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Wait, didn’t he say ‘women’?

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, June 6th, 2009 - 50 comments
Categories: corruption, crime, john key, national, national/act government, richard worth, sexism - Tags:

There’s still a lot of confusion on the Right, in particular, about the sequence of events in the Worth saga, so I’ve tried to reconstruct it below (btw, thanks to John Armstrong for using his time machine and advising us “The [Dover] Samuels case had negligible impact on the new [Labour-led] government’s subsequent fortunes. The same applies to Richard Worth’s fall from grace” Could he also tell us the results of the next five elections, so we can just can them? You old hack). Anyway, the timeline:

November 2008-February 2009: Worth offers a woman, who happens to be a Labour member, two jobs in return for sexual favours and leaving Labour to join National. This a clear case of corruption and abuse of power. He makes contact about 100 times over this period becoming more sexually aggressive. He is sometimes apparently drunk and sexually harasses her. Phil Goff becomes aware of this late last year and offers to take the matter up privately with John Key but the woman does not want to take the matter further fearing publicity.

Late February: Worth visits India as a minister. During that time he promotes the business activities of several enterprises with which he is associated. A classic conflict of interest for which ministers are routinely sacked.

Early (?) March: Worth entertains a woman as minister in Wellington, gets her drunk, and books her into a hotel room. He stays and something of a sexual nature happens. The woman, as is common in cases of a sexual nature, does not lay a complaint initially.

Late March/early April: Labour raises issues over Worth’s conflict of interest in his visit to India. Key gives him a ‘bollocking’ but no punishment. So much for one strike. This contrasts with his idol, Keith Holyoake, who was once asked permission by a minister to go on a trip that would have raised a conflict of interest. Holyoake denied permission and sacked the minister.

mid-April: Worth visits Jamil Sandhu after he is allegedly assaulted by the son of the mate of Worth’s. The purpose of Worth’s visit is never adequately explained although his version of events is at odds with the family, who say he introduced himself in his ministerial capacity. Clearly, he was trying to use his power to do a favour for his mate.

May 6: The first woman has a change of heart and takes up Goff’s offer. Goff speaks to Key on the phone, relating the woman’s complaint. Key is not surprised. he has heard rumours of similar behaviour by Worth. Key (or his office, he’s not clear) confronts Worth on the issue. Worth denies all and signs a file note that he would sign an affidavit to that effect and threatens to sue the woman and Labour if the issue is made public.

May 7 or 8: Key’s office reports to Goff’s office that Worth denies the events but has been placed on notice about this kind of behaviour. The woman wants to avoid publicity. The matter is allowed to rest on the assurance that Worth will not be behaving like this in the future.

Mid May: The woman who alleges Worth committed a sexual offence against her take her complaint to Police.

May 26: Key informed of Police investigation over Worth. Keeps suspected sex offender, whom he has also been told was earlier using his power corruptly in relation to least one other woman, in his portfolios and keeps the news quiet so as not to spoil the Budget.

June 3: Worth announces resignation. Key initially refuses to give any details and says he won’t be giving any. That lasts two hours. He acknowledges there is a ‘criminal matter’ involving Worth. Later he says that Worth had “been making a nuisance of himself towards women” (note, women). Phil Goff confirms rumours that he had taken a complaint about sexual harassment by Worth to Key on behalf of a complainant.

June 4: Key refuses to believe the veracity of the story from woman who claims sexual harassment. In perhaps the worst performance by a Prime Minister since the schnapps election, Key insists to National Radio’s Mary Wilson that the complainant needs to go public and says he will make public any information he gives her. Eventually Wilson gets him to agree that a private meeting will suffice. His office calls NatRad to complain about Wilson (better to be interviewed by his mate Plunket than some uppity sheila).

June 5: Key says that he didn’t sack Worth because of the alleged sexual offence but for another, non-criminal matter relating to the same events as the alleged sexual offence (this is at odds with previous statements when he has said Worth’s sacking is over a “criminal matter”). Key won’t reveal what the non-criminal matter is. Goff recounts his phone conversation with Key over the sexual harassment issue. Says Key was not surprised as he had heard rumours of such activity. Goff arranges private meeting for Key with the woman. Key pulls out at the last moment.

