Baybuzz is pleased to report that, after a meticulous review of thousands of emails sent by Hawke’s Bay’s elected officials and chief executives over the past two years, we can find no evidence of unbecoming sexual behaviour by these individuals.
First and foremost, we can state categorically that no HB elected official has had email correspondence with either Jill Kelley, Paula Broadwell, or Natalie Khawam. However, we cannot rule out Twitter or Skype contact.
During our investigation, we discovered occasional email chains that aroused initial suspicion. But no smoking guns emerged.
For example, there were dozens of mentions of “our mutual passion” in emails between HBRC chief executive Andrew Newman and CHB farmer Sam Robinson. However, both insist — and Baybuzz was able to confirm independently with reliable third parties — that these were innocent references to their beloved Tukituki water storage scheme.
We uncovered numerous affectionate exchanges between Hastings Councillor Cynthia Bowers and HBRC Councillor Ewan McGregor that to the naked eye, taken out of context, might appear unduly ‘familiar’. However, these two are matrimonially-linked, so there are extenuating circumstances.
Several female Councillors emailed their ‘excitement’ at seeing HB’s highest-ranking Navy man, Neville Smith, in full uniform at a social event. But there’s no evidence that Mr Smith responded to their enthusiasm.
Numerous emails written by rural Councillors contained explicit sexual references, but in all cases the matters discussed were confirmed to involve animal husbandry.
And some male officials appeared to be victimised by an abnormal amount of emails sent by spammers of questionable reputation. No Russian-speaking wives have yet been heard in HB.
Finally, dozens of emails written by our elected officials made threatening — or in some cases, belittling — references to the sexual apparatus of other officials (usually, but not always, regarding officials in rival jurisdictions). The DHB refused access to pertinent admissions records on privacy grounds. At that point, since none of these emails proposed amorous liaisons, BayBuzz did not investigate further.
From our research, can BayBuzz establish beyond doubt that no Hawke’s Bay elected official is engaged in illicit sexual activity? No, we can only say that none has left an email trail.
P.S. In our investigation, we did inadvertently discover emails indicating that several local business figures have visited Florida in recent months. We could not confirm whether any visited Tampa. Two refused comment, and the third said he went to Disneyland in Orlando. Of course the emails of private citizens are not available under the Official Information Act.
P.P.S. Don’t forget to take our new BayBuzz Reader survey, now online here. If you read BayBuzz magazine, I hope you can take a few minutes to give us your feedback. Very much appreciated.