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No charge

Written By: - Date published: 3:03 pm, June 8th, 2011 - 86 comments
Categories: police - Tags:

Darren Hughes will not be charged.

“After this careful consideration, the allegations do not reach the evidential threshold required to bring charges. As a result, no charges will be brought against Mr Hughes.”

“Some media outlets received an anonymous letter about Mr Hughes whilst Police were investigating this complaint. I can confirm those allegations contained in the letter have been investigated and there were no matters which arose that required police attention.”

“It would be inappropriate for me to comment further on this matter, given the investigation has now been completed and Mr Hughes is not facing any charges. I am also mindful of respecting the privacy of the individuals concerned.”

Obviously we’re unlikely to get much more information unless it comes from one of the participants. That is likely to be constrained in nature unless it winds up with a case in civil court at some level.

The key phrase is “…the allegations do not reach the evidential threshold required to bring charges.”. What this means is that the police did not think that they could win a case in court for any of the allegations. Now I’m sure that isn’t going to stop some of the hysterics in the blogosphere from rabbiting on (Whaleoil with his well known contempt for the legal system comes to mind). But they are usually less interested in the facts than the police usually have to be – most of the time they won’t get a judge looking at what they are saying.

86 comments on “No charge ”

  1. Mike Johnson 1

    So, that fabricator of “news”, Jonathan Marshall, still has his job while the innocent Darren Hughes has lost everything.

    I wonder what the egregious Marshall will fabricate to wriggle out of this one?

    This will drive the Kiwiblog Troll Farm, Cathy Odgers and the Whale into an orgy of abuse and fury. It will be a delight to watch. I’m heading there now. 🙂

  2. adriank 2

    Glad to hear he has not been charged, after all he has already been ‘punished’ for anything he may or may not have done by losing his career.

    Hope you land on your feet, Dazza.

    • Dan 2.1

      No, that’s not how justice works. If he had been found guilty by a court, he would have been sentenced.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Best wishes to Darren Hughes.

  4. There are no winners (Hughes and the 18 year old). I hope that this does not over shadow their life any more than it has to. More is yet to be played out for the both of them as a result of public opinion.

    • PeteG 4.1

      There are only losses – both parties have lost out of this, and they both may feel hard done by, and both may have some justification for that, but we’ll probably never know.

      Also Labour and Parliament have, according to reliable commentators, lost an MP that had shown a lot of promise. He could return but it’s been a major setback at least.

      Presumably it’s too late for any possibility of a list placement?

  5. Jared 5

    Richard Worth wasn’t charged either, “Police said today that there was no basis for charges to be laid.” http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3104339/No-charges-against-Richard-Worth

    So if Darren Hughes had nothing to hide, then why resign? And why continue the rabbid hunt against Richard Worth if you consider Darren Hughes innocent in an almost identical case?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Don’t be so obviously naive, Darren had to resign because there was no way he could carry out his job effectively with the publicity and the police investigation ongoing for weeks/months.

      BTW what inside info do you have which says that the cases between Worth and Hughes are “almost identical”?

      Or are you just making shit up?

      • NickC 5.1.1

        “Darren had to resign because there was no way he could carry out his job effectively with the publicity and the police investigation”

        Same with Richard – no?

      • Pascal's bookie 5.1.2

        Or are you just making shit up?

        He’s just ignoring the other case that was all over Worth. The one where Worth promised the PMs staff that if it ever became public he would produce both an affidavit denying it, and defamation cases. When it did become public Worth failed to deliver on those promises and coincidentally lost the confidence of the PM, who still refuses to explain why he lost that confidence.

        Apparently Worth’s actions were unspeakable.

      • Jared 5.1.3

        The circumstances are almost identical.
        – Allegations of a sexual nature
        – Resigned, not fired
        – Police Investigation resulting in police unable to find grounds to charge

        Richard Worth was not fired, he resigned, just like Hughes.
        Im struggling to find differences between the two.

        • Colonial Viper

          Im struggling to find differences between the two.

          That’s because you know nothing about the specifics of the cases.

          • Jared

            If there was a case to answer, Richard Worth would have been charged. After a Police Investigation it was determined that there was no basis for charges to be laid. That is fairly clear cut to me. I don’t need to know the specifics of the case, that is for the police, and their actions were quite clear, no charges.

            How is it after Hughes is cleared of wrongdoing by no charges being laid he is considered “innocent”, yet when Worth is cleared of wrongdoing by no charges being laid he isn’t innocent?

