Aaron Gilmore – dickhead unapologetic

An arrogant returning back bench MP appears to have made a dick of himself, and by association of National.

Aaron Gilmore has been back in parliament just a couple of months (he replaced Lockwood Smith on National’s list) but in his rise to excessive self importance his impact doesn’t look pretty.

Stuff report: Apology over MP’s flare-up in restaurant

Sources close to the Heritage Hanmer Springs hotel said Gilmore called a waiter a “dickhead”, handed over his business card and made a comment along the lines of “Don’t you know who I am? I’m an important politician.”

Gilmore then insulted the waiter, the source said.

This happened when Gilmore was in Hanmer Springs attending the National Party’s mainland region conference.

But it is not Gilmore who has apologised, it was a friend who was with him and seems to have been embarrassed by his behaviour.

A lawyer friend of Christchurch-based MP Aaron Gilmore was so embarrassed by the politician’s behaviour after a bottle and a half of wine that he wrote an apology to hotel staff.

Riches last night confirmed he left the note for the waiter, saying he did so because he felt Gilmore had been “a bit rude” and he felt “a bit embarrassed by what happened”.

The Press understands the note apologised on behalf of Gilmore for his “appalling” conduct and congratulated the waiter on his professionalism.

Not a good look for Gilmore, nor for National. Gilmore’s response has not helped his case.

However, the National Party backbencher yesterday called the incident a “misunderstanding” and denied he used his position as a politician.

While “some inappropriate comments might seem to have been made”, they had been apologised for, he said.

Weasely words, not denying it but not accepting any responsibility for his own behaviour – it wasn’t Gilmore who apologised for that.

Gilmore told The Press restaurant staff had unfairly blamed him for the behaviour of the whole group, and there was “no story” in what occurred.

He said he had apologised to the hotel staff after two members of the dining party became “grossly intoxicated”, with one needing to be escorted away.

However, he was “not aware” of being rude or making the alleged comments to the barman.

He could not be sure if he or another member of his party told the waiter to “stop being a dickhead” while discussing liquor-licensing laws.“I don’t know if that was said by me or another colleague. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me.”

He later said, “It may well have been me.”

However, he later retracted the comment.

Gilmore also said: “I can’t be 100 per cent sure of everything I say after having a bottle and a half of wine, but I think someone has misinterpreted what was said.”

Gilmore said he handed the barman his business card, so they could talk the next day if there were any more issues.

The comments at the restaurant must have been “a bit misconstrued”, he said.

Gilmore said he thanked hotel staff the next day, and told them the call to refuse to sell his group more alcohol was “fair enough”.

He said there was no mention of him having behaved poorly.

There is plenty of mention of that now. And he is trying to spread blame across the whole group – while there may be some justification for that he is avoiding dealing with his own behaviour.

Getting pissed is risky for a public figure, even for an obscure back bencher. Being an over important dickhead is a bigger risk.

This may sound worse than what actually happened.

But Gilmore’s fobbing off changing excuses are not helping his case. No matter how much of a dickhead he was, his handling of the ensuing attention he has attracted just increases the dickishness.

A bigger person would deal with this with an appropriate apology – a direct apology, not a “if anyone was inadvertently offended” weasel apology won’t repair all the damage but it will stop the dick erecting more of a low ranked reputation.

A spokeswoman for Key said his office had received no complaints from the hotel, but would look into any that were received.

“The prime minister expects the highest level of behaviour from his caucus,” she said.

Gilmore shouldn’t wait for the possibility this embarrassment will rise through the party channels, or he might find himself dropping off the bottom of the party list. If a decent apology is not already too late.

Leave a comment


  1. Darryl

     /  2nd May 2013

    Have they got a voice recording of Aaron Gilmore, making this statement?

  2. Brown

     /  2nd May 2013

    He’s another Rudd then?

  1. Gilmore dickhead apologies less than half arsed | Your NZ
  2. Conflicting Gilmore claims | Your NZ

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