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Dr Muriel Newman

Implausible PM

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Since her election in 2017, the media have been largely supportive of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. But following  her possible involvement in what appears to be some sort of ‘cover up’ of sexual assault allegations within the Labour Party, that no longer appears to be the case.

As Dr Bryce Edwards, a political lecturer at Victoria University explains, “The Prime Minister herself is under immense pressure and scrutiny over any role she might have played in an attempted cover-up. The consensus amongst political journalists and commentators seems to be that her statements about what happened are no longer credible, and her honesty and ‘MeToo credentials’ are now being openly questioned.”

What is clear is that there has been a culture of bullying and sexual harassment within the Labour Party, with layers of allegations, complaints, and inquiries that confound comprehension.

With respect to the latest accusations of ill-treatment and sexual assault by a former staff member in the Prime Minister’s own office, seven complainants have been involved in the Labour Party’s investigations. Media reports, however, suggest that 12 people have complained about the staffer’s behaviour.

What is also clear is that Labour has failed miserably to address complaints of a sexual nature and appears to have placed the interests of the Party ahead of the wellbeing of the complainants. The irony is that the Party’s conduct is in complete contrast to the veneer of compassion projected by the PM.  

Just last year Jacinda Ardern had one of her greatest moments on the world stage, when during her first speech to the United Nations General Assembly as New Zealand’s Prime Minister she called on nations to support the #MeToo movement: “It seems surprising that in this modern age we have to recommit ourselves to gender equality, but we do… Me Too must become We Too. We are all in this together.”

Calling on the world to act when the Party of which she is the leader has an “entrenched culture of bullying and sexual harassment” – and was embroiled in a major sex abuse scandal – is hypocrisy on a grand scale.

It calls into question Jacinda Ardern’s honesty and sincerity in branding herself as a ‘champion of women’.

It is the Prime Minister’s propensity for self-deception that has created her current difficulties.  She has denied knowing that the allegations against a staffer in her own office – that the Party has been investigating for almost 12 months – were of a sexual nature.

While this in itself reflects very badly on the Labour Party and the credibility of the Prime Minister, the more serious aspect for the Jacinda Ardern is that if she is found to have been lying, then her position would be untenable, and she may be forced to resign.

In other words, if the court of public opinion decides the Prime Minister has not been telling the truth, then the damage to brand Jacinda may be permanent. The media may come to understand that Labour is politically dishonest and turn against her and her Party.

Since the details in this matter are important, but can be quite confusing, let’s look at the timeline of events that led to the current situation – initially as outlined by one of the complainants at the centre of this controversy.

A staff member working in the Prime Minister’s office is alleged to have sexually assaulted the 19-year-old young woman at his home early last year. The ‘victim’, who is employed by the Labour Party, said the complaints she made to officials about the incident were ignored.


August 6

After a heated exchange occurred with the Prime Minister’s staffer at a gathering they both attended, the young women contacted the Labour Party President Nigel Howarth to ask for help. She named the man and accused him of predatory behaviour that was getting worse.

October 18

A meeting was organised between the young woman and the Party President and Assistant General Secretary Dianna Lacy, at which she says she revealed the full extent of the alleged sexual offending.


February 24

Labour’s governing body, the New Zealand Council decided the allegations against the staffer by the young woman – and six other party members who had also complained about him – were serious enough to warrant an investigation.

March 9

Three members of Labour’s Council – Simon Mitchell, Tracey McLellan, and Honey Heemi – met with the seven complainants. The young woman claims she had emailed her testimony – which included details of the alleged sexual assault – to the panel members. Printed copies were distributed at the meeting. She read out her testimony.

June 15

Labour’s Council approved the recommendation of the investigating committee that “no disciplinary action” would be taken against the staffer.

July 5

The President notified the complainants of the decision.

July 23

The complainants started receiving their interview notes from the investigating committee. They had been promised ‘transcripts’ shortly after their testimonies so they could verify that their recorded evidence was correct. They were distressed and dissatisfied to find the information they received did not accurately reflect the evidence they presented to the committee. They wanted to appeal.

August 5

Some complainants had lost faith in the Labour Party’s handling of the matter and approached the media: “Newshub revealed the Labour Party has been forced to review an internal investigation into bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault by a Labour staffer. It follows complaints the investigation process was botched and traumatising for the alleged victims.”

August 6

The Herald reported Jacinda Ardern’s response: “the party is taking a good look at whether we’ve satisfied the natural process of justice and whether or not we’ve supported the complainants as we should have.” They further disclosed, “there were 12 alleged complainants and the allegations involved not only sexual assault, but also rape and offers to pay for sex.”

August 8

National’s Deputy Leader Paula Bennett revealed she had been approached by Labour’s Beehive staff concerned about the way the Party had been handling the complaints.

