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Standard scoop: Why Key fired Worth

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 am, July 13th, 2009 - 81 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

Last Monday, John Key said you, the people of New Zealand, don’t have the right to know why a minister in your government was sacked.

We think you do have that right. And so do others. We have been told the reason from sources in and around the National party.

The only reason for Key to keep the reason for firing Worth secret was to prevent harm to his government. That always meant it either was something really terrible and not limited to Worth (always unlikely), or that Key had acted impulsively and fired Worth for a minor offence that would set too low a bar for sacking other, more important, ministers. Don’t get too excited. It’s not the super-conspiracy.

Key fired Worth for being an adulterer.

The calculation was that Worth’s sleaze laid bare in public would have been a running sore, so he got rid of him. Almost a bit of a let down eh? That it’s something so trivial. But that’s exactly why Key had to try to keep it secret.

Ministers are human. Sometimes they are unfaithful. It happens not infrequently. That could leave Key in a bind – be a hypocrite or fire vital ministers.

Not only that but anything ‘as bad’ as adultery is now a sacking offence. Every transgression by a minister will come with the question, is this as bad as what Worth did? The pressure will be unrelenting.

Key’s claim it wasn’t in the public interest to reveal the reason was just another of his lies. The real reason was he didn’t want this to become a publicly known standard that he would be held. Firing Worth for adultery was a typically impulsive decision from Key, and in typical fashion he has attempted to avoid the consequences by keeping it secret.

Now, Key will have to enforce this new standard and fire ministers that have broken, are breaking, or do break it, which could see a number of important ministers gone. Or he will have to relax the standard. That will show him up as a hypocrite – impulsive, expedient, unfair, and slippery.

The standard, now public, also changes things with the media. Key has given every journo worth their salt a huge incentive to dig around the private lives of his ministers. If he applies the same standard to other ministers as he did to Worth (and to be seen as fair and honest, he must), then he will have to sack any that have strayed. That’s an easy chance for a journo who gets the right info to secure a large feather for their cap.

No wonder he didn’t want you to know. Lucky some others did. The real issue now is Key’s abuse of the public interest excuse to cover his arse.

81 comments on “Standard scoop: Why Key fired Worth ”

  1. Sting 1

    “Ministers are human.” You could have fooled me.

  2. toad 2

    Rumour has it that there is a wee bit more to it than that Eddie. What I’ve heard is that Worth was actually caught out “on the job” when he was supposed to be at Parliament working.

    • Eddie 2.1

      toad – a fine point of difference perhaps from what we’ve been told, one that Key should flesh out.

  3. infused 3

    Everyone knows he’s a adulterer, lol… I think it was talked about so much people switched off.

  4. Eddie 4

    infused – yes we knew that he was an adulterer. That’s not the point. the new information is that it was the reason Key fired him.

  5. infused 5

    How is that new information. I think that was the impression implied by him being fired so quickly after the accusations were made.

    Well, everyone I knew thought that anyway. I mean really, what was the chance of it being anything else?

    • Eddie 5.1

      there’s a difference between a guess and having it told to you by someone who knows.

      If you thought it was the reason all along, what do you think of Key claiming public interest as an excuse to keep it secret from the public?

      • Sting 5.1.1

        Secrets, Lockwood caught on camera or Helen’s double life? Take your pick because there is plenty of sordid tales to be told.

        • Raul

          but sting, what have those allegations got to do with anything? This has always been about why Key fired a minister.

          I think Key’s fraudulent use of ‘not in the public interest’ is a huge scandal

  6. Tim Ellis 6

    I don’t know where you reach the assumption that there’s a new standard on adultery.

    The issue with Dr Worth appears to be that his private actions were impinging on his ability to remain a minister. Too much scandal due to his own indiscretions. That is a much higher standard than just having an affair.

    If we take another example, Mr Mallard’s marriage breakdown probably wouldn’t have met the test. Nor would Dr Brash’s.

