Let’s talk mental health

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 pm, October 21st, 2018 - 298 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: ,

For those of you who haven’t caught the news, the media is reporting that Jami-Lee Ross has been taken to an Auckland facility to treat a mental health problem. I’m going to be focusing on that angle of the story in this post, and largely not on JLR’s abusive behaviour, or the political implications for a moment, because I think it’s a discussion we need to have, so I’m coming out of the woodwork despite finding it difficult to find time to post with my new job.

The Herald implied police were involved, and they are refusing to comment, which implies that he has in fact been sectioned. (the term comes from an earlier version of the legislation involved from before this process had its own Act, where there were relevant sections of the Mental Health Act to deal with involuntary treatment) The important thing to take away from this is that this does mean it is true that Jami-Lee is very seriously unwell. There were some other implications to the way this was initially reported that I’m deliberately not mentioning, as I’d like to reserve judgement for now, but let’s just say this situation is very distressing for a number of reasons. I’m going to talk about just one of them, and that is because there has been a presumably deliberate whispering campaign going on to imply that Jami-Lee Ross was not credible because he’s unwell.

That his credibility was undermined because of his mental health could be true, it could also not be true. (either way, it’s not helped by having a pitched political battle in public, or by publicly calling those issues out as “sensitive” or “embarassing”. If you don’t know how to describe something discreetly to people when it’s actually none of their business, don’t describe it, Simon) There are some mental health disorders that make it difficult for a reasonable observer to believe what someone says, such as those where someone is very disconnected from reality, or lies pathologically, but most mental health disorders don’t actually affect someone’s credibility on a topic they’re an expert on when they’re in a relatively stable mental state. There’s also the possibility that, to paraphrase, “just because he’s paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get him,” at least to some extent. It’s really insidious to use mental health as a way to discredit someone when it might not directly affect his allegations, and the stereotype that all mental health conditions make someone reliable is something that people have been fighting against for a while, and I am frankly incensed at the National Party for engaging in this sort of ignorance-driven campaign. If Jami-Lee is as unwell as these events suggest, that is a thoroughly insensitive way to deal with it that simply makes matters worse, both from a PR and a valuing-human-beings perspective.

It’s also very personally distressing for people like me, who have had struggles with our mental health, and I hope you’ll excuse me going briefly autobiographical to introduce you to this issue a bit. Mine wasn’t particularly serious. I haven’t been suicidal since I was a teenager, and that was for “being a teenager” reasons, not mental illness reasons, and fortunately I didn’t do myself any physical harm at the time. (This is also the very first time I’ve ever mentioned it outside of confidences, so I hope you’ll excuse me for not wanting to go into detail- no further questions will be answered, thanks, I’m quite safe and in no danger of feeling that way right now) I’ve had things pretty light as people with mental illness go, but there’s still a stigma when anyone hears about it. People will still call you crazy, and discredit what you say. I still have to deal with my issues recurring from time to time, although the main vector for my anxieties is under control. My symptoms include panic attacks both light (eg. “getting unreasonably pedantic about something you don’t think is a big issue”) and severe, (eg. “gasping for breath in the foetal position because I can’t see a way out of a particularly stressful situation”) being more tired than usual, (I find it hard not to subconsciously clench my muscles, which makes me tired) irregular sleep patterns and insomnia, and so forth. I get a lot better with exercise, like most people with anxiety-related conditions do, and light social contact. (light in my case because I’m also an introvert and find it exhausting sometimes, which means I have coping rules about how much I need to get out so I can stop myself from withdrawing socially as a self-destructive coping mechanism. This is the sort of shit we deal with to stop our problems from coming back, and as I said, mine is relatively minor)

I know the Right now likes to joke about the idea of content warnings as getting “triggered,” getting our feelings hurt as if we’re emotionally fragile, but it’s a concept that has to do with having lived through traumatic events and finding it difficult to deal with certain topics being discussed because they cause us to re-live trauma, and that vulnerability is very common for people with mental illness, especially as it can be caused by traumatic events, where the term “triggered” originally came from. (although it’s out of favour now, probably in no small part due to the sneering tone it’s used in nowadays) A lot of people in our little New Zealand community online of people who’ve struggled with mental health are having to tag out of this discussion for very similar reasons because the very topic of being sectioned is incredibly distressing to think about, even though those having to make these assessments try to handle them with care, empathy, and professionalism, and it’s a Really High Bar To Clear to get sectioned. I will admit the prospect scares the shit out of me, and I have come nowhere close to needing it, but my particular damage is anxiety-related, and anxiety doesn’t always listen to calmly being told what’s reasonable or not reasonable, you just tend to catastrophize regardless when you’re not coping well, or your particular vulnerabilities come up. The fear that someone will take me somewhere against my will for being unwell, even if I know I’m competent enough to make my own decisions, is very real, and something some other people live with and have absolute justification for, especially if they’ve been suicidal in a way that relates to their own issues before. The tricky thing here is that while intervention is sometimes needed for people’s well-being, we also actually have to be quite careful, because many of these interventions can be incredibly traumatic for everyone involved, too, especially ones that involve police, so making them unnecessarily can actually sabotage someone’s ability to cope or their recovery, and alarm or upset their family members severely.

This is something really serious. It’s beyond playing games with, and we shouldn’t tolerate anyone trying to bring more politics into this before there’s evidence it was there to start with. Let’s take a moment, and realise that someone who was supposed to be one of the leaders in our country has had to be taken for treatment against his will, and how very serious this situation is, and how we got here. Let’s be humans first, and care about the people involved- even if you have lost all sympathy for Ross, he has a family, and they might not necessarily all agree with all of his politics, so let’s at least treat them with sensitivity. There will be questions to be answered about the constitutional issues, no doubt, (we have a procedure for dealing with revelations of serious mental illness in politicians, fortunately) as taking such an action against a politician is never entirely devoid of political context, even assuming it was his family who referred this issue to the appropriate authorities- I hope this can be done sensitively and with respect for Mr. Ross’ privacy, regardless of what I think of his conduct in other matters, he still deserves to have autonomy over his medical privacy inasmuch as it doesn’t affect his ability to do his job- and in that sense, all we really need is a “yes” or a “no” from a qualified person.

This happened at least in part because there were serious warning signs in someone’s behaviour, but it was covered up to prevent reputational damage both to him and his party. Stigmatizing dealing with mental health problems early forces those of us struggling with them into the shadows and encourages this sort of hiding. National shouldn’t have been concealing this situation for political reasons in the first place, as the right course of action for someone who is unwell hurting others is to hold us accountable if we’re in a position to understand what we’ve done, (and I doubt Mr Ross wasn’t given he would have been extremely high-functioning if he was unwell) and take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again in a way that is sensitive to that person’s ability to recover. (which can include an inability to recover- some mental health conditions are chronic, and others aren’t, but there are cases where there simply aren’t the practical elements needed to facilitate a recovery. It will depend on the situation) This is handily also the thing that needed to be done to deal with the abusive behaviour problem, so maybe it would have been a really good idea?

The talk on this topic thus far has been an odd mix of some people attempting to use Ross’ mental health as a shield against any allegations rubbing off onto the National Party or Ross himself, (which is thoroughly inappropriate, as people who selected him, it was even more their responsibility to support and help him through or out of this situation in a responsible manner, and obviously as a functioning adult, Ross is responsible for his own behaviour, even when he is compelled to destructive patterns more than usual because of mental illness) people insisting that selecting a person with a mental health condition is categorically inappropriate, (not true, many of us who have faced one can recover completely and cope with the risk factors that got us there in the first place, and many others live the same way people facing physical accessibility issues do, by focusing on what we can do well rather than on what we can’t do, and seeking reasonable accommodations for those things where what we can’t do means we need certain things beyond what’s considered “normal” to function, like say, reduced hours, flexible conditions, more leave, etc…) and from time to time some sensible voices crying out into the dark giving us perspective.

I will say that I’m proud to be part of a party that openly selected someone for a high position on our list who publicly discussed what this is like from first-hand experience, and I thought that person was brave, and that it was great that, for one very brief moment at our zenith before our troubles started last election, it looked like the Greens might just squeak them into Parliament. (I haven’t named this person because I have been informed they’re not going to run again and therefore I’d rather any re-entry into the spotlight be for a different reason, but they are excellent and you would have been proud to have had them in Parliament, assuming you like the rest of our caucus, anyway) I think it’s actually really important we get someone who is coping with some of this stuff into parliament, because just like the other parts of the disability community, (which I will admit I’m thoroughly isolated from outside of mental health, because there are limited hours in the day, especially for those of us who need them to worry about everything obsessively. Okay, that got a little dark suddenly) those of us dealing with mental health problems aren’t damaged, we’re resilient. We have capabilities, and we have weaknesses, just like anyone else. We have learned to deal with things that we arguably shouldn’t have to, and while it hasn’t necessarily made us stronger in every case, it gives us a different but valuable perspective from the lessons we’ve learned.

Back to sectioning, this is the “nuclear option” of getting someone treated. Most people dealing with mental illness can make our own decisions about any treatment we might require, with accountability or assistance from a trusted friend or family member, those who need this sort of extreme intervention are outliers. If you’re looking for warning signs of more typical conditions, a good general list is available on the Mental Health foundation’s site. It’s quite possible Ross was very high-functioning but had an underlying issue that looked very similar to simply Being A Politician, as it’s a very toxic environment in mental health terms that tends to attract people who already have a certain type of self-assured confidence and resilience to negative feedback, but it’s important we don’t think we can back-seat diagnose him, as it’s difficult enough to do with personal contact, so this is why dealing with his abusive behaviour was important, and why warnings that treating abusive behaviour as Normal Parts Of Politics aren’t just so much hippy noise, but actually a very real caution that we’re potentially putting people in really unhealthy situations into senior leadership positions, because the age-old joke is unfortunately quite wise: “You don’t have to be mad to work there, but it helps.” This is why Greens want to change how we do politics, not just who’s in charge.

If you do run into someone you’re worried about in your life, please be understanding and listen, but hold them accountable for the effects of their behaviour, too. We need assertive compassion if our issues are spilling over to affect other people. We need your understanding. But we’re also whole people who can offer valuable insight, who can be your colleagues and do a great job at it, (hell, sometimes our coping strategies make us better workers) and yes, we could even be among your leaders, and if we did it openly and bravely, instead of being enabled and entitled, we could do a good job. There are good resources out there for mental health, and the stories about this have been doing a good job of providing links to them.

298 comments on “Let’s talk mental health ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Good to see your overview, Matthew. A lot to digest there, so I’ll read it more carefully tomorrow. For now, I’ll just request clarification about his “sectioning” from any experts here. I gather this means he was taken against his will. That concerns me, and I’m confident it will concern many others.

    Apparently it means he will be held incommunicado for five days. This seems morally wrong. I have no problem with a five day evaluation, just with the removal of his civil rights. We haven’t been informed that he can’t speak, so is unable to exercise his right of free speech on an authentic basis. State agents eliminating a leading politician’s agency, autonomy, and liberty, is totalitarian. A sad day for Aotearoa.

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      A lot to digest.

      Many commenters here seem to be happy for Jami Lee Ross to be held incommunicado for some reason. I do hope their personal experiences are not preventing them from speaking against power.

      • mauī 1.1.1

        He’s admitted himself he’s been unwell recently. I think lefties are prioritizing his health over scoring political points. Quite sweet when you think about it.

        • Matthew Whitehead

          It’s almost like we have principles we believe in and stick to them, a novel concept for some, I know. (:

        • Dukeofurl

          Ross has also said the health issue was being used against him to get him out


          And guess what: he says the health claims were used to stop him talking publicly.

          I guess nothing has really changed in the time since he said that

          • mauī

            That would all be fine and good if there were no questions over Ross’s health.

            But now it’s murky as Ross himself admitted that he had to get professional help and take time off work, and he is currently under care. So that gives weight to Simon giving him medical leave.

            As I’ve said in another post Ross seems very caught up in Bridges treatment of a mentally unwell person, which is suspicious.

    • Matthew Whitehead 1.2

      You don’t get sectioned without a serious reason why, Dennis.

      I will say there are ways this latest development could have happened that concern me, (this is the angle I said I wouldn’t discuss because I felt it would be irresponsible speculation) but I’ve had some private denials that the thing I’m concerned about didn’t in fact happen, at least one of which I consider a reliable source, so I’m taking that at face value for now until we get more information about how this happened and that everything is above board. (I take the fact that information was being tightened in the articles as a good sign, not a bad one, as it was probably authors reacting to our interpretations of some pretty poorly worded details in some of the original stories that implied things that might not be true)

      One thing you have to be aware of about those of us who deal with mental illness is that when we’re coping, we’re totally just like other adults, with perhaps a few quirks, but when we’re not coping, we can be very self-destructive and often emotionally harmful for the people around us, or completely unable to take care of ourselves in certain aspects. It varies greatly depending on how self-aware, educated, supported, and treated people are, and the severity of their condition. (and I mean treated in the sense of both therapy and medication, where each are appropriate) We can lie to preserve our delusions or coping mechanisms without really wanting to because we can’t imagine any other way to cope or it’s just become automatic, we can be emotionally abusive, erratic, or even violent if things get serious for us. Some of the memes about mental illness are fair, others aren’t, the thing people don’t really get is that it’s a huge spectrum of conditions and possibilities, and a lot of them are relatively minor or just result in someone who thinks a little differently than you, at least when we’re coping well.

      Having admitted that sectioning terrifies me, I will also stand up for it as a necessary part of our law. Functioning as intended, it’s just an investigatory mechanism to see if someone legitmately is not of sound mind enough to refuse treatment for mental illness, and there are situations it’s necessary. It could only become totalitarian if it was abused quite badly, and doing that would require collusion by several medical professionals, and would be more difficult to arrange than a more straightforward conspiracy theory, IMO.

      Part of the real reason it’s terrifying is that the systems that are supposed to support it are just really, really under-resourced. Our mental healthcare is a bit like we invested very heavily in ambulances and ICUs for physical healthcare, but spent next to nothing on anything else, especially not GPs and prevantative medicine, (the analogy falls down a little here because GPs are also part of the mental health system, too) which was all left for those of us who can afford it to pay on their own. The reality is if you’re mentally unwell you better hope it’s either very minor or that you have someone very wealthy and patient willing to support you, or preferably, both.

      • Infused 1.2.1

        I had a family member committed in the Dunedin fatality. It’s one of the nicest places I’ve been.

        I’ve also had an ex gf who tried to get seen by the cat team and we sat in hospital for12 hrs and left. That was around 16 years ago and it seems nothing’s changed.

      • Sabine 1.2.2

        would spilling the beans on the shenanigans of the Party without Mates be ‘serious’ enough?

        Cause that is now what is going to happen innit? the guy is disappeared into the mental health ‘care’ of NZ, will most likely be so drugged that he will be complacent, and will not be let out unless and until complacent.

        I can’t see his health improving tho.

        And if every he were to start again being unpleasant to the our overlords he is gonna get locked up again – for his own security – right?

        btw, can the leader of the no mates party now ‘dismiss’ the MP?

        • Infused

          Jesus get a clue. You crazies have no idea. That’s not what happens.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            Don’t call them crazy, please. Those of us struggling with mental illness don’t want to be compared to wingnuts.

        • Matthew Whitehead

          No, it wouldn’t. It’s a decision made by a district health officer, and they would consider admitting someone due to a politicized complaint to be a terrible failure.

      • Carol 1.2.3

        National party leadership deliberately pushed him over the edge to fuel the narrative that he’s ‘crazy’, don’t listen to him. It’s a common tactic of abusers. Part of why the media are in a frenzy is because it has been widely accepted in politics that politicians families are off limits. It is unprecedented how personal the senior National party leadership got with Jamie. National made sure his career and marriage would not survive this. If National party members had any decency they would not have done this. But this is actually an accurate depiction of the utter contempt in which they dealt with mental health in their 9 years in power. Ignored it, blamed the service for not delivering, then drove it into the ground.

        • AsleepWhileWalking


        • Matthew Whitehead

          If you hear people talking about “gaslighting,” this is what they’re referring to. It is a common tactic in emotionally abusive relationships.

    • Paul Campbell 1.3

      I think the thing that worries me is that the only people who seem to be in the know and commenting is the National Party.

