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Rumours just rubbish: Mayor

Opinion Piece

So, there you have it Gisborne, rumours of a mayoral affair are “just rupahu!” (rubbish).

Mayor Meng Foon dispelled the scuttlebutt, which has been rife since earlier this year — and, in classic Gizzy grapevine style, offers multiple scenarios that have drawn others into the swirl of salacious innuendo — in Turanga FM’s bimonthly “Mayoral talkback show” with Michael Hollis on Monday.

The comments were canvassed again in a new segment yesterday “E ai ki taku kuia”/According to my grandmother, where a panel discuss some of the juicier stories around the rohe, then promoted on Turanga FM’s Facebook page with the title: Was our Mayor having an affair? “Just rupahu!”

The Mayor’s comments followed this question from Mr Hollis:

“Being a Mayor you also have to have a thick skin as well. You have been the victim of racial abuse throughout your time as Mayor, so someone who comes in has to expect that they will have to be in the spotlight as well, and scrutinised at times.”

To which Mr Foon replied:

“Ahh, real scrutiny right through, you know, from your personal life — which has got nothing to do with the public at all, but they are all interested . . . umm, you know, whether Meng has separated from his wife, or has sold his house, or he has moved out of town, or gone with some other woman and all that sort of stuff — you know, you know, ah, it’s all just rupahu!

“And, so, put that record straight. Ah, we’re still together after 39 years, folks.”

Mr Hollis responded: “So if you hear any stories, just don’t spread them if you don’t have any basis to the stories.”

“Yeah, you’ll get a letter from my lawyer,” said Mr Foon laughing.

In the E ai ki taku kuia discussion yesterday Mr Hollis said that through his bimonthly interviews he had got to learn Mr Foon was “one of the most open people — so if you ask him any question, he will answer it”. Another panellist agreed, adding that he would also ask you any question.

These rumours will have taken a toll on all those drawn into them and especially the Foons. People need to consider the impacts of what they share as tittle-tattle.