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Uffindel’s new allegation

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, August 10th, 2022 - 231 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, national, same old national - Tags:

Allegations of inappropriate behaviour being made public always run a risk.

Sometimes they reflect a one off episode of bad behaviour.  There is nothing better to deal with this than a serious attempt at atonement unaffected by calculations of personal interest.

Other times they are evidence of deeply shitty behaviour and publication of the news makes others who have also been subject to shitty behaviour to come forward.

This may be the case with Sam Uffindell whose allegation of bullying of a 13 year old Kings College has been followed up with an allegation that he acted inappropriately to a Student flatmate.  From Craig McCulloch at  Radio New Zealand:

National MP Sam Uffindell has been stood down from the party’s caucus while an investigation is carried out into further allegations of bullying raised by RNZ.

A woman who flatted with the Tauranga MP at university in 2003 has told RNZ’s Morning Report Uffindell was an aggressive bully who once pounded on her bedroom door, screaming obscenities, until she fled through her window.

In a statement issued late Tuesday night, Uffindell denied claims he engaged in “intimidatory or bullying” behaviour, but said there was a falling-out between flatmates.

The allegations are serious:

Uffindell’s former flatmate, who RNZ has agreed not to name, lived with the man and three other Otago University students for several months in Dunedin in 2003.

She told RNZ Uffindell engaged in a pattern of bullying during their second year at university, describing him as “verbally aggressive”.

Uffindell would trash the house after “excessive” use of alcohol and drugs, she said.

“This was intimidation. This was bullying. I didn’t feel safe,” she said.

The woman said she eventually moved out of the flat after having to lock herself in her bedroom to avoid a drunken outburst one night.

“He was smashing on my door and yelling obscenities and basically telling me to get out – ‘hit the road, fatty’.

“I ended up climbing out of my bedroom window and ran to a friend’s house to stay the night. I feared for my safety. I was scared.”

The woman said it was not an isolated incident: “it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.” Her father travelled to Dunedin the next day to help her move out, she said.

Speaking to RNZ, the woman’s father corroborated his part in the story and said his daughter had been “seriously upset”.

“The flat itself was completely trashed. There wasn’t a stick of furniture left. There was no crockery left. There were no handles left on anything. It had all been broken.”

He said he gave Uffindell and two of the other flatmates “a serious piece of [his] mind” at the time.

“It was clear… [Uffindell] had real issues, real problems… he was out of control.”

The woman said she was traumatised by the event and did her best to avoid Uffindell from then on: “my stomach would absolutely flip and drop if I saw him.”

Looking back, the woman said she should have spoken to someone or taken some sort of action, but she was too scared. Uffindell never apologised for his actions, she said.

She said people may try to excuse Uffindell’s actions because of his age, but the pattern of behaviour revealed his character.

If this complaint is confirmed you have to question how careful National’s candidate vetting was.  And you have to wonder what personal issues the other candidates had that caused the Selection Panel to prefer Uffindell.

I anticipate that Labour will continue to keep out of this.

And it may pay for the Electoral Commission to start planning for a new Tauranga By Election.  If this allegation has merit then Uffindell is in big trouble.

231 comments on “Uffindel’s new allegation ”

  1. Ad 1

    Whoever is doing this hit job is doing it textbook; fresh shitbomb every 48 hours.

    They've already eradicated all media memory of the Party conference.

    • Ha! Yes Ad, it comes across as an orchestrated litany of leaks!

      And, as Micky says, Upffenoff was the BEST of the Natz candidates, so how low is the bar for candidate selection?

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1

        “Do the Limbo” dance low? Macho bravado, bullying, alpha traits and particularly being an ex plod or young corporate “thruster” e.g. Todd Barclay, are actually sought after qualities in natzo candidates, not that they publicise that.

        The psychology is interesting, a few years back there was a contender for the National Party Northland Electorate Seat–Mark Tan–he seemed a somewhat modern farmer type, beaten by ex copper Mike Sabin of course. Mr Tan later washed up as Principal of Kaitaia Christian School Abundant Life.

        And who should turn up throwing bricks at cops near the end of the Wellington “Convoy” occupation (photo of this run by Northland Age newspaper) but one Mr Tan. Tan was on sabbatical leave from his Prinicipal role at Abundant Life Christian school in Kaitaia because he was anti COVID vaccination! Following Northland MP Matt King used party channels to circulate his climate change denial views and refused to meet well qualified Regional Council members to debate the science.

        Mistakes get made by most parties re selection–but it seems a “feature not a bug” for the NZ National Party.

        • Chris

          I liked how in the video it showed some cops throwing the bricks back at protestors, until it stopped probably after realising it wouldn't be a good look. Our cop force is highly likely to be littered with this kind of trash, too, I'd say.

      • Jenny how to get there 1.1.2

        "….you have to wonder what personal issues the other candidates had that caused the Selection Panel to prefer Uffindell." Mickysavage


        If Uffindell was the best of the bunch, you really do have to wonder what sort of people are in the pool for positions in the National Party.

        Who are they, are they all really worse than Uffindell?

    • Mike the Lefty 1.2

      Thinks: which party stands to gain most from National looking increasingly like a clowns outfit?

      Answer: ACT.

      • mpledger 1.2.1

        Yea, if stuff is being leaked about Kings College then it's more likely to be coming from the Right then the Left.

    • Sanctuary 1.3

      Uffidel's big problem isn't the string of allegations. They were a long time ago. But his evasiveness and deception on the issue goes to political integrity, personal sincerity and self-awareness.

