- Date published:
8:17 am, April 10th, 2019 - 79 comments
Categories: accountability, Deep stuff, feminism, national, paula bennett, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges - Tags: jami-lee ross, maureen pugh, sarah dowie
Remember how last October in the wake of the Jami-Lee Ross revelations Simon Bridges ordered a review of National’s culture just to make sure that things in the party were tickety boo for women in the party?
Jason Walls at the Herald had 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.
Sounds good doesn’t it. And of course such a review would seek comment from female MPs at least one of who was directly affected by Ross’s behaviour.
But it appears this is not what has happened. From Television New Zealand:
The National Party’s review of its culture is finished but MPs are in the dark over its findings and it appears they also weren’t consulted.
National Party leader Simon Bridges ordered the review six months ago in the wake of the Jami-Lee Ross scandal last year, to find out if women in the party feel safe.
Several women had complained anonymously about the behaviour of Mr Ross, a former National MP for Botany who now sits as independent MP in the seat.
Arriving at Parliament today, National’s women MPs 1 NEWS spoke to were clear they had not been contacted for the culture review.
They included the National MP at the heart of the Jami-Lee Ross affair, Sarah Dowie, who said: “No, look, and I can’t talk about that at the moment.”
Nor had the National MP Mr Bridges described as useless, Maureen Pugh, been contacted as part of the review. “No I haven’t. Obviously I don’t fit the profile… I’ve never been a victim,” Ms Pugh said.
Male National MPs 1 NEWS spoke to were also in the dark about the culture review.
In October, Mr Bridges said he wanted “to make sure women in National, both here in Parliament and the wider party, feel absolutely safe.”
Apparently the review was completed several weeks ago. But Mr Bridges hasn’t seen it. “I’ve asked for an update and I’m sure we’ll get that in due course,” he said today.
In the Herald this morning Party President Peter Goodfellow said that the delay was to see what the Parliamentary review came up with. Maybe they hope to minimise the damage or ridicule caused when they release their own report. But Bridges not knowing about the conclusions? Doesn’t anyone in his party hierarchy ever talk to him?
And a review where the two female MPs most publicly affected by mistreatment are not interviewed. How does that work?
I wonder if National’s parliamentary leadership is worried …