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Labour Spokesperson for Family and Sexual Violence Poto Williams on Willie Jackson

Written By: - Date published: 3:07 pm, February 5th, 2017 - 311 comments
Categories: labour, sexism - Tags: , , ,

Labour MP and spokesperson for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Disability Issues, Associate Justice Spokesperson (Sexual and Domestic Violence) Poto William’s statement on Facebook.

Kia orana

As the Labour Party Spokesperson for Family and Sexual Violence, I am concerned that Willie Jackson is becoming a Labour Party candidate with a prominent ranking on the list.

White Ribbon encourages everyone to break the silence around domestic violence by challenging comments and actions that are abusive or condone abuse. I was a vocal opponent of Mr Jackson’s comments during the ‘Roast-Busters’ incident and I do not believe that his attitude towards victims of sexual abuse match what I expect of a member of the Labour Party. Especially a member of our caucus.

I appreciate that Mr Jackson may regret his comments, but I am yet to hear that he understands his attitudes and views are highly offensive to many New Zealanswrs. I’m yet to hear that he wishes to work on putting that right and apologise for his behaviour.

Violence is not just physical, but also covers emotional and verbal abuse. Not speaking out against abuse of any kind is condoning or tacitly endorsing that behaviour. The comments Mr Jackson made around the ‘Roast-Busters’ incident are never OK, but it is OK to ask for help.

White Ribbon calls for us to support people who wish to change their abusive behaviour, so I welcome the opportunity to support Mr Jackson in apologising and making those changes.

Until then, as someone who speaks for the victims of family and sexual violence, and as a survivor of such abuse, I can not in good conscience support him as my colleague.


311 comments on “Labour Spokesperson for Family and Sexual Violence Poto Williams on Willie Jackson ”

  1. infused 1

    He’s one of the biggest douche bags around. Why did someone think this was a good idea?

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    his attitudes and views are highly offensive to many New Zealanders.

    No. The problem is they are harmful. Taking offence is a disease.

    • Ross 2.1

      What are his views and what harm do they cause?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1

        Poto Williams cites his comments about the Parker-Hales rape gang, for example.

        • Ross

          I’m not aware any charges were laid but I understand Jackson has addressed the matter and has the confidence of the leader. A storm in a teacup probably best describes this spat.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            For those who think it’s ok to punch Nazis, I have a question: is it ok to punch rape apologists?

            [try not to derail the thread eh OAB? – weka]

  3. chris73 3

    Well now Ms Williams just went up in my estimation, gotta take a big set of ovaries (see what I did there?) to make a statement like that

  4. weka 4

    Reed Fleming ‏@reedfleming 2h

    Labour Party member and angry a rape apologist might represent us in parliament? Pick up the phone. Call your NZ Council reps, call your MP.

    Reed Fleming ‏@reedfleming 2h
    Don’t have their number? Call your LEC chair and ask for it, or DM me and I’ll help.

    Reed Fleming

    Add your name to this open letter to New Zealand Council, the body that will decide if Willie Jackson gets in. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdUGYiL637T18xrgQMIyFsI9J6ZR6ATGFYo33-Ti5VRMItuZw/viewform


    • weka 4.1

      Open Letter to New Zealand Labour Party Council re: Willie Jackson

      Dear New Zealand Councillors,

      We, the undersigned New Zealand Labour Party Members, write to express our collective dismay at recent news that Willie Jackson seeks a high list placing to re-enter Parliament as a Labour MP.

      From defending the conduct of the Roastbusters gang, to questioning the suitability of a Labour MP for leadership because of his sexuality, to advocating for National’s charter schools, Mr Jackson has, time and time again, demonstrated his unsuitability to be a New Zealand Labour Party Member of Parliament.

      Roastbusters Rape Apologist

      During the 2013 Roast Busters investigation Mr Jackson, along with his co-host John Tamihere, interviewed a young woman on their RadioLIVE show who was close to some of the victims and familiar with the case. During the interview Jackson engaged in a line of questioning that blamed the alleged victims and mocked the interviewee.

      Jackson refuted the interviewee’s allegation that the young men involved were rapists, saying “girls shouldn’t be drinking anyway, should they?”, “how free and easy are you kids these days?”, and referring to the accusations as “mischief”, before asking the young woman when she had lost her virginity.

      Jacksons’ conduct in regards to this investigation was abhorrent and totally at odds with Labour values. Allowing Jackson to represent our Party flies in the face of survivors of sexual violence, and the policies Labour seeks to put in place to improve justice system processes for complainants.

      Comments about LGBT New Zealanders

      Mr Jackson seeks to join the party that introduced Homosexual Law Reform and marriage equality, but says he is “a little uncomfortable with gay men”. As a talkback host he interrogated a Labour MP and leadership candidate about his sexuality. He followed this appalling interview with a column which dressed up his homophobia as remorse on behalf of a country ‘not ready’ for a gay Prime Minister. Jackson wrote:
      “The main issue, however, for Robertson has nothing to do with his ability to be able to front over policy, which he does well – but everything to do sadly, with him being homosexual.”

      Labour should not want a person to be an elected member of parliament that lacks the courage to fight homophobia, let alone exhibiting comfortability with prejudice against LGBTI New Zealanders.

      Advocacy for Charter Schools

      Willie Jackson has publicly advocated for charter schools. He led an organisation to establish two of National’s charter schools and publicly questioned Labour’s commitment to the educational progress of New Zealand’s children.

      Lack of renewal and women in caucus

      Even if Willie Jackson had not advocated such offensive positions in sharp contrast to Labour’s values and the dignity of those we seek to represent, he remains the past, not future of Labour politics. The New Zealand Labour Party is lucky to count amongst its ranks many potential candidates with immense potential, drive and energy to renew our caucus.

      We the undersigned are extremely concerned that high ranked list positions are being promised to men, contrary to the constitutional requirement that the list moderation committee makes decisions that would result in equal numbers of men and women in caucus following the election. Given the composition of Labour held electorates, very high places on the list must be given to women for it to be constitutional, and a promise to give Mr Jackson a high position would threaten this.

      We, the undersigned members, in light of Mr Jackson’s comments and conduct, urge New Zealand Councillors to reject Mr Jackson’s membership, and to vote against his nomination at List Moderation Committee.


      • chris73 4.1.1


      • Ross 4.1.2

        Comparing the roles of talkback host and MP isn’t a fair comparison. I mean, Greg O’Connor backed arming police when he was the President of the Police Assn, but he may actually oppose that idea. He is also standing for Labour.

        Willie Jackson may well have been playing devil’s advocate. Indeed, that seems to have been the case.

        Jackson and former co-host John Tamihere were suspended from talkback duties after interviewing a young woman named Amy over the so-called Roast Busters – a group of young men who boasted online about getting underage girls drunk to have sex with them.

        They took a devil’s advocate position and were accused of supporting a rape culture and blaming the victim.

        Jackson said MUMA had won a huge contract to work on domestic violence and was absolutely committed to turning around the terrible statistics.

        “I gave an apology at the time, on Radio Live, over three years ago, gave an apology on Maori TV, gave an apology again a couple of days ago on RNZ . . . and happy to say sorry again for any hurt.”

        “Sometimes as talkback hosts your job is to put both sides and things get taken out of context and at the time I think the country was raging about the whole Roast Busters area.”


        • One Anonymous Bloke

          And there it is: a weasel Clayton’s apology.

          And you thought you were helping your man look good? Too funny.

          • Ross

            My man look good? I have no idea what you are talking about. However, Andrew Little seems to have faith in Jackson. I imagine that counts for something.

            • weka

              Labour have fucked up on this. If they had talked to their women MPs, members and activists this never would have played out in public like this. That it is is a sign that Little and whoever else is involved simply does not understand what the issues are.

              And as OAB said, Jackson’s apology is not a real apology and does nothing to show that Jackson has changed. Which for many women means that Labour just promoted a rape apologist.

              btw, am pretty sure that quote from Jackson is incorrect. I’ll put up a transcript later.

              • Chris

                “Labour have fucked up on this.”

                That’s the trouble with Labour. Even when they get dealt the dream hand of Key gone, English as leader and Bennett the deputy, you can guarantee they’ll find something that stuffs it all up. Whether this Jackson thing ultimately does that or not doesn’t matter, but it’s certainly an example and a reminder there’s more to come. I want to think Labour will learn but I really don’t think they can.

                • weka

                  I think they are better in some areas though, so fingers crossed for that outweighing these messes this year.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              I am happy to say sorry for your ignorance and confusion.

              [if you start a flame war in this thread I will ban you for a very long time. You know where the boundaries are, so please take more care. – weka]

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Ouch, and sorry Weka! I was trying to provide a practical example of a Clayton’s apology, using Jackson’s own phrasing. Warning noted.

                • weka

                  I think it’s more of an issue of your style. Soundbiting and not explaining and the comment being too obscure to get what you are doing. Then people react and it’s all on.

                  Thanks for the acknowledgement. I appreciate your willingness to post here, esp as it’s going to be a stressful few days I suspect.

              • Once was and others etc

                Have you ever considered that maybe the expectations of many in here aren’t that realistic. It seems many in this bubble are looking for the absolute perfect specimen, and one that fits with their own world view.
                I used to hate Greg O’Connor with a passion and never really rated WJ but I do understand that both may have had a bit of an epiphany – especially WJ who was probably going through his mid-life male-ego crisis around the time he was uttering some pretty bloody offensive remarks: (“front-bums”, etc.)

                I’ve yet to see Shane Jones redeem himself though – just check out ONE NEWS today. There goes an ego the size of a bus

                • Southdeeznuts

                  John Tamihere made the front bums comment, not Willy Jackson

                  • Once was and others etc

                    yep, you are correct. the same probably goes for JT. I can’t really abide commercial radio (or TV for that matter) hence the confusion – it’s too much like spam email providing me with ways to enlarge my cock, prop up the pharmaceutical industry, gain abs, consume, and generally become the perfect specimen. Apologies to WJ.
                    No, obviously Poto is nearer to perfection. I’ll defer to her wisdom and personal ambition

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I’m not looking for perfect specimens, just ones that apologise for their own behaviour as opposed to adding insult to injury.

                  Shorter Jackson: “I am sorry for your state of mind”.

                  • Once was and others etc

                    As I understand things, WJ has made an attempt at apologising. It might not be the perfect apology, or meet your standards, but it’s a start. He might still be going through his mid-life though, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt in the meantime.
                    I’ll also give that fuckwit Greg O’Connor the benefit of the doubt in the hope he really has had a bit of an epiphany. (Bloody magnanimous of me eh?)

        • Gabby

          And to be fair he hasn’t taken to his missus with a knife. That must count for something.

      • Policy Parrot 4.1.3

        Willy’s views on a lot of matters are well known, much more so than other candidates, simply because of his public persona. Are those members calling for his dumping as a candidate willing to apply these same and potentially other thought criteria across all candidates including current mps and wider party officials?

        • Policy Parrot

          Essentially rewarding those who might think similarly (and don’t be naive to suggest they don’t exist) but have kept their cards close to their chest, and punishing silly for essentially being forthright?

          • weka

            This is a good point, which is why I have been more interested in how Labour handles this than whether Jackson becomes and MP or not. Thus far Labour don’t look good (going off the last few days).

            As far as I am concerned parliament will have many people who are rape apologists. Some inadvertently and some because they hold those values (Jackson is in the latter imo). This whole issues shows that not enough has changed culturally, within NZ and within our political spheres.

      • mauī 4.1.4

        +1, Good background info.

  5. repateet 5

    Ms Williams won’t have to work with Jackson as he won’t be elected.

    She will probably make it herself (due to Gerry Brownlee) and can enjoy the company of a few colleagues. With so few mates to share the subsequent workload she probably won’t have time to go to any philosophical classes on “The big Picture.”

  6. johnm 6

    JMO He can Gob off forever but nothing substantive is in there! He’s incapable of addressing the serious issues facing NZ. If Labour take him they show their own shallowness. I don’t vote Labour! 🙁 He’s a one man band: How wonderful is Willie Jackson! I’m the MAN!

