Political gaffes leave Melissa Lee's campaign in tatters
Thu, 14 May 2009 12:00a.m.
They haven't turned the first sod on Auckland's new Waterview motorway extension, but MP Melissa Lee has dug herself into a hole so big she's struggling to climb out.
The National party candidate told a Mt Albert by-election meeting last night the new motorway could stop criminals coming from South Auckland and committing crime in Mt Albert. Ms Lee was hissed and booed at and has spent the day hiding from the cameras, refusing to front.
She did make an apology on radio, and later issued a statement apologising again.
"I was wrong to imply that crime is solely a South Auckland problem, or that the new motorway would reduce crime," Mr Lee said in her statement. "I sincerely regret my remarks."
While Prime Minister John Key says it was a stupid comment to make, he says she's now done the right thing by apologising.
But Mr Lee's opponents have piled into her. Labour's Phil Goff and David Shearer and Green's leader Russel Norman have all had a swipe.
All in all it's been an awful week or Ms Lee.
She was out of the loop on the Waterview Motorway announcement and there were allegations that she made a National party advertisement using taxpayer-funded staff and resources from her previous work on TVNZ's Asia Down Under programme.
But her latest comments are more than a blunder, it has left her campaign in tatters.
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15/05/2009 3:38:02 p.m.
Look, it doesn't matter if it's true that South Auckland has a disproportionately large number of criminals. The point is Melissa Lee said the motorway will allow criminals to bypass (white) Mt Albert so that instead the criminals can go and burgle, I don't know, west Auckland because it's OK to burgle west Auckland because it's only poor people who live there!Apart from that it's just the generalisation that criminals are from South Auckland. It's not exactly great to hear a politician say they think where you live is where criminals come from.
15/05/2009 2:39:43 p.m.
No she is not unethical. She is however policticly naive.Her comments were nothing short of dumb however generally truthful they may be.From what has come out now the media witch hunt over the video has fallen flat so they will have to go down this un PC trac.
15/05/2009 7:11:43 a.m.
Come on Guy, she had to apologize to those that find it offensive. Although her comments couldn't be more correct, we're just not aloud to speak the truth anymore.
14/05/2009 11:08:22 p.m.
Oh come on, Alien. If there was nothing in her comments to be ashamed of, why did she bother apologising? This past week has been an eye-opener: she's misguided, unethical and had no clue what Mt Albert residents want. In other words, the perfect National candidate.
14/05/2009 9:50:02 p.m.
listening to her speech I couldn't understand where the media got their spin from, it was obvious what she was trying to say. Ah, another case of media spin
14/05/2009 9:38:05 p.m.
Melissa Lee is being lambasted for having the courage to state the facts and not paying homage to the PC at all cost brigade.I have a sister in law and cousins living in South Auckland who attest to the horrific level of crime in this area. If we are going to put on our PC blinkers all the time in case we hurt someones feelings then we are never going to be able to solve societies problems.
14/05/2009 7:26:01 p.m.
i don't see why Melissa had to apologize for what she said about the south auckland crime, are we such idiots not to face up to the crime, crime is real and alive and growing in NZ!! you go girl!! worst thing happen in the world!!
14/05/2009 7:11:31 p.m.
I dont see the asian community up in arms about what that guy from the pharmacy said to lee the other day!He said =He didnt think we needed any asian mps,they dont spend any money here and they were difficult to get on with and their english is awful.I am a kiwi white and i think his statement applies more to us white kiwis than asians.Lol
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