Latest on Dunne

June 10th, 2013 at 12:33 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Shearer said he had lodged a privileges complaint with the Speaker regarding Dunne’s statement to a select committee that he did not leak the Kitteridge report into the GCSB.

Took them long enough. I indicated on Saturday that a complaint to the was logical. Much more sensible that the hysterical rushing to the Police to try and get a Police investigation, for something that is not a criminal matter.

Fairfax Group executive editor Paul Thompson said politicians should tread carefully before embarking on a witch hunt. That could have a chilling effect on how journalists covered politicians.

Fairfax would protect the communications between its journalists and any contacts, regardless of whether they were the source of sensitive information or not.

“The protection of our sources is paramount,” Thompson said.

“We will resist any attempt to force us to release that sort of information.

If the issue is referred to the Privileges Committee, I don’t expect they would ask Fairfax to co-operate. And Fairfax should not.

But they can ask or order the Department of Internal Affairs to reveal the e-mails between Dunne and Vance.

Thompson also rejected suggestions there was more to the relationship between Dunne and Vance.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has claimed to see emails that were personally embarrassing but Thompson said Fairfax was “absolutely” backing Vance.

Claims are easy. He should produce them if he has them.

“Andrea is a very talented journalist, she has done some terrific work this year,” he said.

“Her handling of the GCSB report was absolutely faultless and there was nothing improper going on. We are 100 per cent behind her.”

Which is what I said on Saturday.

He also rubbished a claim by former National Party president Michelle Boag that Vance leaked the emails to Peters.

“That’s ludicrous,” Thompson said.

With respect, yes it is.

Opposition parties were likely to lodge a complaint with Parliament’s Speaker that Dunne misled Parliament last week when he told a select committee he did not leak the GCSB report.

Dunne maintained he did not leak the report, although he canvassed the prospect with Vance.

That is the issue of privilege. Whether Dunne lied to the select committee.

Prime Minister John Key said today he did not believe Dunne should quit Parliament, regardless of whether he leaked the report.

If leaking means resignation from Parliament, then the only MP left in Parliament would be Ross Robertson.

Also the PM gets no say on whether an electorate MP from another party resigns or not.

Dunne was not the first MP to leak information and he said Labour MP Lianne Dalziel had remained in Parliament after being sacked as minister for leaking material to the media.

And Winston Peters was found by the Privileges Committee to have misled Parliament (and everyone else) on his knowledge on the donation from Owen Glennto his lawyer to cover his legal expenses. He did not resign in the face of that finding. Ultimately the voters make their judgement, as they did on Peters in 2008 and will on Dunne in 2014.

“An investigation by the Privileges Committee is required to get to the truth of the matter. New Zealanders are still none the wiser as to who leaked the Kitteridge Report. All we have is an MP who has resigned as minister but refuses to co-operate with the inquiry,” Shearer said.

“The matter cannot lie here. This is why we have taken the matter to the Privileges Committee to get to the bottom of who leaked the report,” Shearer said.

That is not the role of the Privileges Committee. However their role can be to investigate if lied in his select committee testimony. There is a difference.

It will be interesting to see how the Speaker rules. On the face of it, it would seem an appropriate issue to be referred to the Privileges Committee. Misleading a select committee is a serious issue.

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40 Responses to “Latest on Dunne”

  1. tvb (4,424 comments) says:

    Peters claims to have the emails and much more on Dunne. I assume he will make them available to the privileges committee indeed the Committee could order Peters to disclose them.

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  2. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Some hope that Peters will do anything but shit stir – his normal role.

    Why will he not pay back the $158,000 he stole from Taxpayers ?

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  3. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    Ah, the swift and disgraceful demise of P.G.’s hero brings one or two tears to the eye.

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  4. radvad (765 comments) says:

    Last week Dunne challenged Fairfax to say he was not the leaker. Is this not, in the very least, tacit permission from Dunne for Fairfax to confirm or deny whether or not it was him. He has effectively removed his right to confidentiality and Fairfax are no longer bound by that. IMO they should respond to his challenge and release the emails.

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  5. Bob R (1,375 comments) says:

    ***IMO they should respond to his challenge and release the emails.***

    @ radvad,

    They might then implicate another source – something they’re never going to do. If Dunne seriously wants to clear his name he needs to release them himself.

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  6. dave (988 comments) says:

    Peters has never claimed to have seen the emails that Dunne has not disclosed. However he would like journalists to think he might have seen them so that they can ask him questions about the emails and he can provide vague answers that come across as indications that he knows the contents and has (undisclosed) proof of this.

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  7. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Possum Dunne skinned!

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  8. James Stephenson (2,180 comments) says:

    Why will he not pay back the $158,000 he stole from Taxpayers ?

    Because he’s spent it, and even with the money he took from racing industry interests to deliver policy beneficial to them, he can’t afford to pay it back.

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  9. Fisiani (1,039 comments) says:

    Peters has not seen the undisclosed emails. Neither Dunne nor Vance released them. Peters is once again playing fast and loose with the truth, He is full of innuendo and conspiracy and faux outrage. Dunne will serve his constituents even better as a non-Minister in the next 18 months. He will retire in 2014.

