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National still has a culture problem

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, April 3rd, 2022 - 37 comments
Categories: feminism, national, same old national, violence against women - Tags:

This week National found itself the centre of media suggesting that its treatment of women is still not acceptable.

A couple of Young Nats were outed as being behind the trolling of Christchurch left wing female politicians.

Christchurch city councillor Sara Templeton was on the receiving end of the trolling.  She did the very wise thing of requiring Facebook through an application under the Harmful Digital Communications Act to provide the IP address of the fake user account used to troll her and other female Christchurch politicians.

The address was traced to Young Nat Bryce Beattie.  He denied responsibility saying that he had a lot of flatmates.  Another Young Nat Jessee MacKenzie then admitted it was him.

From Tina Law at Stuff:

A Young Nat has outed himself as the person responsible for mysoginistic trolling of female politicians, saying his community board hopeful flatmate had nothing to do with it.

Jessee MacKenzie made the admission after the courts unmasked his Christchurch flatmate, fellow Young Nat Bryce Beattie, as the owner of the computer IP address linked to the harassment.

The pair have since resigned from the National Party and Beattie is also no longer running for a seat on a Christchurch community board.

Beattie denies any involvement in or knowledge of the harassment, but says he resigned because “it felt like the right thing to do”.

MacKenzie said, via a statement on Thursday, that last year was particularly bad for him mentally following a rough break up.

“I directed my energy the wrong way in the hopes of feeling better. I’ve taken steps to seek help. While I know this is no excuse I just wanted to add some insight into my thought process during the time.

It is interesting how both MacKenzie and Beattie spontaneously resigned from the party without any apparent prompting.  And Beattie did so even though his initial explanation, that he had no idea who it was or what was happening, was on the face of it a plausible defence.

This is not an isolated event.  Remember how three years ago then leader Simon Bridges conducted a major review of the culture of National Caucus after the Jami Lee Ross allegations were made public?

At the time Jason Wells reported on the details:

National leader Simon Bridges is ordering an internal review to ensure a culture in the party where women feel safe – and has spoken to his deputy Paula Bennett about outing Jami-Lee Ross’ extra-marital affairs.

Bridges also said the party was unlikely to consider using the waka-jumping law to remove Ross from Parliament as long as he is was unwell.

Speaking to media this morning, Bridges said he would talk to Parliamentary Service this week to “make sure women feel absolutely safe in the workplace and feel they can confidently come forward on all matters”.

Bridges said he wanted to make sure the same is happening within the party, with volunteers, candidates and staff.

He has ordered an review into this.

The move comes after Newsroom revealed at least four women had come forward and accused Ross of harassment.

“We are getting independent advice to make sure we have got the best systems and process so women do feel safe.”

Bridges did not think there is a cultural issue within the National Party – “but the reality is several women have been affected by what has happened”.

He said he wanted to make sure National can do the best for its future.

Strangely enough National’s female MPs including the two most affected, Sarah Dowie and Maureen Pugh, were not interviewed as part of the review.

It is not only female National MPs and staff who were targets.  Labour MP Clare Curran received particularly unsavory attacks in the house.

There have been attempts to say that this sort of thing happens “on both sides”.

Some left wingers can get pretty ropy.  But targeting females in the hope they will then break is a something that the vast majority of left wingers would not tolerate.

37 comments on “National still has a culture problem ”

  1. And this prick still has a senior position in the party! Says it all!

    • Belladonna 1.1

      Not really seeing the equivalence here. National was attacking a poorly performing Minister (politically inept, a proven liar, and, at best, seriously unaware of her Ministerial responsibilities) – to her face, in the House.

      That's the job of Parliament, to hold Ministers to account. And that's what I would hope to see any future Left opposition doing to a Right Minister.

      A very different scenario from a personal hit organized anonymously on social media. Which is disgraceful, and will hopefully be prosecuted.

      • Incognito 1.1.1

        Why do you comment here if you don’t even read the OP?

        Are you one of three monkeys or an apologist for politics masquerading as DP and a personal hit job?


        • Belladonna

          I did indeed read the OP.
          I was replying to the comment from Tony Veitch which equated this with the Clare Curran saga. And pointing out there is a significant difference.

          I am not excusing this current behaviour – as is made very clear in my final paragraph.

          • Incognito


            What you call the Clare Curran saga is actually in the OP. The saga is continuing although some of the characters have different names.

            Like that other delusional commenter further below you see no equivalence or only false equivalence, but you don’t address the topic.

            • Belladonna


              I guess we'll just agree to disagree then.