    • Sam C 6.1

      “He can gob off forever but nothing substantive is in there!” You are actually describing the entire Labour caucus.

    • Stuart Mathieson 6.2

      I agree. Willie is only interested in himself, rugby, boxing and celebrity news. His idea of the right bourse of action is which way the winds blowing.

    • weka 7.1

      Little’s tweet of a pic of him and Jackson was especially jarring. I’m tempted to say they’ve learned nothing but this isn’t just about Labour, it’s about how bad we are as a country especially at the level of powerbrokers. Still, it’s disappointing that Labour are so useless, and that they don’t even respect their women MPs enough to have gone to them for advice. I just keep thinking about the day all those women walked out of parliament. Wtf does Little think that was about?

      And yep, what Labour do next is critical.

      • Sacha 7.1.1

        You do have to wonder who was in the discussion. Metiria raising that brave walkout in her women-honouring speech at last weekend’s joint event was an interesting touch.

    • weka 7.2

      Can’t quite head what Jackson says right at the end of that interview. Anyone?

  7. Cricklewood 8

    Hard to believe this has happened, Good on Poto for speaking up. I dont understand why Andrew Little would countenance bringing in such a divisive figure when finally unity had broken out and everyone was pulling in the same direction.
    Really poor judgement imho and disapointing.

    • weka 8.1

      I’m trying to figure it out too. My best guess so far is that Little doesn’t understand rape culture. I’ll be interested to hear what the response is. Did they not think this would happen or did they think it didn’t matter?

      There’s some questions about Labour’s internally processes too and how it could get this far without taking advice from the women in the party.

      • Adders 8.1.1

        Lest we forget . . . After John Key participated in jail rape jokes on radio, Rob McCann, the White Ribbon manager, was interviewed on Radio NZ.


        Astonishingly, McCann went about trying to make what sounded like weasly excuses for John Key. McCann has since, once again, been nominated as the Labour Party candidate for Otaki.

      • Sacha 8.1.2

        Strategically, it wrecks the Māori Party’s move to retake the Māori seats and will appeal to more right-leaning supporters – but at a big cost on the left of Labour, including party volunteers.

        None of this is a mystery so let’s see how the party handles it and whether they are ready yet for political leadership or need yet another 4 years to learn how to do their job. It may be the correct decision, or not. Left-leaning voters can always support the Greens instead, and right-leaning ones can back Winston First.

        • Sanctuary

          “… but at a big cost on the left of Labour…”

          Yeah, because they’ve got enough votes to win an election. Seriously, some people need to get with the program. Labour is the only even nominal progressive party capable of winning a general election. Indulging the ideological objections of left wing activists who couldn’t win an election to the board of a pigeon fanciers society is a luxury labour can’t afford. Don’t make trouble in an election year. The delicate snowflakes can show some team discipline just for once. Either front up to fight National, or fuck off and form your own party.

          • weka

            and get back to the kitchen while you’re at it 🙄

            • Sanctuary

              What have kitchens got to do with it? Liberal identity politics is so weird. You treat a liberal identity politics person completely gender neutral in your criticism, presumably how they like it, and the first thing they do is bring up gender to derail the criticism and shift the attack back on the person making the criticism.

              Fucking weird. Actually, it is isn’t weird – it is the way liberals shut down any criticism of themselves and they do it so reflexively they don’t even notice anymore, but it is EXACTLY this sort of comment people are thinking of when they talk about “political correctness”.

              • weka

                There’s not such thing as gender-neutrality in this conversation. It’s like trying to be colour blind in the US while Black Lives Matter is going on.

                It would be way more honest if you said left wing women and LW men who oppose rape culture and misogyny.

                Your previous comment came across as telling women (previous little snowflakes) to stfu and get in behind, hence my comment about kitchens. We’re not going to stfu and we’re not going to go away. FFS, that attitude (get in behind) was why women left socialist movements in the 1960s and 1970s and joined feminism. That’s half a century of resistance and progress. We are never going back in that box.

                You’re not being shut down, I’m calling you out on your politics.

                • Ross

                  I think what Sanctuary is saying is that if anyone doesn’t like Willie Jackson, the obvious person to complain to about that is Willie Jackson. Why go to the media behind his back? And given Little’s backing of Jackson, any criticism of Jackson might be construed as a criticism of Little’s judgment. Again, talk to Little and ask him to explain why he has faith in Jackson, but there is no need to go to the media.

                  • weka

                    I think the onus was on Little to talk to the women in his caucus and get advice from them on how to handle this before Jackson was chosen. Whether he did that and ignored them, or whether he didn’t, I have no problem with Poto speaking out for her constituents (in this case women and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence) when Labour are unwilling to do so.

                    If Little had been handling this well internally it wouldn’t have happened publicly. So yeah, his judgement is impaired.

                    What do you think would be achieved in real terms from Poto talking to Little in private after Jackson’s announcement?

          • Sacha

            “show some team discipline”

            That would be good, yes. Wonder what organisational behaviours help achieve that .. ?

          • Gabby

            Whose votes is Smacko Jacko going to attract?

      • Carolyn_nth 8.1.3

        Well, Bradbury reckons it was a great coup for Labour to get Jackson, FWIW.

        He argues that this totally undercuts the Māori Party which was hoping to have Jackson on board. Bomber’s argument is that Labour having Jackson, takes the Mp out of contention, and opens some Māori votes to Labour.

        But I guess rape culture as a factor didn’t occur to MB.

        • weka

          Yes. The thing that struck me about that article, written hours before Williams’ FB post, is that he completely and utterly ignores Jackson’s history and what the likely reaction to it will be. Did he not think about that, or did he just not care?

          • Carolyn_nth

            I think he probably didn’t think about it. But his argument is all about strategy over principles.

            It does seem to be a blokey thing to be very instensly focused on strategy – like the sportie guys I have known – sit around for hours discussing strategies of rugby teams.

            But what happens if a political party puts strategy above principles merely to win? Hasn’t done so well for “left” leaning parties in the neoliberal era.

            And let’s not forget, half the working class are women.

            • Nicky and John

              Well we are the “elite” we use both strategy AND principles (double the punch!)

              • Carolyn_nth

                Of course, both are necessary, even for those of us not part of the “elite”.

                But IMO, in the last few decades, strategy has dominated principles – and thus all the compromises with neoliberal capitalism. And gradually the centre has moved rightwards.

                For me principles come first.

            • Sacha

              Knowing that women are 51% of citizens is part of any strategy. No excuses for being too stupid.

    • Slernz 8.2

      Little is covering himself and getting loyal unionists like Jackson and Harre on his side. If he loses the upcoming general election. Labour caucus will try and roll him after the election loss. But the likes of Jackson, Harre are insurance that Little will keep his well-paid Leader of the Opposition ($300,000+) job post election.

  8. Ad 9

    As a Labour Party member stuck in the middle of an invidious selection process in New Lynn, on the one hand we are being told we have to have high calibre women, yet on the other hand we get Wille Jackson on the front page of the NZHerald and on TV news saying he’s essentially he’s being parachuted to top of the list.

    Worse, the list is already being used as its own retirement village, by the Leader, Deputy Leader, Parker, and Mallard.

    Could the Labour Party leadership please stop being so two-faced and start leading?

    Because if they don’t they will find the members get pretty damn organized at the national list conference and take the leaders’ list and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

    • Sacha 9.1

      I don’t know about Labour’s list process but would welcome seeing some of the really talented younger people nearer the top of it. Some great talent below about #40 last time.

    • Cricklewood 9.2

      It’s fair to say most would rather see Mickey Savage with a higher list place then Willie Jackson…

      More I think about it the worse I feel tbh its a real tactical blunder and im sure it will end up haunting Andrew Little in the election campaign.

    • weka 9.3

      Ad, can you share how the selection process works in Labour, Electorate and List?

      • Ad 9.3.1

        we wait until darkness, strip them naked, lock them in a shipping container together, and throw in one small knife. 😉 Worked so far !!!

        Lordie Weka, as Salman Rushdie put it in Haroun and the Sea of Stories, it’s a P2C2E, or Process Too Complicated To Explain.

        In the Electorate, there’s a floor vote of valid electorate members, then a committee of I think 6 takes that vote and thrashes it out until it’s time to bring in the bleach and the cleaning team.

        In the list, each region has a rank meeting and a sorry set of votes from each electorate with delegates (and the number of delegates derives from the number of valid members in that electorate). While all those little hopefuls see their hearts still beating on the floor, electorate teams get berated by downward-sliding candidates for not hustling hard enough for them. The moderating team take breather at a few intervals for gender and Maori and other things they want to reflect on.

        That list gets sent to NZ Council to have a thrash about, and then to central list conference.

        At the national list conference, the leader and the NZCouncil will have a pretty clear view by then, and the view of the regions is considered, but as far as I’ve seen it’s pretty solidly political and much more influenced by caucus. Who after all will have to work with them.

        And then, on current polling, all but the top 3 people are stuck on the electoral bonfire and simply burnt to embers.

  9. Sacha 10

    A Bryce Edwards tweet references Ali Mau tweeting this:

    “if he wasn’t remorseful he would not have sought out Rape crisis groups afterwards and worked with them until they
    were satisfied he understood the issues, the impact of his words and how to think differently. But he did”

    • weka 10.1

      Yeah, nah. It’s not like it’s a black and white line, with rape apologists on one side and the rest of us on the other. It’s a big grey middle area. He can have done the right things by RC and still not be getting it right in this situation. I’d also like to see what RC people have to say about that and today.

      • Sam C 10.1.1

        But is he really a rape apologist, or did he just make some injudicious remarks? Either way, this is hilarious. The “broad church” hasn’t got a hope in hell come September 23.

        • Nicky and John

          Do what I fucking say John.

          I’m going to Nicky’s in March. I’m sending him a x Valentines Card x.

        • Even if he did just make some injudicious remarks that he hasn’t had a chance to explain to everyone, and taking acquaintances like Alison Mau at their word that he has tried to right this in a private capacity, this was his chance to explain that, and he flubbed it with more “I apologise if people were offended” nonsense.

          If Jackson is worth having back in Parliament, he should have known this question would be asked and prepared better. This is not the sort of thing you would expect from someone being endorsed by the Leader for a high list position.

  10. Sanctuary 11

    Irrespective of the merit of her comments, eight months out from the election this is a disgraceful bit of ill-discipline from Poto Williams.

    If I were Little, I’d take the opportunity to show I was a tough leader and I’d make an example of her – summarily sack her from her role and send her to the back benches, to better think about the meaning of party discipline.

    Labour needs discipline and purpose to defeat the right wing National led government, not hissy fits from Potu Williams.

    • weka 11.1

      what do you think the Labour members and activists, and anti-rape public would do if that happened?

      • Sanctuary 11.1.1

        I expect all 500 of them would stay at home in their inner city villas posting bitter diatribes on internet chat forums while Willie Jackson delivered thousands and thousands of extra votes to Labour, from actual working people in South and West Auckland.

        Also, it is one thing to bitch at the captain and coach in the changing rooms, another thing to keep up bad mouthing them on the paddock. We are now in election year. If she lacks the discipline to cork it for the next eight months, then maybe party politics isn’t for her.

        • weka

          Ok, so members, activists and many women in NZ are irrelevant in your world. We’ll see. The biggest problem I see is how this will feed into the media’s option to portray Labour as useless. You can blame that on William’s but it’s still a fcuk up by Little and co to not have foreseen how women would react.

          • Sanctuary

            “…Ok, so members, activists and many women in NZ are irrelevant in your world…”

            I want to defeat National in 2017. Whether you like it or not, Jackson will help with that.

            The time for talk is over. In election year, you are either with us or against us. Time to choose.

            • weka

              I want to defeat National this year too, which is why I am fucked off at Labour for such a stupid blunder.

              • Pete

                I guess it’s a blunder if it alienates more than it attracts.
                Your pick is one way, someone else thinks the other way.

