Complainant: Labour Party will have to address archaic power structure

Complainants want the Labour Party to address it’s archaic power structure, and hope that Jacinda Ardern can make it happen.

Alison Mau:

And while the party rows about how it’s going to achieve next steps, the young people are laser-focussed on what needs to happen now. I asked one of them what it was they wanted, now that they really do have everyone’s attention.

The group wants policy change at the top of course, with a complete overhaul of the sexual harm prevention and handling policy. It wants sensitive complaints referred to an expert third party for investigation.

And it wants the party to stop relying on its own supposed expertise, and take note of what the real experts have to say about the prevention of sexual harassment and bullying.

The group is now pinning its hopes on Jacinda Ardern.

They do not yet know when they will meet with her, and some of them are a little overwhelmed at the very thought, but they are refusing to condemn her, and they have a very clear idea of what they’d like to say when they do.

“We will go through our stories with her in more detail,” one of the group told me.

“We would want an open, honest and frank conversation about what it’s like to be a young recruit to Labour in 2019.

“We would tell her how hard we have pushed progressive parts of the party on subjects like abortion law reform – (that) we are not just bitter volunteers, we really care about this stuff.

“(We will tell her) here are some conditions that the party needs to look at, before any of us feel comfortable coming back into these (Labour) spaces.”

Those conditions include requiring all staff to undergo sexual harassment prevention and disclosure handling training. They’d like to see a code of conduct being developed for party volunteers, rolled out party-wide.

They would like the party to finally understand the power imbalances in Labour: “we are not only male dominated, but incredibly white.”

The young woman says she remains a Labour member and “has hope” because she’s seen the party change and adapt before but it will have to address an “archaic” power structure.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/115801937/when-people-speak-out-why-do-we-find-it-so-hard-to-believe

I think that Ardern will understand that there’s  lot riding on this – for the victims of course, but also for the reputation of the Labour Party and it’s attractiveness to young people, especially to young females.

Labour has talked about gender balance for years, but has failed to provide a safe environment for young people, especially females.

Note the names of those who seem to have been responsible for male staffer protection debacle – Nigel, Grant, Andrew, Rob.

And there’s a lot riding on this for Jacinda herself. Her reputation, her primary attractiveness as a new generation leader who is a caring and empathetic champion of gender balance and rights, is on the line.

Tracy Watkins (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern must force Labour to face itself in the mirror

So what now?

No leader likes loose ends and there are plenty of those as Ardern prepares to head overseas this week.

So expect her to announce further action before she steps on a plane. But it will have to be more than token – Ardern has to be clear that urgent, and painful, culture change is needed in the organisation she leads.

Many of the party faithful will find it had to swallow that Labour has failed to walk the talk on an issue so core to its – and Ardern’s -identity.

But the only place where they should be pointing the finger is at themselves.

She needs to make sure the repair job from here is done transparently. If the inquiry terms of reference are stacked in favour of the party and the Council, if the report is kept secret like the last one, if there is a lack of openness and no public sign of real repair and progress, then Ardern have failed to live up to her PR, again.

“(We will tell her) here are some conditions that the party needs to look at, before any of us feel comfortable coming back into these (Labour) spaces.”

That cannot be done in secret, because it is not just the group of victims who want change, it’s the future of the party at stake. Prospective party recruits – volunteers and candidates – need to know that Labour has finally learnt from multiple failures and put things right.

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52 Comments

  1. Lou Graham

     /  15th September 2019

    The consensus seems to be that Ardern is so hopelessly involved in this, that any statements or actions from her are seen – unfortunately – as ways to cover up her own dishonesty. She probably needs to step aside from the leadership – Peters can take over comfortably as PM.
    This won’t happen of course, and that illustrates the problem; party before victims.

    Reply
    • You’re onto it. This whole saga has been about protecting Ardern and Labours popularity, it has had absolutely nothing to do with the poor victims. I’m guessing this is what Ardern meant when she was talking about the “politics of kindness”.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  15th September 2019

        The politics of kindness is a meaningless catchphrase. Which party has a policy of unkindness ? Who’d campaign to make people iller, poorer and less happy ?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  15th September 2019

          Trump? Although I don’t think he’d put it quite like that.

          Hang on 😳 – maybe he would?

          Didn’t he campaign on one promise that if he shot someone, people would vote for him? And I’ve seen a few boorish cretins at his rallies who look like they probably would. :/

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  15th September 2019

            Yes, he is supposed to have said that.