            • Pascal's bookie

              Firstly, who is saying ‘innocent’? Quotes plz.

              Secondly, Key said that he lost confidence in Worth over something that was unrelated to the police investigation. That loss of confidence was what triggered the ‘resignation’.

              3rdly, that you don’t know this is why people are saying you don’t know the specifics.

              • well i do have inside information and i can tell you that despite exhortations from police, worth was not charged because his victim refused to press charges.

    • Swampy 5.2

      No need for him to resign from Parliament.

  6. Mike Johnson 6

    How is it after Hughes is cleared of wrongdoing by no charges being laid he is considered “innocent”, yet when Worth is cleared of wrongdoing by no charges being laid he isn’t innocent?

    It’s simply the competition for ideas.

    Over on Kiwiblog, 90pc of posters are saying Hughes is guilty, and worse.

    Over here, 90 per cent are saying Hughes is innocent.

    Pop over there Jared and you’ll be right at home.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    It would be a wonderful gesture if Labour’s Otaki candidate stood aside for Darren now.

    On current polling, National (Nathan Guy) would keep the seat, but if Hughes asked the voters for their verdict (without a list safety net) I expect the result would show that the people – unlike the media and self-appointed “commentators” – have a much less hysterical view of flawed human beings. The swing would probably be no different from anywhere else in the country, and Hughes might even get a sympathy vote.

    Maybe not enough to win it, but better to let the voters decide than to let careers in public life be destroyed, by mere gossip and feeble leadership.

  8. bobo 8

    He lost his profession and his name although cleared will always be tainted with this allegation. He has paid a high price. Best wishes to him rebuilding his life and future possible career in what ever.

  9. Tom Gould 9

    Let’s be clear, the police are not proceeding with charges because they do not have a case. In other words, after months of painstaking investigation, they cannot advance a case on the evidence that would convince an independent judge or an independent jury of Hughes’ peers. However, under trial by media, he is charged, tried and convicted, and sentenced to loss of job and career, and to unbearable humiliation, that will continue every time his name is mentioned in the media. A sort on on-going trial by media, forever. Interesting to see that these little tin god quasi-judicial media clowns are now desperately trying to deflect from their own unaccountable corruption. Perhaps it is way overdue, as Simon Power suggests, for the Press Council to be disbanded and a genuinely independent body with real teeth established to provide their victims with some genuine justice?

  10. sean maitland 10

    If it was just some hanky panky that the youth suddenly freaked out about, then this really does suck (the outcome for Hughes that is). Its a good reminder that public figures basically need to live the lives of saints because the courts of public opinion are holier than thou and impossible to escape from. Its all pretty archaic, and no better than what happened with mobs thousands of years ago probably.

    I find it hard to believe that if Hughes actually did something wrong, the police couldn’t prove it. More likely is the youth was pissed and suddenly panicked about the situation he was in and chose to do a runner.

  11. Chris 11

    Lets play devils advocate.
    So what really happened that night ? a naked man running screaming early in the morning ? why ? why was Hughes with a much younger man naked ? What were they up to ? Was it a ‘coerced’ homosexual relationship ? Were drugs or alcohol involved ? Was the ‘victim’ in a state to make sound judgments ? Was he taken ‘advantage’ of at any stage ? Plus ‘allegations do not reach the evidential threshold’ so there is ‘some’ evidence – what ? What were Hughes previous ‘allegations’ about ? Was there a cover up then ? What were Kings and Goffs ‘real’ involment in this affair ?
    More questions then answers – until the ‘real truth’ is out Hughes is tainted goods. He already is and will be as one has to question his ‘boundaries’ and judgment esp. as a high profile MP person serving the country. This does not even cover Goff’s mishandling of the whole affair either.
    Personally I don’t give a toss and good luck to him esp. if there is no ‘victim’ but politics is all about perception and these are the questions inquisitive people will LOVE to ask.

    • Sam 11.1

      It seems obvious “something” happened.
      That there was not enough evidence for a criminal prosecution is also evident.
      It may not even have been a criminal act anyway, as the other person involved was above the age of consent.
      That this person supposedly ran naked through the street near Annette King’s house may or may not necessarily have been Hughes’ fault.
      However, the whole issue was handled badly by all involved, especially Goff.
      Hughes’ sexuality has never been an issue outside of the confines of Wellington, he was just a well liked young and upcoming politician with PM potential written all over him.
      Now he has been outed as one of Labour’s “Gaggle of Gays”, he will find it increasingly more and more difficult to return to parliament.
      Labour, in order to survive, will need to become more encompassing of mainstream NZ and dump this fascination with all things homosexual and Hughes is now a liability in that regard.
      He is “damaged goods”.
      The big winner in all of this is the Green party, who will soon overtake Labour as the main force on the left side of politics.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Meh, you win the award for the number of crosby textor memes you fat into one paragraph.

