‘Mov­ing on’ is not ac­cept­able

The Southland Times - - National News -

There’s noth­ing worse than politi­cians who are hyp­ocrites, and right now the Na­tional Party falls right into that cat­e­gory.

If you ever wanted to read about a cop-out, here’s a cracker one for you.

The Na­tional Party, it seems, is ‘‘mov­ing on’’.

Well, surely the pub­lic de­serves more than the glib re­sponse that came from its chief press sec­re­tary yes­ter­day.

Mov­ing on from what ex­actly? An ed­i­to­rial pub­lished on Oc­to­ber 25 raised the point that an­other is­sue had arisen from the Jami-Lee Ross saga, in re­la­tion to the ‘‘You de­serve to die’’ text, said to be from a col­league with whom he ac­knowl­edged he had been hav­ing an af­fair.

Was it pos­si­ble this text could be a breach of the Harm­ful Dig­i­tal Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Act, and could the sender of the text re­ally stay in her role as an MP?

So, on No­vem­ber 8, the fol­low­ing ques­tions were put to the Na­tional Party

❚ The ‘‘de­serve to die’’ text re­port­edly came from a mar­ried MP. While Na­tional has in­di­cated it is do­ing a re­view of its cul­ture, has a sep­a­rate in­ves­ti­ga­tion been launched to speak to the MP who re­port­edly sent his text?

❚ What dis­cus­sions has the party had with the MP who re­port­edly sent a text like that?

❚ Has that MP been cen­sured, faced in­ter­nal dis­ci­pline, or been stood down from du­ties? If no ac­tion has been taken by the party, why not?

❚ Does the Na­tional Party be­lieve that the text mes­sage sent breached the Harm­ful Dig­i­tal Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Act?

❚ Does the Na­tional Party still be­lieve the MP, who re­port­edly sent the text, is still fit to be an MP and rep­re­sent the Na­tional Party, given they re­port­edly sent a text say­ing some­one de­served to die?

❚ Has the MP of­fered to stand down? Or, are they still car­ry­ing out their du­ties as nor­mal?

And wait for it, here’s the no com­ment from Na­tional.

‘‘The Na­tional Party has no com­ment on th­ese mat­ters. JamiLee Ross is no longer a Na­tional MP and the party is mov­ing on.’’ Mov­ing on . . . we don’t think so. Hence the fol­low­ing re­sponse was sent back to the Na­tional Party.

‘‘This re­sponse is not sat­is­fac­tory, the pub­lic de­serve an an­swer as to how you are han­dling the MP who re­port­edly sent a text say­ing ‘‘you de­serve to die’’. Mov­ing on is not ac­cept­able. Can you please an­swer th­ese ques­tions by 5pm to­day.’’

And, wait for it, here’s the no com­ment again from Na­tional . . . ‘‘we have no fur­ther com­ment’’.

Na­tional may be ‘‘mov­ing on’’ as it puts it, but in its wake it is leav­ing a trail of dis­trust, ar­ro­gance, and a big fin­ger to its own party val­ues.

Don’t for­get that front and cen­tre of Na­tional’s core val­ues for build­ing a so­ci­ety are two im­por­tant words. Per­sonal Re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Where is the per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity of a party that won’t an­swer ques­tions.

And where is the per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity of the MP who re­port­edly sent the ‘‘you de­serve to die’’ text?

Surely by now the MP in ques­tion would front up and take per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity.


‘‘Jami-Lee Ross is no longer a Na­tional MP and the party is mov­ing on.’’ Na­tional Party com­ment

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