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Why was Worth fired?

Written By: - Date published: 6:33 pm, November 27th, 2009 - 37 comments
Categories: national/act government, richard worth - Tags:

The Police have announced they will not be laying any charges against Richard Worth over the incident involving him and a Korean woman in a hotel room. That’s not an exoneration from wrongdoing, of course, but it puts to rest the criminal case.
Now, it’s time for John Key to tell us why he fired Richard Worth.
Key claimed (sometimes, at least) that his refusal to be upfront with the people of New Zealand was due the ongoing Police investigation. That barrier is now removed. New Zealanders have a right to know why a minister in their government was fired, as they have always known in the past when such sackings occurred.
Key has a duty to front up.

37 comments on “Why was Worth fired? ”

  1. Jared 1

    Its a non issue Marty. The police have found no grounds for charges, and Keys reasoning for firing Richard Worth are his and his alone. He was a list MP so he didn’t have to front up to electorate constituents and as far as I am concerned it is an employment matter, not for public discussion. Although it is fairly clear why he has was fired anyway, his inappropriate behaviour was the major reasoning. Also, he resigned, he wasn’t fired. Although as Key stated, he would have fired him had he not resigned.

    • felix 1.1

      Actually Key did say that he fired him.

      He also said he didn’t.

      He also said he would’ve done.

      It depends what day you ask him and who he thinks is listening.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.2

      List MP’s are still MP’s Jared. Voted for by voters. They are not the employees of the PM.

  2. Michael Foxglove 2

    Too right Marty. Key needs to come clean, in the interests of open democratic government.

    Worth was a Minister of the Crown, and John Key needs to tell us why he sacked him from this high level public position.

    • Jared 2.1

      Because he was having multiple affairs and acting like a sleazebag? Its not illegal, however it is inappropriate, and certainly not befitting of a minister/mp, unless you are of course David Lange, and its all fine and dandy. Isn’t that clear?

      • Michael Foxglove 2.1.1

        nope. not clear.

        • Jared

          By the same notion Pete Hodgson should be laying a complaint against Phil Goff and the Greens over their housing arrangements, yet its only convenient to witch hunt the National Party as per usual. Instead of focusing on policy, they get stuck into picking through shit to try and throw at each other. Considering Dr Worth’s offences are not of a criminal nature I don’t feel the Government has a responsibility to outline his discretions, unlike Mr Field’s criminal actions, of which Labour tried to quietly sweep under the carpet. Did they ever fess up and out him? No, they did as National did and said he must answer to the rule of the law, and in this case Richard Worth is exonerated.

  3. Anne 3

    He can’t. That is, front up.
    He’s not here. He’s in Trinidad or some such place.
    Very convenient don’t you think?

  4. Jared 4

    Oh noes, Prime Minister on international Prime Ministerial business. What a conspiracy!

  5. Anne 5

    Poor wee Jared.
    No sense of humour.

  6. toad 6

    Rumour has it (from a National Party aligned source, whom in the interest of retaining a useful information flow should remain un-named) that Worth was fired for being in a brothel rooting when he was meant to be at a Cabinet Committee meeting.

    A Minister gets fired for skiving off from work for a couple of hours for a bonk, but another Minister is defended for rorting the taxpayer for $47K a year to live in his own home. Another Minister is exonerated and for lying about his use of Parliamentary expense allowances to take his girlfriend on a junket overseas to attend her brother’s wedding.

    Worth deserved to be fired – but not for the reason he was. Worth deserved to be fired much earlier – for using his Ministerial role to promote his own business interests.

    This is a strange standard of morality indeed from Key. A small indiscretion gets you the sack, while huge ones are ignored.

    • Tim Ellis 6.1

      Goodness me, toad, I know you make a habit of punching below the belt, but that one really is low even for you.

      • toad 6.1.1

        Don’t get tetchy just because you are such a minor player in Natty circles that you don’t get the info Tim.

        Or because some disaffected Nats may talk to Green sometime. The person concerned could well be telling porkies in the interests of internal Nat politics, but his former status an reputation in the National Party I strongly suspect he is not.

        • the sprout

          That definitely isn’t the reason he was fired Toad. What Worth got fired for was something that in other contexts would have got him executed.

          Although it’s true that Key should be made to answer in the broader scheme of things, in this case dragging the issue out any more would be a terrible further injustice to the victim.

    • Rex Widerstrom 6.2

      Worth deserved to be fired but not for the reason he was. Worth deserved to be fired much earlier for using his Ministerial role to promote his own business interests.

      Precisely. But regardless of what Key might say if we strapped him to a chair and brought out the electrodes, I very much doubt he’d say it was because Worth used his office for personal gain. Which is why I really don’t care if he gives an answer to Marty’s question or not.

      What we’re now left with is, as toad alludes to, an unwritten code of behaviour for Ministers which says sexual sleaze is a sackable offence whilst financial sleaze will just buy you a ticking off.