      If he'd just stood on his front doorstep supported by his adorable kids and sad looking wife and said

      "Yes, I was an awful young man who did many things that I find deeply troubling today. I wish I could go back and do things differently and apologise more fulsomely but I can't. All I can say is since I've turned my life around, given up the demon drink, found Jesus I am a different man, and with the help of my wonderful wife and my children I plan a life of redemptive public service"

      Then people would have simply divided along partisan lines and he'd have survived relatively unscathed.

      Kinda like this:

    • But absolutely nothing came out of the conference that was complete anyway. National Party is a complete shambles at the moment and has been since Key deserted them without any follow up for the leadership.

  2. Macro 2

    Nat selection board "Rich entitled prick?"

    Candidate "Yes that's me."

    Nat selection board "Right you're in"

  3. pat 3

    National obviously has a candidate selection problem……so does the country.


    • weka 3.1

      Fuck that’s bad. What happens if there aren’t enough people elected? They carry on with less councillors?

      • Robert Guyton 3.1.1

        I've put my nomination in. We candidates are thin on the ground this time around. People don't appear to have the appetite for conflict, which is what the coming term promises. Governance has been getting a very bad rap over the past couple of years and that antipathy to "the boss" is growing. With various anti-governance groups becoming bolder and bolder, more and more threatening toward those who chose to make decisions on behalf of the community, it's little wonder few are putting their hands up.

        • Ad

          Good on you for hanging in there.

          Sensible people are keeping their heads down until 3 Waters beds in.

          It's about 30% of what local councils do.

          Plus local government role has been weakened with the new water quality regulator, and impending changes to the RMA.

          This is the era of the great centralisation, and central government are hoovering up local government influence unto to themselves.

        • ianmac

          I will vote for Robert – if my vote from Marlborough will count.

          I our neck, the only vote will be for two who are standing for Mayor. Non of the other Wards have enough.

          Anyone have a candidate from the "Money Free Party"????

        • alwyn

          I think you are very brave Robert. I understand that a goon squad has been down your way looking for anything that people not in the good graces of the Government have ever done in their life.

          I hope they don't discover, and attack you for, having sneaked a surreptitious cigarette out the back of the bike sheds when you were in Standard 6.

      • roy cartland 3.1.2

        Yikes! That explains a lot about why we have candidates like Uffers cropping up all the time – the actually don't have anyone else. (If the same applies to Central govt, that is.)

      • pat 3.1.3

        Thats a good question…I dont know, perhaps Robert may.

  4. Incognito 4

    At least now we know why National needs so many party donations, i.e., to pay for all those internal interviews that cannot be cheap (a QC, no less) because the National Party hierarchy cannot do their job right and the Party cannot change its bad culture. Those donations are an utter waste of money anyway because nothing changes in and with National and it is BAU, as usual. National is unfit to lead a government with ACT.

    • LibertyBelle 4.1

      I agree. The next government will be led by ACT, with National as it's coalition partner.wink

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        You are so right, when people vote for National they vote for ACT policies, not a centre-right package at all, which is why ACT propagandists are jumping for joy at this latest National debacle and at the National shambles in general. ACT knows that it can bleed vote(r)s from National; their relationship has been a politically incestuous parasitically cannibalistic one and Seymour et al know it. But I digress from the OP, so let’s continue this in OM, if you wish. I may have some time today for debate.

      • ann wilson 4.1.2

        Are you in training to be a comedian?

  5. Barfly 5

    Oh shit oh dear! You couldn't make this stuff up. Almost feel sorry for Uffindel he has now less future than a Russian ammo dump on the frontline.

  6. observer 6

    I'm wondering what the least bad option for National is now, because all options are bad.

    Probably keeping Uffindell, giving him no portfolios but quietly replacing him in 2023 is the least bad. Like a Friday afternoon document dump, do it when he's not in the news any more.

    He can't be on leave for a year, so they can't run down the clock. A by-election (turnout 2%) runs a high risk, because any candidate has to be flawless now. Or Simon Bridges? wink

  7. roy cartland 7



    "…you're selecting arrogant and entitled men with no sense of public duty."


    "Ah, no…(stutter, stammer, stutter…)"


    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      "Is National the party of law and order?"

      (Goes on to list the dodgy behaviours of numerous National MP's)

      Nice interview, Guyon.

  8. dv 8

    What is the shortest time that someone has been an MP?

    • dv 8.1

      Found it

      The MP with the shortest period of service is possibly Henry Jackson who served in 1879 from 2 July to 15 August; from the 1879 by-election to the 1879 general election. Jackson was sworn in on 11 July 1879 and parliament sat until 11 August.

  9. roy cartland 9

    What the "supporters" are never asked is, what if it was your son that was gang-bashed? Your daughter that was screamed out of her flat in the middle of the night?

    • Ad 9.1

      Yes the reporting from the victim at Otago Uni and from her dad on RNZ was pretty devastating.

      Guaranteed more to come.

      • aj 9.1.1

        the victim at Otago Uni and from her dad

        According to Uffindell, "never happened"

        Both the daughter and father sounded very credible.

        He's gone.

      • bwaghorn 9.1.2

        At one point in an interview uffindel did yesterday he said there will be more, possum in the headlights territory now, !

    • aom 9.2

      Another domestic violence abuse situation as well? Fits the form! No doubt won't emerge – it's the demographics that will protect Uffindell. Money and assumed status!

      Metiria Turei when for lesser stuff.

    • Peter 9.3

      You know that if it were a gang member smashing up the flat and terrorising the woman they'd be calling for the death penalty.

      In fact if it had been a gang member it would be easier to understand the behaviour. A stranger in a strange place attacking a stranger – no ties of familiarity to put brakes on the behaviour.

      This was someone he knew, they had some sort of common bonds. Aside: Would he have pounded on a gang member's house because he was pissed off or out of his tree for some reason?