      We all know about Dirty Politics, the cops turning over Nicky Hager’s house etc etc – there do seem to have been some not above board connections between the Nats and some police, how do we know this isn’t another? It certainly would be in the Nat’s best interest if JLR never gets access to parliamentary privilege.

      And if JLR thinks Lusk has his back ….

      • Infused 1.3.1

        Itjust show a the thousands of people I’ve seen say this how ignorant they actually are.

        The police will escort someone if there was a risk posed to their or someone else life. Its normally a family member that makes this happen.

        • Chris

          But you can see it now, can’t you. The party decides, rightly or wrongly, to deny Ross access to his electorate office, or anything at all in the hope of eliciting an angry response. Ross, rightly or wrongly, stands his ground in an exuberant manner, even goes overboard. Bingo, the nats call the cops and Ross is gobbled up by the mental health system. Of course this is all done under the guise of sticking to the rules – that “Ross posed a risk” etc, but for the nats it’s problem solved, for now. Certainly better than Ross being given his 21 days in the House, which is surely what the nats must be looking for ways to avoid.

          History has shown us that these are people who are capable of anything.

          • SPC

            Ross would have access to the office. Given this was late on a Saturday night, it would appear that Ross (not staying at the family home) was going to stay overnight in the electorate office.

            If National claimed it was National Party property and wanted him removed from it – trespass order – then in the course of their police action (and with a second unit who deals with mental health case pick ups and a qualified agent with them), and acting out of concern about his mental state have him taken n in for an assessment (overnight stay and he is formally sectioned for a five day stay the following day).

            One scenario, in the absence of any media info or anything at all to the Speaker.

            • Anne

              I think electorate offices are the province of Parliamentary Services. They certainly have a say in their location and they oversee the necessary security apparatus required.

              If I’m right that opens up another line of inquiry. If Ross was planning to spend the night there, did someone report him for being on the premises at a time when he shouldn’t have been there?

              Just an idle thought to throw in the mix – not a conspiracy theory.

              • solkta

                It is his office and he can be there when he wants. It is quite common for MPs to work into the night in both their electorate and parliamentary offices.

              • SPC

                Apparently he is able to be released once he has a place to stay where there is someone to look out for him (which relates to his recenty separation and his being at the electorate office). Which may not include going back to his Wellington apartment (if he would be alone there).

                Parliamentary services only covers the rent they pay.

      • lprent 1.3.2

        …there do seem to have been some not above board connections between the Nats and some police…

        That would be my nagging concern. There seems to be a lot of dirty politics collusion from the main police South Auckland stations over the years.

        Much of the anti-democratic and illegal targeting of activists seems to come from Otahuhu, as did the request for search warrants for Nicky Hager. The ‘interesting’ conclusion that paying someone to hack my personal server was a victimless crime worthy of police diversion was a deliberate whitewash of Cameron Slater. And there seem to be numerous instances over the last few decades.

        While Ross seems to have been pretty extreme recently, it was at a pretty high performance level. Sectioning is such a such a draconian (but sometimes nessecary) procedure that it deserves more scrutiny from the courts than is currently given to it. It has the potential and has been used in the past in NZ to shut someone up.

        I’d like to be reassured that if hasn’t been this time. Especially as the National Party has been clearly trying to target mental health in this case.

        • RedLogix

          Sectioning is such a such a draconian (but sometimes nessecary) procedure that it deserves more scrutiny from the courts than is currently given to it. It has the potential and has been used in the past in NZ to shut someone up.

          Especially when they are a sitting MP (and ex-Party Whip) embroiled in a controversy. This is a clear case where not only does the right thing have to be done, it has to be seen to be done.

      • Ankerrawshark 1.3.3

        Paul to me it looks like national may have alerted the media to the mental health admission. If not who?

        It’s disgraceful.

        • Graeme

          It would have been pretty hard to keep a police presence at the Botany electorate office, if that is what actually happened, quiet. Police cars would have been arriving at pace, probably with other emergency services, and it would have been reasonable to expect the place to be staked out by media. Questions would have been asked and really anyone with any experience in the world witnessing the scene would have joined the dots.

          I’m sceptical of the sectioning reports on two counts. I’ve encountered conflation of the terms admission and sectioned, and while a relative may have signed the form (sec106?), that may have not been used as the patient ended up going voluntarily.

          I have lived with a person who is diagnosed bipolar for 30 years and have had to sign that form and assure you it’s not taken lightly by any of those involved. Even though the form was signed every effort was made not to use it. In my partner’s case we were able to persuade her to go into care as a voluntary patient.

          In JLR’s case the current situation is not a total surprise. Extreme stress and conflicting realities conflicting realities will take a toll on even the strongest mind. The guy has been rat fucked, hard, for probably the last 3 months, and super hard for the past week. How would any person fare in the same situation?

          Can someone qualified comment on how employment or criminal law may relate to this abuse.

          • veutoviper

            Sorry, cannot help with your last sentence, as it is a very unusual situation employment wise as elected officials are not employees per se.

            Agree with what you say in para 1, but it also raises the questions as to:

            – whose property the Electorate Office is legally. For example, whether it is legally the property of the National Party (or whether they are the legal tenant), or whether the owner/tenant is Parliamentary Service.

            – if National Party property, the legality of Ross being there.

            I fully agree with your comments in paras 2 and 3 from similar experience; and also with your para 4.

          • Psych nurse

            Graeme, Mental Health professionals make every effort to avoid using the Mental Health Act, as you relate from your experience it is very difficult to enter into any treatment partnership when compulsion is used.
            New Zealand being an enlightened country, someone having been committed generally has no bearing on someones future but there are implications on your ability to travel, less enlightened Nations will ask your history and can and do refuse visa’s, the USA being the prime example.
            The use of the phrase Sectioned is used in the UK not here, we use formal or informal to denote ones Mental Health status.

            • Pat

              “Mental Health professionals make every effort to avoid using the Mental Health Act, as you relate from your experience it is very difficult to enter into any treatment partnership when compulsion is used.”

              I;m sure however you will accept that compulsion is frequently used ….and its not a given that it is always in the best interest of the patient.

            • Graeme

              Thanks for the info regarding the incorrect use of terminology. That makes me even more sceptical that JLR is a formal patient, and reinforced by the Speaker not appearing to have been informed.

              I have been very impressed by the effort and professionalism of Mental Health staff at all levels in the care of my partner. You have my utmost respect.

              Regarding discrimination, all we have encountered is is a few niggles with insurance. Renewing or changing life insurance is really tricky, but probably on a par with a change in physical health status, and we encountered a mental health question in a commercial motor vehicle policy that was that wide ranging and discriminatory, along with other things, I tore the form up and gave it back to the broker and asked for a policy with a real insurer without saying why.

      • Matthew Whitehead 1.3.4

        Labour has wisely chosen to stay out of it, IMO, and it reflects well on Ardern.

    • Incognito 1.4

      If it is in the patient’s best interest it is not morally wrong. The NZBORA remains firmly in place.

      Allow me a very crude and possibly insensitive analogy: you cannot do a WOF on a car that is going down on the MW at 200 km/h.

      Matthew W: feel free to edit or put my comment in the Trash if it crosses the borders of acceptability.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 1.4.1

        BORA is repeatedly breached when it comes to disabled.

        Ashley Peacock springs to mind, as do the numerous breaches of natural justice by Work and Income.

        So let’s not be too cocky on protection we all supposedly have.

        • Incognito

          You clearly misunderstood my comment to Dennis Frank @ 1. It is not morally wrong to treat somebody with a serious illness for up to five days. Dennis’ comment mentioned a lack of information but went a step too far IMO to label it as a measure by a totalitarian state. Utter nonsense if you ask me.

          • Dennis Frank

            Okay, looks like I have to repeat it: “State agents eliminating a leading politician’s agency, autonomy, and liberty, is totalitarian. A sad day for Aotearoa.”

            Easy for me to be proven wrong, isn’t it? Could suffice for him to issue a message to the public within that five-day period, saying he’s delighted that Big Brother is looking after him. He can do so via friends and family even if the state agents have taken his phone off him. But that presumes he will be allowed to communicate with them. Apparently there has been some contact, but I’m not clear on the details of that. He could be sedated.

            If the reports about sectioning are correct, he was taken without his agreement. Coercion applied after sedation to produce a public statement that he now accepts his disempowerment? Possible. Everyone must now acknowledge that until he resumes public life, we cannot be reassured that he is being treated appropriately. No such reassurance will suffice other than his testimony from a position of liberty.

            • Incognito

              Ok then, JLR needs to have another media stand-up in which he assures us, the speculating public, that all is well (with him) and that neither Simon Bridges, the National Party nor ‘secret state operatives’ were directly responsible for his admission to a hospital.

              You don’t think the Government is following this with great interest? The Speaker is also involved, of course.

              Since when do we go off on vague poorly-worded and phrased ignorant reports in the NZ MSM based on unnamed sources? Oh yes, I forgot, since forever. My scepticism is even higher than usual.

              • McFlock

                But the public’s right to speculate overrules JLR’s right to receive treatment in peace! /sarc

        • Matthew Whitehead

          The tricky thing here is that the illness really does impede your ability to meaningfully consent in a lot of cases, and it’s easy for people to be glad in hindsight that they were treated against their will. That’s the whole reason we have it in the law in the first place. It’s a balance between the right of the person to refuse treatment, the requirement to be of sound mind to manage medical choices, and the potential of harm to others.

  2. Long post.

    In short, Jamie Lee Ross has been silenced- esp over the long weekend.

    • Matthew Whitehead 2.1

      No, it’s a lot more complicated than that, see above. Serious medical professionals have to be convinced there’s a good enough reason to even entertain the possibility, and if the complaint looks like it could be done for political reasons, those people would be very skeptical. There’s also several independent people involved in this part of the process so it’s well safeguarded against being abused.

      • WILD KATIPO 2.1.1

        All it takes is a few professionals who are Nat leaning. I don’t believe them for a minute.

        David Cormack: National needs to learn to care about people – NZ …

        • Incognito

          Even a Nat-leaning health professional would have the best interest of their patient at heart. Not all Nat-leaning people eat their young at birth and kill & eat their mating partners after sex.

          • WILD KATIPO

            You’d best hope then.

            • Incognito

              I’m willing and prepared to accept many things because if I start to doubt, question, or distrust everything (my) life becomes impossible. This requires trust, confidence and faith in my fellow human beings and society. It is what it is.

              • Good for you.

                I’m sure Abraham Lincoln and John F Kennedy’s family had another take on life after knowing how the manipulators in the corridors of power ACTUALLY work…

                • Incognito

                  Please don’t get me wrong, I have very few illusions about the corridors of power and what might go on there, but you were referring to “a few professionals who are Nat leaning”, which seems to be a considerably lower playing field. Just because the elite duelling in the corridors of power have no qualms about certain things doesn’t mean all of mankind can be written off in the same way, does it?

                  • McFlock

                    And it doesn’t mean that someone would commit a litany of serious crimes and malpractise just to save Bridges. Hell, even Key would take more than a tape recording to convict.

                    • Nice to be so trusting.

                      I’m sorry but I don’t share your trusting sun shiny outlook. In some ways, I’m glad.

                    • McFlock

                      Why bother doing all that? Seriously? For Bridges? Maybe even for Key, as if a tape isn’t arguable in court?

                      The cops raided Hager’s flat after DP, but while he was co-authoring a book about our troops in Afghanistan. Sure, they can serve the interests of the state, but they’d probably much more easily do him for drink driving or something, if they wanted to help the nats in opposition.

                      It’s not being trusting, it’s recognising that tories aren’t one big monolith being directed by Goodfellow in the shadows. They’re a band of thieves joined together in convenience to serve their own personal interests.They each wish to risk the least and gain the most. They won’t lift a finger to save Bridges, who’ll be gone in months anyway. Hell, it actually serves them for JLR to clear out all the skeletons and leave Bridges’ replacement with a clean closet.

                    • RedLogix

                      It’s what else that could come out that has them really worried.

                      It’s why Bridges over-reacted to the expenses leak in the first place, and maybe at the root of the extraordinary events where seeing now.

                      Certainly the sectioning or whatever of a sitting MP in these circumstance demands the greatest possible transparency and confidence in the process.

                    • McFlock

                      The truth will out re:JLR. Just not immediately.

                      I actually think that the tapes have been a bit of a “moment of truth” fizzer. They haven’t really said anything that JLR promised they’d say, and the worst fallout has been from the comments about Indian MPs. Even with some prodding, Bridges never said “split it into smaller sums so we don’t need to report it”. If there was another tape where he did say that, it would incriminate JLR as much as Bridges. And it would still be arguable in court.

                      Frankly, this has escalated way out of hand for all concerned, especially Bridges.

                    • RedLogix

                      True there wasn’t precisely the smoking gun JLR implied there might be, but there was plenty bad in this one tape all the same.

                      The thing is, they don’t really know what else JLR’s recorded. But what they do know is that there are things that have gone on and been talked about when JLR was present (he was the Party Whip after all) that they damn well don’t want public domain.

                      I’m not naive about this; all organisations say things behind closed doors that they’d sooner not say in public. But from the over-reaction so far it’s my guess there is potential for some serious damage here.

                      Maybe even we’d get to find out the real reason why Key resigned.

                    • Aaron

                      The problem with psychological issues is that the opinion is part of the diagnosis. There is no blood test for levels of mental health, in fact there is no physical evidence whatsoever so it can only be a ‘medical opinion’ that gets him sectioned.

                      There is also no guarantee that your mental health professional is not a sociopath – If they are someone who is status hungry and close to the National Party then their career focus is on personal power/status and not on helping people. Also if they identify with the Party then that will further affect their judgement.

                      Given that their number one goal in life is acheiving power and that they have chosen the National Party as the vehicle for this ambition I’m sure the party members think Ross’s behaviour in attacking his own Party is the very definition of lunacy – the equivalent of an astronaut attacking their own oxygen cylinder.

                      Imagine being in space and a member of the crew is trying to destroy the space ship – how mcuh panic would that create and what wouldn’t you do to get them to stop? I think it’s enturely plausible that the NP leadership would take a big risk to shut him up – especially as they probably know which skeletons he was going to throw out of the closet next.

                    • Lone Comet []

                      A very credible scenario, nothing could suit the Nat’s better than this and JLR has been removed and silenced under no doubt very charged and even scary circumstances when he realised he was getting trespassed from his office and then likely carted off. Whoever called the police – was probably almost certainly not his family.

              • Mark

                That’s really cute, you trusting the National party 100%

                • Incognito

                  Either you’re a cute 2-year old who cannot yet read properly or you’re deliberately twisting my meaning and putting words in my mouth. In any case, you add nothing of substance here with your three spray & walk away comments.

          • KJT

            Agree. There are many decent people who vote National. For reasons that are somewhat sensible. I will never vote Labour again, either, after their total betrayal since 1984. Unless they sack all the Neo-liberals in the party. I.e. become the Greens.

            However, senior National party people, both the ones in Parliament, and the ones I know locally, would sell our young, kill and eat their partners and condemn a whole country to third world status, for power and/or few extra dollars.

        • Infused

          Its honstley good all you lefties are posting this. It easily shows the nut bags

          • WILD KATIPO

            Well if that shows the left are nutbags you must be cringing in embarrassment in Nationals efforts and this latest circus act.

            ‘fit to lead ‘ my backside, buddy.

            And whats that about ‘ stability ?’

            Yeah right mate.

            All we see are a divided, spiteful , narcissistic , money grubbing bunch of Hollow men and women that are the last people you would want to lead the country. And as for ‘wise financial management ‘ , – my goodness,- you couldn’t have gotten an invading army to come in here and make such a mess of the place.

            What a joke they are.

        • Matthew Whitehead

          No, it really doesn’t. This is “first do no harm” stuff. Anyone doing this for political reasons risks losing their license to practice medicine.

      • Sabine 2.1.2

        yeah, right Tui.

        It would not be the first time that someone who was ‘inconsidered’ to the Powers that are would be disappeared into mental health care.

        Yeah, right Tui.

        and yeah, how convenient that he disappears now into a mental health ward.

        How long is he gonna stay there? Forever?

        And if he gets released and starts again with his accusations of criminality within his party ranks, will he get saved again for his own personal safety?

