Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Ministerial Interference Means Turia Must Go

The gross interference by the Associate Minister of Corrections in a number of cases involving prison inmates is extremely serious and raises questions about Tariana Turia's fitness to hold a Ministerial Warrant, National MP Tony Ryall said today.

Documents obtained by National under the Official Information Act over a period of months show a pattern of behaviour, dating back to early last year, that goes well beyond the acceptable conduct of a Minister.

"I don't think we've ever seen a situation where a Minister has so systematically involved herself in day-to-day inmate management issues such as placement and security classification.

"Is this the culture that is allowed by the Clark Government? There are very good reasons why Ministers do not and should not have the power to make directions about individual inmates placement and security classification.

"Some people may say this is just an MP doing their job and writing on behalf of constituents. But Tariana Turia's letters go much further than that. She directed and demanded actions from the department in her capacity as Associate Minister of Corrections. The letters on inmates A, H and J were all on ministerial letterhead or from her ministerial computers and signed 'Associate Minister of Corrections'.

"These documents raise questions about the nature of the inmates' relationship with the Associate Minister. We know from parliamentary questions to Matt Robson that Tariana Turia has not declared any 'conflict of interest or family interest relating to any communication or action regarding an individual inmate'.

"However, Tariana Turia notes in correspondence with Corrections 'you will be aware of my relationship with [inmate]' and 'you will be aware that I have a particular interest in the situation for [inmate]'. Any failure to declare a conflict of interest is a serious breach of the Cabinet Manual.

"The Associate Minister of Corrections may decide to make an apology to the public of New Zealand. This will not be acceptable. We know from the past that Tariana Turia's apologies are hollow. She has to go," Mr Ryall said.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Davos World Economic Forum: Ardern Upbeat Despite Absences

The prime minister will soon wrap up her first day at the World Economic Forum in Davos, which is notable for who is there as much as who isn't.

Domestic political crises have kept a number of world leaders at home including US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Shipping Is NZ’s New Trade Problem

So Jacinda Ardern and Theresa May have signed a piece of paper promising peace in our time when it comes to our trade with Britain... Brexit is not the only concern. More>>

ALSO:

Reshuffle: National Announces Spokesperson For Drug Reform

National Leader Simon Bridges has appointed Paula Bennett to the new position of Spokesperson for Drug Reform as the Government pushes ahead with its agenda of drug decriminalisation, to signal National’s commitment to holding them to account. More>>

ALSO:

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday]. More>>

ALSO:

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels