The non-naming of the National MP raises media issues

The non-naming of the National MP alleged to have had a several year relationship with Jami-Lee Ross continues, despite probably anyone who wants to know knowing who it is.

It is odd to see the media refraining from naming her, still. Neither National nor Labour want this going public, and there may be some journalists worried about where naming one unfaithful person involved in politics may lead.

The Southland Times should have a special interest in this considering where the MP has her electorate. Today’s editorial: ‘Moving on’ is not acceptable

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. Jami-Lee Ross is no longer a National MP and the party is moving on.”

Moving on … we don’t think so.

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.

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

Hypocrites.

So the Southland Times slams National and the MP – but doesn’t name the MP.  This is a very strange approach from media.

It’s not just media – both National and Labour seem to want this kept quiet. On the AM show yesterday:

Duncan Garner: I’m not going to name names, ok, because um i don’t really know if it’s true or not, but can you tell me this, we’ll keep it generic.

Was Jami-lee Ross having relationships or affairs with National MPs?

Judith Collins: Well I don’t know. What I do know is that clearly there was something going on, but I always try and keep out of other people’s personal business, and what I do know is that that’s one of the things that I’ve always taken, is a given that you never get involved in other people’s business.

Michael Wood: …look, the Prime Minister from the top down in our Government has said that we don’t want to get involved in this stuff. We’ve got our job to do, going down the personal track with this kind of thing is not a healthy route for our democracy and our politics.

So that’s a clear message that Labour don’t want to get involved in personal relationships.

Given how much the parties attack and criticise each other over all sorts of things this is a curious situation.

More so the media’s reluctance to reveal a name – lest it become names? Jami-lee Ross threatened to ‘lift the bed sheets’ on Parliament, and if that happened it would be likely to name and out more than just MPs.

Graham Adams at Noted has concerns about this apparent pact of silence – The Jami-Lee Ross saga: Questions around cover-ups continue

Cover-ups — or allegations of them — leave a lingering stench that no amount of air-freshener can disguise. Simon Bridges may have tried to clear the air this week by testily telling journalists that he is moving on from Jami-Lee Ross and doesn’t want to talk about him any more but that seems much more like wishful thinking than acknowledging political reality.

But as the messy Jami-Lee Ross saga rolls on, accusations of cover-ups are not being levelled only at Bridges, Paula Bennett and the National Party. The news media — and particularly Parliament’s press gallery — have been accused of their own cover-up regarding the questions they are not asking in relation to the married National MP who apparently had a long-standing affair with Ross.

She was one of the four anonymous Newsroom complainants who made allegations about being bullied by Ross and she was later also reported to have sent Ross an abusive text that included the words, “You deserve to die.”

Richard Harman, who publishes the authoritative Politik newsletter, recently asked on the Kiwi Journalists Association Public Group Facebook page (which can be read by the public “in order to promote transparency, which as journalists we expect from others”) whether his fellow journalists thought he should publish her name.

Harman wrote: “Like most political journalists, I believe I know who that MP is… The inexorable pressure is now moving towards naming the MP. It’s a very difficult ethical issue. I certainly have emails from people on the left making the same allegation as Whaleoil — that the Press Gallery is party to a cover-up. But equally at what point does this simply become prurient gossip?”

There is certainly a difficult issue in how much personal relationship information should be made public. It would be bad if every little pash and bonk made the headlines. But there must be a line somewhere in between minor and major, rather than a comprehensive brick wall.

Although nearly all the opinions in response (including mine) were in favour of naming her, Harman concluded that he would be guided by the aphorism that “What the public is interested in is not necessarily in the public interest” and that she should remain anonymous.

Is ‘public interest’ the overriding factor here? Or is it self interest from media who fear what might come out?

In fact, there are very good reasons in the public interest to name her, and the Facebook discussion canvassed most of them. Obviously, there is the old-fashioned test of hypocrisy. If the married MP is indeed the one who has been widely named on social media, she represents a conservative electorate, is a social conservative herself, and publicly espouses family values. At the very least, you might think, voters might like to be told who she is so they could decide whether to continue supporting her.

It’s likely that many in her electorate will know who it is and may judge her accordingly at the next election, but that doesn’t excuse the media being some sort of moral guardian.

It’s not as if political journalists don’t know who the MP is either if they want to ask questions. All the news organisations to which the abusive text was leaked must know, including RNZ. And Heather du Plessis-Allan and others who work for Newstalk ZB must also know because in an interview with Ross he named her (which was bleeped out).

The hypocrisy test can also be used to judge the media alongside the MP. Certainly, the argument that it is not in the public interest to name her stands in stark contrast to the media feeding frenzy that erupted in 2013 when news of a sexual liaison between Auckland mayor Len Brown and a junior council adviser was made public on the Whale Oil blog.

Once the name is published it may open the floodgates, but not even Whale Oil has gone as far as naming her on this occasion – Slater has all but named her, but not ‘crossed the line’.

The fact that five years later the media is so coy about naming a married National MP who anonymously gave Newsroom highly personal details about her relationship with another married National MP inevitably raises uncomfortable questions — including whether there is one rule for Parliament which has a dedicated press gallery that operates in a symbiotic relationship with politicians and another for councils which don’t.

A casual observer might conclude that when you’re a woman like Chuang who is an ambitious nobody you’re fair game but when you’re a woman like the National MP who is an ambitious somebody the media will protect you.

And that’s hardly a good way to inspire trust in the media’s impartiality or its willingness to upset powerful people.

I suspect that some of the difference between Brown/Chuang and Ross/Dowie is national versus local politics. Local body politics is much more fragmented, both elected representatives and media.

Parliament is not just a grouping of MPs frequently in one place, it is also a media gallery of journalists who work alongside each other and alongside MPs a lot. It’s like some sort of club that has adhered to ‘what happens on tour stays on tour’.

I think that the media should name the MP who is at the centre of this issue, but if the do they should also look at the wider issue of relationships and sex amounts MPs, journalists and staff.

Journalists should disclose personal relationships if it relates to politicians they are reporting on and giving their opinions on. There are issues with journalists straying more and more into political activist roles, so the public has a right to know who may be influencing their opinions and their choice of stories and headlines.

The naming of the MP may be uncomfortable for parties and politicians, but they have long records of keeping things private and secret of they can get way with it.

It is up to journalists and media to investigate and to reveal pertinent political secrets. When they don’t want to go near the sex and relationship thing it suggests they could have secrets of their own they don’t want disclosed.

This is not a good situation for the supposedly without favour fearless fourth estate to be in.

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69 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 10, 2018

    Does it matter who politicians have sex with? Are they different from anyone else?

    I’m for treating their private lives the same as anyone else wrt privacy. The job is difficult enough without violating that.

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  November 10, 2018

      Pete made this point, Alan:
      “In fact, there are very good reasons in the public interest to name her, and the Facebook discussion canvassed most of them. Obviously, there is the old-fashioned test of hypocrisy. If the married MP is indeed the one who has been widely named on social media, she represents a conservative electorate, is a social conservative herself, and publicly espouses family values. At the very least, you might think, voters might like to be told who she is so they could decide whether to continue supporting her.”

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  November 10, 2018

        So what are these family values you are concerned about, Robert?

        Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  November 10, 2018

          “So what are these family values you The Southland Times are concerned about, Robert?”
          Fify

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  November 10, 2018

            Edited typo in your posted comment. Greater care needed. Just saying.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  November 10, 2018

            So if you are not concerned about them you were just being malevolent posting about them, Robert?

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  November 10, 2018

              Alan, the article was in today’s Southland Times, read by every Southlander whose chooses to. It’s pertinent to numerous posts here on Your NZ over the past few weeks and to the post Pete put up today. Do you think the Southland Times article should be treated as secret; kept from Your NZ readers for some reason? I haven’t made any significant comment about the issue, only that it’s a live one, as evidenced by The Southland Times editorial. Your attempts to “pin” something on me over this is … odd, Alan. I’ve been very circumspect, not knowing the details of the issue. I think Pete’s made some very strong points in his post. Are you going to level the same charges at him?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 10, 2018

              If the cap fits, wear it, Robert. I don’t tolerate the Left’s moral posturing while being the first to throw dirt and make personal attacks.