      • Lone Comet 2.1.3

        Unfortunately what you say here is naïve in the extreme as I have personally experienced the rankest expediency from different individuals in the medical profession over the years in connection with the mental health and treatment of loved ones.

  3. I read this site but have not commented for years. Wild Katipo, are you suggesting that National has been complicit in having the sectioning put in place? If there is any evidence of this, then that is a truly scary proposition. I certainly believe his condition was taken advantage of by Bridges for which he should lose his job.

    On the health side, there are no walks of life that are not affected, however politicians in general have always seemed to have little genuine concern for each other.

    On the political side, i think National will deservedly lose a lot of support.

  4. JohnSelway 4

    Police being called does not mean he has been sectioned. Police are often sent to mental health callouts because the CAT team is over stretched.

    Happens all the time (to me personally also).

    • Muttonbird 4.1

      You just copied this from Kiwiblog. That is how I know you are a RWNJ.

    • Matthew Whitehead 4.2

      Implies does not mean something is necessarily true, regardless some of the coverage directly stated at times that he had been taken for treatment against his will, which is definitely being sectioned. It’s tricky to link to sources on this as the stories have been heavily edited to redact some details, and we don’t know if it’s because they were unreliable, or because they’re being discreet.

      I’m pretty confident that someone has in fact sectioned him based on reporting and comments from people affiliated with the Nats, but admittedly not 100%.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    We need more posts like this. Thank you Mathew. We can only hope JLR is getting help to cope with all the pressure. We need to be circumspect, and not jump to any conclusions yet. (can’t help that though given the circumstances.)

    • Cinny 5.1

      Yes please, I second that. Good work Mr Whitehead.

    • Matthew Whitehead 5.2

      I hope he’s getting help. A lot of the pressure around his behaviour is necessary to drive home that he needs to be accountable for his abusive behaviour. It’s the whispering campaign from his party and attempts to pretend they didn’t handle this situation abysmally that I find deplorable. It’s galling that we had Mapp on TV trying to claim Goodfellow dealt with this situation well by covering it up.

      Those of us who are causing problems for our families or people we work with or in our social circles need to be held accountable and helped to recover. We need to apologize and learn what we need to in order to do better.

      If he needs to reduce the pressure, he should resign for his own health. If we can’t care about people’s individual well-being, we’ll never make the changes we need to care about everyone’s collective well-being.

      • WILD KATIPO 5.2.1

        [ Those of us who are causing problems for our families or people we work with or in our social circles need to be held accountable and helped to recover. We need to apologize and learn what we need to in order to do better. ]

        OK fair enough if its serious, – but where does it all stop?

        So everyone who has a legitimate issue with an organization and is a whistle-blower should be deemed suspect? Seems like we need an army of whistle-blowers regards National. They are indeed the most subversive globalistic sell outs this country has known so far. And most of the seeds of all this started with John Key and his govt.

        And to be frank? – I’ve had a sheer gutsful of all the walking on eggs , the namby pamybism and the politically correct.There are people that have suffered FAR , FAR MORE than JLR, Bridges ever have. Try a family murdered in Afghanistan by war , or family’s wrecked and torn apart by civil war, or those who’ve had deaths in the family from childhood cancer.

        That’ll do for starters.

        These National party bastards – all of em – need a bloody good kick up the arse so damn hard they wont be able to sit down for a month. They make me sick, the self entitled pricks.

        • Matthew Whitehead

          Where does accountability stop? It stops in one of two places: when you stop hurting people with your behaviour, or when you abandon it entirely and prove yourself to be irreedemable. Otherwise, it just keeps on going as you try to be better to the people in your life.

          You will note if you go back over my piece and differentiate between “JLR should be accountable for his behaviour and is definitely unwell” and “JLR could be unreliable” that I have argued hard that Jami-Lee being mentally ill does not on its own discredit his allegations, at least until we have reliable information his illness causes him to be an unreliable witness. (far more likely is that his lack of reliability is just in following the Dirty Politics playbook, to the extent it exists)

          I agree JLR is the least of the people suffering here. But that doesn’t mean you should perpetuate harmful attitudes to those of us who do struggle with mental illness because of him. I agree our priority should be with the people he abused, but that angle has been well-covered already.

      • ianmac 5.2.2

        A very important and welcome column from you Matthew. Thankyou.

        That appalling behaviour of Mapp on Q&A last night was indicative of typical National attempting a further coverup.

      • Cinny 5.2.3

        This bit…..

        If we can’t care about people’s individual well-being, we’ll never make the changes we need to care about everyone’s collective well-being.

        Well said Matthew.

    • Mark 5.3

      Oh yes, the National Party always has our best wishes at heart

  6. Cinny 6

    ‘most mental health disorders don’t actually affect someone’s credibility on a topic they’re an expert on ‘

    Abso-freaking-lutely, 100% agree with

    • Incognito 6.1

      But they can cloud one’s judgement and emotional-mental state to a point that they make irrational decisions that don’t fit with or even contradict their expertise. In this context (JLR), solid facts and robust evidence are the only way out of this political quagmire.

      • KJT 6.1.1

        Yes, at times when someone is unwell. Most people are only unwell some of the time.

        It does not invalidate everything they say. Many high achievers have had mental health problems. It hasn’t prevented them from functioning at a high level. In fact their greater self insight, from coping with illness, often increases their competence, and empathy.

        Being very tired tends to cloud your judgement also. I can tell you that from personal experience. You learn, like those with mental illness, not to make judgements when affected.

        There is plenty of evidence of the mendacity, greed and self interested decisions in National.

        National’s faithful followers just don’t believe it. Or think, tax cuts, outweigh having honest people in power.

        Unfortunately National’s faithful will now avoid, again, having to think about the obvious venality of the people they are putting into power.

      • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.2

        Even if JLR has a condition that affects his judgement, we have no evidence that it’s affecting his knowledge of the internal workings of the National Party. To the extent that he’s lying or deceiving us in his statements, it’s almost certainly for calculated private political gain/attacking Bridges, not due to mental illness.

        The most likely judgement that’s been effected was his arguably naive decision to run for his electorate again after having had an affair and burned his party when he won his seat due to being a party man.

        • Incognito

          Yes, all good but I wasn’t specifically talking about JLR and I don’t want to speculate on specifics particularly in the absence of reliable facts & information. I was going to say something about mis- and disinformation being spread around but …

          There are two important parts to this discussion: 1) we are not 100% rational beings, not even close, and 2) our behaviour is made up of innumerous small conscious and sub-conscious decisions based on what we could loosely call ‘judgements’.

          To the second point, we tend to describe behaviour in big terms and decisions/actions, the stuff we can easily observe and interpret (in others), at least we like to think so. Other terms used are macroscopic and microscopic behaviours.

  7. To put it simply, is Jami-Lee Ross suffering from a bi-polar condition. Has he threatened harm to himself or some other person? That is usually the reason for being put under the Act.

    Lets hope he can have a good rest and return to his family as soon as possible.

    Being away from the National Party and its suspect leadership will be good for him and his family

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    I can well believe that JLR is, at least for the moment, showing some of the signs of excessive mental stress – hypervigilance perhaps, a tendency to overreact and so forth. But I’m also aware that the process can be used inappropriately. If he is held for longer than accords with assessment I would be concerned.

    It’s not as if the Gnats were:

    too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness
    To catch the nearest way.

    They have proven repeatedly to be as crooked as they come, and I venture, not beyond finding a sufficiently malleable mental health practitioner to sequester him “for his own good”, for all that a period of rest and reflection is no doubt one of the things he needs fairly soon.

    • Incognito 8.1

      What do you mean by a “sufficiently malleable mental health practitioner”? A young doctor just out of Med School who’d love a selfie with Simon Bridges by any chance?

      And they (…) instructed the Police to take Mr Ross from his Electorate Office to this particular Mental Health Unit were said “sufficiently malleable mental health practitioner” happened to be on duty and in fact the only ““sufficiently malleable mental health practitioner” available till Christmas?

      I so hope I do have the wrong end of the stick here, Stuart.

      • Stuart Munro 8.1.1

        I mean probably an older mental health practitioner who aligns sufficiently Right that it may colour his professional judgment. It is not hard to construct an argument for sectioning from the publicly available material on JLR, but to show that he is a danger to the public or to himself is a very different thing.

        I’m aware of cases where the process has been used inappropriately, though those precipitating it were not in that case the MHPs, who released the patient (with apologies) the next day.

        I think that, in the public interest, whoever made the call – contacted the police, signed the form etc. , ought to be on the public record very quickly. Just to show that everything is above board. If it is.

        • Ankerrawshark

          Paul to me it looks like national may have alerted the media to the mental health admission. If not who?

          It’s disgraceful.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            It could have been Slater.

            • veutoviper

              Have you been reading KDC’s tweets in the last few hours?

              Kim Dotcom Verified account

              3h3 hours ago

              “Jami-Lee Ross has been a National Party operator in the dark arts of dirty politics. Jami knows too much. That’s why National is rapidly moving to discredit and silence him. Jami has done bad stuff. No question. But mainly because of the toxic influence of dirty National mentors.”

              3h3 hours ago
              “From an insider: National Party got political hitman Cameron Slater to lock former National MP Jami-Lee Ross into a mental health facility. This is to stop him before he releases more damaging information.

              I offer Jami and the Ross family my support. Pls contact my lawyers.”

              Mind you, nothing would surprise me …

              • Ankerrawshark

                I read whale oil for the first time ever today. Cam tells it differently, but who would know…..?????????

  9. simbit 9

    Only a handful of countries is this not suspicious, NZ happens to be one of them, yes?

  10. Jenny 10

    “There but for the grace of God, go you or I”

    Words to live by.

    The more paranoid among us may believe that JLR has been sectioned to silence him, as was commonly done with whistle blowers and dissidents in the old Soviet Union. I don’t believe this.

    But there are other more subtle ways to silence someone, and that is by dismissing their testimony because they are unwell.
    Would we dismiss the testimony of someone with a broken leg for instance?*

    Generally we don’t.

    The same principal should apply to a mental injury/illness.

    We would not describe a broken leg as “embarrassing” or “sensitive”.

    And I would urge everyone to treat Jamie Lee Ross with the same consideration, as if he had suffered any other form of injury, from which he can, and most likely will, make a full recovery from.

    As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

    For a tory politician this experience as terrible as it may be, may even grant him empathy for the suffering of those ‘others’ even worse off than himself, (an empathy that in my opinion, is generally missing from the Right Wing side of politics).

    I wish Jamie Lee Ross a full and speedy recovery, and safe return to the company of those who he values and who value him.

    Whether JLR can or wants to make a further contribution to public discourse and the politics of this country is of course up to him, and to some extent also up to us.

    *(We might if that person was so in pain from their broken leg that they became unaware of their surroundings, or they had a bad reaction to, or became high on morphine or its derivatives, the most commonly administered pain medications for extreme pain).

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Wise and sensible words.

      The more paranoid among us may believe that JLR has been sectioned to silence him, as was commonly done with whistle blowers and dissidents in the old Soviet Union. I don’t believe this.

      And fair enough. I’d believe it highly likely that some kind of breakdown or illness is involved. If any of us had enough empathy to put ourselves into JLR’s boots this past few months; I know I’d be struggling with everything that’s happened. Getting out from under the blowtorch is probably the best thing for him.

      But sectioning a sitting MP in these very loaded circumstances must be seen to be absolutely above suspicion. The information we have so far is just not good enough and only feeds the naturally paranoid.

      • Anne 10.1.1

        If any of us had enough empathy to put ourselves into JLR’s boots this past few months; I know I’d be struggling with everything that’s happened. Getting out from under the blowtorch is probably the best thing for him.

        Precisely. This is something that has been building up for a long time – perhaps since the publishing of Hager’s book “Dirty Politics”. It looks and sounds like the Nats have been using Ross to do some underhand hatchet jobs on people and it finally got to him. Hence the outburst over Bridges expenses only days before they would become public knowledge anyway. OK, I know it probably isn’t as simple as that, but I reiterate what I said here yesterday… many National politicians including Simon Bridges have handled this past week very badly indeed.

        • greywarshark

          It sounds as if JLR has been used as a sort of undercover agent like the police use to get into criminal groups, from what you have said. If so, we know that their undercover people have mental problems later on, and perhaps JLR’s are along the same lines, and can be understood in that context.

          The weight of living a pretence can unhinge a person, and seeing that is the normal culture of the National Party, how can they understand, diagnose or help one of their number when they have an episode where the mind can’t blank out reality or memories that are repugnant to the persons’s core understanding.

      • Sabine 10.1.2

        ‘naturally paranoid’ or rather aware of history. Cause it has been done before and not only by the Soviet Union.

        i think suspicion is warranted that the man who just blew the top of a pot of boiling hot ‘mis-use’ ‘mis-declaration’ of donations, the man who is gonna make publicly available texts with John Key to show that the rot did not start with an apple but rather with the tree is now heavily sedated locked up (for as long as ‘needed’ after all he can not get out there now on his own accord), and rather then speaking about the criminal enterprise that is National we have a discussion about the whistleblower being locked up – without yet having been charged with a crime.

        As for those that say NZ would not misuse its powers under the mental health care act? yeah, Right, Tui.

    • SHG 10.2

      We would not describe a broken leg as “embarrassing” or “sensitive”.

      Dealing with the stress of an affair with a married co-worker sounds pretty damn embarrassing to me

      • Matthew Whitehead 10.2.1

        By all accounts nobody seems to think the affair was what Bridges was referring to as embarrassing.

    • Matthew Whitehead 10.3

      I would dismiss the testimony of someone with a broken leg talking about how it feels to run a competitive marathon in the current field, perhaps. (:

      My point is not that being mentally ill never disqualifies you as credible. My point is that the disqualification exists in much more narrow circumstances than people generally think it does.

  11. AsleepWhileWalking 11

    On a positive note we are all learning a shitload about our [severely broken] mental health system. Good.

    I’m concerned about the public disclosure of this event and the level of humiliation it entails. I worry that the fact this is NATIONAL NEWS entrenched forever in the public arena that JLR may feel the only option is death.

    I hope he comes out fighting.

    • patricia bremner 11.1

      I read that Michell was made his minder by the party. You know the caring kind gun happy ex mercenary. Mitchell was dropped by JLR, when JLR left the party.

      One thing is plain. Paula Bennett played a role in brokering the confidentiality agreement under Bill English, and she played a big role in publicly ‘outing’ JLR’s problems.

      Some of their past behaviours are now clearly to help the party and Bridges, to the detriment of JLR.
      What we need to recognise is even rules regarding notifying The Speaker have not been followed here.
      So who is protecting JLR’s rights? Could someone with more knowledge explain.

    • Jenny 11.2

      “I hope he comes out fighting”


      As do I.

      What doesn’t kill you makes you strong

      If Jamie Lee recovers, which I fully expect he will. He may have gained an insight into what many powerless and less fortunate people than him have to suffer.

      Is it too far fetched that JLR might aquire the empathy and humility from, what must be for him a a terrifying experience, to become an advocate for mental health patients?

      If he has been taken to Middlemore, and seen the terrible state of the facilities there, might he even join the call for better care and resources for the mentally unwell?

      I hope that Jamie Lee Ross stays in parliament, as he has vowed to do, and that he continues his campaign to expose the rot inside the National Party that has taken such a heavy personal toll on his mental health. But even more than this, that Jamie Lee uses the privilege of the platform given him, to start speaking up for the underdog, having been there himself.

      This path may be the best way for him to recover his self esteem and the respect of his parliamentary colleagues and wider society generally.

      Kiwis are a forgiving and generous people, becoming open and coming clean on his past in the National Party may prove personally redemptive and part of his healing.

  12. Mark 12

    Surely, surely the National Party, with its deep associations with China and Saudi Arabia, surely they wouldn’t have any totalitarian leanings. Surely not.

  13. Koreropono 13

    Just a thought, someone without diagnosed mental health issues would find it difficult to cope with what has transpired with JLR over the last week. And then dealing with the level of scrutiny that he’s been under, as well as the innuendo and backlash, would make anyone come across as anxious, unwell, stressed etc etc – I think this would be a ‘normal’ response and I would be concerned for the person who acted like this type of scenario did not phase them.