August 10

Jacinda Ardern attended Labour’s Council meeting and expressed her concern about the way it had been handling the complaints, saying it was not the appropriate place “to ever undertake an investigation into a sexual assault”.

August 12

Labour’s President announced an “independent appeals process” would be conducted by Maria Dew QC. Complainants were given nine days to appeal.

September 9

The full story of the young woman who first raised concerns about the Prime Minister’s staffer with the Labour Party was published by The Spinoff. The Prime Minister read the article and said, “I was informed in the very beginning that the allegations made were not sexual in nature. That is obviously directly counter to what is now being reported.”

She revealed that for the last five weeks her staffer had been working from home. She refused to express confidence in the Labour Party President. And she explained that the QC carrying out the inquiry would report directly to her.

September 11

The Labour Party President resigned.

September 12

The staffer at the centre of the abuse claims resigned. The accusations against him lodged by 12 complainants included intimidation, bullying, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. 

September 16

The Prime Minister announced three inquiries would be carried out into the complaints against her former staffer: the Maria Dew QC investigation into the claimants’ allegations, the Kensington Swan inquiry into the Party’s handling of complaints, and a third inquiry to establish a better process for dealing with victims. 

While the Prime Minister will be hoping that three enquiries will put a lid on the media fallout, it is now the PM’s own comments that are being questioned.

She claims she wasn’t aware the allegations against her staffer were of a sexual nature until she read the report in The Spinoff.

But how can she possibly expect the public to believe, that as the country’s leading politician, she did not see, hear, or watch weeks of relentless media reporting from early August, that her staffer had been accused of sexual misconduct?

When Mike Hosking asked her the day after the story first broke in the media, “How many people have quit your party as a result of this investigation into this bloke who may or may not have sexual[ly] assaulted someone?” and she responded: “I’m going to be very careful answering that question Mike because this is an inquiry and work is still underway and it is still a party matter” – did she not hear the words ‘sexual assault’?

Did she not ask why her staffer had been sent to work from home for five weeks?

When she told Labour’s Council last month that it was not the appropriate place “to ever undertake an investigation into a sexual assault”, was she not talking about the two inquiries they had initiated into her staffer?

It turns out that a large number of people all around the Prime Minister knew the allegations against the staffer involved sexual misconduct. These included the Labour Party president, general secretary, assistant general secretary, the three Labour Council members on the inquiring committee, the investigating lawyers, the Prime Minister’s former chief of staff Mike Munro, her new chief of staff Raj Nahna​, her chief press secretary Andrew Campbell, the staffer’s lawyer Geoff Davenport, the union officer Paul Tolich, Wellington city councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, Beth Houston in Phil Twyford’s office, MP Kiritapu Allen, and the Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

With so many people aware of the full nature of the allegations, it is almost impossible to believe that a Prime Minister, who had publicly chastised her Party for keeping her in the dark over the Young Labour Summer Camp sexual assault allegations only months earlier, would not have been told the details. 

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator David Farrar, who runs Kiwiblog and Curia Market Research, spent eight years working in Parliament, including in Prime Ministers’ offices. He shares his views on why the Labour Party staffer at the centre of the controversy was not let go when serious complaints first emerged:

“He finally went, only after the PM herself was left morally and semi-mortally exposed. A decision that should have happened months ago, was delayed until the damage was done.

“This was beyond doubt a deliberate decision by Labour that this staffer would be protected. Because otherwise he’d have been goneburger months ago – regardless of whether or not he has actually done anything wrong.

“So why did Labour try to protect him for so long. There are four reasons. In ascending order of importance they are:

  1. He had held senior office within sections of the party. 
  2. He has a family member who has a professional association with Labour, which is very long-standing and incredibly valuable.
  3. He had very close connections with senior Ministers.
  4. His role in the Labour Leader’s office was very valuable to them.

“So this wasn’t just Labour being incompetent. This was Labour making a calculated decision that they would try and brazen this out, because he had the right friends, and was so valuable to them in his job. The impact on the complainants and victims was a secondary or even tertiary factor.”

The bottom line is that this controversy has exposed Labour’s vulnerability. Some are now asking whether the Prime Minister’s sincerity extends only as far as her political ambition. Some media are now saying her word cannot be trusted. They are finally beginning to realise that our ‘Fairy Tale PM’ is a fairy tale – all show and no substance. 

Mike Hosking expressed the crisis for the Labour Party this way: “They have faced scandal before. But this one exceeds all of them for the simple reason it deals potentially in a crime, a potential cover up, and goes directly to the Prime Minister of the country.”

The Prime Minister’s credibility has been seriously damaged. Whether she can tough it out and charm her way back remains to be seen.


Do you believe Jacinda Ardern’s claim that she didn’t know the assault allegations against her former staffer were of a sexual nature – until she read a recent account of events in the media?  