Key has handled this appallingly. He has failed to do the bare minimums expected of a Prime Minister. There are more questions that need answering:

  • Why did Key say women, are there other women that Worth has been sexually harassing?
  • What rumours had he heard before Goff came to him?
  • Had he investigated these rumours, if not why not?
  • Why did he keep a man he at least suspected of committing a sexual offence on as a minister (not even suspending him) for a week after learning of the allegation?
  • What was the other non-criminal matter that Key now says actually caused him to lose confidence in Worth?
  • Why the week between losing confidence and forcing Worth to resign, other than the obvious – that he didn’t want to wreck the Budget?

50 comments on “Wait, didn’t he say ‘women’?”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    I have posted this post here as well as it is probably most relevant to this topic:

    IrishBill: use a link next time.

    • Anita 1.1

      My response is back in the place you originally posted this comment. I can’t see a lot of value in recopying everything everywhere.

    • Zetetic 1.2

      Do you really think that this woman would just make all this up? Do you think Goff would put so much of his political capital on the line if he wasn’t sure?

      You pick up a few mis-speaks from Goff and build a fantasy world on that.

      According to Garner, Goff has the texts. He implies he has seen them.

      Remember, fool, that Goff and the lady were keen to meet Key with the texts yesterday. It was your hero that didn’t have the balls.

    • felix 1.3


  2. Kaplan 2

    All Key had to do was meet with her like he said he would. Very easy one would think. But yet again he shows how appallingly he handles himself by letting a very easy task spiral into something that makes him look like a fool.

    TS you can spin your version of events out as much as you like, quite frankly it doesnt really matter. Key had the ability ot make this a quick, clean affair.

    He has failed miserably.

    Can you here that noise? It’s the right’s share of the centre vote joining the centre Auckland, Maori and female vote trickling on back over to the left.

    • felix 2.1

      Hard to hear it when you’re bleeding from the ears from the sound of your own voice going “LALALALALALALALA”

    • RedLogix 2.2

      Key had the ability ot make this a quick, clean affair.

      And at little to no apparent political cost.

      This is the really odd thing about the whole sordid little mess; either Key is an inexperienced fool for failing to take obvious steps right from the beginning; OR it gets really interesting to speculate as to the hidden costs Key has been reluctant to incur by acting sooner.

      • doc whose asking 2.2.1

        excellent final point to make…

        rumors, as I have argued to TS elsewhere on the same topic are a two-way street.. or if we might illustrate it thus, a party/counterparty affair.

        But since it was the PM’s word TS’s lack of response leaves both himself and his hero somewhat open to their own failings.

        His expressed moral outrage – backbone and all that – now looks deviant. A demon must be found and thus—nothing else matters—making intelligent let alone sentient discussion with this rather forlorn soul* a waste of time.

        For all.

        * sawol may have been the olde english worde for this in the bro bible TS’s fiber hath been cast in.

        • doc whose asking

          addendum: the hidden costs Key has been reluctant to incur by acting sooner.

          Having just heard a news bulletin with its PM pronouncement( gasps there suggest how unexpected this was) for the Auckie throne, as it were, one is left wondering at the prescience you appear to have displayed.. yes?

  3. giggles 3

    it’s obvious you’re very keen to tie something negative to key here and considering you’re a left wing blog, you wouldn’t be doing your cause justice if you didn’t.

    it’s also looking increasingly obvious that you could be dragging your own leader down the dunny with your attempts.

    Are you asking yourselves if goff acted responsibly by not coming forward earlier or will you continue to stick with your “change of heart” defence?

    • felix 3.1

      Yeah, people all over the country are starting to piece this together and they’re all thinking the same thing: “What a weak leader and sexual deviant that bastard Goff must be”.

      Oh no hang on, that’s retarded.

    • gobsmacked 3.2


      When you say Goff “coming forward”, do you mean privately (to Key) or publicly (to the media)?