    I have worked with clients with mental illness who have had said mental illness used against them and then been constantly and purposely triggered by abusive partners in order to label them crazy, unreliable and unbelievable when they try to tell others what is happening to them. On the Power and Control Wheel it comes under psychological/emotional abuse and it is not uncommon for abusers to use professionals and systems to carry out this type of abuse.

    I have read some statements that National have put out in regard to JLR and wonder, given he is no longer in the party, and given the very public falling out, why they even deem it appropriate to comment on this latest episode. I can’t help but think of the type of sociopathic behaviour that some predators use to undermine the credibility of their victims – anyone analysing the very recent public behaviour of these MPs must question why these people are still slurping at the public trough and why the f&#k we’d even allow them into positions of power. With ‘leaders’ like that It’s no wonder NZ has some of the highest rates of domestic violence, suicide and mental illness in the OECD.

    • Ankerrawshark 13.1

      Good point. Who issued the press release????????

      Neither police or mental health professionals should or likely wood. I read on one of the news websites “the national party have offered, blah, blah, blah in other words a statement from them……

      If Jami-Lee is in a mental health unit I am sure all is above board in terms of clinician, hypocratic oaths etc……….especially as someone earlier on this thread claimed not speculated Ross has bi-polar……..it would have been intolerable stress he’s been under.

      If national were the ones to release the information to the media, this is truly, truly despicable.

    • patricia bremner 13.2

      Very true. How do they get away with this??

    • Matthew Whitehead 13.3

      Yes, I think they could actually learn a lot from Labour’s comms discipline on this issue- of course, it is much easier to achieve discipline in government than in opposition.

  14. I think that the mental health of others involved in this needs to be considered by those who use this meltdown to promote their own political agendas.

    I am sure that a dispassionate analysis will find fault with a number of people heavily involved in all this over the past years, and especially over the past week. But this has been an extraordinary situation, and a number of people have been facing extraordinary pressures.

    It doesn’t help when uninformed attacks and abuses occur.

    Political people like Simon Bridges, Paula Bennett and Peter Goodfellow have been attacked over their involvement. Many accusations and assertions I have seen have been over the top and baseless. These people will be under a lot of stress, some of it unfairly applied.

    In particular though victims of Ross’ harassment will also having further stress applied to them.

    Katrina Bungard put out a statement yesterday saying she was appalled a meeting between herself and the rogue MP has been “rashly speculated” upon.


    In rushing to pile on to political opponents people seem to forget that people are involved, and in many cases they are being unfairly attacked and put under stress.

    What if another person falls victim to extreme stress? Even if it isn’t apparent people will be suffering over all this attention.

    • RedLogix 14.1

      On the face of it that’s a reasonable argument PG, but this crisis is self-inflicted.

      National’s dirty politics underbelly has courted this disaster for a very long time now and much of the discomfort is an unavoidable consequence of little slivers being exposed to sunlight.

      There is no room for hubris or gloating anywhere on this; the cascade of issues are serious and demand some deep self-examination on all sides. Adern is right … we do need to change the way we do politics and that starts with honesty.

      • Dukeofurl 14.1.1

        So Bangard felt now was the time to break the confidentiality agreement when it furthers the partys interest.

      • Chris 14.1.2

        No doubt there’d be a swag of disgruntled nat MPs over the years who’d have been able to blow the cover on much of the filth that pretty much holds the national party together. Statistically it’s simply a matter of time before someone arrives who’s got the balls, for what ever reason, to do that. Up until now there hasn’t been anyone willing enough to breach their ‘agreement’ of silence. Ross might be that someone.

    • Wayne 14.2

      The article shows exactly what I meant when I said Peter handled the issue properly. Katrina Bongard went to PG to get him to stop JLR from bullying her. That is what he did. It wasn’t Katrina’s intention that it all get done in the public gaze. That only happened this last week for obvious reasons.
      Most people have had issues with other people that they want sorted. They typically get someone trusted to sort it out. Very few want do this in the public spotlight.

      • ianmac 14.2.1

        No No No Wayne. You would accept a doctor telling you to go home and take two aspirin to treat your bursting appendix?
        And your delivery on Q&A was appalling and smacked of exactly what National behaviours say you do.
        Cover up.

        • Ankerrawshark

          I think an interesting comparison is how meta w was dealt with

        • Anne

          Good one ianmac. Did you notice how both Michelle Boag and Wayne interrupted Mike Williams every time he tried to state the obvious… how badly National has handled the matter from the time it started six weeks or so ago?

          In fact it was loaded team. Bryce Edwards sitting on the fence and insinuating other political parties do it too…. Michelle and Wayne for National. Poor old Mike Williams out on a limb hardly allowed to get a word in edgewise.

          • Ankerrawshark

            Agreed Anne. How did it get to be two nats and only one for labour.

            The nation yesterday was even worse

          • ianmac

            Yes Anne. The smug arrogance of Boag and Wayne bugged me It should have been a serious discussion but on cue those two minimised and trivialised it all. They need a better interviewer as well.
            Another lost opportunity.

          • veutoviper

            Totally agree, Anne. The Panel was totally loaded and I gave up watching after only a couple of minutes.

            I really wonder what Q & A’s audience numbers are these days. I rarely watch it now, or the Nation.

            • Ankerrawshark

              Vertongen understand how your found yesterday’s thread and the need to remove yourself. You did indicate further knowledge on the women and the newsroom article. If you feel both able to and that is appropriate I would be interested to hear.

              Again I put put there was it national who contacted press about Jami-Lee s admission. If so they are complete scum

              • Ankerrawshark

                sorry veutoviper same spell check mistake calling you Vertongen again

                • veutoviper

                  No problem re the name. LOL.

                  I have to be very careful on what I say hence the cryptic comments. But certain things claimed (eg when Bridges and Bennett knew about affairs, harassment claims etc) do not compute with certain events which seem to have taken place some weeks earlier. These events (unless they are totally unrelated which could be the case but I doubt that) also affect when at least one of the women would have been prepared to talk to Newsroom which would have only been in about a fortnight or so before the article was published. Again cryptic I know. Sorry. Time will tell – or then again maybe we will never know.

                  As I said in this thread, my interest is not voyeurism but in the conflict in claimed dates and timelines. https://thestandard.org.nz/lets-talk-mental-health/#comment-1540273 plus one more a couple of comments below.

          • halfcrown

            Agree with you Anne, as soon as I saw the ‘panel’ Boag, Mapp & Edwards I knew it was going to be a National party bullshit coverup so I switched off.
            From the comments I am reading on here I was right.

            • Anne

              Actually Mike Williams did very well in the circumstances. He was not only out-numbered, but they were making a concerted effort to out-gun him as well. It’s not as though he was also playing the ‘one up on you’ card because he wasn’t. He was just trying to tell it as anyone with an ounce of nous knows it to be. He wasn’t even trying to be political either because this sordid story was not about politics in the end imo.

              You could also tell by the way they were bouncing off one another that Boag and Mapp put their heads together in advance and worked out a plan of attack. Either that or somebody else instructed them what angles to concentrate on. Their responses were just too pat to be anything else.

      • Chris 14.2.2

        How can you so smugly say stuff that ignores the bleedin’ obvious? And the media need to stop wheeling you out just because they need a talking head, to boot. FFS.

      • patricia bremner 14.2.3

        Wayne your attitude outs you.

      • Matthew Whitehead 14.2.4

        That’s not how other parties have described what happened, though. I agree Goodfellow’s version of events sounds reasonable. So it should, it’s a defense, not a witness account. But there is no reason to involve the complainant in any privacy agreement if the private approach was her wish- you simply say you complied with her wish to handle the matter privately, in which case there is no agreement. The only reason for an informal privacy agreement is to try and pressure or leverage her into reciprocal privacy. It strains credibility that a “gentleman’s agreement” (amusingly gendered language there, too) could be seen as having no obligation on the complainant.

        That said, saying it was handled well was utterly disgraceful even if we believe Goodfellow’s defense uncritically, Wayne- it clearly was not so handled, as “well” handled would have seen JLR get the help he needed earlier and further abuse by him prevented, likely with someone else moved into the whip position to avoid incentivising bullying behaviour. You were moving goalposts in a disgusting fashion to try and spin enabling the destructive behaviour of someone who was unwell. Not only do National need to have a good, long look at their internal party culture, both National and Labour need to rethink the concept and function of party whips and how they can function in a way that does not enable toxic individuals or further the toxic environment in Parliament.

    • Sacha 14.3

      Politics involves power and is known to be an exceptionally stressful environment. Othwerwise more of us might put ourselves forward.

      Drama like this week does not come from nowhere. It involves systems, structures and plans, as well as people. Small minds focus only on the latter.

      The public and those invested in politics are bound to seek accountability. Who is ‘dispassionate’ enough among us to judge what’s fair in that pursuit, to be a moral arbiter? Oh, I see ..

      • greywarshark 14.3.1

        We can rely on you to do the kindness bit to pollies. Thanks for your input.

    • KJT 14.4

      Yes politics should be kinder.

      However, not to the extent of tolerating crooks, in power.

      Many senior politicians should be in jail.

      A brown beneficiary, who feathered their own nest by much smaller amounts, would be in front of a court.

  15. “We want politics to be a place that good people want to come and serve, and where people who vote have confidence in the system that serves them. We all have a responsibility to change the nature of politics in New Zealand”

    “I talk about kindness a lot. I don’t just mean in the way we deliver our policies and our services. I mean the way we do business as well and the nature of our political environment. So, yes, I do think things need to be different.”


  16. I think we need a mental health awareness year. Too much ignorance in our society around this which is ironic because of our appalling suicide rates, self harming rates and mental illness rates. You never have to look far to find a family member a friend a workmate undergoing tough times. Still lots of stigma around the epidemic rates of distress in our society. Still the head in the sand response born from fear.
    Hopefully people are trying to learn so that they can support themselves and their loved ones but frankly I suspect more people feel more vulnerable today than yesterday. Seek help if you can – there are people who dedicate their lives to trying to help and it can actually help.

    • Incognito 16.1

      Yes, much ignorance all around; many people have little understanding of mental illness. There are no obvious biological/physiological signs, although stress can be measured via biological markers, there are no scans or ultrasounds that can be done, except for brain tumours, and there are no blood tests for mental illness. Like age-related dementia (losing your mind), it scares (some) people more than cancer I believe.

  17. Kay 17

    Matthew, thank you for writing this, and for also sharing your story publicly.

    “I know the Right now likes to joke about the idea of content warnings as getting “triggered,” getting our feelings hurt as if we’re emotionally fragile, but it’s a concept that has to do with having lived through traumatic events and finding it difficult to deal with certain topics being discussed because they cause us to re-live trauma, and that vulnerability is very common for people with mental illness, especially as it can be caused by traumatic events, where the term “triggered” originally came from. (although it’s out of favour now, probably in no small part due to the sneering tone it’s used in nowadays) A lot of people in our little New Zealand community online of people who’ve struggled with mental health are having to tag out of this discussion for very similar reasons because the very topic of being sectioned is incredibly distressing to think about, even though those having to make these assessments try to handle them with care, empathy, and professionalism, and it’s a Really High Bar To Clear to get sectioned. I will admit the prospect scares the shit out of me.”

    This. While I totally blame myself for reading past the headlines- ie not self censoring what I knew to be a subject to stay clear from, surprisingly it wasn’t what I read in the MSM that set me off- it was the comments here. I hope by this morning the persons concerned finally have their conspiracy theories, voyerism, speculation and supposition out of their systems, because I’m a sucker for punishment had have come back here. Or it might be the tranquilisers I needed to stop the flashbacks have worn off.

    Matthew, while obviously I’m not going into detail I can provide another insight to what it’s like being on the wrong side of the Mental Health Act. Whether it’s being put on a 6 hour hold for a compulsory assessment, right through to a compulsory hospital admission: what it boils down to is

    In nearly all cases you have not committed a crime, and even people who are extremely unwell are aware they’re locked up. Most psych wards have locked doors on them. If you’re being detained for an assessment then you’re being physically prevented from leaving A&E (eg) by security guards until catt show up, or you could find yourself waiting it out in the police cells. And I can assure that 8 hours in a police cell when you have not broken any laws is extremely traumatic.

    Most of my dealings were with the 1969 MH Act which coincided with the old institutional system, which thankfully is no more. But none of us who made it out alive are unscarred from it (I have diagnosed PTSD from what they did)- it’s why we are literally “psychiatric survivors”

    Obviously I know many people who have been through the MH system and there’s a very common theme amongst people who have had the Act used against them, the 1969 and 1992. They won’t/can’t trust the System once they’ve been locked up against their will. I’m not talking about whether or not it was justified/necessary for the persons well being at the time, it’s the TAKING AWAY OF FREEDOM. It takes many, many years to learn to trust again (if you ever can) after that has been done to you. In the same way we hear about people’s experiences with the police put them off, well this destroys the ability to trust medical people in general.

    • veutoviper 17.1

      Well said, Kay. I know that it must have taken a lot to write the above.

      Thank you for sharing your experience of this very fundamental aspect – the loss of freedom and personal liberty, for no crime whatsoever.

      I personally have not been through the MH system but have been close to people who have and have seen what happens as a support person/observer. Even in that capacity, it can be traumatic. I had to tag out last night because of the abysmal standard of initial reporting in the media; combined with the ignorance, lack of compassion etc from some commenters here – and in one case, just plain vileness of one commenter to others who were sharing their own MH experiences.

      Kia kah e hoa – and be kind to yourself.

  18. WeTheBleeple 18

    The mental health of the entire populace declines with every sleight of hand we see from our so called leadership.

    With every nasty opinion piece from the media.

    With every missing fact.

    With every double-standard between the haves and have-nots.

    The feeling of persecution under National was real. The feeling of entitlement was not.

    I hope JLR burns their fucking house down.

    • CHCOff 18.1


      The mental health issue is with the 9 years of unaccountable rorting with the National Party-Media complex with the attitude it is above the sovereign law, & now that it is not directly in government, unable to change.

    • Nick 18.2

      Nicely put. Burn baby burn.

  19. Treetop 19

    I have a rule when it comes to looking after myself and sorting out secrets which people do not want exposed.

    Get the information to verify what I am saying has been unjustly done to me. This can be really hard to do. With out the proof you could be
    eaten alive by those who hold the power which they could misuse over you.

    Who are those who hold the power.

    Judges, psychiatrists, politicians, police commissioner and his deputies.

    Anyone in the above position could misuse the power which they hold.

    I have had people misuse their position of power over me. Misusing power can be, NOT having a person’s complaint investigated properly and independently.

    At some point when a person has misused their power, this is going to have an impact on your mental health. Depression, anxiety, BPD, phobias, OCD, if you have PTSD this is going to worsen.

    At the point when you know you are not feeling like your usual self, you go and see a health professional. If the mental health professional is unable to work out what is causing you to react the way you are reacting you are now really in the shit.

    It took me close to 30 years to find a very clever clinical psychologist (now retired) to piece together as best as he could all the shattered pieces.

    I have not yet asked for what I am entitled to from ACC because of what a psychiatrist wrote in 2009. I am left having to defend his comment before I can go forward.

    I was not stupid enough to take the psychiatrist on under the Key government.

    I have made a lot of personal comments about myself in the last week. It started with Anne raising being punished by those who hold power, then cops wanting ACC to cover them for gradual PTSD, then JLR and his allegations, then the lack of insight from the leader and senior members in the National Party when it comes to not acting appropriately, then raising how Moyle was treated by Muldoon and the police.

    I have gone full circle, being punished by those who hold power over you, is a VIOLATION of power.

  20. Stunned Mullet 20

    Thanks for writing this Matthew it cannot have been easy for you.

    It is very valuable to have someone with your experience sharing in this way.

  21. Geoerge 21

    Having had a close family member suffer the mental health system and also suffer a serious mental health condition in the last yearI can say without a doubt that it is not easy to get assistance, let alone for someone to be sectioned. It’s not something done lightly. In our case our family member was psychotic and a serious risk to themselves and others. They were also giving all their limited funds away to strangers in the street and were suffering the terrible hallucinations which will inevitably bring on PTSD for months if not years after recovery. Stopping that is pretty. To hear JLR was sectioned was deeply saddening. All through this saga I have only said that the attitude of the organization he works for is ignorant at best and disgusting at worst, neither acceptable for a government body with access to information from experts and recently making decisions for the public of NZ about the needs for people in the communities they serve.
    Mental Health is everybody’s health. It’s doesn’t have a decile, a pay scale or a demographic it’s a universal affliction. This has shown the National Party to be far less than capable.
    I wish JLR well and that he may come back fighting his corner if he so wishes.

