National’s Sroubek fizzle

Written By: - Date published: 7:40 am, December 13th, 2018 - 159 comments
Categories: jacinda ardern, making shit up, national, paula bennett, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

For weeks National has been asking questions and hinting darkly at how there was inappropriate Labour support for Karel Sroubek’s bid to remain in New Zealand. The information has now been released. And all that I feel is an irresistible urge to say Meh.

From Derek Cheng at the Herald:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was sent a text message commending the decision to grant Karel Sroubek residency by someone who is both a friend of the Czech drug-smuggler and an acquaintance of hers.

That man was Richie Hardcore, whose Instagram’s account shows him posing with Ardern in multiple photos and referring to her as “a friend” and “the people’s champ”.

National has slammed the Prime Minister after the revelation, with leader Simon Bridges saying Ardern had not been upfront about the message from Hardcore and it was time she told the whole story.

“She’s only told us this much because of our relentless questioning. It beggars belief to say that this would be the first contact that she has had with Richie Hardcore about this case.”

Bridges said Ardern should release the full text message, and asked why Hardcore would have sent a text if she didn’t know who Sroubek was.

“For total clarity, the Prime Minister should appear in the House tomorrow and make a Ministerial Statement about her associations with Richie Hardcore, Sroubek and any of their other associates.”

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said that the text from Hardcore was unsolicited, and was the only correspondence between them on this matter.

I must admit that I was nervous for a while about the allegation. So many questions were being asked. It was clear that national was planning an attack similar to the Donghua Liu David Cunliffe incident.  Surely they had something meaty.

But this?

So someone who has met Jacinda sent her a text AFTER Lees-Galloway had made his decision. AND she did not reply?

And someone has photos of themselves with Jacinda on Instagram? They should see my friends’ photos on my facebook feed.

But National still thinks it is onto something.

Although the rest of Twitter had a laugh.

National is demanding that Ardern release the text. While they are at it maybe they could release Bill English’s 450 texts at the same time.

159 comments on “National’s Sroubek fizzle”

  1. BM 1

    It’s important to know what the text says if it was something like

    ‘Thanks for your help Jacinda” or
    “Thanks for making it happen”

    That wouldn’t be very good, would it?

    • mpledger 1.1

      Citizens are allowed to ask MPs for help on issues – that’s the whole point of MPs.

      It’s the multi-million dollar lobby groups that use their wealth to get special access, corrupt MPs or corrupt the process that are the problem.

      • BM 1.1.1

        So you wouldn’t have an issue with the PM helping Sroubek get permanent residency?

        Just doing a favour for a mate?

        • Craig H 1.1.1.1

          He already had residence, the Minister’s decision was whether to suspend his liability for deportation.

          • Mr Marshy 1.1.1.1.1

            Which he completely stuffed up. Hence his embarrassing u-turn. And dont start talking about ‘new’ information, no-one is buying that nonsense

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Well, nats don’t buy it because they are unfamiliar with information-based decision making.

        • mpledger 1.1.1.2

          If the help is within their perview then no.

    • mac1 1.2

      BM, even if she got a text saying what you suggest, it doesn’t mean collusion or behind the scenes undue pressure.

      I’d take a text like that to mean, “Thanks for your minister making a decision with which I agree”, or “Thanks for your minister seeing sense on this issue” or “Thanks for your minister making a decision based on humanitarian grounds”.

      It could well be seen expressing gratitude at the outcome, not the way at which the outcome was achieved. It could be expressing gratitude at the process whereby a man who alleged that his life as at risk upon an enforced return to his native land was offered a merciful solution.

      Remember, BM, the original decision was hedged about with caveats and codicils which stated that if the applicant for residency had lied or been on some way less than fully honest, the application would be revoked.

      Which is what happened upon fuller disclosure of the facts. (Offering thanks for that decision based on those caveats would be what most kiwis would have wished for, btw but is unconnected to your point).

      • BM 1.2.1

        A convicted drug dealer with gang affiliations currently in prison doesn’t get permanent residency under any circumstances.

        I’ve seen some good hard working people get the boot from NZ for the most trivial of things, yet this guy gets to stay.

        Strings must have been pulled, favours must have been done, there’s just no other reason as to why this guys deportation was cancelled and then was given permanent residency.

        • mac1 1.2.1.1

          Remember, a residency granted with huge caveats. A residency granted on insufficiently disclosed facts, by both officials and the applicant himself.

          Remember, too, that the apparent reason for the grant was one of mercy, that Sroubek was in danger of being killed had he returned to his home country, which the events of his return twice prior to the application did rather jeopardise logically.

          BM, I am glad that mercy and compassion were part of the process.

          Remember, too, though the law provides for return to home for criminals upon release, and quite wisely, there is a process also for overturning that automatic response. His crime had ben paid for by his imprisonment. I hope that the sins of his youth upon reflection are replaced with a more mature morality.

          Unfortunately, his omissions in full disclosure in his application don’t indicate that.

          BM, it has to be a case by case basis when an application is made. This application ultimately failed because he lied by omission. People blew the whistle on him, and he was found out.

        • Craig H 1.2.1.2

          He already had residence, the legal question was whether to suspend his deportation liability, which has a different set of rules to decisions to grant residence.

          If this is as bad as National are making it out to be, why didn’t they pass on the pertinent information before the decision was made rather than after?

          • OnceWasTim 1.2.1.2.1

            “He already had residence”
            Unfortunately @Craig H, they’re not hearing you.

            And as for @BM’s
            “I’ve seen some good hard working people get the boot from NZ for the most trivial of things, yet this guy gets to stay.” I’ve seen countless, and a good many that have decided to give up and either go somewhere that appreciates them, or go home.
            All that, as most at the coalface will tell you, is down to the structure, culture, lack-of-resource/incompetence, under-funding or otherwise of ‘officials’ and administrators – all of which has turned things into a bloody raffle unless it can be bypassed with the promise of money.
            I think I have to keep repeating it: the worst thing I L-G is guilty of is a blind faith in the honesty/integrity/capability of a good many of his ‘o f f i c i a l s’
            He do himself a bloody big favour if the whole juggernaut that is the Ministry for Everything was dismantled but its probably more convenient to keep it as is from a ‘pragmatic’ point of view, rather than it being anything that pretends to offer a public service

        • SaveNZ 1.2.1.3

          I agree with you BM either strings were pulled, or our politicians are stupid. Or both. About time our government thought of all the people who get date raped using MDMA and what this piece of crap is doing still in this country after we have spent hundreds of thousands on his prison stay and legal lifestyle here, and no thought to his victims at all.

          https://www.alltreatment.com/mdma-date-rape-drug/

          • BM 1.2.1.3.1

            Sroubek is going to have to be paid off, it’s the only way to get rid of the guy and stop him from talking.