*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


If she didn’t she should have. Bev
She is not that stupid but has misplaced loyalty. John
Lies Ken
The allegations were common knowledge for a long time. Jasmine
Now we are seeing the ‘real’ Jacinda – I have no time for the lady. Janet
NO a thousand times NO ! She is a stranger to the truth ! If she didn’t know then she should have? Andrew
Ardern and the rest of the politicians in this current government seems to prefer to conceal, deny and cover things up. The references to ‘transparency” are fraudulent. Charles
She thinks she is infallible, but the reality is she is politically naive and incredibly unworldly. The gift of the gab doesn’t solve all problems. Tim
Does Jacinda really think we all came down in the last shower??? Keith
She will stay true to her red Communist ideology and lie and cheat where she has to, to stay in power of which she is totally unworthy. The smile and wave routine with the bits of headcloth never fooled me, only getting the Labour leadership because she was better looking than Andrew Little and the result has been disastrous for NZ. In fact the whole Labour/Green govt. is just a veneer, they are totalitarian to the core and only care about power. Monica
usual bloody liar John
She had to know. Pamela
Jacinda has never displayed Ignorance as on of her attributes — Why Now – Sorry she has no credibility with me Now — John
Serious stuff if proven correct. Pop!…goes the Labour balloon… Mark
Just to much to learn in so little time Warren
She is very devious and needs to be held to account for her actions. Albyn
She is very economical with the facts. Lloyd
The woman is unbelievable Maureen
Something smells really rotten regarding this whole thing. Hopefully it s the death knell of the current government. Kevin
She is lying through her very prominent teeth. True socialist/marxist operators like Comrade Cindy are always more concerned with the story and not how truthful it is. She has been badly caught out and should resign. Ronmac
Can’t be trusted Margaret
Guess she fools her followers….. There’s a lot of ill informed people in NZ and they all get a vote! The democratic system we live by will be our undoing. Too many stupid people having a say in who runs our administration. Simon
She obviously believes that the general public are stupid. GRANT
Hope they lose the next election Ross
Ardern is of the same ilk as that clown Trudeau in Canada. Blatant falsehoods come natural to them. Sooner or later, though, they get sprung. Barend
I thought everybody knew. Where was Jacinda? Sylvia
Could not sleep straight in bed if she tried!! Don
How can she not know when the staffer works in her office and every one else knows in Parliament. She would be hoping the problem would go away and handled by the Labour Party. Frank
Too many people surrounding her new of the allegations. Impossible for her not to know. Josephine
she’s a complete lier Norm
she is finally being exposed. It has taken long enough Charles
The woman is a liar and a fraud, not unusual for a politician but as the leader she has zero credibility, it’s time for her to fall on her sword and get back to the fish and chip shop, although I suspect that job would be beyond her capability. Stevoc
Usual best of three guesses Warren
She seems to make a point of knowing everything about everything it’s impossible to believe that she didn’t know the full details about this issue Mike
She really does think the plebs are stupid. John
Whether or not The PM knew of the sexual assault allegations, she either would have, or should have. Certainly a team including members capable of buying back forged paintings for destruction and sooth-sayers who would spout anything for the sake of their skin would see the game of non-information at the fore-front but it is the PM’s role to know, to seek the untold and meet the requirement to serve in the real world and not the fanciful mystic one she has created around her. Roger
Whilst there is little depth to Jacinda once you get past the ability to interview well, she is not that incompetent of a leader that doesn’t know whats going on in her party. John
Impossible Inconceivable Incompetent Elizabeth
Yeah Right Connie
She deliberately lied in her answers. Pierre
I can’t believe she expects the public to swallow such obvious lies. Michael
she’s the leader of the party for goodness sake, they are so good at sticking their head in the sand, and passing the buck, must be what makes a good politician, Rodger
Not a chance Gareth
Fire Pants Liar Maddi
The buck must stop at her if she did not know she is incompetent or her staff are If she did know she is a lair Either way she needs to go She is out of her depth Robin
everybody who watched the news or read any paper and magazine new about it, so hard to believe she didn’t Luciane
it’s ridiculous, another liar! Gerhard
It’s impossible to believe that she was the only person in the hierarchy of the Labour Party who didn’t know. That in itself questions her ability to occupy the position of Prime Minister. Denis
As I am a “man in the street” with no contacts in political circles and I heard of this in some detail a long time back I cannot believe the Prime Minister did not know about it. For her to say she did not know about it is an almost childish and unbelievable lie. Rob
The saga was to some extent a set up by the main complainant, withholding most information and initially making at most a passing, vague reference to sexual assault then taking detailed serious allegations to the media to teach Labour a lesson for not jumping to take immediate revenge on her behalf. See https://www.facebook.com/NZ.MoMA/posts/2641840215847782?__tn__=K-R John
