Tania Billingsley’s statement

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, July 10th, 2014 - 96 comments
Categories: crime, culture - Tags: , , , ,

Tania Billingsley has waived her right to name suppression in the case against the Malaysian diplomat accused of attempted rape – and a Minister of Foreign Affairs who wants the finger pointed at anyone but him.

In an interview and statement (pdf) to 3rd Degree she’s laid out the issues with how her case has been dealt with, and how sexual violence in general is dismissed and downplayed in NZ.

I think her statement should be required reading – and Tania Billingsley is a big damn hero.

I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I have gone through. And if my idea of justice means ensuring the safety of women and others, then it cannot stop at the prosecution of this man. Violence does not occur in a vacuum. There are very real reasons why sexual assault is happening in our country every day. This is because our society normalises, trivialises and in both obvious and subtle ways condones rape. This is called rape culture.

We have seen this rape culture reflected in our own government’s response to my assault. It only became a matter of importance that was properly addressed when it started to inconvenience those in power.

Moderator note: any awful comments about Tania Billingsley are getting fired into the sun. This is a complex, painful topic for many. Be respectful.

96 comments on “Tania Billingsley’s statement”

  1. Ant 1

    What a brave person. I don’t think I would have had the stones and conviction to do that at 21.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    “Your discomfort at hearing the realities of rape culture is not more important than the struggle of people trying to survive and recover from the effects of rape culture.”

    Says it all.

  3. Paul 3

    The Herald complicit in promoting rape culture by its continued description of this matter as a sex case.

  4. Anne 4

    This young lady is strong, intelligent and special. I have the impression she is a Green supporter. That being the case, I hope the Greens nurture her and bring her into the fold. Parliament needs women like Tania Billingsly.

    • Saarbo 4.1

      +1

      Hopefully her brave move will shift attitudes.

      Also proud to be a Labour member knowing we have a leader who understands this issue as opposed to the way McCully and Key have handled this. Some media need to take note also, including Duncan Garner who showed incredibly poor form when reporting on DC’s speech to Womens Refuge last Friday (Radio Live, 1st and last time I listened to him), this is what it is about Duncan Garner!

  5. TheContrarian 5

    “Tania Billingsley has waived her right to name suppression…”

    That takes guts. Kudos.

    • Ennui 5.1
      • heaps. I really admire that she has held the politicians to account. What her allegiances are is unimportant, she speaks for all of us in demanding better from our elected representative.
      • Anne 5.1.1

        What her allegiances are is unimportant, she speaks for all of us in demanding better from our elected representative.

        Correct Ennui. My comment was said in the context that she is the sort of young woman we need in parliament, and since she approached a Green MP (Eugenie Sage?) for assistance then it seems possible they could be the vehicle to see her eventually get there.

        • Macro 5.1.1.1

          I agree with all you say Anne.
          As an aside, the work Jan Logie is doing in this regard is incredible, but of course our so called media seldom want to let others know.

  6. Eralc 6

    While I admire the courage of Tania in waiving her name suppression, I do not believe anyone has been done any favours by the airing of last night’s show. Any hope we have of justice being done is now diminishing. I think Tania was ill-advised in going ahead with last night’s show. The timing was not the best.

    [Stephanie: This comment is treading a very fine line. Given the circumstances of the case and the clear mishandling involved, Tania Billingsley has already seen her chances of real justice undermined – that’s why she’s come forward. And she has done all survivors and our society in general a massive favour by speaking out and illustrating the issue of rape culture and the struggle of survivors to get justice.]

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      I watched 3rd Degree, and they stated very clearly up front that they would not make any comment that would impair fairness or compromise any future court action.

      Therefore, her televised, and I presume written statement, has been cleared by TV3 journalists and lawyers, who we should be able to trust with this sort of thing.

      She also called herself the “alleged victim” in the interview, so clearly she has been advised on the boundary of what can and cannot be said.

      • grumpy 6.1.1

        All the same, it might have been a better idea to not give Malaysia an excuse to avoid sending the guy back. If he was already back here and facing trial, would this program have been aired? If the answer is “no”, that might show the program may have unintended consequences.

        • There has been no indication that Malaysia has a problem sending him back – by all accounts including McCully’s it was only our own diplomats’ “informal and ambiguous” conversations which caused them to cite diplomatic immunity and send him back to Malaysia.

          • grumpy 6.1.1.1.1

            I agree, Malaysia has been surprisingly accommodating about this but attitudes may change if the political focus detracts from the ability to provide a fair trial.

