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Sharma keeps digging

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, August 30th, 2022 - 33 comments
Categories: employment, labour, Parliament, parliamentary spending, uncategorized, workers' rights - Tags:

Last night a 4,761 word rant was published on Gaurav Sharma’s facebook page.

In it he really lays out the dirt and shows what a corrupt regime the Ardern Government has become.  Nah just kidding he goes on a big bleat about three of his staff members.

From the looks of it he may have breached all sorts of confidentiality agreements.  I suspect lawyers are looking into this now.  And for one former staffer he has renewed the sense of dread that is often a feature of being the victim rather than the perpetrator of bullying.

From Thomas Coughan at the Herald:

One former staff member speaking to the Herald anonymously urged Sharma to move on.

“Stop dragging this out,” they said.

“This is a breach of our confidentiality. It’s bringing up past trauma – we’ve already lived it once,” they said.

The staffer had previously spoken to the Herald about how Parliamentary Service, the employer of staff who work at Parliament and in electorates, had to arrange counselling for them after working with Sharma had made them feel depressed and want to self-harm.

They were staggered that Sharma, knowing this, would seek to relitigate their employment in public.

The staffer said that all of the former staff Sharma had fallen out with had kept confidentiality and tried to move on.

The episode only hit the public domain when Sharma decided to go public with his own claims of bullying. The staffer said they had done the right thing by Sharma, but he had not done the right thing by them.

“We’re all moving on – we kept our end of the bargain and didn’t say anything about it,” they said.

“Him bringing it up again is triggering me,” they said.

The contents of Sharma’s facebook post suggest that Sharma has this extraordinary ability to focus on the most trivial issue possible and make it into a big thing.

For instance:

  • He raised 66 specific issues against staff member AB.  They are not detailed but unless AB is a serial killer it is really difficult to understand how such a long list could be collated.  My interpretation is that Sharma is fixated on the most trivial of incidents and converts them into really big things.  The issues include drinking in his Wellington office.  Anyone who knows Parliament will appreciate that this is not an unusual event.
  • He again fixates on the “inappropriate use of Parliamentary Services resources” and complains that the staff member was flown to Hamilton.  PS has said this was normal and part of team building.  It really assists for the Wellington contact to be more than an email address.  For Sharma to again focus on this shows an inability to let the most trivial of events go.
  • Without a shred of self awareness that he kicked this all off he complains that “this person has gone to the media and made claims against me”.  He wants an expensive public inquiry into such issues as whether or not this particular employee turned up late to work.
  • Staff member CD appears to have had an episode of day drinking one day instead of going to work.  If I had worked for Sharma I would have been tempted to do the same.
  • For the life of me I cannot understand what Sharma’s beef against staff member EF is.

One comment from Sharma sums up things well:

Ask yourself how any of this makes sense?

He wants an independent public inquiry into employment issues, such as if a staff member turned up late to work, that have obviously been dealt with on a confidential basis.  He claims that the screenshots he previously provided are evidence of systemic bullying when they appear to show nothing more than understandable work stress.

Judging by twitter his reputation is in free fall.  The overwhelming effect of the allegations is Meh.

33 comments on “Sharma keeps digging ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    4761 words???? Castro's great speech in honour of Che Guervara in 1967 only had 5037!

  2. Gosman 2

    While this is an employment dispute and it should have been handled as such the question is why wasn't Labour able to manage it as an employment dispute? How did this blow up so big. Surely they just needed to placate the MP and get the Parliamentary staffer moved somewhere else. Is this a result of the changes implemented by Mallard where they try to engage in more PC HR methods in Parliament?

    • mickysavage 2.1

      From my understanding of the history there was a managed resolution of all issues which Sharma agreed to but he then blew it all up.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        But that is the bit that Labour has messed up. A managed resolution should have left Sharma feeling like his concerns were dealt with appropriately. Instead he felt the opposite according to he recent comments. He felt the party was siding with the staffers over him and that members of Parliamentary service were actually sympathetic to the Labour party and not his position as an MP. This may have been his complete misunderstanding of the situation but those responsible in Labour for dealing with the situation should have at least found out what his thinking was during the managed resolution process.

        • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.1

          My search is finally over. I have been carefully searching for the woke defenders of Dr Sharma who demand that his feelings are pivotal and must be investigated. I just couldn't find these people as the usual Labour insiders (usually known to be Labours woke contingent) didn't seem to side with Dr Sharma at any time. It turns out the woke faction is actually just you (because nobody would cynically imply your just a partisan wanting to exploit the bad smell when an MP falls out with their party).

          • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1

            I have no love for Sharma or care about his personal feelings. He's a big boy and should be able to handle this stuff without the hassles he seems to have got himself into. However the fallout from this should have been entirely avoidable if various people within Labour had parked their egos.

            • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Lol. With insights like that you must be working in a HR department somewhere, surely.