                As a pure choice it’s pretty simple, people will make up their minds.
                The more there is a drama about things in the past the more a pure simple choice will be gone and subverted by dramas. Jackson has the potential to attract a lot from outside the camp but alienate some within. Time will tell.

                • weka

                  that’s ok then. Labour can gather the centrist and Māori Party votes and the Greens can pick up the fucked off Labour votes.

                • weka

                  “I guess it’s a blunder if it alienates more than it attracts.”

                  But Labour could have had both, that’s the stupid thing.

        • Carolyn_nth

          The victims of (alleged) roast buster actions were in west Auckland, and also probably not very middle class. Do Westie girls not matter – or their voter age family, friends and community?

      • Sam C 11.1.2

        “Anti-rape public”. So that would be 99.9% of the population, regardless of political leanings, then.

        • DoublePlusGood

          You’d think that, but way more than 0.1% of the population consistently support rape culture.

    • Policy Parrot 11.2

      The more I think about this, it is a sanctioned outburst. It would be been telegraphed ahead of time basically to make sure this was dealt with early and didnt come up later when it could have been more damaging. Sacking poto would drag out the story. This time next week this dispute will be off the the radar and people will be talking about latest polls. To allow an objection from caucus shows that the leadership is responsive to concerns around sexual consent etc raised by Jackson’s candidacy.

      • Anne 11.2.1

        The more I think about this, it is a sanctioned outburst.

        Highly unlikely Policy Parrot. Labour doesn’t do that kind of “sanctioned” behaviour.
        They might sanction some kind of strategic leak from time to time, but that is as far as it goes.

        • Sacha

          Sanctioned? You really think after the last 9 years that Labour’s party apparatus can even tie their own shoelaces? Some promising signs in Mt Roskill election but a long way to go beyond that. Aim lower. No easily-avoidable fuckups is a start.

          • Anne

            No easily-avoidable fuckups is a start.

            Couldn’t agree more. And Poto Willaims bursting on to the public scene with an ill advised comment (which I am in no doubt was not sanctioned by Andrew Little or anyone else in the upper echelons of the Party) is a fuckup.

            Fortunately, there are some much more serious issues at present so it is to be hoped the matter will receive scant attention.

    • Anne 11.3

      Irrespective of the merit of her comments, eight months out from the election this is a disgraceful bit of ill-discipline from Poto Williams.

      Especially since Alison Mau tells us Jackson went some considerable distance to try and rectify his [admittedly] appalling comment. It seems to me he is being given no credit for the positive action he took to remedy his former attitudes. Having said that, I can’t say I know much about him nor do I think he is worth more than our very own mickysavage.

      But Poto Williams:

      discipline is a darn sight more important than family squabbles being aired in public. Please remember that in future.

    • Sam C 11.4

      Who is Potu Williams anyway and what does she stand for? She’s just another dimwitted lightweight, judging from her contribution to parliament so far. A complete waste of space.

    • Skinny 11.5


      I have never rated her, and this is treason. Labour shouldn’t be having Poto back in the House. Maybe could be the case and it is door slamming.

  11. Cinny 12

    Maybe Poto should pick up the phone, have a cuppa with Jackson, tell him how she feels and ask if he has any ideas to help those who are or have been touched by family/sexual violence. Would have been a bit more professional, lead by example and all that.

    Jackson and Potos thinking appears to differ, make the most of it and brainstorm ideas for change, big picture and all that

    I so understand where she is coming from, re Jackson. However I do think she took a shitty way to approach the issue.

    Roast Busters was utterly disgusting. Ahhh the perils of FB, be better than that Poto

    • weka 12.1

      Problem is Jackson has been making those moves already and still can’t get it right in public. This is about how as a Labour MP he would oppose rape culture and misogyny. Everything I am seeing today tells me he still doesn’t get it and that he thinks that his views on this are the important thing not women’s nor women that are experts in the field.

      As for Williams, there are still things to understand about how Labour works, but I’m guessing she was left with little choice by Little and co. For instance, it could have been a condition on Jackson’s parachuting in that he followed a script on how to address this issue that worked for all the party. I still don’t know if he wasn’t told how to handle this because they didn’t think about it properly (i.e. what do women need) or if the upper echelons simply don’t care.

      • Cinny 12.1.1

        Thanks for explaining Weka appreciate that.

      • Sacha 12.1.2

        “he followed a script on how to address this issue that worked for all the party.”

        That assumes they were prepared and knew what they were doing. Very generous of you, historically speaking.

        • weka

          More an exploration of what could have happened ideally than an expectation that Labour would do that (they patently didn’t).

          Plus the whole thing about how Labour works internally and MPs saying what they want (the Shane Jones effect). I don’t get it. The Greens are so tight around this kind of thing (with the odd exception).

          • Sacha

            Beyond their woeful absence of strategic nous, Labour seem to lack basic collective discipline – including consequences for breaching it.

            Party needs a big cleanout. Not expecting they will pay the slightest attention – gazing lovingly at their Thorndon navels.

            • weka

              Do you think Little has made any headway in the past year? or is he part of the problem?

              • Sacha

                Certainly better. Problem remains the back-office/party apparatus. Too opaque, so the rest of us rely on tea-leaves in the absence of a functioning media.

      • Pat 12.1.3

        and that would support the concept of Labour as a broad church how?

        • weka

          Not following you there Pat. Are you suggesting that Labour being a broad church means one of the MPs can support rape culture? I’m pretty sure you will say no, so perhaps you could explain?

          • Pat

            and there you have it….its your interpretation that WJ supports rape culture….and as sure as you were that I would say no I am as sure that WJ would say he does not.

            • weka

              No idea what you are talking about Pat. I’ll put many women’s informed opinions about rape culture up against WJ’s anytime. Plus I can argue where he fails to get past his previous support of rape culture. So the he said/she said thing doesn’t really makes sense.

              I think WJ is a risk for Labour in the future as an MP because of his inability to deal with rape culture in a way that women support. I don’t see why that’s contentious.

              • Pat

                Im sure you can….and to what point?
                Is Labour a broad church promoting fairness and tolerance or is it not….if not, what then is it or should it be? a political party that promotes unfairness and intolerance perhaps?

                • weka

                  Still don’t know what you are saying.

                  • Pat

                    is a pretty straight forward question…..

                    Labour Spokesperson for Family and Sexual Violence Poto Williams on Willie Jackson


                    a. Why are you concerned?
                    b. What do you mean by broad church?
                    c. Does this prevent others from pointing out the flaws in others.
                    d. Why are you asking someone who I ‘m pretty sure isn’t a Labour member about the Labour party.
                    e. Why are you being a nuisance?
                    f. If you want to get booted off here then please continue to ask questions without answering them.
                    g. You are now required to answer these questions in detail (as you are asking others). At least you are if you want to comment between now and the September 24th.
                    h. You have 24 hours. ]

                    • weka

                      In the context of this thread, you are asking me, a GP member and voter, whether Labour is a broad church and if not should it be?

                      Um, yes but it depends on what you mean by broad church, and yes.

                      I said,

                      Problem is Jackson has been making those moves already and still can’t get it right in public. This is about how as a Labour MP he would oppose rape culture and misogyny. Everything I am seeing today tells me he still doesn’t get it and that he thinks that his views on this are the important thing not women’s nor women that are experts in the field.

                      As for Williams, there are still things to understand about how Labour works, but I’m guessing she was left with little choice by Little and co. For instance, it could have been a condition on Jackson’s parachuting in that he followed a script on how to address this issue that worked for all the party. I still don’t know if he wasn’t told how to handle this because they didn’t think about it properly (i.e. what do women need) or if the upper echelons simply don’t care.

                      To which you said,

                      and that would support the concept of Labour as a broad church how?

                      Labour supporting the end of rape culture strikes me as being a broad church. If you disagree why don’t you just say what you think?

                    • Pat

                      a) pardon?…why am i concerned about candidate selection on a political discussion blog…self evident.


                      c) my question prevented that how?

                      d)for the same reason someone who i’m pretty sure is not a member of the Labour Party is commenting on Labour Party candidate selection…and the same reason everybody here comments on a myriad of policies they neither have a hand in nor any realistic opportunity of changing.

                      e) if thats your opinion as its your blog then you have the ability to block me as you note.

                      f)is that a question?

                      g)that is obviously not a question as is h)

                    • weka

                      “d. Why are you asking someone who I ‘m pretty sure isn’t a Labour member about the Labour party.”

                      Yeah, I was wondering about the one too. I think that Pat is trying to make a point, but I still don’t know what it is so am giving up now.

                  • Pat

                    “Yeah, I was wondering about the one too. I think that Pat is trying to make a point, but I still don’t know what it is so am giving up now.”

                    If you had answered a straightforward question with a straightforward answer instead of dancing around looking for traps the point would have been glaringly obvious unto yourself….the question serves a purpose.

                    Your original comment ….https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-spokesperson-for-family-and-sexual-violence-poto-williams-on-willie-jackson/#comment-1296130 …said that WJ,s views were unimportant and that he should be told how to respond.

                    Labour is a self declared broad church and if it wishes the support of a wide range of society then its candidates must reflect that….it is even more important should it win government as it must then govern for ALL NZers……if any political party becomes an echo chamber of group think and insists on absolute conformity of opinion (or the presentation of) then we will end up with 3 million parties of one.

                    the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.

                    Tolerance is a multi directional concept…it underpins both liberal society and representative democracy…neither can function without it. It is increasing evident however the the implied contract of tolerance is no longer enough and it has changed to one of “with us or against us”…or conversion, with all the religious overtones that implies.

                    The political and societal implications of this lost contract are there for all to see, if we are wise we will avoid heading down the same road……IF we are wise.

                    • weka

                      I couldn’t answer your original question because I didn’t understand it. Which I told you at the time. And you then didn’t clarify for ages. That’s on you mate.

                      Thanks for finally clarifying some if it. Seeing as how you’ve referenced my original comment, the context of which is WJ’s views on sexual assault, I would have to say that either Labour’s position is the same as WJ’s, or WJ toes the line on this one. Because IMO a political party cannot oppose rape culture and have an MP who supports it.

                      A broad church doesn’t include rape culture any more than it includes racism or bigotry against disabled people.

                      If you want to argue that Labour should allow MPs to express views on rape that WJ has done in the past, or support rapists, then I’d like to know how that will work in a caucus and party with women in it. I’m only guessing that that is what you are suggesting because you’ve spend pretty much all of this subthread refusing to be explicit.

                      The other way for me to take your comments is that you consider how women feel about Jackson’s views and his elevation into Labour as either irrelevant or at the least substantially less relevant than being tolerant of WJ’s misogyny.

                      If you don’t think he’s been misogynistic you could have just said that at the start.

                      Honestly Pat, you make some damn good comments on TS as times and then you do this deliberately obscure stuff that just leaves me guessing wtf you are on about. If someone else can explain what you are talking about, have at it.

                    • Pat

                      “A broad church doesn’t include rape culture any more than it includes racism or bigotry against disabled people.”

                      As said thats your interpretation ….what you, I or the ships cat think is largely irrelevant….his views and the way he expresses them and/or his apology will be tested at the polls….thats democracy.

                      Im unsure if you deliberately misunderstand the concept of tolerance given you appear intelligent but all those societal ills you list are governed ( not eradicated) by laws and the ability to form those laws come from a social mandate and can change……none of those will disappear by decree and it is unrealistic to expect otherwise…if such behaviours are deemed dangerous there is recourse in law…..i further note that without democracy those decisions are removed from society…..you may like that idea if its you making the laws…not so much if it was Trump say for example…..me? I’ll go with the wisdom of the masses until someone can prove theres a better way, after all these are the people we have to live and work with

                    • Carolyn_nth

                      Pat @11.59pm

                      For me a broad church left wing party, would not accept views that, as weka said:

                      A broad church doesn’t include rape culture any more than it includes racism or bigotry against disabled people.

                      It’s a matter of principles and values. And without some strong ones, what sets a Labour Party apart from a National, Republican, or other right wing party? They may as well be part of the same ultra (alleged) broad church party.

