ACT Condemns NZ First Call For Inquiry Into Dodson
ACT Condemns NZ First Call For Inquiry Into Army General
Calls for a High Court judge to hold an inquiry into General Maurice Dodson's actions in investigating Ron Mark's military records, is totally absurd, ACT leader Richard Prebble says.
"The General's explanation for why he inquired into Mr Marks' military career is totally credible and, I think, legitimate," Mr Prebble said.
"The NZ First MP has been conducting a personal attack on the General, complaining about his golf games etc, which led to speculation that the two had fallen out during their military careers.
"The General has denied this and I understand he has difficulty even remembering Mr Mark. He decided to investigate where Mr Mark had served, to enable him to verify there was no truth in the media's rumours.
"Mr Mark has not established that his privacy has been violated. It's been my experience that the NZ First MP takes every opportunity to advertise that he's served in the army and I have no doubt that far from having been embarrassed by this incident, he's milking it for all the publicity he can get - which make his claims that he's concerned about his privacy difficult to take seriously.
"High Court judges have better things to do than waste time on this trivia. While ACT has been critical of some military decisions, such as the purchase of the LAV3s, we believe it's important that debate over defence policy does not become an excuse for personal attacks.
"Members of our armed forces are not allowed under the Defence Forces Act to participate in politics. The General is therefore unable to defend himself from what are outrageous allegations by NZ First.
"ACT will not lend any support to any sort of inquiry into this matter.
If Mr Mark thinks he's suffered some injury, let him take it up with the Privacy Commissioner like anyone else," Mr Prebble said.