neither politicians nor the media can tell the truth so whats changed, and why didn’t the staffer go straight to the police., lots of questions yet to be asked Richard
zero credibility. NZ needs a government and leader with a higher IQ able to make the honest decisions and unite a country going no where together. Sam
She must be lying. Any politician has fingers in all sorts of pots. She must resign. Tim
No and she should resign, as well as quite a few others in parliament. I am glad I left the Labour Party, they cannot be trusted. Fraser
Sounds like a criminal conspiracy to cover up a crime Alan
It is most unlikely that she did not know of the sexual nature of the complaint Peter
Fairy dust turns to fairy dung. The 4th Estate will not be denied Doug
Her Pixie dust is turning into s..t Clinton
It is inconceivable that she did not know, so much for the promised transparency and accountability. She is not to be trusted. Ken
She is acting and playing the emotion game to mislead john
Its all jacindagrating around her…! She needs to go…its that simple! Naine
Cindy,,its getting near midnight. I think it would be safer if you went home to your varsity socialist club days and convinced its members you are not telling porkies. Hopefully this is going to end in tears. Winston… you put her there! Please do not seek re-election. David
I’m sure she did know Colleen
All evidence points to her lying Brianb
the usual labour coverup.most times truth will out Barry
Of course she knew. She cannot be that badly informed and hold the position that she does. Fred
Why bother, another fairy tale or new drama will emerge to sink this as just bit of the Waspsnest BS and hot air. Another enquiry? This be quietly announced around a high interest Abe game at the RWC. Stan
Difficult to believe. I think it’s time she hardens up on some issues and starts to look like a real leader. It’s OK to be compassionate but there are times to be tough also. Alan
Of course Ms Ardern knew. She obviously thinks the public is stupid. Carol
Filthy Lowlife, her and Winston Peters deserve each other. Gerald
Must have known Thomas
Of course she knew does she think we are all stupid. It is incredible she is still holding her position. imagine if this was the National party, Labour would be baying for their blood Mike
Like most politicians they never say yes or no to a question, but always skirt around the subject and give no answer at all David
This whole thing must have been swirling around her office. Either she is not trusted by her team, or she has mis remembered. Lionel
I would like to believe her but politics is such a dirty business and I think that it shows sheer arrogance of behalf the Labour party that they thought they could tough this scandal out and saying Jacinda did not know anything about the sexual nature of 12 complaints borders on the incredible that she did not know until recently Colin
There are the roots, the branches and the FRUIT of. Maurie
Ardern is all spin and grin. She has been tagged and is now fatally flawed. Robert
This poor stupid women is that far out of her depth.In this case add Robertson as a liar. Only the good lord knows how this country has ended up with this pathetic incompetent mob Don
It beggars belief that after the earlier incidence and the number of close associates that knew about the sexual assault claims against a senior member of her staff that she did not know. Give me a break!!! What happened to the “no surprises” policy . The star dust has certainly fallen off her, and she should own up to the lie and resign. Murray
That woman- like the whole lot of her cronies – is nothing but smoke and mirrors. No substance , no integrity, no skills, dishonest , lying , deceiving, conspiring, virtue signalling, useless. And for that we are paying 500 000 dollars pa. Grotesque!!!!!!!!! Michael
With the exception that she is so far off with the fairies and spends so much time charming nobodies in foreign countries that she has no idea at all about what is happening in NZ , The country she purports to be the “Prime” minister of. Waste of space and waste of money. Pull a vagrant off the street and call them PM and they could not do a worst job Colin
This has a parallel with the left wing Democrats in the USA, the socialists there also believe they are too important to remove and supporters easily lie to cover their crimes. The Clinton’s, Obama and their deep state supporters also believed they were beyond criticism. Most of us can read between the lines revealed, as long as the lines are written by people who believe in honesty and integrity. Ardern has had hers exposed. for what she is. Rex
There is no way she would not have known! A huge miscalculation on her part to protect him and therefore undermine these women and their serious claims. Sue
Open and honest??? Mark
If she didn’t know she’s not worthy of her position, putting her in a no win situation George
H woman is a well practiced liar. Long live communism. Tony
It is astonishing that anyone has taken this long to realise she is severely lacking in the fields of credibility or personal integrity. It has been apparent for two years that her first priority is the promotion of her personal profile. None of her ‘policies’ have been properly considered and all that have not already failed will do so soon. She has progressed from a national disaster to an international laughing stock. TOBY
This matter should have been handled by the police from the outset. Keeping it under wraps because the staffer was holding a senior position was no excuse. The PM due to her position, should have been informed as soon as the sexual nature of the enquiry was revealed. Whether this was done is yet to be revealed. Only then, will we know if she was lying. Interesting? Dennis
