Uffindell said he informed the party of the incident during the primary process, but neither made the assault public.
Opposition leader Chris Luxon did not comment on the incident on Monday, and the party instead issued a two-sentence statement.
“The National Party was proactively informed of this incident by Sam Affindel during the selection process,” it read.
“It was a momentous event that reflected a serious misjudgment that he, who was 16 at the time, apologizes for and regrets to this day.”
When asked for her opinion, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was for the party leader to respond on behalf of MPs.
“At the end of the day, it’s up to the party leader, in this case Christopher Luxon, to act on candidates and members of parliament,” she said.
Ardern was asked if she experienced bullying when she was younger.
“I have no doubt that some of the young people at our school have had terrifying experiences,” she said.
“I think everyone through the education system may have witnessed or experienced [bullying] themselves.
“We actually know that there are people, especially our rainbow community, who went through particularly difficult times when they were younger.
“I believe that as political leaders we have a duty of care. […] We need to do everything we can to make sure our education system is better than it used to be,” she said.
Ardern has seen her personal rating as prime minister plummet to the lowest point in new polls suggesting her Labor will head to the opposition’s bench after next year’s election.
On Monday night, TVNZ released the results of a new poll by outlet Kantar confirming the Labor Party is the underdog ahead of the 2023 elections.
Labor’s approval rating fell by two to 33%, the lowest since Ardern came to power in 2017.
The National Party also fell two points to 37%, but the minor ACT with 11% support gained four points, giving the centre-right a majority in parliament.
“Kiwis control this government and want change,” Laxson told TVNZ.
“[They] Please understand that this is a government that is bad with money and bad at managing the economy. They understand it, they see it. It’s a big driver of what’s going on here. “
Ardern remains the top candidate for prime minister, with 30% picking Ardern and more than 22% picking Luxon, but her trend remains low.
She said the results were “a reflection of the times.”
“There is no doubt that rising inflation is hitting New Zealanders hard. We as a government have a responsibility to do what we can to help them,” the Prime Minister said.
“New Zealand also has an advantage. I look to these sources of optimism – low unemployment, low relative debt and the fact that we have borders and tourism is back. Those things are a boost.
“Our job as politicians is to get through the good times and the bad,” Ardern said, cementing her lead until the next poll.
Coalition governments are common in New Zealand, but Labor now boasts a parliamentary majority following a landslide victory in 2020 at the height of President Ardern’s coronavirus popularity.
The current outcome would see Labor seats down from 65 to 44, but in the 120-seat House of Commons, either the Greens or the Māori could win a majority in a coalition.
Jacinda Ardern’s popularity is fading. NZ MP Sam Affindel apologizes to school beaten victim
Source link Jacinda Ardern’s popularity is fading. NZ MP Sam Affindel apologizes to school beaten victim