MFAT's Al-Khalaf File - The Complete #SaudiSheep #Sheepgate OIA Release
The Scoop Team
The Al-Khalaf model sheep farm payments, including live (air-freighted) pregnant sheep exports - all allegedly to facilitate a Gulf States free trade agreement has generated many headlines and Parliamentary Questions in recent weeks.
The document release, made under the Official Information Act, was made to the Press Gallery three weeks back. It is over 900 pages, nearly a half a box of photo-copy paper. Smaller than Winston Peter's Winebox of documents revealing bank tax avoidance, yes, in fact roughly half the size. But still a prodigious amount of paper.
In a recent column in the Dominion Post newspaper (online on Stuff.co.nz) BusinessDesk Editor Pattrick Smellie bemoaned the challenge of getting a copy of this significant dump of documents saying:
It's admirable that the Treasury
publishes massive volumes of Cabinet papers relating to the
Budget on its website without even being
But the same openness is far from evident in the case of the 900-odd pages of material released under the Official Information Act on the Saudi farm deal.
After the inevitable delays while chunks of detail were excised prior to publication, enough physical copies were produced to feed the parliamentary press gallery.
Getting further copies required a formal request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and a wait of several days while documents already in the public domain, but unavailable on a government website, were laboriously photocopied.
This is transparency when you feel like it, and at your own pace.
At Scoop we thought this apparent lack of transparency was something which ought to be rectified in the interests of illustrating the principle of open and transparent Government.
Below then, for your reading pleasure, you will find links to scanned versions of the full OIA release dump of Saudi Sheep documents.
NOTE: The documents are in Adobe PDF format. The documents as released were arranged in chronological order by year. Below the order of years has been reversed.