              Pete posted only after you had made your play. You have supported the attack on Dowie by claiming hypocrisy from her on family values that you refuse to define.

              Yes, as another Southland politician you have tried to play this coyly knowing full well how it could rebound if you didn’t. You don’t get any respect from me about that or any of this.

            • “Pete posted only after you had made your play.”

              Yes the post went up after Robert’s comment, but I already had a post in the pipeline based on the Noted article which covered some serious discussions amongst politicians. The Southland Times editorial gave another angle to it so I included content from that.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 10, 2018

              My position is clear. Conflicts of interest meet the public interest criteria but mostly apply to political journalists rather than politicians.

              To qualify as hypocrisy the politician must have publicly condemned or opposed the behaviour they themselves have indulged in. I await any evidence of that in this case.

            • robertguyton

               /  November 10, 2018

              Thank you, Pete. I trust you, on this issue. Alan is trying to smear. I don’t know why.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 10, 2018

              That’s rich coming from you, Robert.

              I don’t smear behind people’s backs. I tell you directly what I think of your actions and why. Don’t go snivelling to PG now.

        • Blazer

           /  November 10, 2018

          filial piety …Al.

          Reply
    • Maggy Wassilieff

       /  November 10, 2018

      I agree.
      This is a very tacky post.
      I thought P.G. was an advocate for women’s rights.
      It’s none of our FUCKING business who consenting adults sleep with.
      Some folks bugger up their relationships… nasty things get said and done sometimes.
      Do we ever know what really goes on behind closed doors?
      Butt out of private, legal lives.

      Reply
      • “This is a very tacky post.’

        I thought it was carefully considered and tactful, but I knew it could create some controversy and that there would be alternate opinions. So be it.

        “It’s none of our FUCKING business who consenting adults sleep with.”

        Generally I agree.

        But when it goes further the ‘sleeping with’, when political and Government confidence is an issue, where political and media impartiality is an issue, then I don’t think there should be a blanket ban on it. Much of it is none of the public’s business, but voters and consumers of journalism have a right to know certain things. The hard part is where the line is, but as I said I don’t think it should be a brick wall.

        And at least discussing the issue is important. We can’t just take politicians and journalists on trust.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  November 10, 2018

          Is there any serious case that this relationship has affected any political policies or decisions? I haven’t seen one, so I conclude it is just a mixture of prurience, media self-interest and political malevolence.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  November 10, 2018

            When it’s a case of two MPs, there could be complications, Maggy, so it is different. I don’t care who it was, but it’s a really bad idea to have people who work together sleeping together, especially if both are married. It doesn’t take long for other people to know, and it’s very awkward and embarrassing. I worked with two people who were having an affair, one was married and we all soon knew about it. It makes a horrible atmosphere in an office.

            If there is the slightest chance that this affair could be seen as affecting policies or decisions, that could be disastrous.’Oh yes, we all know why THAT was approved…..’

            Yes, consenting adults and all that, but you know the saying about dirty birds fouling their own nests.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  November 10, 2018

            Do politicians really work together? Mostly not, I would have thought. They each have their own little empire and workmates and just meet each other when required by the tasks at hand or the formal committee and party meetings.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 10, 2018

              They work together in the same building, are on committees and have meetings. They may not be in the same room, but they must surely spend time together.

      • Gezza

         /  November 10, 2018

        Look, Maggie, if you don’t want to know who’s sleeping with who that shouldn’t be – that’s fine. But I’m always interested to know that sort of thing.

        Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  November 10, 2018

    Who is the Southland Times to demand answers !Tell them to fuck off.

    Reply
  3. Qustionmark

     /  November 10, 2018

    Did you really mean to name the person as you have done in your post, Pete?

    Reply
    • I named several people pertinent to the post. I think are all common knowledge. It’s hard to understand media reluctance to report on this.

