New Families Commissioner Christine Rankin is facing fresh criticism after revelations she married a Wellington man just months after his previous wife took her own life.
Close friends and colleagues of Margo McAuley, 42, who died last October, say they are appalled at the circumstances of Rankin's recent, fourth marriage and her Cabinet appointment to the Families Commission.
That, in itself is, in our opinion, shabby tabloid journalism, and we wondered for a moment just what the Herald was trying to achieve. So we read on, and it quickly became apparent:
The Herald on Sunday has learned that Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett was told about McAuley's death before the decision to appoint Rankin. Bennett refuses to comment.
This, of course, is the same Herald on Sunday who "learned" that Paula Bennett was standing by her daughter and grandchild, and the child's father, currently in prison. Could it be that the Herald has an agenda here?
Or maybe there's another explanation. Rankin and Bennett have both known tough times, both being former beneficiaries themselves before dragging themselves out of the so-called "welfare trap" to have successful careers. Might the Herald on Sunday be indulging in a dose of good, old-fashioned snobbery here? Whatever, today's story does the HoS no credit whatsoever.
UPDATE: It would seem that Adolf from No Minister shares our views.