                      If a political party aims to attract votes from bigots, and people who perpetuate damaging rape culture and related violence, to gain votes…. well, to me they are a party without principles, and certainly without left wing principles.

                      They certainly do not represent a large swathe of the population who are women, survivors of domestic/sexual violence, non-caucasian, or disabled.

                      It’s not democracy if women, and many men, opposed to all forms of oppression, who are in the Labour Party, were not consulted on Jackson’s inclusion.

                    • Pat

                      “It’s a matter of principles and values.”

                      Whose principles and values? yours? Willies? Andrew Littles?
                      You can have a political party that exactly reflects your principles and values if you wish…..how many would be eligible to belong?
                      Then try forming a government with all those other parties that don’t offend you in some manner.

                      If Labour (or anyone else) misjudge what is socially acceptable they will shrink into insignificance and consequently become ineffective and/or be replaced

                      If we wish a society that is tolerant and accepting of difference we must BE tolerant and accepting of difference….to be otherwise is to be intolerant and authoritarian and that is not democracy…it is fascism.

                    • Carolyn_nth

                      @ Pat 8.49am

                      Well it’s no more authoritarian than saying rape culture doesn’t really matter to Labour.

                      Then, there’s other parties I can choose. That’s democracy.

                      Tell me what you stand for, then I’ll decide who to vote for. To me democracy is not about trying to 2nd guess what the majority would vote for and pander to the lowest common denominator: tyranny of the majority.

                      And yes for me they do need some left wing principles and values they stand by. And those include not accepting oppression of any group: not allowing some people or groups to build themselves up by trampling on the needs of others.

                      Capitalism, or supporters/promoters of it, don’t have those values. Can’t be done within a capitalist system: and certainly not within a neoliberal one.

                    • Pat

                      “Tell me what you stand for, then I’ll decide who to vote for.”

                      What a strange proposition!

  12. Sanctuary 13

    If anyone is wondering why I am impatient at this ill-discipline from Potu Williams, well there is a wider issue here. in the last 18 months we’ve seen Brexit, Trump, the rise of the fascism in countries at the very heart of democracy.

    The utter rout of the idea of left wing neoliberal managerialism for right wing populism and the crushing electoral defeat of elite liberal identity politics in favour of neo-fascist authoritarianism should be seen as an emergency of the most extreme kind on the left. Instead, we still find the discredited identity politics ancien regime carrying on like a lung cancer sucking the oxygen from the fighting left, having learnt nothing from it’s defeats and forgotten nothing of it’s grudges and vendettas.

    Middle class liberals pouting about unsuitable males won’t defeat Trump’s incipient goons. More to the point, to win the left must re-connect with the mass of the lower class working constituencies represented by Willie Jackson. Greg O’Connor falls into the same category – a lot of normal Joe and Jane Six Pack working families like him and it is not carved in stone those people will become fodder for the hard right.

    Given the scale of the upcoming ideological fight, ill-disciplined identity politics aficionadoes are a luxury the left can’t afford to tolerate anymore.

    • Sam C 13.1

      Correct. Your average panel beater in Naenae is not remotely interested in “rape culture” or Poto and Weka’s obsession with it.

      • Cinny 13.1.1

        That’s it.

        • weka

          Thing is, it’s possible to have a Labour party that is for working class men and for women. Those things are not actually incompatible.

          • Sam C

            Where did I say that the panel beater was a man? That’s your own prejudice getting the better of you.

            • weka

              Hey, I’m not the one pitting the working class against feminism, I think that’s you. Especially now that you appear to be saying that working class women don’t care about rape.

      • weka 13.1.2

        This post and discussion isn’t for your imaginary person though. It’s for the people that do actually care about rape culture and its effect on women (and everyone else).

        Sanctuary’s now been banned from this thread. If you want to talk about the alleged demise of identity politics, one of their comments got shifted to Open Mike. You might want to read the moderation note too. You are welcome to comment here, but there are limits and derailment is one of them.

        • Sam C

          Sanctuary’s been banned from this thread for having a sensible, well reasoned, yet contrary view to yours. And then you bang on about Trump being a censor.

          [read the policy about attacking authors and wasting moderator time. Only warning – weka]

      • mauī 13.1.3

        Probably best if the major left party in New Zealand doesn’t reach for the lowest common denominator of the average panelbeater. But CV was probably right when he asked the question of which Labour MPs have come straight from working class backgrounds into parliament.

    • It’s spelled POTO, for fuck’s sake. I’d make a witty comment about how noticeable it is that the people on this thread most enthusiastic about telling a Cook Islands woman, with an MBA and a decade of experience in community health and family violence, to shut up can’t even be bothered spelling her name correctly, but that would be terribly identity politics of me. 🙄

      • PGM 13.2.1


      • adam 13.2.2

        Thank God for some sanity from Stephanie Rogers.

        My fellow men – Two shakes, take a deep breath, then ask yourselves why do you have a tizzy, whenever the issue of sexual violence is raised?

    • Sacha 13.3

      “lower class working constituencies”

      who do not vote, or chose people like Winston.
      “workers = left” is last century reasoning.

    • Gabby 13.4

      You’re not thinking that the way to connect with working class voters is to be rapy and stabby of course.

  13. Anne 14

    Given the scale of the upcoming ideological fight, ill-disciplined identity politics aficionadoes are a luxury the left can’t afford to tolerate anymore.


    • Sam C 14.1

      Be careful Anne, you run the risk of incurring the wrath of the moderator by endorsing sensible comments like that.

      [read the Policy, and take note of the bits about flaming, attacking authors, self-martyring and wasting moderator time. Take the rest of the day off, site wide – weka]

      [lprent: Attacking moderators and moderation is the second easiest crap behaviour to get a ban from. I’m simply not as nice as weka as I’ve had to deal with moronic fuckwits like you acting up. If I see you deliberately trying it on again I’d probably just kick off you the site until September 24th. The only thing that stopped was that weka had already banned you.]

      [I won’t be as nice next time. He’s in the blacklist, someone else will probably have to remember to remove him tomorrow – weka]

      [lprent: My apologies. It is a classic troll division behaviour. It always pops up in election years. I have a low tolerance for it. My general rule is to ban them until after the election. It is a stupid tactic for them to try. ]

      [no apologies necessary. I appreciate the stronger stance and will be following that lead – weka]

  14. RedBaronCV 15

    When the roast busters debate was on in parliament, women MP’s from all parties were there, and interestingly enough all singing from roughly the same song sheet.
    There wasn’t a male MP in sight . There couldn’t have been a more potent visual of the attitude “nothing to do with us boys now – we are too busy” .
    Don’t underestimate just how pissed off many women are by this behavior and things like the Malaysian diplomat scandal.

    My guess is that the Labour male just didn’t even think this was a potential issue. Good on Poto for bringing it up and I sense more votes heading the Greens way.

    • Aspasia 15.1

      Exactly so. The Labour male was so pleased with himself at the tactical brilliance of heading off the Maori Party that the deep distress and helpless fury of so many of us about the whole roast buster situation would be totally irrelevant. Good on Willie Jackson if he has tried to understand why that radio interview only exacerbated an already painful situation but his public remarks don’t indicate awareness that the culture he was part of is still a current, present, ongoing nightmare for many women. And the actions of the party leadership and the comments on this post tell us that these concerns don’t matter to them either. Despite years and years of loyal support and quiet hard work for the party, we are not entitled to expect a prospective Labour government is about us. Thank you Poto Williams for standing up for us and doing the job your portfolio requires of you!

  15. As I understand it Andrew is going to have a talk with potu next week.

  16. adam 17

    My two problems. Her decision on how to deliver this statement, facebook – come on bloody nora. And the speech marks around roast busters.

    For the record we should talk about the roast busters more, and what are the things underpin what makes young men still think it is acceptable to act this way. Coupled with dealing with the men and structures who keep supporting their actions.

    My problem is if we keep targeting one male for this, it can be swept under the carpet. The fact that Key said, “boys will be boys” is being lost in this discussion. English was useless. And the people who bagged David Cunliffe have come out the wood work again.

    Civil rights are all our rights.

    • weka 17.1

      What’s wrong with her using FB?

      • chris73 17.1.1

        Basically its airing dirty laundry in public. For the last couple of election cycles Labour (specifally Labour) have had a reputation for being fragmented and having no teamwork

        Little has tried to make sure party discipline is on point and that Labour looks like a party capable of leading the country but what Poto has done has reinforced the notion that Labour still arn’t a team plus has made Little and Labour look bad

        It looks bad because people will be asking why Poto didn’t just talk to Little personally about this instead of going to straight to a public forum

        The conclusion people will come up with is that she didn’t have any confidence in Little or Labour to deal with this issue

        Or she didn’t think Little or Labour would see theres an issue to deal with in the first place…

        • weka

          I assume that it was the latter, that if Labour were functioning well internally this wouldn’t have happened. That’s on Little though not Williams. This is different than the past where Labour MPs spoke out against party policy. I agree that it doesn’t look good, but the solution to that isn’t for Williams to have remained silent.

          If we assume that she hadn’t already talked to Little (a big assumption) what do you think might have been achieved by talking to him directly?

          Adam said “Her decision on how to deliver this statement, facebook”. How else to deliver this statement? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t for Little but for the public.

          • chris73

            “If we assume that she hadn’t already talked to Little (a big assumption) what do you think might have been achieved by talking to him directly?”

            I think she doesn’t want WJ on the list or in the party so I’m assuming that the reason she took to FB is that she wants to drum up enough support to force Little or Labour to change their minds on WJ

            So working backwards from that I’m guessing that she was thinking that talking to Little directly was going to achieve diddly squat

            • Anne

              I think you have it Chris 73.

              I’ve heard on the grapevine (can’t confirm its true) that Andrew Little has let it be known… he will be talking to Poto Williams next week.That suggests to me it was an off the top of her head response that was not run past anybody holding a senior rank in the party including Andrew Little.

              No-one is saying MPs are not allowed to talk publicly without permission… but candidate selection matters are the responsibility of the list committee elected for the purpose of operating the process. Its not for individual MPs to go running off at a tangent making public statements. I have never heard of it happening in the green Party and it shouldn’t happen in Labour.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                As the family and sexual violence spokesperson she has a duty to speak out on issues that concern her portfolio.

                • Ross

                  Absolutely, but I’m not sure how publicly dissing a potential Labour MP is going to help victims. PW could elaborate on that.

                  • weka

                    Or you could listen to victims, who’ve been speaking about it. And their allies.

                  • lprent

                    I suspect the discussion is if he should be a potential Labour party MP. It isn’t a decision that gets made by one person or even a small group. Nor should it be.

                    There are relatively limited number of places on a Labour party list. It is pretty important that we get the best candidates. That means that there will be public debate.

                    Rather than just being a simple minded critic of other people, perhaps you should do something useful and articulate why you think that Willie Jackson is a good candidate?

                • Anne

                  … she has a duty to speak out on issues that concern her portfolio.

                  That’s a fair comment OAB but given the subject matter, she should have run it past Andrew Little at the least. Maybe she did advise someone of her intention but on the face of it, it doesn’t appear she did.

                  Btw, the ‘green Party’ was a typo. Don’t want anyone to think I deliberately used low case ‘g’. 😳

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Little says he spoke to Poto Williams about it “previously”, so they had plenty of opportunity to discuss her intentions.

                    • Anne

                      But we don’t know if Poto did discuss her intentions with Andrew Little. It is quite possible she didn’t make a decision to go public with her criticism until a later date.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I agree, there are lots of unanswered questions.

          • adam

            I agree I’d rather have MP’s fight over this in public rather than be backstabbers. And I really think women should speak out about this women hating crap, becasue it’s been going on for far to long and it needs to stop.

            My comment below covers why I have problem with FB. And sorry chris73, but I don’t agree with your analysis at all. Nor perception’s about labour, I don’t think Poto was being disloyal at all. That seems to be a common theme among men, and maybe they should ask themselves why they think that. My problem is solely with the medium, not the message.

