I’m sorry, I was wrong, I take it all back

It is not often that I am wrong, but when I am I will apologise.

I said that Andrew Little shouldn’t have stood Carmel Sepuloni down, I was wrong.

The reason I have changed my point of view is this:

1091 (2015). Carmel Sepuloni to the Associate Minister for Social Development (23 Feb 2015): What is the process that the Ministry uses for establishing whether suspected benefit fraud relating to a client having a partner despite saying they live alone, has taken place?

Hon Jo Goodhew (Associate Minister for Social Development) replied: Reply due: 03 Mar 2015

It would appear that Lindsay Mitchell was right in pointing out that Carmel Sepuloni has a history of interfering.

On one hand I can agree with the Whale that Carmel Sepuloni should not be punished for the (alleged) sins of her mother. Andrew Little has stood her down from the welfare portfolio because her mother is facing numerous benefit fraud charges, citing a “conflict of interests”.

On the other, Sepuloni has a history of getting directly involved with WINZ staff and interfering in their decisions.

In her own words, after intervening to get a benefit reinstated when someone volunteering in her office missed a WINZ seminar thereby breaking the rules of entitlement

Now the questions will pile in.

What did Carmel Sepuloni know about her mother’s situation before being asked by media?

Why was she asking written questions about a situation identical to her mother’s siutuation?

Didn’t she say she didn’t know about her mother’s situation?

Why is there a rather specific written question about that exact scenario?

and on and on and on.

There are many more questions that Sepuloni has asked…some are rather specific like this one:

1089 (2015). Carmel Sepuloni to the Minister for Social Development (23 Feb 2015): How much did the Ministry spend on external contractors, including private investigation services, if anything, during the period 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013 for assisting to establish whether reports of suspected benefit fraud were correct?

Hon Anne Tolley (Minister for Social Development) replied: Reply due: 03 Mar 2015

Andrew Little did the right thing, now he must answer why he says she will be re-instated no matter what happens with her mother.