      Which of the two should he have done earlier, and should he have done it against the wishes of the woman?

    • Zetetic 3.3

      Not my leader. I’m RAM to the bone.

      Anyway. Would you be praising Goff if he had raised this in the House to attack Key against the wishes of the woman? No, you munter, you wouldn’t.

      • IrishBill 3.3.1

        RAM are splitters. Go the Workers Party!

        • Ari

          I’m so disappointed I can’t remember that line from Life of Brian right now. 🙂

          On a more serious note: It doesn’t matter if they’re splitters. His vote is his, and nobody gets to tell him what to do with it. 🙂

          • QoT

            Judaean People’s Front? Judaean People’s Front? We’re the People’s Front of Judaea!

  4. tsmithfield 4

    You are all moaning about Key. Yet none of you have actually disputed my logic.

    It seems absolutely clear that either Goff or the woman are lying.

    Goff stated on the news last night that it was unfair to have to supply the texts alone because in isolation the texts do not prove anything. The womans own statement says the same.

    Yet, I have given examples from the very statement that the woman gave that contradicts that position. For example, not only was there one text inviting the woman to go swimming, there were “texts”.

    Any one of these texts would be enough to torpedo Worth right out of the water. Plus, clearly these texts would add a lot of validity to the claimed content of the phone calls.

    So why is Goff now backing away from the texts as evidence in themselves?

    Common, instead of abusing me, challenge my logic.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    The paucity of your response indicates your inability to give one.

    You obviously realise I have exposed a major contradiction and evidence of lying otherwise you would come back with something worth reading.

    • gobsmacked 5.1


      One problem with your logic is that it ignores how this began.

      Goff approached Key. He did so after a very long time, months after he first heard from the woman. Indeed, he has been criticised for taking so long.

      So he approaches Key and … lies? Fantasises? Why? Remember: that is how the story began. Otherwise, Key – and the media – would never hear about all these mystery texts and calls. So why did Goff do it? If he had only half-truths, and just wanted to score points, he could have gone down the usual route: Parliamentary privilege, questions to Worth or Key, using an attack dog (Mallard) instead of the leader. That way you don’t need proof, just perception.

      But instead he goes to Key, privately. Why on earth would he do that?

      Alternatively: the woman has led Goff along for months. She has lied and/or fantasised. A Labour party member who wants to set up her boss? A far-left mole who wants Goff out? Lots of conspiracy theories … but no logic.

      It is extremely rare for sane people (and Goff surely is, the woman we cannot know) to fabricate to such a degree, in such detail, for so long, and for so little reason. Worth wasn’t (sorry) worth it. And he’s gone anyway.

      Either the woman is seriously deluded, and very creative, or Worth was harrassing her. Believe what you want.

      • indiana 5.1.1

        …I still can’t work out why Goff simply didn’t hand over the copies of the texts at the the time of notifying Key…

        • Anita

          A simple possibility: because the woman harassed by Worth didn’t want him to, and he respected her wishes (unlike Worth who didn’t). If that is the actual answer then Goff’s choice was the right one.

          • indiana

            originally yes, five months ago yes, but now?

          • Anita

            Still now. They’re her email messages, they contain things about her, she will be affected by other people reading them, she will be judged, criticised and attacked for their contents.

            So the decision is hers not Goff’s.

    • gobsmacked 5.2


      One problem with your logic is that it ignores how this began.

      Goff approached Key. He did so after a very long time, months after he first heard from the woman. Indeed, he has been criticised for taking so long.

      So he phones Key and … lies? Fantasises? Why? Remember: that is how the story began. Otherwise, Key – and the media – would never hear about all these mystery texts and calls.

      Alternatively: the woman has led Goff along for months. She has lied and/or fantasised. A Labour party member who wants to set up her boss? A far-left mole who wants Goff out? Lots of conspiracy theories … but no logic.

      It is extremely rare for sane people (and Goff surely is, the woman we cannot know) to fabricate to such a degree, in such detail, for so long, and for so little reason. Worth wasn’t (sorry) worth it.