            • chris73

              You may be right but I do know that a reputation, once gained, is hard to shake off and it doesn’t take much to reinforce the notion

              Who knows, it may well blow over and just be considered another beltway issue

          • Carolyn_nth

            This article says:

            Little said Poto Williams was expressing “legitimate valid views.”

            He had spoken to her previously about Jackson’s possible candidacy but not since he had been announced.

            So it’s possible that Williams expressed concerns about Jackson’s candidacy for Labour, and she felt she hadn’t been listened to….?

        • Ross

          The conclusion people will come up with is that she didn’t have any confidence in Little or Labour to deal with this issue

          Or she didn’t think Little or Labour would see theres an issue to deal with in the first place…

          There’s a third and fourth possibility. She thought Little might disagree with her, or she didn’t care about what anyone else thought. Of course disagreements happen all the time and are not a good reason for not doing something.

      • adam 17.1.2

        Because it’s confusing. Is it a personal statement as a individual, a statement as the MP from East Christchurch, or as the Labour Spokesperson for Family and Sexual Violence?

        It’s social media, so it’ feel like complaining, rather than adding to the debate. That said, maybe she felt there was no debate.

        She could have released here ‘the standard’, which by the way I would have thought would be a better move. Because it would generate debate – it’s done that because one of the authors here picked it up – which is a good thing.

        But, FB, how trump is that??!?

        Well better than twitter, I suppose.

      • Ross 17.1.3

        There’s better ways to communicate, like talking face to face with WJ. She could also talk face to face with Little.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          That works both ways. Jackson/Little went public first.

          • Ross

            Why wouldn’t they go public? If they hadn’t the media would’ve have. AFAIK the Greg O’Connor nomination was handled no differently.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Why wouldn’t Poto Williams go public? If she hadn’t the media would have. Was it wise for Jackson to compound matters with a Clayton’s apology?

              • Ross

                Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Thank you. And I can’t speak for WJ – he’s more than capable of doing that himself.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I am sorry for parking my truck in your opinion. I’m sure WJ will forgive you if you say he was unwise to issue a Clayton’s apology. Go on, I dare you 🙂

                • Gabby

                  Not all that capable apparently.

        • weka

          “There’s better ways to communicate, like talking face to face with WJ. She could also talk face to face with Little.”

          What makes you think she hasn’t already tried those? What do you think they would have said or done on the day or week before she posted on FB?

          IMO, the FB post wasn’t for Little or Jackson, it was for the public, to let them know where she stands on the issue. Which is what a politician should be doing.

          This is different than Labour MPs in the past who have spoken publicly against Labour policy. Presumably Labour actually supports their spokesperson on family and sexual violence when she talks about a highly contentious sexual violence issue that is important to the public. Isn’t that her role? Or are Labour exempt from scrutiny? Or do you think that Labour’s policy on sexual violence contradicts what she is saying?

          There is also a problem with keeping this particular issue in house. Most sexual abuse happens at home or is done by someone the victim knows. There are usually strong pressures to not speak out, and those that do speak up ‘in house’ are often called liars or have another layer of pressure put on them to stfu. It’s inappropriate IMO to tell women to not speak out on this in the way that they deem appropriate

          • Ross

            I have no idea whether she has tried talking to Little about this issue. But I imagine she won’t be using facebook or any other public forum to criticise a possible or actual Labour MP. If she does repeat her action, Little and others within the party are likely to ask her whether she wants to be in Opposition for another 9 years.

            If Poto wants to publicly talk about sexual violence, she is able to do so. That’s not a problem and it’s certainly not keeping it in house. But instead she criticised WJ. I don’t need to know what she thinks of WJ. I have no interest in what she thinks of him or other Labour candidates. The media on the other hand love this sort of stuff and will quickly promote the idea that if Labour can’t sort its shit (for want of a better term), it’s not fit for government. Why give the media – not to mention the government – that opportunity?

            • weka

              If you personally don’t need to know what the Labour spokesperson on sexual violence has to say about sexual violence that’s fine, don’t read her post.

              For many other people, this was a very important announcement. It’s not like Williams is the only person concerned about Labour giving Jackson a high list placement. She has additional issues I guess in that she then has to work with him, which is a problem for her portfolio. In this I agree, it should have been sorted out in house. It’s on Little that it wasn’t. And yes, this is another example of how Labour will be perceived as not fit for govt.

              btw, Williams invited Jackson to make amends and would support him in that. That is a clear pathway for making things right and him still being part of Labour’s plans. I don’t see him taking her up on that yet.

              • Ross

                Williams invited Jackson to make amends and would support him in that. That is a clear pathway for making things right and him still being part of Labour’s plans. I don’t see him taking her up on that yet.

                I imagine WJ will do what he thinks is appropriate. Little has said that WJ apologised at the time and that’s probably where it ends, even though WJ has subsequently apologised again and provided some context.

  17. HDCAFriendlyTroll 18

    Being somewhat of a “celebrity” no doubt WJ will bring a few votes to Labour. But if Poto William doesn’t want him around because of some pretty dumbass (and they were pretty dumbsass) remarks he made in the past that’s up to her. It really just comes down to a how much of your own ethics you’re willing to swallow in order to get elected.

    • Johan 18.1

      Ethics in question? National’s John Slater and others were very keen on getting John Key into politics a number of years back, despite his questionable ethics when it came to treatment of employees and the movement of funds for Merrill Lynch?

  18. HDCAFriendlyTroll 19

    Interesting point raised on another but obscure blog. That is, should William even be raising issues concerning a potential candidate publicly anyway? Shouldn’t this be the sort of thing she should raise privately with Andrew Little who will then decide whether Jackson is a suitable candidate for Labour, taking into account the whole picture?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1

      Should Little even be raising issues concerning a potential candidate publicly anyway? Shouldn’t this be the sort of thing he should raise privately with other caucus members and perhaps the wider party who will then decide whether Jackson is a suitable candidate for Labour, taking into account the whole picture?

      • Cricklewood 19.1.1

        I agree, the labour caucas needs to be working as a team to win and with that in mind surely any descision to parachute in a potentially devise figure should have been discussed and agreed with existing mps first… seems to me that very little consultation has happened and more a case of trying to gazump the Maori party… which lets be honest is focusing in the wrong direction.
        I suspect that if Lab Green has enough votes the Maori party would happily enter a coalition of the left.

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 19.1.2

        Sure, Jackson’s candidacy should be something decided not just by Little but other caucus members and the wider party. Point taken. However the argument is that by using FB Poto Williams is undermining Little.

    • lprent 19.2

      It would be uncommon for negotiations with potential candidates to be held in large committees. It’d cause leaks.

      Have you absolutely no political nous, or is this just an act?

    • weka 19.3

      I’d like to know why the women’s caucus wasn’t consulted on Jackson’s candidacy, and if they were, why were they ignored?

      • Carolyn_nth 19.3.1

        As my link and quote above shows, Little had talked to Poto Williams about Jackson’s possible candidacy – before the announcement. And that is concerning, because I would have thought she would have expressed her misgivings back then.

        • weka

          True, and we don’t know what ‘talked to’ means. Ideally there would be an actual women’s caucus that the party could consult with.

  19. Ross 20

    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth said Willie Jackson’s candidacy was not a done deal.

    Mr Jackson would go through the same selection process as any other potential candidate, he said.

    He would need to join the party and then get a special exemption because he had not been a member for the required period.

    Mr Jackson said he was working through that.

    He said he has not joined another party since he left parliament as an Alliance MP in 2002.

    Mr Haworth said Mr Jackson would go through the party’s moderation process, where 22 people, made up of the council and three caucus members, would consider his application.


    • weka 20.1

      Interesting, because Little seems to think he’s already in.


      • Ross 20.1.1

        Maybe Little is confident of WJ’s selection as if it’s a fait accompli. But yeah the President and the Leader probably should have a chat. In private. 🙂

        • weka

          Lol, yes. They should talk to the women MPs too.

          I’m guessing that they didn’t think about it very well beforehand. We’ll see how well they think about it now.

          • Leftie

            It appears Andrew Little did talk with Poto Williams beforehand.

            “He had spoken to her previously about Jackson’s possible candidacy but not since he had been announced.

            He would talk to her next week.”

            <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11795187

            • weka

              Which then begs the question of why Labour aren’t listening to their women MPs.

              • Leftie

                What makes you think Labour are not?

                • weka

                  If Williams and other Labour women MPs had been listened to, this would have been dealt with differently and we wouldn’t be seeing it play out in public. Williams offered Jackson a way out, and I would guess that that offer was there before her post. I see Williams’ post as a last resort.

                  • Leftie

                    What other Labour women mps? Andrew Little said Poto Williams was expressing legitimate valid views, and as another commentator posted, she is doing her job in that respect, but maybe Williams is refusing to listen, and this is an attempt to sway the select committee?

                    • weka

                      Refusing to listen to what?

                    • Ross


                      But Little also said he will be speaking with Williams in the near future. Why does he need to speak with her? To let her know that publicly dissing a potental Labour MP is unacceptable.

                    • Leftie

                      Weka, I wasn’t privy to the discussion Andrew Little and Poto Williams had.

              • Ross

                Which then begs the question of why Labour aren’t listening to their women MPs.

                I imagine women MPs don’t decide who gets to be a candidate any more than male MPs decide who should be selected.

                • weka

                  Yes, and that is a problem when it comes to sexual violence.

                  • Ross

                    But sexual violence affects both men and woman as both men and women are perpetrators and victims, hence my comment about male MPs not being asked for their opinions on candidates. If you’re going to ask female MPs, you’d need to ask male MPs too.

                    • weka

                      Which Labour male MPs are spokespersons on sexual violence? Which Labour male MPs are experts in this field?

                      Pretty sure male MPs were asked, which is why they are in this mess.

      • Sacha 20.1.2

        Already a party member but not a candidate? Little’s release seems to be lobbying that selection committee via media. Haworth might need a word with him about that.

  20. Leftie 21

    Statement issued on behalf of Willie Jackson – Labour Party

    <a href="http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/02/05/statement-issued-on-behalf-of-willie-jackson-labour-party/

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      Good. Yay. I wish people would stop giving the Parker/Hales rape gang their very own super-villain nickname, but that’s just me.

      • weka 21.1.1

        I’d like to know where that statement came from. It’s not attributed. It’s not on the Labour website (as far as I can see, but always hard to tell with Labour).

        A google by phrase search yields 2 other similar hits, one of which says “Source: New Zealand Unions Activists and Left Political Parties”. *snort* so that’s what Bradbury is known as now I guess.


        So if it’s officially from Labour, they gave it to Bradbury alone? Or was it an email sent out to who?

      • weka 21.1.2

        “Good. Yay. I wish people would stop giving the Parker/Hales rape gang their very own super-villain nickname, but that’s just me.”

        True, and I seem to remember we were using another name at the time (can’t remember what it was though).

  21. Reality 22

    Have to give it to National – far better party discipline than what is being displayed by Poto Williams. She may have a valid point, but for goodness sake there is an election this year and how about working together for the ultimate aim of Andrew Little becoming Prime Minister. As far as Willie Jackson is concerned he has apologised and who enters Parliament as a paragon of virtue? Willie Jackson has a high profile and the recognition factor is a huge advantage in politics.

    • Leftie 22.1

      “who enters Parliament as a paragon of virtue?”

      Andrew Little: “In the end Parliament is not a place where we elect angels. It is a place where we elect people for skills and talents they bring.”

      <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11795187

      • weka 22.1.1

        I don’t think anyone is expecting Jackson to be an angel. What’s expected is for him to take responsibility for his actions. That seems an important criteria for being an MP.

        • Leftie

          “They were insensitive and I deeply regret any hurt caused to victims of sexual abuse.

          I’ve had a lot of time to reflect over the last few years, and I’ve learned a lot from the experience. I believe men have a responsibility to not only stand up to sexual violence, but to stand up also to the culture that allows it.

          I’m proud of the work my trust does to fight sexual and domestic violence, and I am committed to continuing this work both in my personal life and in politics.”

