Labour leader Andrew Little has been labelled “gutless” for standing down MP Carmel Sepuloni after her mother was charged with benefit fraud.
Mr Little was also defending another one of his MPs today, David Cunliffe, who was pulled over for talking on his cell-phone while driving.
[Carmel Sepuloni’s mum] Beverley Anne Sepuloni appeared in New Plymouth District Court today, facing 19 benefit fraud charges.
Her daughterÂ is collateral damage – the frontbench Labour MPÂ has beenÂ stripped of her shadow social development role by Mr Little.
National MP Judith Collins took to Twitter to criticise Little, saying: “Message to LabMPs is if anyone of your family’s in trouble, so are you. No leadership, no guts [sic].”
Earlier I blogged that I thought that Andrew Little had got it wrong on standing down Carmel Sepuloni.
In public statements Little is all over the place.
He started off by saying:
“Well it’s because as spokesperson for Social Development, when she has a close family member involved in an issue like this, it’s appropriate that she step aside so that there’s no claim of a conflict of interest,” Mr Little says.
Which changed to:
“Carmel has assured me she didn’t know her mother was facing these charges.” He said she would stay on the front bench and in her role as Junior Whip, but had agreed step aside temporarily as social development spokesperson while the matter was dealt with.
– NZ Herald
And then changed to:
“Carmel is an adult and her mother is an adult. Carmel is not responsible for the actions of her mother,” he said.
“We have agreed she will step aside … on a temporary basis while these matters are dealt with. There is a conflict of interest at the present time.”
Amy Adams has announced she will commission yet another review into the ongoing claim for compensation by David Bain or is it Joe Karam…hard to work out who is claiming as Bain never says anything.
The Government will launch a fresh inquiry into David Bain’s compensation claim after agreeing to set aside all previous advice on the matter, Justice Minister Amy Adams has announced.
David Bain’s long fight for compensation will start afresh with all previous advice put aside, Government has confirmed.
Justice Minister Amy Adams said this afternoon Cabinet did not have enough information to reach a decision on a potential payout for Mr Bain, who spent 13 years in prison before being found not guilty of murder in a retrial.
Mr Bain was imprisoned in 1995 after being convicted for killing five family members in Dunedin, but was freed after being found not guilty in a second trial in 2009.
Judith Collins has said she would do it all again as well. As well she should, Binnie’s report was dreadfully and hopelessly flawed.
Former Justice Minister Judith Collins says she “stands by everything I said and did” in relation to David Bain’s compensation case after his supporters accused her of derailing the process at a huge cost to the taxpayer.
Mr Bain’s advocate Joe Karam said the blame for the new delay and its associated costs could be placed squarely on Mrs Collins, who “secretly” asked for a peer review of an initial inquiry by former Canadian Supreme Court judge Ian Binnie.
“It’s a great shame for David, for me, for the New Zealand public in general,” he said. “It’s extremely disappointing that this should happen from a number of points of view, not least of which is the taxpayers who now have to cough up between half a million and a million dollars.”
Mr Karam said he was more confident of a positive outcome from the new review because he believed Ms Adams would be more principled than her predecessor and would not “bulldoze” any findings.
Mrs Collins shot back at Mr Karam yesterday, saying she could never have awarded compensation based on a faulty inquiry.
“I stand by everything I said and did,” she told the Herald. “I did exactly what I had to do.”
Justice Binnie found that Mr Bain was innocent “on the balance of probabilities”, but the peer review by QC Robert Fisher found numerous errors in his findings.
Mrs Collins said the main reason for a delay in the five-year process was the decision by Mr Bain’s side to seek a judicial review of the Government’s handling of the case.
Here are two National MPs that have every reason to be surly, negative and showing that they are feeling on the outside.
The opposite is true: Â lots of energy, sharp witted, and roaring to go.
I have to say, a waste of talent. Â And to think Mike Sabin was favoured by John Key. Â sigh
It looks like John Key has had a rush ofÂ shit to the brains recently.
Something is seriously wonky with his thinking at the moment.
I’m talking about the messaging over the Sabin affair.
First up National has known about this issue for months, but sat there on the info, which proved remarkably accurate, for months letting the sore fester and become pustulant, almost turning gangrenous.
That was bad enough, and sorry I just don;t believe that the first he knew about the issue was just last week. Does he not speak to his chief of staff? Is his chief of staff keeping things from Key?
Then he stood by him on Monday as head of the select committee, again why? Didn’t Wayne Eagleson take Key aside and say “Boss, I think we have a problem”
By that stage Mike Sabin must have known what was happening Monday morning, surely someone in National’s caucus did too and no one thought to tell the boss…everyone tells the boss in National.
Then come Friday and over the weekend John Key pulls his best Sgt Schultz impression and declares he knew nothing.
Finally we get this brain fart.
Prime Minister John Key has hinted at some frustration with former MP Mike Sabin for failing to tell National about the personal issues that led to his resignation prior to the election, saying Mr Sabin had almost been appointed as a minister and news of his issue had come as “a shock.”
