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The three-year political career of National Northland MP Mike Sabin is in the balance after a report that he is under investigation by police over an assault complaint.
Prime Minister John Key yesterday refused to comment, instead directing media queries to police. However, police also refused to confirm either receiving a complaint or any investigation into allegations against the former detective and anti-methamphetamine campaigner.
Nevertheless, the Herald understands senior Northland National Party figures have already been discussing potential candidates to replace him in the event of a byelection.
Party president Peter Goodfellow told the Herald National's hierarchy was unaware of any allegations, historical or recent, against Mr Sabin before this year's general election. He refused to comment further.
Mr Sabin, 46, is understood to be receiving support from a caucus colleague.
The investigation into the assault complaint against Mr Sabin is being handled by police in Auckland's
Waitemata district rather than in Northland, where he served as a detective and where it was claimed the events took place, it was reported yesterday.
Mr Sabin, who lives at Coopers Beach with his partner and is chairman of Parliament's law and order committee, did not respond to the Herald's requests for comment.
- By Adam Bennett of the New Zealand Herald