          <a href="http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/02/05/statement-issued-on-behalf-of-willie-jackson-labour-party/

          • weka

            That’s not taking responsibility. That’s saying what is needed to manage a PR issue in order to become a Labour MP. I’ve listened to a few of Jackson’s apologies. They’re not true apologies e.g. in the one you quote he is saying that regrets any hurt causes to victims, he is not saying “I am sorry for hurting you”. This isn’t a semantic argument, it’s important because people involved in combating sexual violence know from long experience that unless one takes direct responsibility for ones actions, then the internal changes haven’t happened. It’s possible that Jackson has been trying to change and that he has made efforts in this, but he’s still not getting it and neither are Labour.

            I also have a problem with his comments this week where he went on at length about how he has already apologised. Instead he could have fronted up and said that he was sorry for his actions and that he acknowledged that this is still big issue for many women in NZ and that he’d like to get it right now. He didn’t do that, he basically said yeah, nah, I’ve already paid penance and now I’m the man.

            If he really has changed, then it would come through in his comments, and given that it hasn’t I’m guessing he’s not taking advice on this from the women in a position to help him. Hence my comments about Labour listening to their women too.

            I really think there are a lot of men who don’t get why this is such a big deal for so many women. It would be great if those men started paying attention and listening to us and that includes no making winning the election a priority over addressing rape culture (those two things aren’t incompatible, but men are making them so, and on and on it goes).

            • Jenny Kirk

              I’ve watched and listened to the debate about Willie Jackson re-entering Labour politics (he was once a member of Alliance, an off-shoot from Anderton’s New Labour). I’m strongly feminist, and I’m Labour.

              And I’m wondering just how many of those who are criticising Labour for taking on Willie Jackson, have never ever made a big mistake in their lives.
              And have never ever had to apologise for it. Apologising is difficult – its a backing-down, a re-thinking, a humiliation if you like – certainly it is not easy to do. I”ve been there, done that – several times.

              Not only did Jackson apologise for his remarks on radio, for which he was censured and put off air, he also went around to his local womens refuges to find out what was going on, why he’d got into strife, and how he could help. His Urban Maori Authority now has a contract to develop programmes to help prevent violence, sexual abuse, and other abuse within families.

              Herald 5.2.2017.
              ” Jackson told reporters at Waitangi that he apologised again, that he would ring Williams and that he thought he had a good relationship with Louise Nicholas…….Jackson said MUMA had won a huge contract to work on domestic violence and was absolutely committed to turning around the terrible statistics”.
              “I gave an apology at the time, on Radio Live, over three years ago, gave an apology on Maori TV, gave an apology again a couple of days ago on RNZ . . . and happy to say sorry again for any hurt.”

              After Poto Williams tweeted about Jackson, Andrew Little said Jackson’s interview at the time was “totally unacceptable” and he had apologised at the time.
              “In the end Parliament is not a place where we elect angels. It is a place where we elect people for skills and talents they bring.”
              Labour’s position on domestic violence and sexual violence was second to none, including the work Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin had done in a leading a hikoi against violence.
              Little said Poto Williams was expressing “legitimate valid views.”
              He had spoken to her previously about Jackson’s possible candidacy but not since he (Jackson) had been announced.

              There is a strong strategic reason for bringing Jackson into Labour and that is – his outreach and connections to urban Maori (among many of the non-voting person which Labour needs to reach, enrol and get them involved in our democratic voting process) throughout Auckland and Northland.

              Politics is complex. Often its uncomfortable.

              I keep thinking of that old saying – let the person who is without sin, cast the first stone.
              Can we all honestly say about ourselves that we are totally without sin, and therefore can righteously criticise both Jackson and the Labour Party in taking him on ?

              • weka

                It’s not that Jackson hasn’t done *anything (he obviously has), it’s that he still thinks that it’s him that gets to decide what is ok and appropriate and that he gets to decide what constitutes making amends. For example, his comment about Louise Nicholas, where he seems to think that because he believes they get on that means that he is not a problem. But Louise Nicholas herself has said she is gutted that Jackson is being given this candidacy.

                This is why so many women in particular (but a fair few men too) are so angry. It’s not up to Jackson to decide when he’s done enough. He can decide that for himself in his own life and see how that works for the women there, but as an MP the standard is much higher.

                I agree about the strategic important of what Labour are trying to do with Jackson, which is why it’s even more of a shame they didn’t handle this differently. Williams isn’t saying that Jackson shouldn’t join Labour, she is giving him a way to join Labour that remedies his past behaviour. I don’t hold out a lot of hope that Little and Jackson will take her up on this, and so the issue will continue to raise its head over and over until we get this right.

                Myself, I don’t see Jackson as really getting it. He’s obviously trying to do some of the right things, but it’s not about what he did year ago, it’s about what he did this week, and the apologies I’ve seen from him this week look more like making out he’s the good guy than genuinely understanding why this is still such a big issue. I thought his apology this week was pretty dismissive tbh.

                • weka

                  The thing about the angels is that I’m pretty sure that most women who are active in this area know full well that we cannot expect men to be perfect (or indeed anyone). That’s not what this is about. It’s about understanding what rape culture is and what is needed to change that. Jackson still doesn’t get it. Neither does Little. Or they do but they don’t think it’s a priority, which is basically the same thing.

                  • Jenny Kirk

                    I suppose they both think that tossing this govt out of power is their main priority. I haven’t spoken to either of them, that’s just supposition.

                    So maybe Labour hasn’t handled it properly or well or maybe they did it too quickly because the media were onto it and were getting out of hand.
                    Jackson still has to go through the Party List process which is long and involved, and complex. If he makes it through, is this going to be the thing that stops individual people from voting Labour ?

                    • weka

                      fwiw, I’ve seen people saying it will stop them voting Labour. I guess it then depends on whether Labour cares or whether the strategic value of Jackson outweighs that. To my mind it was all avoidable if Labour was doing the necessary mahi on rape culture. And yep, very few are getting this right, which is why it blows up in their faces everytime. There is no telling women to put their issues aside for the good of the cause, those days are long gone.

                      btw, I wouldn’t see the main point of critiquing Jackson joining Labour to be increasing Labour’s chances of getting votes and thus unseating National. I would see it as a much more core principle of how NZ society wants to be. For many, endorsement of rape culture in parliament is something to oppose irrespective of it being election year.

                      “So maybe Labour hasn’t handled it properly or well or maybe they did it too quickly because the media were onto it and were getting out of hand.

                      Yes, I haven’t followed exactly what happened, did Jackson make his interest known suddenly and Labour had to act quickly? Nevertheless, if Labour were robust internally on this, they would have processes for getting advice from the experts on rape culture and would have known that this was an issue. As it is, it looks like they either didn’t realise or didn’t care. Both of those are unacceptable.

                • HDCAFriendlyTroll

                  For some people no matter how much remorse or understanding of his actions Jackson shows it will never be enough.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    No doubt. Is that what’s happening here? No: the argument is that Jackson’s Clayton’s apology undermines his claims of remorse and understanding.

                    There are further claims, that this criticism is intended to “crucify” and “destroy” him, or Little, or Labour.

                    They seem a little over-wrought to me.

                  • weka

                    Which people specifically?

              • greywarshark

                Jenny Kirk
                Thanks for that perspective and background. I feel better when thinking about Willie Jackson than before. Unthinking sexism from bloks crops up and I think I have seen a change in Hone Harawira since his ‘m…f..r’ use some years ago. It’s a term I hate, so demeaning and cold.

                And Keith talking about some of the left’s desire for purity. It does seem religious in some, rigid, dogmatic and inhuman. It can go far to outer space, if unrestrained: think Kampuchea.

                • Jenny Kirk

                  Thanks greywarshark.
                  Yes – many blokes have unthinking sexism, and we all probably have unthinking racism, and we’re all human and have to learn to live with our big mistakes.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    No-one’s perfect…which makes those who cannot abide criticism of their behaviour look a bit silly, really.

              • lprent

                Thanks for that Jenny. That is more rational information on this than anything than I have had to date.

                I’ve only met Willie Jackson once. He didn’t strike me as someone who’d have screwed up as much as that roastbusters interview showed.

                Edit: I was rather shocked with the callous disregard for both the caller and with any woman listening when I heard the MP3 of that roast busters session.

                To me it appeared to be that he and Tamihere were excusing some rather disgusting social behaviour by blaming the victims. Umm… yep – this is a good description. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tamihere#Roast_Busters

                In November 2013 on RadioLive, Willie Jackson and John Tamihere interviewed a ‘friend’ of an alleged rape victim, “Amy”. Amy discussed information she knew about an incident by a group called the “Roast Busters” that was under investigation in New Zealand. Jackson and Tamihere asked her why and how much the girls had been drinking, and why they were out late at night. “The other side comes to it, were they willing drinkers?” They also questioned why the girls, some as young as 13, had not made formal complaints to the police, asked “how free and easy are you kids these days?”, and asked Amy what age she had lost her virginity. They also described the Roast Busters’ actions as “mischief”. Jackson and Tamihere also implied that some young girls who had consensual sex with the young men may now “line up and say they were raped as well”. Amy said she believed those involved were rapists, which was met with a small laugh by the hosts, who then said: “Well if some of the girls have consented that doesn’t make them rapists, right?” Many on social media were angry with the pair, calling for them to be fired or to step down from their positions.[21] Vodafone, Telecom, Countdown and Briscoes suspended all RadioLive advertising due to the interview. Four other advertisers pulled their campaigns from the station earlier.[22]

                On 11 November, the pair stood down from their show for the rest of the year.[23] Jackson returned in early 2014 with new co-host Alison Mau, replacing Tamihere, who did not return. This resulted in Tamihere launching legal action against Mediaworks alleging breach of his contract. Mediaworks eventually settled and apologised.

                My suspicion at the time was that one or the other of them knew the kids or parents, and so preferred to not look at it closely. Either that or it was that getting kids drunk and having sex with them was the kind of behaviour that they condoned. That is hardly the kind of behaviour or attitude that I’d like to see in a MP.

                The apologies (as weka pointed out) were weak and appeared to be more related to a dislike of being terminated than anything actual understanding of why a very large number of people (including me) were pissed off with a pair of misogynist arseholes being wankers on radio.

              • Anne

                Thank-you so much Jenny Kirk for your

                It is what I – and others – have been trying to say but not nearly so well expressed.

                let the person who is without sin cast the first stone.

                We’ve all been there and if people are anything like me, they never stop regretting their past sins – especially when in the process they have hurt another person or persons. You never forget.

                Willie Jackson is coming across to me as someone who has learnt his lesson and is trying very hard to make up for it. Good on him. I hope Poto Williams and others who have been so publicly critical of him can also try to change their hard line attitudes and at the least give him credit for what he has achieved thus far since he committed his ‘crime’.

        • keepcalmcarryon

          “I don’t think anyone is expecting Jackson to be an angel. What’s expected is for him to take responsibility for his actions. That seems an important criteria for being an MP.”

          Maybe apologising for being a man will cut it? Did wonders for whats his name again? Clearly no amount of the man apologising for the incident is going to be enough for some.
          Im no Willie Jackson fan, but hes a strategic choice, so suck it up, get in power then pull on the levers to advance the progressive cause.
          Have to totally agree with those talking about ill discipline and factionalism- the very things that voters dont like about the labour party.
          Show some autonomy, you dont create (rape)cultural change by sniping at your own side before an election.

          • lprent

            I’m no Willie Jackson fan, but hes a strategic choice, so suck it up, get in power then pull on the levers to advance the progressive cause.

            The first problem appears to be that he was a strategic choice by a few. I would have expected that based on his history that someone would have made a few strategic queries amongst the women in caucus, especially those concerned with portfolios that bore on his his past behaviour.

            The second problem is that your argument could as easily be used to say that putting a mass murdering rapist concentration camp guard is a ‘good’ choice for a political party to put up because it’d be a “strategic choice” to gain the skinhead vote. It is a logical continuation of your argument.

            Which says rather more about your repugnant and repulsive lack of moral compass than anything else.

            • keepcalmcarryon

              Godwins law and everything.
              I guess I’ll be leaving you to it, dont think I warranted that but its your show.
              Still hoping the left win the election, not sure we even know how to tolerate each other yet :(.

