Now, don’t groan, but this is important

There is something broken in government. ?It got triggered by the Sabin issue. ?Nothing to do with Sabin himself, but how something that important could have been kept from the Prime Minister. ?If it did.

Rodney Hide adds his perspective

Our parliamentary democracy and justice system must be bigger than John Key.

And they are at stake.

We all understand that the police have enormous power. They can arrest, detain and charge us.

The chief check on them is Parliament. We are fortunate, indeed, to live in a country where we elect the people who sit above the police. Their ultimate bosses are our representatives elected by us.

That’s how a democracy works.

Of course, the police also have the power to investigate members of Parliament. MPs can’t be above the law.

…it is a Very Big Deal if the police receive a complaint about an MP.

I would expect, no, demand that they immediately advise their direct boss – the minister and ultimately the Prime Minister – that an MP is under investigation.

Not to do so is to leave police bosses open to the charge that they are interfering in parliament.

The minister and Prime Minister need not do anything. That’s up to their judgment. But they must be told so no accusation can be made against the police.

It’s very tricky for the police. I suspect, if anything, they are going to lean towards charging the MP – it’s better the court process decides guilt or otherwise, especially if the charges are serious. The police can’t allow the perception they take it easy on their political bosses.

TV One has reported that police were investigating Sabin in August last year.

It’s inconceivable to me that they would not have told their minister and the Prime Minister.

It’s especially important that they would do so with Sabin because he’s ex-police and on October 22 he was elected to chair the law and order select committee.

That’s the select committee that scrutinises police performance on Parliament’s behalf.

Hang on. According to One News the chairman was under police investigation. And the Prime Minister didn’t know?

Someone isn’t doing their job. And we have a right to know who has let us down.

The public and indeed my own readers have been thinking this is a “get Key” witch-hunt. ?And yes, it could turn out that way. ? But until we get the answers we’re looking for, this is a “who didn’t do their job?” ?Because if Key isn’t lying, and if he didn’t know one of his MPs was under police investigation for alleged assault, then they’ve let him blunder into this on purpose.

Don’t you want to know who’s playing games here?


– Rodney Hide, Herald on Sunday