      So either the woman is seriously deluded, and very creative, or Worth was harrassing her.

      In the end, you believe what you want.

      • gobsmacked 5.2.1

        Sorry, I’ve no idea how 2 different versions of that got posted. The first one is the director’s cut.

    • felix 5.3

      You obviously realise I have exposed a major contradiction and evidence of lying otherwise you would come back with something worth reading.

      Is this another example of your “logic”?

      I think you can destroy your last remaining shreds of credibility without my help. Go to it.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Correction. It was TV1 not TV3 news.

    Here is the link:


    Goff clearly states that it is unfair to have to provide the texts to prove her case because the damning stuff is in the phone calls.

    I have demonstrated on the basis of the woman’s own statement that this is clearly not true. There is also sufficiently damning stuff in the texts to make a sufficient case, according to the woman.

    • gobsmacked 6.1

      You made an error. You contradicted a previous comment. TV1 is not TV3. So I will now spin my hardest, through every organ and orifice, claiming your credibility is shattered.

      No, that isn’t “logical” in my book, but it is in yours.

      • felix 6.1.1

        He MUST have known that TV1 and TV3 are different channels, surely? This OBVIOUSLY points to a deliberate deception etc etc

  7. Steve 7

    You’d have to say this was Keys Weak Week. Where is his strong leadership if he can’t at the very least, suspend a minister he knows is under suspicion. Helen Clark did this and then waited for natural justice to take its course. At that time key was leading the charge to deny natural justice but now he’s in the hot seat he’s expecting others to give him the options he didn’t give Clark. How the screw turns.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Felix, look at the link to the news article I have just given. Goff appears towards the end with the comments I have referred to.


    He clearly states that it is unfair to have to supply the text records first because the sexually explicit stuff is in the phone-calls.

    I have given an example from the womans own statement of an example of what she referred to as sexually explicit messages. This was “texts” not just one text, enquiring about when they could go swimming together.

    Goff has clearly lied, or has discovered that the woman has lied. There is no other way to interpret this. A text message enquiring about going swimming together is clearly sexually loaded and would be enough to destroy Worths remaining credibility if any is left to destroy.

    Why is he now backtracking on the texts Felix?

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      He is not backtracking. Goff and the woman wanted (and still want) to meet Key. Key is trying to avoid the meeting he promised.

      Key wants Goff and the woman to meet – and trust – his chief of staff.

      The same man who has already accepted Richard Worth’s word that this is all false.

      Tui time, I think.

    • Zetetic 8.2

      He never said there was explicit material in the texts. He always said most of that was in the phone calls. The texts are more subdued. So Goff mispoke and said emails once rather than texts. Big deal.

      You still can’t get past the logic that Goff and the woman want to meet Key and give him this evidence. If they didn’t have it they wouldn’t be lining up to give it to him. Would they, genius?

  9. Ianmac 9

    TSM wrote:”He clearly states that it is unfair to have to supply the text records first because the sexually explicit stuff is in the phone-calls.”
    I am damned if I can read the above quote into the comments of Goff. It is TSM’s use of the word “because” I think. The woman wanted to meet and show with Key like he had promised. I too would be a bit dubious about handing over the documents to a staff person who had apparently mishandled the affair from the beginning. Imagine the spin that could ensue from that! TSM You are not convincing me anyway. Dumb.

  10. Outofbed 10

    I think that fact Smithfield’s is a meat market in London, says it all

  11. Zetetic 11

    I’ve just borrowed Armstrong’s time machine and gone a week into the future. Key has seen the texts and the phone logs. Accepted the woman’s story. Smithfield is now attacking the women for not coming forward earlier. ‘It must mean they are liars’

  12. tsmithfield 12

    Go back to the womans statement. She was complaining about the sexual content of both the texts and the phone conversations.

    A text enquiring about “swimming together” can be seen as nothing other than sexual. Goff has clearly said the sexually explicit stuff was only in the phone calls, and that the texts were inoffensive without that context. The womans own statement clearly conflicts with this.