            • Te Reo Putake 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Rubbish. The Malaysian media were the first to break the news that it was on their people that was accused and they extensively covered the ‘confusion’ that allowed the diplomat to scarper. This was all before the Malaysian government decided to send him back here to face justice. Clearly, the Malaysian government have confidence in our judicial system. Whether they have the same level of confidence in MFaT is another matter.

              • grumpy

                I hope you are right…..

              • Colonial Viper

                Interestingly, I think in their actions the Malaysian govt is interested in staying on good terms with the NZ people as much as anything else. I doubt that they care too much about McCully who by all analyses is on the way out.

            • Zorr 6.1.1.1.1.2

              How come in an alleged rape like this, the media attention would be considered detracting from the potential for a fair trial… but in the case of other violent crimes such as murders and the like, the media attention isn’t considered detrimental.

              Obvious concern-troll is obvious

              • grumpy

                In this case we are trying to get the alleged offender extradited. any perception that the trial will not be “fair” will be used to try and ensure that justice “isn’t” done.

                • Zorr

                  How about… we shouldn’t have to be extraditing him because MFAT should have done their job? As far as I can tell, the only people worried about an “unfair trial” are the right wing concern trolls… not even Malaysia is on your side.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    There was clear mishandling in this case and things should have been done better. However in remembering this alleged perpetrator had diplomatic immunity, and MFAT had no legal power to actually prevent him leaving the country, I would not go as far as to say that they “should have done their job”.

                  • grumpy

                    Meanwhile…..back in the real world….

    • Eralc 6.2

      Stephanie, in reply to your comment –

      I’m firmly in Tania’s corner, as is everyone else I know (both female and male). As a woman, I admire her courage (and admit that given the same circumstances, I may not have found the same courage she has displayed to speak out).

      However, my comments are out of concern for her and that real justice is done. The handling of this case by all stakeholders has been appalling and right from the start I’ve said “what about the victim?”

      Yes, chances of real justice have already been undermined by events that went on before last night’s show, but my point is there’s a real risk that those chances have been further undermined (by last night’s show). I am concerned that Tania is vulnerable, no matter how confident she came across on 3rd Degree, and may have been ill-advised in terms of the timing of her speaking out. I’m definitely not against her speaking out, it’s the timing that I’m concerned about. It’s already a messy situation – what we don’t want is any more roadblocks on the way to ensuring justice is done.

      • Tania Billingsley has been supported by Louise Nicholas, who is an experienced and smart victims’ advocate. And as Lanthanide said at 6.1, the interview will have been thoroughly cleared by TV3’s lawyers.

      • Sabine 6.2.2

        ahh, now we need to protect the victim who is vulnerable from the victim who wants to fight back, cause justice would otherwise not be served.

        She does not fit the narrative of being responsible for her attack by being a. drunk, b. hung with the wrong crowd, c. asked for it – short skirt, low cleavage etc etc. She is well spoken, well educated and she is obviously not going to pretend all is well.

        So I can see why some would like her to not speak out, to be silent, to not inconvenience our Government and its ineptitude to handle the most basic things. I can understand that she would make those hat believe that rape culture does not exist and that victims of rape and assault have to have at least some responsibility (nudge nudge wink wink) uncomfortable.
        She proves them wrong on all accounts.

      • McFlock 6.2.3

        Seems to me that Tania B is an intelligent person well able to make her own decisions, balancing her concern for what you call “real justice” (court procedure) and the wider issue whether the govt (from PM down to diplomat) gives a tinker’s damn about sexual assault.

        If you were “firmly in Tania’s corner” it seems to me that you’d respect and support her decisions, rather than expressing backhanded “concern”.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.4

        Let’s all take a few seconds to respect Eralc’s concern. If nothing else it’s a teaching moment.

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    Very impressed by this young womans articulation of the real issues around a very sick behavior that woman are subjected to in NZ and indeed probably in many places around the world. Cunliffes apology I believe was heart felt but Tania Billingsly has really explained the issues for all to understand. I suspect many particularly men wont have the fortitude or the willingness to process the issues Tania has identified. Strangely family first have not said a word and neither have others who are usually only to willing to play the family values banjo. We should remember that this incident is on top of the roast busters Police bungle. I believe these two examples show a terrible indifference to sexual violence against woman. Its time for this culture to change and it will take men like David Cunliffe who are willing to throw off the blokey bloke culture to make it happen.

