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Richard Worth has resigned as MP

Written By: - Date published: 4:24 pm, June 12th, 2009 - 74 comments
Categories: mt albert - Tags:

Breaking news from Stuff / DomPost

LATEST Richard Worth has resigned as an MP with immediate effect.

Dr Worth, who entered Parliament in 1999, said he had gone for the good of the National Party.

“Since I resigned as a Cabinet Minister earlier this month, I have been considering my personal options, and also the welfare of the National Party – a party which I love and have served to the best of my ability for the past nine years.

“As a result, I have today also resigned as a list Member of Parliament with immediate effect.

74 comments on “Richard Worth has resigned as MP”

  1. SjS 1

    wahooo

    One down … how many to go?

    • vidiot 1.1

      121 or is that 122 ? That’s the problem with MMP, they just keep on rolling down the list.

  2. vidiot 2

    Break out the bubbly.

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Interesting timing.

    Now he will be seen by the public as resigining because of Text-gate (sorry). Even though one suspects the police investigation has rather more to do with it.

  4. Oh thank goodness for that.

    Right…. next story please 🙂

    • Merlin 4.1

      agreed.. almost..

      Key still hasn’t said why he fired Worth in the first place.

      Anyway, if there’s a prosecution I’m afraid we’re going to see much more of Worth. Key could even be called as a witness. Apparently, he was at the party were Key took the woman and national party staffers were invovled in taking her to the party then the hotel.

  5. thomas forow 5

    Looks like a by-election humiliation of National tomorrow
    “It was all worth’s fault”

  6. gobsmacked 6

    Worth’s statement: “It is impossible to defend oneself in the public and political arena against hearsay, character assassination and scuttlebutt.”

    Really? “No, I didn’t” is usually a pretty good start.

  7. andy 7

    Its all Phil Goffs fault !!1111!!11

    /snark

    Dr Worth said in the statement he was finding it impossible to defend himself in the public and political arena because of the character assassination.

    When you go to ground and don’t return calls, it makes it impossible to defend anything.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    A few weeks later, on page 13:

    “Sir Richard Worth has been appointed Ambassador to the Bahamas. John Key denied there had been any trade-off …”

    • mike 8.1

      ah-ah GS, that was the previous PM who let them come back after time on the naughty mat. JK has got principles

  9. Anita 9

    Now we’re only one Nat away from the bigotry and prejudice of Stephen Franks. I’m not feeling much further ahead.

    • Maynard J 9.1

      That was my first thought too. I heard he was not interested any more. I hope that is the case.

  10. Helen 10

    Immigration fraud seems to be a regular sideline for Labour Party MPs and members but surely, pimping them has to be a new low, even by Labour standards.

  11. lprent 11

    Have to say that this is classic PR. Release an announcement after 4pm on friday on the eve of a by-election

    • I was wondering what they’d try and dump today. I didn’t think it would be a political corpse.

      Captcha: smooth egotism

      • George D 11.1.1

        It’s not likely to help Lee though, is it?

        • Anita 11.1.1.1

          Oh good lord, it never even occurred to me that they might be trying to help Lee she seems to have been well and truly set adrift.

          (For reasons, I hope, of tiredness I wrote “set alight” 🙂 )

        • mike 11.1.1.2

          No trev the muss has done that by accusing (and abusing) her of parking in a disabled park at the last candidates meeting only to later find that it was a disabled staffer of Lees’s. Nice one trev – stick to picking on smaller men you muppet

          [lprent: note the auto-moderation on things Mt Albert in the top post]

    • Daveski 11.2

      And if you read it backwards it says John Key is Satan 🙂

      In fairness, I think you’ll also find that the timing reflect the end of his period of leave but I agree your version of events is much more interesting if not accurate.

      • Anita 11.2.1

        I think the leave was intended to end on Monday night (he resigned on a Monday night) meaning he’d be back off leave for the caucus meeting on Tuesday morning that everyone’s been asking Key and Worth about.

      • Daveski 11.2.2

        No mention of any conspiracies here although Audrey Young does note that “[t]he timing is right”.

  12. Kevin Welsh 12

    Earth to tsmithfield, this is the mothership, ready for pickup…

    • IrishBill 12.1

      He’s been banned for a fortnight for excruciating dullness (note: it’s our blog and I can ban for any reason I want).

