Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Time for an independent stand-alone watch dog commission

Time for an independent stand-alone watch dog commission to investigate corruption and misuse of office

The New Zealand Maori Council has opened a public discussion on whether it is time New Zealand moved with the times when it came to a stand-alone body to investigate corruption and the misuse of office by Public officials.

New Zealand Maori Council Executive Director, Matthew Tukaki, said that “the current model is neither sustainable nor independent citing the more recent case of Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf's possible mis-use of office in reporting an allegation of hacking to the New Zealand Police when he knew It may have been incorrect. Then there was the case of the former CEO of Immigration. Mary-Anne Thompson, the former Head of the New Zealand Immigration Service pleaded guilty to CV fraud was today fined $10,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours community work.”

“These are two extreme cases that sit at the very top of the New Zealand Public Service with investigations usually carried out by the State Services Commission. But here’s the thing – the State Services Commission is also the employer. Then we have the case of the former CEO of the Waikato DHB and his travel expenses and the resignation of the New Zealand Defence Forces Chief Scientist back in 2010 around a fabricated resume. In the latter example of the former Chief Scientist of the Defence Force he had claimed to have served in the Falklands war, Northern Ireland, the Gulf war; been awarded the DSO and Military Cross and Bar; captained the Royal Navy swimming team, played for a Welsh rugby team against the All Blacks; had an honorary PhD in astronomy from Cambridge University; played guitar on the British folk circuit, and was on an IRA death list.” Tukaki said

“So in the current model we have the public service investigating the public service which is akin to the Crown paying the Crown to get a job done. If we are to stand up to our international obligations we need to have a tight system of governance and review and at the moment the State Services Commission is just not the independent organ we need them to be.” Tukaki said

“A classic example of the case of the Department of Corrections report claiming that Maori Nationalist Groups were operating behind bars in New Zealand Prisons akin to Jihadi groups – sure; the Minister came down on hard and the Department issued an apology but then what? How do we know what sanctions or changes were put in place of they had not been disclosed through an independent commission of inquiry?” Tukaki said

“If New Zealanders think that we, as a nation, are not prone to this sort of behavior then quite honestly we need to stop living in a bubble. Whether it comes to the encroachment of stupidity within the Public Service, the interference of foreign actors in policy making or unfounded claims made by public officials we need to have an independent body with the powers of a standing Royal Commission to investigate, instigate and hold people to account.” Tukaki said

“The one thing I get sick and tired of is the reporting of something that may occur within a Maori organisation – on those occasions its all over the media and people use it as an excuse to hit us – but in all reality the cases of fraud and mis-use of office in New Zealand outstrip anything that may have happened in Maoridom and yet there is little or no holding those people to account – even when it involves often millions of dollars.”

Tukaki used the examples of the Standing Royal Commissions into Corruption and Mis-Conduct in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria as examples. Council will be preparing a position paper and lobbying Government for a separation of the State Services Act.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Todd Muller Resignation

Given the factions within National’s own caucus, anyone picked as the new leader of the National Party will struggle to unify their own troops, let alone to convince the electorate that National is a coherent government-in-waiting. Even all of that aside, no new leader – Judith Collins? Amy Adams? – seems likely to have the time or the inclination to change the party’s political messaging about Covid-19. That’s really unfortunate. In an alternative political universe, National might have been far better advised to have played the patriotism card during the pandemic, and thrown its bi-partisan support behind the government at this time of national crisis... More>>


Green Party: Unveils Clean Energy Plan

The Green Party is today unveiling part one of its plan for a fossil-fuel free Aotearoa, including an immediate ban on new industrial coal boilers. To ensure a just transition away from fossil-fuels, the Green Party’s Clean Energy Plan will: Establish a Clean ... More>>


National Departures: Press Statement From Michelle Boag

Today I am announcing that I have resigned my membership of the NZ National Party. The last few days have underscored for me the unhealthy relationship I have developed with politics. For 47 years, I have devoted much of my professional and personal ... More>>


Govt: Statement From Rt Hon Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has announced he is taking a short stint of medical leave this week. More>>

Isolation: Government And Air NZ Agree To Manage Incoming Bookings

Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan ... More>>


Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>


Eenrgy & Environment: Snail Like Progress On Government Vehicle Emissions Targets

First published in Energy and Environment on June 2, 2020. The latest data on the Government’s attempts to reduce the emissions of its transport fleet show no discernible progress. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s data on reducing ... More>>

Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


David Seymour: ACT Leader's Address To Election Campaign Launch - ASB Waterfront Theatre, 12 July 2020

Introduction Thank you very much. Elections in New Zealand – like everywhere - are a very special tradition, because they are driven by you. They’re an opportunity to change your future. If you think about it, the Government doesn’t do much. It ... More>>

Foreign Affairs: New Zealand To Review Relationship Settings With Hong Kong

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment ... More>>


Covid-19 Patient Info Leak: Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology

I have spoken to National Party Leader Todd Muller and informed him that I passed to members of the media, by email, information containing Covid-19 patient details that was given to me by a source. I did this to expose the Government’s shortcomings ... More>>


Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels