Andrea Vance has an overview here. The crux is that Key appointed Sabin to chair the Law and Order Select Committee while he was being investigated by the police, which is just a horrible, horrible conflict of interest. Key claims he didn’t know Sabin was being investigated when he appointed him, but he’s changed his story about when he did know three times in one week as new facts came to light, so everyone thinks he’s lying but no one can prove it.
On the one hand it seems really unlikely that our super-gossipy Prime Minister didn’t know one of his own MPs was being investigated for a very serious crime. On the other, if he did know, why would he appoint the guy to a position which could – and has – blown up into a scandal? Makes no sense. Maybe they thought they could ride it out? That Sabin is an ex-cop and the police would look after their own, and it wouldn’t go to court? No one would ever find out and Sabin’s career could go on as normal.
Which kinda begs the question: how did this get out? Who tipped off the media? Someone in National? Who feels slighted by the PM and his office? Who has close ties to the police and justice sector? Who would very much like Sabin’s position as Chair of the Law and Order Select Committee? Who is very close to WhaleOil. But who???