      • andy 12.1.1

        Bugger, I needed a Friday evening laugh. Can you un ban him or get Tim or Ginger set me straight on how hard done by Worth is and how Goff should resign for………… something!!!11!!!

        Shorter John Key: Nothing to see here, move on.

        Bwahahahaha!!

      • Daveski 12.1.2

        That means I’m out for 4 then 🙂

    • doc whose asking 12.2

      Goodness me, KW, that mention of ‘mother’ sprung Hakeswill to mind..

      Hakeswill.? Crazy (murderous) scoundrel sergeant capable of any position anywhere anytime in the business of numero uno. Appears in the TV drama version of Bernard Cornwell’s Wellington campaigns in Portugal and Spain early 19th century.

      Aside from the bracketed out (above) a not-too dissimilar parallel to you own..

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    Plenty of five dollar lawyer phraseology in there but no denials of what he’s been accused of in all this hearsay and rumour he’s moaning about. Should be fairly simple to say that he wasn’t acting sleazy, or that it was mutual, or than all this wasn’t going on in the context of job offers.

    The closest he gets is this:

    Like most of us, if we are honest, I may at times during my life have said and done things which, when analysed in the cold light of day, may seem to have been unwise

    Not exactly the affidavit he promised Key is it.

    In another thread I suggested a scenario:

    I wonder if Key asked Worth for the affidavit when this blew up last week and Worth wouldn’t sign it?

    Getting the affidavit would cover Key about his ‘investigation’ of the claims. If a request for the affidavit was refused, the investigation amounted to key being suckered by Worth.

    Refusing to give a promised affidavit denying the allegations would most definitely be a sacking offense, and would explain both the lack of any public denials from Worth, and Key’s reticence about the proximate reason for Worth’s sacking.

    Just a theory, but it’s only got the one bit of conjecture in it, and it accounts for everyone’s behaviour.

    Still seems consistent with all the facts as we know them to me, and there is only one conjectured conversation in there. Key’s question and Worth’s response, key would have been wise to ask that question, and Worth seems very reluctant to make the denials. So I don’t think it’s outrageous conjecture.

    Key should have gotten that affidavit back in early May, or sacked him then. The right has dragged everyone through the mud to prevent Key from having to have the meeting with the complainant that he should have had when the complaint was made.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      Today’s dom:

      The Dominion Post understands that Mr Key’s hand was forced by the discovery during investigations by his office into the Korean woman’s complaints that Dr Worth had misled him over other matters.

      Dr Worth is understood to have admitted, when challenged, that he had misled Mr Key.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2499885/Worth-forced-PMs-hand

      Looks more and more like Worth wouldn’t provide that affidavit, which would have made key look like a right nonce. Hence all the quietness from Worth re denials, and Key re why he sacked him.

  14. thomas fortow 14

    Earth to tsmithfield, this is the mothership, ready for pickup

    Now that is funny

  15. thomas forrow 15

    Can’t spell my name
    I give up

    • felix 15.1

      That’s alright mate, tsmithfield has been trying for two weeks to spell “LOOKOVERTHERE” and he still hasn’t got it right once.

  16. logie97 16

    Possible conversation in a Remuera Wine Bar this evening between members of an electorate committee
    “That’s step 2 accomplished. Richard’s finally out of the way. No blood spilt.
    Now we can stand our preferred candidate and take the seat back next time…”

    • Anita 16.1

      IMO National winning Epsom in 2011 is probably the only thing that would guarantee Key is a one term PM.

      Melissa Lee for Epsom?

      [lprent: Oh evil thought. Mind you it’d give a lot of room for a Labour candidate. ]

      • Lew 16.1.1

        Anita,

        Melissa Lee for Epsom?

        This is exactly what I thought when I heard some talking heads a week or so on about how Worth would have to resign and they’d have trouble finding another candidate as unelectable as him.

        L

  17. Craig Glen Eden 17

    Well done us wicked/evil/ vile lefties. Lees turn tomorrow.

    Just think what we could do if we really had a honey pot. The world would be or oyster. OOps I forgot Comrade Helen is leading that charge aye. Wait till Whale Oil realizes Key is working for us and its all part of our greater plan.
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaghh.

    Sorry I got a bit carried away there for a bit but hey, I have been forced to read so much wingnut crap in the last days I just could not help it.

    [lprent: banned word for 24 hours]

    • Haha

      Good point about Key. I wonder which side he is on? Is he really that incompetent or is he a communist sleeper ready to bring down the once proud right wing National party?

