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Independent parliamentary investigator

Hon Jim Anderton

Progressive Party leader

5 November 2008 Media Statement

Independent parliamentary investigator

The next parliament should look at setting up a parliamentary complaints procedure to stop wasting police and other agencies’ time with politicking, Progressive MP Jim Anderton says.

"Police resources are needed to deal with crime - like the sixty percent of offending that is committed while people are affected by alcohol. And yet politicians are repeatedly using up police resources on investigation of minor issues.

"The latest example of NZ First being cleared by police shows how police time is being wasted. Mr Peters had plenty of political questions to answer - but police issues are a different matter.

"Referring someone to for an investigation is a classic stunt to make a rival politician look shady - if it’s not the police, it’s the SFO, the audit office, the electoral commission or the Eketahuna rabbit empowering board. It is better to have an independent authority who can take the first level of complaints and reduce the pressure on agencies that have better things to do.

"The number of complaints about politicians by other politicians seems to be rising, but I doubt politicians are any better or worse than they were when I first entered parliament."

Jim Anderton says an investigator who is formally responsible to parliament through the Speaker could be established to examine complaints about MPs. It could then pass findings to existing authorities if a prima facie case was established and there was a public interest in proceeding.

"Unless we have a threshold level of examination, we will keep having politicians wasting police time with complaints about each other in an effort to manufacture news media sleaze stories."


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