    • snoozer 6.1

      isn’t that exactly the problem with setting the bar so low, Tim? Isn’t that exactly why Key had to try to keep the standard secret?

      If the standard is really just adultery or if it us just ‘too much scandal’ like you reckon, isn’t that also an abuse of the public interest line that Key has been using as an excuse ot to tell us?

      • Tim Ellis 6.1.1

        If I recall “so much scandal” was the reason Mr Samuels was stood down.

        This wasn’t the only incident for Dr Worth. He showed a couple of previous errors of judgement and was on his last warning.

        • Bright red

          If that’s true why wasn’t it in the public interest to tell us that?

          • Tim Ellis

            I suppose the answer to that question is that Mr Key probably thought there had been enough panty-sniffing around the issue already, much of it prosecuted by Mr Goff.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Even if true, that’s not enough to establish public interest in not answering questions Tim, and I suspect you know it.

              Most of the ‘panty sniffing’ as I remember came from the blame the victim crowd.

            • snoozer

              That’s not a reason for using the public interest provisions in standing orders.

              Do you think a PM should be able to keep something secret from the public for whatever reason they deem necessary and then lie about it using a valid reason like public interest as a cover?

            • Tim Ellis

              Do I think there’s public interest in a prime minister confirming or denying that the reason the prime minister has asked a minister to resign is that there is a scandal based on the minister having an affair? No.

              There was at least one labour MP who went quietly and didn’t reach ministerial office because of a scandal in his private life. There is no public interest in airing that stuff politically and I really don’t want to know the details of it.

            • Bright red

              “There was at least one labour MP who went quietly and didn’t reach ministerial office because of a scandal in his private life. ”

              So this person wasn’t a minister in our government? Irrelevant then.

              No-one’s asking for details. We just wanted to know why the minister was fired.

              Now we do know and I’m afraid you look like you’re conceding that Key’s use of the public interest excuse was totally unjustified.

              Give it to me straight Tim: do you think Key was correct to say that it would be harmful to the public interest to answer questions as to why he lost confidence in Worth?

            • Pascal's bookie

              The rumsfeldian Q and A routines are cute Tim.

              Usually means you don’t like the actual question so you pose it the way you would like it to have been asked.

              But just to be clear, you are saying that it would harm NZ for us to know why Key sacked Worth, if it was in fact about adultery.

    • Maynard J 6.2

      “I don’t know where you reach the assumption that there’s a new standard on adultery.”

      The fact that ministers have not been fired for this before would be a fairly obvious indicator, closely followed by Worth’s sacking being the first sacking by a Government promising new levels of accountability.

      You suggets Key is the one that decided his actions (apparently adultery) were impinging upon his ability to act as a minister. Not so – Key ‘lost confidence’ in him. Quite a difference. But of course one there is no point arguing – given Key’s lies about ‘not in the public interest’ we do not have enough information – and I am a bit wary of your inclination to claim opinion as fact to bother having this debate.

  7. StephenR 7

    Now, Key will have to enforce this new standard and fire ministers that have broken, are breaking, or do break it, which could see a number of important ministers gone. Or he will have to relax the standard. That will show him up as a hypocrite – impulsive, expedient, unfair, and slippery.

    I think I agree with Tim Ellis where he says “I don’t know where you reach the assumption that there’s a new standard on adultery.” until at the very least this goes beyond an anonymous source inside the National party being pointed to in a post by an anonymous blogger.

    • Phil 7.1

      until at the very least this goes beyond an anonymous source inside the National party being pointed to in a post by an anonymous blogger.

      Additionally, you have to remember that it’s people of Eddie’s mentallity who fawn over the works of Hagar and/or Wishart – who see conspiracy at every turn, and think that because a politician had lunch in the same cafe as Graham Norton, they must be part of the rabid homosexual conspiracy. Or, perhaps they got in a cab vacated by a BAT executive, and are therefore part of an evil corporate plan to give cancer to babies.

      I’m willing to bet all the cash in my pockets, against all the cash in Eddie’s, that this is one step sideways from interviewing the keyboard.

