Faafoi explains and apologises

Statement from Minister Faafoi

Hon Kris Faafoi

6 December 2019 PĀNUI PĀPĀHO

MEDIA STATEMENT

I have apologised to the Prime Minister and understand I have let her down in regards to my dealings with Jason Kerrison over an immigration matter concerning his family.

I know I need to be more upfront in the future about what I can and can’t do if I’m approached for help.

I was contacted by Jason, who is an old family friend, to see if I could help him with his step-father’s immigration case.

Rather than telling Jason straight away I couldn’t do anything to help him, I said I would look into it; as MPs are allowed to do in these cases.

I made contact with the Associate Immigration Minister’s Office to seek advice on the appropriate process. They told me to refer him to his local MP and that I could write a support letter.

Following that conversation I told Mr Kerrison he needed to talk to his local electorate MP and I called Matt King to let him know about the case.

I contacted Jason’s mother to offer to write a supporting letter, as I had been advised I could, and got some more details for the letter. However, I never wrote the letter.

I stupidly created an impression through my messages that I was following up on it when in fact I wasn’t. I was uncomfortable with him messaging me pretty regularly on it and you can see I stopped responding to his texts.

In hindsight I should have just been clear and told him I couldn’t help and just to deal with his local MP. But aside from checking to see what the proper process was for me to follow I took no other actions, and specifically took no actions to advance it, influence it, or advocate for it.

I acknowledge this is messy and you could read other meaning into my messages. But I can hand on heart say I wasn’t doing anything to advance the case, and the messages just reflect me not wanting to let a mate down. In hindsight I should have been clearer with him.

I’ve apologised to the Prime Minister and understand I have let her down. I know I need to be more upfront in the future about what I can and can’t do if I’m approached for help.

The Minister is releasing all communications to do with this issue. Private information (application numbers or contact details) have been removed. (see attached).

https://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1912/Correspondence_Date_and_Details.docx

That seems like plausible explanation and a genuine apology. I think the embarrassment to Faafoi (and Labour and the Government) will ensure a lesson has been learned and Faafoi will take more care in the future.

 

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41 Comments

  1. Grumpy

     /  6th December 2019

    This is why even his opponents regard him so highly.

    Reply
  2. Duker

     /  6th December 2019

    Much as I said it would be . he did run close to the edge though.
    I hear that some were comparing with the Maurice Williamson case, ( one of the better Nat ministers in my view). Memory seems to have faded for some , as Williamson did directly call the police sergeant handling the case. It wasnt a ‘promise he made’ or anything like it, it was a direct conversation, which was definitely a no no. Ministers shouldnt be talking to Police about a persons case, thats what their lawyer is for. The chinese business man wasnt even a constituent of Williamson, he was what you could call a money tree.

    Reply
  3. Simeon

     /  6th December 2019

    Bollocks. He only apologized because he got caught. Corrupt bashtahrd,

    Reply
  4. duperez

     /  6th December 2019

    Damn it, this is way past bah, humbug territory.

    It is hard to imagine corrupt practice worse than Faafoi’s. The account provided in his statement is of heinous behaviour.

    All those who wanted blood on the floor and have been foiled will have to be satisfied with finding a Government MP stamping on ants or pulling wings off butterflies. Or resort to pulling wings off butterflies themselves.

    One comfort though for those whose Christmas has been ruined by the appalling behaviour and the perp being let off scot free is knowing that come this time next year Simon and David will be firmly ensconced in power and one Christmas of sucking thumbs and dummies will be but a distant nightmare.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  6th December 2019

      I don’t see it as corruption so much as stupidity and showing off.

      He has been let off lightly by the PM: no surprises there.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  6th December 2019

        So he did something stupid and showed off. What heavy punishment would you have meted out?

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  6th December 2019

          Well, losing his portfolio would have been a good start.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  6th December 2019

            He’s a minister and abused his position. He made himself look like an idiot, he let these people down, he made it seem as if he could help people to queue-jump.

            The PM dismissed it as oh, well, he didn’t actually achieve anything….

            Reply
            • duperez

               /  6th December 2019

              1 He’s a minister and abused his position? How?

              2 He made himself look like an idiot? To whom?

              3 If making oneself look an idiot means resignation, how many would be left in Parliament?

              4 He let which people down?

              5 If letting people down means resignation, how many would be left in Parliament?

              6 He made it seem as if he could help people to queue-jump? What?

              7 If making it seem they were going to do certain things which they didn’t do meant resignation, how many would be left in Parliament?

