It seems that the career of Labour MP Darren Hughes is over. The only way I can see him surviving politically now is if the police announce that the complaint made against Hughes was a false one.
I would not bet on that occurring - not because I have any insight into what Hughes did on that fateful evening, but because the best realistic scenario for Hughes is for the police to simply announce that there isn't enough evidence to lay charges. In sexual matters, when one party alleges consent was not given, while the other says it was, it can be difficult for the police to proceed unless there is other evidence corroborating the complaint.
So even if Hughes survives the legal processes now underway, it seems likely that the only thing that would save him politically is evidence that the complaint was motivated by ill-will. Absent this, Hughes will be regarded as suspect in the eyes of the public. And questions about Hughes' personal judgement will linger, even if the complaint goes nowhere.
This is a dreadful blow to Labour, and to Phil Goff. Goff knew about this matter for a couple of weeks but did nothing. Goff attacked John Key for keeping mum on the allegations against Richard Worth, so now he must face the consequences of carelessly handling that particular petard.
The affair also blew up just when cracks in National's management of the economy were starting to appear (to be fair, they've been there for a while, but they're becoming more obvious by the day). Now we can expect an intense focus on Phil Goff by a scandal-hungry media bored of policy and economics stories.
We can also possibly expect the return of Judith Tizard to Parliament if Hughes resigns. Maybe that's why Goff kept quiet.