      Reply
  4. Ray

     /  November 10, 2018

    Let’s not forget one of the complainants is a media person, I suggest this is why the brake pedal is being pushed by the media on this.
    I won’t name her but she is a Taranaki girl.
    Then there was the persistent rumour that Katie Bradford had a “fling” with the then leader of the Labour Party, which might have explained her statement about despite how much bad news they dumped on National the pollls just wouldn’t move.
    I don’t have a problem with this just a would like of the facts so as to be able to winnow views that might be biased.
    Jane Clifton at the Listener personal life is pretty open but she can still do a very good impartial job reporting on Parliament.

    Reply
  5. PDB

     /  November 10, 2018

    I’ve no doubt if it had been a male MP who sent that text to a female MP then not only would’ve they been named but it would have been big news & certain elements of our society would have been trying to hound that person out of parliament whilst at the same time bashing one half of the country over the head claiming it being typical of their behaviour.

    Reply
  6. unitedtribes2

     /  November 10, 2018

    The Mad Butcher over at WO thinks that publishing a picture of her and JLR isn’t naming her.

    Reply
  7. Loki

     /  November 10, 2018

    Or, an argument could be made that this person is one of a few “alleged” victims of JLR and naming her just continues the abuse that is alleged to have occurred.
    It also aids the spiteful campaign being attempted by Voldemort and Dobby.
    The text message often cited has never been given any context with full disclosure of what prompted it and what text messages may have been received to prompt such a response.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  November 10, 2018

      Dead right, Loki. The Southland Times needs a kick up the rear end and will probably get it in reader backlash.

      Reply
  8. artcroft

     /  November 10, 2018

    What if JLR had got his way and gained a seat on National’s Board? And then his mistress (or mistresses) started getting promotions as well? What about Journalists sleeping with Pollies? I could never take Jane Clifton seriously after she married McCully and even less now she’s married to Mallard. What if a senior pollie started seeing a senior journalist on the side? Sometimes the public should know.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  November 10, 2018

      So what if? Yes, a political journalist in a relationship with a politician needs to declare a conflict of interest. That’s all.

      Reply
      • artcroft

         /  November 10, 2018

        In cases of adultery declarations of this type are usually not forth coming.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  November 10, 2018

          Their media employers have a responsibility to the public to avoid or make public such conflicts of interest. If this is not done there should be consequences.

          Reply
    • Blazer

       /  November 10, 2018

      good old Muzza…little toot…Boag,Clifton….who else!

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  November 10, 2018

      What goes on in a wagon should stay in a wagon, Arty.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 10, 2018

      Well, personally, now all this has happened, I’d just like to know who all the journo bed-hoppers are. Purely out of curiosity.

      Reply
  9. David

     /  November 10, 2018

    I think they should all be named, go full on Daily Mail and liven things up a bit, our politics could do with a dose of excitement.
    The abject hypocrisy of Katie Bradford was a thing to behold, watching her finger wag on the news should have provoked the rest of the media to go full on “high horse” as they are wont to do.

    Reply
  10. Tipene

     /  November 10, 2018

    Right, so it IS National Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie who was “getting brutal” with JLR, consistent with multiple social media affirmations and confirmations.

    [There have been many and varied accusations and claims in social media, most of which have had no evidence to support them, so I think cherry picking specific accusations is unwise. And a quotation without attribution is far from factual (and that’s not an invitation to link to social media accusations and claims that don’t have evidence). PG]

    Right, now that this is clear – what’s next?

    [What has actually happened in a relationship that turned sour is far from clear.}

    Reply
    • Tipene

       /  November 10, 2018

      Flip, talk about “butter wouldn’t melt……………”

      https://sarahdowie.national.org.nz/

      Reply
      • Tipene

         /  November 10, 2018

        Now we just need to find out who the journalist was……………

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  November 10, 2018

          Only if it was a political journalist whose professional work may have been conflicted by the relationship.

          There is no public interest in politician’s sex lives unless there is some conflict with their responsibilities and powers.

          Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  November 10, 2018

      MOD !

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  November 10, 2018

        PG already decided to post it. Don’t think you can blame Tipene.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  November 10, 2018

          I’ve been finding it intriguing watching Sarah at Question Time whenever she’s in the camera frame while someone else is asking Questions, trying to figure out how I would describe her usual demeanour, with no luck. I wonder how the goodly matrons down her neck of the woods are feeling about her, but I shouldn’t think it would change anything for anyone who ordinarily votes National. Loyal National voters stay steadfast and true blue to whoever Nationa’s put up as their candidate.