        Thanks for making it clear that National are shit scared.

        • Sam

          You are attacking the messenger instead of reading the constructive critiscism that my post contained.
          I am talking about those of us who are in the mainstream of NZ – Damian O’Connor (a Labour MP) coined the phrase “Gaggle of Gays”, it was not made by any right wing blogger or activist.
          And yes – Hughes is now part of that gaggle, whether you are he like it or not and yes – he was seen by a lot of people as PM material, myself included.
          And yes – the Greens are rapidly becoming more mainstream, whether you like it or not.
          Russell Norman talks good economic sense at times, better than David Cunliffe and Bill English combined.
          Labour is rapidly becoming irrelevant, it does no longer represent working class NZers. It is a party of trendy intelllectuals, failed school teachers and third rate lawyers.
          Sticking your head in the sand over that is not my problem, it is yours and Labour’s.

          • Pascal's bookie

            So what exactly is the ‘constructive criticism’ that you want people to engage with sam.

            Looks like “no poofters” to me.

            If it isn’t, then explain what this means:

            Hughes’ sexuality has never been an issue outside of the confines of Wellington, he was just a well liked young and upcoming politician with PM potential written all over him.
            Now he has been outed as one of Labour’s “Gaggle of Gays”, he will find it increasingly more and more difficult to return to parliament.
            Labour, in order to survive, will need to become more encompassing of mainstream NZ and dump this fascination with all things homosexual and Hughes is now a liability in that regard.
            He is “damaged goods”.

            That, to me, reads as you saying that you thought Hughes was leadership material until you decided he was gay, at which point he became unacceptable.

      • Treetop 11.1.2

        Sam in reply to: However the whole issue was handled badly by all involved, especially Goff.

        The question I have for the current minister of police is: Was the minister of police informed by the commissioner of police that a complaint had been made to police about Mr Hughes?

        If not, then why should Mr Goff and Mrs King have to take the can for Mr Hughes not being stood down when the incident was first known to Goff and King?

        Prime Minister John Key, “These personal issues are never great when they playout in the public domain but look, in the end it’s something for him and Mr Goff to resolve.”

        “Police minister Judith Collins said she was not debriefed in her role about the complaint.”

        Mr Goff, “… It’s for the police to make a decision as to whether there’s any substance to the complaint and then to act accordingly.”


        With Colin Moyle on 19 June 1975 the commissioner of police (Burnside) informed the then minister of police (Connelly) about the June 17 1975 incident involving a 21 year old undercover cop. No charge was laid.

        With Gerald O’ Brien in mid June 1976 the then commissioner of police (Burnside) informed the minister of police (Mc Cready) about an assault incident in a Christchurch motel. No conviction.

        Should Broad have informed Collins about the Hughes complaint?

        What is Goff going to say on his return?

        Were I him (Goff) I would come out and say that the commissioner of police is responsible for the administration of the police and the enforcement of the law.

        My conclusion is that the minor players are the problem, just like what happened with Colin Moyle, the untold story…

    • felix 11.2

      Chris that’s not “playing devil’s advocate”, it’s just a list of questions to which you know none of the answers.

      Do you think the police, with all of the resources and legal powers they have, are just too stupid to have considered those same questions during their months of investigation?

      WTF do you think they’ve been trying to find out exactly?

  12. chris73 12

    This doesn’t state that Hughes is innocent which means he’ll be (unfairly) considered by some to have “got off” especially when its remembered the public statements by labour MPs about how the investigation is going

    Far better (for Darren) that the case had gone to trial so the evidence (or lack of) could have been known so the public could make their own minds up

    On another note isn’t it interesting what a good mate Paul Henry is

    • Daveosaurus 12.1

      Even if the allegations were proven categorically to be false, it wouldn’t stop the nutbars from repeating them constantly. Just look what happened with David Parker: the allegations against him were repeated regularly by the usual lunatic fringe for some time after documents were released which proved them to be complete and utter fabrications.

      • chris73 12.1.1

        Yes agreed like Richard Worth

        • felix

          You’ll have to help me out there Chris. What was Richard Worth fired for?