  8. snoozer 8

    This really does like like a terrible abuse of process by Key. He should have just told us the reason, rather than hiding behind public interest, when there was no public interest in keeping the reason secret.

  9. Bright red 9

    Just watch Key try and squirm his way out of this one. His crediblity is sinking by the day.

  10. Daveski 10

    Funny thing Bright Red, the polls don’t seem to reflect this. Moreover, apart from completely biased perspectives such as this one, the general view seems to be either complete boredom or acceptance that Key did the right thing to get rid of Worth.

    What happened was that Key lanced the boil a lot quicker than the left expected or wanted reducing the opportunities to attack the credibility of Key for not tacking action.

    Face facts – it’s not an issue. What’s more an issue is the competence or otherwise of Key’s ministers. And sadly, in more than one case, I have my doubts about their abilities.

    • Bright red 10.1

      It’s not an issue when the PM refuses to answer questions in Parliament and from the media relying on the grounds that it would be against the public interest to do so only for that to be revealed as a lie?

      I wonder what does count as an issue to you – that time Helen Clark’s car was speeding?

      • Tim Ellis 10.1.1

        Bright red, I don’t think it is in the public interest for the public to know the sordid details of a minister’s affair, or that the public scandal around it was the reason the prime minister lost confidence in the minister’s ability to do their job while such allegations are flying around.

        That comes down to a judgement call by Mr Key. I think he made the right one. By comparison I don’t think Mr Goff carried himself off very well at all.

        • Bright red

          This has nothing to do with the details of what Worth did or Goff. Pretty poor attempts at distraction.

          You still haven’t answered the question. A minister doesn’t have to answer questions if they believe that it would be against the public interest (which usually means would hurt national security or the Crown’s financial position) to do so. Do you think that Key used that power properly or do you think that he abused that power for political reasons?

        • So Bored

          In reply Tim, if Worths wife cannot trust him why should the public? Why wasnt Jonkey just a little bit more upfront and decisive?

          As for Goff he shouldnt have bothered getting involved, you cant make crap smell any worse by stirring it, you just get tainted.

          • Tim Ellis

            So Bored are you saying that an extra marital affair of itself should be grounds for sacking from a ministerial position?

            It looks to me with some of the oohing and aahing in this post is an attempt to get down into the gutter into every National MP’s private life.

            • So Bored

              Paranoia Tim. I dont think it would be at all edifying to take a gink at any MPs private life, more like very very boring.

              People will have affairs (some with MPs perish the thought)! Trust is the issue, if you present yourself as trustworthy and take a position that requires some public trust you are going to have to be seen to be squeaky clean (whether you are or not).

            • Pascal's bookie

              Apparently that’s what John Key thinks Tim.

              Keep up.

            • Wrangle

              I don’t read it like that at all. The post doesn’t endorse or condemn Key’s new standard – it just looks at the consequences of it. Ah, consequences, there’s a word the Nats and their hangers-on don’t like to hear.

              Nobody except you has expressed the slightest interest in the details of what Worth got up to. This is all about Key – why he fired Worth and his abuse of the public interest standing orders.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          “Not in the public interest” is a very defined form of words implying that there would be some damage to the public good caused by the release of information. It’s used, for instance, to explain why we can’t know too much about what the SIS or Defence Intelligence is up to.

          It’s also been misused to try to avoid explaining all sorts of political cock-ups and cover-ups, most lately by the NZ Police in relation to any wrongdoing by their political masters.

          But I’ve never seen it trotted out to excuse not talking about someone “discussing the Ugandan situation” (a much better euphemism IMO).

          OTOH Worth’s trouser problems (we’re having a special on euphemisms this week folks, buy two get one free) shouldn’t be of interest to the public. But that’s a very different thing.

          Key could have specified adultery as the reason, thus satisfying the public interest criteria, but refused to go into detail, thus sparing the majority of us who don’t wish to know from the sordid details, in which we ought not to be interested.