    • grumpy 7.1

      However, I am mindful that the accused in this case is not a New Zealander and comes from a culture not necessarily renowned for it’s positive attitude to women and that the Mfat employee widely touted with giving Malaysia “mixed messages”, is, in fact, a woman….
      We would all like to see this person extradited back here and face charges and punishment in our legal system but this media furore aimed mainly at the National Party give Malaysia an easy way out to claim that a fair trial is no longer possible.

      • Chooky 7.1.1

        ..interesting that the Head of Foreign Affairs John Allen knew nothing about it…maybe McCully thinks he can do the job of Foreign Affairs better and without the professionals?

        ….another reason for New Zealanders voting out John Key and McCully’s National Party …not only are they inept but they are sexist in the way this has been handled

        • grumpy 7.1.1.1

          Question……..was it up to McCully to advise Allen or should MFAT staff have done that? Seems to be very few “professionals” in MFAT. Seems that MFAT staff advised McCully but not their own boss.
          Anyway, this has bugger all to do with the attempted rape case or the TV3 interview.

          • Chooky 7.1.1.1.1

            a lot to do with how it was handled…or the bungled handling…and a lot to do with how McCully has gutted MFAT and replaced allegiances to John Allen as Head of Foreign Affairs to himself..it is democratically dangerous when a government does this

            …McCully should resign or Labour and the other Parties should keep the heat on the ineptitude of this NACT Government and their injustices against women

  8. Gruntie 8

    It was reported somewhere that there have been around 10 cases in the last 5 years where diplomatic immunity has been invoked – I wonder how many itger cases if violence / sexual assault have been botched and swept under the carpet ?
    What a brave woman ! Standing up to Key and McCully – not even the Herald have the guts to do that!

    • grumpy 8.1

      How is she “Standing up to Key and McCully”?

      • dv 8.1.1

        Does that REALLY have to be explained to you!!!!

        • grumpy 8.1.1.1

          feel free……

          • dv 8.1.1.1.1

            Cant be bothered.
            Join your own dots!!!

          • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1.2

            Grumpy, they’ve both wronged her – McCully with his abdication of personal responsibility, Quisling finger-pointing and apology to his cult leader. Key with his failure to hold McCully to account, and his utter sociopathic boredom and resemblance to Pontius Pilate.

            Instead of cowering, she’s called them out, and in doing so exposed the fact that they’re so out of line she still hasn’t heard from either of them, while they pay lip service for the cameras.

            Are either of them man enough to do the right thing? No, they aren’t: they’re National Party, and being National Party means it’s always someone else’s fault.

  9. outofbed 9

    If McCully was as brave, he would to the right thing and walk
    If Key was as brave he would do the right thing and sack McCully

    What a brave strong woman Tania Billingsly is

  10. freedom 10

    An incredibly brave decision from Tania Billingsley and full credit to the team who put the article together under such difficult legal restraints.

    In contrast to the sincerity of the message last night, it is hard not to notice the absent comment sections on the NZH and the Stuff articles today!

    • Sorry freedom, not sure why but the spam filter didn’t like your comment.

      • freedom 10.1.1

        thanks Stephanie. I posted a few times so am guessing you dumped the duplicates. Posting this from a public terminal which seems fine, so will see what happens on returning home later.

        • freedom 10.1.1.1

          test: on returning home I seem unable to post again, from either FF or chrome

          [Stephanie: Sorry about that, freedom! Hopefully lprent has some idea what’s happening.]

          • freedom 10.1.1.1.1

            these things do happen Stephanie, I am kinda used to it tbh 🙂
            btw Lprent: TS won’t even load in FireFox now. Just keep getting a blank page.
            Chrome seems stable.

  11. Ad 11

    +1000 Steph

  12. Pete 12

    I admire her. That couldn’t have been easy.

  13. coolas 13

    One of my greatest fears as father of a teenage girl is that she might be subjected to sexual violence.

    I applaud Tania for speaking out about rape culture, and the more brave women who do so, the safer my daughter will be.

  14. Hami Shearlie 14

    A very brave young woman spoke out last night on 3rd Degree and said what many of us are thinking about Murray McCully – What a disgusting person he is, trying to offload blame on everyone but himself, he takes “the man in charge” salary but won’t take the responsibility!!! I thought her comments on John Key’s ” bored, can’t be bothered”attitude were very astute and hard hitting too – women of NZ take note of this, this is the way YOU could be treated by this Government if you were to fall victim to a similar crime!!

