Labour have no choice but to stand Andrew Kirton down

By   /   March 13, 2018  /   48 Comments

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I am watching left wing activists on social media defending the right of 16 year olds to not tell their parents or Police about sexual assaults, and they have a point in regards to autonomy and agency of 16 year olds, but every single voting parent in this country would demand knowledge of this and that Labour are telling them to their faces that they wouldn’t tell those parents is a black hole that will damage Labour politically. 

There are a lot of moving parts  to the Newsroom story that has published the allegations that 3-4 16 year olds at a Labour Party Summer Camp last month were sexually assaulted.

The first questions must go directly to Labour.

Why the hell was anyone under 18 allowed at the camp?

Why on earth was a mountain of booze allowed?

Why the Christ were pictures and video footage allowed on social media?

Those are hindsights that need to be nailed down if this Youth Summer camp is to ever go ahead again, but it is the response to this political nightmare that is now risking to engulf Labour.

The Party have taken a ‘victim led’ response which is that the 4 16 year olds have all decided not to speak to their parents or the Police about these allegations.

The argument is that 16 year olds have the maturity to make these decisions for themselves and that Labour respected that by with-holding this information from their parents.

That might tick all the right boxes in the current victim focused #metoo environment, but what the Labour  Party of NZ are effectively telling every single voting parent in the country is that if your 16 year old went to their event & were inappropriately touched they wouldn’t tell you???

That position is utterly untenable to every single voting parent in NZ and that this is the best excuse Labour could managed to come up with since the event shows a terrible blunder and political miscalculation.

As the enormity of that defence sinks into every voting parent in the country the backlash will simply begin to grow and grow and grow.

Labour have no choice right now but to sacrifice someone for this decision and it must come down on Andrew Kirton, the Labour Party General Secretary. If he stands down now it will look like Labour have regained control of this story, if they wait until the media force him to stand down it will look like a crisis.

There are also questions over how Newsroom gained the story and went ahead with it without the victims agreement. That is a media ethics issue but remember, the media aren’t held to the same victim led standards being demanded from Labour by Twitteratti, their job is to report the event and the cover up.

I am watching left wing activists on social media defending the right of 16 year olds to not tell their parents or Police about sexual assaults, and they have a point in regards to autonomy and agency of 16 year olds, but every single voting parent in this country would demand knowledge of this and that Labour are telling them to their faces that they wouldn’t tell those parents is a black hole that will damage Labour politically.

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  1. Sam Sam says:

    That Jacinda has ruled out firing the General secutiry Andrew Curtain means he must now fall on his sword. If some one like him could not bring concrete proof of sexual offending against young people then teenagers certainly can’t. Police receiving and investigating sexual assault is a far greater problem and the burden of proof should not be put on minors by the General secutiry who should know better.

    When you’re the General secutiry of a sitting party in government you don’t get the luxury of political speak around sexual offending any more.

    There will be an investigation. That’s the last chance. Don’t screw it up.

    • Michelle says:

      Don’t believe he should be sacked for 16yrs old being felt up and I m not minimizing this. He should be warned and given a chance everyone deserves a chance god knows the last government had too many
      It should have gone to the police and they would have dealt with it how they normally do, by doing bugger all.

      • Sam Sam says:

        I’m actually the last guy who should be pointing fingers at handing out a good finger bang in my youth. But the offender is scum, if some one stuck there hand down 3 people’s pants then tried to touch me with that hand, ew, no. Just quickly, that’s not how it’s done. You just need a bit of respect for yourself and the one you’re with. The fact this guy was compromised by alcohol means he needs a really good talking to with professionals, and if he’s unwilling then the police are there to compel offenders to get the help they need. It’s a well established process we’ve been screwing up since the roast busters. There has been many times misjudgements have resulted in drama as if no one has a right to suffer or feel destressed. They’re 16, they should have to know these concepts. It’s up to the older guys to guid them through the process, so they don’t get a say in how the law is executed.