              I perceive a significant difference between an attack on extremely poor ministerial behaviour in the House, and an anonymous social media campaign.

              You don't.

              I'll stop commenting now.

      • Wow! When is misognyistic behaviour not misognystic? (How the hell you spell this word?)

        Woodlouse behaved in a disgraceful manner towards Curran, and that's all there is too it! His actions typify the whole attitude of the Natz!

        • Incognito

          This culture problem is not limited to only members of the National Party.

    • tc 1.2

      Sure does tony v.

      It's that culture of getting caught they've gotta sort as the rest appears business as usual.

  2. Bearded Git 2

    I was having a bad year so I thought a bit of casual misogyny would make me feel better. Yeah right.

    More lies. This was a calculated attack on a female labour member

    • Mike the Lefty 2.1

      Yes, "having a bad day" must be just about the lamest excuse you could come up with.

      National always did have a culture problem from the very start. The problem was that it was formed in the image of the pakeha rich country squire who imagined that his wealth and prestige gave him political entitlement and cultural superiority to everyone else.

      Not a hell of a lot has changed in 90 odd years, so it seems.

    • Incognito 2.2

      I was having a bad year so I thought a bit of casual misogyny would make me feel better.

      Bollocks! This kind of behaviour doesn’t come out of the blue. Most people are self-adjusting and self-correcting when they grow up, but it depends on the environment they’re in, e.g. peers, friends, colleagues, and family.

      • arkie 2.2.1

        Exactly, the behaviour they see modelled around them informs their own actions.

        It’s a gross example of the failure of the ‘Culture Review’.

        • Incognito

          Modelled, encouraged, tolerated, or whatever. The result is more or less the same.

          Life for many is a relatively limited bunch of relatively small and confined silos, groups, clubs, or tribes with little to no exposure to others. I think in old texts they used to coin this class structure.

          • arkie

            Agreed. With the advent of the internet many hoped the increased connectedness and visibility of diversity would encourage a more empathetic and tolerant public, however some people seem to cling harder to their club or class, rejecting other's realities to the point of epistemological nihilism. We can all be guilty of initially dismissing something that contradicts our biases, being able to have the time and space to critically reconsider things is perhaps too rare a luxury.

            • Incognito

              Indeed, the whole internet and social media phenomenon is an enormous extension of the same cultures and ‘cultural principles’, IMO.

              I’m as guilty of bias as any and because I cannot critically examine & review everything as much as I’d like or rather as much as is required I have to rely on trustworthy (re)sources. But mostly I sit on the fence, which is often considered worse than taking a position, let alone a stand. I will not get bullied in picking a side without and before knowing what I’m getting myself into; life has given me enough experience and taught me enough lessons to know how stupid I can be in falling for this or caving in to pressure. In other words, you live and learn.

    • mpledger 2.3

      This American Life did a segment on a women finding her troll. (https://www.thisamericanlife.org/545/if-you-dont-have-anything-nice-to-say-say-it-in-all-caps **) . And the trolls excuse was much the same, he was feeling bad, he didn't like the women because she was happy in her life in a way he wasn't so he trolled her to make her feel bad and himself feel good.

      So, I don't think it was just one thing because if it was just one thing it would be easier to stop.

      • Incognito 2.3.1

        So, I don't think it was just one thing because if it was just one thing it would be easier to stop.


        It almost never is “just one thing”; the underlying causes are multi-factorial and complex. If it were that simple then the reductionist approaches and ‘solutions’ proffered by well-meaning simpletons would solve many of our problems, e.g. ‘anti-socials’ in motels, social & emergency housing, gangs, and in prison.

    • SPC 2.4

      A young Nat living with a Young Nat, the behaviour was tribal.

      A prospect seeking to join a gang and aiming to obtain their approval with attacks on their enemies.

      • Patricia Bremner 2.4.1

        yes Yes SPC, approval and affirmation. Look at Woodhouse, his behaviour should have him barred from the house. He has been a messenger an instigator and a "person in the know" and a fabricator of tales. He is still there. I wonder what size Luxon thinks his brain is? There is a pattern of predatory behaviour coupled with misogyny of the worst kind. So many have behaved badly, and they still belong or are employed.

    • mac1 2.5

      What Mckenzie was reported as saying "that last year was particularly bad for him mentally following a rough break up."

      People are missing the possible/probable cause of his misogyny- his 'rough break up" -as some men do not handle rejection well. It's also possible that his misogyny led to the break up in the first place.