            • Gezza

               /  6th December 2019

              I’ll have a go at answering those:

              1 He’s a minister and abused his position? How?

              We don’t have a transcript of his communication with the Associate Minister of Immigration’s office. So we don’t know who or what what he initially asked.

              2 He made himself look like an idiot? To whom?

              To Kerrison & his mum – and to the PM, & to readers of the facebook & phone coms transcripts. It looks like he had no idea what he can & can’t do as a Minister. At best.

              3 If making oneself look an idiot means resignation, how many would be left in Parliament?

              How many others have done it this way?

              4 He let which people down?

              Kerrison & his mum. They were waiting for him to do a promised letter he never did & had put off doing anything else until he did. And also The PM because when this came out she had another Minister stuffing up & forcing her to publicly do something about it.

              5 If letting people down means resignation, how many would be left in Parliament?

              Hard to say.

              6 He made it seem as if he could help people to queue-jump? What?

              “KF to JK – “Hey bro – I will make a call on Monday. I know it is genuine as I know you travelled for the wedding a few years back. I will talk to the people that can speed things up.”

              7 If making it seem they were going to do certain things which they didn’t do meant resignation, how many would be left in Parliament?

              If they were all appearing to say they could get government departments to give their friend’s cases priority – probably not many. Unless they all did it at once.

      • Gezza

         /  6th December 2019

        He has been let off lightly by the PM: no surprises there.

        He’s been forced to make an abject & highly embarrassing public apology that will probably piss off the Kerrisons because at best he wasn’t honest. And that showed Jacinda’s boy wonder seems to be a gutless wonder.

        I wouldn’t say he’s been let off lightly. His mana, previously high, is now on the floor.

        Reply
  5. Corky

     /  6th December 2019

    Thanks Chris..you are a real trooper. Nothing to see here. Bring this election on. Let’s do this!
    Loved the old lady in his electorate who said he’s the only one in government with any brains. What an endorsement for the government.

    Reply
  6. Gezza

     /  6th December 2019

    JK to KF – “Hi bro, I need help. My Mum mums husband has been denied a visitors Visa. They have been in love for 10 years. They married in Kenya almost two years ago. I was there as a witness. Can you direct me to someone who can help her immediately? I’ve never heard her so upset in my adult life mate. I’d never usually ask anything, but its my mum.”

    JK to KF – “FYI application number [S9(2)(a)]. I’ll get in touch with the Minister for immigration too. I need to help her. This decision seems very wrong.”

    JK to KF – “Sorry for the Freak out…under control nkw Now.

    KF to JK – “All good bro I think someone from my office has/is trying to make contact”

    JK to KF – “Legend”

    5th October
    JK to KF – “Hey man, just fyi I’ve copied you into a FB post re the INZ decision against mum and her husband. Hadnt heard from anyone in your office since I last brough it up. Really hoping you can help bro. Kerro”

    KF to JK – “Hey bro – I will make a call on Monday. I know it is genuine as I know you travelled for the wedding a few years back. I will talk to the people that can speed things up.

    7th October
    JK to KF – “Hi mate, just following up here.”
    8th October

    JK to KF – “Just being a squeaky wheel bro. Any news?

    KF to JK – “Yes – can you please send me his surname and immigration nz file number if you have it?

    JK to KF – “APPLICATION #: [S9(2)(a)]
    CLIENT #:[S9(2)(a)]
    SURNAME: [S9(2)(a)]

    JK to KF – “Hi bro, just checking in. Any news I can pass on? How about that AB’s and Italy game ay?

    11th October
    JK to KF – “Hi bro, just checking in. Any news I can pass on? How about that AB’s and Italy game ay?

    KF to JK – “Bro I have a plan – but it can’t be plastered over FB. Unfortunately this kind of thing can happen, so I am going to enlist the help of a MP up your way. If I deal with it directly I have a conflict of interest. A warning it is not a fast process. But I will need to give you a buzz. Is Matt King your local MP?”

    JK to KF – “ok. Done. He is, bit not hers. She loves in Hamilton. *Lives.”

    KF to JK – “I dropped out!”
    “Sorry bro – anyways send me those details bro.”

    JK to KF – “Me too! all good will do soon bro. Thank you”

    KF to JK – “Whanau whanau brother”

    JK to KF- “+64[S9(2)(a)] mum kerro (judy)”

    17th October
    KF to Judy Kerrison – “Hi Judy, Kris Faafoi here. Let me know a good time to touch base with you. Kris”

    22nd October
    Judy Kerrison to KF – “Hi Kris, Jude here. Just asking if you sent me an email related to the questions you had for my application. Just checking in case I missed it. Thank you for your support. Jude.”