  2. XRAY says:

    Reading between the lines it looks as though these incidents caught the organisers well off guard and when confronted with the news, they had no idea what to do next and so collectively buried their heads in the sand.

    Forward the matter to the Police straight off and stand well back. Anything else stinks of a cover up and every hour that passes only makes it look worse. At least then an objective conclusion can be reached.

  3. Observer Tokoroa says:

    Yes Martyn

    Politics and young Girls Pants – are not to be run up Labour’s Flag by a salacious Media.

    Not now or ever.

    Alcohol is for Rugby teams and Brewers. Not for soon to be young Adults who will be hoping to have a clean slate and a good reputation.

    Andrew Kirton should do the right thing. And gain Respect.

    The NZ Media will never do the right thing. Sluts and slobs.

  4. dman says:

    There is a serious question that has not been correctly addressed.

    Why were 16 year olds at a Labour Party associated event, where booze was allowed to be consumed by kids who are under the legal age and will those who allowed booze to be consumed be prosecuted?

    • Louis says:

      Who said it was allowed? people sneaked in booze. Everyone forgotten their teenage years?

    • Martin says:

      DMAN, people get involved young. I was politically active from the age of 14 and I wasn’t alone so teens at party events make sense. I went on the old school camp where someone would smuggle in a bottle or two of something nice.
      Generally nothing went wrong.
      certainly no to create a drama like this

  5. Andrewo says:

    The whole thing smacks of total mismanagement.


    1/ Who was the licenced bar manager?

    2/ Was the booze free or was it paid for?

    3/ If it was free, who was controlling the hand-out?

    3/ Is this the government that in truth CAN’T run a piss-up?

    • XRAY says:

      You were doing so well and then we got to the last point and out came the National Party rat, who took the bait!

      • Andrewo says:

        yeah sorry X Ray, it was too obvious a point to miss 🙂

        Forgetting the party political stuff for a moment, when organising functions and parties, one always has to be careful with booze. Because sure as hell someone is going to make a fool of themselves unless someone is given the job of controlling access to it.

        And that’s about it. The world hasn’t ended, it’s a minor embarrassment for the party. There are far more important things to think about : Move on!

        • bert says:

          Yes, similar comments to Keys fetish of ponytail pulling both young and slightly older. The world didn’t end for Key, in fact he was rewarded with a knighthood and a very high powered banking position.

      • In Vino says:

        True. In fact, I have so far seen nothing in reports to suggest that any of the 16-yr-old victims were drunk. It is clearly stated that the 20-yr-old perpetrator was, (above legal drinking age, note) and rightie muppets like Andrewo have eagerly leapt to the conclusion that absolutely everyone was rolling drunk. Wrong, I suspect, but it suits their agenda…

    • Michelle says:

      After 9 years of the gnats mismanagement Andrew this like water of a ducks back

    • katie says:

      Most people who go to the camps are over 18. It’s not a super official event – its a chill catch up for politics nerds with a few workshops thrown in, organised by young labour. You can bring your own booze just like in any other camping situation that 16 year olds might be attending. This is the least salacious aspect of the story

  6. countryboy says:

    We’re fucked. Stand him down? Or push him off a cliff?

    But why should we expect anything less from the ugly little people born of the last 30 years of Neo Narcissistic Sadism ( Formerly known as neo liberalism ) and 9 years of national?
    The Banking industry has/is enthusiastically bleached/bleaching The Little Uglies of empathy to make them obedient minions to the battle fields that were once our homes and streets. They get high on a lethal and toxic chemical peddled by supermarkets in the guise of polite-and-elegant-Dhalings then grope each other to a point of faux shock and awe #wank then we all go “Whaaaaaaaa….?”
    We’re fucked. Bring on the bombs!