      • Daveski 10.1.2

        Red – you’re going off on tangents re Aunty Helen and Speedgate (and I didn’t mention those because they are irrelevant and deflections).

        There’s been little real debate about why he was moved on. That’s the real problem for the left.

        As per my substantive point is the fact that the line being taken here is that there is some type of scandal because Key won’t spell out the reason. It would be a scandal if Key hadn’t acted or he had tried to protect Worth (I won’t take any cheap shots here).

        Anyway, I suspect that this is undoubtedly antidemocratic as far as you’re concerned so the obvious answer is to have a referendum on whether or not Key should tell us why Worth was sent packing.

        Labour strategy is looking as ineffectual as the Warriors’ attack!

        • Bright red

          How about just answering the question then:

          Is it not an issue when the PM refuses to answer questions in Parliament and from the media relying on the grounds that it would be against the public interest to do so only for that to be revealed as a lie?

          Would you be happy if some other PM did this? Or does Key get special treatment?

    • Irascible 10.2

      Love the anology – Tory ministers and MPs are boils on the public backside? A truly worthy analogy from a right wing blogger.

  11. Tim Ellis 11

    I suggest people read the cabinet manual on privacy considerations and the public interest http://cabinetmanual.cabinetoffice.govt.nz/8.52 . Once Dr Worth had resigned as a minister I don’t see any reason why the prime minister was required to disclose information about Dr Worth’s private life that was no longer likely to impact on the government.

    Let’s face it Labour would love this issue to go on and on to give them an excuse to continue the panty sniffing that Mr Goff started, but the government has much more important things on their minds.

    • Wrangle 11.1

      Nobody wants to know anything about Worth’s private life. We wanted to know why Key fired him. Every other PM ever had always said. Key hid behind public interest but it’s clear that there was no public interst in not revealing the truth, it was purely political.

      “but the government has much more important things on their minds.” – like cycleways and handouts to Maccas?

      Your attempt to put some of this on Goff is pathetic.

      • Tim Ellis 11.1.1

        Wrangle Mr Key has said repeatedly that the reason Dr Worth resigned is that the PM lost confidence in him. It is pretty obvious why. Labour would love to trap the PM into the gutter with a more detailed response that treads heavily into Dr Worth’s private life, but I don’t think new zealanders really want to hear about that.

        Yes there are more important things going on, like dealing with the recession.

        • Wrangle

          ‘the reason Dr Worth resigned is that the PM lost confidence in him”

          that’s a tautology. The question is why Key lost confidence in Worth.

          We know the answer now.

          Do you think that Key abused his powers in relation to not answering questions because it would not be in the public interest to do so?

          You know the answer is yes, just say it.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.2

      Hang on. Are you saying that once Worth resigned, Key couldn’t say why because of the privacy act?

      I’m pretty sure the privacy act isn’t supposed to be rogues charter. But anyway, the question is why did Key lose confidence in Worth when Worth was a minister.

      • Tim Ellis 11.2.1

        PB Mr Key has said that there’s no public interest in him disclosing the reason he lost confidence. It is pretty obvious that any explanation would adversely affect Dr Worth’s right to privacy in matters that concern him personally.

        As much as the labour party seem to enjoy getting in the gutter like this I don’t think the public wants to hear it.

        • Pascal's bookie

          As I understand it Tim, Key says there is a public interest in him not disclosing the reason. Subtler difference, but an important one. There is a default setting toward disclosure, and the PM has overuled it, saying that to reveal more would be harmful to the public interest.

          • Tim Ellis

            My reading of the cabinet manual PB is that a person’s privacy is the primary concern unless there is specific public interest in disclosing it.

            • Pascal's bookie

              I think there is a public interest in knowing why a minister has been stood down and eventually drummed out of parliament Tim.

            • Tim Ellis

              I think there is a public interest in knowing why a minister has been stood down and eventually drummed out of parliament Tim.

              That is a subjective opinion PB. Mr Key obviously decided differently. Since he’s the prime minister he’s politically accountable for the decisions he makes. I don’t think he will be losing too much sleep over this one.