  22. greywarshark 22

    We should talk about mental health. And remember that sometimes going for a walk, doing some activity that is not too stressful, can give relief. And that talking therapy is said to be more effective than pills, though more expensive at first blush, which is why it is often not available. And we are being put under constant stress, just running to keep up with the fast striding, big people at the top of the heap.

    And we should remember that living in a country that is held together by lies makes a stress that will beat on a person’s concept of themselves and warp them. To be told that we were in a rock-star economy and everything was fine, when we knew of countless stories of people struggling on the edge requires mental tricks to keep going, pretending, hoping, being unrealistic because realistic is too awful to face.

    When people are suffering and breaking down through lack of housing, lack of hope to get a job providing decent hours and wages, and knowledge that government which is supposed to be from the people, for the people, is shit, well that can undermine your mind. And that is just the people experiencing it, or understanding it.

    What about the people living in plenty, they have to find excuses that ultimately are lies, as to why they should have so much and others so little. Doesn’t that lead to mental conditions like psychopathy – just being out of touch with reality.

    The rich don’t dare to take their eyes off their golden yellow brick road where they dance along as in the Wizard of Oz. They are mentally sick, the whole country verges on psychosis.

    • patricia bremner 22.1

      greywarshark, that is the best description yet of ‘Planet Key’.
      It describes the attitudes and dissociation of the wealthy
      and the defeat of the poor.

    • KJT 22.2

      Exactly. Well put.

      Very brave of people to write about their experiences here. Our societies attitude to the mentally ill, is not kind or fair.

      • greywarshark 22.2.1

        Thanks for positives. I do fear though that we can be cast down too much, and we must rise and think of how things can be improved in the country as the depressions and PTSD and many illnesses have a cause probably in the conditions of society and the work of improving infrastructure and management of the economy must be continued vigorously. We must not lose vision and hope and practicalities while acknowledging and helping the results of the social deficits we face.

  23. Dennis Frank 23

    Matthew: “There are some mental health disorders that make it difficult for a reasonable observer to believe what someone says, such as those where someone is very disconnected from reality, or lies pathologically, but most mental health disorders don’t actually affect someone’s credibility on a topic they’re an expert on when they’re in a relatively stable mental state. …It’s really insidious to use mental health as a way to discredit someone when it might not directly affect his allegations, and the stereotype that all mental health conditions make someone reliable is something that people have been fighting against for a while”.

    You may want to replace reliable with unreliable?? So this is a key point. Until we get a diagnosis, we can’t judge whether his health problem diminishes his credibility as a whistleblower. We ought to give him the benefit of the doubt. National, as some here are pointing out, seem to be suggesting the equation mentally unstable = liar. No credibility in that, unless Wagner is correct and we get a diagnosis of psychotic – or delusional.

    • Treetop 23.1

      I raised the Martha Mitchell effect the other day. Martha Mitchell was married to the attorney general under Nixon.

      Her psychologist thought she was deluded (false beliefs) because she told her psychologist what was going on to do with what became Watergate under Nixon before it became public.

      I would like to do a link. I am not sure how to do it on my little screen.

      • Sabine 23.1.1

        you are talking about her?

        Martha Elizabeth Beall Mitchell (September 2, 1918 – May 31, 1976) was the wife of John N. Mitchell, United States Attorney General under President Richard Nixon. She became a controversial figure with her outspoken comments about the government at the time of the Watergate scandal.

        In the days immediately after the Watergate break-in in 1972, her husband enlisted former FBI agent Steve King to prevent her from learning about the break-in or contacting reporters. Despite these efforts, Martha learned that one of her friends, her daughter’s bodyguard and driver James W. McCord Jr., was among those arrested. She began to explore the events in order to help him. While on a phone call with Helen Thomas about the Watergate break-in, King pulled the phone cord from the wall. She was held against her will in a California hotel room and forcefully sedated by a psychiatrist after a physical struggle with five men that left her needing stitches.[2][3] Nixon aides, in an effort to discredit Mitchell, told the press that she had a “drinking problem”.[4] Mitchell began contacting reporters when her husband’s role in the scandal became known, initially in an effort to defend him.[5] Nixon was later to tell interviewer David Frost in 1977 that Martha was a distraction to John Mitchell, such that no one was minding the store, and “If it hadn’t been for Martha Mitchell, there’d have been no Watergate.” Because of these allegations, she was discredited and abandoned by most of her family, except for her son Jay. The Mitchells separated in 1973.

        • Treetop

          Thank you for posting a link. I did not know what you posted about her. What an amazing woman she was. I was referring to the term in psychology. Not sure if your link explains the term, (Martha Mitchell effect).

          • Sabine

            she was literally destroyed for telling the truth. That is the Martha Mitchell effect. Say the truth and you shall be destroyed, your life will be destroyed, your reputation will be destroyed and we will leave you alone and penniless.

            I guess you could say that JLR was MarthaMitchelled.

            • Treetop

              That is what the psychiatrist tried to do to me over my police allegations in an ACC assessment in 2009. He Martha Mitchelled me, but put two question marks beside his comment.

              Weeks later I rang up the psychologist who treated me for historical sexual abuse and he offered to facilitate a meeting with the psychiatrist and I. The psychologist worked up stairs and the psychiatrist had his room down stairs in the same building. No meeting took place. Psychologist gave me 1 hour on the phone and a 90 minute consult, no charge.

              In 2009 in an ACC assessment there was a question: Any other significant trauma? What the cops put me through was clearly raised and something else which was questioned which led to a trial (cannot say what it was but have some proof of it). As well DHB in 1986 did not follow up my disclosure of childhood sexual abuse, so I thought I was not mentally affected due to my disclosure. Issues over a comment the psychiatrist wrote about my disclosure.

              Basically some people can experience so much trauma in their childhood or early adult years, that telling it to a health professional sounds as though you are delusional

              I need a good barrister and a psychologist. Probably it will take an inquiry as there is an impass with the police according to the psychologist.

              I am a very strong person who will not run from past historical trauma which is unresolved due to the misuse of power.

              • patricia bremner

                Treetop, I relate to this idea of ‘tell the truth and be destroyed’

                My mother could not face the truth about my abuse in hospital as a 6 year old, so I ‘tied it up put it in a mental box and put it away from me so I could get on, because her reaction was, ‘you were sick so maybe you imagined it’.

                Years later a chance meeting with another polio patient 3 years older, from the same room on the ward… and the box got opened as we shared good and bad memories. My Mother was sad she had been so dismissive, but then added ‘Perhaps it wouldn’t have helped talking about it’
                The woman and I looked at each other in sad understanding.

                We have to realise it is the misuse of power we are discussing here.

                • Treetop

                  We have to realise it is the misuse of power we are discussing here.

                  I will never forget what the psychologist said to me in 2009.

                  If the mountain is going to blow, it is going to blow.

                  I replied that he is a psychiatrist and that he will be believed over me.

                  Through the phone I heard, not necessarily.

                  The mountain did not blow and it has never blowen.

                  I think the mountain blowing refers to a psychosis.

              • AsleepWhileWalking

                Very common re delusions b.c treatment provided doesn’t have lisensfe experience to believe it so assumes its a lie.

                ACC are particularly bad, especially when they know the neuroplasticity of the brain means going over, and over what happened rehearses the brain through trauma again damaging the patient in the process. *World class*, my arse.

                And don’t get me started on the over used defence, “we treat the diagosis, not the event “.

                • patricia bremner

                  I will always believe sharing is cathartic and educational. We have to realise “hiding it” won’t help, neither will ‘fashionable treatments”

                  The arms of the medical world will always protect their own, as will most politicians it seems.

                  Poor JLR, a rough start, and friends and workmates who used him.
                  He is in a hard place and has few helpful options.

                  Thanks for allowing us to glimpse what you have had to deal with, and, you weren’t well. Keep safe JLR. We may not agree with your politics, but we have no problem with your human rights.

                • Treetop

                  AWW can you reword the first paragraph, I am not sure what you mean.

      • Dennis Frank 23.1.2

        “I would like to do a link. I am not sure how to do it on my little screen.”
        Click on that page’s web identifier/location (near top of page in your browser) & watch it highlight, then CTRL C to copy that. To insert it into your comment here, use CTRL V and it will appear as a link. Easy.

        • Treetop

          Thanks for that, I am really thick doing IT stuff.

          • greywarshark

            We were all baby computer users once. We learn like Manuel in Fawlty Towers. And grow and swear sometimes on the way. But it can be managed and is easy then, till the next large disruption.

        • Anne

          After highlighting address you can also right click on to the word “copy”, return to Standard site and right click on to “paste”. Address will appear and when you submit item it will turn blue once in the list of comments.

          Message for Treetop.

    • veutoviper 23.2

      Here you are – I have bolded the word “reliable” in the text so it can be found and changed.

      Matthew: “There are some mental health disorders that make it difficult for a reasonable observer to believe what someone says, such as those where someone is very disconnected from reality, or lies pathologically, but most mental health disorders don’t actually affect someone’s credibility on a topic they’re an expert on when they’re in a relatively stable mental state. …It’s really insidious to use mental health as a way to discredit someone when it might not directly affect his allegations, and the stereotype that all mental health conditions make someone reliableis something that people have been fighting against for a while”.

      Dennis, up at the top of the main page is a FAQ section which provides info about various things including how to do quotes. Here is the link to that section which sets out how to do these – and things like bolding, strikethrough etc. For some reason, underlining does not work for me …


      • veutoviper 23.2.1

        Dennis, didn’t mean the above as criticism. It was just hard to find the word reliable in the long text so thought I would point you in the way of the formatting help in FAQs. I didn’t realise there were lots of other comments also coming in on linking etc. LOL. Perhaps we all need some simple things to concentrate on as relief from the heavier stuff of the last 24 hours!

        • Dennis Frank

          Yeah, got it thanks. I take time out & do a bit of gardening or the dishes in between comments, or read a book awhile. Intensity of commentary can get to be too much at times, I agree.

  24. Sabine 24

    i think what people miss in this story is the fact that for all intents and purposes JLR can now be kept locked up until his natural live expires with no recourse to gain liberty again.

    How very fucking convenient for the powers that are, the powers that would like to be, and is anyone still talking about the corruptions of our political bodies and its members and the influence buying by whomever waves enough cash in front of our elected MP’s?

    edit: shall we run a pool as to whom will first declare JLR a mentally unstable person who can not be trusted to say the truth?

    again, how very fucking convenient.

    edit: who will be appointed “Guardian’ for JLR and his estate should he never be considered ‘competent’ again?

    • Treetop 24.1

      Hear hear.

      What would be the case if he has stuff to spill on all the main political parties?

      The flood gates have surely been opened.

      I have overstepped the boundaries of this post, me thinks.

      My mbs are probably going to run out soon anyway.

    • George 24.2

      @Sabine luckily for us in NZ he can’t be locked up for the rest of his natural life. The mental health hospitals here have pretty much a revolving door policy. At present he will likely be held in respite for a while and stabilised if deemed necessary. He still seemed very coherent (if inconvenient for some) I was looking forward to hearing what he had to say under parliamentary privelege although I’m sure there are other parties who want him shut down fast. But truth has a way of getting out. Having said that, did anyone see that comment by Tau Henare in the Herald yesterday? It seems to have disappeared?
      It’s very very difficult to have someone admitted to a mental health facility in NZ ..from experience.
      We aren’t like other corrupt countries unless something changed dramatically in the last 9 years?

      • Rosemary McDonald 24.2.1

        “We aren’t like other corrupt countries unless something changed dramatically in the last 9 years?”

        No, no. Of course not. NZ corrupt? Like other countries? Quelle idée!!!

      • Sabine 24.2.2

        He was involuntarily admitted.
        He can not release himself.
        His family can not release him.
        Only a doctor can do that, and if no doctor does that, then he will stay put where he is now.

        You can be held as long as a doctor sees fit. And this can take three days or three years and there is literally nothing you or your family could do to change that.

        this here from the Citizens Advise Bureua gives you a good insight as to how you get someone to being admitted etc.


        especially this part :
        How is someone assessed as having a mental disorder?

        There are up to three assessment stages:

        1. Preliminary assessment – this is carried out by a clinician, usually a psychiatrist, and occurs after someone has applied to the Director of Area Mental Health Services (DAMHS), through a GP, to have you assessed. You will get all the information about your assessment, e.g. the time and place, the name of the doctor and what the appointment is for. You don’t have the right to refuse assessment, and the Police may get involved if necessary to ensure you turn up.

        2. If the preliminary assessment finds there are reasonable grounds for believing you have a mental disorder then there will be further assessment and treatment for up to five days.

        3. Before the end of the five day period the clinician must decide whether you have a mental disorder and require further assessment or treatment. If they do you can be held for further assessment and treatment for up to 14 days – by the end of this period the clinician decides whether you are well enough to be released (in which case no further treatment or assessment is given). If not, they must apply for a compulsory treatment order.

        At any stage during the assessment stage, you have the right to ask that a judge reviews the doctor’s decision. If you are unable to apply for a review yourself, one of the following people can do so on your behalf:

        the person who applied for the assessment of you
        your principle caregiver (if there is one)
        your GP
        your welfare guardian, if there is one
        a District Inspector.

        • Macro

          In the past the state has been very good at locking up “embarrassing” people and throwing away the key. I worked in Child Welfare for a number of years in the late ’60s and on my case load of over 120 young people were the boys who had been sectioned to M8 (around 40 as I recall) – an infamous ward at the then Porirua Hospital. As a junior social worker I had little influence on the outcomes for these boys, I just got to visit them as they were locked up in the padded cells of the institution awaiting another session of shock treatment. 🙁 This was systemic abuse on a grand scale, and I could only stomach it for about 18 months, before escaping to a teaching position at the local college.

          • Treetop

            Sadly some of these boys now men, are still locked up in a prison, which is a psychological one.

            It is my understanding that shock treatment today can be administered without consent.

            I have never heard of a case where a doctor has consented to shock treatment (ECT).

      • veutoviper 24.2.3

        This one ,George?


        Here is the gist of the article with what Tau has said. The rest is a regurgitation of the accusations etc from the four women who have spoken out with alleged claims of harassment. (Note: I have called them “alleged” as they have not been proven legally.)

        Former National MP Tau Henare is calling for National Party president Peter Goodfellow’s head to roll for allegedly trying to cover-up Jami-Lee Ross’ conduct with women.

        But one of the women who has accused Ross of bullying behaviour, Katrina Bungard, is defending the party, saying she always felt supported by the party leadership.

        This morning Tau Henare, a National MP from 2005 to 2014, said via Twitter that heads should roll.

        “More Heads should roll in @NZNationalParty over the #JLR meltdown. You cannot protect the abuser and hush the victim because it will hurt your brand. You damage your brand by covering shit up.”

        In another tweet, Henare said that the party hierarchy had handled Ross poorly by “sweeping shit under the mat. So much so that the story broke it victimised the women in question again. #HeadsWillRoll”

        Tau Henare has been quite vocal over the last week, so here are a few more links for anyone interested.




        • Ankerrawshark


          You mentioned yesterday that you had some sort of information about the women who complained and how long they had been talking to Reid for. I am very interested to here your take on it if you have time and feel it’s appropriate.

          Think national have failed from wow to go on this. Whenever there is a coverup, as national envitably do, something will give.

          Whatever sort of person Jami-Lee is I cannot imagine how phenomenally stressful this must have been. Cover ups are extremely destructive and always hurt

        • George

          Thanks for posting those… sadly it looks like it’s disappeared. It stated some comments about “this situation being unprecedented..a sitting minister being committed”..I think something about it being unconstitutional (we don’t have a constitution)
          And then there’s this
          the same time as the news was breaking. Special reference has been made to a particular female MP. And a female MP was mentioned during one of the stand ups. But it usually is that tapes are edited for various reasons.