    29th October

    JK to KF – “Hi Kris, just off the phone to have we missed a”…(sorry man) just off the phone to mum. Have we missed an email from you? Keen to bring solve for her. Cheers brother”

    31st October
    JK to KF – “Hi bro, hope all is well. Just following up for mum. What do you need me to do? J”

    KF to JK – “Hey bro sorry I have been away – unless I have got her email address wrong! Let me check if it bounced”

    JK to KF – “Sweet as bro. Email address is [S9(2)(a)]”

    5th November
    JK to KF – “Hi Man mums just reminded me to remind you about the letter. Cheers.”

    KF to JK – “I’m on it bro”

    JK to KF – “Ta man”

    10th November
    JK to KF – “Hi bro howre we doing?

    14th November
    JK to KF – “Hi Kris, really keen to help mum man. Where are we at?

    15th November
    JK to KF – “Whanau whanau mate”

    KF to JK – “Bro, its moving. I can’t put anything in writing.”

    19th November
    JK to KF – “Hi bro, I get it. Let me know when the best time to talk is.”

    25th November
    JK to KF – “Just me again bro. Any news for mum and husband for Xmas”

    26th November
    JK to KF – “I know you’re busy brother, we all are. What do I need to do?”

    27th November
    JK to KF – “Morena Kris, now it’s just getting weird mate.”

    “I’ll have to assume that non communication means no follow up. All good man. I’m sure you did what you could. I’m going to head back to media for some follow up action. Cheers”
    ….

    Probably by now Kris has learned that your mates can get you in deep shit if you’re not straight up with them at the outset. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Be very bloody careful what you text or say on the phone. Things change when you become an MP or a Minister. It’s not just another job.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  6th December 2019

      From earlier today on the other Faafoi thread

      “Gezza / 6th December 2019
      Celebrities expect to be treated as such I guess.

      Faafoi had, in recent weeks, stopped responding.

      “Morena Kris, now it’s just getting weird mate,” a final message from Kerrison reads.

      “I’ll have to assume that non communication means no follow up … I’m going to head back to media for some follow up action.”

      Faafoi apologised to Kerrison and his family for not following through and assisting them.

      Ardern said she had confidence in Faafoi as a “hardworking and effective” minister, but he should have better dealt with this.
      …”

      From the transcripts now released:

      27th November
      JK to KF – “Morena Kris, now it’s just getting weird mate.”

      “I’ll have to assume that non communication means no follow up. All good man. I’m sure you did what you could. I’m going to head back to media for some follow up action. Cheers”
      ….

      I wonder why Stuff chose to leave that bold bit out in their first report? Kris may be off the hook resignation-wise, but he’s been shown up in a terrible light. As lacking gonads & integrity. Who would trust him to follow up on anything he said he would now?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  6th December 2019

        Head back to media ?
        Still the entitlement that he can pull strings so that his new step dad can jump the queue

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  6th December 2019

          So far it certainly looks that way. So Faafoi has ended up trashing two reputations.

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  6th December 2019

          But bear in mind that many people who can’t get their or their family members’ immigration applications approved go to the media. And they’re not all celebrities. And they’ve often been to MPs & still had no luck. It’s such a well-utilised way to get your case moving or to get an approval that it’s an obvious thing to do for many people.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  7th December 2019

            Yes , Im sure the media have a filing cabinet full of them.
            However for this one , he had a record of a facebook chat with a minister.
            now THATS NEWS, and they used it .
            But not all of it as they would show CF as not doing anything for their visa

            So newshub played bait and switch as they do , put the bait out of the juicy bits

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  7th December 2019

              Yes they did. It seems Kris has got caught by inexperience, but it’s still a little odd that he did so, given that he was chief press secretary to Phil Goff when he was leader of the opposition so shouldn’t have been completely unaware of the Cabinet Office rules or normal procedure around MPs & Ministers involvement in such cases.

              I’m also wondering whether his getting jammed up & not even responding after finding out he couldn’t just do a mate a favour is possibly partly a Pasifika cultural response. Not being able to admit that while a Cabinet Minister his mana seemingly isn’t as high as he thought.

              Where it’s still awkward is we don’t know whether he really thought he could personally get things speeded up because of who he is – until he got corrected by the system. There’s still some miles left in this for the opposition over that point.