    We went to see a film. Yes, we did.
    It was called ” Black Panther”. Let me just say: ‘Meh.Meh,meh,meh, (Boooooom ! )meh,meh,meh,meh,meh, ( Crash! ) meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,( Tinkle ! ) meh,meh,meh,meh, ( Punch!) ,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh ( Kick! ) ,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh ( Pout!) ,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh ( Preen!) ,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh (Preach!) ,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh ( sermonise) ,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh ( whoosh!) ,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh ( Zoom ! ) ,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh ( Walk into sunset. ) ,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh,meh and meh.
    Moving on.
    The God awful commercials preceding that bleached and waxed perineum of a movie were all but insufferable. From Power Freak Studios; The droopy faced cop wrenching what ever tear lay dormant in the eye of the popcorn chomping, sugar water slurping, moron multitudes behind us about car crashes as he told shocked parents that their kids had been found minced in a car crash was so repellent and vile for its lies and logical fallacies I did nearly up and leave the head fuckery to it. Then, the soft psycho-Lotto-porn of the old fellow and his Indian colleague wining millions was so gag worthy I puked up a lunch I remember eating three weeks ago. It.Was.Hideous. And entirely without a conscience as the Lotteries Commission boldly lied to everybody in the cinema on the same intimate psychological level as the Cop/Crash snuff movie-ette which was really what should be illegal. Lotteries do one thing only. They assuage fear and anxiety by making empty promises to quell passionate dissent. That.Is.Lotto. Nothing else. Both of those commercials were designed exclusively to hoodwink us.
    Behind us though, there, in the darkness…. chomping, slurping, farting, scratching, scuffling… The Great Unwashed. Unwittingly being processed like chickens in a slaughter house.
    Labour is entirely the same. They’re just a different coat of paint on The National Party disease. Sociopathy and narcissism are unpleasant bedfellows and they rise, like societal cancer out of the adds we were forced to watch prior to a money making scam of a film. At that Labour Party ‘camp’? I’m surprised someone wasn’t eaten on the barbi.

  7. BM says:

    Mark Sainsbury on Radio Live said that one of the victims was under 16 at the time of the sexual assault.

    If that’s the case the police need be involved and labour needs to stop trying to cover this up.

    • Louis says:

      In all the interviews all of them were quoted as being 16. If that is the case then why hasn’t this been a main focus?

  8. Siobhan says:

    Its an interesting one.

    When a young person talks to a health professional about contraception and/or abortion the health worker is required to ask them if they have talked to their parents, and, depending, may advise the young person that they should talk to their guardian.
    However they are not to go over the youngsters wishes and contact the parents directly.
    If they consider the youngster is in danger they are to talk to ‘other professionals’. I’m not sure who exactly, but you would suspect the police or another Government agency.

    At the very least Kirton should have talked to the police about the situation, if for no other reason than not to look like he has orchestrated some sort of cover up.

    As a parent I know that the police are more than happy to listen and offer advice in these situations, without taking any action if the victim is not wanting to go further.

  9. Cemetery Jones says:

    The only way this could have gone worse was if Anders Breivik showed up.

    Too soon?

    • Sam Sam says:

      Least we won’t have to watch the offender lie to his wife about being ultra thirsty. I’m assuming he’s to young to get married.

      • Cemetery Jones says:

        Might be a bit of explaining to do to his friends about updates to his beta male-feminist ally status though.

  10. Priss says:

    “Why on earth was a mountain of booze allowed?”

    On that point, I agree. Booze, youthful drunkeness and rampant hormones is a bad combination. What did the organisers think would happen??

    “That might tick all the right boxes in the current victim focused #metoo environment, but what the Labour Party of NZ are effectively telling every single voting parent in the country is that if your 16 year old went to their event & were inappropriately touched they wouldn’t tell you???”

    On that score, I disagree, Martyn. 16 year olds need to be supported to make their decisions. You recently advocated they be given the right to vote. Well, the decision who they share their stories with is also their right. Going over their heads and telling their parents as if they were 6 year olds is not exactly empowering them, is it?