        • Daveosaurus

          Can you please refresh my memory as to when any documents were produced which proved the allegations against Richard Worth to be complete and utter fabrications. I have no recollection of such an event ever happening.

  13. Peter, now Darren, shit that can of whitewash must be large.
    NB = a lie never sleeps.

  14. Tangled up in blue 14

    It seems Hughes has a problem with alcohol and so IMO shouldn’t be a MP.

    • I thought to be a MP you had to be a drug addict or piss freak.

      Or, in the sick case of Angry Clever Trevor Mallard Nutbar Violent Headcase you must be able to smack someone around in the so court highest court of the land. It’s a sad sin that these creeps don’t do prison time!

      • Deadly_NZ 14.1.1

        And judging by some of the crap thats coming out of Treasury they must be on the good stuff too.

    • Anne 14.2

      Oh yeah… yet another malicious rumour being spread by Right Wing a——-s? You lot are very good at it. Apart from the fact it comes naturally to such individuals, you and your predecessors have had many decades of practice.

      • Tangled up in blue 14.2.1

        What makes you think I’m a right winger? I’m not.

        And what rumour? Hughes bad judgement was in the context of him abusing alcohol.

        • The Voice of Reason

          How did he abuse alcohol? Did he, for instance, bribe journalists with bottles of plonk?
          I stand to be corrected but I haven’t read or heard anything that suggests Darren Hughes has an alcohol problem. Not that night, nor more regularly. There was even a Nat MP there who confirmed Hughes was drinking, but not drunk. That the night ended badly does not equate to an alcohol abuse issue.

          • Tangled up in blue

            True. I’m largely basing my opinion on a GayNZ article.

            Highly credible Wellington sources have quietly told GayNZ.com Daily News of their unease about issues around poor judgement and alcohol with Hughes in the past. While they are in no way stating he has done anything illegal, his decision-making while under the influence is being called into question considering his standing as a senior MP.


            • dad4justice

              I rest my case.Why these creeps suck from the public tit makes me want too piss blood!

            • Tigger

              Love to see gay.com report some sources around behavior of other MPs. Not sure why they don’t.

            • Anne

              Yeah.. heard about those “highly credible Wellington sources” in times past. We never get to find out who they are. Yes.. Hughes has shown some poor judgement once or twice after having had a few drinks. That’s a far cry from alcohol abuse.

              People in glass houses… Tuib.

              • Tangled up in blue

                Going out most weekends and getting shit-faced is alcohol abuse.

                He’s a great MP put he really needs to sort his crap out.

                • Colonial Viper

                  How do you know that Darren has been going out “most weekends”?

                  Have you been following him around? Or are you gullible and like to believe in gossip? Or are you just making shit up?

                  Backhanded compliments are so lame and transparent mate.

                  • Tangled up in blue

                    No backhanded compliment here, mate. I can genuinely think that he’s good at his job while at the same time think he has a problem with alcohol.

                    What information are you basing YOUR opinion on?

                    I linked the GAYNZ article and it’s mentioned below there have been other reports of this type of behaviour from him.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Um, everybody’s decision making while inder the influence is sub-par.

  15. Sookie 15

    So a good, capable, if somewhat imprudent politician has had his career ruined and his name besmirched for a whole lot of nothing. I frigging knew it. Well played, right wing nutjobs. What a disgrace. I expect a full apology to Darren Hughes from the pathetic hacks at TV3, especially Garner, but I don’t expect to get it.

  16. tc 16

    Garner apologise ! Hilarious…..that plonker epitomises the MSM, never let the truth get in the way of a manufactured story.

    He’s so witless he thinks he’s the story and just shades Espiner as having the biggest ego. Both clueless hacks fawning over the govt like the lapdogs they are.

    • Tom Gould 16.1

      And tc, they both have less than inspiring skeletons in the closet, that might just groan into life and show themselves, soon. Good ole You Tube, the people’s TV channel.

  17. this has been an appalling chapter in NZ’s political and media history.

    i wonder what allegations against Key, or his bought and paid for lapdog Duncan Garner, would do to lose them their jobs?

  18. toad 18

    I get the impression from reports I have read (and they may be wrong) that Darren Hughes was a bit fucked up about his sexuality and about his use of alcohol. And, if that were the case, he should have got more support from his colleagues in Labour to deal with that.

    But he has great political skills. The “congratulatory motion” that Hughes and Mallard did on Steven Joyce finally getting his degree was extraordinarily clever.

