The Government of kindness strikes again

Radio NZ report:

NZ First Leader Winston Peters has claimed responsibility for photographs taken of RNZ journalist Guyon Espiner, Stuff reporter Matt Shand and former NZ First president Lester Gray.

The photographs, and a video, were posted on The BFD, a Whale Oil-linked website which has been running stories defending New Zealand First and trying to belittle reporting about the NZ First Foundation donations.

The photos ran with an article criticising the reporting, which Espiner and Shand have both been involved in.

The deputy prime minister has said two reporters were photographed going to a meeting with Gray “to prove that was the sort of behaviour going on”.

When the photographs were raised with him by Magic Talk Radio, Peters said “we took the photographs”.

Jacinda Ardern has repeatedly said her aspiration is to lead a Government with a guiding principle of kindness. And is there anything kinder than having the Deputy Prime Minister arranging to have journalists followed and photographed, to try and expose sources who have been critical of the Government.

Also worth noting the massive silence from the Greens. Let’s imagine the nightmare happened and NZ First had chosen to go with National, and all the revelations about secret donors, secret trusts, policies that benefit donors and finally the Deputy PM (or a proxy) having journalists tailed to expose their sources.

The Greens would by at hysteria level 13 on a 0 – 10 scale. They would be calling it corrupt. Demanding resignations, court action. Calling for a general election. They’d be painting National as equally complicit and corrupt as NZ First for putting up with it. Every day they’d be asking questions in the House about it.

But to protect their baubles of office, the Greens remain silent. At best we’ll get an innocuous press release expressing concern.

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