              • lprent

                Humm. Not a question of toleration – more a question of being to articulate a coherent argument. Clearly you aren’t very good at it.

                I noticed that you didn’t respond about why my logical extension of your logic of a “strategic choice” wasn’t accurate of your actual views. That was a question about your moral limits rather than a godwin.

                Perhaps you should start using your brain a bit more and indulge in craven avoidance behaviors less. It’d probably help with others evaluating the quality of your opinions.

                • keepcalmcarryon

                  I find it telling your response to me vs that to Jenny Kirk above saying exactly the same thing I did, in longer form, one of us identifying as female and feminist.

                  Your responses are an example of the lack of tolerence the factional;ised left shows itself, the more minority boxes we tick the more street cred for the left or the more the weight of the argument amongst themselves. Also the more right to be outraged should they choose to be so, yet clearly Jenny Kirk has an eye for the big picture many here do not.

                  References to skinheads and concentration camps denegrate whatever argument you were attemptng to put and do not deserve a reply.

                  That said, put your actual questions up -if you have any?- so I can answer. Its easy to be prone to “craven avoidance” if noone asked a question.

                  • weka

                    Plenty of people understand the strategic move that Labour is making in regards to the Mp and the Māori vote. I don’t see Jenny’s comment as being like yours other than that you both refer to that.

                    I too have an eye for the big picture. Even if one believes that rape culture is unimportant relative to current strategy there is still the issue of what will happen to the Labour govt if Jackson mouths off in the future on issues related to gender and sexual violence. How will that undermine the caucus, colleagues (including various Ministers), the govt, and how will it be perceived by various people in NZ including the media who include a large number of women who are opposed to rape culture?

            • Jenny Kirk

              Just for the record, lprent, Andrew Little did talk to Poto Williams about Jackson being invited into Labour. I don’t know the outcome or content of that talk, but it did happen.

              • Venezia

                Jenny Kirk…
                as posted above:
                “Little said Poto Williams was expressing “legitimate valid views.”

                He had spoken to her previously about Jackson’s possible candidacy but not since he had been announced.

                He would talk to her next week.”

                <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11795187

                As Poto is the Labour spokesperson for family & sexual violence, it is likely she expressed her concerns – but NB
                "He had spoken to her previously about Jackson’s possible candidacy but not since he had been announced."

                I totally support Poto. If Labour selects Willie Jackson & Greg O'Connor, I for one will not be voting or supporting Labour this election. I have voted Labour all my adult life and been actively involved at LEC level.

          • weka

            “Clearly no amount of the man apologising for the incident is going to be enough for some.”

            I agree, he’s obviously not going to get those right. I’m sick of his apologies, he needs to change his behaviour.

            • lprent

              Then of course the real issue for WJ is, in public like his offense, how is he able to demonstrate that. Effectively he’d have to show a negative. Which is also a problem.

              Personally I’d just like to hear a clear apology that clearly isn’t a faux one bemoaning that others took offense, and that demonstrates more understanding of what the underlying issues that actually caused the offense actually were.

              I try to keep an ear to what is going on, and I’d agree that I haven’t heard one. What I have heard sounds more like some PR bullshit that is designed to sound good to his radio audience. Which just makes me suspicious about what kind of an MP he’d make.

              The police weren’t exactly competent in their investigation, but after some shoving from the IPCA, they look to me like they may be trying. It’d probably take a few more years to determine that – it is a organisation with considerable levels of inertia.

              • weka

                Yep, the change in behaviour needs to happen now, before he becomes and MP, and before he does through selection. That might include a genuine apology, but it could also be an acknowledgement that people are justified in being concerned (rather than all the denial). Making amends is a process that involves others. I think Jackson does a lot of good things, but in this area he’s got distinct problems. Looks like ego is part of it, and an unwillingness to let others be the expert.

                I keep thinking of Shane Jones. What’s going to happen if Jackson is an MP and starts saying stupid shit while the Labour govt are trying to manage a tricky issue of national importance on gender or sexual violence? It’s not like the media aren’t going to be shitstirring this too.

                btw, it’s not just Roastbusters, it’s his support for Clint Rickard, and his homophobia, amongst other things. It’s the pattern of behaviour, which is why the apologies need to be real and demonstrate that the pattern has changed. I just don’t see it yet, although I think he is probably far better at keeping things in check (until he isn’t).

          • HDCAFriendlyTroll

            Nah, Jackson is a lousy choice. He’s shown himself to be an idiot. Even people who (very wrongly) thought the RB victims were just young skanks would have at least had the minimal intelligence to keep it to themselves. As for voice of urban Maori, ffs, just because he’s got brown skin he’s supposed to be the voice of urban Maori? Talk about identity politics!

            Anyway that’s not the main issue here. The main issue is that Little should be standing up and putting Poto in her place. Can’t have the plebs deciding policy.

            • greywarshark

              HDCA FT
              As for voice of urban Maori, ffs, just because he’s got brown skin he’s supposed to be the voice of urban Maori? Talk about identity politics!

              About WJ, good point.

    • Keith 22.2

      Totally agree Reality. Were I a National voter I would be rubbing my hands in glee at this post, safe and sound in the knowledge that factions of the left in politics will always tear themselves to pieces over their perceived version of purity but ironically guarantee the exact opposite will occur. National 2017!

      Honestly reading these comments National must be laughing. Actually I go further, breaking a rib laughing. They are THE winner and they don’t give a shit about this subject and never will.

      There is no perfect candidate and no perfect ideological pure political movement that will be ever be elected. None, ever!

      • Ross 22.2.1


        Were you a National voter, you wouldn’t give a toss about what Labour say and do.

        • Keith

          Oh yes I would because I want my party to win.

          I want my investment houses left alone, I want what’s best for me, fuck everyone else. But the biggest road block to me, me , me is Labour doing well. So I want Labour to live up to its perceived reputation as a divided, PC party who couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery. And that is exactly why National get elected because the left are so dumb, they play right into Nationals hands without trying.

          I don’t have a lot of time for Jackson for other reasons but sometimes the bigger picture is far more important than subjective opinions. This guy has apologised over and over and to be fair it looks genuine. But some Labour people want him crucified. And then they’ll squabble how the crucifixion was not done in accordance with someones perception of best practice crucifixions. It’s never bloody ending.

          I want National gone, they are fucking this country, but I hold little hope when some individuals in the opposition are morons.

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 22.2.2

        I doubt that many people would have remembered Willie Jackson’s inane comments concerning the RoastBusters. What Poto Williams has done is put it back in the public’s attention, undermined Jackson as a potential candidate for Labour (and it’s not as if Labour can afford to be choosey especially with candidates that can bring in the votes), and made Little look weak. If I thought she knew anything about politics I’d think she was preparing to have a crack at being Labour leader.

        If there is ever a time for Andrew Little to show that he is PM material, now is it.

        • weka

          It’s not just Jackson’s comments about Roastbusters, it’s his actions, and those in the context of a pattern of behaviour over time. His public support for Clint Rickard’s, and his homophobia are also issues.

          People were already talking about the inappropriateness of Jackson before Poto’s statement. And this just keeps coming up again and again. It’s not just about Jackson, it’s about rape culture, and it’s not going away until it gets dealt with properly.

        • lprent

          If there is ever a time for Andrew Little to show that he is PM material, now is it.

          As far as I can tell he is doing exactly that. He is correcting what appears to be a miscalculation by him and his immediate advisers. He didn’t anticipate that there would be a strong reaction from parts of the labour membership and caucus. I am a bit surprised about that myself, because I could have told him that would happen. I was just surprised it waited until after he did the announcement.

          I saw media saying (paraphrasing) that he was going to talk to with Poto and presumably others after the long weekend, but that they had legitimate concern.

          But I certainly remembered Willie Jackson’s “inane comments concerning the Roastbusters”, and I’d like to have some certainty that such lapses in judgement (aka rampant stupidity) aren’t going to happen in the future and what his attitudes actually are towards women. Certainly at present I wouldn’t want him placed anywhere near ANY portfolio that concerned social justice or equity issues. His judgement appears to be flawed. But that doesn’t leave a lot of a career path inside government.

          If Poto and others hadn’t raised it, then I sure as hell would have. Now it could be that Andrew Little knows something that I don’t. But I’d sure like to hear it before I could support this choice for a ‘high place’ on the Labour list.

          • HDCAFriendlyTroll

            “I saw media saying (paraphrasing) that he was going to talk to with Poto and presumably others after the long weekend, but that they had legitimate concern.”

            Good, that’s exactly the sort of thing I’d be saying to the media if I was Little. I’d come back to the media afterwards and tell them something like “While Poto understands now that it was not appropriate to raise her concerns using social media we both agree that there are issues with Willie Jackson’s candidacy and I and the rest of the Labour party appreciate her raising those concerns …” or something along those lines.

          • Ross

            I certainly remembered Willie Jackson’s “inane comments concerning the Roastbusters”

            As I mentioned above, that was in the context of him being a talkback host which can bring out the worst in participants (which of course is no excuse). I couldn’t imagine him behaving in the same way as an MP. Similarly, I couldn’t imagine Donald Trump saying to Theresa May that he’d like to grab her p****, notwithstanding that he’s a tosser. (Btw, I think Jackson and Trump are worlds apart.) In other words, people can and do change, and some of that change is down to the roles they have to perform. Being an MP brings a certainly responsibility – at least it should do – that was probably absent from his previous role as talkback host. Again, that doesn’t absolve him from his previous actions.

          • Sacha

            “a miscalculation by him and his immediate advisers”

            Yep, them again. How hard can it be to find people who are competent at political jobs?

        • Gabby

          Nuttyanal would have remembered.

      • swordfish 22.2.3


        “Were I a National voter I would be rubbing my hands in glee at this post, safe and sound in the knowledge that factions of the left in politics will always tear themselves to pieces over their perceived version of purity but ironically guarantee the exact opposite will occur. National 2017!”

        From the Nats’ highly influential propagandist David Farrar (Kiwiblog) (complete with his usual array of Typos):

        This is a serious challenge to Little’s leadership. Little personally recruited Jackson, tried to push Peeni Henare out of his seat and when that failed promised Willie Jackson a high list place. Williams would have known this when she wrote her piece.

        Background on the Roastbusters stuff is here.

        Again this is pretty unprecedented to have a sitting MP publicly attack the candidacy of an aspiring candidate, let alone one hand picked and announced by the Leader. If they are they disunited in opposition, imagine what they would be like in Government!

        All plays into National’s recurrent framing of the Opposition in general and Labour in particular.

  22. Observer Tokoroa 23

    How to please Weka

    Weka is a Green Party member. Well and Good. The Standard appears to be using her to destroy the Labour Party in general, and Andrew Little in particular, because of a possible Labour Candidate who is deemed by Weka to be a promoter of Rape.

    I smell hysteria here. Will Weka and the Standard also destroy people who read Face Book ?

    [lprent: A couple of points to someone who appears to be determined to be a hysterical dickhead …

    1. As OAB points out below, “The Standard” is a server + some software in my apartment.

    2. I’m not sure who put the post up because it was a repeat of a statement from a Labour MP without added opinion and we put such posts up as “notices and features” to distinguish them from posts put up by authors.

    3. You just deliberately attacked a author and moderator for no reason apparent to me.

    4. Banned for 2 weeks. Generally pleasing weka is a lot less of an issue on this site (she appears to be quite resilient) than not pissing me off with bad behaviour. After all even at the best of times, I have to restrain myself from being an irritable grouch.

    5. On a personal note. As current (and sort of inadvertent) Labour member, I really don’t want misogynist arseholes ‘representing’ me in parliament. After all I’ve grown up in a feminist household and have numerous highly capable female relatives (albeit with a different set of quirks). But I’ve never noticed that having male genitalia means much apart from some levels of life-long stupidity on the possessors of such equipment. Some of possessed can’t seem to distinguish between the programmed brainstem instincts and those of their cerebral cortex.