            • SaveNZ 1.2.1.3.1.1

              If they pay him off after what he has done, the public will go ape. Get rid of him asap, and make sure they take 1/2 his house to pay off his legal bills and proceeds of crimes act.

              And most importantly, change the immigration act, so that if you commit a crime or become a burden on NZ you don’t get to stay here and it takes 20 years to become a citizen or permanent resident and get benefits from the people who have lived here all their lives have paid for.

              If they don’t feel it is worth the wait, don’t come!

              Or just make the whole process transparent and you pay $10 million and if you pass the good character test and don’t get into trouble here, you can stay here as a sort of retirement/lifestyle visa for 20 years, because that is an easier way than just having people’s application be so political that our MP’s prefer jailed drug smugglers to someone who just wants to live here and prepared to pay a large up front fee to do so .

              Our government is not smart enough to get the investments our of them aka Thiel any other way and the public end up subsidising the super rich here with the current screw ups.

              An up front fee and longer timeframes for new citizens to gain benefits would suit everybody more because our dysfuncitonal Laissez-faire visas are ensuring our country will be in poverty and full of inequality like Asia, to pay for the bad choices that our immigration policy is making, by turning a blind eye to fraudsters, criminals and users profiting here.

            • Louis 1.2.1.3.1.2

              That BM and SaveNZ have lost the plot. No one needs to pay anyone to get rid of him. He’s “liable to be deported upon his release”

        • Pete 1.2.1.4

          Have you seen repeat sex offenders allowed to stay in the country? And if the Immigration Minister was Michael Woodhouse were strings pulled? Were favours done?

          Have your suspicions, have your blind bias but this forum could be a big opportunity to show that you’re capable of rationality.

          Tell us, when sex offenders were allowed to stay in the country under the previous administration, do you think strings were pulled and favours done? If you don’t think they were, why? And why then would they be done in the Sroubek case? What makes it so special?

          • SaveNZ 1.2.1.4.1

            The immigration screw ups were just as bad if not worse under the Natz, time the entire policy is rewritten to protect the future of this country turning into the land of homeless and super rich, full of drugs and criminals, with people in between having to pay for the bad government policy and sports stadiums everywhere and obese richer Kiwis all excited by the brighter future.

            • woodart 1.2.1.4.1.1

              yes.if you or you family werent here before 1900, bugger off. actually make it 1850, really clear out some ratbags…..Im safe,dont care about you.

              • SaveNZ

                Ask Maori is immigration ‘worked’ for them. Weird all the liberals understand Maori were screwed over, but somehow feel that massive migration in NZ for the past decade is a good idea and isn’t screwing the residents already in NZ over and the future generations of the migrants kids and the Kiwis of all ethnicities already here including Maori.

                It’s not immigration that is so much the issue, is how it is done.

                Why Sroubek is making the headlines and is of such interest to the public, is because he is an example of everything that is wrong with out immigration policy and he is white so the usual woke lefty/neoliberal righty cries of ‘racism’ can’t be easily used and therefore the decision has nothing to do with ‘colour’, ‘ethnicity’ or what have you.

                Some people are scum bags of any nationality and for whatever reason our government has been opening it’s arms by lazy immigration policy and poor decision makers in that field, to the world’s scum and exploiters of others (aka drug smugglers and labour traffickers and Vagas style marriages) and expects Kiwi’s who are already struggling to support a whole bunch of additional burdens on the state. And put more people into NZ’s social welfare system and infrastructure system already groaning under the weight of poorly thought out policy decisions.

                The labour government could have made decisions to change immigration policy in the first 100 days to stop exploitation of our immigration laws, they didn’t in any way to help, in fact make it worse by loosening up work visa’s so that people can live here without a job for years and get married, have kids, use our social services etc without residency and then use the above to get it.

        • Unicus 1.2.1.5

          I think I’ve missed something

          Unless they were stalking her – why on earth would a woman like Jacinda even be near a couple of sleazo’s like these two let alone ‘know’ them.

          And what favours could she be possibly be repaying.

          I know you and the others in the confused swarm of NP fanatics must have had a miserable xmas last year – this one will be worse – but chin up the Tauranga Titan will be gone by March

          • Rapunzel 1.2.1.5.1

            Titan-ic.

          • veutoviper 1.2.1.5.2

            A lot of people are missing a lot of things in relation to this whole issue, Unicus.

            Apparently kickboxing (including Nuay Thai kickboxing which is where the links between Sroubek and Hardcore are), is a big thing in Auckland amongst the wealthy young Auckland “in crowd” in their late 20s and 30s. Sroubek’s estranged wife was, and apparently is still part of that crowd. I am not counting Ardern as a part of that crowd but there has certainly been interaction over the years, but then mixing across all spectrum of society is part and parcel of being a politician. Hardcore is also a public speaker, MC etc and he and Gayford’s paths are likely to have crossed over the years.

            Hardcore is quite a contradiction in himself from all accounts including this interview by Steve Braunias two years ago in 2016.

            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11615406

            Vegan, feminist, alcohol and drug counsellor …… as well as kickboxing champion, personal trainer etc. Also a prolific user of social media, texting, twitter etc.

            https://www.facebook.com/richie.hardcore/
            https://twitter.com/richiehardcore?lang=en

            Here is a more up to date article on him on 25 Nov 2018 which everyone should read – particularly Bennett and Woodhouse. (And Bridges and Mitchell)

            This article explains why he and Ardern etc may well be in contact and rightly so. Amongst other things a lot of his advocacy these days is in the area of violence towards women – a subject on everyone’s lips and in our thoughts at present following Grace’s murder/manslaughter.