Miss Ardern is either (1) an outright liar; or (2) an incompetent leader who does not have the support and confidence of her staff or her party. Does she really expect the public to believe the first she knew about it was when she viewed it in the on-line magazine “The Spinoff”. So much for the “politician” who claimed that her Party was to be an example for openness, transparency, and caring and giving. These comments now have as much credibility that “we will build 10,000 homes every year for the next 10 years”, we will solve the housing crisis, we will solve child poverty, we will save the planet from burning up – all of it so much hot air. Perhaps if she Keeps quiet the planet will not warm so much? A use-by date is now well past! Michel
The labour party firstly attempted to deal with the matter “in house.” When that did not work they have been desperately trying to protect their star player Jacinda by adopting the “plausible deniability” strategy. They will not be winning any awards for their acting skills. Gary
There’s absolutely NO WAY possible that she could not have known. Jim
She’s a liar Andrew
She would have to have neither read a paper or listened to radio and television for MONTHS. The whole country knew and she is supposedly our leader Jill
The timeline shows it s a load of bulls wool. Nick
She must have known about the sexual nature on the complainants. This person was valuable to the Labour Party and she was just hoping the problem would just go away. Frank
porkies not well told Gillian
What a mess, let us have some honesty Tont
She surely ain’t that dumb, is she? John
She is a liar and has done her best to protect the offender because of his value to the party and friendships with other key players in the labour party. Trust and honesty are words that have know meaning to her as power and the U N are her FOCUS. Ken
She is a political liar and hypocrite. Rod
Jacinda Adern is akin to the snake oil salesmen of yesteryear who plied their wares with a smooth line in patter to their unsuspecting customers. She is a liar only interested in getting the big job at the UN. Roger
There is irrefutable evidence recorded during Mike Hosking’s interview with Jacinda Ardern. He directly referred to “sexual assault”. She simply cannot deny that she knew. She has been caught in a lie. Geoff
Implausible! John
possibly, JA is so intent on pretending and creating celebrity-ego-publicity that she may no longer recognise real life issues that rank below her perception of her exalted self Joanne
Come on who is she kidding the whole country knew and the behave is almost impossible to keep a secret Peter
I just can’t accept : That those closest to Jacinda would not keep her in the loop on these matters, particularly in view of the previous reported scandal. That Jacinda is that naive to believe the public will accept that whatever she says incorrect and the truth Michael
The fairy tales are over Alan
Did she put her head in the sand like an ostrich? Penelope
Jacinda Ardern, our prime minister has perpetrated an outright deception upon the Nation she serves. She is a Socialist, and Socialist’s know how to inherently deceive and lie for the sake of the Party and its agenda. Trump knows all about the way Socialist’s/Communists work and now we see it happening in little old NZ. Brian
he has pushed the grounds of creditability too far. Time to go Tinkerbell. Graeme
Of course she knew – if she is the Minister of National Security she would undoubtably know the affairs of her own party! Joanne
Why wasn’t she concerned about an ordinary assault. Thought any type of assault would be a crime! Adele
she has become a flaky Prime minister Bill
I have not believed her since she came out with some creative thinking prior to making a political alliance with NZ First. She cannot tell me she didn’t know. Why should we believe anything now? Nothing’s changed. Not really. Evasiveness is an art form? At which some people excel. MAYBELLE
lies covering lies Sheryl
The prime minister has proved her lack of credibility. Maurice
She’s PLAINLY covering her back & its VERY PLAIN she’s weak & out of touch with kiwi’s & a socialist STALIN would have loved,& she’s RUINING N.Z. Cindy
She has been caught out. I don’t see how she can wriggle out of this mess with her integrity intact. This sad sequence of actions is a bit like “death by a thousand cuts” and I hope it will lead to her resignation – she has been shown up to be a fraud. Roy
If she is that naive and so out of touch with serious issues in her own party then she shouldn’t be Prime Minister Albert
Why was the police not involved. Warwick
No, I do not believe she had any idea of what was going on HER parliament. Maybe SHE is just not worldly or old enough? And she’s trying to run a country, with all the ‘kudos’ that that entails…and make laws of how we are allowed to behave, Man, you’ve got be joking? Ced
Of course she knew. It was too embarrassing for her to admit it. June
If it is not an outright lie, it proves what some of us knew from long ago – Her sheer ignorance, outright stupidity, and level of incompetence are off the chart. Apart from this fiasco, some of her acts might come under the heading of treason. Absolutely incompetent at home; seemingly do anything for international ambition. Jack
Do they not have meetings every day or other days, and does the PM not ask all the members what’s happening in your area, and or why did other members of the meetings not trust the PM to sort it!!!??? way too much smoke here Anta
There is no way because of her position that she was unaware of the details. In any private company the GM or CEO would have all the details from the very beginning. Peter