    As I said, just one text asking about “swimming together” should be enough. Goff is backing away from the texts very clearly.

    • Anita 12.1


      Not wanting, in any way, to defend anyone’s actions in all this. But still wanting to say “wtf?!”

      A text enquiring about “swimming together’ can be seen as nothing other than sexual.


      • tsmithfield 12.1.1

        I would think that most women, if they got a text from a man they hardly knew, would regard that as sexual, Anita, don’t you think?

        The point is, it would corroborate her story and the therefore add weight to what she was saying about the phone calls. I just can’t see why Goff is unwilling to have the texts put forward. They can only help not hinder the womans position.

        • Ari

          Or he could be a swimmer in his spare time. Trying to say there’s only one way to interpret a text message is like saying there’s only one way to solve a Rubik’s cube.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    Also why did Goff make the following comment reported in a Herald article?

    “Mr Goff said yesterday that the woman was strikingly beautiful.”

    Maybe he want to go swimming with her too.

    Maybe he was having a “Mills and Boon” moment.

  14. Outofbed 14

    Me thinks he doth protest too much
    He has the same style as DPF btw

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Outofbed: “He has the same style as DPF btw”

    Na. I’m not worthy to clean his shoes.

    What was really interesting was what the Herald article didn’t quote. The full version went something like this:

    “Mr Goff said yesterday that the woman was strikingly beautiful. The sun sparkled and danced off her long, silken black hair. She was tall and slender like a poplar tree swaying in the wind…”

  16. Maynard J 16

    Tsmithfield, can I just get this in one statement from you: you think there is lying because the texts were mainly suggstive (wearing see-through clothing and going swimming) and it is the calls that were worse, according to the story you reference. So:

    – What is this in contrast to – i.e. is there another statement that says otherwise.

    – Is this a major change in the story – does it greatly affect it?

    – If you think so, what do you think the implications are and why?

    You changed your story from one TV channel to another, but, for instance, that is a small thing that does not affect the point you are trying to make. Intersting time for you to make such a small mistake.

    Without really wanting to bring the nazis into it, some people have studied gas chambers and could not find non-permable door seals. They concluded that the whole thing was a jewish fraud. I am always sceptical of people who question the veracity of a large point, because of something that while important, is not overarching. I am not comparing you to that type of denialist, but note that your methodology is similar.

  17. tsmithfield 17

    Maynard J “Intersting time for you to make such a small mistake.”

    I remembered seeing it on the news last night. Couldn’t find it on the three-news clip, then I remembered I had watched the one news. Not a biggee. Corrected it as soon as I realised I had made the mistake and before anyone pointed it out to me.

    Maynard J “can I just get this in one statement from you: you think there is lying because the texts were mainly suggstive (wearing see-through clothing and going swimming) and it is the calls that were worse, according to the story you reference”

    Thats where you are wrong. You are mixing up the texts with the phone calls. Go back and read the statement from the woman. The conversations, not the texts, were about see through clothing, him meeting her at the airport etc. These were the calls she felt uncomfortable about. They seem to be on the same level to the texts she had received (going swimming together and texts ending in xxx)

    So I think Goff was at least being deliberately misleading when he claimed that the phone calls had the juicy stuff but the texts did not. It seems from the examples given that they were all at a similar level.

    Therefore, it seems to me that Goff was trying fudge having to produce the texts because according to him they couldn’t be viewed in isolation from the phone calls, hence the meeting was needed. However, the woman’s statement suggests the texts were just as damning as the phone calls. So there seems no reason why the texts, if they exist, can’t be produced in isolation from everything else.

  18. felix 18

    I think it’s pretty clear that “tsmithfield” is actually DPF.

    Think about it – if he is DPF he would definitely deny it. Which is exactly what he does, above!

    What other reason could he possibly have for denying it?

    (Heh, I see why he uses this retard version of reasoning now, you can explain ANYTHING this way.)

    • Pascal's bookie 18.1


      And he held off on denying it until someone made the specific accusation. He’s been twittering away here for days conveniently sitting on that info about him not being dpf,

      Very fucking suspicious in my view.

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