    6. At this point I’m not that convinced that Willie Jackson isn’t misogynist fuckwit with a motor mouth. About the only thing that makes me unsure is that he appears to have been less of a hormone driven self-rated dildo than John Tamihere (as he appears to always be) was on that infamous radioshow.

    7. I really don’t like fools trying to shutdown debate on this site. We try to train moderators to limit behaviour. However we don’t give a license to commenters to do so. I’d suggest that you don’t try it again. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.1


      A machine in Lprent’s apartment is using Weka? Is it using me too? How about you?

      And how do you figure anyone is being “destroyed”? Do you always respond to good advice this way?

    • Reality 23.2

      The hysteria breaking out one would think Willie Jackson was one of the roast busters himself. As he said, being a talk back host he has had to play devil’s advocate on occasions. And let no one tell me I am supporting rapists. I do not.

      [read the moderation note above. Accusing feminists of hysteria is a form of flaming/trolling as well as promoting anti-feminism. I will moderate for this. – weka]

    • weka 23.3

      [I think our moderations overlapped there, posting this here for additional comment – weka]

      [read the policy. It explicitly states that it is not ok to attribute a mind to The Standard machine. There is also a general rule against attacking authors. Also, this author takes particular exception to when people make shit up about her. I also see accusations of hysteria against feminists as a political act against feminism and thus harmful to women and the left. You might get away with that in OM, but you won’t in posts about issues important to women. For all those reasons I am asking you to stay out of this thread and heed this warning for the future. I will ban next time I see you doing this. You can probably consider yourself lucky that Lprent didn’t see your comment first. – weka]

      [lprent: 🙂 I guess I should remove my ban from the blacklist then? ]

      [Either is fine by me Lynn but I think TO is making an effort which is always good to see. – weka]

  23. Observer Tokoroa 24

    I accept any ban. You give me. But I am alarmed at the attack on a decent guy such as Andrew Little.

    David Cunliffe copped it too. John Key didn’t.

    Is it unfair of me to say this. Or am I violating Green Party reasoning ?

    [lprent: It looks like you got off the ban. Weka apparently gave you a warning first and we overlapped on the moderation. Her warning takes precedence. I’d suggest that you look at my moderation notes.

    BTW: I can’t see any particular attack on Little. I can see questions on Jackson. Maybe Little can see more than I can, but I’m not exactly thrilled with the idea of Jackson taking up a valuable place high in the Labour list. It seems like something that sends exactly the wrong message out among half of the electorate. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 24.1

      Don’t be alarmed: criticising someone’s behaviour is not the same as attacking them. There’s no need to blow this up into something it isn’t, so please stop trying.

    • weka 24.2

      As it happens I like and generally support Andrew Little. And I’ve given John Key far more shit than what Little is getting here. I wouldn’t put Little even close to being what Key is as far as misogynists go (I don’t consider AL a misogynist). You can look up my comments in TS in the past on Key. So I think you are confusing my position with what the media have done. Or something.

      “Is it unfair of me to say this. Or am I violating Green Party reasoning ?”

      I don’t speak for the Green Party. Seriously, read the Policy. If I was commenting as Green Party member I’d say so, and if I was authoring as a Green Party member it would be explicit, that’s how the site works. I’m an inactive GP member, so I get some emails that go out to all members, and very occasionally talk to someone in the part, but only as someone not involved and pretty most of the time when I comment or post I am drawing on information in the public domain. More recently I’ve had some contact with the party via this pseudonym in order to get some photos for posts, or to ask them things on twitter, but that’s something that anyone can do, nothing to do with being a member. In other words there is no connection between what I write and what the Greens want other than where our values and views overlap.

      There are very good reasons for why moderators come down hard on comments that try and tie authors into political parties. Part of that is the very thing you are complaining about re DC, AL, JK. Authors here are writing from their own perspectives and when you try and make it about political parties you not only undermine the author’s integrity, but you play into the lies told about the left and Dirty Politics. You also undermine this site. In this election year you also risk supporting RW memes about how the L/G MoU won’t work.

      I can tell you categorically that if this was the Green Party doing this I would be making the same criticisms.

  24. Observer Tokoroa 25

    To Weka.

    I regret using the word Hysteria , because of its gender connotation. I should not have used it at all. I am sorry for that.

    Rape is as confusing to men as it is to women. Chaperoning is the only possible way of protecting a girl.

    Both genders should admit to failures and weaknesses – in my opinion.

    I doubt that a caucus is a chaperoning unit.

    Thank you for my Reprieve.

    • weka 25.1

      Thanks for the expression of regret OT.

    • “Chaperoning is the only possible way of protecting a girl. ”

      Because teaching men to be responsible for not assaulting people is way too hard. 🙄

      • You_Fool 25.2.1


        Why is it always the girls fault for my genders lack of restraint? I manage to keep my hands off cute girls pussy’s all the time, even when they are wearing itsy bitsy poka dot bikinis, this is because I realise that these girls are not 3D pleasure dolls for my enjoyment, but are in fact real people with real thoughts and lives and who have chosen to wear their clothing choice for their own reasons (hopefully) which may not be for me to stick my hands on their body (although if it is I assume they will let me know reasonably explicitly).

  25. Anne 26

    Chris Trotter does have a penchant for over-dramatising events but still:


    At a stroke, her ill-disciplined and (presumably) unsanctioned outburst has undermined the positive perceptions created by the joint Labour/Green state-of-the-nation event of 29 January. All of those “good vibrations” (to quote TV3’s Patrick Gower) have been drowned out by the high-pitched screeching of identity politics.

    • Sacha 26.1

      Was just reading that. Poor old Trotter really needs some counselling about his fading grasp on entitlement.

      “Little’s announcement of O’Connor and Jackson was another important step in his carefully calibrated plan to reposition Labour in the minds of the voters.”

      Not too carefully calibrated if it did not bring all his caucus along.

      And most voters are capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time, Chris. Respect for women and a wish for better jobs and housing are only mutually-exclusive in the minds of dimwits from the 1950s. Can’t wait for their muffled yelps to fade from public discourse as they enter our retirement villages and cemeteries.

      • Pat 26.1.1

        “Can’t wait for their muffled yelps to fade from public discourse as they enter our retirement villages and cemeteries.”

        that wouldn’t be ageism would it?

  26. Mad Plumber 27

    Has Poto Williams had a talk with Wille before posting her views and if not how does she know if his attitude has changed. If not the last two paragraphs seem to contradict.
    I tend to agree with Chris Trotter and sometimes wonder if our MP’s/activists want a change of Government or do they have their heads in the clouds and are disconnected from those they are supposed to be helping. The word Political Elite springs to mind.
    I can say that no abuse is acceptable and it was something drummed into me by my Mother but I sometimes think that PC Correctness goes to far especially when Males are in an environment where there are a lot of females and the boot is on the other foot. You have to only say something and all hell breaks loose because you are presumed guilty and HR is full of women so you back pedal because it is not worth the hassle as you are on a hiding to nothing.
    I Know what I have posted is not going to go down well but that is how some your voters feel. I know I am ONLY a tradesman but I do think I am more in touch with those voters you need to win.If you are inside the tent you can change things but outside?
    United we stand, divided the Labour Party Falls again and it really, really annoys me.I could use another word but not sure if it is allowed.


    • Sacha 27.1

      Murray, what puts you off voting for National the most?

      • Mad Plumber 27.1.1

        My Mother would haunt me.
        Really a right to a good standard of living, to be able to own your home at some stage and a right to be payed a good wage.
        My mothers family were West Coasters and did knock around with labour people before WW2 so it is most probably in the blood. Also my Great Great Grandmother ran the Waiuta Pub and from what I know looked after people so as I said its in the blood to look after people.
        There are other reasons but that is another story.

      • Mad Plumber 27.1.2

        Had a bit of a think.
        The 90 day clause, I know of more than one person hit by that and in fact there are employers that make a habit of using that clause especially to the young ones trying to get their first job and if you live in a provincial town it is not worth the trouble to complain as word gets around, not fair I know but that is the fact of life.
        Union bashing. Unions are a necessary part of the employment scene as most of us are not well equipped to deal with problem employers. I can speak from experience and I like to think that I am no dumb bunny but it was something I would have come out on the wrong side of if not for the union.

    • Leftie 27.2

      “the last two paragraphs seem to contradict.” Well spotted Murray.

    • weka 27.3

      I can say that no abuse is acceptable and it was something drummed into me by my Mother but I sometimes think that PC Correctness goes to far especially when Males are in an environment where there are a lot of females and the boot is on the other foot. You have to only say something and all hell breaks loose because you are presumed guilty and HR is full of women so you back pedal because it is not worth the hassle as you are on a hiding to nothing.

      I think it’s important this gets discussed. IMO part of that dynamic is that despite the real gains made around sexual violence in recent decades, we are still really bad at dealing with this as a society and that assault on women as a class hasn’t really changed that much.

      I also think that where women have gained enough power to be standing up for themselves then sometimes they will go overboard or adapt to fit in with the power structures they have to operate within, especially in situations where the culture is still enforcing dominance (over everyone). We live in a very neoliberal, or whatever you want to call it, society and that corrupts many things across the board. This affects men too. And while in some areas things have improved I agree with you that in others things are still hard for many people and that we don’t yet have good ways to sort that out so that everyone is ok.

      I also believe that NZ has never truly recovered from Labour in the 80s and that massive betrayal and that everything gets played out through that, including this issue over Jackson. I have hopes for Labour this year and for Little, but I’m not under any illusion that they’re free of what happened in the past. I see good people involved in Labour too, so that gives me hope.

  27. Paul 28

    Simple question.
    Did the Labour Spokesperson for Family and Sexual Violence Poto Williams speak to Andrew Little before posting this?

    • Sacha 28.1

      Little says they had talked about this, yes. Read the thread.

      • Jenny Kirk 28.1.1

        Paul and Sacha – No – I don’t think that’s quite correct.
        Andrew Little spoke to Poto about Jackson standing before he made the announcement. But the way Poto made her statement indicates to me that it was not sanctioned by either Little or anyone else. Andrew later said he’d be talking to Poto some time this coming week about it, but she had raised “legitimate concerns”.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Willie doesn’t need to seek any sort of sanction for his public statements because…?

          • Sacha

            Because he’s not yet a member of the party, let alone its caucus (a body which is supposedly committed to collective discipline because that’s good politics, especially when your opposition have been using disunity to attack you for many years).

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              So he doesn’t have to think about what he’s going to say at all?

              “I realise that my candidacy may cause discomfort among some of my future colleagues, as a result of my past mistakes…”

              Something like that and I suggest we wouldn’t be here.

              • Sacha

                If Labour’s advisors and officials had planned this properly, the issues would have been anticipated and messaged beforehand by Little as well.

  28. Antoine 29



    I think in the course of this whole episode you will have learnt a bit about
    – Labour’s values, and
    – how some on the left treat dissenters.

    So that’s something.


    • weka 29.1

      Lol, I knew that already.

      What’s new is which TS commenters are willing to think the worst of me and distort reality to have a go at me.

  29. Adam 30

    Poto Williams should read the Mediaworks investigation. http://www.waateanews.com/site/uma/files/MediaWorks%20Radio%20Standards%20Committee%20Decision.pdf
    She will see it was Tamihere, not Jackson, asking the questions.
    The panel also pointed out the pair made it clear at the start of the show they would take a devil’s advocate approach, and that caller Amy did not seem distressed during the interview and answered probing questions confidently.
    The question line about when Amy started having sex was originally misunderstood (maybe ‘did he really ask me that?’) but Tamihere chose not to pursue it.
    It was damn good radio. They weren’t victim blaming, unlike (former pop singer) Andrew Fagan later that day who had to apoligise for asking a caller who said she had been raped while drunk aged 14 if it was consensual.

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  • Regional approach the focus at ASEAN and East Asia Summit talks
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  • Speech to the Criminal Bar Association
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  • Minister of Defence to attend Guadalcanal Commemorations in the Solomon Islands
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  • New programme to provide insights into regenerative dairy farming 
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  • More women on public boards than ever before
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  • Awards support Pacific women
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