Phil Goff has been complaining about how long it took for John Key to investigate Richard Worth over the complaint that led to his suspension – he said a week was too long.
But it appears that he spent months sitting on an earlier complaint, before talking to the PM about it.
The Dom Post has a pdf of the statement from the married Labour Party activist. i should make clear that there is no criticism of her. In fact I think it is regrettable that she has been forced into making the statement. But the statement raises some questions of timing. It says there were 40 texts and 60 phone calls from 26 November 2008 to 23 February 2009.
These dates are very specific, and it is not clear if the communications stopped on 23 February 2009. If they did stop, then why was the matter referred to Phil Goff in May?
But you keep reading the statement, and it mentions going to Phil Goff earlier in the year. Now Goff did not approach John Key until 9 May 2009, yet he may have had the complaint as far back as 23 February – 75 days before the 9th of May.
The Herald has also worked out there was a delay:
But Mr Goff was questioned yesterday about his handling of the matter. He did not approach Mr Key until early May, some time after he had found out about the matter.
Asked why he waited so long to raise it, Mr Goff said he had several conversations with the woman and her husband and the matter had been embarrassing for them.
“It took the woman and her family some time to determine how best to deal with the matter that was obviously troubling to them.”
His main concern had been to protect the privacy of the woman and that was why he took the matter to Mr Key privately.
It took 75 days?
Also Goff got details wrong:
Mr Goff had said there was email evidence of Dr Worth's communications, but yesterday said he was wrong and there were only texts.
As I have said previously, I thought Goff acted appropriately in raising the matter privately. And he kept the matter private when he got a response. Presumably the texts/calls had stopped – and that was the desired outcome.
But since then he has tried to be holier than thou, and if you try to do that, then his own actions come under scrutiny. People ask how long did he sit on the complaint for? Why did he not gather up evidence and pass it onto the PM's Office. Why did he not respond with said evidence when Key came back to him?