September 27, 2018
Leak adds bruised flesh to Whaitiri allegation
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced an investigation into the leaking of a report into the Meka Whaitiri incident.
The New Zealand Herald this morning published a draft of the report saying the Ikaroa Rāwhiti MP grabbed the arm of her press secretary after discovering she had not been informed the Prime Minister was holding a stand up media briefing during a summit with Ngāti Pōrou in Gisborne.
That means she missed out on being filmed or photographed standing behind the PM.
It said the inquiry was shown photos of bruises to the women’s upper arm consistent with being grabbed from behind.
Ms Whaitiri admitted having words with the staffer over the incident but denied touching her.
She initially stood aside as minister and was then sacked.
Ms Ardern, who is in New York, says the leak was hugely disappointing and Internal Affairs was investigating how it occurred.
She says the confidentiality around the process was to protect the employee involved.
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