            I have never understood why his misogyny wasn’t a turn-off. I don’t use the word lightly, but his attitude really indicates misogyny; his crude comments about women’s genitals being a mine field (and others) sound like someone who actually loathes women and is disgusted by them. .

            The advice to reverse a policy to see if it makes sense really works. No party sets out to make healthcare less accessable and efficient, or to make people unhappy, poorer and living in worse housing. Labour was stating the obvious as if it was a revelation.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  15th September 2019

              Trump’s a narcissist. He uses people. That’s all other people are to him. Probably even his family. Goes with the personality type. Because he’s (possibly) rich and powerful he will have had no trouble attracting females on the make looking for someone to fund their high-life, but naturally some of them you probably wouldn’t trust to be alone with your dog or horse.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  15th September 2019

    If they didn’t want the party to handle the investigation why didn’t they go to the police? I smell a large political rat.

    Reply
    • That’s been well covered. Again by Andrea Vance:

      So why don’t these young people just complain to the police?

      If you’ve found yourself asking that question, stop. You have no right to demand anything of someone who says they’ve been abused. Taking a complaint of sexual assault to police is deeply traumatising, and rarely results in a prosecution. And in some instances, these members were faithful to the party – and they trusted it to handle the problem.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/115792533/sorting-facts-in-the-labour-sex-abuse-scandals

      Having no faith in the police and judicial system helping is widespread and understandable.

      Having faith in Labour to have handled things well is more questionable.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  15th September 2019

        I expected that response and consider it inadequate. Either you report a crime properly or you deal with it yourself. You can’t expect anyone else to substitute for either the police or yourself.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  15th September 2019

          Just to add to that, if we can’t trust the police and courts to get it right, why on earth should we expect a myriad of amateur and inexperienced pseudo kangaroo courts to do so. The whole conceit is daft.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  15th September 2019

            Thats the Crux of it. A certain type of bad behaviour during the workplace can be addressed .
            However some of these events occured at social occasions ( assault harrasment) outside of work or even at some one s home.( sexual assault)
            These people are twentysomethings- too old to be treated like teenagers but too young to really know what they want.

            Now it seems the ‘resolution’ is not about caring.
            “They would like the party to finally understand the power imbalances in Labour: “we are not only male dominated, but incredibly white.”

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  15th September 2019

              we are not only male dominated, but incredibly white

              Yes. When I read that my initial reaction was that there must be some bizarre kind of temporary disconnect between those in the party branches holding that view & the actual situation in Parkiament, given number of females & brown faces sitting on the government benches.

              Labour soaked up all the Maori seats too. Not entirely sure what we’re getting from some of them, & a couple certainly haven’t done anything yet to suggest they’ve got anything worthwhile to contribute beyond maybe delivering Labour votes from Maori simply because they ARE Maori, so they’re whanau, so you vote for them whether they’re good, bad or indifferent as MPs.

            • Duker

               /  15th September 2019

              Women have been involved in the labour party’s internal investigation. Theres a woman QC doing a review as well.

            • Duker

               /  15th September 2019

              And white ?
              Raj Nahna filled in while Munro was away, and is now Ardern’s chief of staff
              https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12267146

              Its funny when you look under the fluff and bombast you find quite the opposite to what is claimed on the political side.

              Even this claim from those named by Paula under privilege- is overblown ignoring female involvement.
              “Note the names of those who seem to have been responsible for male staffer protection debacle – Nigel, Grant, Andrew, Rob.

          • Gezza

             /  15th September 2019

            Having no faith in the police and judicial system helping is widespread and understandable.

            I’d agree with that. The blighters have recently scored a spate of several prisoners escaping custody from right under their noses.

            They might as well be arms dealers, so many of them have effectively goven them away to entrepreneurs lately.

            And while it must be a tuff & often disheartening job, & most cops have my support & admiration, I don’t think the police track record is squeaky clean when it comes to abusing females and/or to their colleagues covering it up, and/or attacking the complainants’ credibility, culture, or morals, rather than their own, when bad behaviour by bobbies has come to light.

            A lot of this IS quite possibly being overblown – to get headlines for journos looking for sensational stories, or political actors grinding axes, & #metoo is coming thru strongly now, as Duker points out above.

            But for me, an interesting part ofvthis saga is seeing whether Jacinda has actual plausible denial when she has publicly made apologetic noises, suggesting, to me anyway, that a crisis management plan is in effect because the leader WAS in the know & did nothing until forced by circumstances into Damage Control Mode.

            Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  15th September 2019

        Obviously Vance is an idiot. We do have a right to demand evidence to justify any action taken in response to an accusation of abuse. She needs to think twice before she writes utter nonsense.

        Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  15th September 2019

        So the question everyone is asking,is Sarah still volunteering with Labour or has she gone to work for Paula Bennett ? asking for a friend

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  15th September 2019

        I think that it’s a fair question about going to the police; it’s nonsense to say that people have no right to ‘demand’ this when they are just asking why it hasn’t happened.

        If this man is a rapist, the party can’t imprison him !

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th September 2019

      I read the Mau article and some at least of this group are obviously playing politics within politics. They have no hesitation in playing race, age and gender cards for their own advantage. Nats will want to sup with a long spoon from this witches’ cauldren.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  15th September 2019

        Plus this was Labour party view , driven by Ardern during sexual and harassment allegations involving two MPs and staffers under Bridges nose in ‘his Leaders Office”
        ““Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern directed her Government ministers not to comment on Jami-Lee Ross and his relationship with the National Party, Newshub can reveal.
        If they did talk, they needed to show compassion and she even provided talking points instructing them what to say.

        One party said ‘ Dont use this situation for political advantage’ another party has made similar issues into a full production . A person at the centre of both situations is Paula Bennett , but she wouldnt be acting as a lone wolf
        From memory the Richard Worth situation was known about by the labour party and a quiet word was passed to people in National before it all blew up.

        Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  15th September 2019

    Nice to see PDB putting in an appearance lately. 👍🏼

    Always find his comments worth a resd & generally cogent. And plays the ball, not the man.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th September 2019

      Not sure Brown would agree?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  15th September 2019

        Don’t that matters one whit, tbh, Sir Alan

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  15th September 2019

          *think

          (Just back from taking ma grocery shopping & for lunch. I need a nap. Hardly slept a wink. Damn jaw still aches to the bone like nothing’s ever ached before, to borrow a phrase from your orange idol. Back later to see if I’ve collected any more snotty downticks from my lurking anti-fan.)

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  15th September 2019

            PS: When pants amended his poster handle from the original to the simple initials PDB, the origins of which will be unknown to later posters, that indicated to me a commendable maturiation & willingness to move on from exploiting the tragedy of that whole embarrassingly sordid saga, which imo folk living in the real world outside of the chaotic orbit of big brash Planet Auckland generally found excruciating to keep reading & hearing so much about.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  15th September 2019

              Bugger. Where did that blimmin “i” come from? Possibly my anti-fan, wheezily tittering away in the background, casting evil spells.

              *maturation

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th September 2019

              You are a generous soul – other than to me . I thought PDB had just adjusted to his original target dissolving into oblivion.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th September 2019

              Anyway, I agree with your original thought – PDB is always worth reading, even when most are keeping their pants on.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  15th September 2019

              It was Parti who had a tizzwozz and stamped away.

  4. I’ve been reading your posts on this subject on the Standard Pete, and you are completely right. Labour are trying to cover this up, they refuse to talk about this and their supporters are frankly acting like spoilt, hypocritical morons. Guys like Lynn Prentice, and Greg Presland always think they are the smartest people in the room. But really Lynn especially is just a lonely old pathetic man who gets off on trying to control people with his supposed moderation powers. Your comments yesterday about TS members living in their own little echo chamber was spot on. They cant handle criticism about their side, so take it out on people like yourself with pithy, idiotic reasons to ban you. Keep up.the good fight, Lynn is widely known as a moron in his industry, I see that trend is applicable in his free time also.

    Reply
  5. lurcher1948

     /  15th September 2019

    Love PG to fire up again….one topic and GD,,come back PG your fans want it,well i do

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  15th September 2019

      Give the man a break, neighbour. He put in a Herculanean effort for (how many?) years, in his own time, and at, I imagine, considerable personal & private expense given that a pack of arseholes set out to get him jailed, FFS – to produce an interesting boutique blog that regularly carried more articles from a one-man-band than some of the other blogs with bevvy of writers.

      The political world got rather stale, plastic and banal, endless days of nothing much to report. I know from occasional emails that he’s got heaps of other responsibilities, interests & projects he wants to pursue for now. And who else would want to carry sole responsibility for overseeing the content and behaviour of the kind of folk who have strong views, weak inhibitions & dubious intents forever?

      I’m just happy to see that he’s keeping the blog live & posting the occasional article when something of genuine interest and importance comes up in the political arena.

      I’m hoping to contribute a blog post sometime when I’ve got something worthwhile for people to comment on if they want.

      I wish more people would do the same. God knows PG’s made enuf invitations for other people to submit items. There have been plenty here who seem like they’d be excellent occasional authors.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  15th September 2019

      Love it neighbour. Last two and a half days’ grey skies and rain have gone. Blue skies, sun’s out, and gorgeous late afternoon here at Pookden Manor.