          Reply
        • Corky

           /  November 10, 2018

          These dudes were kool..solved their own problems and didn’t whine to the authorities. As for Kitty😄🙄😄..enuf said.

          Reply
  11. Gerrit

     /  November 10, 2018

    Interesting reading from the Lange-Pope relationship. A relationship know off by Douglas and used to influence Lange’s behaviour in regards taxation and the drift to neo-liberalism.

    ” Pope reveals she, too, took part in the hostilities. On one occasion, with Lange and Douglas locked in a power struggle over the now largely forgotten flat tax row, she leaked correspondence to Richard Long, a senior Press Gallery journalist. Long was a neighbour of Pope’s, and had once almost rumbled the secret lovers when Pope borrowed Lange’s car and left it outside her Wadestown home.

    But she admits she could barely foot it with Bevan Burgess, Douglas’ adroit chain-smoking press officer, who would die in a ditch for his boss.

    When Long’s disclosures made the front pages, citing “Labour Party sources” and challenging Douglas’ assertion there were no policy differences between him and the Prime Minister, Burgess drafted a note, which the Finance Minister took to Cabinet.

    “Let’s talk about it as adults,” Burgess wrote. “But try to discredit me – take over my portfolio – manage announcements without consultation – make my position impossible – and you have big, big, trouble!”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10752337

    So affairs of the heart in parliament have been used and abused by those in the know, for a long time.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same!

    JLR was hung out to dry when his position and relationship with Lusk and Slater became untenable. The levers of pressure to sideline him being his failed extra marital relationship.

    I guess the red faction will cite the neo-liberalist’s are all the same. Using any information to discredit an adversary.

    Remember Cunliffe and his “affair” with Mai Chen as outed by the ABC faction in Labour?

    None are blameless.

    https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/opinion-old/the-soap-box-david-cunliffes-missus-takes-to-twitter/

    Interestingly it was both the wronged wives, Naomi and Karen, who ended up confirming the respective rumours.

    And David Shearer was equally pilloried for his two year affair with an electorate office employee (where was the me too movement then?).

    http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/david-shearer-suddenly-remembers-affair/

    “A number of Labour MPs stood alongside their leader at today’s press conference to offer him their support. Not amongst them was backbench MP David Cunliffe, who had volunteered to phone constituents on Shearer’s behalf to let them know of the affair first-hand.”

    Was Cunliffe’s affair outed because he did not back Shearer? Was Shearer’s affair outed by Cunliffe in a power struggle?

    What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!

    Reply
  12. Loki

     /  November 10, 2018

    Very disappointing, wherever our hero is hiding and feigning illness you just made his day.
    Job done.
    Crediting our media with being sneaky than displaying empathy collectively is a big mistake.
    And does the wicked a favour.

    Reply
    • I doubt that I will ever make his day, nor is he likely to use me for an excuse. He’s unlikely to come out of seclusion to do what he has been threatening to do for weeks, and has virtually done it a number of times anyway, but for some reason wanted media to mention the name first (presumably to give him an excuse to go on the attack again). And it’s not as if the name hasn’t been floating around other parts of social media anyway. It’s been a bizarre situation.

      Reply
  13. oldlaker

     /  November 10, 2018

    Kitty: This sentence from Selwyn Manning’s Evening Report seems like an example (if true) of what you are saying about the leverage and preferment that can come from affairs: “While the affair was going ‘well’, contacts inside the National Party have told Evening Report that Jami-Lee encouraged Bridges to promote his lover above her standing and reputation in caucus, well above some high profile MPs like National’s Chris Bishop who are respected among colleagues and media and seen to have been doing their job well. The promotion was seen to give leverage, to sure up the numbers to stabilise Bridges’ and Bennett’s leadership team at a time when they sensed support was delicate.”

    Reply
    • Beanie

       /  November 11, 2018

      I did wonder why JLR travelled down South for the Todd Barclay matter. Nothing to do with Todd at all was it?