            Hardcore is on the board of White Ribbon and does speaking events on their behalf. I don’t count men who do that as scum bags or ‘sleazos’. I hope you – and others here – don’t.

            https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/lifestyle/2018/11/richie-hardcore-reveals-how-his-abusive-past-helped-his-crusade-against-toxic-masculinity.html

          • katie 1.2.1.5.3

            Richie Hardcore is pretty insufferable but he’s not a sleaze – he’s a well-known anti drug, anti violence against women campaigner who is also a fairly prominent public speaker. He and Jacinda almost certainly crossed paths through his advocacy work.

            Also people forget that for many years prior to becoming PM Jacinda was just another 20/30 something city-dwelling hipster (albeit one who was also a well liked mp) known to frequent the odd k’rd/ponsonby bar or grey lynn house party just like every other one of her peers. It’s not shocking that during that time she may have shared her number out of friendliness (heck i’ve hung out with her socially in the past and sometimes she even likes my instagram photos) – it’s not her fault if people took that to mean they’re super tight mates who can text her about any old thing, as Hardcore appears to have done here.

            A complete non-story tbh.

    • Sacha 1.3

      “Thanks for making it happen”

      ‘.. The money is in your usual Panamanian account’.
      Oh, wrong PM.

    • Aaron 1.4

      BM don’t you think that it is more important to investigate the National Party’s links with Sroubeks ex-partner?

      Specifically don’t you think we should look at Mark Davey,National Party member and candidate for the National Party Auckland local government ticket ‘Auckland Future’ who is now in a relationship with Karel Sroubek’s ex-partner?

      Was this relationship the source of information that started the National Party onto their latest dirty politics project – a project where, as usual, they don’t care about the effect they have on the lives of other people – even if it means someone gets killed?

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 1.4.1

        So it’s dirty politics to uncover information that a crown minister hasn’t been doing their job to the benefit of the country?

  2. mac1 2

    “There has to be a connection” says Paula Bennett this morning on National radio.

    Bennett is saying that Ardern is somehow hiding something because of someone else’s action. Someone texted her, a text to which she did not respond, and which was sent after the original decision had been made and therefore could not have been lobbying.

    The person who sent the text probably overstepped his mark, is all.

    But there’s Paula on NatRadio pushing this line, and not getting far with the interviewer.

    “There must be a connection” says Paula, but she doesn’t know what it is.

    It’s a smear by association, and a low trick. Worse, it’s a smear by association at one remove, and that’s plain barmy.

    • Grantoc 2.1

      There is a question around why it is that Hardcore had Ardern’s cell phone number. Is it publicly available to all and sundry? I assume not. But I may be wrong.

      If Hardcore has her cell phone number it does suggest other/earlier communications between the two does it not? And this raises the question as to whether or not any of that communication related to Sroubek.

      Rather than leaving the situation in a state of ambiguity – which encourages conspiracy theories, Ardern is best advised to table all communications between herself and Hardcore on this matter in the interests of open government (which I believe she stated would be one of the principles by which her government would operate).

      • mpledger 2.1.1

        Once a cell phone number gets into the public domain then it’s just going to spread to who knows where.

        We could all start sending texts to the MPs we don’t like – “thanks, Simon for the help you gave me avoiding prison, the payment will be in your account tonight”.

        • I feel love 2.1.1.1

          Exactly MrPledger. I know one of Woodhouses many brothers in law, it wouldn’t be hard for me to get his cell phone number, how easy would it be for me to send Woodhouse a “thank you” text. This plan is so cunning Balderick could have come up with it.

  3. Cinny 3

    Dear simon, Jacinda isn’t dodgy like john key, bill english, yourself or your MP’s

    The public is over this story, so is the media judging from their lack of reporting on said subject v’s the volume of questions asked about it in the house in the last few weeks.

    But hey carry on, if you think it will help you in the polls.

    Wonder if the nat’s even read the twitter comments on their tweets? They are constantly slayed on the twitter, super amusing.

    • Ankerrawshark 3.1

      Cinny 100%.

      We have a PM who is the epitome of integrity……..National are trying to imply jacinda nudged the process along. It wouldn’t have happened cause she has integrity and is too smart. And there’s been a review already into this ffs.

      National are just stirring shit cause that’s all they have/are

      • tsmithfield 3.1.1

        I assume your comment is irony, right?

        • Sacha 3.1.1.1

          The world is irony.

        • ankerawshark 3.1.1.2

          No tsmithfield. my comment was not irony. To date Ms Ardern has shown herself to have a good understanding of how to operate in these situations. Jacinda has integrity and is very smart. I think it is highly unlikely she has made a mistake here.

          but you are entitled to your opinion whatever it is tsmithfield.

    • Chris T 3.2

      Labour has had to sack 2 MPs in their first year and Galloway will probably end up being the 3rd.

      You might want to take the eye patch off before calling out who has the “dodgy” MPs

      • Unicus 3.2.1

        Just a bit of a reminder of how dodgy National Party / Act MPs have been over the years.

        In recent years right-wing governments have supported :

        Someone who ‘borrowed’ the identities of deceased children.
        A Chinese spy
        A PM accused of currency manipulation
        Someone accused of assaulting his own step-daughters
        An ex-PM accused of ‘troughing’ the Christchurch earthquake fund

        The list is long –
        But then being a dodgy pratt is almost a requirement in a National Party MPs CV . Remembering that Jamie LR got his job after stabbing his then boss Len Brown in the back over a phony bank card scandal.

        Apparently, that was deemed a stellar indicator of a promising career by the NP brass back then –

      • Louis 3.2.2

        There’s no reason to sack Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. Nat mps have form in dodgy.

        • Michelle 3.2.2.1

          oh yeah no need to sack them (lab ministers) after the debacle we have had in the last 9 years breaches of privacy, breaking airport security, telling lots of porkies and lies, trying to change our flag wasting millions at a time when many people were suffering, selling state assets, when we said no. And the worst thing they do every time national get in they create and exacerbate poverty and inequalities. Then there is more poor more homelessness, begging, someone should of got the f.. n sack alright.

      • patricia bremner 3.2.3

        Chris T and BM, that is the point. Those ministers were sacked because they failed to do the right thing.
        ILG was misinformed and made a decision which required activating caveats, an embarrassment rather than a failure to do the right thing.