            • Louis 2.1.1.1.1.2

              It's Sharma that needs to park his ego, as you have alluded to, Sharma couldn't handle it, he bullied his staff and reacted like a 4 year old having a tanty when he was pulled up on it.

            • georgecom 2.1.1.1.1.3

              I suggest Gosman that you are merely speculating. Unless you have detailed knowledge you cannot accurately state who is right or wrong any more than the next man. You have no knoweldge whether things were 'entirely avoidable' or not.

          • mickysavage 2.1.1.1.2

            +1 Nick!

        • bwaghorn 2.1.1.2

          I gave a screaming toddler a lolly pop once!!!

          It through it at my head.

          • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.2.1

            You should have checked your ego instead!

            • bwaghorn 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Huh? You've obviously taken me literally, I was pointing out to gos that there ain't much you can do when toddler is in tanty mode.

              Which is what sharma is.

              • Nic the NZer

                Sorry, was extrapolating to 2.1.1.1.1 where Gosman explains the tanty is all your fault.

                I think I'm correct that this isn't victim blaming because he's not blaming you for what happened to you (lollypop to the head) but for the tantrum itself.

              • Patricia Bremner

                Absolutely!! bwaghorn.devil

          • Anne 2.1.1.2.2

            You obviously did not manage that situation at all well bw. Tut tut. You should have known what that child was thinking and acted more appropriately. devil

        • Steve harrington 2.1.1.3

          I have been in a couple of similar disputes and seen many others (im in hr)

          Usually they never come to a truly amicable resolution but they come to a 'as good as it can get' situation. Even then the only thing that stops people who feel slighted is fear pf losing their career.

          However Sharma seems to think they are above this and even the beat resolution can lead to this blowing up

  3. Gosman 3

    Also I do think any use of Parliamentary staff by MP's for personal use during working hours or receiving a taxpayer reward for doing so(he mentions them receiving TOIL for doing this work) should be investigated and cleared up.

  4. From his diatribe:

    This is the same Relationship Manager that I had raised concerns on Day 0 of becoming an MP because of their conflict of interest with me as they were a member of the Labour Party and had actively tried to stop me becoming a candidate.

    That Relationship Manager was much more perceptive than the LEC!

    • Visubversa 4.1

      Candidate selection – and List as well can be very difficult. Some decades ago I was involved in a regional List selection process. We had a 2 day meeting where prospective List candidates gave speeches and mixed and mingled, and then we had a voting process. Two chaps turned up as candidates that most of us did not actually know. They came with a retinue of family and supporters. They were very alike, looked alike, same first name, same ethnicity. The local electorates were not much help, although the chaps had been a member for a year or so, they had only been active in the lead up to the selections. They even gave basically the same speech – each saying that they were the true representative of their community etc etc – and that the other chap was a crook. Later experience showed that neither of them had been telling the truth in the first part of the speech – and that both of them had been telling the truth in the last part.

    • Anne 4.2

      Assuming of course that the accusation against the manager was true.

  5. AB 5

    What was fairly obvious from the start is now blindingly so. Yet this hasn't stopped attention being lavished on the man from the ZB/Herald nexus in the hope of inflicting some sort of damage on Labour.

  6. observer 6

    National were considering a deal to give Sharma speaking time in the House. I bet they're having second thoughts now.

    The "enemy of my enemy = friend" line only works if your new friend isn't into self-destruction. Then you want to avoid being collateral damage. National embracing him now would only be a suicide pact. There’s a reason Labour didn’t try and woo JLR.

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    a walking shadow, a poor player,

    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

    And then is heard no more. It is a tale

    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

    Signifying nothing. ~ Macbeth

  8. Peter 8

    "Surely they just needed to placate the MP" and a "managed resolution should have left Sharma feeling like his concerns were dealt with appropriately."

    No. Sharma is who he is and is like whatever he is like. If the central issues and incidents had been put to bed I'd bet there'd have been something else. 66 specific issues against a staff member, a 4,761 word rant to show how wronged he was? He seems to be the type many of us have had dealings with, put a coffee cup in the 'wrong' place or grab a pencil off his desk to scrawl a phone number in a hurry he'd summon the Human Rights Commission or the International Court of Justice.

    • Incognito 8.1

      Don’t mention fridge magnets!

      • Shanreagh 8.1.1

        No don't!

        And don't mention anything to do with Men in Black as you did in the thread about the MiB walking down Willis St on their way to Parliament!

        I have a persistent ear worm with that song that takes ages to dislodge and I was just triggered now seeing your name…ha ha!

        I shall have to get Gladys Knight and the Pips up to sing Midnight Train to Georgia to dislodge it. Drastic means are called for!

        At least I know the whole song of Midnight Train unlike MiB

        Then there are these mad ones being the Pips

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj_BbsOp7wY

  9. peter sim 9

    Typical economist. All conjecture, no facts.

    He is an mp so egotism is a given. Sigh.

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