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Key’s media spying scandal deepens

2 August 2013

Key’s media spying scandal deepens

John Key’s media spying scandal has deepened with revelations that his inquiry received full copies of journalist Andrea Vance’s emails, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

The latest release shows that the Henry Inquiry was handed the full copies of journalist Andrea Vance’s email correspondence with then Minister Peter Dunne. This is in addition to the release of Ms Vance’s phone logs and her building access logs. It is claimed that both the emails and phone logs were deleted without being opened by the Henry Inquiry or Key’s office.

“John Key’s inquiry rode roughshod over the rights of journalist Andrea Vance and the democratic rights of our media,” said Dr Norman.

“It strains plausibility beyond breaking point for the Prime Minister to claim that he and his chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, had nothing to do with the serious breaches of privacy that occurred. John Key established the Henry Inquiry. Mr Eagleson was leaning on the very reluctant Parliamentary Service to release all the information they wanted.

“At no point do they seem to have considered the need to protect the media’s ability to carry out its vital democratic function without fear.

“The pressure from Mr Key’s office on the Parliamentary Service to comply with his inquiry’s demands was immense. It’s not good enough for Mr Key to play innocent when it turns out that the Parliamentary Service handed over Ms Vance’s swipe-card records, her emails, and her phone-logs to his inquiry.

“Once again we have found out that what Mr Key told New Zealand was not true; the Henry Inquiry did receive the full emails, not just the email logs. And once again we’re asked to believe that the Henry Inquiry received critical private information and they didn’t look at it. That’s hard to believe.

“It’s clear that the email records released are only the tip of the ice-berg. Significant portions of the published email record appear to have been redacted and discussions appear to have taken place by phone or in person, records of which have not been made public.

“For our democracy to function, the public needs to have confidence that the media and opposition parties who also rely on the Parliamentary Service can do their job without the Prime Minister standing over their shoulder. The conduct of Mr Key, his chief of staff, the inquiry, and the Parliamentary Service has broken that confidence,” said Dr Norman.


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