Aaron Smith

Karl du Fresne on the Aaron Smith saga

Another sensible bit of commentary from Karl du Fresne.

The tut-tutters who clucked their tongues over All Black Aaron Smith?s tryst in an airport toilet must have been startled by the number of voices raised in his defence.

The Mother Grundys were almost outgunned by Smith?s defenders, who recognised that this affair was different in vital respects from other recent furores involving delinquent rugby players.

Public outrage should be reserved for incidents that justify it, such as the vicious assaults perpetrated by the rising rugby star Losi Filipo.

Smith?s airport encounter involved no violence or coercion. As far as we know, the woman was a willing partner.

The incident also differed crucially from the Waikato Chiefs? end-of-season revelry involving a stripper. Although the stripper appears to have been a consenting party, at least initially, she was a lone woman surrounded by men ? big, intimidating men. It was hardly what you would call a level playing field.

So: Smith?s liaison involved no nastiness. And it was one-on-one ? a case of two adults indulging in consensual behaviour behind a closed door. A victimless crime, in other words.

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Why Hosking is angry about sex in disabled toilets

It infuriated me not because of what [Aaron] Smith did, which was stupid, but hardly the crime of the century. What infuriated me was several fold.

One, the bloke thinking that recording such an incident would ever in any way lead to anywhere but trouble and regret.

What sort of petty-minded, pathetic little bitter and twisted personality do you need to be to look to profit from such an event?

Two, the media up and running with it. It shows a venal, small-minded clickbait kind of thought process to take a tip like that and look to cause trouble, and that’s all it really was.

This is not to say it’s not a story because it was, but how stories are handled are the key.
At worst this was a breach of protocol, he deserved to be sprung and disciplined, but that’s about where it needed to end.

Instead what we got was a circus.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in Court listening to Nicky Hager. ?He told the jury that it is essential that the real media (meaning not me), gets to control what is a story and what isn’t a story. ?Because, in his world view, the real media would not run Len Brown sex scandals, they wouldn’t run Colin Craig and his Press Secretary stories, and I suppose they wouldn’t run All Blacks having it off in an airport toilet stories. ? Read more »

Yes Kerre, but you forgot some other ratbags and spies

Kerre McIvor has a great column in the Herald on Sunday about the real spies in our midst and it isn’t the GCSB or SIS.

I find the idea of sex in a toilet unappealing, but the idea of somebody being so prurient as to record the sounds of people at it is even more unpalatable.

Anyway, after about 10 minutes, the rhythmic tapping noises stopped, Smith and his friend emerged, separately, from the loo and Smith rejoined his All Blacks teammates.

Smith has now been sent home from South Africa, where the All Blacks played early this morning, after the couple gave the recording and an account of what they saw to the media.

The husband thought it was “kinda funny” but his wife, apparently, became more and more incensed by what she’d witnessed – more specifically, heard – and decided to hold Smith to account.

She says most people wouldn’t behave in that fashion, let alone the All Blacks, who are role models for young children. ? Read more »

Stephen Franks on rugby, rooting and rules


Stephen Franks is spot on with his analysis of the Aaron Smith airport rooting saga.

Have I lost touch with my country? Where am I?

When did it become an obligation on an employer to discipline an employee for what could be a fleeting airport toilet shag with a woman not his ?partner?, thousands of miles from the ?workplace? with no evidence (so far) that it could affect workplace performance.

I?m especially baffled when the nation?s most economically illiterate lawyers (employment specialists) have created rules that block and reverse the most simple and efficient measures by employers to uphold honesty and other ethical standards, and even basic courtesy. ?These idiots will expensively second guess the natural disciplinary steps ?that have for generations made workplaces civilised (and civilising) places for association among non-kin of disparate cultures and backgrounds.

Yet today our media have been reporting the the Rugby Union?s latest venture into controlling off field conduct without a hint of irony or criticism. I feel for the rugby bosses. Last week the media rage focused on them?for failing to give the justice to victims which the justice system denied. Media castigation should have been exclusively on the judging class who think they are therapists for criminals, freed from their duty to do justice by their superior compassion. Instead it turned into a witch-hunt on rugby.

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FFS, he had a root in an airport bog…so what?

The po-faced, prurient, panty-sniffing sector of society is all agog that an All Black had a root in a bog at an airport.

The All Blacks have gone all pansy-wristed as well.

All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith has left the squad in South Africa following an incident at Christchurch airport.

The star player was seen entering a disabled toilet with a female after the All Blacks test against Springboks last month. ? Read more »