Tuesday, September 20, 2022

This seems like a process we can have confidence in

Yesterday, National leader Christopher Luxon announced that the National caucus had voted to readmit MP Sam Uffindell - who had got together with his mates to beat a fellow student with bed-legs in the middle of the night in a cruel and pre-meditated attack while at school - after an "independent" investigation. Today, it turns out that the MPs weren't actually allowed to read the investigation report or even an executive summary:

National MPs met to discuss Sam Uffindell’s future with their caucus, but they were not given the report – or even its executive summary – discussing his conduct and allegations of bullying.

Nevertheless, the embattled MP’s caucus colleagues defended Uffindell on Tuesday and said they had faith he was “reformed”.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller said Maria Dew’s report had “vindicated” Uffindell, but he said he hadn’t seen her report or its executive summary.

National is also refusing to release the terms of reference which guided the investigation.

Obviously this is a process we can all have confidence in: there's a report that supposedly says he's cleared, but no-one is allowed to see it, or even see the terms of reference to ensure the chicken wasn't strapped. Such secret "evidence" is simply laughable, and Luxon and the National Party are insulting the public by expecting us to just take their word for it. If they expect us to believe this was a truly independent investigation which explored all relevant issues, they need to show us the evidence.

But beyond the laughable process, this also says something rather disturbing about how much trust Luxon and National's senior leadership have in their own caucus - namely, none at all. And if they don't trust their MPs to read a report, how can they expect us to trust them to run the country?