    • Rosemary McDonald 24.3

      God, I’d hate to think things would go that far Sabine, that the man’s liberty will be forever lost.

      I’m envisioning a short spell of rest and therapy and eventual reintegration into the community, and a well paid but totally superfluous role which demonstrates the lovingkindness of the Party but protects them from further ‘attacks’ from an unwell former colleague.

      And all will return to rights and the Machine will rumble on down the road unimpeded…

      • Sabine 24.3.1

        honestly this is a lot of claptrap.

        the man does not need to be ‘re-integrated into the community. He has not committed any crimes for which he will need to be ‘rehabilitated or ‘reintegrated’.

        he will be drugged, he will be prodded and there is nothing he can do against it.

        It is not a crime to be a danger to oneself. Suicide (danger to one self) is not a crime.
        Spilling the beans on your corrupt Party, your corrupt collegues and even your own corruptness as an MP for said party is not a crime, unless charges are laid and a conviction is given.

        so the guy will be sitting there now, and unless he is complacent he will not be released, and once released his marching orders are going to be ‘be still little one’ or else be locked up again.

        lets review in two month what happened?

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “Spilling the beans on your corrupt Party, your corrupt colleagues and even your own corruptness as an MP for said party is not a crime, unless charges are laid and a conviction is given. ”

          This way is much easier. And, and, his colleagues can wrap it up in an -aren’t -we-just-so-caring narrative which some will swallow and their voter base will be maintained.

          And, and, most importantly the donations will continue to flow.

          Two months? Betcha they’ll have another issue to feed to the media pack by then. I wonder which intrepid reporter will follow this up?

  25. Carolyn_Nth 25

    Thanks very much, Matthew for an important, timely and brave piece. It does highlight the need for better understanding of mental health issues, and for a better system than the one we now have in NZ.

    You seem to have devloped a very good understanding of how to maintain your mental health.

    It is very concerning when anyone, but especially an MP are (allegedly*) sectioned – their human rights then seem to be cancelled and they are at the mercy of others. So health care and justice workers need to be above reproach.

    I hope JLR is getting the attention he needs.

    But the situation also highlights how dysfunctional our political system is. The brutal power games that happen in political institutions are probably at their most brutal in National and NZ’s right wing. But all parties are either contaminated by it, or struggle to work within it so that democracy is served.

    I think we should stick to examples in NZ – and there are plenty – to question the failings in our health and justice systems, and the ways they can be exploited by callous political operators – often opportunistically.

    There is a brutal and mutually destructive power struggle going on within National Party circles. This would stress the mental health of most of is if we were involved.

    There doesn’t need to be any fully orchestrated strategy here – although the Lusk faction seems to orchestrate dirty politics quite a lot, but not always successfully. And with that, there is probably a fair amount of opportunistic responses to changing circumstances – on all sides within National eg how Farrar has stepped in to try to blame JLR’s female accusers for pushing him over the edge; and then there is the Lusk faction.

    Police most often do act impartially with mental health issues. But on many occasions some within the police force have shown themselves to be comprised by conscious or unconscious biases: the Hager home raid; the Louise Nicholas case; the Urewera raid; the Kim Dotcom raid; the ‘resolution’ of the LPrent vs Slater case.

    And as Lusk and Slater are reported to be supporting JLR, there’s no telling how helpful the advice he’s getting, or how they might use the situation – ditto the National Party. And remember Slater also has had mental health issues, so presumably he has some understanding of the issues, but still tries to rort the system when he can.

    * The NZ Herald is still reporting that JLR has been sectioned.


  26. George 26

    @Sabine luckily for us in NZ he can’t be locked up for the rest of his natural life. The mental health hospitals here have pretty much a revolving door policy. At present he will likely be held in respite for a while and stabilised if deemed necessary. He still seemed very coherent (if inconvenient for some) I was looking forward to hearing what he had to say under parliamentary privelege although I’m sure there are other parties who want him shut down fast. But truth has a way of getting out. Having said that, did anyone see that comment by Tau Henare in the Herald yesterday? It seems to have disappeared?
    It’s very very difficult to have someone admitted to a mental health facility in NZ ..from experience.
    We aren’t like other corrupt countries unless something changed dramatically in the last 9 years?

    • Sabine 26.1

      read this:

      you may enter but you never leave (once apprehended by that act you are never a free person again – Freedom meaning that you live your life as per your accords without fear of being apprehended and locked up)
      or read this

      How is someone assessed as having a mental disorder?

      There are up to three assessment stages:

      1. Preliminary assessment – this is carried out by a clinician, usually a psychiatrist, and occurs after someone has applied to the Director of Area Mental Health Services (DAMHS), through a GP, to have you assessed. You will get all the information about your assessment, e.g. the time and place, the name of the doctor and what the appointment is for. You don’t have the right to refuse assessment, and the Police may get involved if necessary to ensure you turn up.

      2. If the preliminary assessment finds there are reasonable grounds for believing you have a mental disorder then there will be further assessment and treatment for up to five days.

      3. Before the end of the five day period the clinician must decide whether you have a mental disorder and require further assessment or treatment. If they do you can be held for further assessment and treatment for up to 14 days – by the end of this period the clinician decides whether you are well enough to be released (in which case no further treatment or assessment is given). If not, they must apply for a compulsory treatment order.

      At any stage during the assessment stage, you have the right to ask that a judge reviews the doctor’s decision. If you are unable to apply for a review yourself, one of the following people can do so on your behalf:

      the person who applied for the assessment of you
      your principle caregiver (if there is one)
      your GP
      your welfare guardian, if there is one
      a District Inspector.

      so in short you can be held indefinitely

      34 Court may extend order
      Within 14 days immediately preceding the date on which a compulsory treatment order is to expire, the responsible clinician may cause the case to be reviewed under section 76.
      If, following that review, the responsible clinician is satisfied that the patient is not fit to be released from compulsory status, that clinician may apply to the court for an extension of the currency of the order for a further period of 6 months commencing with the day after the date on which the order would otherwise have expired.
      The court must treat the application as if it were an application made under section 14(4). Sections 15 and 17 to 33 apply with any necessary modifications.
      If, on any such application, the court extends the currency of the order for a further period of 6 months, on the expiry of that period the foregoing provisions of this section shall apply except that, if the court then further extends the order, the extension shall have effect indefinitely and the patient shall remain subject to the order unless and until he or she is released from compulsory status.
      Section 34(3): replaced, on 1 April 2000, by section 24 of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment Act 1999 (1999 No 140).

      • George 26.1.1

        Having spent many years dealing with the system..I would say that the indefinite part of the act here would be applicable in cases of forensic psychiactric events…like a homicide. Which happens and even then there is a an attempt to have these people when appropriate rehabilitate into the community. Where that are not then this act would apply for indefinite detainment.the Mason Clinic in Auckland is an example of where perhaps the indefinite detention of someone under the act would apply.
        For the most part it’s a revolving door. And that leads to events like that happening on part.
        For someone like JLR not the case. He had a “breakdown” his word..he didn’t enter not homicidal state and he didn’t sound psychotic.

  27. patricia bremner 27

    I read that Michell was made his minder by the party. You know the caring kind gun happy ex mercenary. Mitchell was dropped by JLR, when JLR left the party.

    One thing is plain. Paula Bennett played a role in brokering the confidentiality agreement under Bill English, and she played a big role in publicly ‘outing’ JLR’s problems.

    Some of their past behaviours are now clearly to help the party and Bridges, to the detriment of JLR.
    What we need to recognise is even rules regarding notifying The Speaker have not been followed here.
    So who is protecting JLR’s rights? Could someone with more knowledge explain.

    • patricia bremner 27.1

      i see your explanation Sabine. BLOODY HELL…. so 21 days here beats an injunction?

    • Sabine 27.2

      So who is protecting JLR’s rights? Could someone with more knowledge explain.

      thank you for stating this.

    • Treetop 27.3

      And what will Bridges, Bennett and Goodfellow have to say this week?

      Question time is going to be like no other question time, ever in the house.

      • veutoviper 27.3.1

        Question Time does not come into it. Learn a little about how QT works.

        Question Time 101
        The Opposition asks questions of the Government – not the other way around.

        • solkta

          Or more precisely Government Ministers are asked questions by all the parties including their own.

        • Treetop

          Sometimes in question time the government responds back highlighting the behaviour of the opposition when relevant to the question.

          I get your 101 comment.

  28. George 28

    Just wanted to to add that the authorities can’t just pick someone up and have them”sectioned” it’s a legal process involving the courts and takes place over an extended period of time. It also involves at least two psychiatrists and several assessments. Plus a period of time under mental health care. At all times the person who is unwell is involved in the process. Being sectioned often happens because someone seriously unwell, with a condition involving psychotic episodes for example and hallucinations or delusions.. doesn’t see themselves as unwell ( that’s part of the illness also) and doesn’t take medicine to stop the psychosis. If the psychosis is distressing for them they might until they get better then they stop taking the medication again and become unwell. That is what the ” sectioning” is for in effect. To keep the medication being taken.

    • Pat 28.1

      As has already been established there is no initial requirement for legal intervention for up to 14 days….meanwhile anyone can be confined, assessed and (crucially) treated on the opinion of a single psychiatrist

      • Ankerrawshark 28.1.1

        I understand the speaker of the house has to organize an independent medical assessment.

        I think the question remains why was the media informed of this. National put out a press release. It looks to me like they breathed Ross privacy. Ffs he is not even a member of their party. This to me is the really shocking bit

    • Chris T 28.2

      Facts like this are naive according to some posters on here.

      Apparently it only takes Bridges to ring a mate. Go nudge nudge, wink wink and suddenly he can order the entire police force, judges and mental health consultants to drop everything on a long weekend (they wouldn’t go on holiday. Bridges might need them), and work together to shutdown someone who has given zero evidence of his claims….just in case

      • Pat 28.2.1

        It is somewhat disingenuous to describe the system as you have…..anyone close to someone with mental health issues may request an assessment which as previously explained (28.1) requires only the opinion of a single mental health assessor (usually but not always, a psychiatrist) initially…..the legal protections do not kick in nor are acted upon immediately.

      • Cinny 28.2.2

        Chris have you ever been involved with admitting someone to mental health?

        It appears that some here have. We can do all the reading in the world, and trust the system works, but personal experience counts for so very much. And how long has the mental health system been broken?

        Many nat party people have been gobsmacked with the whole jlr thing, we don’t know he was like that etc.

        Maybe those people have no personal or life experience being around people like him. Some aren’t at all shocked, chalk their reaction up to personal experience.

        Personal experience does change peoples perception on any situation.


    • Sabine 28.3

      please read this


      How can I have someone assessed as having a mental disorder?

      If you are concerned about the mental health of someone you know, you can first try talking to them about it. Your support can help your friend or family member to seek help from their doctor, a mental health support group or a mental health provider. More information about how to help someone with a mental health problem is on the Mental Health Commission’s guide, When someone you care about has mental health or addiction problems.

      If the person is unwilling to get help and you believe they are at serious risk of hurting themselves or others, you might consider applying to have their mental health assessed even without their consent. You can do this if you are over 18 years of age, you have seen the person in the last three days and you believe they might have a mental disorder.

      Your application must be made in writing and sent to the Director of Area Mental Health Services(DAMHS), you can find out more about how to make an application on the Community Law website.

      For more help with an application you can contact your doctor. Your doctor can also help you find the name and contact details of your local DAMHS (or you can visit the website of your DHB ).

      If you think it is an emergency, and the person or someone else is at risk of harm, you can call 111 or phone your local mental health crisis team.

      • George 28.3.1

        It’s incredibly hard to get someone assessed even inside the system! That’s one of the gripes that a lot of people had during the mental health enquiry. I had huge issues having our close family member with a ten year history of severe mental illness and self harm put under the CAT team. It took over 5 days even with the support of another mental health team.
        It’s no simple process.
        It may read like an indefinite holding in a hospital but the reality is the person is given the boot ASAP and ditched into a motel or whatever if they can’t go home due to PTSD.
        Indefinite also means in the community.. medication given by injection at their GP.
        It’s not Shutter Island or one flew over the cuckoo’s nest in NZ.

        • Sabine

          yes dear.

          • Dennis Frank

            Patronising him is unhelpful. From my perspective, your interplay with George highlights the dichotomy between stuff on paper and how rules play out in practice. He’s giving testimony on the basis of his personal experience. We ought to honour that. Doesn’t mean you’re wrong to inform us how the instructions around mental health care are written, of course. Both inputs are part of the whole. Both/and logic necessary, not either/or.

        • Pat

          it is incredibly simple to have someone with a history of mental health issues (that their GP is aware of) assessed….a call to the Crisis Team will have the patient assessed ASAP…in our case within 2 hours.

          • Cinny

            Nailed it Pat.

          • George

            In our case it took days.. with another mental health team supporting us to try to get the CAT team involved.. with a history of serious self harm..
            We are in Auckland. Around 150 beds for acute crisis admission I believe ( could be wrong) for a city of 1.5 million people.
            I spent days on the phone to Supporting Families in Mental Health as well as the CAT team talking to multiple people over and over as our family member walked the streets…not a couple of hours for us.

            • Pat

              I am sorry to hear that….I dont know the number of beds available in ChCh but i do know that mental health facilities are grossly underfunded here as well, and our need was post quakes during a huge spike in demand.
              Another unclear aspect of this is what facility he has been admitted to…it may be a private facility.

            • Carolyn_Nth

              How do we know the request for a mental health assessment, and/or removal to a mental health facility happened at the weekend?

              The statement from the National Party said

              That has included seeking advice from medical professionals and involving Police wherever necessary to ensure support is made available to Mr Ross.

              So, JLR goes to police and issues a complaint against the Nats for corruption – was it last Tuesday?

              Sunday, JLR is taken into mental health care against his will.

              Could the Nats, or someone associated with them, have got a court order for that in a few days? If so, how would we know?

          • AsleepWhileWalking

            It will probably vary significantly depending on DHB, same as with other issues.

      • Chris T 28.3.2

        Which has zero to do with people deciding they actually need to be sectioned.

        Do you actually think someosomeone fills it in and they go by that? No assessment etc?

  29. Chris T 29

    So much conspiracy

    So little facts known

    Whatever gives some people their jollies, I suppose

    • patricia bremner 29.1

      DON’T be so dismissive.. ‘There but for luck and grace go you or I’

    • Treetop 29.2

      So little facts known.

      That is the main issue for me. The person in a position to say so, is not in a position to say so.

      To think anyone, even you, would get their jollies when a person is sectioned in psychiatric care, really offends me.

    • Cinny 29.3

      Little facts for some, life experience being in a similar situation for others.

      Easier to close ones eyes and block ones ears than listen to those who have had experience.

      Anyone who has experience in such a situation is not getting their jollies, it could be wise to listen to them rather than dismiss. An open mind is never a bad thing.

  30. Sabine 30

    we have facts.

    fact one:

    JLR is saying not so nice things about his Party, his party mates and the state of donations and such in NZ.

    fact two:

    JLR has been taken out of public live and has been admitted to a psych ward – and not because he wanted too.

    fact three:

    must be good news for the no mates party and its leader.

    fact four:

    no one speaking about corruption in our political parties in regards to donations and the declaring of donations in the name of transparency.

    This is not conspiracy, these are facts.

    Conspiracy would be to say Paula Bennett was the one to fill out the from to get JLR admitted in order to shut him up and thus save her co – leadership with Simon Bridges.

    • George 30.1

      I doubt Paula could..but I am fairly certain she has good reason to want to.
      On the other hand.. perhaps JLR is just regrouping and adding to the drama? Another move in the game of thrones.

      • Sabine 30.1.1

        You do realise that i made this up as an example of what a conspiracy would be vs the facts that we have?

    • Chris T 30.2

      Fact whatever

      He said he had a mental breakdown but he is suddenly alright a week later. His wife finds out he is shagging and or abusing heaps of women. He is at pains to say sorry to his wife and is worried about his marriage.

      It’s the weekend

      Take a wild stab in the dark might have happened between them and his reaction afterwards given his mental state.

      Totally a guess obviously

      • Treetop 30.2.1

        I did consider the possibility of a marriage break up which would have come at the worst possible time. No confirmation of this.

        And who publicly outed the sex life of JLR?