    They might make the WRONG decisions, but that’s part of the maturing process. We have to respect them to make their own decisions, especially if you expect them to be able to decide who to vote for.

    Don’t forget, these aren’t kids. They can legally have sex. Which, if they had consented with that predatory 20 year old, would be NONE OF THEIR PARENT’S BUSINESS (Point emphasised.)

  11. Shona says:

    And this is the Labour party who haven’t the brains the balls or the spine to legalise cannabis but are so happy to let under 18 year olds consume the most damaging drug there is and not inform their parents?????? fuckwits r us.
    Reason once again not to vote Labour!

  12. Marc says:

    I just wonder what may go on when the Young Nats have a party or ball. They must be having the best legal advisors and PR experts so that we never hear about any scandals such as this that may occur there also.

  13. Off white says:

    Shocking that the left are capable of such things. This is sought of behaviour you’d expect from the xenophobes, homophobes, misogynists, low information, rugby watching, dairy farming hillbilly gun toting rednecks.

    • Sam Sam says:

      First off we don’t know a lot about sex. Lots of girls will tell you they’re not into the brutality of it, and for myself I’m not into masculine woman. My saying is if it hurts you’re doing it wrong. So you can come at this a couple ways.…, The Pareto distribution is a statement of economic science and it basically says the squawroot of the number of people in a domain produces half the output. So let’s say the Harvey Weinstein effect that says there’s a thousand screen writers thirty of them will produce half the movies. Now let’s say for arguments sake a hundred movies are produced, well ten of them will Brodie half the movies. And this is the squawroot law. Now let’s suppose we apply that to the criminal world and only 5% of the population commit criminal behaviour and they’re mostly men. But 95% of criminal activity is created by a very small percent of that criminal population. So first off hardly any one is criminal. Of the criminals hardly any of them are criminals but the cereal criminals commit all the crimes. Ok so now let’s put that in terms of men, hardly any of them are sexual predators and of that small percentage of men who are predators there’s a specialty group who commits all the sexual cereal crimes. So the potential for catastrophe these men can produce does not mean that it is characteristic of the left or The Labour Party.

      • bert says:

        Yes, how do we know what the right wing Key was thinking when he was running his fingers through a young student and waitresses hair?

        • Sam Sam says:

          Woman are rightly upset about the small number of make sexual predators. But that doesn’t mean that John Keys is guilty. And the dander is we are entering into the realm of unfounded accusations against men can have devastating consequences and that’s not good for anyone especially when there are no shortage of people willing to use bureaucratIc intervention for purposes of revenge and spite. And this is true of the left that there has been a push for sexual liberation with out consequences and I don’t think to people can come together and have sex with the emotional and physical dilemma that goes with sex and just go there separate ways and carry on there lives as if nothing happened. That’s just not true. So there’s this notion that anything goes at any time and on the other hand it’s like wait a minute, we’re playing with fire here.

          • bert says:

            Yes, but it also doesn’t mean Key is innocent. But his powerful position meant that the issue was shut down by the words “it was just a bit of playful banter”

            • Sam Sam says:

              John Key won elections for 2 reasons. One because he had the backing of forieng financing and he could lie. When one or more reason decayed in the polls he got out the game. The fact that John Keys policies could not survive his resignation proves he is counter cultural. And he does not represent New Zealand.

  14. Georgie says:

    Andrew Kirton should have gone after last years Interngate as he was just as culpable as Matt McCarten. Jacinda and Megan Woods don’t need that clown Kirton displaying any more poor judgement as this incident has reflected badly on them. Jacinda should have decisively sacked him before she appeared on Morning Report. Kirton was ripped to shreds by Guyon and I was embarrassed for the Labour Party.

  15. Sam Sam says:

    There has been about 10 child abductions, rape and murders that have completely changed kiwi culture for the better. So it doesn’t take a lot of intervention and dialogue to do what’s right.