    • grumpy 14.1

      To be fair, Key’s interview was at 6am!

      It seems inexplicable that McCully did not keep on top of this one. He is reputed to be a micro manager but seems to have been more preoccupied with getting a seat on the UN Security Council.

  15. ianmac 15

    Impressive is Tania. Somehow I could see her in a serious big leadership role. Direct. Clearly spoken. Unequivocal. Certain of her philosophy. Compassionate. Open. Articulate.
    She might not be interested in politics but if she was, I could certainly welcome her as a Leader.

  16. Naki man 16

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Tania is already part of a left leaning political party.

    [lprent: I wouldn’t be surprised if she is thinking about that now after having McCully crapping all over her from his lofty height.
    BTW: Could you try not change your handle. It means you get caught in the first time approval check and it does waste our time. ]

    [Stephanie: lprent has let this one through but this is a personal attack against Tania Billingsley and future comments of this kind aren’t welcome.]

    • bad12 16.1

      Nakahi-man, what the fuck has Tania Billington’s politics got to do with any of the mistreatment She has suffered since the alleged home invasion and sexual assault took place,

      i wouldn’t be surprised if you lose significant amounts of DNA every time you attempt perambulation, but, that like your comment above has no place being aired here…

    • dv 16.2

      How about Maggie Barry then Naki?

      • Tracey 16.2.1

        of course no one has accused her of taking political gain from the rolf harris thing.

    • Ennui 16.3

      Tania is also a citizen: when events happen to citizens of a functioning civil society the legal checks and balances of the state should mobilise to protect the rights of that citizen regardless of gender, voting preference etc etc etc. Quite obviously this young female citizen feels let down by the response (or lack thereof) of the elected part of that civil society, namely the politicians. Tanias party preference may be open to speculation: it is not relevant.

    • Naki man 16.4

      It is not a personal attack at all. What do you think about Hone’s comment???
      The less said about this until after the trial the better.

      • Tracey 16.4.1

        cos the pm never determines. what time he speaks to media if at all.

      • Tracey 16.4.2

        she hasnt said anything about the incident, only about two prominent politicians handling of it. nothing she has said impacts the trial. it wont stop the two idiots cowering behind it as an excuse.

  17. Jrobin 17

    Thanks Tania, good analysis of John Key’s role in supporting rape culture. Stay strong you have the support of many New Zealanders.

  18. Bearded Git 18

    National Radio just reported that pressure is growing for McCully to resign.

    Can Key take two ministerial passengers (Collins, McCully) to the election?

    Decision time for Slippery.

  19. yeshe 19

    Wow, such a brave and compassionate young woman .. risking herself and her privacy to draw this serious and articulate attention to what needs to be changed. Kia Kaha and thank you, Tania. May it bring the results Tania wishes for us all, reframing the dialogue around sexual violence and its causes.

    Key and McCully should be deeply ashamed simply as humans, but they won’t be. Time for them to go, please.

  20. xtasy 20

    Tania Billingsley has displayed courage to come out and tell her story about her treatment by the authorities, in particular MFAT and the government!

    Fact is, this would not be in the media at all, had it not been for her determination to take action and have her name suppression removed, and had it not been for one person in the otherwise rather useless, even at times very biased mainstream media, to decide to dig into this, which though will have been done merely for pure “media opportunism”, exploiting the momentum of a scandal involving the highly sensitive area of diplomacy and foreign relations.

    Looking beyond of what Tania is talking about, and her personal feelings and views though, this is NOT something unusual at all, and it is not limited to incidents of attempted sexual abuse or even rape being questioned, marginalised or suppressed.

    In reality, these kinds of incidents are DAILY occurrences, and it is all about the arrogance of bureaucracy in New Zealand (like anywhere else)! Every day people get denied their rights and respect, and get fobbed off, are they treated with contempt and ridiculed. Bureaucrats, staff and management in many departments and agencies often make mistakes, it may be the police, the IRD, WINZ, ACC and also District Health Boards and elsewhere. When they make mistakes, they do all to cover up, and they tell people, that clearly wrong actions by staff have actually been “correct”, may be corrected (if found being wrong), or they even dare to claim they never happened.

    Try taking issues to the Independent Police Conduct Authority, the Health and Disability Commissioner, the Privacy Commissioner, even the Human Rights Commissioner, and you will find, all those Offices are mostly also full of “experts” in fobbing people off with weak excuses and explanations, using their “discretion”, and taking no action, as there is insufficient “evidence” of wrongdoings. If something is found wrong, at best it is a “slap on the writs” with a “wet bus ticket”.

