New Zealand’s political leaders have offered conflicting answers when asked whether if it’s ever okay for politicians to not tell the truth.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and opposition leader Judith Collins were quizzed on the topic in the wake of minister Iain Lees-Galloway’s sacking over a 12-month affair with a former staffer.
Ms Ardern had no hesitation in replying with an emphatic ‘No,’ when she was put on the spot by a NewsHub reporter at a press conference this week who asked whether if it’s ever okay for politicians to lie.
Nationals leader Judie Collins, who is nicknamed ‘The Crusher’, had a different view when asked the same curly question.
‘It’s occasionally going to be one of those things where you can’t tell everything about something,’ Ms Collins replied.
‘We certainly have situations that we’ve seen over the years where sometimes we just have to hold back until the time is right.’
Kiwi voters surveyed in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll agreed with Ms Ardern, where a whopping 86.3 per cent said it wasn’t not okay for politicians to lie.
Even the majority of Ms Collins’ own voters disagreed with her different views, where 85.4 per cent of Nationals voters said they don’t want lying politicians.
It comes as Ms Ardern, who turned 40 this week, took Labour to the highest single-party result in the history of the Newshub-Reid Research poll with 60.9 per cent of support less than eight weeks out from September’s election.
Almost four fifths (79.4 per cent) of voters said they trusted Ms Ardern, compared to 30.8 per cent for her rival.
Meanwhile, Ms Collins has accused Ms Ardern of being aware of the Mr Lees-Galloway’s affair but wouldn’t go far as saying the Prime Minister lied.
‘I didn’t know anything about it. I think she probably did,’ Ms Collins said.
Ms Ardern refuted the claims and insists she had no idea the married minister had been in an inappropriate relationship until she was advised by Ms Collins last Tuesday.
‘I was not aware of those rumours and allegations,’ she told reporters last week.
She confronted Mr Lees-Galloway over the allegations and sacked him immediately when he confirmed he had a relationship with a former staffer, which has since ended