      It's not always pleasant to be in public office, especially when mass media allow wider audiences and subsequent harm

      I have experienced this form of abuse. I stood locally for various positions. I was asked whether I came from the area (no newcomers welcome), and was accused of having two traffic tickets, two convictions for dope dealing and being supportive of paedophilia. It was not pleasant.

      We ask why National has a culture problem, and rightly. We should also ask whether we have a wider social problem with how we view, treat and select politicians.

      How often have we heard, "Don't vote, it only encourages them"? How often have we referred to our politicians as 'troughers'? How often do we reveal ourselves when we use certain terms to describe motivations and actions of politicians?

      Like the rethink that Covid has called on us to make about how we live our lives, so too we should be evaluating how we treat each other, our politicians and our 'enemies' as well.

  3. joe90 3

    Online harassment is stalking. National, the natural party of stalkers!

    The person responsible for all this suffering? A 30-year-old unemployed man from Northwich, Cheshire, called Matthew Hardy. For more than a decade, Hardy behaved with near impunity. “Every time his name comes up, I hear other names,” says Zoe Jade Hallam, 31, a model and mechanical operative from Lincolnshire who survived Hardy’s stalking. One force alone, Cheshire constabulary, was contacted about Hardy more than 100 times by 62 victims over an 11-year period. During Hardy’s years of stalking, he was arrested 10 times. But the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) appeared unable to put a stop to his offending.


  4. Pataua4life 4

    Shall we go back in history and look at what was said about Paula Bennett on this very site?

    What about Ruth Richardson?

    These young Nat dicks should be ashamed of themselves and have been reprimanded as such.

    Do we really want to go down the track of keyboard warriors because the left are just as guilty as the right.

    • Incognito 4.1

      Yes, what about those abouts? You seem to want [us] to go down that track, don’t you?

      Do you want to address anything in particular of the OP?

    • AB 4.2

      There is a difference between vigorously disagreeing in public with what women politicians say, and deliberately setting out to privately scare them.

      There is a distasteful space in the middle too, where women politicians are publicly ridiculed for their appearance. If it occurs on this site I believe our excellent moderators and other commenters show disapproval.

    • Joe90 4.3

      Shall we go back in history and look at what was said about Paula Bennett on this very site?

      Please do.

    • Hanswurst 4.4

      Let's have some quotes then. I'm sure you habe some specific instances in mind.

    • Dean Reynolds 4.5

      Nicky Hager's books, 'The Hollow Men' & 'Dirty Politics' provide factual evidence of National & Act's vile, sustained, organised, personal attacks on their political opponents. I challenge Pataua4life to produce written evidence of equivalent Labour & Green actions.

      Right wing parties are infested with arrogant, entitled shits.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Well with the Natzos–where do we begin when it comes to dodgy behaviour?

    Look at recent leaderships for example Sirkey–John Philip Key–was pony puller in chief and had a thing for fondling young females hair, and one in particular, a service worker in his regular cafe. Amanda Bailey whose locks he persisted in tugging at after her requests not to. A then Herald reporter with Natzo links, Rachel Glamuzina met with Ms Bailey under false pretences to try and fix the situation.

    Role models and all that is what I am alluding to. Young Nats have behaved liked prize pillocks forever, have known a few over the years going back to the Muldoon era. “Don’t you know who I am” is merely their starting position.

  6. Melanie Scott 6

    Please can someone advise how to go about remorselessly trolling stupid little xxxx Jessee MacKenzie. Asking for a friend.

  7. Dean Reynolds 7

    Because the National Party's driving philosophy of greed, self interest & entitlement pervades everything they do, anything is justifiable. National & Act are the only NZ parties with a long time record of lying, slander & personal abuse towards their political opponents – refer to 'The Hollow Men' & 'Dirty Politics' for the facts.

    If Labour or the Greens had organised vile, abusive campaigns against their opponents, some right wing journo would have made a book out of, but nothing's appeared. Pataua4life's accusation that the left are bad as the right, is bullshit.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    National have a problem with their culture?

    Tell us rather what thing do they not have a problem with.

    No plausible policy, nfi what to do if they got power, no idea what people want or what would best serve the public interest – I've seen better directed headless chickens.

    But it does beg the question – what cultural deficits within the government are allowing these egregious wastes of space to poll above the margin of error?

    • peter sim 8.1

      /Polls? This far out of an election? How many polls? Voter distractions, like covid mandates, climate change, Ukraine, methodology? The poll that counts is some way a way.

      • Stuart Munro 8.1.1

        True – but the Gnats are faring much better than they deserve.

        Part of that can be attributed to a Murdoched media, and some to lack of education. But the government has made missteps too.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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