      Maybe his early years in a state house has (gasp) corrupted him?

  18. burt 18

    Did you all see how it was done – he brought disrepute onto his party and parliament and he was gone – no inquires that exonerated him, no natural justice because the police haven’t laid charges and no garden leave over 18 months while his vote was still being used.

    Congrats to National.

  19. andy 19

    But in reality, John Key himself sealed Worth’s fate, not Labour.

    Key is the one who said Worth was not fit to serve as one of his ministers. Until now he has not said why.

    When Key said yesterday he had washed his hands of Worth, that meant one thing: he did not want him in his caucus.

    It is unlikely that Key would have been that dismissive of a constituency Member of Parliament, whatever his sins.

    ……..

    But among the claims and counter-claims about the conversation between Key and Goff on the May 6 allegation, the one thing that rings true was Key saying (according to Goff’s notes) that Worth did not get the job of Speaker because there had been rumours about him.

    I have heard that myself from National sources though, I hasten to add, not from Key.

    Audrey Has an interesting blog..

    As Trump used to say ‘ Your Fired’

  20. RedLogix 20

    Thank Christ… it may be safe to blog again without the feeling of just plunging into a badly maintained oxidation pond.

  21. gobsmacked 21

    Here’s a teaser for y’all (and yes, it is on topic):

    Who spoke at his party’s conference, arguing for the traditional Green idea of looking beyond GDP for a society’s goals? He proposed a remit for “the creation of a genuine progress indicator to measure the true wealth of our society”.

    “GDP is useful but flawed as a measure of society’s wellbeing … counting the unsustainable depletion of our wealth as a positive is simply bad accounting.”

    Instead, he wanted security, equity, free time, voluntary work, educational attainment and the environment counted in as indicators of wellbeing.

    But his ideas were dismissed by his party members as “socialism by stealth”.

    Who do you think holds these leftie greenie views?

  22. Jasper 22

    I guess this means that Pontius John was single handedly responsible for the resurrection of Cam Calder then.

  23. ghostwhowalks 23

    Judge Kent, a federal district court judge from Texas, pleaded guilty in February to obstruction of justice for lying to officials who were investigating sexual harassment charges against him. As part of a plea deal, he admitted that he had had nonconsensual sexual contact with two female court employees. He was sentenced to up to 33 months in prison and is scheduled to enter jail next week.

    Worth has got off very very lightly

    • burt 23.1

      ghostwhowalks

      “nonconsensual “ is not a word people use accidentally. Do you not understand it’s relevance in the sentencing of a criminal charge vs the current state where police are still investigating ‘something’?

      If you think he has ‘got off’ then you seem to be implying that it’s all done and dusted. If it’s done and dusted and he has not been prosecuted for crimes sufficient to serve jail time then why not? We are not doing this ‘not in the public interest’ thing again are we?

  24. John Dalley 24

    If John Key thinks the Worth saga is going to go away, i would suggest that he has “another think coming” John Key’s big mouth has left more questions unanswered than has been answered.
    When you can only see the tips of the shoes from all the Brown Nosing by Audrey Young and John Armstrong in this mornings Herald it beggars belief that these two are termed “credible Journalists” a two year old could write better articles.

  25. Pat 25

    Spot The Bullshit Competition – From Phil Goff’s appearance on Breakfast on 4 June:

    This morning Labour leader Phil Goff told TV1’s Breakfast that he had approached John Key four to six weeks ago concerning what appeared to be a sex for favours approach Dr Worth had made to a Labour party member, half his age and married.

    Mr Goff says the allegations were verifiable, and had emails and call logs of inappropriate communications, which included sordid holiday invitations and requests involving see-through clothing.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/worth-scandal-brings-goff-back-relevance-103291

    • Pascal's bookie 25.1

      Yawn.

      So why’d Worth get sacked and then resign from Parliament without ever once publicly denying anything Goff said?

      Keep up mate.

      • Ianmac 25.1.1

        Why hasn’t the forthright Key explained the exit of Worth?
        In Parliament will John get away with saying Worth is no longer an MP so lets move on?
        Will the Opposition still have the right to question the PM’s actions?
        By the way. Is it possible that a Key Staff member leaked the Goff call to the Press?
        Tune in next Tuesday for the next……

      • Anita 25.1.2

        No matter which way I hold it Worth’s resignation always reads as an admission of non-criminal wrong-doing. He staunchly defends against allegations of criminality, but he admins to acting in a way “may seem to have been unwise” and doesn’t defend against any claims that his actions were unethical or wrong.