        Paula Bennett must be really desperate to see the back of JLR.

        • Chris T

          I could be totally wrong and it is a giant conspiracy involving a corrupt National party for some reason going Jason Bourne on his arse when he hasn’t actually produced any evidence, but sometimes the most simple and obvious explanations end up being the right ones

          • Pat

            which is why I said (last night) the burning question is who requested the assessment?….if it was someone outside the family then there are additional implications.

            • Chris T

              Which unless he agrees to release it (or whoever it is that has been given charge of his decisions) would be against his medical privacy to say to anyone, let alone the media

              • Pat

                it may be…but then the fact its been reported he has been forcibly assessed could be considered a breach also…and he may well release the information…if he is capable.

              • George

                Yes Chris. It’s unethical for a medical facility to release information like this unless the patient asks it to be released or released it themselves.
                It’s indeed a breach of privacy.
                So who released it?

                • Chris T

                  Or the press are hanging around waiting for something to happen and seeing it, or one of his mates telling the press.

          • Treetop

            I don’t hear Bennett saying she did not travel to the Clutha Southland office to shut down Barclay.

            I don’t hear Goodfellow saying he was not involved in a confidentiality clause and a payout from the then PM’s (Key) fund.

            I don’t hear English a very experienced politician saying he did not use JLR so his hands wouldn’t get dirty.

            Made real sense to me why Key paid out Ambrose. Key had to avoid a court hearing over the defamation of a tape recording. Now the timing could not have been worse for Key.

            Pleased I’m not a National Party voter.

            If the moderator thought that this post would not go the way he wanted it to avoid going, sorry.

        • George

          Hell hath no fury eh…

        • Ankerrawshark

          Treetop I read somewhere the wife has moved out.

          I hope has has stored copies of the taping somewhere safe. Surely it occurred to him to do that

          • veutoviper

            Hopefully all of that has been put into safe storage by his lawyers. More likely that he has moved out, not her and young children.

  31. George 31

    Under the mental health theme in the thread I am mindful that people could be reading this and have some problems themselves that they could be fearful – may send them into an institution. I just feel it’s important to not confuse facts with conspiracy too much under the circumstances is all.
    There’s huge misinformation around mental health exploited freely by the National Party and disgustingly so in my opinion.
    This invalidates and insults the truth for families and individuals who experience the system in reality.

  32. Ankerrawshark 32

    It is highly likely Jami-Lee will be treated differently from others in the mental health facility. He is high profile to say the least so they will be very careful with safety issues if there are any.


  33. Fireblade 33

    The Whale has written an article about last night’s events. He seems quite angry about how things were handled. I don’t know if his assessment is accurate, but he has been with JLR.

    • Carolyn_Nth 33.1

      Now I’m going for a wash.

      In a post on the hit job puts JLR into care, WO makes a lot of claims without public evidence:


      I am also privy to information that indicates that on the day Ross was given leave both Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett were given permission to contact Ross’s medical advisors and were told in no uncertain circumstances where this would likely end up if they continued down this path.

      2. Bennett and Bridges knew about the claims of harassment against JLR before it got in the media


      It might surprise readers to know one was in a three-year relationship with Ross and is an MP. That same MP has admitted in a text message to Jami-Lee Ross that Simon Bridges was “handsy” with her. I have a copy of the text message and so do other media.

      Plus also saying he received a text message at 4am Sunday, saying that JLR was in care and not by choice.

      • George 33.1.1

        Possibly a case of hell hath no fury. Who is it that features so strongly in all this?

        • Rosemary McDonald

          George, you say again ” ….hell hath no fury.” Are you seriously suggesting (as it was by one of Farrar’s Ferals the other day) that this shit storm as been brought down upon our Fragile Friend because an affair was ended and the scorned woman is exacting revenge? Aided and abetted most ably and willingly by his former political friends?

          Seriously? Because he must have deeply hidden assets to be worth all the grief.

          • veutoviper

            Certainly would not be the first time that “hell hath no fury” has been a part of the scenario of such domino imploding events …

            And I am a woman; and definitely not one of Farrar’s Ferals.

            Timelines are critical – and there are some gaps in the current timelines that have been presented/pushed and postulated.

            What are his “deeply hidden assets”? As a former Senior Whip and bagman, he knows where the skeletons are buried going back about seven years.

            • George

              References to specific people can be edited from an interview such as a press conference. They are bleeped or faded out.
              If that happened to a person their political career would be over. Either person could be finished in the public eye.

              • veutoviper

                Exactly, which is what happened in the interview with HDPA.

                BTW, my interest is not voyeurism – but in the timelines of certain claims. For example, the dates when Bridges and Bennett claim they found out about affairs, harassment etc do not compute with other events which took place some weeks earlier. Will say no more.

          • George

            Rosemary I don’t think someone has to have any deeply hidden assets to incur the wrath of someone who is simply hell-bent on keeping up appearances.

  34. patricia bremner 34

    Thank you Mathew. A timely post on MENTAL HEALTH , and of course
    the misuse of power.

  35. Draco T Bastard 35

    It’s really insidious to use mental health as a way to discredit someone when it might not directly affect his allegations, and the stereotype that all mental health conditions make someone reliable is something that people have been fighting against for a while, and I am frankly incensed at the National Party for engaging in this sort of ignorance-driven campaign. If Jami-Lee is as unwell as these events suggest, that is a thoroughly insensitive way to deal with it that simply makes matters worse, both from a PR and a valuing-human-beings perspective.

    But fully within National’s Dirty Politics MO. They can’t discredit the message and so they’re trying to discredit the messenger.

    • CHCOff 35.1

      New Zealand security issue that may lift the lid on the extent of a foreign totalitarian communistic’s power and influence over NZ, international money laundering, who knows what else?

      If this slides, what signal does it send, where does it leave us right??

  36. George 36

    If JLR was picked up at the Botany office by police he would have been taken to the Middlemore mental health unit acute adult inpatient. Tiaho Mai
    They assess him there. Usually people can walk out..our family member has in the past. Just a wee note from healthpoint.

    “You are welcome to bring mobile phones, radios and other personal items with you, although we ask you to consider others when you use them…”

    • mary_a 36.1

      George (36) … I’m pretty sure I read last evening, Jami-Lee Ross was admitted to the Auckland Hospital psychiatric/mental health unit. However, I do stand corrected.

      • George 36.1.1

        mary_a I’m guessing based on where the report said he was picked up by the police. Botany is in the Counties Manukau DHB so I figured there. Perhaps they decided to go to Auckland for some reason. In that case he would be in Te Whetu Tawera. The acute mental health unit.

    • Muttonbird 37.1

      Does that suggest to you Slater is responsible for the committal?

      • Dennis Frank 37.1.1

        Not to me. Here’s Slater: “Yesterday was a rather stressful day for me. I and a good friend have been working constantly over the last few days to help Jami-Lee Ross, who was to us clearly in distress. On Saturday night things took a turn for the worse and we received a text message at 0400 that indicated he was in care and not by choice.”

        Presumably that text was 4am Sunday morning, from a mutual friend or family. “It took until 1 pm on Sunday for us to verify that he was okay and being looked after.” That’s another nine hours, suggesting difficulty of access to JLR’s situation.

        He quotes the National Party report of the committal, then writes this: “The National party are a piece of work. That statement is appalling. If they cared so much why was it left to me and my mate to inform JLR’s wife of his whereabouts and condition?”

        This makes me deeply suspicious of the authorities. On what basis can they credibly withhold reassurance from his wife? None that I can see.

        “It might surprise readers to know one was in a three-year relationship with Ross and is an MP. That same MP has admitted in a text message to Jami-Lee Ross that Simon Bridges was “handsy” with her. I have a copy of the text message and so do other media. One complainant was a former staffer of Paula Bennett’s office and is a current staffer of Simon Bridges. Another is a current staffer member of Simon Bridges. They sit no less than 15 feet from Bridges’ desk and yet we are supposed to believe that none of them said a word until the story broke on Newsroom, that Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett had never heard of these accusations until they broke. If you believe that then I have a bridge I can sell you.” https://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2018/10/nationals-hit-job-puts-jlr-into-care/#more-417113

        • Muttonbird

          Just seems he’s been very active in what happened over the weekend. He’s also claiming Ross’ wife had nothing to with it. Or is he? I don’t know.

          Also, is it a coincidence that Ross threatened to doxx John Key on Friday in the ZB interview and on Saturday he’s locked up and Slater heavily involved. Slater and Key being as thick as thieves.

          Slater has come up with some good questions though, particularly around the impossibility that Bridges’ staffers apparently kept their complaints secret for so long despite having allegedly worked with Melanie Reid for the last year.

          • Dennis Frank

            I’m inclined to believe him. None of the usual posturing. He’s coming on like a straight-shooter for a change. So yeah, seems like the committal was done by someone else, not his wife. Either cops or mental health authorities are still preventing the media from getting the essential info: whodunnit?

            • Muttonbird

              I don’t know. What did National need more than anything in the world right now?

              For Ross to be silenced.

              The Nats have sent Mitchell in to negotiate with Ross and it didn’t work. Who then is close to Ross and is able to be bought?

              Cameron Slater.

              • Dennis Frank

                Slater doesn’t strike me as someone who can play both sides that well. I agree he could use the money, but the money would be more likely to buy silence, and the guy is clearly in grievance mode & speaking out.

                His wife, on the other hand, isn’t. Probably processing the stuff that Slater has been detailing (affairs). I agree with Anne re Slater unlikely to have any relation to Key. Opposite sides. To expand that, I see Bridges as current leader of the moderate camp and the dissident camp leader as unclear (despite what Lusk thinks). Collins & Mitchell straddle the divide between them, sensibly. Slater still fronting for the dissidents, Farrar for moderates.

                • Muttonbird

                  Well. If Slater was employed to get Ross out of the way being the person closest to him at this time then it’s an indication the National Party have gone into absolute self-preservation mode and abandoned Bridges and Bennett.

                  Next week will be fascinating.

          • Anne

            Slater and Key being as thick as thieves.

            Not any more. Slater was dumped after the Dirty Politics saga.

      • Carolyn_Nth 37.1.2

        I really don’t trust anything Slater writes. Once he came into the mix last night it did crossed my mind it might be Slater/Lusk who whisked JLR off. It could only be slater’s word that JLR has been “sectioned”.

        I don’t know why they’d do that? Not for the Nat hierarchy. Maybe to confuse them, and keep JLR out of their reach? Maybe to use JLR’s mental health issues to support their agenda?

        I don’t trust either side in this issue.

        • Muttonbird

          Indeed, so many questions about the involvement of Slater, Lusk and the proven corruption of the desperate National Party.

          Yet some people think everything is fine and we should stop asking questions!

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Tova O”Brien’s newshub vid below seems to come from the Slater/Lusk camp. It blames the Nats for not giving JLR enough leave to deal with his mental health issues.

  37. R.P Mcmurphy 38

    The ghost of uncle Jo stalin stalking the corridors of the kremlin late at night looking for high achievers is alive and well here.
    the real question is who called the cops?

    • George 38.1

      The only answer might be in the “source” close to JLR that told the herald he had been “sectioned”. If anything he will have been taken to a public clinic for assessment. There are no acute private mental health hospitals in Auckland that I am aware of that the police take unwell people to.

      • In Vino 38.1.1

        Why are we banging on about Stalin? May I mention how Siegfried Sassoon was effectively silenced in Great Britain when he wanted to publish an embarrassing letter about World War 1?

  38. mary_a 39

    Excellent post Matthew. Thank you for the time and effort you have put into creating your post. Many of us have been affected by mental illness at some stage during our lives. Your post highlights any one of us is always vulnerable to the damage this hideous dark unseen beast can do.

    Anyway my take on this issue is this …

    Jami-Lee Ross last Thurs/Fri mentions he has texts between John Key and himself, which might/might not prove threatening to the former National PM.

    Key’s name comes up. Sat evening/Sun morning, Ross is sectioned and placed in a mental health care facility!

    Coincidence? Convenience? Or is Ross genuinely mentally unwell?

    I’m not a National supporter by any means. However either way, whether Ross has a mental health issue or not, I do feel sorry for him and his family, particularly if recent events have caused his relationship with his wife to break down. This by itself would be extremely stressful, not only for him and his wife, but also for their two young children, who would find this present situation involving their parents particularly their father, quite devastating! They will be hurting.

    No names have been mentioned re questions involving JLR’s sectioning. Only … a source says … this, that and the other! Let’s hope some clarification of this issue is made and soon, to stop further speculation.

  39. Glenn 40

    Parliament’s Speaker, Trevor Mallard, says he has had no official notification from health authorities about Jami-Lee Ross.

    Under the Electoral Act, a person in charge of a hospital has to notify the Speaker as soon as possible if a Member of Parliament is received or detained under an inpatient order or the Mental Health Act.

    It follows news the Botany MP was taken into care yesterday.

    Trevor Mallard told 1 NEWS he has had no notification from authorities.

    He said he would be receiving more information from his officials on Tuesday, when Parliament resumes, about what his obligations are under electoral and privacy laws. Mr Mallard said he would be making no further comment unless he has to under the law.

    MP Jami-Lee Ross admitted into carePlay Video00:19
    Jami-Lee Ross took leave from Parliament earlier this month for mental health reasons. Source: 1 NEWS

  40. Jum 41

    Please stay focussed. This is politics. JLR is now in a supposedly ‘safe’ place. He can work on his issues.

    Meanwhile, out in the real world, we need to question national and act on their behaviour that led to this.

    Having looked at the bought and paid for ‘news’ LOL, obviously, there is a cover up,
    Someone needs to come forward and tell us exactly what the texts were about so that we can protect our fragile, under real threat, democracy.

    Only those in the know can help bring us back to a non-corrupt political climate here in our beloved New Zealand. Anything other than that is betrayal.

  41. CHCOff 42

    Marine Le Pen was recently ordered to undergo an psychiatric evaluation, so she organised one herself, & is now charged by courts it seems for contempt. Oh well, at least she wasn’t hauled off to a facility National Party style:


  42. Fireblade 43

    Newshub at 6pm had a recap of known events and Tova criticised Nationals handling of the situation. It’s the first story on the video,


  43. George 44

    I think at the end of all this it basically underlines the issue that our society is still based largely on the worship of people who are sociopathic. We are worshippers of sociopathy in the main, and the aspects of ourselves that make us vulnerable and human are ignored until we begin to collapse.
    The sociopathic among us are exciting folk they make stuff happen, provide diversion, and get things done we would probably otherwise not achieve. However we might not need to achieve a bunch of that stuff, and about 80% of it isn’t helpful like war, homocide, manipulation and cruelty.
    But those guys look really good on social media and always seem to have snappy answers and good reason for doing a bunch of really bad shit.
    I myself have enough drama and difficulty in my life managing the weeds in my garden, keeping up with my own thoughts and trying to find the courage to do something new and be a bit honest here and there.
    We really need to start worshipping the small stuff.

  44. Incognito 45

    By far the best piece so far: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/108024409/mental-health-foundation-warns-to-not-weaponise-jamilee-ross-distress

    And it alludes to one possible compelling reason why JLR may be incommunicado:

    We have heard from people who have had to turn away from social media and avoid the news because they have found these discussions so upsetting.

  45. Bob 46

    But it is the complete lack of any official information that is leading to the rampant speculation and given he is a sitting MP we deserved better. All that was required to avoid this was a short statement from the family or the Police saying what has changed since Friday, what process has been followed and what will happen to him next. Simple. But instead a complete vacuum…

  46. JohnSelway 47

    All you assholes (with a special mention to Muttonbird and Dukeofurl) who are talking smack about some National party involvement, making claims about how police would never attend such a thing (even though everything says the will and frequently do), who claim that his phone is being wiped, Ross has been put away because he knew too much, all those who claim it “is in the public interest” to have the details divulged about his personal medical situation and specifically anyone he says anything about how someone doesn’t go from competent to being sectioned overnight (displaying a total ignorance of mental health) should read the statement from the Mental Health Foundation and feel ashamed. It’s people like you who make it difficult for people suffering mental health problems.


    • Muttonbird 47.1

      Hey dumbass. The mental health foundation aren’t talking to people like me. They are talking directly to Paula Bennett.

