National knew about Sabin allegations since before the election

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 am, December 28th, 2014 - 67 comments
Categories: john key, national, uncategorized - Tags:

The Sunday Star Times has followed last week’s story about Mike Sabin with a further revelation that the police inquiry into his behaviour has been ongoing for four months, since before the election. And scrutiny is now on what John Key knew. After all he appointed Sabin to be chair of the Law and Order committee while the investigation was under way. Surely he knew what was happening after all senior National Party figures were told about what was happening. His office were told about media enquiries into Sabin and the first thing you think he would have been given is a full briefing.  And if he was not then you have to wonder why not.

From Stuff:

National MP Mike Sabin is being called on to stand down as chairman of Parliament’s Law and Order Select Committee while police investigate an assault allegation against him.

The calls come as Prime Minister John Key’s handling of the situation comes under scrutiny, particularly whether Key knew of the police inquiry before appointing Sabin in October. Sabin also sits on the Justice and Electoral Select Committee.

National Party officials were aware before September’s general election that Sabin was possibly being investigated by police.

Key’s office was also, pre-election, informed of media inquiries about Sabin.

Winston Peters has provided a carefully measured statement.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says that if the National Government knew of the police inquiry before appointing Sabin then that was “inexplicable and inexcusable”, but if the Prime Minister was not aware of the police inquiry it was excusable and explicable.

Peters says that irrespective of when details of the police inquiry were known to Key, Sabin should now be stood down.

“I am not judging the outcome (of the police inquiry) – all I am saying is it is not a proper position to be holding whilst that is going on.”

“And the Prime Minister should have said to him (Sabin) a long time ago that it is time to stand aside.”

It will be interesting to see the details of the investigation once completed and if Sabin has exercised his right to silence.  Last term he prepared a private member’s bill proposing that an adverse inference could be drawn if a person exercising a right to silence in certain circumstances such as when the complainant was a child or mentally impaired.  It appears that the bill has not been renewed and is not on the current list of private members bills.  It was in the list of bills in the ballot in 2013.  A further bill that he proposed would have made parents of young people in trouble liable to be subject to bail conditions, even though they had committed no offence themselves.  This bill has also disappeared.

He is someone on the more rabid right of the spectrum.  In his maiden speech he talked about how “… years of socialist ideology, welfarism – which has evolved to provide perverse incentives to opt out and the insidious encroachment of government on the minds and lives of citizens has seen the notion of personal responsibility pilloried like it were the ramblings of capitalist zealots.”  His role within caucus was important, throwing out red meat to its supporters to persuade them that National really is tough on beneficiaries as well as crime.

The focus will now be on John Key and on how he responds.  When did he first know about the investigation into Sabin and if not immediately it came to light then why not?

67 comments on “National knew about Sabin allegations since before the election ”

  1. CatapultWanted 1

    It seems his Private Members’ Bills are still available on his website (

  2. Appointing an ex-cop under investigation for repeated assault to chair the Law and Order Select Committee? If you need more proof that John Key is either being blackmailed or has absolutely no moral compass you’ve got shit for brains!

    • rawshark-yeshe 2.1

      not ‘either or blackmail or no moral compass’, but maybe proof of both, Travellerev ? And happy new year to you 🙂

      • travellerev 2.1.1

        True and may I wish you a happy new year too! 😆

        • George Hendry

          Yes, and from me too 🙂 🙂

          How about this one? Plausible deniability is all that really matters. When I appoint the MP already being investigated and lie about knowing of it, people may know I lied but can they actually prove it? And even if they can and dare to, can it be made to matter?

          If not, I will, even must appoint such a person. When facts about him come out I get to dismiss him while looking disapproving, decisive and superior.

          More than ever I find myself needing such cannon fodder, as my lies and treachery become harder to sustain and disguise. If I ever run out of ministers found guilty of ‘dismissible’ actions onto whom I can deflect criticism, how long before people see my own perfidy as it is?

          You see, not only ‘the left’ but my own ministers ‘do it too’. If I’m not saving you from them, at least I’m no worse than they are. I can’t lose.

    • or it could be just hubris…

    • The Murphey 2.3

      Key – Lived in a state house (allegedly) then sells them off
      Hide – Championed busting perks and then got perk busted
      Bennett – Received funding support and benefits (allegedly) which she then prevents others from accessing

      [name others here]

      Q. Are such appointments and actions deliberate or coincidental?

      • Tracey 2.3.1

        david garrett

      • NZJester 2.3.2

        National party MPs love pulling up the ladders behind them that helped left them out of poverty.
        You used to be able to get into higher education and not leave it with a huge debt chained to your leg. Lots of our brightest minds have smashed off that debt shackle and run away overseas and applied for citizenship elsewhere to get away from it.
        They can never return or they will be met at the airport, shacked back to the debt and prevented from leaving again till they pay it off.

    • Chris 2.4

      This will mean nothing to Key. Someone may have mentioned it before the appointment but this government knows it can do anything and nobody cares. Key and his mates probably had a laugh about it.

      • travellerev 2.4.1

        Your typical psychopathic attitude towards women, children, assault and rape in other words!