    • rrm (yes the kiwiblog one) 9.4

      I can help you there, I've voted various combinations of National/ACT for 15 years.

      Some of us do have children of our own and are capable of putting ourselves in someone else's shoes. We are disgusted by this, and want him gone from the party by lunchtime.

      And the party person responsible for selecting this procession of awful, AWFUL suit-wearing surplus young males with no idea, needs to follow him out the door. Gilmore, JLR, and now this. We need more Keys and Luxons, more international CEOs taking a huge pay cut to enter politics because they feel some need to make the country a better place. Not awful little private school snots who won the 7th form debating trophy.

      Nobody deserves to pay penance for a lifetime over stupid shit they did in their teens. But this is our elected representative in parliament, they need to be people who show a high standard of character and integrity. The bar for character is well above nasty violent bully.

      (It is immaterial that Meka Whaitiri didn't lose her job and Mallard didn't lose his, because the bar is well above whatever the Labour Party will close ranks and defend too.)

      And in purely practical terms, until SU goes, how can Luxon or anyone else speak with credibility on violent crime, or youth crime, or issues in schools, as long as he backs SU?

      • lprent 9.4.1

        Mallard didn't lose his

        Jez – you do have a remarkably selective memory. I however remember the other side of that as well.

        Nor did Tau Henare who’d deliberately provoked the confrontation. I believe that there were blows exchanged as a result of Tau making some crude comments about Mallard's new partner, and his marriage breakup.

        Something that National and ex-National MPs appeared to applaud based on their behaviour and statements at the time.

        Mallard at least went through demotion, police complaint, court case. In other words he acted like contrite Labour MP.

        National MP Tau Henare acted like a typical National MP – ie as a self-entitled dickhead. Despite provoking the assault, being a complete arsehole and walking over the bounds of reasonable behaviour, he was never apparently repentant. Got congratulations from the likes of Don Brash, and was promoted by John Key to being the chair of select committees after the election.

        But hey – you're completely naturally one-sided – like a good National/Act toadie.

      • Sacha 9.4.2

        And the party person responsible for selecting this procession of awful, AWFUL suit-wearing surplus young males with no idea, needs to follow him out the door.

        Goodfellow needs to be shown the door immediately, yes. Though his replacement was part of this selection process, apparently. Right-leaning voters deserve better.

      • Incognito 9.4.3

        Oh dear, this the best you can come up with?

        About those ‘huge pay cuts’, how can they afford it and pay the rent? Do they get government support? It must be tough, financially, for those poor corporate high-flyers to make ends meet, at the end of the day.

        Of course, you completely ignore the main issue here that is the National Party selection process, which again failed abysmally.

        Labour’s selection process appears to be more scrupulous and robust.


        Newshub can reveal that under its new leadership the National Party has set up an “intelligence unit” to dig up information on its political opponents during the 2020 election campaign.

        Their efforts are better redirected to a ‘sewage gang’ or ‘catharsis commission’ to give the National Party a much-needed enema to clean out its internals. It’s hard to believe that there are also not a few political turds in ACT waiting to be flushed out & down. All will come out in the wash except shit stains.

        • Anne

          Newshub can reveal that under its new leadership the National Party has set up an “intelligence unit” to dig up information on its political opponents during the 2020 election campaign.

          National have had an intelligence unit whose task was to dig up supposed dirt on their opponents for decades. It used to be kept in John Key's top drawer.

          Oh yes. There are a few turds in ACT waiting to be flushed out. For starters, they were the first party to do the donation dividing thing in the 1990s so they could keep the identities of their big donors a secret.

          • rrm (yes the kiwiblog one)

            Anne – I wonder if that is anything like the people who tried to smear Chris Bishop as some kind of sexual creeper a few years ago? They all turned our to be labour party people.

        • rrm (yes the kiwiblog one)

          Of course, you completely ignore the main issue here that is the National Party selection process, which again failed abysmally.

          Oh dear…

          If you hadn't been seething about my "huge pay cut comment", maybe you might have noticed my 3rd paragraph..? 😉

          • Incognito

            Oh dear, if your premise hadn't been so disingenuous (aka silly) your other paragraphs could have had more credibility. Luxon owns 7 or so houses and what was Key’s net wealth when he officially entered NZ politics? Don’t make it sound like their ‘pay cuts’ are a noble and humble financial sacrifice to serve the NZ people, FFS.

            • rrm (yes the kiwiblog one)

              OMG did you just refute the premise of my comment?


              • Incognito

                Now you have done the right thing and shot your own premise to pieces, care to address the National Party selection shambles and how they failed so miserably in the pre-selection/selection of an Electoral MP candidate in a true blue and high-profile electorate? In addition, care to comment on how the infamous National Party PR apparatus failed miserably to deal with the H-bomb and ensuing fallout? National and by association ACT are unfit to govern as they can’t even get their own shit together. Another CEO figure head is not going to fix anything and change anything; they’re better off making money for shareholders, which is about the only thing they do well, sadly.

                • rrm (yes the kiwiblog one)

                  Now you have done the right thing and shot your own premise to pieces, care to address the National Party selection shambles and how they failed so miserably in the pre-selection/selection of an Electoral MP candidate in a true blue and high-profile electorate?


                  Like I said:

                  Some incompetent fool is responsible for this shambles, and probably JLR and the very important politician Gilmore also. They need to go too.

                  In addition, care to comment on how the infamous National Party PR apparatus failed miserably to deal with the H-bomb and ensuing fallout?

                  No. I refute the premise of that question. But for argument’s sake – what’s “the h-bomb” in this context? I don’t really speak beltway

                  National and by association ACT are unfit to govern as they can’t even get their own shit together.