No. Of course not with all the evidence against her. Next thing she will be claiming not to have noticed the car she was travelling in was doing 160kph John
another helen clark type telling lies and it is hard to believe that helen was able to go as far as she has politically with the various things she has got away with as P.M David
This goes against all office and workplace culture. Everyone would have known and there would have been watercolor talk that everyone would have heard. He JA deaf as well as dumb Carl
If true other heads must roll. Martin
Most certainly don’t believe Ardern’s claim. But if there are 2 1/2 million voters then at least 625,000 (25%), and up to say 875,000 (35%) of voters won’t be concerned that the Leader of the Labour Party, and the Party itself, are rape enablers; don’t care about sexual assault – such that they’ll still vote for this despicable Party and state of affairs Peter
I drive a stock truck in Taranaki, I knew of these allegations before Cindy did if its to believed. A liar Terry
She is not convincing and has obfuscation down to a fine art. She must resign over this. Judi
NO, only if she is blind deaf. the rest of NZ knew. George
The gossip tree is always the one that is revealed directly to all and sundry regardless of level of stature. Bad and highly inflammatory news always arrives first even before the murmur sentence has finished it’s alert! Robyn
If she really didn’t know.It means she has major problems within her party Margaret
Sheeeeee knewwwwww!!!! Alex
You would need to be deaf and blind to not know what was going on . Catherine
If she didn’t know she should have. Maybe her staff failed to inform her of the full extent of the complaint but I doubt it. Looks like a cover-up to me. Graeme
Disingenuous at the very least, it’s impossible she didn’t know, her and her finance minister are thick as thieves and his response when asked… “no comment”. To use her favourite word she “absolutely” did know. Anyone thinks she’s flirting with the truth is delusional. Bart
If she did not know then the Labour Party system is very faulty. As Prime Minister she had to know. Labour is clearly floundering, at NZ;s expense Bryan
This young woman couldn’t tell the truth if she tried, a very practiced lier I’m sorry to say, and someone who should be dismissed from the PM job, as a lesson to the lot of them re telling the truth. By lying, she is showing contempt for the voters and her position Merryl
she has to go. nz credibility is at stake, so is the reputation of the labour party. Norm
Typical “politician”,can’t believe a word they say. Sid
It has been well proven otherwise. Lawrie
Have to agree with David Farrar here – there is no way she could not have known – instead she has tried to brazen it out in the hope of buying enough time for a cover-up to be successfully completed. When we see the trendy-lefty, vomit brokers, which inhabit the various lame-stream media parrot cages, starting to express concern at the recent goings on, then one can only agree that she has sunk to an all-time low. Is the UN looking at opening a fish and chip shop anytime soon? Scott
Have you forgotten Bridges bungled handling of one of his team when it came to a similar complaint from the lady in Invercargill? David
Not for one moment. Of course she knew and I now find it hard to watch her going through all her ‘acting’ motions of which I have to admit she is very good at. She has shown herself up for what she is – a shallow flake but on the other side of the coin she is a brilliant actress. I don’t believe a word she says. Helen
If Jacinda did not know the nature of these allegations she is entirely divorced from reality. Her inability to cope is alarming. Lee
If a Prime Minister doesn’t know the intricate and salient details of an assault allegation within that party, what else doesn’t that P M (conveniently) not know? AND if a P M doesn’t call an appropriate person to “appear in front of me” for questioning as a matter of concern and leadership to find out what actually went on at that ‘Party Meeting’ to sort out the when, where, why and how, then I suggest, that P M will always be out of touch with reality. Maybe this is what ‘our’ Prime Minister wants, as she pushes her private and personal social agenda. Isn’t this the One World Governance Agenda, to suppress and hide from discontent – rather than front up, and sort it out – now? Isn’t this what any strong representative leader would do? Stuart
I believe the PM knew more than she has said but has put it inside her head and forgotton due to all the other situations she has to deal with but due to her popularity I would have thought she would action this immediately. It is serious and needs to be nipped in the bud early. She has the largest authority to delegate and this should have been a Police matter. Barbara
She had to have known! Len
How could she not know? What a joke. Jane
There is no possible way she did not know of the serious allegations. To not know would be tantamount to confessing to be witless and tone deaf and also lacking in even an average degree of competence. I find the brazen dishonesty pretty well illustrates the general incompetence of the current Government and the absolute disconnect with reality and the Party’s ability to grasp the fact that the people are quite able to see through the Labour Party’s pandemic of contempt for the general publics intelligence. Their objective as a Government seems to be to disable the people and impose an agenda that is counter to the interests of New Zealand and in line with the United Nations. They are a disaster for this country. Dianna
Ardern is lying through and through. She is a disgrace to NZ Carolyn
An attempted cover up. She had to know. Barry
