How the Meka inquiry should have happened

Wayne Mapp made a very astute comment regarding Jacinda Ardern saying the inquiry into will take weeks.

It doesn’t make sense that it will take weeks.

It is not an normal employment dispute, it is about a Ministers conduct. Normal procedures in employment disputes don’t apply here. No lawyers or anything like that.

There is a reasonably well understood procedure that has been applied by successive Prime Ministers. The PM should be able to recall it from her time in PM Clarks office.

I would expect the Chief of Staff of the PM’s office to get Meka in and ask her about what happened. That is about a half hour discussion. I would also expect the Chief of Staff to ask the press sec what happened. Then report to the PM within a day.

The PM would then get Meka in, lay out what she has been told. Meka would either fess up or deny it.

At that point the PM makes a decision, along with her key Ministers (Davis and Robertson). The minister either stays or goes, depending on that decision.

It is about two or three days in total. In short the PM should be able to deal with this issue by the end of this week.

Wayne is spot on about this is how it normally works. Basically the Chief of Staff quickly establishes the facts, and a political judgement is made.

It is very poor judgement to drag it out so long. It just keeps it in the news.

There has been some suggestion that it is a difficult issue because there were no witnesses to the alleged physical altercation.

Either the Minister will agree or disagree that she had a physical altercation. If she disagrees, then she is saying her press secretary is lying and invented it.

Now considering the job of a press secretary is to make their Minister look good, why would a press secretary invent something like this?

If the press secretary had worked for the Minister for a long period of time, you might have reason to doubt them. Sometimes Ministers and staff fall out, and staff then start bad mouthing their Minister. But the press secretary was in their first week on the job. Surely it defies credibility that they would be making this up.

Again all that is need is the PM’s Chief of Staff to talk to both parties, and make a recommendation to the PM.

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