If you believe a backbench NZ First MP acted alone then you are as simple as Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern has said that Jenny Marcroft acted alone. If you believe that then you are a simpleton.

No backbench MP in NZ First acts alone. Someone would have told her to make the approach, but Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters are taking a “nothing to see here, move along approach”:

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says National has made a “mountain out of a molehill” over claims one of his backbenchers threatened an opposition MP.

But National leader Simon Bridges said the Prime Minister must get to the bottom of what was a “very serious rotten situation”.

National’s Mark Mitchell yesterday said Jenny Marcroft told him – on behalf of a minister – to stop supporting a project in his electorate if he wanted it to get public funding.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had been assured by all four NZ First ministers that they’d had nothing to do with it and she now considered the matter resolved.

“My job is to take ministers at their word. They have each assured me they were not involved in what’s happened here.

“And that leaves it to be an issue about an MP’s behaviour and for that it’s up to the leader of New Zealand First to respond.”

Wrong answer Jacinda. Perhaps you should be made aware of Section 103 (2) of the Crimes Act:

Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who corruptly gives or offers or agrees to give any bribe to any person with intent to influence any member of Parliament in respect of any act or omission by him or her in his or her capacity as a member of Parliament.

That seems to fit perfectly what went on here. It is very serious, and at first Winston Peters said that Mark Mitchell misheard and now he is saying that Jenny Marcroft ‘mis-said’ it:

Mr Peters said he would not be taking further action against Ms Marcroft.

“Whatever she might have said, she mis-said it, and regrets she mis-said it.”

But he said he didn’t know what Ms Marcroft had meant to say which had been misconstrued.

“I’ve got no idea how it came out wrong because I wasn’t party to it – I wasn’t there – how would I know?”

The Mahurangi River Restoration Project wasn’t even eligible for funding from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund as it was in the Auckland Super City, he said.

Mr Peters said Ms Marcroft called him on Saturday about the conversation and he told her she should apologise for any misunderstanding.

“I am astonished that a simple matter of an apology escalated into a press statement – and a mountain’s now become a molehill.”

Parliament became an utter shambles on this yesterday as Trevor Mallard ran interference for the Deputy PM:

Mallard’s actions were shameful. The whole farce is now being blamed on a staffer using the wrong letterhead. It is an utter joke.


– Parliament

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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.