        This indicates our current PM takes standards very seriously. She is direct clear and honest in her relationships.

        Now we have insinuations of unhealthy relationships being promoted by a number on the right, including Simon Bridges in the house.

        After a decision regarding residency is made with caveats by ILG, National party members and supporters appear to have decided that if the PM knows/met/ interacted with a person who texted her after the decision, and supports the supposedly reformed drug addict concerned , that she has had influence? Really? How?

        The fact there was no response is possibly because the case was not in her brief,

    • Grantoc 3.3

      Cinny

      How do you know that the public is “over this story”. Where the evidence?

      Or are just saying this because Lees – Galloway said the same thing first and you’re just being the loyal foot soldier carrying out your duties unquestionably.

      Sounds to me like this is just a tactic being employed by the government and its acolytes to try to make the story go away. It has an edge of desperation about it.

      • woodart 3.3.1

        the desperation is coming from the natz. spca should be called.

      • Cinny 3.3.2

        grantoc

        Have been asking around, outside of my bubble.

        I’m that random person that talks to strangers. The friendly conversation initiator.

        The public appears to be over it, because in their eye’s it’s now all been sorted.

        The public trusts the PM, that is more than obvious, none of simons mud slinging is going to change that.

        Maybe we can thank johnkey and english for all of their nothing to see here spin re texts. Why? Because they’ve possibly made the public a bit immune to it all re texts. As most aren’t all aghast at a text message that wasn’t even replied to.

        But hey who am to suggest he needs a ‘change of direction’.

        Meanwhile…. simons legacy appears to be the words ‘paula benefit’, and it’s bbq season.

  4. Ed1 4

    To be fair to Bridges, the last clip I heard of him in Parliament he was going on about an apparently different case for someone called Shroebrick; whatever problem Shroebrick has had was not clear but apparently Jacinda Ardern should have known about it.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    If the text is released and proves to be totally innocent, and if no deeper associations with the PM are uncovered, then, yes, this is a damp squib.

    But National are carefully picking away at this, and Labour are obfuscating in the house on the matter. So, maybe there is a bit more to come on this yet.

    If it was all so innocent, surely the best strategy for the PM would have been to release details of her contact upfront.

    • Mr Marshy 5.1

      You mean actually get a straight answer out of Ardern … now that would make the front pages of Womans Day

    • Kevin 5.2

      “Carefully picking away at this”, don’t make me laugh. They are flailing around in the dark throwing as much mud as possible hoping some of it will stick.

      No-one is talking about this TS, the public are not interested, social media has all but dried up, MSN has all but given up on it and if it wasn’t for the usual Nat ineptitude in Twitter for comic relief this would be dead and buried.

      Bridges is so desperate for a ‘hit’ it is now laughable.

  6. Michelle 6

    nationals new policy is the sniff tests courtesy of pull the benefit maybe they can go work for customs and sniff the bags and visitors typical pulla all arse and no class

  7. Mr Marshy 7

    Lol nice smoke screen by another dim socialist. Trying to turn this fiasco created by labour and an inept mister into a National failure really is desperate. Lees-Galloway completely stuffed up, his week boss doesnt have the courage to sack him, he doesnt have the integrity to resign. And the tax payers will be paying for the legal fees which WILL drag on for years as he appeals any decision. Maybe you forgot the real essence of this story.

    • joe90 7.1

      the real essence of this story

      .

      That since 2011 Sroubek had been before the courts facing various charges and despite having ample opportunity to give him the arse, National sat on their hands and then made hay when ILG fumbled their hospital pass.

      • Ross 7.1.1

        I’m not sure what you refer to as the hospital pass!? ILG granted him permanent residency. There is no evidence at all to suggest National were looking to do the same. ILG created this mess and the question now is why….

        • joe90 7.1.1.1

          National had every opportunity to deport Sroubek but for whatever reason they kicked the can down the road, leaving the decision to the incoming government.

          ILG made a dogs breakfast out of the task, he admitted as much and revisited his decision.

          • Ross 7.1.1.1.1

            As far as I am aware, Sroubek never petitioned the National Government for permanent residency? He was also incarcerated at the time so no decision about his status needed to be made anyway.

            • Louis 7.1.1.1.1.1

              @Joe90 ILG made his initial decision on the information that was put before him. He followed the process. @Ross Doesn’t excuse the fact that National had the opportunity to depot Sroubeck, but didn’t.

              “A spokesman for Immigration New Zealand said today Antolik would have the chance to make a submission as to why he should not be deported before his case is put before Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse to make a decision”

              https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10861491

          • SaveNZ 7.1.1.1.2

            To his only credit ILG changed his mind. Natz loved the having criminals here too and welcomed them with open arms.

            • Ross 7.1.1.1.2.1

              I think you you’ll find he was put in prison under a National government. Labour wanted him to stay forever.

            • Louis 7.1.1.1.2.2

              @Savenz new information came to light which resulted in the minister reviewing his initial decision.

    • Ankerrawshark 7.2

      Mr marshy schbrock has the right to appeal his decision same as everyone else. Nothing to do with labour.

  8. Ross 8

    Why would someone who is publicly anti-drugs (Hardcore) go on to commend Ardern for allowing someone known to import substantial quantities of drugs to avoid deportation? As much as there’s no meat in the sandwich right now, something does seem a tad fishy.

    • joe90 8.1

      Compassion and redemption are big words.

      /

    • Sacha 8.2

      Kickboxing buddies. Loyalty is a strange thing.

      • Ross 8.2.1

        At what point do you question your own loyalty? I.e. what crime would Sroubek have to commit for you to stop supporting him? And if indeed they’re besties, then what influence did R Hardcore have if any? Hardcore has already said he’s mates with the PM and there are numerous photos of them now emerging. Fishy indeed…

      • SaveNZ 8.2.2

        Yep, comes down to NZ is a sucker for a sports jocks. They can rape, pillage, commit all manner of crimes and it’s all good if they are sports people.

  9. Gosman 9

    The aim seems to be to chip away at Ardern’s credibility. In this regard it is similar to the last Labour lead opposition’s attempt to discredit John Key. that didn’t work either.

