Home > People Being People > Trade Unionist to the rescue!

Trade Unionist to the rescue!

Well, this is a new one for the books.  From our “You Wouldn’t Believe It”  Files, we have this story…

Background: a report was published in today’s edition of the  “Sydney Morning Herald” that alleged that one of three NZ government ministers had behaved offensively during the recent Italy vs Wallabies RWC game. The report stated, in part,


“…”He booed and abused the Wallabies all game,” Jeeves said. ”He was yelling out, ‘f—ing cheats’ and other offensive remarks, and then when the Wallabies started to get on top, he suddenly left.” Naturally the ARU representatives and their partners in the box were gobsmacked. One asked an Auckland government official: ”Who is this bloke? His behaviour is right over the top.” The local suit replied: ”Sorry. I can’t do much about it. He’s a government minister.” The contingent now refer to him as the New Zealand Minister for Bad Manners…”  Source


Prime Minister, John Key was not happy, and made inquiries. The three ministers concerned; Wayne Mapp, Maurice Williamson; and Jonathan Coleman, were all interviewed by the media – and all appeared uncomfortable at the allegations.

Things were not looking good for any of the three National Ministers. They knew only too well that their boss, John Key, would not hesitate to sack anyone who mis-behaved in such a fashion.

Enter a Knight in Shining Armour; trade unionist Robert Reid,  General secretary of the National Distribution Union. Mr Reid was present in the VIP area, and confirmed that whilst Maurice Williamson “was boisterous [that] it certainly was not offensive behaviour”. Mr Reid went on to defend Mr Williamson as not behaving offensively and not swearing,



A story rich in irony; a right wing, anti-Union Minister; belonging to a centre-right, National/Act government – “saved” by a trade unionist coming to his defence.

Something that Maurice Williamson might ponder next time his colleagues in National consider legislation that might impact of workers’ rights?



  1. Gosman
    14 September 2011 at 3:23 pm


    So are you stating that someone relaying their take on an event which corraborates to a degree the position taken by someone else should somehow mean a complete switch in thinking on a completely unrelated political issue?

    So if we reverse this situation and have say the Head of Federated farmers coming forward to exonerate Darren Hughes during the little issue earlier on in the year, do you think that should lead to the Labour party re-thinking it’s policy on Emission Trading?

  2. Priss
    15 September 2011 at 4:05 am

    @ Gosman – that went right over your head, didn’t it?

  3. Cav39
    16 September 2011 at 9:57 am

    Sounds to me as though Maurice was as boisterous as a skunk.

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