      Reply
  14. robertguyton

     /  November 10, 2018

    “Jami-Lee encouraged Bridges to promote his lover above her standing and reputation in caucus”

    That was noted. Sarah Dowie, sitting in Paula Bennett’s seat in the House, beside Simon…

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  November 10, 2018

      I’m sure every party leader gets pressured to promote individuals that other individuals believe don’t deserve it. That’s just politics. And if it doesn’t happen there will still be people who think it did happen.

      Treat that allegation with a very large pinch of scepticism.

      Reply
  15. duperez

     /  November 10, 2018

    AW said “There is no public interest in politician’s sex lives unless there is some conflict with their responsibilities and powers” and “Does it matter who politicians have sex with? Are they different from anyone else? I’m for treating their private lives the same as anyone else wrt [sic] privacy. The job is difficult enough without violating that.”

    Eminently sensible and mature views and comments.

    Were the circumstances of Len Brown that different that ‘anything went’ for him? Was he that much a political target at the time? In comparison why hasn’t the boot been put into the MPs?
    Has the magical ‘health issues’ erected a wall of protection? If so, is that to be the go to strategy for the inevitable future touchy issues?

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  November 10, 2018

      Len Brown was shagging her in Council buildings and in his office during working hours – and you reckon that’s ok and not in the public interest?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  November 10, 2018

        don’t forget the ..pearl necklace…jealous koont!

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  November 10, 2018

        I think that is the point re Brown. A misuse of ratepayer funded facilities.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  November 10, 2018

          Sky City is not Council property…a bit of a romp in the Ngati Whatu suite…all done in the best..possible..taste.

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  November 10, 2018

            He also shagged her on his office couch in the main Council building during the working day. Unless the two MPs did similar there is no comparison.

            Reply
      • duperez

         /  November 11, 2018

        Were the MPs in the latest fuss shagging her in government buildings and in their offices during working hours? You don’t know I guess.What are ‘working hours’?

        Reply
  16. robertguyton

     /  November 10, 2018

    “Parliamentary Executive Support and Researcher to Sarah Dowie, MP

    https://jobs.govt.nz/jobtools/jncustomsearch.viewFullSingle?in_organid=16563&in_jnCounter=223461665&in_jobDate=All&in_searchbox=YES&in_summary=S

    “Job Description [My bolds]

    As the Parliamentary Executive Support and Researcher to Sarah Dowie, MP, located in Wellington, you will be relied on to provide research and briefings on the Member’s particular issues of concern as well as putting your admin and multi-tasking skills to good use in a varied and rewarding environment.

    On a daily basis, you could be doing anything from researching, writing briefing notes for your Member, summarising data on relevant issues and preparing reports, to managing their diary, travel or managing and reporting on budgets and expenses, and greeting visitors or answering correspondence. You’re there to offer unconditional support to the Member, ensuring they have exactly what they need, when they need it.

    You’ve got a keen eye for the political landscape and a knack for taking everything in your stride – things are changeable here so an appreciation for the environment and the ability to be calm, proactive, and flexible will stand you in good stead. Needless to say, you’re about as switched-on as they come and you’ll be confident in developing strong relationships built on trust and mutual respect. An interest in environment and conservation along with law and justice would be beneficial for this role.

    You will be stepping into a role and an environment that is very unique. One that is hugely rewarding and exciting with the chance to be at the heart of it all.

    As an organisation, it’s extremely important to us that our people feel supported and are given the opportunity to continue to grow and develop their knowledge and their careers.

    We are open to hours in the range of 32-40 per week. Some flexibility in hours may be required, particularly when the House is sitting. This is an events-based, fixed-term role linked to the Member of Parliament.

    If you’d like to play an important behind-the-scenes part in helping our MPs work for New Zealand, apply now.

    Applications close at midnight on Tuesday, 20 November 2018.

    The Parliamentary Service appoints on merit and is committed to EEO and good employer principles. If you have any questions regarding this role please contact Talent@parliament.govt.nz

    To apply for this job, please go to our job site https://careers.parliament.govt.nz/home and enter the job code 19182GJ.”

    Fyi

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