  10. Puckish Rogue 10

    So it seems to me that politics is a lot like test cricket. Labour is batting and National is bowling. When batting you can bat away as many deliveries/allegations as you like but it only takes one to get through and you’re gone (Clare Curren)

    Clare Curren ran herself out, due to the pressure of the fielding team, in a desire to get to the other end though you could also argue for LBW

    Meka Whaitiri was clean bowled, no referral to the third umpire required

    Iain Lees-Galloway is currently in some trouble due to some quality spin and is looking like its only a matter of time before he’s gone

    Phil Twyford is riding his luck and riding it hard, some quality short pitched bowling yet still making him play more then he’d like and you get the feeling he’s going to try a hook shot one too many times

    Jacinda Ardern (or Kane Williamson) is playing a straight bat to some nagging just short of length deliveries on the off stump. Shes keeping the good balls out but that nagging line might just beginning to wear her down a little.

    Absolute chaos in the National dressing room at the moment but still managing to put some good performances on the field however its very a much an individual rather than team effort, a change in captain may be in order…

  11. BM 11

    Does anyone know what date Ardern received this text?

    Back on November the 7th in an interview with Tracey Watkins she said she only found out about the decision through the media.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/108416607/prime-minister-jacinda-ardern-found-out-about-karel-sroubek-decision-through-the-media

    • Puckish Rogue 11.1

      I’ve been impressed by how well National have been in staying with this, the obviously have some information and, instead of making a big announcement, they’ve teased out what they know and have managed to keep the story alive for longer than it should

      Mind you thats been helped by Jacinda, in that had she released everything she knew this story probably would have died weeks ago

    • shadrach 11.2

      The PM repeated that (“she said she only found out about the decision through the media”) in parliament during QT yesterday.

  12. veutoviper 12

    I roared with laughter yesterday when Woodhouse dramatically announced Richie Hardcore’s name. What a ‘fall flat’ moment!

    For goodness sake, It was quite well known that Hardcore’s name would probably be brought up at some stage by National due to his connections to the kickboxing world – and thus Sroubek. AND those photos of Ardern and Hardcore were being mentioned and recirculated in the early days of the Sroubek deportation issues coming into the public domain a month or so ago.

    Much as Lees-Galloway made it very clear yesterday in Question Time (Q9) that he would not be releasing the identities of those who made representations to immigration NZ on Sroubek, Hardcore’s name had already been mentioned in this regard (whether true or not).

    In addition one or two other people, have also been mentioned as having made representations – In particular, Alex Swney.

    For about a decade, Swney was founder (in 2005?) and head of Auckland’s Heart of the City, the central city business association whose focus is “supporting a successful city centre economy.”

    https://www.hotcity.co.nz/about-us/our-work

    In 2015 Swney was sentenced to five years seven months’ prison for netting $2.5m from submitting false invoices to the association because he felt that he was not being paid enough.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/69645518/heart-of-the-city-founder-alex-swney-sentenced-to-5-years-jail

    [Note this little bit in this article – “He unsuccessfully ran for Auckland mayor in 2007 and was previously a one-time list candidate for the ACT Party.”

    Swney was paroled in 2016 having served 12 months of his sentence. During his time in prison Swney was in the same unit as Sroubek.

    A month ago on 17 November 2018, the Herald – somewhat surprisingly – published an opinion piece written by Swney in which Swney puts forward his opinion of Sroubek having spent 17 hours a day for 12 months in a six person prison unit with him – and the frenzy that has arisen since Lees-Galloway’s first decision on Sroubek’s deportation.

    I hesitate to quote from Swney’s article as I believe it needs to be read in full and it would be easy to misinterpret bits taken out of context. I recommend taking a minute or two to read it in full.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12161233

    Over the last week or so, I have actually done a bit of research (gone down some rabbit holes) that I am not going to reveal other than to say cryptically tends to support looking at this whole case through a different lens along the lines suggested by Swney. Sometimes our initial perceptions, built on perspectives put forward by the media etc, can be wrong or flawed. Sometimes, up might look like down, and who is the skilled/ experienced operator/mastermind and who is the more innocent may be the complete opposite. No, Iike Swney I am not trying to excuse crime especially drug related crime, just saying that sometimes people become the ‘fall guy’ or end up ‘taking one for the team’.

    But my main point in raising the issue of Alex Swney is to note the silence that has prevailed since this article appeared a month ago.

    National has been very intent in trying to prove some form of relationship between Ardern and her Ministers and those supporting Sroubek through representations to Immigration NZ on his possible deportation – but have been completely silent on Swney’s very public representations in the Herald.

    While Swney simply presents a different view of Sroubek’s character from his own experience as noted above and does not really make representations about the deportation issue, why the silence?

    Just speculation on my part, but looking at the period Swney was Head of Heart of the City before being found to have committed fraud, it covers most of the National Party’s nine years in Government.

    In his role during that time, how much contact did Swney have with National MPs and Ministers and how many photo ops etc?

    How much lobbying of people like Key and other Auckland-based Nat Ministers and MPS did Swney do in his position with Heart of the City?

    I would really, really like to see Woodhouse etc be questioned on their contacts with people like Swney along the lines they are trying to apply to Ardern and the current government.

    What is good for the goose etc ….

    On the other hand, I do admire Swney for his willingness to come out publicly as he did in his Herald article, and in his apparent rehabilitation from his own crime, and the work he is now doing towards pushing for prison reform.

    • Puckish Rogue 12.1

      “I roared with laughter yesterday when Woodhouse dramatically announced Richie Hardcore’s name. What a ‘fall flat’ moment!”

      If this is all the information National has then you might be right in laughing however if National has more information then you might be a little premature in your celebrations

      Now there are more questions to ask like when was the text received, was this the only communication between the two and what did the text say

      • veutoviper 12.1.1

        All of this re Hardcore and his relationship to Ardern, his text etc are red herrings, Puck. Little cheap sardines, actually. Whitebait and anchovies are worth a lot more.

        The real clues etc to the whole situation are in NZ company records.

        • Puckish Rogue 12.1.1.1

          Now I’m getting hungry…

          • veutoviper 12.1.1.1.1

            Bit more to snack on here. The main meal has to remain illusive for now.

            National’s Sroubek fizzle

            One more sleep – before you start work?

            • Puckish Rogue 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Ahh I get you, one more month and one day 🙂

              • veutoviper

                Right – was surprised if you were starting this month. But read my other comment. This extremely complex situation has more legs that a centipede.

