Pressure mounting on Sabin

A week has gone by and the Sunday Star-Times gives Mike Sabin another kicking, and this time ramps up the pressure on the PM about when he knew about Sabin and why nothing has been done.

National MP Mike Sabin is being called on to stand down as chairman of Parliament’s Law and Order Select Committee while police investigate an assault allegation against him.

The calls come as Prime Minister John Key’s handling of the situation comes under scrutiny, particularly whether Key knew of the police inquiry before appointing Sabin in October. Sabin also sits on the Justice and Electoral Select Committee.

National Party officials were aware before September’s general election that Sabin was possibly being investigated by police.

Key’s office was also, pre-election, informed of media inquiries about Sabin.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says that if the National Government knew of the police inquiry before appointing Sabin then that was “inexplicable and inexcusable”, but if the Prime Minister was not aware of the police inquiry it was excusable and explicable.

Peters says that irrespective of when details of the police inquiry were known to Key, Sabin should now be stood down.

“I am not judging the outcome (of the police inquiry) – all I am saying is it is not a proper position to be holding whilst that is going on.”

“And the Prime Minister should have said to him (Sabin) a long time ago that it is time to stand aside.”

I’m not sure how Mike Sabin or the PM think this will play out.

From what I know, and after the all the obfuscation from Sabin it won’t end well. Telling fibs to your mates when they ask very specific questions means you lose whatever support you may have had.

Media have been talking about this for weeks and weeks. I know of two newsrooms that were just waiting for the news to break to go all in on it.

It was revealed last week that police have been investigating an assault complaint against Sabin.

The inquiry is ongoing. Both the Prime Minister’s office and the police are refusing to comment on the investigation.

Duty minister Tim Groser also refused to comment yesterday on the calls for Sabin to either stand aside or be stood aside from his select committee role.

Sabin, who has not responded to numerous phone calls, ordered a reporter from his property when asked if he knew about the investigation, stating: “No, no I have nothing to say – I want you to leave my property”.

Media inquiries about Sabin have been ongoing for at least four months.

The National Business Review has been asking questions about assault allegations since before the election. Other media, including Radio Live and One News, have also been inquiring into the assault allegations.

The police investigation was moved south from Whangarei to the Waitemata District, headquartered in west Auckland, because Sabin was a police officer based in Northland till 2006.

The officer in charge Detective Inspector Kevin Hooper refused to confirm Sabin was the subject of an investigation.

Again from what I know I don;t think it is survivable. Key accepted the resignations from people accused of far less and axed Ministers for far less as well.

You have to start wondering what sort of deal Sabin and the PM have for him to still be sitting in the Northland sun thinking nothing will come of this.

The only way out is for Key to throw him under the bus by saying Sabin lied to him – and it is his habit to take an MPs word until proven otherwise.  Now that it is proven to be a lie, he should have no hesitation at all.


-Sunday Star-Times


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  • What is remarkable is that normally the alleged victim would have leaked to the media by now.

    It is unusual for the other party to an alleged assault to remain so quiet and not take it to the media to do damage to Sabin, Key and National.

    • Wendy

      Indeed. Very curious.

  • Reid

    I’ve said before Key isn’t a political calculator but is rather a fair weather lucky operator and this is another sign. This case isn’t rocket science, it’s basic politics, and presuming he’s known all the details for some time, this lack of reaction is nothing less than idiotic.

  • Ben

    This is looking more and more like a third term government that is not really interested in a fourth term. Perhaps AL will find himself in the right place at the right time by accident rather than design.

    • johcar

      You’re making a very large assumption there that Little will actually still leader in three year’s time…

  • Wendy

    Reading between the lines of what has been said…and more importantly, what has NOT been said, this is looking ugly.

  • Nirvana10

    Most of us are just enjoying having a Christmas/ New Year break from politics and political intrigue. I for one am quite happy for this to put onto the back burner till into the New Year when presumably the ‘allegations’ will either firm up into more than that or else be shown up as a sackable offence.

    • I don’t the victims will agree with you.

  • First four rules of Whaleoil’s Rules of Politics

    1. If you are explaining, you are losing

    2. Utu is good, even necessary

    3. Never hug a corpse – it smells and you end up smelling like the corpse too

    4. Always know where the bodies are buried

  • Rod

    In my view there needs to be fairness and consistency. If Judith Collins had to stand down, then so should Sabin. I would have more sympathy with him if he did it voluntarily.

    • spanishbride

      Judith hadn’t done anything wrong yet she was made to stand down. I think it is disgusting that Sabin is being protected when he actually has criminal charges against him. He can come back just like Judith did when he is found to be innocent ( if he is ) Judith was made to stand down because of an e-mail that wasn’t even written by her. This guy is charged with assault!

      • Hardie Martin

        So he has been charged with assault? All I’m reading so far is that there are Police investigations of an ‘alleged’ assault.

        • mommadog

          Isn’t it always alleged until you have your day in court and are found guilty or innocent. Whether charged by police or not it will be reported as alleged.

      • Michael_l_c

        No one is found innocent, even if he is found not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt there can still be a sufficient stench that he is permanently tainted.
        JK is again displaying 3rd term arrogance & ignorance. If the allegation is true or sufficiently stinky Sabin is doomed. Regarding JK he is forgetting that this will be resurrected next election. I don’t want him apologising for being a man.

    • Bluemanning

      There isn’t an election just around the corner; the opposite was the case with Judith IMO.

  • Sailor Sam

    Is there not a rule of innocent until found guilty?

    • Doesn’t stop you discussing factual things, such as “has he been charged with assault?”

    • OneTrack

      Not for right-wing politicians.

    • Aucky

      That principle doesn’t apply to trial by media.

  • Richard

    Riiiiiight….just like the MSM knew nothing of .Coms pending law suits before trying to climb in through his out door.

  • Carl

    Xmas dinner would have been good with his son Brook being a tv 3 political reporter.

  • Aucky

    So we have the Sabin assault allegation and Sky City playing contractual brinkmanship games – I don’t see any ‘festering sores’. I agree though that Sabin should resign his Committee Chair position in the interim.

  • HSV325

    Perhaps Key is waiting till the new year when all the MSM are back on deck and then Sabin’s sacking won’t be ‘lost’ when everyone is still in holiday mode.

  • Michael

    Former MP Aaron Gilmore had this to say about Mike Sabin:

    “Dude can be a bully. When I was in media storm he came into my office and threatened to expel me from caucus unless I resigned and it didn’t matter whether my story was right or wrong. Not long afterwards he gives another member of caucus a brutal wedgie and accused him of being gay at the weekly drinks. Maybe he hasn’t assaulted someone, and there does need to be an investigation, but he has form.

    Dude has issues, and needs to deal with them. As that great poet Justin Timberlake said, what goes around comes around. After the sheer awesomeness of John Carter, the people of northland [sic] deserved better.”