We knew that, of course, so it shouldn’t be regarded as news.
His attitude is palpable every time he is interviewed, makes speeches, issues media statements, or whatever.
It’s an attitude that is fiercely pro-Maori, promoting “our people” as “special” citizens, which is apt to piss off the rest of us who on that basis are immediately classified as second-class citizens.
It seems to have pissed off one of his staff members, too, which explains why the HoS thinks it is worth bringing to the attention of its readers.
The HoS story suggests there is an element to Sharples’ attitude which has escaped Alf’s notice.
If this be so, alas, the newspaper has failed to explain what exactly it is.
And the hackette who wrote the HoS tory – a Kirsty Wynn – has failed to get anyone to talk to her about it.
Not on the record, anyway.
All we learn from her delving, prying or whatever (as you will see here) is that…
(1) Pita Sharples has an attitude;
(2) One of his staffers, who happens to have a curiously spelled first name, is bothered by it;
(3) Nobody will talk about it.
(4) The staffer’s father climbs mountains.
This seems tediously ho hum to the hard-working member for Eketahuna North.
But not – apparently – to the HoS, which breathlessly tells us –
A young woman who has quit her job in Dr Pita Sharples’ ministerial office is understood to be unhappy with the minister’s attitude.
Ariaan Gage-Dingle, 26, is the daughter of mountaineer Graeme Dingle. She co-presented Maori Television children’s show Pukoro before going to work for the Maori Party.
Sharples, 71, would not discuss the reasons for Gage-Dingle’s resignation from his office. “She resigned and that was it,” the Maori Affairs Minister said.
“I’m not going to discuss with you the reason why she resigned. I’m not going to tell you things like that. It has nothing to do with you or me really. There has been no complaint. I’m not going tell you anything about Ariaan’s behaviour at work or whatever happened, or what she believes happened.
“She resigned and Ministerial Services took it over.”
The HoS has bugger all to tell us at this point.
Let’s try somewhere else.
Maybe the PM’s Office will refuse to comment, and we can include its non-reply in our non-story.
And sure enough…
Spokespeople for the Maori Party and for Prime Minister John Key referred inquiries to Internal Affairs, which employs ministerial staff.
Internal Affairs spokesman Tony Wallace declined to discuss details, though he said Gage-Dingle was still on the payroll for the time being.
“We have robust policies in place to deal with allegations any staff member would have about the managers or colleagues they work with.”
When it comes to investigative journalism, this is not a Wynner.