                PS – and “read between the lines” ! Come on, take off your blinkers and put aside left/right politics. This whole case should not be seen in that context.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Yeah I like it, its like a Jeffery Archer (although thankfully there doesn’t seem to be anything to do with sex)

      • Gabby 12.1.2

        How mitch more does Mark know puckers? He in with the ex, or her new bf?

  13. simbit 13

    Meh. Remember when the VC of Lincoln University was banging an international sports scholarship student? She was wanting help with residency or citizenship or her top spin…

  14. Pete 14

    Paula Bennett, nothing to hide Paula Bennett, is in a desperate situation and will smear and slap and scrap and scratch, and kick.

    When she’s done and dusted, she’ll be remembered for publicly releasing a person’s private information, being told Wintston Peters’ private information before it strangely got to the media, telling Jacinda Ardern to “zip it sweetie” and threatening legal action on someone who was going to release information about her own past.

    Well Sweetie, Paula, the sight of being the woman scorned suits you.

    • veutoviper 14.1

      And why should there not be contacts between Hardcore and Ardern?

      He is a very complex person Mr Hardcore – and a strong advocate against violence towards women including being on the Board of White Ribbon and a public speaker on their behalf. More detail in my comment here

      National’s Sroubek fizzle

      Bennett and Co may well fall flat on their faces in pursuing this connection – particularly at the present time.

    • Gabby 14.2

      Do they do kick punching at truck stops? Or is Pullya too old for the whole kick punching hipster scene?

  15. ankerawshark 15

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12176246

    I guess it comes down to whether you believe her or not. I believe her.

    • Puckish Rogue 15.1

      Would probably help if the PM explained what she meant by read between the lines which is taking on a whole different context now

      • indiana 15.1.1

        …or in the context of joining the dots, because someone has to hold the ‘D’ to be more caring and kinder, to make a captain’s call, with absolute transparency, to see that “best interests” are held up, with information that was only available at the time, or hear it from the media first because its never discussed in caucus, because when the rubber hits the road, we need keep hope alive, to simply “do this”…

  16. DJ Ward 16

    How did this random guy have her personnel phone number?

    Was it for lawnmower purchases?

    • Puckish Rogue 16.1

      I’m going to bust myself here but I have no idea what lawnmower references

    • ankerawshark 16.2

      If you read the article DJ it says that Hardcore is an anti violence /social justice campaigner and that a number of MPs know him.

      How he got her phone number. Gee I don’t know. It maybe that he had it as part of his anti violence work or that someone who knew JA well gave it too him.

      I would have no idea how hard or easy it is to get her number.

    • veutoviper 16.3

      You obviously don’t know that Hardcore is an advocate against violence towards women and is on the board of White Ribbon and a speaker for them.

      Here is more detail I provided up the page

      National’s Sroubek fizzle

      And if your lawnmower reference is what I think it is, you are disgusting.

      Edit – Snap but will leave as my link has more info.

    • DJ Ward 16.4

      I have been asked to remove the Lawnmower reference.

      My understanding of the Lawnmower reference is from what was discussed on Kiwiblog. I don’t have any clue if what was claimed is true but since the cliams were not being removed, because they were clearly well past defamatory I assumed they had substance. If they are wrong I apologise. I would edit or remove my comment if I could, but don’t know how.

      Molly, your repeatedly making defamatory comments towards me. I have no clue at all what your referring to in regards to this comment being a reference to a sex crime. My only knowledge of that reference was from Kiwblog and that has nothing to do with sex.

      Anne. Your understanding of the word referenced is wrong. Compared to my use.

      You think I’m supposed to be impressed by White Ribbon. I guess since everything else in the world revolves around ignoring completely the things women do, I should be impressed.

      Lighten up people. That was a bit over the top.

      • joe90 16.4.1

        The claim was made a few days ago and promptly removed by the gimp.

      • te reo putake 16.4.2

        I went over to Farrars place and had a look. Lawn mower pops up a bit, though I would have thought you’d realise that’s its bollocks. TS is a very different place to Kiwiblog, so please don’t bring that inane shit here. it’s not welcome.

        (For puzzled readers, DPF is allowing his commenters to fantasize about a supposed link between Sroubek and the PM’s partner. The implication is that Clarke was on the periphery of the drug scene and lawn mower was a super sophisticated code word for the devil’s dandruff.

        This will shock some readers, but some people in the media world do drugs. Clarke works in the media. Therefore Clarke must do drugs. Logic, innit? )

      • Molly 16.4.3

        “Molly, your repeatedly making defamatory comments towards me. “
        Link to comments. I have always responded to you without defamation or accusations.

        I asked for this to be looked into if what vv suggested was true, then it should have been removed. TRP has dealt with it and I’m good with that.

      • McFlock 16.4.4

        My understanding of the Lawnmower reference is from what was discussed on Kiwiblog. I don’t have any clue if what was claimed is true but since the cliams were not being removed, because they were clearly well past defamatory I assumed they had substance.

        And that right there is why the nats are persisting with this Sroubek squib: 80% will recognise it as bullshit, but 20% are morons who assume that just because the pricks stuck with it, it must have something in it. If they back off, everyone will know the “opposition” is a waste of space.

    • Macro 16.5

      That is an extremely vile smear – any one who indulges in that sort of nastiness doesn’t deserve to comment here – you should withdraw that comment and apologise.

  17. ianmac 17

    Amazingly Bridges and Woodhouse have just wasted all their QT questions on hopeless dredging for something/anything on Richie Hardcore. Jawdroppingly petty.

    • taxicab 17.1

      I think the question that should now be asked is given that questions such as this in the house are made with the questioner already knowing the answer and since it involves a “text message” how could the questioner even know of such a text ? It implies that dirty politics participants have access to either Richie Hardcore or Jacinda Arderns text messages . I think someone should be calling the GCSB to investigate forthwith !

    • Pete 17.2

      They decided on their game plan. They’re sticking to it. They decided they were going to play it tight, straight up the guts, no more than one pass. Hopefully it would be a wet mucky field. But the field isn’t what they expected. Undeterred they’re sticking to their game plan.

