Allegations against National from Inside National

Update 1: Herald confirms Harete Hipango as MP concerned.

Update 2: Collins denial looks shakey. Her office was approached on it last week, so she had plenty of time to check it out and must have been well informed on the issue. On Radio NZ this morning she claimed to know nothing of the detail. A misleading statement that Collins as leader should know better than to make.

The better strategy would have been to acknowledge the MP was Harete Hipango and claim it had all been sorted to Parliamentary Service’s satisfaction. Collin’s unwise denial (listen in recording below) is something that could easily mushroom and put her leadership under real threat.

Update 3: Correct on Muller being the leaker too. He admitted it this afternoon, and gave it as his reason for resigning.

Earlier commentary

The National party’s two competing factions are tearing the party apart. The Herald reports that allegations of improper spending against a National MP came from inside the National Party itself.

The issue is compounded by the Streisand effect because the alleged offender is not named. Curiosity and speculation over just who the offender may be makes it a more “newsworthy” story.

Claire Trevett says the revelations came from inside Nats

If there is nothing to the allegations as Judith Collins claimed, then why not identify the MP concerned and remove the curiosity factor?

Speculation on the identity of the MP covers Harete Hipango, Todd Muller, and Nick Smith. There is nothing to gain by going after Smith, so its more likely to be one of the other two. A detective might assume that Todd Muller released the information to the Herald, was found out and resigned, so that leaves the alleged offender as Harete.

Its a theory that aligns with the factional wrangling, in particular the Luxon camp’s strategy to damage Judith Collins. Hipango is a member of the Collins faction and Muller of the Luxon faction.

Harete Hipango belongs to the Collins faction

As for Muller, this damn fool needs to go not in two years time but right now. Today. His pride in his agreement with Alinsky styled communist James Shaw on Zero Carbon is proof enough that he should never have been a member of National to begin with. Yet another of Peter Goodfellow’s bum selections.

He is only hanging around to help engineer Christopher Luxon’s leadership bid.