            • Pascal's bookie

              non-responsive Tim.

              Of course it’s opinion, inasmuch as everything is. What’s yours?

              Do you think there is a public interest in knowing why a minister has been stood down and eventually drummed out of parliament?

              You forgot to say.

            • Tim Ellis

              Do you think there is a public interest in knowing why a minister has been stood down and eventually drummed out of parliament?

              There may be some members of the public who are interested in knowing, PB, but that of itself doesn’t make the public interest over-ride Dr Worth’s right to privacy.

              Mr Key clearly felt that if he had disclosed his reasons for losing confidence in Dr Worth, it would have unfairly infringed Dr Worth’s right to privacy.

            • snoozer

              Don’t play dumb Tim. You know the issue isn’t whether members of the public are interested.

              Public interest is a reason for NOT releasing information. If there isn’t a good public interest reason NOT to release information the government should release it.

              As noted above, Worth’s privacy is not a reason that Key has relied on for not telling.

              He has claimed there is a public interest reason for not telling. Which is not true if the reason he lost confidence in Worth really is adultery.

              Moreover, it’s hard to see how Key would be protecting Worth’s privacy by not revealing it. It is already public knowledge that Worth is an adulterer. All Key would be confirming is that this publicly known piece of information about Worth was the reason he lost confidence in him

            • Pascal's bookie

              you still forgot say Tim.

              Do you think the public has a legitmate interest in knowing why Ministers get sacked?

              There is nothing ‘clear’ about it Tim. We are being told that to let us know will hurt NZ.

              It’s stupid, and you look like an idiot defending it.

            • Tim Ellis

              My understanding snoozer is that the assumption is that all information should be in the public domain, unless there are specific reasons not to disclose it. Those reasons include national security and privacy concerns, which the cabinet manual clearly identifies.

              If the reason for the lost confidence was the public scandal around Dr Worth due to an extra marital affair preventing Dr Worth from continuing his job, then if he has decided to resign then I think he does have a right to privacy, rather than having his private relationships dragged through the mud by the likes of Mr Goff.

            • snoozer

              Key has never given privacy as a reason why Key lost confidence in Worth. This is purely Tim’s invention.

              But, what the hell, I’ll bite.

              Tim, pray tell: how would Key confirming that the reason he lost confidence in Worth was that Worth is an adulterer be an invasion of Worth’s privacy given that his adultery is already public knowledge?

            • Tim Ellis

              I’m afraid you have your facts askew snoozer. Mr Key has repeatedly said that he was not going to comment further on Dr Worth because he’s entitled to his privacy.

              “Now that Worth’s gone from Parliament for good, it seems that there is no real fear of this being the case but Key has decided that as a private citizen Worth is entitled to his privacy ”

              That was here at the standard quoting an article from Tracey Watkins.

              Privacy was the major consideration why Mr Key didn’t go into further details about Dr Worth. It seems that the only people who want to know the gory details are the commenters on here.

            • Eddie

              Tim. That doesn’t refer to any need to protect Worth’s privacy. It simply states that since he’s a private citizen it’s case closed. Different things (and niether stack up).

              You’ve got a slippery way with words that Key himself would be proud of.

            • felix

              But nobody wants “gory details”, Timmeh.

              Can you show where people here are asking for “gory details”?

              You do understand the issue, Tim. Why are you pretending you don’t?

            • Tim Ellis

              You’re dancing on the head of a pin Eddie. When Mr Key repeatedly says Dr Worth’s situation is now a private matter, he was actually respecting Dr Worth’s right to privacy.

              This is not a new issue. The speaker said on 17 June:

              Mr SPEAKER: I thank honourable members, because this is an issue that I accept is not absolutely black and white. But, in fact, when the Hon Trevor Mallard was recounting Speakers’ rulings or briefings on the matter, he overlooked the one by Speaker Wilson just last year, which is Speaker’s ruling 162/4. It actually gets into the issue of matters of public interest versus privacy as well, and there are issues to be covered there.


