Picture emerges of Roy's political adviser

By Derek Cheng, Audrey Young

Dr Simon Ewing-Jarvie. Photo / Supplied
Dr Simon Ewing-Jarvie. Photo / Supplied

At the start of this disastrous week for Act, the crux of the problem appeared to be between leader Rodney Hide and Heather Roy, who was deposed as deputy.

By week's end, another name emerged as a central player: Simon Ewing-Jarvie, Mrs Roy's political adviser with a special interest in her role as Associate Defence Minister.

Mr Hide said Dr Ewing-Jarvie had an undue influence on Mrs Roy.

Mrs Roy put up her hand for the Associate Defence portfolio having a personal interest as a Territorial.

Dr Ewing-Jarvie himself has military credentials. As a Territorial lieutenant colonel, he served in Sinai and East Timor but has since retired.

He has been critical of the Defence Force; in 2003 he told the Manawatu Evening Standard that he quit the military because the lack of structural change was crippling the territorials.

Several sources suggest there was a level of mutual discontent between the military and the ex-military man.

Since the upheavals, Dr Ewing-Jarvie has refused all comment.

Like Mrs Roy, the 50-year-old has admirers within Act and detractors.

He is seen variously as a Machiavellian type and a scapegoat for Mr Hide's inability to keep his former deputy onside.

The pro camp say he is intelligent and charming, and has been a committed Act member. In 2002 he stood in Mana and was No 41 on the list; by 2005 he was up to No 11 and stood in Otaki.

The critics say he has exerted a negative influence on Mrs Roy, and that she is easily persuaded by him.

As is normal for a senior ministerial adviser, Dr Ewing-Jarvie helped draft speeches and papers for her, including defence papers that Mr Hide claimed this week had caused the Minister of Defence, Wayne Mapp, concern.

He is thought to have had a hand in drafting Mrs Roy's controversial "Black Swans" speech in February that was seen as a thinly veiled attack on Mr Hide's leadership.

And he helped to prepare the explosive dossier in which Mr Hide is referred to as a bully three times - Mrs Roy this week denied on TV that she had ever called Mr Hide a bully.

It is not known when Mrs Roy will return to work from her leave of absence but she has a job to return to, as an ordinary list MP.

Dr Ewing-Jarvie lost his advisory role on Tuesday when she lost her ministerial warrant.

- NZ Herald

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