Tova O’Brien seems to have fallen out of love with Jacinda Ardern. Newshub was one of the media outlets to publish the sex scandal story, so it makes sense that they would be sympathetic towards the victim of this latest debacle. Everyone should have some sympathy for the victims. They have been treated very shabbily.

It should never have taken a scared young woman publicly laying out all the harrowing details of an alleged sexual assault for the Prime Minister to act. 

The message Jacinda Ardern is sending is that she needed a young woman to risk being retraumatised and having her account of a serious sexual assault pasted online, in the media, for her to take it seriously. 

Six weeks ago the Prime Minister and her office were alerted to the fact sexual assault allegations were taken to the Labour Party and that complainants said it formed part of an investigation by the party. Six weeks ago.

It has gone on for a lot longer than that, of course. Jacinda has lied and covered up, along with Grant Robertson, Nigel Haworth and probably Trevor Mallard as well.

According to New Zealand Police, “sexual assault is a violent crime”.

On the 5th and 6th of August Newshub had made it clear in reporting, and to the Prime Minister’s Office, that a violent sexual crime had been reported to the Labour Party by the alleged victim of the assault. 

That should have been enough for the Prime Minister to request full details from the Labour Party about the sexual assault allegation. 

It was clear in her interview with Mike Hosking on August 6th that she knew that the complaints were of a serious sexual nature. Or was she confusing sexual assault with GDP?

Instead she received an assurance from the party that no allegations of a sexual nature had been raised nor investigated. For some unfathomable reason that was enough for the Prime Minister. She took the party on its word, sweet as, never mind the fact that young, scared members of her party were saying otherwise.

Newshub obtained a copy of the sexual assault testimony on 5 August which is what allowed us to report the fact of the sexual assault allegations. We chose not to report on the details of her experience to protect the anonymity of the victim and to mitigate any risks of re-traumatisation. 

I completely understand why she felt the need to go further and publish the details and I completely respect the reporting by The Spinoff and its victim-led, sensitive handling of the story. It was the thing that finally spurred real action. 

But it shouldn’t have come to that. The Prime Minister could have sought the same information she received last week, six weeks ago after learning about the sexual assault allegations. She could have taken the action she took last week which resulted in the resignation of both the party president and the accused, six weeks ago.

Six weeks ago Ardern put a QC in place (the terms of reference only just finalised this weekend) and six weeks ago, the accused agreed to stay at home (without actually being stood down from his job) but to actually light a fire under the ass of the 9th floor it took a young woman recounting a deeply traumatic experience. 

We’re now hearing that complainants’ names are being leaked and spread around the parliamentary gossip mill. Some complainants feel a witch hunt is underway. 

This dangerous game of matching an allegation to a person could have been avoided if the Prime Minister had acted when she first became aware of serious sexual allegations made against a Labour staffer. Six weeks ago.


It is worse than that. The left, as we know, are masters at eating their own. Twitter is full of left-wingers who clearly have no sympathy for the victims. Here is one example of it.

And people wonder why the victims never went to the police?

As of Monday evening, it still seems that Labour has learnt nothing from their handling of this scandal. Because guess what? The terms of reference for the assault claims are going to be kept secret.

Yes. Really.

The terms of reference for the review by Maria Dew QC had been finalised but would not be released at the request of the complainants.

Dew said she wanted to look at the substance of the complaints and not the Labour Party processes, Ardern said.

So the party’s lawyer, who had looked into the party’s process, would hand that work to a third party. That would go to all involved parties and asked for feedback.

Circles within circles. Wheels within wheels. A review which results in a report that is never published, followed by another review and another report which will never be made public. This is just getting silly now.

National deputy leader Paula Bennett is calling for Ardern’s and Grant Robertson’s actions to be included in the terms of reference because a key issue was what they were told about the sexual assault complaint and how they responded.

“It’s the only way it’s going to clear the whole thing up, and it’s about justice for the complainants.”

But she had no faith that their actions will be scrutinised.

Robertson was reportedly told about the sexual assault claim at the end of June, but he has not commented on when he was told about such a claim, citing the QC process and the complainants’ privacy.

He said last week that he had not been contacted by Dew, but would speak to her if asked to.


They just never learn, do they? Jacinda is going to fix this… by covering up even more of the reviews and reports. By more lying and obfuscating. This really is a complete farce.

But as Jacinda flies off to Japan tomorrow and then on to New York where the international media awaits, she is probably hoping that all of this will disappear into a cloud of news about the Middle East oil crisis, and by the time she heads back, the country’s obsession with all things rugby. That will save her.

So she hopes. But we will still be here, Jacinda. We want justice for the victims. The BFD will not forget.

Flight of the Half-wits. Cartoon credit BoomSlang