      And today they stuck to it again. Trouble isn’t that the conditions are different than they wanted. Trouble isn’t that they chose the wrong game plan. Trouble isn’t that they’re sticking to the game plan.

      Trouble for them is they trying to play rugby or some such and the game is badminton or tennis or bridge.

      Losers looking like losers.

  18. veutoviper 18

    Further upstream I have provided quite a lot of information on Richie Hardcore, and why there are very good reasons why Ardern (and many other MPs etc) may know and be in touch with him – regardless of his knowing Sroubek.

    This comment below is one of several comments I have made today.

    National’s Sroubek fizzle

    As mentioned, Richie Hardcore is a member of the Board of White Ribbon NZ which is an organisation fo men working to change male attitudes and behaviour to stop violence towards women. Hardcore is one of many ambassadors for White Ribbon and he is an active speaker for them in the fight against violence.

    Here is a link to the White Ribbon NZ website. It is interesting that the list of White Ribbon Ambassadors includes quite a number of current MPs on both sides of the House – eg Andrew Little, Mark Mitchell – and many other men in positions of prominence.

    https://whiteribbon.org.nz/

    And here is a link to what comes up if you search the site for Richie Hardcore, including his involvement in the current vigils for Grace Millane.

    https://whiteribbon.org.nz/?s=Richie+Hardcore

    As Ianmac has said at 17, Bridges was actually present in the House this afternoon – a Thursday when he is usually absent – and he and Woodhouse yet again wasted two questions on continuing to dredge for replies to make the text from Hardcore to Ardern look like representations from a sinister character to influence a Minister’s decision etc.

    They duly made little headway and quite frankly, yet again Peters had a great time making Bridges look like an ignorant idiot – or as Peters said a “Philadelphia lawyer” but not in the complimentary definition of that term.

    https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Philadelphia+Lawyer

    Bridges is really desperate to get a hit, but more and more his colleagues seem to look down while he is speaking ….

    • taxicab 18.1

      And the real fizzer for them was when Woodlouse got the answer to his direct question to Lees Galloway regarding a representation from Hardcore that in fact no such representation exists . In short this whole longbow is about to snap on the archer Woodlouse as maybe the media will follow up and ask why Woodlouse didn’t deport Sroubek when he had the chance as mentioned in a comment above https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10861491

    • Cinny 18.2

      VV, are you saying that mark mitchell probably knows Richie Hardcore?

      Wonder if they text ?

      Maybe mitchell does, but Hardcore ignores the little emoji hearts he’s sending.

      Maybe that’s the whole issue with it all, someone’s feeling a bit left out. Awww’s poor mark.

      Lmao !!!

    • Rosemary McDonald 18.3

      White Ribbon?

      This…/john-key-the-white-ribbon-ambassador/…. White Ribbon?

      ” But White Ribbon New Zealand did not think the stunt was trivial, stating that male rape is horrific.

      “It was an awful exercise in bad taste and helped to perpetuate violence by normalising and trivialising it,” the White Ribbon Trust said in a statement on Sunday.

      “We understand that some people won’t see it that way, it will be in their eyes just a joke. We however do not agree.”

      White Ribbon reached out to the prime minister and were told he had no idea what he was about to be involved in. Key also did not understand the rape reference.

      “We take the Prime Minister at his word.” ”

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/75247759/null (trigger warning!!! contains disturbing images)

      White Ribbon should have kicked this serial harasser to touch, instead they ‘took him at his word.’

      This organisation lost all credibility….

  19. Anne 19

    This aspect may have already been covered but I can’t be bothered plowing through 100 comments:

    Why hasn’t this individual, Richie Hardcore come forward and put the record straight?

    He sends a text after the initial decision and expresses his appreciation. What the hell is wrong with that? It happens all the time. I’ve sent the odd message of congratulations in the past to politicians when they have done something of which I approve.

    Many people will message the PM instead of the appropriate cabinet minister, especially if they have had previous interactions with them in the past and prefer to respond to someone they know.

    Are the Nats so incensed at losing last year they’ve gone off their collective rocker?

    • Kat 19.1

      “Are the Nats so incensed at losing last year they’ve gone off their collective rocker?

      Yes Anne……. they are drowning in their own tears.

    • Chris T 19.2

      Interesting

      How many people exactly have her mobile phone number?

      • Anne 19.2.1

        She’s been in parliament since 2008. 10 years. I’m picking quite a few thousand have her phone number.

        He’s an anti-violence campaigner. Fits in well with her past shadow portfolios. He also knows her partner. Not surprising he acquired her mobile no. at some stage.

        And what’s that got to do with the price of fish? Some “dirty political” idiotic conspiracy meme that has been desperately plucked out of thin air?

        Bridges is a dick. And so it would seem are you.

      • mpledger 19.2.2

        Google did some work on connections between texters and there is something like an average of 6.4 degrees of separation between people in the USA. I would say in NZ it would be even closer … and for important people even closer still … not the least because people would be willing to trade cell phone numbers for favours.

    • ScottGN 19.3

      He has Anne. He said his contact with the PM occurred after the the decision was made and he didn’t get any response from her.

  20. georgecom 20

    A bit of irony that, Bridges having a go at Ardern for not fully disclosing txts.

    Have you found the $100,000 yet Simon?

  21. Ian 21

    Hard core corruption. This doesn’t look like it’s going away in a hurry. I just watched Winston Peters answer all the questions today on behalf of Jacinda. Jones needs to wipe the smirk off because I suspect he is next. Can I have Jacindas phone number please as I have an employee who has been waiting to get NZ residency for 9 years.

    • ianmac 21.1

      The real reason that the Opposition are labouring on with this nonsense is that they have found nothing better. No serious errors and no drawers full of Coalition offences.

      • Kat 21.1.1

        Tonight from Tracy Watkins:

        “But there is a determined whispering campaign underway that suggests National is far from ready to give up on the case against Ardern yet”

        What else can the National opposition do over the next nine years in opposition but attack the PM, unfortunately for them they have become utterly irrelevant……the phone is off the hook.

        Advice to Simon Bridges, instead of looking for a non existent smoking gun, maybe try smoking some “loose leaf”….and beat those drums instead.

        • Sacha 21.1.1.1

          “But there is a determined whispering campaign underway”
          – which as a trusted churnalist I have no choice but to amplify.

