National MP Sam Uffindell cleared by the Maria Dew KC investigation

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Sep 19, 2022 |

Screen shot from One News Live Stream

National MP Sam Uffindell has been cleared by the Maria Dew KC investigation into allegations of bullying behaviour during his time at university.

The conclusion was the events “were not what they were described in the media.”

In August, a woman told Radio New Zealand “Uffindell bullied and intimidated her so badly at a student flat in Dunedin in the early 2000s she was forced to flee for her own safety.”

Uffindell had earlier said he was a bully, harmed people and apologised.

Fourteen people were interviewed in the investigation.

National Party President Sylvia Wood said the “thorough investigation did not substantiate any allegations of bullying, outside of his time at King’s College.

Regarding the alleged Otago University flat incident, there are differing accounts of what occurred, and Ms Dew said the event was not as it was described in the media.

Despite this conclusion, it is clear that the complainant’s experience in a deteriorating flat relationship caused her harm.

Aside from his time at King’s College, and interactions with his flatmate at university, no one else came forward that considered themselves a victim of Sam’s behaviour.

National Party Leader Christopher Luxon said “the investigation has found there are differing accounts of an incident that happened 20 years ago.

However, as Sylvia has outlined in her summary of the report’s findings, the investigation concluded that Sam did not engage in the serious behaviour towards his flatmate that was alleged in the media.

Further, Ms Dew’s investigation did not substantiate any allegations of bullying outside of Sam’s time at King’s College. And on that basis, the National Party caucus met earlier today, and Sam has been fully reinstated to our caucus.

Sam said “I welcome her findings that I did not engage in the serious behaviour at Otago University as alleged in the media.

When I became a National Party candidate, I disclosed to the party the incident that occurred when I was 16, at Kings, for what I’m truly sorry. I deeply regret my behaviour during my school years that caused harm to others.

I was genuinely shocked by the allegations of a former female flatmate and 2003.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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