      Happy dogs and doting dog walkers everywhere.

      How’s the weather 5 k’s southwards down the motorway?

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  15th September 2019

        THANKS GEZZA…im not a total shit even if you live in TAWA

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  15th September 2019

          No-one who loves their dogs is, Lurch.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  15th September 2019

            I saw a man hitting and kicking his dog when it wandered away from the van and didn’t return at the speed of light.It was a big dog, but it was terrified and whimpering. I took his number and dobbed him in and I’m still glad that I did.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  15th September 2019

              Yes, it infuriates me to see that sort of abuse of dogs too. It not only makes them miserable but it can make them dangerous if they learn to fear people and behave aggressively with others to protect themselves from being hurt.

              Tawa’s a dog lover’s paradise, Kitty. And where I live there are hundreds of dog owners and lots of fabulous places and streets to walk them.

  6. I really don’t understand why the man has not been publicly named yet. Not even under parliamentary privilege. Is he sub judice, or are people just afraid of being sued?

    I’ll name the fulla on my own blog, if someone tells me who it is. I get the feeling the anonymity is a little too convenient for Ardern.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  16th September 2019

      He has powerful legal council. He has made it clear to media he will sue. Whether that is bluff or not I’m sure we’ll pass the hat around should you be given his name and decide to publish. That fulla is playing us for suckers.

      Reply
      • He can try suing me. He might have a rough time doing it in the United States though. Defamation laws are a little stricter here.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  16th September 2019

          Havent you read the Nottingham saga, he claimed he couldn’t be sued as his servers ‘were in the Netherlands’. Courts said doesnt matter as police found material on his NZ computers were found.
          if any one in NZ mentions your site it its ‘published here’. You will soon find you are banned to protect NZ website owners ‘just in case’

          Reply
          • It’s not sub judice information though. Besides which, it is not defamatory to report on allegations. It’s just annoying if someone with money and a lawyer wants to have a go.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  17th September 2019

              Thats the most stupid thing I have heard .
              You Cant ‘report allegations’…. Its only an allegation in court, if you allege something you still have to prove it in court. Good luck with that.
              Neither are you bound by sub judice.

            • I suggest you look up a definition of the word “allegation”. Nothing to do with courts. It’s somebody saying something about someone. If somebody says something, and I say they said it, it’s ontologically true that they said it. You can’t sue for reportage. You have to sue the person that made the statement. You can only sue the reporter if he or she joins in and says “it’s a true statement”. Which I have no intention of doing.

  7. Corky

     /  16th September 2019

    Damn, just heard Simon on Magic. Brimming with confidence. Answered all Peters questions with clarity and certainty. Honestly, if that had been a political debate, Jacinda would have been history. Simon also let slip that he’d been to India to talk trade. That’s a sure sign that – unlike Jacinda – he at least has a vision based on some semblance to realty.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  16th September 2019

      Let slip? Didnt he talk about meeting the Chinese Secret Police boss, with narya mantion of trade , but Big Gerry and ex Col Jiang accompanied him. Gerry is Nats GCSB spokesman, not Trade minister and Jiang is Satistics spokesman and of course would be the fixer arranging that sort of interview. Then there was that fawning interview with China State TV
      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/398538/simon-bridges-reveals-what-he-said-when-asked-about-communist-party-of-china

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  16th September 2019

        Yeah, he did. But you left on the context.

        Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  18th September 2019

        Poor Duker,

        So busy at deflection, his memory has gone hazy. Did Ardern not go on a flying 20 hour visit to placate the Chinese?

        “The relationship with New Zealand’s largest trading partner has been tested recently over China’s growing influence in the pacific; fears of its global building initiative, Belt and Road; human rights concerns; and most recently, with Chinese technology company Huawei’s spying allegations.”

        https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/jacinda-arderns-one-day-visit-china-hoped-ease-tensions

        and

        “One of the main aims of the trip here to the Chinese capital is to push forward an upgrade to our free trade deal with China, which was signed in 2008.” So Ardern went to “lick a few boots” as it were to protect and extend the free trade agreement so lovingly put in place by Clark in the previous Labour administration.

        Bridges is in China as the next PM and to carry on with updating the free trade agreement.

        But back to your deflection Duker, what next, an all out attack on Bennett?

        And surely as a socialist/communist, you Duker, would be in favour of Bridges taking a more liberal approach to Chinese style left leaning ideology!!. No?

        Reply

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