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Nats lying over firing Aroha’s mum?

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, February 8th, 2010 - 30 comments
Categories: brand key, national, scoundrels - Tags: ,

A great piece of investigative journalism from Julie Fairey at the Hand Mirror. She read the article in the Herald yesterday about how Aroha and her mum Joan Nathan had been cynically used for the building of Brand Key, only to be abandoned by National and Key after the election, and something about National’s excuses didn’t strike her as right. Here’s the relevant passage from the Herald:

Jackie Blue said Nathan worked 10 hours a week doing administration for Mt Roskill office up until the 2008 election.

She wasn’t re-employed because Blue merged her office with Lotu-Iiga, and didn’t need to rehire staff.

Blue said she had tried to keep in touch, but Nathan’s phone had been disconnected.

Julie writes:

I am a little confused by the idea that Jackie Blue (List MP, office in Mt Roskill) and Sam Lotu-Iiga (Electorate MP for Maungakiekie, office in Onehunga) have merged their offices. So confused was I that, seeing as how I was going to Onehunga today anyway, I decided to drive by and check.

And indeed here is Lotu-Iiga’s office on the Onehunga Mall, where it’s been since not long after the election (remember, he was a new MP in the 2008 in-take).

While here we have Jackie Blue’s office on Dominion Rd…

…Clearly they haven’t merged offices. They still both maintain separate offices, with no reference to each other on their shopfronts. I wonder if Parliamentary Services thinks they have merged? My guess would be no.

And as for the last part of that quote from the Herald – Blue’s difficulty getting hold of Nathan because they don’t have a phone line anymore. Blue is Mt Roskill-based right? She has contested the seat here for two elections. She puts about that she is a local MP. Perhaps she doesn’t know where Nathan lives? Oh, wait…

On that last part, apparently, Blue used to be Aroha and Nathan’s GP, which makes this whole thing from even more transparently a cynical exercise in exploitation by National.

30 comments on “Nats lying over firing Aroha’s mum? ”

  1. Wouldn’t quite label it “investigative journalism”, but thanks for the spotlight 🙂

    Perhaps I was a little subtle with the last bit – I was referring to the fact that this whole thing started originally because National’s team identified a street in Owairaka for Key to visit (probably mistakenly thinking that Owairaka was in Helen Clark’s Mt Albert electorate) which is how he met Aroha to start with. So they must surely know where the family lives.

    • Michael Foxglove 1.1

      Great stuff Julie.

      I wonder how the whole arrangement ties in with the fact that Dr Blue is a list MP and Lotu-liga an electorate MP. Perhaps an issue for someone with access to Parliament to investigate further?

  2. Pat 2

    Is it necessary to post the girl’s name?

    [lprent: good point. Ah I see Michael has already fixed it. ]

    • snoozer 2.1

      Pat. Who’s Joan Nathan without the context?

      I don’t think you can accuse the standard of exploiting Aroha here. It was your mates in National who thrust her into the limelight for their purposes and then abandoned her.

      • Lew 2.1.1

        Isn’t it important that her exploitation doesn’t continue?

        L

        • snoozer 2.1.1.1

          who’s exploiting? as far as I can see her name is only mentioned so that people know who Joan Nathan is.

          • Lew 2.1.1.1.1

            I tend to think that any use of a teenager’s identity for political purposes is exploitation. That Key and Blue started it doesn’t give anyone a license to continue; in fact, people who want to set themselves apart from the Nats would be well advised to leave the initial exploitee and her family out of it as much as possible.

            Anyway, it’s done now. That’s good.

            L

            • snoozer 2.1.1.1.1.1

              how could this story have been written without refering to Aroha?

              As far as I can see they have left her out as much as possible. The focus is on National’s lies but those lies are about their actions concerning specific individuals that National made public figures.

              • Pat

                “how could this story have been written without refering to XXXX?”

                Oh goodie. I remember these sorts of questions from School. My suggestions:
                a) Don’t put her name in the title.
                b) Don’t mention her name in the post.
                c) Don’t put up a picture of her.
                d) Don’t coin the prhase “the exploitation of XXXX”
                e) Since the whole story is about the mother, and her interview with the Herald, use the mother’s name instead. It won’t change the theme or thrust of the post.

                And since the Herald story suggests the girl is not enjoying the attention, that would be my justification for the above.

              • Lew

                Yes, I agree — as little as possible. I don’t think she/they can be left out entirely, and I don’t think they should. All I’m saying is that reasonable people should avoid the temptation to milk this for all it’s worth and damn the consequences to a girl who still has to go to school and a mother looking for another job.

                L

    • Michael Foxglove 2.2

      I have taken out her surname… I think Pat makes a good point. Hope Marty doesn’t mind.