        • Chris

          Typical? Are you confusing me with Chris73? My point is that Key’s behaviour over the past six years has lowered the bar, quite wrongly of course, but it has. This means that for the general population it’s business as usual. I’m not saying that it should be. I’m saying that it shouldn’t be.

      • Murray Rawshark 2.4.2

        Unless it was assault on a female or a young child, Key would figure that it will blow over. They have means of demonising and discrediting the victim/s. Look at the garbage that came out about Tania Billingsley. Actually, thinking about it a bit more, even if it were assault on a female, NAct has fallen so low that they might think it could be brushed over.

        I really do worry about what’s happened to Aotearoa. FJK.

    • Murray Rawshark 2.5

      It’s not actually proof of anything. At most, it is ambiguous evidence, which may have other explanations.

  3. Pete George 3

    I’m not a fan of Winston Peters but I agree with him here. If Key knew about the inquiry Sabin shouldn’t have been appointed to the Law and Order committee, and it is untenable for him to remain on the committee until the inquiry is complete.

    This is potentially at least as serious as what Judith Collins stood down as a Minister for.

    And it’s serious enough for Key to take a break from his holiday to deal with. Unless he has chosen not to do anything, which I think would be a serious mistake.

    • Chris 3.1

      Pete, you may be right. But nothing will happen because Key and his mates will just give the finger yet again and whole matter will be forgotten. Even if it is an issue Key will lie saying he didn’t know about it and NZers will vote him in as PM in 2017.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Did Sabin launch or contribute to any of the recent attacks against Hone Harawira for having sex offenders in his employment.

    • Sacha 4.1

      And what does he know about the shooting of Hone’s electorate office?

      • Pete George 4.1.1

        What do you know about the shooting of Hone’s electorate office?

        More specifically, what knowledge do you have to connect Sabin with it?

  5. tc 5

    Higher standards John Key styles, to not be aware shows him as not being in control given the ‘no surprises’ mandate. Cue the weaseling.

    My prediction is he will have the plausible deniability machine just churn out some more as its been running awhile now and will have to go up a gear in 2015 to keep up the BS production.

  6. Macro 6

    And if he was not then you have to wonder why not.

    Because that is the way the Nats operate – that’s why – they are an arrogant lot – they thought this would all blow over, and his mates in the police would sort it out. End of story.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      Too soon . After all we know that ‘Judith cleared her name’, likely Sabin will be the same.
      Dont give much creedence to a a fair justice system for middle aged people with influence.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        Dont give much creedence to a fair justice system for middle aged people with influence.

        It’s interesting. The police are usually quick off the mark when allegations of serious assault are laid, but four months later and nothing has happened?

        What a contrast to the Hager house raid. A decent law abiding gentleman has his house ransacked by the police within a couple of weeks of a specious complaint (specious in the sense the complainant was party to a hacking operation himself) by NZ’s most obnoxious so-called journalist, Cameron later.

        If the allegation was known to senior National Party officials before the election then John Key knew too. Taking this case and the Hager case together… there can only be one conclusion. Senior National Party personnel are colluding with the police units involved over both cases. What needs to be done now is to identitfy who the officials are, and where exactly john Key fits into the picture.

        • Anne

          Ooops… Cameron Slater.

          • Michael

            Slater is probably acting on behalf of Sabin’s successor, who may well be a paying client of Simon Lusk.

        • Tracey

          and the police never advised the then minister of police under “no surprises”? who would then advise her boss (john key)

        • Treetop

          + 1 the last paragraph inparticular.

          Some explaining is required from Key as to why Sabin was appointed chairman of Parliament’s Law and order Selection Committee during a police investigating (which is ongoing).

          Either Sabin has assured Key he is not guilty or Sabin’s old police mates have given Sabin dirt on the government or their lackeys.

        • Murray Rawshark

          The police are usually quick off the mark when allegations of serious assault are laid against civilians. FIFY.

          Lew Proctor at Otahuhu was committing serious assaults for years before police acted, and that was only because he attacked a superintendent. They don’t care when they bash people – they think it’s the divine right of poaka.

  7. Mooloo magic 7

    The Nats will be relying (unsuccessfully I hope) on the Holiday Break for this story to die as our lazy media usually ignore political stories during the summer holidays. I won’t be holding my breath relying on a thorough investigation by the Police. Both the government and the Police will be hoping that the media quickly get bored with this story and have their attention focused on feel good stores or celebrity scandals.
    Hope I’m wrong as Sabin is a right wing reactionary that our Parliament does not need and his dismissal or resignation can come soon enough.

    • tc 7.1

      Sabin is one of many so if he goes lusk, williams etc have plenty of others groomed to sit alongside the likes of Ross, Mitchell, Barclay etc.

      Key will have his MSM mates frame whatever happens as ‘tough decisive leadership’ on his part as DP continues unabated.

    • Paul 7.2

      His participation in the Iraq war is horrible.
      Making money from war.