        • Pat 25.1.2.1

          In other words, as the wail put it, he is a serial rooter who has been caught with his pants down. Nothing illegal, but conduct unbecoming of a Minister (although such behaviour is not unique to Worth!)

      • burt 25.1.3

        PB

        see: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/richard-worth-has-resigned-as-mp/#comment-140253

        If there is a criminal case then hopefully it will be in the public interest to prosecute. If it is not however, will all here on the standard be saying it’s OK and he should have his job back now?

        • Pascal's bookie 25.1.3.1

          Burt, he got sacked and then quit parliament, apparently to avoid all sorts of disrepute falling on the National party. No one knows what any of it was about because neither Key nor himself are prepared to talk about it. What are you on about?

          • burt 25.1.3.1.1

            Pascal’s bookie

            What am I on about, here is a sample.
            Hat-tip to All About Hawkes Bay.

            June 28, 2000 – Dover Samuels

            Sacked from the Maori Affairs portfolio by Prime Minister Helen Clark, who said he could not be effective while “allegations, controversy and public debate swirl around him’. Mr Samuels, who faced allegations of sexual misconduct, had refused to resign. A police investigation ended without charges being laid and in August 2002 Mr Samuels was made a minister outside Cabinet.

            October 31, 2000 – Ruth Dyson.

            Resigned from Cabinet after failing a breath test while driving home from the Beehive in October 2000. She was fined $600, lost her licence for six months, and returned to Cabinet in June 2001.

            February 23, 2001 – Marian Hobbs and Phillida Bunkle (Alliance)

            Resigned from ministerial positions following investigations into claiming out-of-town allowances while enrolled on the Wellington Central electoral roll. Ms Hobbs came back into Cabinet at the end of the investigation. Ms Bunkle, an Alliance minister outside Cabinet, never regained her job.

            July 23, 2003 – Harry Duynhoven.

            Had his ministerial powers temporarily suspended after inadvertently breaking electoral law by renewing his Dutch citizenship. Parliament passed legislation to ensure that Mr Duynhoven did not have to quit as an MP. He retains his ministerial roles.

            February 20, 2004 – Lianne Dalziel.

            Forced to resign from Cabinet when she misled NZPA over whether she knew who leaked documents about a controversial immigration case to the media. Later returned to Cabinet and still serves as a minister.

            May 16, 2005 – David Benson-Pope.

            Stood down as associate education minister after TV3 News reported five former students of Dunedin’s Bayfield High School had come forward to back allegations that as a teacher he tied boys’ hands together and jammed tennis balls into their mouths, and once smacked a pupil with the back of his hand, making his nose bleed. Police said there was conflicting evidence and decided it was not in the public interest to lay charges. Mr Benson-Pope returned to his job despite fierce criticism from the Opposition over the allegations and how his story had changed as he defended them.

            October 19, 2005 – Taito Phillip Field

            Before the 2005 election Mr Field faced allegations he took bribes and used illegal workers to work on his homes in exchange for visa assistance. His appointments lapsed on October 19, following the election, and he was never reinstated to Cabinet. Police took up the case and he was thrown out of Labour after he threatened to stand as an independent. Now facing corruption charges.

            March 20, 2006 – David Parker

            Resigns as Attorney-General as the Companies Office launches an investigation into whether he filed proper returns in relation to a company. A day later he resigns his transport and energy portfolios. However the Companies Office clears him of doing anything wrong and he is later reinstated as energy, climate change and land information minister.

            August 29, 2008 – Winston Peters

            Stands down as Foreign Affairs, Racing and Associate Senior Citizens Minister after the Serious Fraud Office launches an investigation into undeclared donations to NZ First. Prime Minister Helen Clark becomes acting minister in those portfolios. No charges laid.

  26. Pat 26

    To allow him to answer the questions fully, can Key read out the texts in parliament?

    • burt 26.1

      Pat

      Great idea.

      • Pascal's bookie 26.1.1

        Only if you find demands for evidence more convincing than denials. I think, absent a denial, such demands are highly suspicious.

        It’s quite simple, the allegations have been made in a statement to the house. Worth apparently told Key that if such allegations were made he would deny them in an affidavit. Instead of doing that, he quit parliament moaning about the allegations but not denying them. Shifting the goalposts now and asking for the evidence to made public is just pathetic and pointless.

