Opinion: Any Uffindell scandal outcome a headache for National

The bullying claim is from a former flatmate from his university days.

There are still options for new Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell – despite recent revelations he assaulted a 13-year-old with three others when he was a teen, along with an allegation of intimidatory behaviour when he was at university, something the new MP has denied.


However, it’s going to be hard for him to shake this and even tougher if any new allegations are made in the next two weeks while an investigation takes place.

Jessica Mutch McKay

These are the main ways the Sam Uffindell scandal could play out:

1. Sam Uffindell could be cleared by the Maria Dew QC investigation and welcomed back into the National fold

2. The investigation could highlight issues, but he refuses to leave Parliament and stays on as an independent MP, sitting in the shadowy corner of the debating chamber

3. The investigation could highlight issues and he resigns, prompting a second expensive Tauranga by-election this year

None of these are great options for National. That’s why this is such a headache.

Yet again it shows the selection process isn’t working, and the wrap-around support and advice for the candidates isn’t there.

This selection needed to work after the recent Andrew Falloon, Hamish Walker and Jake Bezzant issues, but it hasn’t.

The new National Party president Sylvia Wood used her umbrella as a shield rather than answering questions on the way into her first caucus meeting. Each time there’s a problem the board isn’t held to account and we’re seeing that yet again.

Leader after leader are left to mop up the mess left behind and Christopher Luxon is the latest.

The National leader launched an investigation after more allegations emerged last night.

The Sam Uffindell saga has really derailed what should have been one of the best weeks in years for National. A ra-ra conference, new policy on youth unemployment and healthy poll results in the latest 1News Kantar Public Poll.

It’s another test for National and its next move will be followed closely.

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