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More on Labour’s problem – Part V: Haworth falls on his sword


Nigel Haworth has resigned as Labour Party President as this RNZ report states.

Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern has accepted Party President Nigel Haworth’s resignation.

Ardern’s statement, which I have yet to find online, said – in part – according to RNZ

In a statement, Ms Ardern said: “In the last 48 hours I have read incredibly distressing reports of an alleged sexual assault involving members of the Labour Party.

“This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue.

“I discussed the correspondence with the Labour Party President this morning. Whilst he stands by the statements he has made on this matter I believe mistakes were made.”

Hold up there. This statement is not credible. At best she is being economical with the truth, which is the norm with Ardern and a point I have made on multiple occasions – the use of the words -‘ I have read‘ and ‘I was provided with’ – seem very carefully chosen.

However, I suggest that very few people really buy into this. See this post from David Farrar – Bye,bye Nigel and this one – What did the Prime Minister know, and when did she know it?  Then there was this one from Homepaddock – It’s about trust. As well there have been several articles in the broadcast and print media. For example Barry Soper’s piece some weeks ago.

Furthermore I would suggest that Heather du Plessis Allan clearly made the point that Ardern is not being honest here

She told RNZ this morning that she found out yesterday.

“The first I’ve seen the complaints of that nature was when I read then.” Asked when that was, she said “When I saw them in the Spinoff.”

That is very hard to believe. This has been reported in the media for the last five weeks.

If you believe that yesterday was the first the Prime Minister heard of this, then you must believe that the Prime Minister of this country does not watch, read or listen to the news reported in this country.

That she for the last five weeks has missed every bulletin, newspaper and programme that mentioned the fact this guy is alleged to have committed a sexual crime.

Like this on Newshub: “The Labour Party has been forced to review its own investigation into bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault by a Labour staffer.”

Or this: “Two more of the seven people who laid complaints about bullying, sexual harassment and assault by a Labour staffer have told Newshub about their experience of the department’s internal investigation.”

You have to also believe that the Prime Minister didn’t ask what allegation was so serious that a staffer in her office stopped coming to work five weeks ago.

You also have to square it with this comment she made yesterday in her press conference”:

“A month ago I visited New Zealand [Labour Party] Council. Very seriously shared my view that they were not the appropriate place to undertake inquiries around concerning behaviour of members of the Labour Party. But particularly they are not the appropriate place to ever undertake an investigation into a sexual assault. And that would be their view too.”

Why would she say to the Labour Party council that they were not the right people to investigate an alleged sex crime, if she didn’t know the allegations were of a sex crime?

Because she did. She did know

Of course she knew. If she didn’t then she is very clearly not up to her job.

HDPA went on

On the 6th of August, one day after the story broke in the media, Mike Hosking raised it with her right here on this station.

He asked her: “How many people have quit your party as a result of this investigation into this bloke who may or may not have sexual assaulted someone?”

Her response was: “I’m going to be very careful answering that question Mike because this is an inquiry and work is still underway and it is still a party matter.”

Exactly when the Prime Minister knew is important for a bunch of reasons.

Did she fail in her duty of care to staffers and volunteers? Was this supposed to be covered up? But mostly it’s important because this is now about her integrity

As I pointed out in this post – this famous quote by Howard Baker seems very apposite

It is almost always the cover-up rather than the event which causes trouble

Ardern’s continual obfuscation and denial, has made this affair a major political issue.

Let us be clear, Ardern’s statement starts with a claim that is just not credible. So why should we believe what she says at all

Furthermore as David Farrar points out

She keeps talking about the Labour Party as if it is some remote body she has heard of, not as if she is its leader.

As I said in an earlier post – More on Labour’s Problem Part IV: Safe place ‘push’ goes very awry

Given that it is believed the perpetrator worked in her office and various statements she has made in the past on matters like this, I do not see that Ardern would ever have been able to stay out of this. As Harry Truman’s famous desk plaque said ‘ the buck stops here’ . Ardern is the PM and Leader of the NZ Labour Party, this alleged perpetrator worked in the PM’s Office. Therefore the buck stops with her, not with Haworth or an internal review. It stops with Ardern.

The buck stops with Ardern. I will say more about this issue in subsequent posts

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