      • JohnSelway 47.1.1

        Your complete and total lack of self-awareness is horrifying but not surprising.

      • Dennis Frank 47.1.2

        I haven’t seen anyone cross the line here. I suspect it has happened on Twitter or Facebook, probably both, perhaps Kiwiblog too.

        “We have been troubled (as have many of you) by some unkind and sensationalised comments regarding Mr Ross’s mental health. We know and accept that to have a sitting MP apparently sectioned under the Mental Health Act is unprecedented and there are many other aspects of this story that warrant open discussion, but we are disappointed to see old attitudes about mental illness and distress seeping into those discussions.”

        “The Mental Health Foundation has no position on the political aspects of this conversation. But we believe you can have discussions about these valid issues without using discriminatory or stigmatising language and without weaponising Mr Ross’s distress against him.” https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12146761

        Discrimination is a natural part of how the psyche operates. Our mind differentiates things. It’s a survival skill. When we deploy our critical faculties in language use, others may not like the criticism. That too is natural. We have the right of free speech and expression. The MHF has the right to advise us on usage. Just as long as nobody tries to enforce orthodoxy inappropriately, we can probably agree on the need to be careful.

        So I agree with them that his status ought not to be weaponised, nor used to put down others with similar problems, if that has been happening. I don’t agree with the suggestion by some here that critical evaluation of the political relevance of his status is wrong. We have the right to do that.

      • solkta 47.1.3

        No, they are talking also about the lack of compassion and respect for privacy of people like you.

  47. Dennis Frank 48

    Curwen Ares Rolinson is described on The Daily Blog as “Part Apache; Part Swede. Part Attack Helicopter; Part Kitset Furniture.” He contributed this yesterday: https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/10/22/on-jamie-lee-ross-present-trajectory/

    “The Police don’t have the arbitrary ability to just abduct/detain people under the Mental Health Act. What they do have is i) the ability to take you in for an assessment under s109 if you look like you’re mentally disordered in a public place… And, ii) under s41, the ability to assist a DAO (who’s supposed to be a mental health professional per s93) who’s acting under s38, in getting somebody who’s reasonably suspected of being unwell in for an assessment etc. The second situation is more likely what’s happened here.”

    “Under s38(1), anybody can contact a DAO about somebody they think is experiencing mental disorder to get the ball rolling. ..that just initiates the process by which the DAO attempts to work out if they need to take things further, and whether they might need police assistance getting you (urgently) assessed by another professional (this tends to involve a proper psych), either where you are or at a hospital, etc.”

    “what counts as “mentally disordered”, even in the realms of professional psychiatry and such (and especially in the context of politics, which is frequently Alice in Wonderland in terms of its overall sensibility as an environment and conditioning influence upon its dramatis personae), is often a pretty subjective standard.” Quite so.

    “There is a very serious risk inherent in attempting to ‘pathologize’ political dissent – as anybody who’s read a bit about Soviet psychiatry knows. And I suppose it could be argued that the protection in s4(a) against being designated ‘mentally disordered’ on the basis of one’s “political, religious, or cultural beliefs […] only” may perhaps not extend far enough if it does not also implicitly protect “standing in the public sphere, metaphorically dousing yourself and your boss in the gasoline of scandal, before casually lighting a match” as an effective act of political conviction.”

    And the actual situation isn’t just this, but that the dissenter is operating as a whistle-blower (he doesn’t spot this relevant fact). Now a whistle-blower normally acts on the basis of a public service motivation: to expose wrong-doing. We can rightly see them as public agents. When state agents capture a public agent and remove his right of free speech, we have a problem in the fabric of democracy.

    So reassurances that JLR really was in danger of another breakdown, or having one, may be serving to mask another dimension of reality. The famous quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln applies: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” Are you fooled? Is Aotearoa really a fool’s paradise?

  48. Dennis Frank 49

    “A source close to Ross said the MP left hospital on Tuesday afternoon and is now with with a friend and a support person, outside of Auckland. It is understood he will follow a mental health plan.” https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/108055975/jamilee-ross-has-left-hospital-after-mental-health-treatment

    He was taken late Saturday night, so that’s less than three days he was held, and we were told there was a five-day evaluation under way. Why the premature release??

    And does that plan impinge on his capacity as a politician? Does it limit his agency as a political player, as a whistle-blower? Did he get his cellphone back? The public has a right to demand answers to these questions. If the plan has been devised to prevent him exposing more wrong-doing, the authorities will lose public confidence.

  49. Exkiwiforces 50

    Christ Matthew,

    That was a bit of a scary read, but an excellent post at the same time. As I had another run down the rabbit hole about 2wks ago early Thursday evening and I had to take a break from a lot of stuff including here as it got too much for myself. So I could refocus and sort myself out again with my treatment team etc.

    Again thank you for that excellent post.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Equal gender representation on public sector boards for third year in a row
    Representation for women on public sector boards and committees is the highest it’s ever been with wāhine now making up 53.1 percent of public board and committee members,” Minister for Women Jan Tinetti said. Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women’s 2022 stocktake of public sector boards and committees shows for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New law passes on child support to sole parents
    A new law enabling sole parents on a benefit to receive child support payments for their tamariki was passed in Parliament today. “This change is estimated to lift as many as 14,000 children out of poverty and give families a median of $20 extra a week,” said Social Development and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • New moves to curb youth vaping
    Crack down on disposable vapes   No new vape shops near schools or marae Restricted descriptions for product flavours The Government is taking action to reduce the number of young people taking up vaping, Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced. “Too many young people are vaping, which is why we’re ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Fiji Prime Minister Rabuka to visit New Zealand
    Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka will visit New Zealand this week, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Prime Minister Rabuka officially visited New Zealand in 1998, over 25 years ago, and we look forward to welcoming him here once again,” Chris Hipkins said.  “New Zealand and Fiji have a long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Sports stars and administrators honoured
    The King’s Birthday and Coronation Honours List 2023 includes sporting stars and administrators who reflect the best of New Zealand’s sporting community. Sir Wayne Smith has been knighted for services to rugby. Sir Wayne was Assistant Coach of the All Blacks at the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kapa Haka rangatira amongst those honoured on King’s Birthday
    Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa taki tini ‘My success is not mine alone, but that of the people” The King’s Birthday and Coronation Honours list 2023 celebrates Māori from all walks of life, reflecting the achievements of those who have made a significant contribution to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • King’s Birthday Honours recognise strength of service to NZ
    The strength and diversity of service in New Zealand is a standout feature of today’s King’s Birthday and Coronation Honours list, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Each of today’s 182 recipients has contributed individually to our country. Viewed collectively, their efforts reflect an overwhelming commitment to service.” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Closer defence cooperation between New Zealand and Japan
    The Defence Ministers of New Zealand and Japan have signed a statement of intent for closer defence cooperation between the two Pacific regional partners. Andrew Little and H. E. Yasukazu Hamada met to sign the ‘Statement of Intent on Defence Cooperation in Maritime Security, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • SPEECH: To the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue 2023 by the Honourable Andrew Little MP, New Zealand Ministe...
    New Zealand’s most recent defence assessment identified climate change and geostrategic competition as the two greatest security challenges to our place in the South Pacific. To the first issue, partners engaging and re-engaging with Pacific Island Countries are finding that climate change is a security and existential threat in our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt supporting more rangatahi into training and employment opportunities
    The government is continuing to support rangatahi in providing more funding into Maori Trades training and new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes across Aotearoa. “We’re backing 30 new by Māori for Māori Kaupapa employment and training programmes, which will help iwi into sustainable employment or progress within their chosen careers” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Energy self-sufficient marae reopens with support of Government investment
    Murihiku Marae was officially reopened today, setting a gold standard in sustainable building practices as well as social outcomes for the people of Waihōpai Invercargill, Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan says. “The marae has been a central hub for this community since the 1980’s. With the support of $9.65 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • First major Whangārei public housing project in a generation complete
    The first major public housing development in Whangārei for decades has reached completion, with 37 new homes opened in the suburb of Maunu today. The project on Tapatahi Crescent and Puriri Park Road, consists of 15 one-bedroom, 4 two-bedroom, 7 three-bedroom, 8 four-bedroom and 3 five-bedroom homes, as well as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Trade Minister to represent New Zealand trade interests abroad
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damen O’Connor will depart tomorrow for London to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Trade Ministers’ Meeting and then to Paris to vice-chair the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. “My travel to the United Kingdom is well-timed, with the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (UK FTA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill to boost national fuel resiliency introduced
    The Fuel Industry (Improving Fuel Resilience) Amendment Bill would: boost New Zealand’s fuel supply resilience and economic security enable the minimum stockholding obligation regulations to be adapted as the energy and transport environment evolves. “Last November, I announced a six-point plan to improve the resiliency of our fuel supply from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Faster ACC payment top-ups and fairer system
    The Government is making sure those on low incomes will no longer have to wait five weeks to get the minimum weekly rate of ACC, and improving the data collected to make the system fairer, Minister for ACC Peeni Henare said today.  The Accident Compensation (Access Reporting and Other Matters) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Compulsory code of conduct for school boards introduced
    A compulsory code of conduct will ensure school board members are crystal clear on their responsibilities and expected standard of behaviour, Minister of Education Jan Tinetti said. It’s the first time a compulsory code of conduct has been published for state and state-integrated school boards and comes into effect on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen annual conference.
    Tena koutou katoa and thank you, Mayor Nadine Taylor, for your welcome to Marlborough. Thanks also Doug Saunders-Loder and all of you for inviting me to your annual conference. As you might know, I’m quite new to this job – and I’m particularly pleased that the first organisation I’m giving a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt to support councils with buyout and better protection of cyclone and flood affected properties
    The Government will enter into a funding arrangement with councils in cyclone and flood affected regions to support them to offer a voluntary buyout for owners of Category 3 designated residential properties. It will also co-fund work needed to protect Category 2 designated properties. “From the beginning of this process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers changes to reduce pokies harm
    The Government has announced changes to strengthen requirements in venues with pokie (gambling) machines will come into effect from 15 June. “Pokies are one of the most harmful forms of gambling. They can have a detrimental impact on individuals, their friends, whānau and communities,” Internal Affairs Minister Barbara Edmonds said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers 1800 additional frontline Police
    The total Police workforce is now the largest it has ever been. Police constabulary stands at 10,700 officers – an increase of 21% since 2017 Māori officers have increased 40%, Pasifika 83%, Asian 157%, Women 61% Every district has got more Police under this Government The Government has delivered on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister Mahuta talks Pacific ambitions at the first Korea-Pacific Leaders’ summit
    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Nanaia Mahuta met with Korea President Yoon, as well as Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna, during her recent visit to Korea.  “It was an honour to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the first Korea – Pacific Leaders’ Summit. We discussed Pacific ambitions under the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government drives $2 billion of business research and development
    The Government’s Research and Development Tax Incentive has supported more than $2 billion of New Zealand business innovation – an increase of around $1 billion in less than nine months. "Research and innovation are essential in helping us meet the biggest challenges and seize opportunities facing New Zealand. It’s fantastic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Achieving lift off: National Space Policy launched
    The next ‘giant leap’ in New Zealand’s space journey has been taken today with the launch of the National Space Policy, Economic Development Minister Barbara Edmonds announced. “Our space sector is growing rapidly. Each year New Zealand is becoming a more and more attractive place for launches, manufacturing space-related technology ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New science and creative technologies wharekura announced
    A new Year 7-13 designated character wharekura will be built in Pāpāmoa, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis has announced. The wharekura will focus on science, mathematics and creative technologies while connecting ākonga to the whakapapa of the area. The decision follows an application by the Ngā Pōtiki ā Tamapahore ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Freedom Camping changes a win for the environment
    Protecting the environment by establishing a stronger, more consistent system for freedom camping Supporting councils to better manage freedom camping in their region and reduce the financial and social impacts on communities Ensuring that self-contained vehicle owners have time to prepare for the new system   The Self-Contained Motor Vehicle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speeding up the family court, reducing stress on families
    A new law passed last night could see up to 25 percent of Family Court judges’ workload freed up in order to reduce delays, Minister of Justice Kiri Allan said. The Family Court (Family Court Associates) Legislation Bill will establish a new role known as the Family Court Associate. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • UK FTA delivers benefits from today
    New Zealand businesses will begin reaping the rewards of our gold-standard free trade agreement with the United Kingdom (UK FTA) from today.  “The New Zealand UK FTA enters into force from today, and is one of the seven new or upgraded Free Trade Agreements negotiated by Labour to date,” Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Next steps to reform outdated surrogacy law
    The Government will reform outdated surrogacy laws to improve the experiences of children, surrogates, and the growing number of families formed through surrogacy, by adopting Labour MP Tāmati Coffey’s Member’s Bill as a Government Bill, Minister Kiri Allan has announced. “Surrogacy has become an established method of forming a family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Defence Minister to attend Shangri-La Dialogue
    Defence Minister Andrew Little departs for Singapore tomorrow to attend the 20th annual Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from the Indo-Pacific region. “Shangri-La brings together many countries to speak frankly and express views about defence issues that could affect us all,” Andrew Little said. “New Zealand is a long-standing participant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand–China science relationship affirmed
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall and the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang met in Wellington today and affirmed the two countries’ long-standing science relationship. Minister Wang was in New Zealand for the 6th New Zealand-China Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation. Following ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting a strong future for screen sector
    5 percent uplift clearer and simpler to navigate  Domestic productions can access more funding sources 20 percent rebate confirmed for post-production, digital and visual effects Qualifying expenditure for post-production, digital and visual effects rebate dropped to $250,000 to encourage more smaller productions The Government is making it easier for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister Sepuloni to attend 61st Anniversary of Samoa’s Independence
    Deputy Prime Minister and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs (Pacific Region) Carmel Sepuloni will represent New Zealand at Samoa’s 61st Anniversary of Independence commemorations in Apia. “Aotearoa New Zealand is pleased to share in this significant occasion, alongside other invited Pacific leaders, and congratulates Samoa on the milestone of 61 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs retailers with expansion of fog cannon programme
    The Government is continuing to support retailers with additional funding for the highly popular Fog Cannon Subsidy Scheme, Police and Small Business Minister Ginny Andersen announced today.  “The Government is committed to improving retailers’ safety,” Ginny Andersen said.  “I’ve seen first-hand the difference fog cannons are making. Not only do ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government will consider recommendations of Intelligence and Security Act review
    The Government has received the first independent review of the Intelligence and Security Act 2017, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says. The review, considered by the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, was presented to the House of Representatives today.  “Ensuring the safety and security of New Zealanders is of the utmost ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt expresses condolences on the passing of HRH Princess Sui’ilikutapu
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has expressed condolences on behalf of New Zealand to the Kingdom of Tonga following the death of Her Royal Highness Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili. “New Zealand sends it’s heartfelt condolences to the people of Tonga, and to His Majesty King Tupou VI at this time ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt expresses condolences on the passing of HRH Princess Siu’ilikutapu
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has expressed condolences on behalf of New Zealand to the Kingdom of Tonga following the death of Her Royal Highness Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili. “New Zealand sends it’s heartfelt condolences to the people of Tonga, and to His Majesty King Tupou VI at this time ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Security support to Solomon Islands extended
    Defence Minister Andrew Little and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta have today announced the extension of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) deployment to Solomon Islands, as part of the regionally-led Solomon Islands International Assistance Force (SIAF). “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long history of working alongside the Royal Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister Mahuta to attend the first Korea-Pacific Leaders’ Summit
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta will travel to the Republic of Korea today to attend the Korea–Pacific Leaders’ Summit in Seoul and Busan. “Korea is an important partner for Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific region. I am eager for the opportunity to meet and discuss issues that matter to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Agreement between Indo-Pacific partners for supply chain resilience
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor joined ministerial representatives at a meeting in Detroit, USA today to announce substantial conclusion of negotiations of a new regional supply chains agreement among 14 Indo-Pacific countries. The Supply Chains agreement is one of four pillars being negotiated within the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Celebrating Samoa Language Week 2023
    Our most spoken Pacific language is taking centre stage this week with Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa – Samoa Language Week kicking off around the country. “Understanding and using the Samoan language across our nation is vital to its survival,” Barbara Edmonds said. “The Samoan population in New Zealand are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2023-06-06T06:44:43+00:00