                  OK böomer. The most recent polling seems reasonably "together".

                  • Incognito

                    So, nothing meaningful from you, quelle surprise. Party fitness for government is not the same as a poll result, but it sounds awfully good, doesn’t it? H-bomb = wrongful selection of MP for Tauranga.

                    • rrm (yes the kiwiblog one)

                      Party fitness for government is not the same as a poll result, but it sounds awfully good, doesn’t it?

                      LMAO turn it up. The light rail rail Mt Roskill by 2021 and 100,000 kiwibuild houses in ten years are over —> there somewhere. But we are digressing.

                      I'm actually with you on this one. This Pratt Uffindell should never have been selected, he needs to go, and whoever or whatever decided to select him needs overhaul or replacement also. No argument at all from me about that.

                      This selection is the latest in a line of bad selections that just hands ammo directly to people like yourself…. people who want to make NZ politics all about class struggle and dumb, lazy stereotypes about anybody who went to a private school, anybody from business, or really anyone from any background that isn't exactly the same as mine and isn't couched in intersectional victim identity.

                      National is right to steer away from putting "governance professionals" (= out of touch troughers) in parliament. But they need to make sure they are bringing in true leaders of industry and society, not just empty vessel whizz kids.

      • Chris 9.4.4

        I'm more interested in seeing what's discovered about what and when Luxon knew of Uffindel's past. It just seems incredulous that so many people close to Luxon knew but Luxon didn't. Sure, now and then leaders can be deliberately kept in the dark to protect them, but it's stranger so many knew except Luxon. If it comes out that he knew it could be Luxon who goes.

        It was a shame Collins went because she represents pretty much the bottom of national's barrel. I'm hoping, although not holding my breath, that more comes out about what Luxon knew and he's forced out. This way there's chance of getting someone more in keeping with Collins' calibre.

  10. woodart 10

    possibly another way of looking at this ,is what attracts" arrogant and entitled men with no sense of public duty" to the party of personal responsibilty?is it a case of like attracting like? as turds circle together?

    • Anne 10.1

      What herds them together is the belief they are superior to the rest of us. It is based on the premise they are rich (or fairly rich) or they come from rich back-grounds. Add to that the presence of the old-boy networks, then their chances of success are infinitely better than those of us who are less financially endowed and don't know the 'right' people.

      In short: its all about the money!

    • AB 10.2

      the party of personal responsibility

      Listen to them when hey talk about personal responsibility. Notice that they are almost never talking about themselves (how they might do better, etc.). They are almost always accusing other people of failing to show it – and arguing that because of that failure, those other people deserve no help. It's pretty clear that they aren't interested in personal responsibility per se – they are looking for ways to disavow any obligation to other people.

  11. Incognito 11

    I look forward to another good bye-election in Tauranga.

    • ianmac 11.1

      At least one person reckons that if a by-election must be held, the National Party should pay the cost of over $1million.

      • alwyn 11.1.1

        A million bucks?

        Is that what Paul Eagle is going to have to cough up if he succeeds in doing a runner and we get stuck with him as the Wellington Mayor?

    • Robert Guyton 11.2

      That's good, Incognito: "goodbye election".

      Actually, very good 🙂

  12. Whispering Kate 12

    Have mercy on the missus.

  13. Reality 13

    Personal responsibility is for other people, not them. Time they shut up preaching about that until they do the same themselves.

    And as for screeching about the cost of living payment going to some who are not entitled to it – what about the wage subsidy going to companies which have made a good profit and not paid it back? Waiting to hear Luxon/Willis/Bishop tell those companies to show some personal responsibility and pay the money back.

    • " And as for screeching about the cost of living payment going to some who are not entitled to it – what about the wage subsidy going to companies which have made a good profit and not paid it back? Waiting to hear Luxon/Willis/Bishop tell those companies to show some personal responsibility and pay the money back "

      Excellent point Reality.

    • Or even the Natz tax cuts giving most to those who don't need it!

      Ah, but of course, it's their money, isn't it?

      When you can afford private schools, private hospitals and holidays in Hawaii, then what need have you of any public services?

  14. That photo .

    Humpty Dumpty and Jack and the Bean stalk.

    Welcome to the new National Party of,

    nursery rhymes and fairy tales.

  15. Mike the Lefty 15

    After reading the many stories about MPs allegedly bullying, living it up on the public purse and consuming bad substances I can assume that our politicians are simply reflecting the reality of the society they live in. Is it fair to expect them to be better than us and do we deserve them to be?

    • weka 15.1

      please fix your email address on next comment, ta.

    • roy cartland 15.2

      Good point, it's the hypocrisy that gets you. Maybe they should just lean into it, it worked for Tr^mp, Boris, Bolso, Orban, etc.

    • bwaghorn 15.3

      Thing is he didn't declare most of the shit he got upto. I'm OK with flawed people but if they are going into power I want to know for sure they're reformed,

      (waghorns handler has done some dumb shit ,I can tell you)

    • Robert Guyton 15.4

      No. Unless they want to run for governance.

    • Sacha 15.5

      Is it fair to expect them to be better than us


  16. Hunter Thompson II 16

    When I started to read about this new Uffindel allegation (and I stress it is yet to be investigated) I thought – Oh gawd, another passenger getting aboard the MeToo bus years after the event.

    But the allegations seem to be serious and apparently another witness saw the after effects.

    If the flat really was wrecked, maybe the landlord could verify that because it sounds like a lot of damage was done, costing a bomb to repair. Why not ask them?

    And yes, the Natz method of candidate selection is a matter of concern.

    • Robert Guyton 16.1

      "The landlord"

      He/she/they'd be a Nat voter, right?

