Dom Post on leaks

June 11th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post editorial:

are a vital safeguard against the abuse of power. In recent years they have been the means by which the public learned that New Zealand’s diplomatic efforts were being compromised by indiscriminate cuts within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and that some of the country’s richest people and companies were using offshore tax shelters to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

More recently they were the means by which the public learned that the Government Communications Security Bureau had run off the rails.

leader David Shearer’s call for police to seize UnitedFuture MP Peter Dunne’s emails and question him under oath about the leaking of the GCSB review suggests he has a remarkably short memory. It is little more than a year since colleague Phil Goff used leaked Mfat documents to reveal that cuts within the ministry were undermining New Zealand’s diplomatic capability. The leader’s comments also show a worrying lack of understanding of important principles. Is Mr Shearer really suggesting the police should have the power to seize material from anyone suspected of embarrassing the government?

That is exactly what Shearer and Robertson have been saying. And if they become the Government, we can only assume they will be trying to get leakers arrested.

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17 Responses to “Dom Post on leaks”

  1. tas (596 comments) says:

    It’s curious that the opposition are going after Dunne for embarrassing the government. Shouldn’t they support those who embarrass the government?

    Presumably they are hoping to politically `kill’ Dunne and thereby rob National of a potential partner after 2014. Political opportunists…

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  2. Kleva Kiwi (281 comments) says:

    Maybe, but only when it suits them.

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  3. Don the Kiwi (1,635 comments) says:

    Shades of the Obama tyranny.

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  4. RF (1,324 comments) says:

    Ah !!!! The nasty party in overdrive cloaking themselves in blatant hypocrisy. God help this country if these evil bastards ever get onto the treasury benches.

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  5. davidp (3,551 comments) says:

    So Shearer wants the police to harrass his political opponents. Maybe he could go the full-Obama and have IRD audit their taxes as well?

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  6. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    Captain Mumblefuck and Comrade Norman have more faces than a icosahedron (how many?) and will change their tune when is convenient.

    The two are shameful and accomplished liars.

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  7. Cunningham (828 comments) says:

    Good on the Dom Post for reiterating how blatantly hypocritical these turkeys are. People need to know what they are voting for.

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  8. KiwiGreg (3,211 comments) says:

    I think tas has nailed it.

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  9. Pete George (23,168 comments) says:

    Yes tas/KiwiGreg – political opportunism before principle -although Norman is getting the clear message that principles still matter to some Greens.

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  10. Pita (372 comments) says:

    “Labour leader David Shearer’s call for police to seize UnitedFuture MP Peter Dunne’s emails and question him under oath about the leaking of the GCSB review suggests he has a remarkably short memory”…almost makes his $50,000+ memory lapse seem credible.

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  11. Judith (8,243 comments) says:

    So how far back is this particular responsibility meant to go?

    Is it just for opposition parties, or does it also apply to National?

    What is being suggested is that no member of parliament can complain about the actions or behaviour of another member of parliament, if similar behaviour or actions have been committed historically by another member belonging to the same party.

    It appears under those rules, there will be no one complaining about anything – including National, who have plenty of skeletons in their own closet.

    Not one of your best reasoning blogs DPF – comes across as DSMA to me.

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  12. Pete George (23,168 comments) says:

    Judith, it’s not saying no one can complain, in fact effectively the opposite.

    If parties were able to choose when they can forcefully reveal the emails and other communications of MPs and journalists that could clamp down on complaining. The Dom editorial concludes:

    The possibility that someone will blow the whistle is an important check on the abuse of executive power. The GCSB witchhunt sends a chilling message to potential whistleblowers. It is that Big Brother is watching. That is not in anyone’s interest.

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  13. Cunningham (828 comments) says:

    Judith (2,705) what a stupid argument. If Labour were consistant with how they handled an issue in the past then they deserve no criticism. Yet they aren’t in a number of cases. Even worse the same deadbeats who were pulling the strings at those times are still there. They deserve criticism as it shows how shallow and untrustworthy they are. The public cannot believe these people if they are prepared to act a different way when it is their lot involved.

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  14. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    Usually it seems to be just a certain bird I call out on contradicting himself.
    But perhaps someone else could explain?

    davidp (2,769) Says:
    June 10th, 2013 at 6:16 pm
    From now on, parliamentary committees need to ask every minister appearing before them (especially future NZ First, Green, and Labour ministers) if they’ve ever leaked a document at any stage in the past. If the answer is yes, then they need to ask for a full list of documents with dates and recipients. Any lack of disclosure or incomplete disclosure results in a complaint to the Speaker, a complaint to the police, and immediate resignation of all portfolios.

    davidp (2,769) Says:
    June 11th, 2013 at 11:20 am
    So Shearer wants the police to harrass his political opponents. Maybe he could go the full-Obama and have IRD audit their taxes as well?

    FWIW, i prefer the second post. Whistleblowers can be a check on abuse of power.

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  15. davidp (3,551 comments) says:

    Mary Rose… No contradiction. My comment from yesterday was pointing out the stupidity of the logical end state after application of the Peters-Shearer-Norman rules. There is a bit of irony and hyperbole in the comment which most people would have understood.

    I’m surprised that anyone is tracking my comments from day to day. That’s, errrr, strange.

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  16. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    davidp >That’s, errrr, strange.

    It might be scary and possibly certifiable! But no need to panic and buy a false beard and dark glasses ;-)
    I was just catching up on a couple of threads on the Dunne story in one reading. One of the few topics on here no one has yet managed to link to gay marriage, global warming or the feminisation of society in New Zealand.

    Maybe if I did start tracking you, I’d get to know you well enough to recognize when you were being ironic and hyperbolic.
    Otherwise no, not obvious, sorry.

    But thanks for clarifying.
    Do have a lovely day.
    (That could be sarcastic. Or a genuine wish. Is it obvious which?)

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  17. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    The Dom Post is spot on about the importance of leaking, it is a prime part of a democratic society. Journalists MUST protect their sources, even if it means time in the pokey.

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