  16. patricia bremner says:

    Andrew Kirton did not cause this. The bad decisions were made by the 20 year old. He needs help. This event will guide planning of future activities. Those youngsters have rights, respect them. It is their decision to report or not report. We don’t need a straw man.

    • Sam Sam says:

      I disagree. That the Prime Minister can not trust the people under her to take care of any domestic matters with out it being bumped up to her means an example must be made of Andrew Kirton so that some one with more talent can take care of the detail, so that the Prime Minister can take care of the big issues on the international scene which there are many. Stupid stuff like this should barley rate a mention. Not because it is swept under the carpet, but because we should be able to handle these situations quickly so every one can get on with there lives with the least amount of disruptions.

      I couldn’t even imagine if one of my girls came to me with a story like this. I’d be pissed. And if some one new, and didn’t tell, I actually think that’s worse. Could you imagine having people you trust keeping a secrete like this. I’m not even going to pretend that I’m ok with any of this.

      You’d want to go straight to where ever this guy regularly hangs out and make sure he understands he ain’t welcome any more. Seriously any that plays up like this must be a hard man. He’s got to be a hard man to want this kind of drama.

    • Louis says:

      Andrew Kirton said when the 20 year old, who is not a member of the Labour party, was confronted he was deeply embarrassed and that they had offered him the services of WellStop – an organisation for people who engage in inappropriate sexual behaviour.

  17. Brian F says:

    FFS! Regrettably this sort of behaviour has been going on for decades. Bible Class camps were among the worst offenders back in the day.
    Anyone would think it was a’new’ behaviour.
    What an unnecessary witch-hunt is going on – TVNZ devoted the first nine minutes on their 6.00 p.m. bulletin to this story. Talk about overkill. Surely there are more important matters going on in the world. Nine minutes!!!
    Perspective and a deep breath is desperately needed but we’re not getting either just now. Settle down people.

  18. mary_a says:

    Any assault is totally unforgiving, particularly that of a sexual nature. Even more so if vulnerable children, teenagers, or the elderly are victims.

    That said and I’m definitely not denying it happened, it seems no one has got down to finding out the true facts about what actually happened at the Labour youth camp last month, with the exception of one teenager contacting Labour MP Megan Woods. Other than that, all we are getting is second hand information or innuendo which seems to be growing at a great rate of knots, with a former Labour youth member claiming today, she too was a victim of alleged sexual assault at a Labour youth camp sometime during the past ten years.

    What I’d really be interested in is knowing how is Newsroom getting this information? A deliberately planted mole at the camp perhaps to undermine Labour? A victim of the alleged assault or a parent maybe? To publicise this information about sexual assault having taken place, Newsroom would have made sure it had strong evidence of the incident(s) to support their article(s). Wouldn’t it? Of course the news network doesn’t have to reveal their source, just make it clear that substantial evidence has become available.

    Media and National supporters are making this issue a very grubby affair, using the alleged assault(s) in a game of dirty politics to score points, without considering or honouring the privacy of the young victims involved! Very murky indeed.

  19. John W says:

    Since when is this stupid event more news worthy that systemic corruption in business, climate change and the lack of long term plans for changes needed to adapt to our grim future.

    At 16 years a young male, female or trans can elect to live where they like in spite of any parental agreement. If they live within the law then they can make such decisions.

    Since when did parents have a “right” to know what they are doing and where they are.

    Assault whether allegedly sexual or not, is something that many adults do not lay a complain about and it is harder for the young to face laying a complaint with the police.

    This is a political blow up.

    • Peter Archer says:

      Agree totally. Am sick of all the hypocritical people who are screaming about “parents’ rights”, and ignoring the rights of the actual victims!!!

  20. Marc says:

    Labour in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, would the MSM apply the same scrutiny on the Young Nats, I wonder???

  21. Anna says:

    I am that voting parent in NZ who respects the privacy and autonomy of 16-year-olds.

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