    • Sacha 16.2

      If the flat really was wrecked, maybe the landlord could verify that because it sounds like a lot of damage was done, costing a bomb to repair.

      Mummy and daddy will have paid for it, in exchange for more silence about their beloved.

  17. Nice to see Sam Uphimself trashing his party, you know the fiscally responsible one having to force another byelection.

  18. Reality 18

    Christopher – Uphimself – clever!!

    For those more prepared to say move on, it was all years ago and he has changed – spare a thought for the victim who was beaten.

    I have a 14 year old grandson who has been bullied for years. Mainly verbally. I have seen the tears and frustration. It has very much affected him. He is now at a boys school, but is not at all sporty and is a kind, polite, thoughtful, quirky kid so does not quite fit in. However, now he is older he sees these boys for what they are – strutting and narrow minded, who he has no respect for. I am very proud his moral compass is heading in the right direction.

    • roy cartland 18.1

      Tautoko. Bullying has lifelong consequences, verbal or physical.

      I met a former Black Cap once, who was telling me about the awful "sledging" he copped when he started (I'd never heard about sledging before). This was in the early 70s/80s, and here an older grown man still had misty eyes and a vulnerability in his demeanour. He seemed still in shock at the cruelty of it; when all he thought he had to do was play a spot o cricket.

      And this was a 'rich white guy' with all the wealth and support in the world.

    • Paul Campbell 18.2

      I was that kid, I'm 64 now, still have PTSD fight-or-flight feelings about that boys' school when I think about this issue – the last couple of days have been hard, I wont sleep tonight – but it's important we talk about this.

      Our traditional NZ boys' schools that aspire to be 'English Public Schools' are just broken, they need to be shut down, tossed on the scrapheap of history – we don't need to ape institutions that create Johnsons, Camerons, Mogs and their ilk – and we should just stop electing people who have graduated from those evil institutions into our government – they are not safe people.

      If the school isn't expelling the bullies, lease take him out ASAP, no kid should have to go to a place of terror every day it wears you down horribly – find a co-ed school that will support him – took my parents 3 years, should have been 3 months.

      What Luxon and National should have done yesterday was to introduce their new innovative comprehensive anti-bullying platform, you know, the one that would shut it down in schools, in the streets, in the workplace, and of course in their own caucus …. instead they went with "boys will be boys" ….

      • Patricia Bremner 18.2.1

        Paul, thanks for sharing.

        We need to recognise the PTSD in this situation.

        Teaching "coping strategies' is only part of the solution,

        Recognising triggers and groups who gather together with the intention of "feeling big", ( as most bullies are inadequate in their own eyes and are deflecting attention away from themselves onto some one else. though some enjoy the power trip.)

        If the behaviour continues into adulthood, it is because the perpetrator has had success at some personal level.

        Many hide in plain sight, taking roles and positions which allow the practice to continue.

        The belief in a strong leader rather than a consultative democratic group well led, is often a key difference.

        My experience made me leery of one on one meetings, where bullying and critical probing often occurred unimpeded.

        We all look back on these episodes in a variety of ways, but I strongly related to the reaction of that woman, in that when she saw him she had a physical reaction.

        One past staff member was a mean practical joker with an acid tongue, and my husband was cornered by him at a function, he came to get me. My face must have been telling, as he said, "You want to leave?'.

        We did and over a glass of wine at home, I told him of the 7 years of hell staff had with the man, until he was demoted and moved. Hubby got it "He blamed you?" "Yes, it couldn't be him could it? He was in his eyes the victim."

        The man was moved to three further schools, and staff would ask me what I knew of him. I would say "Don't give him private or personal stuff".

        It was all the system who moved him round for years, (similar to the Church moving problem priests,) allowed me to do.

        It is not "one off episodes" but a pattern of behaviours and consequences for all involved which recipients find problematic.

        There is often "under the carpet" solutions and scant help for the damaged. Worse, terms like "weak, namby pamby.. complainant' get tossed round." ,

        That old chestnut "Can't take a joke" is best answered by "Put downs are not jokes". Change occurs when open discussion and democratic rules for behaviour is put in place.

        Remember this is the top down National Party, episode 6?… waiting…..angry

  19. woodart 19

    teenage crimes against society..meh, grow out of it(hopefully).. teenage crimes against single person..multiple times ,against different people ,hmm, possible personality traits, grow out of it?..very unlikely..I think sam was talking about this in his maiden address. crikey! the phrase”national standards” has just taken on a whole new meaning! is it going to be a measure of hyprocrisy?

  20. Ffloyd 20

    Nobody is talking about one of Nationals worst offenders, namely John Key. What he did to that young waitress, at her place of work, repeatedly pulling her hair even after she asked him to stop was reprehensible and disgusting. It was assault pure and simple. Totally enabled by his ‘boys’ as Bronagh apparently called them who did not see, cough, as they had to be looking out side in case some baddies tried to get in. Bronagh should have been ashamed of herself for not trying harder to stop him. If my husband tried that thinking it was just ‘jolly japes’ I would have given him the rounds of the kitchen. BUT cute slimy,little Johnny got away with abusing his position of power with no consequences at all. So wrong on every level. Nationals culture of bullying lives on.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 20.1

      Yep, many of the Nat's continuing self-inflicted 'troubles' could be seen as Key legacies.

    • observer 21.1

      Gold, as in satire? It's a bit heavy on the sarcasm …

      "Luxon has shown that he's in charge of the situation now."

      War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Words mean nothing.

      • LibertyBelle 21.1.1

        Hey after 5 years of listening to the current PM, I understand how you could invoke the spectre of George Orwell smiley

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          The spectre of George Orwell's '1984', surely, not 'George Orwell' himself.