It’s just not possible she didn’t hear or see something. Andrew
An impossibility! Jan
lying thru those teeth Murray
Liebour! Jackie
Obvious a big Twich aye Witchy…LOL Ian
Political answers Jim
The only reason she wouldn’t know is if she didn’t want to know and the people around her knee not to let her know, however in order for them to know that she’d have to let them know what they were not to let her know if indeed they did know something in the first place that they thought she would know. Know what I mean? Bill
obvious David
She is not keeping up with her responsibilities if she didn’t know John
Only interested in international fame, even if it is negative to NZer’s wellbeing! Kevin
Jacinda Ardern is so obviously not telling the truth. Being a female, she was able to hug and console the Muslim women during the Christchurch terror shootings. A male PM would not have been able to do this, so Ardern made political mileage. Her denial about her knowledge of this sexual attack ,is her downfall. Darryl
She now believes her own lies. Time she went. Valerie
She is full of bull. Mike
She has no need to lie John
She’s either lying or totally incompetent to not know. Quite likely both Prue
Taxinder has shown herself to be a typical Marxist. Al about protecting brand Jacinda. Tell the people what she thinks they want to hear and don’t let the truth muddy the waters. Chris
If she says she didn’t know, she’s lying. This woman will go down as the most incompetent, most opportunistic and most hypocritical leader of NZ. The sooner she goes the better. Jenny
Way, way beyond the bounds of possibility. She lies with great fluency-how unexpected (sac)! Roger
When Jacinda Ardern platformed during the election process, one thing she was firm on was that a Labour Government would be “transparent”. This is far from the case. Chris
She has lost it. David
Do as I say not as I do. The Emperors clothing has come off Time New Zealand got rid of this Govt, which is hell bent on destroying the Countries Economy Frank
Just not possible Bryan
The mishandling and cover-up of this whole saga shows that Jacinda’s claims that she did not know of the sexual nature of complaints is not at all convincing, despite more reviews and smooth talk. This “Jacindagate” will not go away easily. Laurence
If by some faint chance she didn’t know the details, a whole lot of her trusted cabinet and senior staff did. This being the case she will need to dismiss all those who withheld the information or resign herself. Barry
Not what you would expect from the countries Prime Minister.. stepping down as PM might help her image being restored John
Of course she knew. Her husband would have also known and I bet he discussed it with her Why were the police not involved. how much did they pay the women to keep quite lots of questions here Cherryl
Of course she knew and if she didn’t, what sort of a PM is she Ruth
She knew all along , got her timelines very mixed up tho . Karen
What annoys me the most is they continue to think we are all stupid and cannot make sensible assessments for ourselves. Graeme
The PM is twisting words . Of course she did not have to see the document to know and hear about the document. Similarly not knowing it was a complaint of sexual nature does not necessarily mean intimacy. The staffer was NOT preparing a mole map or smear test. on the complainant. Basil
Unbelievable! Ron
Ardern is shallow and superficial and not very smart. Not to mention an appalling liar to boot. Richard
It’s impossible for her not to have known; witness especially Mike Hosking’s question early on which stated sexual assault. Allan
i do not think that we have to elaborate any further Bill
Totally believe Jacinda. Can’t believe you have descended into gutter politics and character assassination. Mike
She is just clutching at straws. She will do and say anything to stay in power Mike
She is an out and out liar, her credibility is shot and if she had any decency she would resign because she has misled the public not just once but many times during this whole sordid affair. She can never be trusted in the future. She is unworthy of the position of PM. Allan
The labour party have been in damage control since the outset of the complaint. Appointing a QC is another ploy as they desperately the Labour party try and sweep it under the carpet. Norm
Now showing how flaky she is an cannot be trusted Brian
She is an accomplished liar; she knows how to dissemble, through skillful acting, and she has the PC patter off pat. The really disheartening part of it all is that so many people are taken in by her. Graham
A striking similarity to Lord Nelson at Trafalgar who “saw no signal.” The striking difference however, is that Lord Nelson’s ship was solid, reliable and crewed by honest countrymen. The Labour vessel is rotten and the crew are not to be trusted. Vernon
Of course she knew all about it! Does she take us for fools? Ron
Impossible to believe. She is intelligent and articulate, and NOT deaf. But the truth of this, is not in her. Steve
how could she not have known the rest of the country did. Nigel
It would be almost impossible for a PM not to be informed of all the details of a crime in her party. Elezabeth
Her complete lack of a personal moral compass and principles leave her without moral guidance and understanding of correct behaviour Jill
She would have to have been deaf and blind not to have known Kevin
Tell a lie often enough it becomes fact. Willy
Of course she knew. Mother hen protecting her own little deviant commie brood. She’d bang on a burqa if she thought it would help! trouble is the public are now becoming immune to her well practiced, media enhanced sad face, toothy smile, and other attempts at virtue signalling! Bruce
