National will have to lance the Sabin boil eventually, might as well be now


Claire Trevett explains the current situation

Prime Minister John Key has refused to comment on reports National MP Mike Sabin is under investigation by police but said he would be surprised if Mr Sabin was not at Waitangi this year as the local Northland MP.

Reports surfaced late last year police were investigating an assault complaint laid against Mr Sabin in Northland but neither he, the Prime Minister or Police have confirmed that.

Asked repeatedly about Mr Sabin yesterday, including when Mr Key learned of the allegations or whether Mr Sabin would be returning, Mr Key said he had nothing to say “at this time.”

“If I have something to say on it I will, but I don’t at this point.”

He did not know if Mr Sabin, the MP for Northland, planned to attend Waitangi Day celebrations as part of National’s delegation. However he would be surprised if Mr Sabin did not go as the local MP. “Let’s wait and see.” He had not spoken to Mr Sabin this year or other than when caucus met last year.

So, first I have to admonish Key for breaking the Explaining is Losing rule, and now he’s guilty of Never hug a corpse. (See: Whaleoil’s Rules of Politics)

Sabin is allegedly involved in an assault.  Nobody has come forward to the media to identify themselves as the victim/s.

Key has accepted assurances that it will all be handled quietly.  But I’m not sure if that’s OK.  At some point this is going to get into the public, and Key will be standing there with a severe amount of backsplash over him for trying to keep everything quiet.

To prevent any damage to the National Party and Key personally, Sabin should stand down for ‘personal reasons’, and a by-election should be called for a new MP for Northland.   Let’s get this over with now on our own terms before it gets forced on the National Party at a time that’s convenient to Labour and/or the Media to throw the spanner in.

Mr Sabin, 46, is also the chair of the law and order select committee in Parliament

The details are out.  Someone is just waiting for someone to blink first.  It’s going to be ugly one way or another.  Let’s lance the boil.


– NZ Herald


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  • Wheninrome

    Yes, a National candidate for the North who might actually do something for the North or at least “plead” the North’s case in Wellington.
    Labour has Kelvin Davis, a worthy opponent for debate.
    Come on National, the North is the next area of “wealth” via a treaty settlement, get on the reverse gravy train and gain some value for National.

    • Terry

      When one studies it closely, Northland has to be New Zealand’s most under-developed potential economic jewel. Just get all those illegal cannabis growers to convert to legal and valuable hemp, develop Marsden as the northern region’s deepwater port, and geologically stable Whangarei as the terminal for the next (and needed) trans-Pacific IT cable. And, bring the two factions of Ngapuhi to their senses; and watch Tai Tokerau fly.

  • niggly

    I may be wrong (as I haven’t followed this too closely) but it seems hard to make an informed judgement on this issue when there are no facts and instead simply media speculation. If Mike Sabin was a former cop, what if the issue is simply that some crim “alleged” that Sabin assaulted him (or that indeed as a cop he was a bit heavy-handed against a crim one occasion)? Like I say, not sure about the facts, so I might be completely out of the ball park on this one!

    • Mark Schmid

      I assume if Sabin would be in the clear there would have been no curtain of absolute silence on the matter – time will tell….another one bites the dust….

    • ex-JAFA

      IIRC from the brief mention of it late last year, I believe the alleged assault was of a domestic nature.

      • niggly

        Oh dear, not good. Ex-Police mental/stress/health issues related? Or simply a rotten apple?

        • ex-JAFA

          I’ve no idea, and I wouldn’t like to draw the ire of the mods by speculating here. In fact, I withdraw my suggestion that it was a domestic incident because I can’t see anything that actually says so.

          Click the “Mike Sabin” link in the Tagged bit immediately below the story above to see the earlier WO post for yourself.

  • Bryan

    well if the police are looking into to it Key is quite right to say nothing and entitled to his position let the police do their job without media interfering and then when the Facts are known we can all express our opinions

  • When you have had legal advice to say nothing, that’s not the same as commenting as Sabin’s boss and Prime Minister on ‘something’. He doesn’t say it is baseless rumours, He had to go get legal advice to take a legal position. Why would you do that over something that is just a rumour?

  • mommadog

    I know there is currently more smoke than fire in as we don’t have a lot of details – but even so I don’t see Mr Sabin as being someone who will voluntarily fall on his sword. He will need to be pushed – just not sure if a gentle JK shove will do or whether a big hard push will be required. Even if he stays in parliament in the interim as MP he definitely needs to be removed from the law and order selection committee until this is all over one way or another – like yesterday. Are you listening JK?

    • 1Greek1

      Key has said he is ‘comfortable’ with Sabin keeping that position this afternoon.

      • Terry

        Whatever happened to innocent until proved guilty?

        • Teletubby

          In terms of his position on the Law and Order Select Committee It seems to me as if this is more like an employment issue. The usual solution employed by the public and corporate sectors here. largely because it is not their money, is “stood down on full pay pending investigation.” As much as I hate the idea it may be appropriate here. They did it with Clint Rickards who collected a nice 18 months pay while stood down.

  • Donald

    Can’t do anything till the RMA amendments are passed otherwise Key/Smith have to schmooze Dunne (eeewwww!)