    New Zealanders are in general far too long-suffering, forgiving and too easily resigned to being stuffed around. It is damned REFRESHING to see a young woman stand up against all this endless BULLSHIT that goes on every day!

    Murray “McCoward” should resign after all this, and John Key, today leaving for his “holidays”, should publicly apologise for the failings and wrong-doings of his “cover up” government!

  21. Philj 21

    xox

    This issue raises serious questions about the quality of our leadership, government, justice, media and demockary.

  22. Hagar 22

    Those calling for McCully to resign, be careful of what you wish for. Consider this… He resigns and doesnt stand in East Coast Bays electorate, but remains on the National list. Colin Craig gets in by default ( you asked for it! ) and the conservatives get 3 seats.

    • Anne 22.1

      My concern too.

      However he can be forced to resign his Foreign Affairs portfolio but that doesn’t mean he has to resign from representing his electorate. That of course would be a better outcome.

    • bad12 22.2

      Hagar, as if the National Party isn’t planning on having McCully step aside from the seat anyway, attempting to protect McCully on the basis of political expediency is probably deserving of the attachment to you of a number of epithets…

      • Populuxe1 22.2.1

        Unless the whole event has proven a useful excuse for National to orchestrate a new coalition partner as ACT, the Maori Party and Peter Dunne go tits up

  23. Wht NEXT 23

    This situation shows up how shallow Key and McCully are in understanding the reality of this crime that has been committed and their obvious sexist attitude to how to handle being in charge of the power to administer justice in this case
    With Key its to be expected because of the coincidence between how he is alleged to have manipulated the NZ currency back in 1987 and this situation with this arrogant bastard who thinks he can sexually assault a woman in this country and get away with it both manipulations of human rights
    Denial the tool of the privileged
    I wonder if Key can sleep some nights wondering when the currency will crash as it did being supposedly overvalued back in 1987 or whether he can can get away it this time a bit like how this alleged rape case is unfolding
    The parallel is all to obvious to me without stating it further
    As for McCully hes obviously out of his depth in understanding the seriousness of this internationally that it will require focus on the level of the recent proceedings in Britain in regards to phone hacking
    This diplomats action deserve the treatment his country dishes out on drug traffickers and that would really attack the credibility of the law and justice procedures in both NZ and Malaysia
    This will create a precidence that must be addressed in all levels of govt now and the fervour that the Nats showed to put so much legislation thru under urgency in the last 5yrs they should now do with this case before the election
    Gladly this will probably seal the fate of this national govt demise because it is showing up to be the issue that will show who is really capable of leading this country
    The misery that this ineptitude of these two parliamentarians have shown and their lack of any heart felt apology to this young lady is beyond decency
    and quite frankly Key should be denied a holiday untill he fixes this and if he gets done in by it all then may be he will know what that lady has to live with

  24. It is good that Hone has made an apology over his backbenchers comments

    Asked on the show about the political storm around alleged attacker Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail, Harawira said: “I think all of the media, their heads should roll for making a big fuss about bugger all.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10252967/Harawira-U-turn-in-diplomat-sex-case

    The apology

    “Sometimes I make little mistakes and sometimes I make big mistakes. The thing is, when you’re wrong, front up and deal with it. I made a BIG mistake last week, and here’s what I have to say about it …

    I want to sincerely apologise if my comments on Backbenches may seem to have minimised the gravity of the situation regarding the young woman who asked police to investigate the complaint of sexual assault against the Malaysian diplomat.

    I have reviewed the tape and I accept that my comments were not helpful at all. Sexual assault IS a big deal, and I applaud Tania Rose Billingsley for her brave and courageous appearance on television last night.

    I think it was a big mistake but at least he has recognised it.

    • I have to disagree, marty. I don’t think much of apologies which feature the words “if”, “may” and “seem to have minimised”. Not to mention that the problem wasn’t whether his comments were “helpful”.

      If Hone really understands that he made a big mistake he’s done a very poor job of showing it.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 24.1.1

        Yep, another Clayton’s apology. He’s apologising for other people’s perceptions, well newsflash, Hone, you aren’t responsible for other people’s feelings either: say sorry for yourself or not at all.

      • Eralc 24.1.2

        You’ve nailed it, Stephanie!