      • Pat 2.2.1

        Only the surname? I was wondering why her name was at all necessary to make the point in the post.

        Given that kids are whiz-bang experts at google and facebook, she will probably know all about the post tonight once her classmates are home from school.

        • Pat 2.2.1.1

          Too late it seems. Another post is up with her name and even a picture.

          Maybe I am being a pedant.

          [lprent: Talk to John Key. Essentially he made her part of the story, which we weren’t happy about at the time. Best we can do is keep the surname out at present. I know it is embarrassing for both her and Key, but that relationship is the story. Even linking to the story in the news at the time will bring up her full name and the photos. ]

          • Bright Red 2.2.1.1.1

            I really don’t see what the problem is. Did you write angry letters to the Herald too?

            • Bright Red 2.2.1.1.1.1

              I mean we all know her name and what she looks like. Her mum was happy enough to talk to the paper just yesterday. And the post doesn’t focus on her, it’s just context for the real issue of National Mps making stuff up.

          • Pat 2.2.1.1.2

            You have a great opportunity to seize the moral high ground. Why cede part of it?

            [lprent: Why should we follow that much of a higher moral standard than the Prime Minister of New Zealand (or the slavish media that drooled over the PR at Waitangi). I’m aware that he’d prefer the story to be shut down as it raises questions he’d prefer not to answer, and your point is exactly the one he is likely to take.

            Perhaps you’d ask John Key why he wanted to make her part of a major news story in the first place. I’ll look forward to writing on your campaign to castigate John Key. ]

            • Lew 2.2.1.1.2.1

              Lynn,

              Why should we follow that much of a higher moral standard than the Prime Minister of New Zealand (or the slavish media that drooled over the PR at Waitangi)

              Because you (collective) so often claim that you’re better than them.

              L

              [lprent: Actually I suspect that you’d have a great deal of difficulty backing up that claim with any actual links of claims by authors on the standards of The Standard. It is one of the things that we try not to do between authors – which is why you sometimes get disagreements between posts.

              If you think about the dynamics of a cooperative multi-author blog for a few minutes (and I’m sure you have), you’d understand the difficulty of trying to enforce a standard (let alone a moral standard) with a group as diverse as the authors here. The standards that we do agree with are roughly listed in the about or the policy, and as interpreted by the moderators. I add them whenever we get a strong enough agreement.

              The authors spend a great deal of time dissecting other peoples standards, but seldom discuss their own. You might be able to find individual authors that have done that at various times, but that is their individual choice (I’m thinking about rocky explaining why she protests). Their choices may or may not be those of other authors. But you can bet that at least one other author has reservations about any particular post that expresses a strong opinion (in my case it is about 40% of the posts I disagree with in part or whole).

              I think that you have a perceptual gap derived from the site name. But that site name is related to looking at the standards of those we write about. ]

            • Bright Red 2.2.1.1.2.2

              Pat and Lew, I think the air must be thin up on your high horses.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    As a list MP Blue gets an office ( where she likes) and its common for list MPs to share offices with each other or an electorate MP.
    An electorate MP gets a better staffed office in his electorate.
    Maybe Blues office is unstaffed, ie a ‘front’

    Strangely . the office locations used to be available in the white pages , but some only give a PO box. like Rodney Hide doesnt want somebody to find him?

    • Mr Magoo 3.1

      Not really. Although his secret trust’s bank account details are probably on every flier for donations…

    • I agree it is common for List MPs to share. Take the Labour North office in Northcote which iirc covers three list MPs based on the North Shore. But in that case it’s really clear they are sharing, and that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

      As I said in my post, it is possible that they did merge the admin work. But the Herald article says they merged offices, and that’s clearly not true.

  4. If this lady is looking for admin work she should contact, Adecco, Drake, DKW, Hudson etc etc, they are always hiring.

    • Bright Red 4.1

      Not the point, Brett.

      This is about the inconsistancy of Jackie Blue’s story.

    • Also, there actually isn’t necessarily that much temping work out there at the moment. My observations of admin temping work is that you need to have your own car, sufficient money for petrol, a good office wear wardrobe, and you also need to have pieces of paper that can prove your aptitude with a variety of office computing programmes. It’s quite a high bar to reach for some.

  5. the sprout 5

    “…apparently, Blue used to be Aroha and Nathan’s GP”

    Blue was the GP for Joan Nathan and her mother

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10422619

  6. T 6

    Would the message of this post have really be that impaired by replacing ‘Aroha’ with ‘a/the [14 year-old] girl’? And leaving out the picture?

    • There is no picture of any person with this post, just two offices?

    • Bright Red 6.2

      for gods sake, T. Write to the Herald and complain. Or write to Joan Nathan and complain about her giving an interview.

      Her name is in the public arena and it is only mentioned here to give us readers context for what we’re about to read.

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