The Jones inquiry

May 31st, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The is inquiring into the Jones/Liu affair. The terms of reference are:

The inquiry will examine: 

  • the policies and practices of the Department of Internal Affairs when advising the Minister on applications for citizenship, in particular where the applicant’s ‘good character’ is in question;
  • how and why the Minister decided to grant citizenship to Mr Yan; and
  • any other matters the Auditor-General considers it desirable to report on.

Francis Cooke QC has been appointed to lead the inquiry, which is being carried out under sections 16 and 18(1) of the Public Audit Act 2001. We will publish a report when the inquiry is completed.

It is a pity that the inquiry is into the citizenship issue only, as I think it would have been better to look into the totality of Yan’s dealings with the Government, and with Labour officials such as party fundraiser Shane Te Pou who was paid $5,000 to help Yan get citizenship.

On the positive side, the Auditor-General has the power to require people to provide information and to give evidence under oath.

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18 Responses to “The Jones inquiry”

  1. Scott Chris (5,677 comments) says:

    It is a pity that the inquiry is into the citizenship issue only

    So what does ‘any other matters the Auditor-General considers it desirable to report on’ mean?

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  2. kowtow (6,701 comments) says:

    Our political and media elites don’t like the use of the “C” word when it comes to matters New Zealand, that’s something the fuzzy wuzzies do, not us. It’s almost literally banned as unpatriotic. Funny how they can get patriotic when it suits them,the rest of the time we are ‘responsible members of the international community” or if you’re a Helenite, then you’re an internationalist.

    Corruption, there ,I’ve said it.There’s alot of it around.

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  3. Keeping Stock (9,788 comments) says:

    @ DPF and Scott Chris – I think that “any other matters the Auditor-General considers it desirable to report on.” actually gives Francis Cooke QC to look at pretty much anything related to the Bill Liu affair, if he “considers it desitable”. These Terms of Reference are far wider ranging than I’m sure David Shearer either imagined or desired.

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  4. slightlyrighty (2,448 comments) says:

    Helen Clark would never have called for an inquiry in this manner. If she could not dictate terms of reference, or knew the result, then nothing would have happened.

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  5. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    KS and slightly: Both spot on. Both Jones and Shearer would be shitting themselves.

    I have never heard of this Cooke fellow – we move in different circles I imagine! – but I would guess that how far he takes “other matters he thinks it desirable to report on…” would depend largely on his…can’t think of an appropirate adjective that might not get me into trouble…

    I had some slight involvement with the Tongan Royal Commission on the sinking of the “Princess Ashika” which had a similar “catch all” provision in its terms of reference. His Honour Justice Andrew interpreted that provision very widely indeed…if Cooke takes anything like the same approach Jones, Shearer and the Labour Party have probably got a great deal to worry about.

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  6. Flyer (20 comments) says:

    He has a good summary of his work here: http://www.thorndonchambers.com/fc.html

    He also has a great pedigree being the son of Lord Cooke of Thorndon.

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  7. Nostalgia-NZ (4,686 comments) says:

    Taking into account Shearer called for the inquiry, plaudits to him for that.

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  8. marcw (206 comments) says:

    @Nostalgia-NZ:

    +1

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  9. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    Anyone heard whether the PM has stood down John Banks, who’s the subject of several investigations including a police investigation?

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  10. mikenmild (8,790 comments) says:

    Tut tut Ross, you know that’s completely different…

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  11. Keeping Stock (9,788 comments) says:

    Quite so Nostalgia; but I doubt that he is pleased that the A-G has decided in her wisdom to look at Jones’ decision as well. Shearer had asked only for an inquiry into process.

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  12. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    If the A-G finds that Jones acted entirely appropriately, will we get an apology from DPF and Co?

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  13. Nookin (2,887 comments) says:

    Have the Police said that they are investigating Banks?

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  14. s.russell (1,486 comments) says:

    An enquiry into WHY Jones granted citizenship should cover pretty much anything.

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  15. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    kowtowHow right your are IMHO there is far more corruption across all sectors than most Kiwis realise. the difference between NZ corruption and that in the more blatant countries is that Nz corruption is very very subtle. Nudge Nudge Wink Wink. Very indirect and usually involving 3rd parties to keep some distance between the corrupter and the corruptee.

    Yet most Kiwis have an almost child like believe that ‘it doesnt happen here” Well it does and most get away with it at a real cost to society as a whole and individuals in particular.

    Like you are paying too much of a good or service because of the hidden cost built into the price to pay off the guilty parties.

    We must now hope that the AG Lynn Provost and Francis Cook QC do their jobs without fear or favour.

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  16. DJP6-25 (1,229 comments) says:

    David Garrett 10:33 am. Let’s hope he does interpret it widely then.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  17. Nostalgia-NZ (4,686 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock
    11.32

    Shearer knew he wasn’t able to set the terms of the inquiry.

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  18. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    I don’t think Dover SAMUELS showed as much diligence and energy in any other aspect of his Parliamentary duties as he did over ensuring that LUI gained citizenship. I suspect Lui’s treatment was worth far more than a token five grand to each of the main parties to cloud the process. The only mystery is who received what for what..Te Pou, Cunliffe, Samuels, Barker, Jones, Williams, all should be able to shed some light. Oh for a lie detector.

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