        But knock yourself out.

      • Anita 26.1.2

        What would that achieve? Worth has resigned from Parliament, whether because of these allegations or others he has accepted his position is untenable.

      • burt 26.1.3

        As long as allegations of harassment are in the court of public opinion the evidence should be in the court of public opinion. Goff could have arranged a very discrete way to have this dealt with, he did not. He released ‘teaser’ details of the txt’s and also described two of the woman involved.

        What is acceptable about the way Goff handled this? If there was harassment then Goff should be absolutely ashamed of himself. He should acknowledge his blatant political point scoring on the back somebodies misery as conduct unbecoming an MP and resign forthwith.

        (Disclosure: I have a vested interest on iPredict for Goff to be replaced as party leader this year)

  27. Pat 27

    Has Goff responded to the Choudary complainant’s request for a personal meeting yet?

    • Anita 27.1

      I’m not sure why Goff would need to reply to someone’s request for a meeting with Key, but anyhow.

      I think the sequence of events went like this:

      1) Key said he would not meet Choudary
      2) Key said he would not meet Choudary unless she gave him prior access to the txts
      3) Some of txts were released to the media (giving prior access to Key)
      4) Key still wouldn’t meet with Choudary
      5) Choudary accepted that Key wouldn’t meet her and wrote him a letter
      6) All National’s loyal henchbloggers did their level best to smear Choudary
      7) With some limited success
      8) Key announced that he had received the letter and now “washed his hands” of Worth
      9) Worth resigned, releasing his resignation into the deadest part of the news cycle.

      What did I miss?

      • Anita 27.1.1

        Edit has vanished, so I can’t turn 8) into 8 )

        Ah well 🙂

      • Pascal's bookie 27.1.2

        Pat, I think, is talking about a complainant in the immigration fraud case who wanted to meet with Goff to explain her character. Why this is relevant is anyone’s guess, I think it’s covered in 6).

  28. Ianmac 28

    Before Ms Choudry’s “case” was the other stuff and that other stuff may be apart from the Korean woman, so what is/was it? Why not answer that regardless of the strength of the Choudry one?

    Catchpa: deep pitts

    • burt 28.1

      It’s like digging through Winston’s donation declarations, or digging into dirty old Dover’s past isn’t it. You just wonder how much you will find if you were ever given the chance to hold the prick(s) accountable. I guess we move on, no charges will be laid.

      • r0b 28.1.1

        I’m not so interested in digging into personal pasts Burt, but the activities of parties should be much more transparent.

        Things like ACT’s dodgy electoral returns, ACT’s coalition slush fund, National’s secret trusts, just for example.

        I think one of the best ways to clean up the system is public funding of political parties – ban all private donations and influence buying…

  29. Pascal's bookie 29

    ACT’s coalition slush fund

    Yeah. That’s weird isn’t it? How much is that costing and who’s paying?

    Seeing the coalition agreement is between two political parties, and the funding is for the ACT party to do research into whatever it likes as part of the return for guaranteed votes for C&S, one would think it would be the National party doing the paying? Which is slightly dodgy in a votes for cash kind of way. If it’s the Crown that’s doing the paying, what budget is coming out of, and isn’t that just the crown funding the ACT party for things ACT should be funding itself?

    Who would I direct an OIA request at to find out the answers to some of these mysteries? Any ideas? the press doesn’t even seem aware of it, let alone interested.

    • r0b 29.1

      How much is that costing and who’s paying?

      On the first I have no idea. On the second, why ye and me and the rest of the dumb ‘ol taxpayers are paying PB.

      Who would I direct an OIA request at to find out the answers to some of these mysteries? Any ideas?

      I would suggest dropping I/S an email, he seems to be an expert at this kind of thing, and he first raised the issue.

  30. Artie S 30

    The frivolity is over at last. Richard Worth takes himself seriously, but he failed to take his role in Parliament seriously enough.

    It is disappointing that John Key thought enough of Worth to make him a minister, but then not be able to motivate him to higher things.

    Worth actually had an opportunity to press on. There is still not much confirmed evidence to suggest anything approaching a caucus sacking. Philanderers are nothing new in Parliament. How well we remember the preamble to the demise of Donald Brash, but at the time he was a prospective prime minister.

    Anyway Key has successfully blown a weak and junior minister out of the water. It will be interesting to see how he copes when a more senior minister gets into strife!

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