Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

NZ First shuts down social media pages

Curwen Rolinson
Curwen Rolinson

NZ First President Kevin Gardener has confirmed the party has shut down its social media pages but is downplaying reports the move is linked to the leader of the party's youth wing, Curwen Rolinson.

Mr Rolinson reportedly posted on Facebook that the party's board of directors had tabled and accepted a complaint against his ongoing membership.

He has also been reported as saying Leader Winston Peters ordered all of the party's social media pages be shut down until the complaint is heard.

But Mr Gardener told the Herald, "a lot of that is someone talking to their keyboard".

However, he confirmed the party's social media pages had been suspended until after the party's annual conference in Christchurch this weekend.

That was part of wider considerations of a number of issues.

"We're looking at things is all. Whether Curwen is involved in that is another story."

Mr Gardener was reluctant to comment further.

"The convention's so close and we don't want anything mucking that up."

Mr Rolinson, a self-avowed "Muldoonist" has courted minor controversy several times since joining the party, attracting police attention for his protest against the Government outside the Parnell cafe where Prime Minister John Key and Act's John Banks were meeting for their infamous cup of tea before the 2011 election.

Mr Peters later confirmed the complaint against Mr Rolinson related to claims that a member of his staff faked details of his CV. Mr Peters said those claims were not made by Mr Rolinson but the complaint against him related to "behaviour that arose" from the allegations.

"I've checked it out to my satisfaction. Parliamentary Service checked it out to their satisfaction so it's a baseless allegation.

"We've had to say to certain people we're going to look into it, find out why he did it and then we'll take action if it's required but making defamatory baseless statements against a member of my staff will see me defend them to the hilt when I've got the facts."

- NZ Herald

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