  7. Blazer

     /  6th December 2019

    JK is obviously an arsehole that tried to throw Faafoi under the bus.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  6th December 2019

      JK to KF – “Hi bro, I need help. My Mum mums husband has been denied a visitors Visa. They have been in love for 10 years. They married in Kenya almost two years ago. I was there as a witness. Can you direct me to someone who can help her immediately? I’ve never heard her so upset in my adult life mate. I’d never usually ask anything, but its my mum.”

      JK to KF – “FYI application number [S9(2)(a)]. I’ll get in touch with the Minister for immigration too. I need to help her. This decision seems very wrong.”

      JK to KF – “Sorry for the Freak out…under control nkw Now.

      I don’t think it necessarily started out that way.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  7th December 2019

        Never write anything you don’t want to see in court or the media.

        KF should have just written “Call me and I’ll explain what you need to do”.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  7th December 2019

          Newshub should have published the full text rather than just the juciest bits…..but that would show nothing happened….eventually.

          I suppose that now rules out a government rescue if their fire sale falls apart.
          Should was the reporters byline on their scoop.. Tova O’Brien ! If it was a National minister there would be talk of how so he was ‘treasonous’…. Like what’s happened before

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  9th December 2019

            The Victorian advice about never putting anything in writing is as good today as it was then.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  9th December 2019

              I can’t imagine anyone using the word ‘treasonous’ of this situation.

              Treacherous would be stretching it; treasonous is totally irrelevant.

  8. It’s a well written apology but how he ended up in this situation reflects poorly on his judgement. Still I have ended up in a very similar situation, albeit without the media spotlight, so I can only wish him well.

    Reply
  9. Gezza

     /  9th December 2019

    The Faafoi Affair: Hosking turns feral

    “Kris Faafoi did what you would expect a Labour Minister to do, and the Prime Minister did what you would expect a Prime Minister of her experience and standards to do, nothing.

    And that is this Government for you. If standards are important, if decency, honesty, openness, or transparency are important to you, this is not the government for you.

    As I said last week, I know Faafoi from TV days, and like everyone else who knows him, I know he is liked. He is unquestionably talented, and he’s been the sole shining light in that Labour Cabinet, having been justifiably promoted earlier this year.

    Maybe that’s the bit that saved him? Maybe the Prime Minister looked around the room, saw the old stalwarts such as Grant Robertson and David Parker, solid professionals quietly keeping their noses clean and getting on with the job, and then looked at the rest of them, and breathed out a sigh of knowing despair. They’re a bunch of amateurs, so Faafoi gets saved because he’s good in a room full of numpties.

    They seem to have no shame, their standards aren’t standards at all. They’re a grouping of amateur excuse makers, who hope you don’t care, or you’ll forget.

    It’s such a shame because good government leads from the top, it sets the agenda, the outlook, the expectation, and the standards.

    The message we get from these indiscretions, broken promises, and breaches of rules, is anything goes. It’s as loose as, and their greatest talent is gall.”
    … … … …

    Talk about over-egging the pudding !

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12292008

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  9th December 2019

      Sounds about RIGHT to me. It will be interesting to see what the people decide. So far this is a neck and neck race. I wonder what goodies await us in the budget.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  9th December 2019

        Labour will offer a roof over your…head for the…poor.
        National will offer…a new Range Rover for the rich.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  9th December 2019

          Nonsense..the new RR is far to expensive, but boy is it a beauty. I was looking at a charcoal grey one yesterday. It reeked of brandy and a little slap and tickle.

          No, the average rich dude will now have to settle for a VW Tiguan. Still a top end model with style and pedigree.

          ”Labour will offer a roof over your…head for the…poor.”

          Come now, Blazer, surely you jest.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  9th December 2019

            It reeked of brandy and slap and tickle ? Was it in a drink-drive crash ?

            What does slap and tickle smell like ?

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  9th December 2019

              If Blazer had said “Mazerati’ or ‘Alfa Romeo;. I suppose that you’d have been looking at one of those yesterday.

              Reeking of brandy sounds most unattractive.

  10. Blazer

     /  9th December 2019

    Yes smarmy Mike never mentions the crimes and misdemeanours pf previous Natz ministers…McCully would be a glaring example.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  9th December 2019

      Yes, but to be fair, Blazer..McCully, like all Natz ministers, had an IQ over 100. Jacinda’s lot have to paint politics using the numbers method. And even then they get confused around the number 17 square mark.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  9th December 2019

        Natz ministers have large girths and narrow craniums…look at Tolley,Bennett,and lap belt in waiting…barger ,Gerry Craig Brownlee.

        Reply

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