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The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member

10 October 2021 4 comments

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The claim from NZ First Leader, and former MP, Winston Peters, was stunning: Harry Tam and an unknown woman had breached Auckland’s containment boundaries with falsified documents and headed north.

He told Newshub Nation host, Simon Shepherd on 9 October:

“This person came here with a gang member assigned essential worker status, falsified the reason she was coming.

[She] engaged with people at a hotel in Whangarei… and went to a marae up north which hid her from the public and dare I say it, the police. The police got a warrant to arrest her.

How he got up north, that is very difficult to understand in terms of the permit system, but he brought in, under false premises, this woman with him. The rest, sadly, is catastrophic.

I am absolutely certain of my sources, otherwise I wouldn’t be saying what I’m saying.

Let them deny it, and they won’t. But when the press was told yesterday at 6:30pm by Minister Hipkins that he didn’t, that simply wasn’t true. Frankly, we will never get through this crisis if we aren’t transparent and honest.”

An uncomfortable-looking Simon Shepherd was obviously taken aback by Mr Peters’ alllegations and perhaps he was quickly calculating how far he could go to obtain more details from the former NZ First leader.

This blogger could only guess that the show’s producer may have had their finger hovering over the Big Red Button to cut quickly to an ad break.

The allegations were serious: Mr Peters had accused gang leader, Harry Tam, of a serious crime. He wasn’t presenting his allegations as opinion, they were stated as fact:

How he got up north, that is very difficult to understand in terms of the permit system, but he brought in, under false premises, this woman with him […]

I am absolutely certain of my sources, otherwise I wouldn’t be saying what I’m saying.

Harry Tam denied Mr Peters’ allegation:

“If Winston said it, he needs to prove it… If he’s not going to apologise, we will need to look at legal action. I didn’t bring anyone with me. Where did he get his information from? What is his source?”

As reported by Te Ao Maori News:

Tam told Te Ao Māori News, Peters was off the mark, while he had travelled to Tāmaki under a government exemption to support efforts to get gang members vaccinated, he travelled alone and had never been to Northland since arriving in Auckland.

It would be difficult for someone as well know as Harry Tam to have been moving around Auckland without being spotted by members of the public.

His cellphone would have been picked up by cellphone towers around the region, making his whereabouts ridiculously easy to ascertain.

According to how Police are wording their search for the “other woman”, it is apparent that both travellers are women.

Harry Tam is known to be a male.

There will be fallout for Winston Peters.

His wild claims not only put himself up for being sued – but TV3/Newshub is also in the firing line.

It is eerily similar to various pro-Trump conspiracy theorists who have been sued by companies for alleging that their voting machines were “rigged” in favour of  Joe Biden:

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If it is correct that Mr Peters obtained his “information” from Facebook or via a conspiratorial email currently being circulated, he may be in for a shock. Such sources usually do not carry much weight in a Court of law:

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This may well have been Mr Peters last appearance on any mainstream media – at least for a live interview. No media outlet will want to risk a lawsuit because of his unpredictability with extravagant, potentially defamatory, claims.

It’s a tough day at the office when a politician’s credibility falls below that of a gang member.

I hope the 24 hours news-cycle notoriety was worth it, Mr Peters?

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References

Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown

Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations

Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’

CNBC: Judge grills lawyers for Fox News, Powell, Giuliani about election fraud claims in $2.7 billion Smartmatic defamation suit

USA Today: Fact check – False claim that Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell prevailed in Dominion lawsuits

Forbes: After Lawsuits Against Newsmax And OANN, Here’s Who Dominion Has Sued So Far—And Who Could Be Next

Vox: Sidney Powell gives up the game, admits Trump’s election conspiracies weren’t factual

Forbes: Trump Campaign Knew Dominion Fraud Claims Were False, Memo Reportedly Shows—But Giuliani Still Pushed Them

Business Insider Australia: Rudy Guiliani admits under oath that he got some of his ‘evidence’ of alleged election fraud from Facebook

Other Blogs

Kiwiblog: Winston vs Harry

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Acknowledgement: Guy Body

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