John Key between a rock and a hard place?

Prime Minister John Key has dismissed media reports that there is a police investigation into National MP Mike Sabin as rumours.

…as rumours?

There have been reports in some news media since December last year that police were investigating allegations against Mr Sabin, who is the chair of the law and order select committee.

Mr Key told Morning Report Mr Sabin remained a fully functioning member of caucus.

The prime minister said he had taken legal advice about what he describes as rumours.

“I’m obviously aware of people wanting to make allegations but I’m just not in a position for a variety of different reasons, legal and otherwise, to want to make comments about that,” said Mr Key

“I’ve got very good advice that I shouldn’t be making comments about either him or anybody else.”

John Key said he would not buy into a rumour mill and he was happy for Mr Sabin to continue in his role with the law and order select committee.

He said if he was required to comment on the case, he would.

Of course, it’s not that easy.  And what I warned him about has come to pass:  

Labour Party leader Andrew Little says “the public are entitled to know”.

He said: “If there is an investigation, the prime minister will know about it. If there is, he should tell the public. If there isn’t, he should tell the public.”

The Green Party’s also weighed in, accusing Mr Key of treating this case differently to previous inquiries into MPs.

Former Minister Richard Worth resigned from his portfolios in 2009 while under police investigation for matters of a sexual nature.

At the time, Mr Key said that, had Dr Worth not resigned, he “would have sacked him”.

Police eventually decided against laying any charges.

Green Party MP Jan Logie says Mr Key’s withholding information for political interest.

“That’s the only assumption we can make. He’s had legal advice, he’s choosing to keep New Zealanders in the dark about whether there’s an investigation happening,” she said.

Asked about the matter again today, the prime minister would only say: “As I said to you yesterday, if I was at a point where I wished to make a comment about any of my MPs I’d do that, but I’m not in that position today.”

Police are also refusing to officially confirm any investigation.

Here’s the thing.  Key wouldn’t need to get legal advice if there was nothing to it.   This is all going to hinge on the victim/s continuing with silence.   Also, if he was required to comment on the case, he would.   So there is a case.

The problem for Key is when this blows up, his advice wasn’t just to say nothing, it has also been to do nothing, and that’s where it will come undone.  There is no way in hell, having kept quiet about it, Key won’t be accused of trying to cover up a very serious and disgusting alleged assault.

But then the National Party already harbours a senior member under the benefit of name suppression for similar although less disgusting transgressions.


Being part of a blended family and being ex-Police, the whole thing is a bloody powder keg.  The whole old boys network is trying to keep the lid on.

And John Key’s advice is to say nothing, and do nothing.

50/50 this is going to end up a major scandal…   …for something that doesn’t exist, does not have a police investigation, Key can’t/won’t talk about or confirm, but needed legal advice for to be told to pucker up and hope for the best.


– RNZ, One News

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.