          Eric Arthur Blair (aka George Orwell) – from "Tory-anarchist" to "left-wing (though hardly orthodox) Labour-supporting democratic socialist", maybe – never a politician, let alone PM.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Is your name indicative of your world view?

          Our Prime Minister is not the problem here, though your deflection wishes it.

          Over 80 years I have found people who tout Liberty, mean for themselves and not usually for others.

          You reference to George Orwell indicates your thinking, and linking to Jacinda Ardern when we are discussing a possible pattern of bullying by a National Party member is poor deflection. 1984 it is not.

          • LibertyBelle

            The words from George Orwell are very relevant to the PM. She has overseen a substantial increase in 'communications' staff and yet appears to be heading a less than transparent government.

            As to liberty, I take freedom very seriously, and I view any attempt to curtail it with suspicion.

            • Kat

              I don't believe you……… and I doubt you would recognise a con even if it painted itself a purple shade of blue and danced naked at a National party conference singing " transparent seas and freedumb we are here again'."

              • LibertyBelle

                A 'con'?

                • Kat

                  Yes, the notion that the PM is heading a less than transparent govt is a con……

                  • LibertyBelle

                    Oh, thanks. Do you think that hiding something as significant as the He Puapua report is being less than transparent?

                    • Kat

                      Comedians who are worth their salt know when the audience doesn't find them funny, doesn't laugh and generally gives them the big Boo….

                      You are on a hiding to nowhere, best to exit stage left while you can…

                    • Louis

                      That didnt age well. Trotter was proved wrong. He Puapua report was basically a discussion document and is not government policy.

                    • LibertyBelle

                      "That didnt age well. Trotter was proved wrong."

                      It has aged very well.

                      "He Puapua report was basically a discussion document and is not government policy."

                      The issue is transparency. The he Puapua report was not disclosed to either Labour’s coalition partner or the wider public until the government was faced with an OIA.

                    • Louis

                      No it hasnt LibertyBelle and what part of it's not government policy did you not understand?

                    • LibertyBelle

                      "No it hasnt LibertyBelle"

                      Well you'll need to provide something to justify that.

                      "and what part of it's not government policy did you not understand?"

                      Of course it's government policy. But actually that's not important. Why did they hide it?

                    • Louis

                      Point out where Trotter has been proved right and the fact that it is not government policy is important and there was nothing to hide.

                    • LibertyBelle

                      "Point out where Trotter has been proved right…"

                      You're the one who claimed he been proved wrong. The onus of proof is on you.

                      "…and the fact that it is not government policy is important and there was nothing to hide."

                      Yet they hid it. From 2019, through an election and until they had to release it under OIA.

                    • Louis

                      Trotter's opinion was hypothetical reckonings, hence why I asked you the question. The government didnt hide the report, it's is not government policy.

                    • LibertyBelle

                      "Trotter's opinion was hypothetical reckonings, hence why I asked you the question."

                      You claimed he had been proved wrong. You can't support that claim it appears.

                      'The government didnt hide the report, it's is not government policy."

                      Why didn't they make it public? Why didn't they share it with their cooalition partner? After all it's Labour themselves who claimed to be 'transparent'.

                    • Louis

                      Hence why I asked you to show me where Trotter's opinion has been proved right. You cant. The government didnt hide it and why do you find it so hard to understand that it is not government policy.

                    • LibertyBelle

                      "The government didnt hide it "

                      Is not hiding it keeping it locked away from your coalition partner, and not releasing it to the public? If it wasn't/isn't government policy, why not be transparent and release it?

                    • Louis

                      It wasnt hidden. What is it about it not being government policy that you cant comprehend? How could it be released when it had not gone to cabinet, it had not been approved by cabinet, it had not been signed off by cabinet and there was no final declaration plan to sign off on anyway?

                    • LibertyBelle

                      "How could it be released when it had not gone to cabinet, it had not been approved by cabinet, it had not been signed off by cabinet and there was no final declaration plan to sign off on anyway?"

                      Quite easily. It could have been released as a report commissioned in response to UNDRIP. The government could have presented it as part of a conversation on NZ's future. That would have also avoided the accusations being directed at the government of covering the report up.

                    • Louis

                      No cover up and no, the government could not do that for all the reasons I have posted that you are deliberately ignoring. I assumed that you knew how the process worked, obviously you don't.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Interesting report, well worth a read. Here's one take.

                      Separatist or radically inclusive? What NZ’s He Puapua report really says about the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [7 July 2021]
                      As I try to show in my book ‘We Are All Here to Stay’: citizenship, sovereignty and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, there are ways state authority can be arranged to reject the colonial assumption that some people are less worthy of the right to self-determination than others.

                      And another:

                      With He Puapua and its critics, however, the Government has lost sight of this promise – as also happened after Te Tiriti was signed, leading to racial antagonism, violent conflict, and bitter and lasting anger. By focusing debates around Te Tiriti on this document, the Government has gone down a rabbit hole, with no ready exit in sight. History should teach us not to keep on making the same mistakes. [4 May 2021]
                      https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ideasroom/dame-anne-salmond-iwi-and-kiwi-beyond-the-binary [see part five]

                    • Louis

                      That's based on the version released by the National party.

                    • LibertyBelle

                      "No cover up and no, the government could not do that for all the reasons I have posted that you are deliberately ignoring."

                      You keep making stuff up. There is no reason the government couldn't have done what I suggested, other than their own lack of transparency. The country could then have a fuller discussion on the issues raised in He Puapua. The government has blown that chnace.

                    • LibertyBelle

                      "Interesting report, well worth a read. Here's one take."

