Media break story they broke 34 years ago in attempt to take out Police Commissioner

The media have gone all in on Mike Bush and a drink driving story written about in the Auckland Star 34 years ago when Paula Penfold worked for them.

Paula Penfold has made out that they broke the story just yesterday in a gotcha sting against Mike Bush.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted a historical drink driving conviction.

Under existing recruitment policies, the conviction would prevent Bush from ever even applying to join police, but he is protected by how long ago it happened.

“The incident happened 34 years ago while I was an off-duty detective constable in Auckland in 1983,” Bush said in a statement.

“I was 23 years old at the time and had been in Police for five years. I pleaded guilty and was convicted. I received a $250 fine and was disqualified from driving for six months.”

Bush released a public statement on Friday morning after months of questioning by the Stuff Circuit investigation team.  

In a letter to Stuff Circuit, Bush said police could not supply detail on the prosecution because it was covered by the Clean Slate Act.

“However, I am prepared to waive my right under the Act in the interests of transparency,” he said.

“It was extremely poor judgement by me 34 years ago, for which I am sorry. I make no excuses. It is something I deeply regret and have reflected on ever since.”

Police have separately revealed that Bush’s conviction is one of four cases where senior police have been prosecuted.

Police Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett said Bush told her about the conviction earlier this week.

“He had previously gone through the proper process, which was to disclose this to The State Services Commission and the former Minister of Police when he became Deputy Commissioner.

The incident was 34 years ago. He continues to have my full support,” she said.

Whoop-dee-do. No one except some bitter prick who ran to Paula Penfold and the media stuck in a gotcha mentality will care about this.

There much be heaps of people with drink driving convictions who then went on and led unblemished lives after the fact.

I wonder how many media people have drink-driving convictions? How many have drug convictions? I can name several journalists who use drugs, from cannabis to cocaine…perhaps they need the same treatment?

Paula Bennett has done the right thing here. The last person who went after Mike Bush was David “Anal” Fisher who filmed covertly at a funeral. Now it is Paula Penfold. These people do not have unblemished private lives themselves.

Stuart Nash said the right thing too.

Labour police spokesman Stuart Nash said Bush’s career should not be defined by a mistake he made 34 years ago.

Nash said he would not call for Bush’s resignation, or expect any further repercussions in relation to the historical conviction.

“To be fair, this was a long, long time ago.

“I’m actually a firm believer that if you make a mistake you can’t have that hound you for the rest of your life.”

This is precisely why the media are loathed.


– Fairfax

Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

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.