          What a hack.

      • Ian 21.1.2

        Sorry mate. I judge people by the company they keep. Jacinda has a very poor judgement when it comes to choosing friends.

        • ScottGN 21.1.2.1

          Why? Are you suggesting Mr Hardcore has done something wrong?

          • Ian 21.1.2.1.1

            You have got to be kidding . Google Richie hardcore.Are you suggesting Mr Hardcore has NEVER done anything wrong ?

            • joe90 21.1.2.1.1.1

              Do tell…

            • Pete 21.1.2.1.1.2

              So you’ve judged Ms Arden because of the company she keeps which you have implied is shady.

              Tell us why we should believe the wrong Hardcore has done according to you, is anywhere near as bad as the wrong you have done.

              Thing is you seem to be smearing him in an effort to smear the PM. He’s an ordinary person who’s main mistake in life could be to know the Prime Minister and contact her.

              When Simon Bridges is dumped people will look back on his notable contribution as leader. I’ll be the triumph of the Sroubek thing. Serious politicos on that side of the fence will be shaking their heads and be asking “what the hell was that all about? He had a chance to make his mark but the only one was the one inside his undies.”

          • Muttonbird 21.1.2.1.2

            I suspect in the eyes of right-wing whack-jobs, Richie Hardcore’s social advocacy work is a greater crime than Sroubek’s drug trafficking.

        • Ffloyd 21.1.2.2

          I’m sure our Prime Minister will be gutted to hear that you are disappointed in her poor judgement of people.

          Who are you again? Ian? Ian who? Oh. Just a nobody making random irrelevant statements about someone he does not personally know. Sad.

  22. ScottGN 22

    The timing is really rubbish for National, regardless of the substance (if there is any) of their claims. 2 weeks before xmas and summer kicking in.

    • Ian 22.1

      Your right . Jacinda may get a bit of breathing space because of the summer break. The facts will be the same when she gets back in the hotseat.

      • mpledger 22.1.1

        What facts?

        That the PM got a text message from a citizen congratulating her on a govt decision.

        • Puckish Rogue 22.1.1.1

          Or that someone the PM knows personally congratulating her on a govt decision to give residency to his friend, his friend the convicted criminal

          • Grumpy 22.1.1.1.1

            One of the unanswered questions that I think very important is why a supposed anti drug campaigner like Hardcore would be texting the PM about his delight that she has allowed a convicted drug importer and distributor to gain residency?
            Methinks Mr Hardcore and his associates need a closer look…..

            • Puckish Rogue 22.1.1.1.1.1

              In my (always) humble opinion what I think happened is that ILG got fooled by Karel, fooled plain and simple. ILG believed Karel and didn’t spend nearly enough time looking at the file.

              ILG probably told the PM that Karels life was in danger so he had to grant residency which also explains why the PM said to the public to read between the lines

              Richie Hardcore is probably Karels mate and probably thought nothing of texting the PM when he learned Karel was getting residency

              So this whole debacle gain be laid at one persons feet and that isn’t the PM (shes been made to look a fool so ILG will probably get demoted at some time in the future and rightfully so), it certainly isn’t immigration and its not Richies fault

              Ian Lees Galloway is solely to blame for this whole mess, in my always humble opinion

  23. infused 23

    Because there will be more to it. You don’t just randomly txt someone like that.

    • Ian 23.1

      soimon can probably put the cap on this one for a while. Shane jones giving our money to his mates will be a lot harder to hide from the voters. Buy shares in that goldmine.

    • Gabby 23.2

      And then share it with Woodlouse and co., apparently.

    • Pete 23.3

      Random acts of contact and kindness are beyond the ken of some. They live in a world where everything is done in some order, everything is pre-ordained, and done according to some recipe.

      What I’m getting at is YOU don’t randomly text someone like that. Like you haven’t over the years seen something and emailed the Speaker of the House about the laugh. Or sent your mother a cartoon with just that in the envelope. Or sent a letter with drawings and cartoons on it to give the delivering postie a laugh. Or written to someone in the news you’ve never met to tell them how great they are or how well they did and how it inspired you. Someone contacts the PM to apparently say they’re pleased about something and some are for calling out the GCSB, SIS, FBI,CIA. And probably RSA.

      At least you didn’t bring out the classic; “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

  24. Fireblade 24

    Did you know there is a secret pagan church under the Beehive, where MP’s pay homage to the Rothschilds and sacrifice newborns to satisfy the dark lord. This is real folks, not just some made up conspiracy.

    • Ian 24.1

      Helen clarke would have buried the newborns,paid off with the required hail marys and continued on her way. Her student is not following the script. Jacinda scaredy pants has to pay winston ,the dark lord protection money and the payback for that will never be enough.

  25. DJ Ward 25

    I have read what you guys are saying is going on. I don’t think what you guys are thinking.

    I call what National is doing as ticking boxes.
    Prosecutors will sometimes use this method.

    So what we are seeing from National is one event after another they present it and attack with it. There is however no intent to prove those events mean anything. Hence the title of this post, Fizzle. Its about creating a platform of knowledge.

    That in my mind is because they have a key piece of information that on its own would also be a Fizzle. Because the audience doesn’t have the information to put everything else together. So the key to the puzzle.

    I don’t know what that key is or the final accusation is. I can guess, but I wont.

    So what are the events.

    Shoubek is arrested.
    As part of the investigation his communications are monitored.
    JAs partner is one of those texts, implying a purchase of an illegal substance.
    Someone makes a complaint about him.
    Nothing to see here from the police.
    The residency is granted.
    JA is thanked by a friend of Shoubek.
    National starts its box ticking.
    It releases information about the text, but not in parliament. That’s the power play. letting the target know they know.
    Its always focusing back on JA.
    Its methodically providing the puzzle pieces, and putting them on record as well as trying to force comments in response. The trap.

    Now I don’t know what the end game is, but you don’t do box ticking unless you have the key to the puzzle. I simply don’t think National is that stupid not to have an end game to all this effort.

    Its also clear that someone has information about this case acting behind the scenes, hence Nationals ability to pick out behind the scenes stuff, that shouldn’t have become knowledge.

    Never ever, ever underestimate your enemy when they engage in box ticking.

    Or Simon is the biggest idiot ever to lead National.

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