                      I didn't want this to get into a discussion about He Puapua specifically, but thanks for the references. Anne Salmond's writing on the Treaty and related issues has been excellent, and her quote you provided is very pertinent.

                      [You brought the He Puapua report into the debate, likely as another diversion and bait, and made plenty of comment on it too, sucking more oxygen away. If you act like a troll you will be treated as one. This is your warning – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      Mod note

                    • Louis

                      Rubbish and that's rich Libertybelle, you are the one that keeps making it up. You conveniently ignore what counters your narrative and you had the cheek to call Mallard a dense blowhard. Even the report authors said that the group’s role was to put down a number of ideas for discussion, that it was never meant to be government policy. Unfortunately, it's been highjacked by right wing dog whistling. When the govt have gone through it and have made its deliberations and signed it off, they will release it then. Do you know of any reports released by previous National govts that didnt go through cabinet and get signed off first?

                    • Louis

                      "I didn't want this to get into a discussion about He Puapua specifically"

                      Yes you did, you were the one that brought it up Libertybelle.

                    • LibertyBelle

                      "When the govt have gone through it and have made its deliberations and signed it off, they will release it then."

                      You're a funny guy.

                      United Nations Declaration: Indigenous rights consultation begins in wake of He Puapua controversy | Newshub

                    • Louis

                      Supports what I have been saying to you Libertybelle.

                      "We will report back to Cabinet at critical points and expect to have a draft Declaration plan for wider public consultation next year."

          • Wasting your time Patricia. Liberty is on the Rabbit-Hole Express and will soon be out of sight, well into La-La-Land.

          • Louis

            yes Patricia Bremner

    • Stuart Munro 21.2

      It's extraordinary the lengths to which the party of backward bully boys like Brownlee (who could never be taken seriously in adult circles and has retired to sulk), will go to try to re-colour the tepid passions of Trevor Mallard into some latter day Gilles de Rais.

      Who are they trying to kid? If Mallard were that sort he'd've been drafted as a Gnat candidate years ago.

  21. observer 23

    And so it continues … drip … drip … drip

    In the space of 3 days, the number of Nats who knew about Uffindell and gave him a free pass has grown from nobody ("shocked we are, so shocked!") to now include the current party president, the former president, at least one senior MP, and now Luxon's office.

    McClay told Luxon's staff. Then they didn't tell Luxon (at least, that is the current version, it keeps changing).

    Remember Luxon spent time in Tauranga campaigning for his candidate in the by-election. And his staff watched him give his glowing endorsement and nobody dared to say … "Um, boss, there's something you should know".

    And New Broom Luxon, who ran an airline (according to unconfirmed rumours) did not ask. He had literally one job (how many candidates were National picking?) and he didn't want to do it.

    • Graeme 23.1

      I have a lot of difficulty believing that the staff didn't tell Luxon.

      I wonder if those staff are still working in Luxon's office?

      Could be some interesting interviews tomorrow morning.

    • shanreagh 23.2

      Well the same staff did not alert him to the optics of a website that looked like Te Puke when if was really Hawaii. From that I take it he has no staff who are trusted to say, without fear …'hey boss'……having had this kind of role in a parliamentary setting, if Luxon were my boss

      I would have said about the:

      • half mast mask or no mask
      • Te Puke or Hawaii
      • need to talk about the aspiring MP for Tauranga.

      These are only the ones we know about.

      Heaven only knows how many other instances there are. Doesn't sound like a very tight ship.

    • Paul Campbell 23.3

      Uffindel told us yesterday that he'd bullied a lot of others at school, but he hadn't gone out and apologised to any of them.

      I bet I know why: he doesn't remember their names or any of the dates or details of what he'd done to them, he only remembers that one time there were (mild) consequences. The thing is lots of those kids he beat up, they still remember, seared on their psyches, I hope they keep talking about it, couldn't be happening to a nicer guy

  22. Best thing not one political rant from bishop today

  23. observer 25

    This is very revealing (but of course, National could not possibly have known, eh?):


  24. Weasel 26

    I don’t know what all this carping on about personal responsibility is? Look at poor the-buck-stops-with-me Chrissie Luxon – when he said he was mixing it in Te Puke and he was in fact sunning it in Hawaii, it was clearly a staffer’s fault just as it was his minions’ stuff up when they decided on a policy of plausible deniability for keeping silent on Sam’s youthful little slips.

  25. Sacha 27

    Could keep unravelling

  26. Sacha 28

    Luxon has form

  27. Muttonbird 29

    Pressed further on the matter, Luxon refused to divulge which staff member learned of the information and kept it from him.

    That's because there is no staffer who "learned of the information and kept it from him".

    Luxon continues a long tradition for National Party leaders. He is lying…imo.


    • Maybe Key's mentoring is beginning to pay dividends – he's learning to lie as glibly as the 'Smiling Assassin.'

      And when you think of that nickname – surely the epitome of bullying?

      The Natz have a long history and culture of being bullies – which is probably why they selected Upffendoff in the first place. The fact that he beat up a younger, smaller boy may actually have been a plus!

    • Incognito 30.1

      One hand is a clenched fist, the other is keeping fingers crossed.

    • Matiri 30.2

      I watched the recent Ryan Bridge interview – Luxon was very sweaty and uncomfortable throughout, and when things got awkward, Luxon stuffed his hand in his pockets. So maybe hands in pockets = I am really struggling with this topic/situation?

  28. tsmithfield 32

    I think all this is getting to the point now where public sympathy will start swinging behind Unffindel.

    The latest allegation being he lived in a filthy flat as a teenager, as if that is unusual behaviour for teenage males. This sort of stuff starts looking very much like a media beat-up, and a political hit job.