Mr Key said the first he knew of any problems Mr Sabin faced was in early December when his chief of staff told him. It is understood Mr Sabin’s issue arose prior to the election. Mr Key revealed Mr Sabin was on the cusp of being appointed as a minister when National was re-elected.
“To be frank, he was on the list of ‘likely to be a minister.’ It was a real toss-up between him and a couple of other people who got in. That’s how confident we were, or how lacking in knowledge of other issues we were.
So it came as quite a shock to me when I was told of the matters he was pursuing.”
The next big thing that Hone Harawira and John Minto has got going is Mana News.
And they are straight into bizarre conspiracy theories…and likely a few defamation suits.
Eleanor Catton has managed to reveal the mechanism of the National party media dictatorship this could be extremely dangerous for the survival of our democracy. According to Sean Plunkett you are not permitted to criticise the NationalÂ government its unpatriotic and against the people of New Zealand. Â Too many reporters within journalism have intimate relationships with the national party that are a conflict of interest designed to mislead the New Zealand public. These reporters are holding back real journalists like Andrea Vance.Â It is unnatural for the press gallery to be uncritical of a seven year old government. The Prime minister office is pouring to many resourcesÂ into dirty politics and controling the media and little effort to tackle the housing crisis or poverty reduction.
The conspiracy would be more believable if they could spell Sean Plunket’s name properly. I’m surprised that they haven’t substituted every ‘s’ for a ‘$’.
Earlier today I wrote about Joe Karam misleading in an interview with Radio New Zealand over the Bain case.
Now I hesitate to call Joe Karam a liar, but the evidence suggests that he may have in fact forgotten a few things, so I’ll be generous and say his views of history are a little clouded.
He stated to Radio New Zealand when asked about the delays:
“It’s not dragged on because of us, uhmmm… it’s dragged on far too long, like everything with the Bain case had, but uhmm..I couldn’t put a time on it, these things traditionally do take time”
There is a problem with those claims for Joe Karam.
Here is the press release from February 2013 about the delay.
4 February 2013
David Bain requests delay
Cabinet has agreed to a formal request from David Bain to delay its consideration of his application for compensation for claimed wrongful conviction and imprisonment, says Justice Minister Judith Collins. Â Read more »
Joe Karam went on Radio NZ yesterday and basically showed what a nasty, vicious little man he is.
Her refers to Amy Adams by title and her full name, same with Simon Power, but in all his comments about Judith Collins he just calls her “Collins” or worse.
In a report released in late 2012, a former Canadian Supreme Court judge, Ian Binnie, concluded that Mr Bain was innocent and suggested he should receive compensation.
However, Ms Collins then sought a review of that report, which criticised the findings as legally flawed.
Mr Bain’s legal team sought a judicial review, arguing that Ms Collins had pre-determined the claim and could not distinguish between her role as Justice Minister and her previous role as Police Minister.
Ms Collins resigned as a minister during the election campaign last year, after an email surfaced suggesting she had been part of efforts to undermine the head of the Serious Fraud Office in 2011. An inquiry later found no evidence to support that.
Mr Bain’s chief supporter Joe Karam told Checkpoint it was now up to Ms Adams to have the claim considered by Cabinet ministers.
“We have no reason to believe that she won’t do a proper just job, as Simon Power did. The only thing that’s gone wrong is the pugnacious minister that we had in between times.”
David Bain is continuing on with his spurious claim for compensation…aided of course by his pal Joe Karam.
David Bain’s bid for compensation has moved a step forward with the Justice Minister confirming Cabinet will resume consideration of his claim.
Mr Bain’s legal team last month held confidential discussions with Justice Minister Amy Adams over his compensation bid.
Ms Adams today confirmed judicial review proceedings had been discontinued following an agreement between the two parties.
“With the matter resolved, Cabinet can now resume its consideration of Mr Bain’s claim for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment,” Ms Adams said.
Cabinet agreed in February 2013, at Mr Bain’s request, that consideration of his application for compensation would be put on hold, pending determination of the judicial review proceedings he filed.
Those judicial review proceedings have been discontinued by Mr Bain, Ms Adams said.
“This discontinuance does not resolve Mr Bain’s underlying compensation claim, just the separate judicial review process. I plan to discuss next steps with my Cabinet colleagues over the coming weeks,” she said.
“While the details of the agreement are confidential, I can confirm that there was no contribution made towards Mr Bain’s compensation claim as part of this discontinuance.”
Ms Adams said there would be a further announcement regarding the consideration of the application in due course.
Andrew Little has been considered the man coming in the Labour movement for a generation.
Strangely for a former student politician and unionist he is not known for having much mongrel in him. He bailed first when Judith Collins sued him and Trevor Mallard for defamation.
Labourâ€™s politicians and activists are usually well versed in the dark arts, and know exactly how dirty politics really is because they have been in the thick of some of the most enjoyable political fights ever.
What has been strange about Andrew Little is that he has not had a great reputation for being willing to fight to get ahead. Contrary to the public story that he didnâ€™t want to enter parliament in 2008 because of his young son, the word from inside Fraser House is that Little wanted Rimutaka when Paul Swain retired. In the murk and skullduggery that went on before that selection Little was essentially out muscled, and decided not to run. Â Â Read more »