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

 


PM responsible for inquiry breaching press freedom

21 August 2013

Prime Minister responsible for inquiry breaching press freedom

Breaches of press freedom were inevitable when the Prime Minister set up an inquiry to investigate a leak to a journalist with no boundaries set on what information could be obtained, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Parliament’s privileges committee this morning held public hearings into how a journalist and a MP's records were sought by John Key’s inquiry.

“The Prime Minister ordered an inquiry into a leak involving a journalist but did not set any constraints on that inquiry in terms of seeking the journalist’s information,” Dr Norman said.

“The inquiry was the Prime Minister’s beast, he gave it his prey’s scent, let it off its leash and was surprised when it started hunting.”

The Chief Executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Andrew Kibblewhite and Prime Minister John Key’s Chief of Staff Wayne Eagleson appeared this morning and told the committee they were surprised that journalist Andrea Vance’s information was sought by the David Henry inquiry.

“Andrew Kibblewhite and Wayne Eagleson today told MPs and the public to believe that an inquiry set up to find out how a journalist got a report would not seek information about the journalist,” Dr Norman said.

“The Prime Minister’s left and right hand men were surprised the inquiry set up to find out how a journalist got a report might seek information about that journalist.

“What is surprising is that the inquiry was set up with no boundaries about what information it could or could not access.

“David Henry, who led the inquiry, told the committee it was up to others to authorise the release of the journalist’s emails and phone calls and he has a point.

“Not only did the Prime Minister’s closest staff fail to ensure the inquiry was set up in a way that would not breach press freedoms or the privacy of an MP, but Wayne Eagleson authorised the release of information.

“The Henry inquiry was given everything it asked for and had no constraints on what it could seek. There was also a clear failure in that information was provided that should not have been.

“No one responsible for setting up this botched inquiry is taking responsibility. The one man who has resigned, head of Parliamentary Service Geoff Thorn, appears to have been the only one raising concerns about what was being sought.

“John Key should apologise and take responsibility for what happened under his authorisation.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Last Rites For The TPP

The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is one of those litmus issues that has always had more to do with one’s place on the political spectrum than with any imminent reality.

To date, the Greens have opposed (a) a wide range of the leaked content of the TPP (b) the secretive way it has been negotiated and (c) the undemocratic way in which any final document would be ratified. Labour has shared some of those concerns, but while remaining generally supportive of the deal itself.

National has, for its part, been very enthusiastic about the TPP, while still giving assurances about Pharmac being protected... For the TPP’s friends and foes alike though, the end now seems nigh. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Farcical Elevation Of David Seymour

With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

As Key Mulls Joining ISIS Fighting: McCully Speech To UN Backs Security Council Bid

It is an honour to address you today on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government of New Zealand. Our General Election took place last week - our Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key is engaged in forming a government and that is why he is unable to be here in New York... More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cunliffe Triggers Party Wide Leadership Contest

David Cunliffe has resigned as Labour Leader, but says he will seek re-election... If there is any contest the election will have to go through a process involving the party membership and union affiliates. More>>

ALSO:

Flyover Appeal: Progress And Certainty, Or Confusion And More Delays?

Lindsay Shelton: The Transport Agency, embarrassed by the rejection of its flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, says it’s appealing because the decision could “constrain progress.” Yet for most clear-sighted Wellingtonians a 300-metre-long concrete structure above Kent and Cambridge Terraces would in no way be seen as progress… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party... More>>

ALSO:

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

'Safe To Re-Enter' - OIA Docs: Safety Is Absolute Priority At Pike River Mine

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Ms Dunphy says. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news