    The key points for me, are what should be disclosed from teenage years. Clearly, the expulsion needed to be disclosed. But, the stuff that occurred as a student? There will probably be a lot of boorish stuff many students get up to, and trying to remember every instance of boorishness is probably impractical.

    I would consider it sufficient disclosure if he had just told the selection committee that as a student he had lived a party life, tended to get drunk, smoke weed and was loud, and probably offended various people. But had no criminal conviction during that period.

    The other key point is to differentiate what is typical teenage behaviour, and whether that behaviour is still part of the candidate's character. People grow up, and change considerably. Typical teenage behaviour involves a lot of stupidity and often not a lot of forward thinking. But, most people grow up from that.

    The issue for political parties, generally, that it is going to become very hard to find candidates if the threshold people not being stupid or offensive as a teenager.

    Perhaps there needs to be a statute of limitations on this sort of stuff, so that only issues such as expulsion or criminal convictions from that period need to be disclosed.

    I actually hope, that if the independent inquiry finds that he gave adequate disclosure, and that his character is completely different today, then he should keep his position.

    The key issues for me are not so much what happened as a teenager. But whether the candidate has been honest in disclosure, as honesty is a key component of character, and whether the person has matured and has lived with good character as an adult.

    • Sacha 32.1

      If the threshold is gang beatings with weapons of people several years younger, everything will be fine. Examining later years is testing claims that he did nothing wrong since.

      The bigger problem is how the Nats keep selecting entitled arseholes like this.

      • tsmithfield 32.1.1

        I have no knowledge of the guy, and whether he still is an arsehole, though definitely appears to have been one when young.

        I think things could get very grubby if political parties start going through the teenage backgrounds of all sitting MPs.

        If Uffindel is forced to stand down for teenage behaviour, then what if other sitting MPs are found to have engaged in behaviour of a similar level of seriousness as a teenager?

        • Sacha

          If any MP has violently thrashed a defenceless person without attention from police or the justice system, and then delivered speeches about being tough on crime, I welcome their history becoming public and we will see what scrutiny and consequences result. Naturally the MP's own ethnicity and class will have nothing to do with the process..

        • Blazer

          You seem to be missing the point.A robust pre selection process should ensure they do not become…M.P's.

          • tsmithfield

            So, at what point is someone entitled to leave their past behind? Or is someone do people have to permanently drag the ball and chain of what they did as a teenager?

            • dv

              But he retrieved the spotlight to his behaviour by focusing on gangs bullying in his maiden speech.

            • Blazer

              That is a subjective call when standing for high office.

              Transparency is required.

            • Incognito

              At what point do you realise that the National Party is acting like a serial abuser who will never change its ways and keep making the same mistakes over and over again. It’s déjà vu all over again.

            • Patricia Bremner

              Yes there is redemption, but it is earned by good in the community, has he done any of that?

    • woodart 32.2

      if uffindell had stood up in his maiden speech and said" I was an entitled bully when at school , but I have seen the error of my ways and I am here to give others the many chances I have had". you may have a leg to dance with smithfeild, BUT, he stood up and promptly when on the attack at other wayward teenagers, so you and uffers are dancing on the head of a pin. hypocrisy ,and entitlement lives on in the nats.

  29. Sacha 33

    Brilliant context

    • Sacha 33.1

      More sharp analysis – always takes a couple of days to come through:

        • Sacha

          Thank you. Another smart article.

          Bullying is not just about physical violence. Bullying is an attitude and bullies adapt that attitude to the social situation they're in as they move through different stages of life. But they always gravitate to different forms of power and are always trying to find ways to acquire it and exercise it over others. It's about control.

          Uffindell may no longer beat kids up in their beds in the middle of the night. But he still aspires to grasp at the power to beat up others who he considers beneath him. This is a guy who now wants to wield the power of the state against people who have already been victimised.

          Everyone has done something stupid in their teens. However, Uffindell’s maiden speech told me he still carries the same attitude he did when he was 16. I know a bully when I see one.

      • If he has any honour and self-respect left, he’d resign.

        A quote from the article. Has he any 'honour' and 'self-respect?'

  30. Anne 34

    Thank-you for that Matiri. An excellent article. Good to know there are some top notch journalists around. Just a pity it is the bottom trolling kind who get most of the publicity.

    I expressed some sympathy for Uffindell the day this story broke. That sympathy is evaporating fast.

    From your link:

    Bullying someone is first of all about looking down on someone, regarding them as beneath you, as not worthy, as fair game for you to inflict your worst tendencies on. Bullying is also about a sense of entitlement, that the rules don’t apply to you or people like you, they only apply to everyone else.

    Bullying is not just about physical violence. Bullying is an attitude and bullies adapt that attitude to the social situation they're in as they move through different stages of life. But they always gravitate to different forms of power and are always trying to find ways to acquire it and exercise it over others. It's about control.

    Every person who has ever been on the receiving end of a serial bully will tell you that is an accurate assessment of the bullies in life. By no means are all of them male either.

    If this story prompts a serious debate about the problem of bullying and how to prevent it from happening then it could have a very worthwhile outcome.

  31. Reality 35

    The Uffindell bullying saga has been described in soft phrasing such as "asked to leave" rather than "expelled", "stupid" rather than "cruel and vicious". The school keeping it quiet, downplaying it to a lesser level so the police will not be involved.

    "Only 16 years old and 20 years ago". Teenagers do stupid things but beating up a young sleeping boy was not "stupid", it was very serious.

    If a group of teenagers beat an unsuspecting young boy on Courtenay Place at night, Police would be called, it would be reported in the Dominion Post, and CCTV cameras checked.

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