Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Hon Robson Becomes Contemptuous Robson

Hon Robson Becomes Contemptuous Robson

The now contemptuous former MP Matt Robson valiantly but as it turned out vainly arguing he was not in-fact guilty of contempt before the Privileges Committee late last year

Former Privileges Committee Chairperson Matt Robson, has been found guilty by the people he once drank tea and ate biscuits with of heaping contempt on the head of the leader of United Future Party Peter Dunne.

The Privileges Committee, now headed by National MP Simon Power considered that Mr Robson had by dint of his regular political column Robson-on-politics impugned Peter Dunne's reputation. Last year in a column published on Scoop Mr Robson traversed the voting record of Mr Dunne on various issue, including alcohol and tobacco. Mr Robson wrote that "The liquor industry's support for Peter Dunne, as with that of tobacco, has always meant that he has faithfully delivered his vote for their interests."

When called before the Privileges Committee following umbrage being taken with his robust political commentary Mr Robson argued that the statement should be viewed in the context of criticism of what he saw as Mr Dunne's inconsistent position on Mr Robson's 'Sale of Liquor Bill'.

Mr Robson submitted to the Committee that any reasonable observer would conclude from his newsletter that Mr Dunne "Listens to the views of the liquor and tobacco industries rather than New Zealand families whose interests he has proclaimed are upheld by him and his party." He argued that it should not be inferred from his statement that Mr Dunne was corrupt.

Sadly for Mr Robson who had told the Committee he regretted writing the comment (due to the fact it had caused confusion) the Committee was of the view that a hypothetical 'reasonable person' would infer from Mr Robson's rambunctious words that Mr Dunne 'is financially influenced by the liquor and tobacco industries and voted accordingly'.

For the sins and transgressions of his political commentary Mr Robson has been ordered by the Committee to:

a) Make an unqualified apology to the House, and that this be read by the Speaker when received, and

b) Make an unqualified apology to Hon Peter Dunne and that this apology be published in his next Robson-on-politics email newsletter or similar vehicle.

Scoop contacted the now contemptuous former MP Matt Robson who was somewhat surprised about being found guilty by the Privileges Committee as he had not actually been sent a copy of their findings. Mr Robson was only able to ascertain what punishment the Committee had decided to inflict upon him thanks to Scoop having obtained a copy of the Privileges Committee report.

Mr Robson had no problem with unreservedly apologising to Mr Dunne however. Mr Robson noted that now that the Committee had decided its punishment he looked forward to Helen Clark referring Don Brash to the Privileges Committee for Dr Brash's comments about the 'corrupt Labour government'.

Mr Robson was however concerned that members of the Committee had inferred that he had lowered Parliaments' standing in the eyes of the public.

"I can't claim the credit for that," he informed Scoop.

For his part the impugned and about to be apologised to leader of United Future Peter Dunne was pleased with the Committee's findings and told Scoop he was "looking forward to receiving Mr Robson's apology closing the matter."


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Veronika Meduna on The Dig: Kaitiakitanga - Seeing Nature As Your Elder

The intricate interconnections between climate change and biodiversity loss, and how this disruption impacts Māori in particular. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On China And Hong Kong (And Boris)

In the circumstances, yesterday’s move by Lam to scrap – rather than merely suspend – the hated extradition law that first triggered the protests three months ago, seems like the least she can do. It may also be too little, too late. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Ensuring Boris Gets Blamed For Brexit

Everyone needs to step back and let Johnson have his ‘no deal’ Brexit, since that’s the only way of making sure that the current Tory leadership gets to wear the consequent turmoil. More>>


Dave Hansford on The Dig: Whose Biodiversity Is It Anyway?

The DOC-led draft Biodiversity Strategy seeks a “shared vision.” But there are more values and views around wildlife than there are species. How can we hope to agree on the shape of Aotearoa’s future biota? More>>


There Is A Field: Reimagining Biodiversity In Aotearoa

We are in a moment of existential peril, with interconnected climate and biodiversity crises converging on a global scale to drive most life on Earth to the brink of extinction… These massive challenges can, however, be reframed as a once in a lifetime opportunity to fundamentally change how humanity relates to nature and to each other. Read on The Dig>>