pretty much an old overblown issue.

              I see you still haven’t found any evidence to back up your claim. If you want to find some search back through Kiwiblog, I’ve mentioned it a few times there over the years. And you could also try Aardvark, I’m fairly sure it came up there sometimes too.

              Or you could say what point you’re trying to make.

              Can you prove you’re not Helen Clark? I don’t trust or believe that you’re not because I haven’t seen you deny that anywhere.

              (This would have to be one of the dopiest disses ever.)

              • McFlock

                What claim – that you’re untrustworthy, like other National party supporters/voters who comment here?

                lol right, whatever. I’m sure that (should we go back to your blog at the time of your ban(s?) from this site) your reporting as to why you were banned from here was completely self-aware and impartial and in no way coloured by whatever barrow you were pushing at the time. /sarc

  13. Observer (Tokoroa) 13

    It is irksome that the NZ Public over and over cannot trust their Pime Minister John Key.

    While John Key can always rely on the Heads of Police to fix things up for dear bewildered John Key. Even illegal raids on residents, Such good close friends the Bobbies.

    Love me tender love me true Mr Policeman

  14. Dave_1924 14

    This is fascinating. But the more I have thought about this and read on various blog sites, the more I start to think this matter Might be a bit a little more complex than on first sight. It feels like maybe an investigation in to a simple matter may have uncovered something a lot more serious. If that suspicion is correct it could explain the initial response from Key of not putting Sabin out to pasture immediately…. not a good look for John right now given the rumours out there

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      I agree. It’s quite naive to assume that, for example this sort of thing can’t happen here: right wing sadists protecting one another.

      Whatever John is lying about this time, I do hope it’s nothing like that.

      • Dave_1924 14.1.1

        Not to start a flame war OAB, but it isn’t just Righties involved in the most digusting of offences….. [just the first link I found when searching for Left wing molestors….]

        http://conspiracytruths.co.uk/mpscovictedofsexoffense.html

        To be frank – I couldn’t careless what party or ideology these scum adhere to, their depraved acts deserve our condemnation and our retribution on behalf of the defenceless

        • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1.1

          The problem in the UK is the official enabling of rapes and murders which were never investigated let alone prosecuted.

          What does the National Party do when authoritarian sadists become MPs? Considers them for Cabinet.

  15. Tim 15

    Murray want to email me what you don’t think Sabin did and what JK knew about it?

    • Murray Rawshark 15.1

      If I’m the Murray in question, I have no idea which address to use. I think Key knew more about it than any of us do. He just thought that ngati poaka would be true blue about it and look after one of their own. I think someone would have told him in no uncertain terms that this was not going to happen once Greg O’Connor commented.

  16. Observer (Tokoroa) 16

    For those who are concerned about John Key (our often uninformed Prime Minister who has serious difficulties in remembering important things ) – please relax and be happy.

    You have no worries. In assisting John to have an easy life with little stress. The Police generally find that John’s troublesome favoured friends cannot be taken to Court. On the grounds of “Insufficient Evidence”.

    Whether the supressed man whom we are forbidden to talk about, gets the “Insufficient” windfall or not, may well depend on what John and the National Party wants for him.

    As i say, relax and be happy. Things couldn’t be better.

  17. Sable 17

    “Soft, thick and absorbent”, applies equally to the material the Herald is made from and in my opinion those who read it and take it seriously.

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