              The decision of Mr Key not to discuss further his lack of confidence was always about respecting Dr Worth’s right to privacy, which is a legitimate reason in the cabinet manual not to release information.

            • Eddie

              Tim. That’s the speaker you’re quoting and I don’t accept that there is a privacy issue anyway.

              Key’s line was that is was against the public interest for him to tell the reason – that was a lie.

        • Wrangle

          “Mr Key has said that there’s no public interest in him disclosing the reason he lost confidence. It is pretty obvious that any explanation would adversely affect Dr Worth’s right to privacy in matters that concern him personally.”

          Worth’s privacy isn’t a reason of public interest for not revealing information – public interest is used for things like like the deployment of the SAS and plans for the Reserve Bank to intervene in the currency. Anyway, that he was an adulterer was already known so Key saying that was the reason for firing him would not be reducing his privacy.

          Remember, Tim, the question of public interest isn’t ‘are people interested’ it’s ‘is there a good reason from the public’s point of view not to say’. Unless there is a good reason not to say, the information shoudl be made public. Unless you want to lie in a country where a governemtn can jsut decide it wants to keep politically damaging information secret.

          • Tim Ellis

            Respecting a person’s privacy is in the cabinet manual as a good reason not to make information public, Wrangle.

            If there had been police charges then it might become a public interest story. There weren’t. In the end all we have is rather shoddy allegations put forward by Mr Goff on the one hand, and a complainant whose story wasn’t sufficiently strong for the police to investigate further.

            I don’t know Dr Worth, but as he’s not an MP anymore I don’t think you or anybody else has the right to go rifling through his bottom drawer with some hokum excuse of “public interest”. There is no public interest in knowing about Dr Worth’s private life any more than there is public interest in knowing about yours.

    • r0b 11.3

      the panty sniffing that Mr Goff started

      Grow up Tim.

      • Maynard J 11.3.1

        It is a very pathetic deflection. I am losing confidence in Tim’s abilites to spin for National.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I dunno, his acrobatic leaps trying to dodge the actual meaning of “in the public interest” and answer any questions in this thread are quite remarkable. Of course, they’re also totally see through.

      • aj 11.3.2

        Worth started the panty sniffing. Pure and simple.

  12. dave 12

    This is kind of dumb speculation.
    Best guess: Key fired Worth for lying to him- and more than once. That certainly leads to ‘loss of confidence’.
    Why can’t Key say this? Most likely because it was in personal conversation, so if it became a public spat, there would be no concrete evidence. Worth could deny it. That would lead to a lot of public messiness- including dredging up both men’s record of, ahem, not being scrupulous with the truth.
    Sometimes the simplest explanations are best.

    • Wrangle 12.1

      dave – If that’s true (and you’re just guessing eh?) then Key was lying when he said he wouldn’t tell us because it would be against the public interest to do so.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.2

      But a messy political situation is only something that Key would like to avoid. It’s not a ‘public interest’ reason though.

      • Tim Ellis 12.2.1

        Interfering with Dr Worth’s ability to carry on a life after Parliament and his personal life generally does override public interest I’m afraid, PB. Read the cabinet manual which does set out the public interest/privacy tradeoff.

        • snoozer

          Key has never claimed that he wasn’t revealing the reason to protect Worth’s privacy. He always claimed it would be against the public interest to say.

          So there goes that argument Tim.

          • Pascal's bookie

            He’ll keep running it though. Honesty’s not a strong point for timmeh.

            • Maynard J

              PB, it would be better fot you to not know what Key’s level of accountability is, and it would be better for you to not know what caused Key to lose confidence in a minister.

              Or so someone is trying to tell you.

            • felix


        • Pascal's bookie

          Read it a few times now timmy. You’re stretching.


          Interfering with Dr Worth’s ability to carry on a life after Parliament and his personal life generally does override public interest I’m afraid, PB.

          is in fact a lie; but only because you state it as fact. It is of course, your “subjective opinion”. For what that’s worth.

