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Accessing Of Papers Relating To Ron Mark MP

Media Release

14 May 2002

ACCESSING OF CONFIDENTIAL PAPERS RELATING TO RON MARK MP BY MAJOR GENERAL MAURICE DODSON (NOW RETIRED)

“I have seen the communication between the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Ferguson to Ron Mark MP, of today’s date. In it Air Marshal Ferguson states that he is:

‘…Of the view that there was no good reason for your files to be accessed by Major General Dodson,’

He goes on to say that:

‘…such access was wrong in terms of the spirit of Privacy Principles and long-standing conventions relating to the handling of confidential documents within the Armed Forces. I wish to express to you the unreserved apology of the NZDF for the actions of Major General Dodson and I regret any upset this case has caused you.’

Some of the documents concerned were handled by one Mr Alan Emerson. On this issue, Air Marshal Ferguson states that:

‘Mr Emerson was not, at that time, a member of the Armed Forces—and he is not an active member of the Territorial Force now. NZDF has therefore no jurisdiction over him in respect of that particular allegation. NZDF has, through Mr Emerson’s lawyer, invited him to discuss the matter, but that invitation has not been fruitful.’

The communication concludes by saying that:
‘In respect of the issue of the use of information, however obtained, to influence you in your duty, that is a matter which you may well choose to raise with the Police. If you do so you can be assured that NZDF will assist in any inquiry to the utmost of its ability. It is, however a matter that I can really take no further.

“I am certain that my colleague Ron Mark MP is grateful to Air Marshal Adamson and his successor Air Marshal Ferguson.

“However, I have advised Ron Mark to consult with his legal advisor in further pursuit of this matter, which concerns a disgraceful series of public events in relation to public policy.

ENDS


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