Peter Williams writes:
Then there’s the matter of the Prime Minister’s comments.
Has a New Zealand political leader ever made such an emotional comment about a homicide victim before? More pertinently, why would the Prime Minister think it appropriate to comment on one homicide victim in a week when there were at least three other homicides in the country?
Yes, the death of Grace Millane is truly shocking. We have a young woman, in the year of the MeToo movement, being killed. But why the outpouring of grief for her and not for Rima Sikei, a 21-year-old who died in Mt Albert on Friday night. Where was the Prime Minister’s sympathy for him?
Or for Frank Tyson, whose decapitated body had been found in Lower Hutt the same weekend that Grace went missing?
Politicising a homicide case is not appropriate. Do it for one, and you really should do it for all.
The PM was reacting, as many have – from a place of horror and sorrow. It was a genuine emotional response.
But when you are PM, you do have to be careful. As Williams says, the same weekend a Petone man was decapitated.
Amidst some way-too-emotional comments by people who should know better, the most principled stance has been taken by Kelvin Davis, the often embattled Labour deputy leader.
In his role as Minister of Tourism, he said he would not comment because the case was an ongoing police investigation.
Thank you for your sanity, Kelvin. We needed more of it this week.
That is the best response from a Minister.