  13. gobsmacked 13

    If information is made public, then people (the damn voters) compare and contrast. Can’t have them doing that. Gotta keep those famous “principles” … flexible.

    So if, for example, a Minister in a major portfolio (not Internal Library Filing, or whatever Worth did) gets jiggy with a kisser-and-teller and her twin sister on the table at 4 a.m. in the Viaduct, and then finds himself on the front pages, the media start asking “Is this Worse than Worth?”

    And if said Minister happens to hold an electorate seat, and can’t just be replaced by a party hack on the list, and so there’s going to be a by-election, and the next Melissa Lee is very, very keen to stand … well, you get the picture. Some Ministers are much, much more equal than others.

    John Key doesn’t want to be asked each time if he’s washed his hands. Sometimes he’d rather just wipe ’em on his trousers, and hope nobody notices. Consistency is something to loudly demand in opposition, and quietly dump in government.

    There is a clear public interest in knowing the standard for Ministers. There is a self-serving power interest in not letting us know. It’s pretty easy to decide which side you’re on.

    • Bright red 13.1

      I think that hits it exactly, gobsmacked. Key was always lying when he said it was against the public interest to say. The real reason was he had set a low threshold for getting ministers sacked and he doesn’t want to have to enforce that in the future.

      He wanted a licence to be arbitrary and was willing to abuse the trust that is put in him by the ‘public interest’ standing orders to get it.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    If this is true then John Key has deliberately misled parliament and abused his position as PM.

  15. Maggie 15

    If the PM considered that the Cabinet Manual, The Privacy Act or the Official Information Act precluded him from telling why he lost confidence in Worth, then he should have said so. He hasn’t.

    Instead he has claimed that to reveal the reason is not in the public interest, which is a very different thing.

    Key has a habit of making decisions on the hoof and then having to pull back from them. A recent example was when he told Pita Sharples it would be okay to go to Fiji so long as he went only on behalf of the Maori Party. Key then had to change that position after someone, almost certainly Murray McCully, chewed on his ear.

    Another example was his constant changing of position on whether he would meet the first woman who complained against Worth.

    Now he has made the decision he isn’t going to reveal his reasons for dumping Worth because it would be embarrassing to do so. Since then he has been fishing around trying to come up with a plausible reason to justify that position.

  16. Phil 16

    In the old days, Rob Muldoon used to have a signed, undated, letter of resignation in his desk for every member of the Cabinet…

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
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    2 days ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
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    2 days ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    2 days ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    3 days ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
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    4 days ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
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    4 days ago
  • More financial support for businesses
    Today’s decision to keep Auckland in a higher COVID Alert Level triggers a third round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme which will open for applications at 9am this Friday. “The revenue test period for this payment will be the 14th to the 27th of September. A reminder that this is ...
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    5 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand provides further humanitarian support for Afghanistan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further $3 million in humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  “There is significant humanitarian need in Afghanistan, with the crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Nanaia Mahuta. The UN has estimated that 80% of the quarter of a million ...
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    5 days ago
  • Innovative te reo prediction tool announced in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
    A new Māori language prediction tool will play a key role in tracking our te reo Māori revitalisation efforts, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori (He Ara Poutama) can forecast the number of conversational and fluent speakers of te reo Māori ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further Government support for people to access food and essential items
    The Government is responding to need for support in Auckland and has committed a further $10 million to help people access ongoing food and other essential items, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced today. This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute ...
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    5 days ago
  • Half a million Pfizer vaccines from Denmark
    The Government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “This is the second and larger agreement the Government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inland Revenue providing essential COVID support for businesses
    Inland Revenue is seeing increased demand for Resurgence Support Payments and other assistance schemes that it administers, but is processing applications quickly, Revenue Minister David Parker said today. David Parker said the Resurgence Support Payment, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme and the Wage Subsidy are available at the same ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
    New Zealand is expressing unity with all victims, families and loved ones affected by the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, and all terrorist attacks around the world since, including in New Zealand. “Saturday marks twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to SPREP Environment Ministers
    Talofa Honourable Ulu of Tokelau Faipule Kelihiano Kalolo Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings from Aotearoa to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business
    Businesses affected by higher Alert Levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP). “The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More Dawn Raids scholarships announced
    Details of the ‘Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships’, a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s, were released today by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. “These scholarships that are targeted to the Pacific will support the kaupapa of the Dawn Raids’ ...
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    1 week ago
  • One-way quarantine-free travel for RSE workers starting in October
      One-way quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu starts in October New requirement for RSE workers to have received their first vaccination pre-departure, undertake Day 0 and Day 5 tests, and complete a self-isolation period of seven days, pending a negative Day 5 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt boosts Pacific suicide prevention support
    Applications have opened for the Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Fund as the Government acts to boost support amid the COVID delta outbreak. “We know strong and connected families and communities are the most important protective factor against suicide and this $900,000 fund will help to support this work,” Health Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
    As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today. “While this extension won’t officially ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced a $2 million community fund that will provide support for women and girls adversely affected by COVID-19. “We know that women, particularly those who are already vulnerable, are disproportionally affected by the kind of economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” Jan Tinetti said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Next phase of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response announced
    A further NZ$12 million of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response has been announced by Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today. The package builds on previous tranches of assistance Aotearoa New Zealand has provided to Fiji, totalling over NZ$50 million. “Fiji remains in a very challenging position in their response to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Robotic asparagus harvester aimed at addressing industry challenges
    The Government is backing a $5 million project to develop a commercial-scale autonomous robotic asparagus harvester, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) is contributing $2.6 million to the project. Project partner Robotics Plus Limited (RPL) will build on a prototype asparagus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional Pfizer vaccines to arrive tomorrow
    More than a quarter of a million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine are on their way from Spain to New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The additional doses will arrive in Auckland on Friday morning to help meet the current surge in demand for vaccination. “It’s been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Young people to have their voices heard in Youth Parliament 2022
    The dates and details for Youth Parliament 2022 have been announced today by Minister for Youth Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Youth Parliament is an opportunity for 141 young people from across Aotearoa New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19
    Students facing a hard time as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will continue to be supported,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government is putting a further $20 million into the Hardship Fund for Learners, which will help around 15,000 students to stay connected to their studies and learning. ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Immediate relief available for Māori and iwi organisations
    The Government has reprioritised up to $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities during the current COVID-19 outbreak Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The COVID-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund will support community-driven, local responses to gaps in access and provision of critical ...
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    1 week ago
  • New beef genetics programme to deliver cows with smaller environmental hoof-print
    The Government is backing a genetics programme to lower the beef sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by delivering cows with a smaller environmental hoof-print, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. Informing New Zealand Beef is a seven-year partnership with Beef + Lamb New Zealand that is expected to result in more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced new appointments to the board of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Former Associate Minister of Education, Hon Tracey Martin, has been appointed as the new Chair for NZQA, replacing the outgoing Acting and Deputy Chair Professor Neil Quigley after an 11-year tenure on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt supports residential house building by allowing manufacture of building supplies
    The Government has agreed to allow some building product manufacturing to take place in Auckland during Covid lockdown to support continued residential construction activity across New Zealand. “There are supply chain issues that arise from Alert Level 4 as building products that are manufactured domestically are mostly manufactured in Auckland. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests in scientific research to boost economy, address climate change and enhance wellb...
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has today announced the recipients of this year’s Endeavour Fund to help tackle the big issues that New Zealanders care about, like boosting economic performance, climate change, transport infrastructure and wellbeing. In total, 69 new scientific research projects were awarded over ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Transport to drive economic recovery
    The Government is investing a record amount in transport services and infrastructure to get New Zealand moving, reduce emissions and support the economic recovery, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. The 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) was released today which outlines the planned investments Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency ...
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    2 weeks ago