National, Sabin, Osborne, train wreck

National’s Northland candidate Mark Osborne was the treasurer on ex-MP Mike Sabin’s electorate committee so will obviously have had some contact with Sabin. It has been asked (and will keep getting asked) what he knew about the police investigation of Sabin that resulted in a court case.

Osborne was interviewed by Sean Plunket on RadioLive yesterday – NORTHLAND CANDIDATE KNEW ABOUT SABIN RUMOURS.

Plunket: What political experience have you got?

Osborne: Oh look I’ve been a member of the electorate executive up here for the last three years as treasurer and Northern Zone chair.

Plunket: So you were involved in the selection of Mt Sabin?

Osborne: No I wasn’t, no I wasn’t involved back at that point.

Plunket: At all?

Osborne: No, not at all.

Plunket: Didn’t know about it. Did it just happen while you were away or something?

Osborne: Oh look it happened before my time, so ah I’ve been…

Plunket: I thought you’d been there for three years.

Osborne: Yes but ah…

Plunket: Ok, but what about his re-selection or confirmation as candidate before the last election, where you involved in that?

Osborne: Yes, yes…

Plunket: Ok so you were involved. Did you know anything about the shadows that hung over him?

Osborne: Not at all. Not a thing.

Plunket: Nothing? You didn’t, hadn’t even heard a rumour?

Osborne: Oh I saw the rumours and the…

Plunket: Oh there were rumours. And you had heard the rumours?

Osborne: Oh yes.

Plunket: Yes. Did you ask Mr Sabin or did anyone ask Mr Sabin to clarify those rumours when he was re-selected as the candidate?

Osborne: Well I can’t speak for anybody else, but ah I asked if he was ok.

Plunket: Well what do you mean, did you ask if there was anything that might damage his candidacy or the National party?

Osborne: No no I didn’t, no I just…

A novice in an awkward situation trapped by an old pro. If the timing was awry he should have jumped on it straight away.

Plunket: Why on earth not?

Osborne: Why on earth not.

Plunket: Yeah. If you’d heard the rumours.

Osborne: Well I just wanted to make sure that he was ok.

Plunket: So you wanted to make sure that he was ok, rather than the party was ok, or that he would be in a position to serve the electorate if he would be re-selected and elected as the MP.

Osborne: Oh well look this was at the very end of last year after he’d been re-elected so ah it was more just as a treasurer you know just saying you know are you ok…

Plunket: So when did you first hear the rumours Mark?

Osborne: Ah right at the very end of last year when they were in the newspaper.

Plunket: Didn’t hear them before he was re-selected…

Osborne: Oh no not at all. I knew nothing.

Still no denial that it wasn’t a known issue pre-election though.

Plunket: Ok. So you knew nothing even though you were on the executive?

Osborne: That’s right no, nothing until it was in the media…

Plunket: The executive knew nothing?

Osborne: Ah well I can’t speak for them but I certainly knew nothing.

Plunket: Well why not? You must have had meetings.

Osborne: Well we never had any meetings that discussed that.

Plunket: But when you, ok when did you confirm his re-selection as candidate before the election?

Osborne: (pause) Well I ah, I was the treasurer so ah I didn’t reconfirm his selection.

Plunket: Where you at meetings where it was discussed?

Osborne: Ah no.

Plunket: Ok. All right. So no one knew. It was just suddenly then after the election ‘Woh, there’s a problem?

Osborne: That’s right. Well from my perspective absolutely had no knowledge whatsoever.

That oozes implausible deniability.

Osborne left wide open the possibility, perhaps probability that this was a known issue before the election, but claims it wasn’t discussed at all by the executive in any meetings.

And that he knew nothing until it was in the media. Even from Dunedin I had heard rumours a month or two earlier. There have been many reports of rumours swirling in Northland.

Key’s and National’s handling of the Sabin issue has been abysmal.

The feeling I get from this is that National chose a candidate who could deny knowledge of or complicity in the Sabin issue.

Of their own doing the Sabin train had very wobbly wheels. And now they have installed a novice driver to try and drive down a very shaky track with the National Party ducking for cover en masse.

I can see a high risk of political wreckage.

Winston was always very adept at political opportunism.

     ^ likely votes  –  National’s Northland train

UPDATE: the train has a stoker – John Key to boost National’s Northland by-election campaign

He’s stuffed up on his handling of the Sabin issue so far so he may add fuel to the Sabin fire.

Leave a comment

4 Comments

  1. David

     /  7th March 2015

    I really don’t think anyone cares all that much about Sabin and who knew what when, while all the suppression orders are in place it means even less to a public who are busy getting on with life
    Maybe we should but we don’t, we all know Key pretty well now and if the allegations are shocking and he knew there would be no way he would have been selected to stand and then to chair a select committee.

    Reply
  2. traveller

     /  7th March 2015

    “The feeling I get from this is that National chose a candidate who could deny knowledge of or complicity in the Sabin issue”. Osborne has a lot to learn about the tricky media and he looks greenhorn of the first order, but to say the Party would choose him because he’s a denier – ouch. He’s not very adept at it is he.

    Reply
  1. Mike Sabin a prominent elephant in the Northland room | Your NZ
  2. Northland By Election Weak , Very Weak 7 | kuneblog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s