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Labour blocks inquiry into Goon squad

Brian Connell National MP for Rakaia

8 October 2003

Labour blocks inquiry into Goon squad

Labour's decision to block further investigation into the alleged brutalities and excesses of the Goon Squad is an appalling cover-up, says National Member of the Law and Order Select Committee and MP for Rakaia, Brian Connell.

His comments followed the decision by Government MPs on Parliament's Law & Order Select Committee to block an inquiry into the alleged misdemeanours of the Emergency Response Unit, better known as 'the Goon Squad.'

"To be frank, I'm appalled. Some of the stories associated with the Goon Squad are horrific and an inquiry would've given us a chance to verify them and ensure the Corrections Department is living up to the standards New Zealanders expect of it.

"By hushing up these wrongdoings, Labour is trying to conceal the extent to which the Goon Squad's activities were sanctioned by Corrections bosses. As it is we can only speculate on how high the rot will run. "I have it on good authority that a number of Labour MPs wanted the inquiry - Georgina Beyer said the members of the squad should've been fired - but Labour MPs were ordered not to rock the boat. This is a Government that could give Nixon lessons in how to carry out a cover-up!

Mr Connell warned that a full and frank inquiry was just a matter of time. "I'll be pushing for the next National Government to fully investigate this and see that the public gets all the facts.

"Whether Labour likes it or not, the truth will come out. Those who are found to have participated in any wrongdoing have reason to be concerned that their day of reckoning will come," Mr Connell said.


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