        I see it as a shallow apology made under duress. If it hadn’t been for Laila, the apology may never have happened.

    • The Al1en 24.2

      Little mistake or big mistake, it’s all insight in to the man behind the headlines.
      Good call DC.

  25. Little mistake or big mistake, it’s all insight in to the man behind the headlines.
    Good call DC.

  26. One Anonymous Bloke 26

    If this is the Mainstream Media’s idea of “sex” their loved ones need our protection.

  27. blue leopard 27

    Stunning actions by Tania Billingsley.

    I hope this issue doesn’t simply get framed into ‘to fire or not to fire’ [Mr McCully] or ‘right vs left’ or ‘war on men’ – or any other such narrowing of the very wide perspective that Tania offered us all.

    I believe that would be trivializing what Tania spoke about. She provided a very insightful message and an inspiring attitude.

    I wish Tania a speedy recovery and hope that she has got a very supportive network surrounding her because I have noticed National tend to get very dirty when the thin veneer of their fake displays of decency and competency gets scratched and what is underneath starts becoming apparent.

  28. Whatever next? 28

    Remarkable young woman, Key’s daughter is a similar age, I wonder if has reflected on if he would look so bored if it were her who had been attacked?

  29. Murray Olsen 29

    Tania Billingsley seems like a highly admirable young woman. Total respect for her. Total contempt for NAct, the party of rape culture.

  30. Some person 30

    As a woman, feminist and mother, I am horrified that the accused is being judged by mob mentality. The case needs to go to trial and both alleged victim and perpetrator need to stand before a judge and jury – those trained to understand complexity. Getting media involved has never been a good idea and I don’t think it ever will be.

    • Eralc 30.1

      Some person, I agree with you.

      There are too many chefs in this kitchen and someone’s going to get burnt.

    • McFlock 30.2

      lol what training do juries get?

    • Murray Olsen 30.3

      Tania spoke about how she felt let down by the government. She said virtually nothing about the alleged attack or the legal case. Your not wanting to involve the press means you do not think McCully and Key should be held to account for their filthy actions. Sorry, but I think you’re just a Nactoid, which is the scientific term for a Key loving haemorrhoid.

      • Some person 30.3.1

        Wow Murray, that is mature. I have absolutely no interest in your political opinions, in fact I have find political arguments something of little value… there to keep commoners feeling important.

        • Murray Olsen 30.3.1.1

          Commoners? Haha. Royalty are we?

        • Draco T Bastard 30.3.1.2

          Politics is the most important thing that happens within society. It is how we define our society and it’s values.

          And then we have people like you debasing that importance to make you feel that you’re better than others. Of course, all your belittling does is prove how small and pathetic you are.

      • Pascal's bookie 30.3.2

        Exactly Murray. Tania’s statement was talking about the things the announced ministerial inquiry will be hopefully looking at. the management of the diplomatic aspects, which are not criminal and will have no bearing on any court case.

        I’ve not seen any concern trolling about that inquiry being a ‘breach of natural justice’ or anything, which pretty much shows what the river of smarmy bile directed toward the complainant since she went public is really about, as far as I’m concerned.

  31. Grant Clark 31

    I am sad for Tania, but am absolutely certain she has been played by the Greens to their advantage – the press coverage may be what she wanted – who knows.

    Why go public before a charge has been laid. Does one think our fair mined public fed by the media will ensure there is a fair trial? I have looked at the commentary on this sad event and it seems every man/women and their dog has an opinion.

    The opportunitity to push the rape culture argument and point the finger at the Prime Minister is not overly clever – the “alleged” offender was employed at the Malaysian Embassy and to somehow link him into this NZ rape culture is a bridge too far. As well, (by association) to find the Prime Minster a party to this tradgic event is pushing the boundaries too far. The Law Society spokesman on radio has also said as much.

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    3 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    3 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    4 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    4 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    6 days ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    7 days ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    1 week ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    1 week ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    1 week ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    1 week ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government supresses Climate Change report
    The Government has deliberately sat on a critical Climate Change report for 5 months which they must now release, election or no election, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “I want the report released immediately, so that New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce gets it wrong on Labour’s Fiscal Plan
    Labour’s Fiscal Plan is robust, the numbers are correct and we stand by them despite the desperate and disingenuous digging from an out-the-door Finance Minister, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Steven Joyce has embarrassed himself. This is a desperate, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Making renting secure and healthy
    Labour will move to make renting a more stable and healthy experience for families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago

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