    Whatever we may think of his politics, and as a Green I’m not too enthralled with any Labour politician (David Parker aside, who should really be in the Green Party), I think Hughes’ departure from Parliament leaves it poorer for talent.

    And I have to say that Phil Goff’s shambolic handling of the whole affair from the time it broke has meant New Zealand has lost one of our most talented politicians.

  19. Interesting that in this post the lefties have expressed relief about Darren’s position and hope for his future. 

    The righties have tried to draw links to Worth.  I am not sure why, they seem to want to blot one out with the other.

    Darren obviously has some stuff to deal with and I hope he does this.

    He also has a future to think about.  He was a very effective representative and has something to contribute in the future.

  20. Nick K 20

    Well micky, this “rightie’ is expressing relief about Darren’s position and hope for his future.

    “Normal” people just get lost in the quagmire; high profile people (Hughes, Veitch etc) go through hell when allegations like this come to light. Goodness knows how they deal with it.

    There are some on the right who embarrass me in times like this when they refuse to accept the police decision, and carry on like trained seals. Some on KB are even saying Hughes wasn’t charged because the victim was male!

    Spare me.

  21. Gosh – how similar to the politically-motivated complaints to the Police and SFO about NZ First prior to the 2008 election…..

    Penny Bright

    • Dan 21.1

      Yea it’s like Winston Peters didn’t hold a press conference where he lied to the media and the rest of the country! Oh wait, he did.

  22. tc 22

    No doubt they have skeletons Tom but you’re very unlikely to find them airing each others to score ego points…….they all sleep in the same bed so rarely get stuck into each other, especially since the ‘loan’ to keep media works on the leash.

    The MSM is working as designed to enhance the govt election prospects.

  23. felix 23

    This thread ticks a few of the KBR idiot boxes, but it won’t feel complete until burt chimes in with his stated belief that the NZ Police don’t lay charges against members of the NZ Labour Party.

    • burt 23.1


      Only if the member of the untouchables threatens to stand as an independent – then charges suddenly get laid in a matter of hours. No fear or favour …. yeah right.

  24. deemac 24

    time to ban D4J again surely – his bizarre rants add nothing to any debate and seem to indicate a rather alarming mental instability

  25. Oh my, drama,oh hell, do they have a nark a demerit policy over here at the Standard? Kiwiblog has a good one, just ask cowardly big bruvblouse.
    Not another blog which has gits calling for my balls.
    Oh well, “such is life” said Ned Kelly.

  26. HC 26

    A lot of fuss about media whipped up trivial nonsense! Hughes and possibly also that “complainant” made a fool of himself/themselves after partying, and many NZ men and women do so all the time. Get over it, give him/them a chance to learn and bloody hell get on with life!

    • burt 26.1

      Right then, next 18 year old girl to run naked from house after a bender on the turps is just being silly then… I’ll claim the Hughes defense…. she just made a fool of herself and I’m innocent or I would have been charged…..

      • dad4justice 26.1.1

        burt, you of all people should know that a son of Hellen is above the law. Howard B , head pig has done a lot worse. I should know I was at the event that he make another pissed up dick of himself. NZ police and politicians are rotten to the core.

        • burt


          Well well well….

          So he’s not the victim of a false complaint…. Must be his Labour party membership that saved him. I wonder how many txt’s went back and forward to NY while the Police were getting to their decision.

          • lprent

            Don’t be silly Burt. The standard for false complaint charges is even higher than most offenses. To achieve it you have to maliciously and knowingly make shit up, and is specific to wasting the polices time.

            The police prefer that people do report anything suspicious and to let them sort out if the law has been breached. Darren Hughes was expressing an opinion, not laying a complaint. But obviously the subtle difference escaped the idiot reporter who wrote that article, and you?

            • burt

              Perhaps if Hughes lays a complaint for being falsely accused the situation would be different. The whole thing reeks lprent.

              • lprent

                No such complaint is possible. I’m amused that you think a member of the public can make such a complaint.

                • burt

                  I’m sure he could make a defamation case if he really has the opinion he was falsely accused. It’s all a bit Veitch in how it’s played out isn’t it.

                  • lprent

                    Problem with defamation cases in NZ is that no one really wins. That is especially the case with the law on defamation with politicians here.

          • dad4justice

            Yes burt , just imagine the huge numbers of txt’s to the rotten apple HeLLen living in the big bad apple.

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