Senator’s chief of staff colluded with Hipkins

The chief of staff of Australian Senator Penny Wong has been named as the ALP staffer who contacted NZ Labour MP Chris Hipkins about citizenship.

SMH: Penny Wong’s chief of staff sparked NZ Labour’s questioning of Barnaby Joyce

Fairfax Media can reveal Senator Wong’s chief of staff Marcus Ganley – who is himself from New Zealand – was the ALP staffer that asked New Zealand Labour MP Chris Hipkins about the issue last week.

Mr Hipkins then asked a number of questions about citizenship in the New Zealand Parliament, however the questions did not explicitly mention Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Mr Joyce this week confirmed he was a dual national, which could disqualify him from Parliament.

Senator Wong confirmed the intervention after her office was contacted by Fairfax Media on Tuesday.

“A staff member in my office had informal discussions with New Zealand friends about domestic political issues, including the section 44 debate,” Senator Wong confirmed.

“At no point did he make any request to raise the issue of dual citizenship in Parliament, a fact confirmed today by Mr Hipkins and the New Zealand Labour leader.”

So Hipkins did it without being asked? Why would he take that initiative on his own?

Hipkins claims not to have known what was behind the discussions with Wong’s chief of staff.

She said she and her staff had no knowledge that any questions had even been asked until after the story broke on Monday.

“New Zealand Minister Peter Dunne has since confirmed it was questions by Fairfax journalists, and not the question on notice, which led to the outing of Mr Joyce as a New Zealand citizen,” Senator Wong said.

“For the Turnbull government to then turn this into a diplomatic incident to try to distract attention from the failings of the Deputy Prime Minister is both reckless, and damaging.”

This is very messy across the ditch, with both the Government and ALP looking suspect.

And it doesn’t look flash here for Hipkins, and by association at lest for NZ Labour. Ardern has done well to front foot it and look assertive, and she has distanced herself from Hipkins.

If this gets messier here the distance between Hipkins and Parliament could grow rapidly.

12 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  August 15, 2017

    Just when the interns were back in the closet.
    Our politics is just getting better all the time.
    Who’s Donald Trump?

  2. alloytoo

     /  August 15, 2017

    Jacinda’s already lost control of her caucus, she’s asleep at the wheel, it’s not a good look endangering our most important geopolitical relationship.

    Is this how Jacinda will run foreign affairs, with a blindfold.

    • Blazer

       /  August 15, 2017

      we do not need to kowtow to the likes of…..bagger Bishop.

      • alloytoo

         /  August 15, 2017

        If we want others to respect our sovereignty then we need to show respect for their sovereignty. This is especially important for Socialist Cindy if she hopes to take over from internationally respected JK and BE.

  3. adamsmith1922

     /  August 15, 2017

    I must disagree, I do not think Ardern has handled this well.

  4. Chippie… I didn’t know what I was doing. Well that sounds like Chippie doesn’t it. Experienced Politician been at it for years…. didn’t know what he was doing.

    What an interesting way to try an divert attention away from a nasty piece of business…

  5. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  August 15, 2017

    The first Ozzie resignation over the dual citizenship was on July 15th… then a couple more followed within a week. Hipkins would have been well aware what he was being asked to do.

    • Gezza

       /  August 16, 2017

      Who exposed those other two? Anyone know?

      • Gezza

         /  August 16, 2017

        It looks like they exposed themselves.
        It was the second time for Larissa, apparently.
        Barnaby Joyce probably should’ve exposed himself too.
        And, I guess, in a way, Julie Bishop now has as well.
        Wonder if any more Aussie Parliamentarians are now going to be exposing themselves

  6. Gezza

     /  August 16, 2017

  7. Trevors_elbow

     /  August 16, 2017

    Oh look. A guy who worked at the highest advisory level for NZ Labour before going to Aussie is Chippies aussie contact for this little bit murky dealings….
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11904863