Topic: Politics

Police won't act further on alleged Whaitiri assault

By Talisa Kupenga

Police say they will not be taking further action on the alleged Meka Whaitiri assault. The Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP will not return to parliament while the inquiry into the incident between herself and a staffer is underway.

The PM, Labour Ministers and MPs remain tight-lipped about the investigation.

Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis says, "I'm not going to comment on anything to do with Meka's case." 

Labour List MP Kiritapu Alan says, "We're in a process."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says, "I don't want to get into any of the detail around the back and forth of the conversations that have been had.  I want natural justice to apply here."

But last week, Minister Peeni Henare suggested the situation could benefit other MPs in the party.

"We have a pool of options in our party.  For example, Willow Jean-Prime and Kiritapu Allan, who would make excellent ministers.  There's plenty who could do the job and this could be an opportunity for them."

Allan would not comment further, saying, "I wouldn't actually be drawn into that sort of speculation that's absolutely a conversation for another day."

When asked, Henare denied his statement was premature.

"No. I have always thought we have a vast pool of people as options."

Then there was Māori Caucus co-chair Willie Jackson's comments to Newshub over the weekend that "there is a process before we shut Meka Whaitiri down".

Jackson says, "Well I've already said that and I've been very clear about where we go with Meka, process has got to take its course and I just want to leave it at that."

Whaitiri remains on ministerial pay despite standing down from her duties.  She remains Labour's Māori Caucus co-chair.

National Leader Simon Bridges says, "We've seen a variety of other issues over the week culminating with Meka Whaitiri.  It's a shambolic and incompetent time for this government."
 
Political commentator Roihana Nuri says, "I think the issue is to do with individuals and their behaviour.  What should Jacinda do?  Herd cats?  Treat her ministers like children?  Some are seasoned members and her ministers need to check themselves."

Detective Superintendent Chris Page says police received a complaint from an unrelated third party in relation to the matter.

After speaking with the alleged victim police will not be taking any further action.