New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has refused to guarantee that police will track down violent protestors who assaulted women at Auckland’s Let Women Speak rally on the weekend.
NZ journalist Sean Plunket, from The Platform NZ, confronted the PM at a news conference in the aftermath of the rally and asked him directly …
“Can you give a general assurance … to all the women assaulted in Albert Park on Saturday that given the huge amount of video evidence that police will investigate and prosecute whomever is responsible for any assault that day?”
Hipkins replied: “Those decisions are matters for the Commissioner of Police”.
When Plunket repeated the question, Hipkins simply restated: “Those decisions are for the Commissioner of Police.”
Let Women Speak organiser Kellie-Jay Keen was doused with red sauce, pushed and shoved violently by protesters.
Other video evidence showed dozens of assaults, including an elderly woman at the rally being punched in the face by a man.
Questions were also raised about Hipkins' associations with controversial transgender activist Shaneel Lal after pictures emerged online of the pair posing for photos together.
A Change.org petition calling for the NZ Herald to sack Lal as a columnist has already received more than 4,000 signatures.
People took to social media to slam Hipkins for deferring to the police and, in so doing, failing to condemn violence against women.
“Surely it’s not that hard to condemn the actions of those, if he was against it,” one person wrote. “Shrugging it off seems a sure-fire way to say he’s not interested in what women have to say.”