Christine Rankin's full statement

23:19, May 17 2009

Over the past week there has been a media storm over my appointment as a families commissioner and most recently the awful circumstances relating to the death of Margo McAuley.

It is a situation that is almost beyond dealing with. Margo was for a long time, a friend. A complex friend,  at times a difficult  friend, but a friend. 

Emotionally, her marriage to Kim was over a very long time ago, and last year Kim decided to leave Margo. 

Many think there was an affair.  There was not.  We did get married at the beginning of this year, and that may seem unusual to outside eyes. 

But sometimes when things happen that are almost impossible to deal with, in each other you find a strength and a way to live. 

Margo's choice to take her own life was awful.


As the details of the last months of her life emerged, and in fact, continue to emerge, there was a pattern of decline that I suppose is often the case with people who are in a fragile state.

I feel devastated by her death, but I cannot tell my side of the story because to do so would be to expose details that are private to Margo.

Others have chosen to comment, but I would suggest that there are aspects even they do not know the full and complex facts of.

I don't think it's right to even say this much, but the accusations, speculation, and rumour are so utterly destructive that to not respond somehow, would also be wrong.

Having your private life brought into the public arena is an awful thing.  The malicious glee with which some people have swooped upon this horrible situation is reprehensible.

Life is not straightforward, it is seldom perfect. 

It is right that I respond to media enquiries over children and most other public aspects of life affecting New Zealanders. 

But somewhere in all of this, public figures need to maintain a private life, - because it is not possible to survive with every part of your life torn shred from shred. 

 I have to draw a line at my private life, and ask you to respect this.

In closing I want to say thank you to the many hundreds of kind messages of support that have flooded in over the past week. 

The flowers, the emails, the texts, the voicemails, the cards, the commentators who have brought a degree of common sense to this frenzy, the callers to talk back.

In the bleakest moments, it is these small acts of kindness that remind me that there are still people of integrity, courage, and heart.

Christine Rankin