No regrets for MP who told child to 'shut up'

By Derek Cheng

Charles Chauvel acted with improper anger towards a child, a blogger alleged. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Charles Chauvel acted with improper anger towards a child, a blogger alleged. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Labour MP Charles Chauvel says he has no regrets in saying a noisy child on a plane should "shut up", as it was nothing more than a normal reaction.

Mr Chauvel was responding to accusations on a blog that he had reacted in improper anger towards noisy children on a flight from Auckland to Wellington on Sunday.

The blogger, boomtownprat, wrote on the website of "Clint Heine and friends" that Mr Chauvel voiced his disapproval three times during the flight.

"The flight takes off, my kids make a bit of noise ... The odd squawk a few yells and disagreements but nothing that your average person on a short domestic flight could dismiss undercover of an insipid tea, a packet of crisps and a magazine.

"Twenty minutes into the flight I hear the first, hissed,,,,,"Will you just shut up!" [After] 40 minutes a more vocal.....'Will you just shut up!'

"We start to land when my 2-year-old gets some ear pain and cries. A bit like a baby, not to intense. At this point [Mr Chauvel] lets out his true feelings and prejudices as he turns to his friend and says........'I don't know why they let them up here'.

"At this juncture I lean to my wife for advice as the rage rises, as I feel that things could turn ugly. She tells me to let it go and blog about it rather than confront the slime."

But Mr Chauvel remembered reacting only once.

"I recall these kids were being very very noisy, and turning to the person I was travelling with and just saying, 'gosh I wish they would shut up'.

"Certainly I only recall saying it once, but to tell the truth I wasn't paying that much attention. It didn't seem they had been given anything to do on the flight except to sit there and screech at each other, pretty much through the whole flight.

"I think it was a pretty normal human reaction, actually, and probably most people would take it as that. I certainly noticed some people in the aisle opposite me rolling their eyes and at one stage sticking their fingers in their ears as a joke."

He said he didn't raise his voice, but "clearly the chap in front of me heard what I said so maybe I should've been quieter about it".

He said he had no regrets about his actions, and found it odd that it was deemed so newsworthy.

"It's a bit frustrating for somebody in my job who spends half their time trying to get the media to take seriously the fact that we might be in electricity crisis next year, which nobody is interested in. And suddenly [the media] getting all worked up about what somebody says on a blog which I don't think is entirely true."

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