  8. Is that bold Sabin hoarding still there just before Brynderwyn?

    • kiwigunner 8.1

      Yes, I passed three Sabin hoardings coming home yesterday. Probably stayed up over the elction breaking advertising laws along the way – maybe.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Geeezus is Labour/Greens asleep up there following this up? Where are the formal complaints to the police…

      • Skinny 8.1.2

        There are about 6 rural hoards on with his square jawed mug plastered all over them, they have been up for 2 years that I know of.

        As I said the other day during the election campaign Sabin hosted a Northland economic forum where Key, Joyce and Finlayson were guest speakers, they keep their distance like Sabin was poison. Now I know why.

  9. millsy 9

    Didnt he also have a bill that allowed employers to take thier precription meds off them?

  10. Paul 10

    This really depends on the seriousness of the accusations against Sabin.

    • emergency mike 10.1

      Nick Smith got sacked for using the wrong letterhead.
      Judith Collins got sacked over an email she didn’t even write, just to be seen to be doing the right thing, or something.

      The seriousness of the accusations matter in all sorts ways, but surely not appointing someone under investigation by the police for assault to the Law and Order Committee is a no brainer.

      They have no standards, National just gets away with anything it thinks it can. Which apparently is quite a lot.

      As others have asked, what kind of assault investigation goes on for four months?

      • Naturesong 10.1.1

        Judith Collins was sacked as a Minister over an email she didn’t even write, because it was clear that an inquiry into it’s contents would show Collins to be not guilty (of something no one accused her of anyway).

        Had they investigated her for the things she had actually done, she’d now be looking for a new job.

      • Paul 10.1.2

        Yes it does seem dodgy

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          She deleted her twitter account ( not her official one) that she was using so the ‘evidence’ just dissapereaed

  11. alwyn 11

    There was also a bit from Mike Williams in the Stuff article calling for Sabin to be stood down.
    I particularly liked his recollection of history when he says

    “When Mangere MP Taito Phillip Field was accused of misusing his Parliamentary position for material gain Williams said he initially followed the premise of innocent until proven guilty and Field was, for a time, allowed to continue his Cabinet role. Field was later convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment.

    But Williams said that when then-prime minister Helen Clark was confronted with allegations that Te Tai Tokerau MP Dover Samuels was being investigated for historical assault charges she stood him down from Cabinet “while allegations swirl around.” Samuels was later cleared and appointed as an associate minister outside cabinet”.

    Isn’t it truly amazing that Mike doesn’t seem to remember that Helen Clark was also PM at the time of Field’s transgression and that it was her, and not Mike at all, who chose to not make Field stand down?
    Helen only appears in the story when she chose to stand down an innocent person, not when she left in office a crook.
    Still he always did seem to be a bleeding idiot did our Mr Williams.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      not Mike at all, who chose to not make Field stand down?

      He was appointed parliamentary under-secretary for Pacific island affairs, social services and justice in 2002.[4] He held the position of Minister outside Cabinet, with the portfolios of Associate Minister for Pacific Island Affairs, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment, and Associate Minister for Justice, from 2003[5] until he was stood down in 2005.

      From TPF’s wiki page. Helen Clark stood Field down from all his portfolio responsibilities as soon as the allegations surfaced in the public domain. As PM she later in 2006 asked Field to ‘reconsider his future as an MP’ – but asking is all the PM could have, or even should have done, at that stage.

    • Tracey 11.2

      are you saying sabin should stay as chair or law and order committee, like field stayed in cabinet, or be stood down, as samuels was, i cant tell from your comment.

  12. Gruntie 12

    What I seem to be missing is – what are the accusstions everyone is talking about – a link please

  13. Gruntie 13

    So no one on The Standard knows what he if anything Sabin is actually accused of ?

    [lprent: We stick to publishing facts that are already in the public domain (ie filtered through the news media lawyers) or which are opinion based on facts. We ban those who like to speculate on an open investigation, advising them to visit sites run by those addicted to the court processes – like Cameron Slater or a few other nutters. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      Skinny claims to have heard something. The moderators are being very careful in confining discussion to that which is already in the public domain

  14. Red delusion 14

    God spare us another year of gotcha politics and conspiracies

    My new year resolution, stop looking at the standard and whaleoil, to bloody depressing


    • fender 14.1

      Good riddance deluded one.

      You may like to think the SST are spreading a conspiracy theory or playing the gotcha game, but most will see it as relevant and newsworthy.

      Of course Sabin could clear this matter up by making a statement to the media, or even by contacting the National Party tip-line via Slater.

      Many resolutions made at this time of year fail, but I’m sure you could guarantee success if you read the policy and break one or more rules, good luck for all our sakes..

  15. Gruntie 15

    Thanks LP for that – so only facts published are that there is an investigation- correct?

  16. Brian Biggins 16

    Here’s a link with some detail:
    [Sorry RY but best if this site does not link to that site – MS]

  17. Ross 17

    It’s interesting. The police are usually quick off the mark when allegations of serious assault are laid, but four months later and nothing has happened?

    To say nothing has happened is speculation. Police might be conducting a thorough inquiry. The Roast Busters inquiry took many months…

  18. Brian Biggins 18

    Yes, the police always conduct a thorough investigation when investigating their own!

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