Most unlikely Bruce
NO. Don
But then anybody that carries on the way she does has to be away with the fairies. Terry
Sadly we have a PM with no substance could never believe her good for photos shots a waste of tax payers money she needs to go as soon as possible Russel
Just one more action of a Prime Minister who is continually out of her depth in trying to carry out the responsible duties as the leader of the country when she lacks basic experience for this challenging position. Hylton
This must be the no-brainer of the year Roger
It is impossible to believe this prime minister and can we believe what her labour party is trying to make believable. Johan
Not plausible Mark
she’s a liar. Peter
She is lying Jeff
Her denial beggars belief. Farrars comments make clear what is happening here.I think they have made a terminal mistake. Gordon
She needs to resign now Cutty
She is lying and desperately trying to cover up the Labour Party sexual misdeeds. Graeme
Hell no, Richard
she did know , and if she didn’t , it goes to show just how out of touch with what is going on around her she is , and also appears to have no staff / cronie confidence . Roy
This is exactly what happens when ‘Problems’ are not dealt with properly and effectively, at the time. This also shows. what a bunch of Snowflakes are trying to run this Country. Let’s get the Adults back in charge Geoff
If she didn’t know she has had no access to any media and her advisers have not kept her updated, she is either lying or is incompetent or both Maureen
Everyone else knew Jen
She is totally unprofessional and way out of her depth, for the sake of NZ she should resign. Chris
No and when did the Labour Party become the police? Robert
You can lead a certain politician to truth, but you cannot make it speak it. Coral
The stardust was not going to last forever Frank
Jacindarella has no credibility on numerous fronts and her head nodding, big smile and furrowed brow do not fool even folk I know who till now have thought she is the bees knees. Where is Helen’s view on this one? Deafeningly quiet unlike her dumb endorsement of the legalization of cannabis. Anon
She is squirming Colin
Labour has been exposed. Caught with their pants down. And their leader is acting like winny does when he’s caught out. No. No. No. Mark
Ultimate oxymoron – Honest Politician. Hanging onto baubles of office override everything. Collin
Blatantly lying John
A one trick show pony ,cherry picking popular topics to further her image internationally. Max
Her continued propensity is to present herself as some kind of Social Justice Warrior ,Joan of Arc figure on the international stage rather than vital issues affecting the country. Cheery picking topics with sound bites and slogans. A real one trick show pony. Max
To much wheeling and dealing what else is going on behind closed doors Jimmy
She is a liar..end of. John
Like so many other factors in Labours pack of cards, there is jokers in every pack !, either she is a Queen or a joker, my view is she’s the joker playing the Queen ! Jacinda has shot herself in the foot on this one because she was standing up in the face of the world telling everyone just how compassionate her and her Labour party was while sexual assaults and bullying were happening in her own office under her nose !, no way did she not know the facts of those allegations with all party members involved and the member, being sent home on force leave for good reason ! This all happening after words coming from her mouth at election time claiming transparency from Labour ! Yet she is the only one that can’t see within her own government ???, she has now lied to everyone because she tried to save face in view of the public by saying she didn’t know about the contents of the allegations in another knee jerk reaction comment, hats the second major blunder from this prime minister that’s lost her credibility !. As far as I’m concerned?, she needs to stand down as PM ! She is way out of control in politics and a blatant incompetent lying leader covering up a unbalanced political system Kevin
Implausible PM Ray
Liar Bruce
She has zero credibility John
There is such a change of personality in Jacinda’s demeanor in front of the cameras in recent days, that her complete discomfort and her body language speak for themselves about the situation. Mary
Mike Hosking’s questions to her on his morning radio show should have been enough for her to ask questions. It defies credibility that she did NOT know until recently. Gary
Maybe she can’t handle the truth. Dave
Her explanations are not credible. She is either lying or a hopelessly incompetent and out of touch leader Ray
She is ‘between “a rock and a pack of lies”…..knowing when to walk away and knowing when to run…. She is totally out of aces . Time to QUIT. CHowes
Of course she knew. If she didn’t know something as damning as this was going on she should not hold the position of leadership . Mike
Absolutely not – Jacinda Ardern is lying through her teeth. She had to have known about the sexual nature of the allegations because she had told the Party after the summer camp fiasco that they were not to keep that sort of information from her. Does she think the public and the media are fools???  Henry
No. No. No. She should go. David
I think the Prime Minister is a disgrace to women – she says the right thing but it is all hollow words. Just ask the victims in this case about how it has been for them since she became the leader of the Labour Party. Appalling! Kay
No, nothing she says is believable. She is all PR spin and no substance. But at least people are now beginning to realise what a flake she is. Paul
She is good enough to win an Oscar. Pity it is all acting and not genuine. Rodney