Waatea News Column: How is anyone surprised by the bullying report in Parliament?


How were any of us surprised by the bullying report into the toxic culture within Parliament?

Look at how the State treats the weakest in society. Look at prisoners double bunked with serial sex offenders. Look at how new born babies are up lifted from their mothers at birth. Look at how almost every state agency spies on citizens.

There are No surprises to me that bullying is rife within Parliament, because there is an unresolved hurt and pain in us as a people that permeates our entire culture.

Look at our suicide rates, our domestic violence rates, our depression rates, our loneliness rates. There’s something hurt and unresolved in being a NZer that’s never acknowledged.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

We think our ‘she’ll be right’ attitude is a casual laid back view of life when really it’s the uncertain posture of an insecure culture.

Maybe it’s the wound between colonizer and colonized? Maybe the 30 year cultural political and economic experiment of neoliberalism that’s promoted individualism and cut throat competition.

Or maybe, because we have one if the highest percentages of children growing up in single parent homes in the OECD, we’re a nation of children raised without fathers – maybe that’s why we have this unresolved pain as a people?

We never take the time to explore our hurt as a people and that’s why the cycle of abuse and abuser repeats over and over again.

In short I’m not surprised by this report of a toxic bulling culture within Parliament, only our surprise at being surprised.


First published on Waatea News.


  1. Well said.

    The toxic culture within parliament is carefully packaged within a self-protective mechanism which screams out for a scapegoat at the first opportunity. A staffer at parliament gets stood down and at the same time Mallard talks about a rapist within the walls of parliament. Connect the dots, yet the allegations against the staffer were not substantiated – quite the opposite. So his reputation has been destroyed, quite viciously, but the toxic culture within parliament will continue. the true bullies will morph into different shapes and continue on in their destructive ways.

  2. The worst experience we saw of speaker of the house was from the former national party MP David Carter who was a brutal speaker that now in our memory of his often ‘crass overpowering, bullying, theats makes Trevor Mallard look like a ‘softie pushover’.

  3. It is dangerous to say that babies should not be uplifted. Sadly some people are not able to look after their kids safely or with enough care, and should their kids (and society) suffer?

    What is more pertinent is why some people can’t look after their babies and kids and what can be done to help/avoid that so that they are able to look after their kids, (not every one is able to).

    Also why state care is such a screw up and what can be done to make state care a hell of a lot better in every aspect for the kids, it is letting down and has been for a very long time. As is the justice system letting down vulnerable kids. (Youth court should go until people are 24 in my view).

    One of the most unjust stories I read last year, (the full story is premium now), but shows how this vulnerable kid just become a pawn and victim in a system that seems to want to destroy them and deny them justice).

    Forty per cent of children in state care moved between three-plus caregivers in five years

  4. “is dangerous to say that babies should not be uplifted. Sadly some people are not able to look after their kids safely or with enough care, and should their kids (and society) suffer?”

    I’ve worked as a support worker for a NGO and can verify the above. Some people are not fit parents. They are a danger to children. I recall one family I dealt with and the mother was utterly unfit to look after her two young children (5 & 3) .

    They were eventually removed from the cess pit of a flat by CYPF. Thank God. The house was barely liveable. She drank, herself suffering from foetal acolhol syndrome, with low IQ and quick temper. Her hushand barely coped. The 2 children were removed and last heard were adopted to more stable families. In the meantime, she got pregnant again and drank through her pregnancy. Pity how her infant turned out (if it survived full term).

    I resigned my job shortly after as the NGO I worked for was utterly incompetant at dealing with this family and worked AGAINST CYPF. I couldn’t take the stress any longer. (That NGO has been in the news for other incompetant management of high needs service-users.) I still have recurring flash backs at what I witnessed in the six months I worked with this family.

    Never doubt that if MSD takes children, it is a last resort option.

    • Yes, Lady Sif, I know that what you say is right, and ever more reason therefore, for Oranga Tamariki to be a centre of excellence, instead of often not necessarily greatly ameliorating the plight of these tragic children, and sometimes being little better than the status quo.

      A short while back in Wellington, a 12 year old child was found raped and battered unconscious alongside her raped and battered dead mother. A slightly older sister not on the scene was, I gather, handed over to Oranga Tamariki as apparently there is no other family. I felt an anguish for that girl, knowing that the chances were statistically high that she may now be ill-treated too. I would have taken her myself were I in the position to do so.

      I know that life for both of these innocent children may never now, be particularly ok. Chances are they are stuffed.

      Further, once one becomes a victim of violent crime in this country, one moves into a social under-class – victims are part of an inferior caste, hence the fear of nice battered white women of having their plight become known, and the myth maintained that family violence and domestic violence are mainly Maori and Pacifica issues.

      I talked with a psychologist of the damage Duff’s, “Once Were Warriors,” had done by portraying the victim as lippy and quarrelsome, when the reality is that most abused women walk on eggshells while cloaked in fear, and she said that she had heard this from so many other women.

      I said that family violence in this country won’t be effectively addressed until white middle class women come out of the closet about it, and she agreed. I can’t see this happening.

      Tinkering around the edges sprinkling money here and there looks good, but effective change requires a boldness and courage which needs to be aligned with political power, and we don’t have that. Wringing hands over the National govt’s mutilating of so many social infrastructures isn’t enough.

      • more victim blaming…

        “I said that family violence in this country won’t be effectively addressed until white middle class women come out of the closet about it, and she agreed.”

  5. Ha. So funny. That we still tollerate the same cadre of greedy, linear thinking … I was going to write ‘fools’ but they’re no fools. It is they who are on $ix figure$ plu$ entilement$ of our money. It’s they who have power and money. Not us.
    The reality for us is that we can only hope, like we hope to win lotto to give us the necessary immunities their outrageous sallaries gives to them and their kind, that, in there somewhere, there is a neuron of common decency and a sense of fair play firing. It would be a small, flicker of light in a cavern full of ugly vampires, wouldn’t It?
    They, it would seem to me, hope that, that little neuron will never see the light of day because it may spark a twinge of guilt for the abysmal way they pocket our cash then watch on as we eat each other alive and that dysfunction motivated in us by them deliberately infecting us with devilish poverty is to keep control of us on a rich land of brilliant, creative minds.
    It must be such fun for them? To bully us and each other then swagger about in our parilament? Nasty, greedy, lying, little thugs. The irony is that they need knocked on their arses. Would you not agree?

Comments are closed.