  7. Doug 7

    I wonder if the Labour Party member that laid the complaint will be charged for wasting Police time.

    • Pillock

      The complainant was not a member of the Labour Party.

      The woman I think you are referring to was extraordinarily gracious in the way she complained. Many would have sold their story to the media and splashed it over the front page.

      I bet the next wingnut will now construct a conspiracy involving Phil Goff and how his having a quiet word to key about Worth was part of a cunning plan to undermine the Government.

  8. BLiP 8

    What ever the reason, I know for a fact there were champaign corks popping all the next day as the female section of the law profession savoured a banquet of schadenfreude.

  9. Aklnut 9

    Jared “Its a non issue”

    As far as I’m concerned, irrespective of whether he resigned or not, there is an issue of “transparency, transparency, transparency”.

    That’s what this govt campaigned on, that’s what they are always making out they are!

    That’s all we’re asking for, that’s what we should get! (Wow, a lot of that’s)

    Now I’m waiting for some whackjob to say “9 years, 9 years 9 years, what about the last govt. blah,blah, blah…….

  10. Anne 10

    Sorry to disappoint you Doug but it was one of Worth’s victims who laid the complaint. Sure, she withdrew it after he was sacked but the police decided to continue with the inquiry anyway. And she was a Korean lady who had links to National – not Labour.

    • Doug 10.1

      Labour should come clean:
      From a Bill Ralston Article

      From the beginning, when she first received approaches from Worth, she had kept Goff in the loop. The Labour leader even endorsed the idea she should meet Worth.

      We also found out that Choudary had been active on the ground in David Shearer’s by-election campaign in Mt Albert. Hence the inevitable conclusion Worth and the Government were clearly being set up by the Labour Party.

      • mickysavage 10.1.1


        The complainant was not Choudary.

        And anyone who relies on Bill Ralston needs to have their head read.

        My head hurts. Try as much as I can I cannot make a comspiracy involving Choudary and Goff. They actually did the decent thing.

      • BLiP 10.1.2

        inevitable conclusion


        Inevitable National Ltd® conspiracy theory to feed the trolls more like it.

    • Jared 10.2

      And they decided not to press charges, ergo, nothing to answer in the eyes of the law.

  11. Tanya 11

    It seems to me that Key does not believe in open democratic government, or even open comments (on his Facebook page). Perhaps Worth was just too Conservative for the wildly liberal Key.

  12. Lew 12

    The elephant in the room here is: Richard Worth is a very capable, wealthy and well-connected barrister with international business interests which would be catastrophically harmed if his reputation were to suffer. You don’t go after that sort of person unless you know for good and damn sure you can win. Key doesn’t, so he does the next best thing. But we ain’t going to hear a peep about his reasons.


    • Pascal's bookie 12.1


      Adding to that, for me it keeps coming back to Worth’s promises, to Key, of an affidavit and lawsuits if things were publicly said. When it blew up we never saw those affidavits.

      It makes sense that Key would have asked for them after it became public, Right?

      Those affidavits were the reason he had for not investigating the initial privately made complaints. If he then asked Worth to publicly front with the affidavits, and Worth couldn’t do it, then Key’s initial handling of the complaints would be under the microscope.

      Worth getting goned, for precise reasons unstated, avoids that.

  13. Anne 13

    You’re confused tonight aren’t you Doug. Ralston was talking about another victim who was linked to the L.P. and informed Goff of the cell-phone harassment that was coming from Worth. But she’s not the one who laid the police complaint.
    Worth was a very busy chappie at the time.

  14. Gosman 14


    Why do you think Key has to answer to anyone on this, let alone someone on the far left of the political spectrum?

    Oh please Mr Key, I demand you tell little ol’ me why you acted in a Prime Minsterial way or i’ll, l’lll…..

    …well I won’t be very happy. LOL!

    • BLiP 14.1

      Speaking truth to power and demanding answers from those whose job is to serves us gives you the heebie-jeebies, doesn’t it, Secret Agent Gosman? Far easier to just shut up and follow orders – saves having to think I guess.

      • Gosman 14.1.1

        Whatever floats you boat BLiP 😉

        However the only people who actually think this is actually an issue is a small number of lefty people from the NZ Blogosphere.

        I suppose it might gain traction one day, hmmmmm….. then again nah it won’t.

    • Armchair Critic 14.2

      “Why do you think Key has to answer to anyone on this”
      Because he said that a government he lead would have higher standards of accountability and transparency. Pretty simple, really.

  15. across the pithy backchat – perhaps Copenhagen might conveniently occur. A chance for our Choice Minister of Tourism and Prime Minister of John Key to plug our clean broad brown rivers and Mordor bike trails. wtf

  16. bobo 16

    Seems Obama’s security is so lackz anyone can meet him, Key might just get through for a impromptu fist bump at Copenhagen, isn’t that enough of a reason to go?

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