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  10. Nigel Kearney (1,013 comments) says:

    I’m not sure why the opposition even want the Privileges Committee to investigate. This whole thing can only hurt Dunne, not the government. And it could backfire if they piss off the media or the committee asks Peters for any relevant documents in his possession and he turns out not to have any. Even if they do get Dunne to resign from Parliament, the byelection will be a landslide for National assuming they put up a real candidate instead of Shanks.

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  11. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    dave at 12:58 pm – that’s correct, sort of. Peters has allowed the media to say all sorts of things about emails and he hasn’t answered any questions about them directly.

    But by deliberately not refuting or correcting any claims about emails he is dilberately feeding a perception he has seen the contents. But he has made vague claims. Checkpoint:

    Peters: I saw sufficient electronic records to know what I was talking about.

    Peters: I don’t get up and make allegations that I haven’t properly investigated.

    Watson: How much have you got? Of the 86 emails how much have you got?

    Peters: Well enough to know that a serious issue had people who were not treating it properly, had mistreated the information they got, and that was affecting my country’s national interest.

    Firstline:

    Rachel: Good morning Mr Peters thank you for joining us this morning. You’ve seen an electronic record of the emails, were they truly professional.

    Winston No.

    Rachel: Why weren’t they? What did you see that made you…?

    Winston: That’s all history now, but the fact is any one that saw that electronic record and its content had to know that this day was inevitable…

    Rachel: Was there anything in those emails that was potentially personally embarrassing to Mr Dunne?

    Winston: Yes.

    Rachel: Was there anything in those emails that was potentially personally embarrassing to Mr Dunne?

    Winston: Yes.

    And Q+A:

    CORIN And where did you get that from? Have you seen the emails?

    WINSTON Look, I’d like to tell you, but, frankly, how many informants would I get if I start disclosing who they are.

    CORIN Okay, so you’re not going to tell us where you got it from, but can you describe to us the nature of what you have seen in terms of have you seen emails? The emails in question?

    WINSTON Let me just tell you, because there’s much more and wider than you think. The electronic records are very, very clear.

    CORIN So that implies that you’ve seen the nature – you’ve seen the actual emails themselves?

    WINSTON I don’t think it’s any help for you to try and ask me for how I got the information-

    Implying he has seen them and saying “The electronic records are very, very clear.” is deliberate. But at this stage he has produced nothing to prove he has seen any evidential email from D
    Dunne or Vance.

    There is a clear inference from what is known that Dunne leaked.

    There is as clear an inference from what is known that Peters is deliberately misleading the public (and has misled Parliament) about what he knows and has seen.

    http://yournz.org/2013/06/10/winston-peters-evades-questions-on-evidence/

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  12. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    And Winston Peters was found by the Privileges Committee to have misled Parliament (and everyone else) on his knowledge on the donation from Owen Glennto his lawyer to cover his legal expenses. He did not resign in the face of that finding.

    Oh great – The Winston standard now becomes the new benchmark…. How low we have sunk when a proven liar becomes a measuring stick for ethical behaviour.

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  13. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    He’s vile, so forget about the venal Peters. P.G., tell us what your master wrote.
    Why is he reluctant to release the material?

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  14. david (2,557 comments) says:

    The Fairfax “Threat” to MPs rings hollow indeed. Here we have an organisation that was in receipt of a scoop story, receipt of which set the dogs running and it would have been OK by me if it had stopped there. However they went a step further and turned the situation into a direct attack on the Government by releasing information to Winston Peters. This supposition is based on equally strong grounds as the allegation that it was Dunne who leaked enough for Vance to write a story around it. I.e. that the only people in possession of details about emails and their contents is Vance and Fairfax.

    At the point they went feral and set Dunne up to be knocked over, it really got personal and was more about manipulating the situation for ratings advantage than about being first up with a story. IMHO that is not a role that the media should be proud of and to warn off MPs from asking awkward questions is being precious in the extreme. They seem to think that they are more important and more a force in society than we would perceive them to be.

    For this second action they need to reap the whirlwind and get hammered with everything the law has. We know they are financially weakened and could not sustain a legal challenge with huge legal fees for long.

    Bring ‘em down I say and send that arrogant prick Paul Thomson packing back to where he came from.!!!

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  15. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    @david: “the only people in possession of details about emails and their contents is Vance and Fairfax”

    Not necessarily. The emails will be on a Parliamentary server. No-one ever discovered who leaked Brash’s emails from there.

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  16. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    I have no idea Manolo, he’s told me nothing about it. I’ve asked him twice about the initial accusations, once last week and once the week before. He didn’t respond to either, uncharacteristic for him which first made me realise all was not as it seemed.

    I just realised, if emails to and from him are exposed mine might be included. Funny.

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  17. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Alan Wilkinson, then you are suggesting a possible source of information to Peters is someone in PS IT? I was ruling out Dunne for obvious reasons.

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  18. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    If the Kitteridge report was not classified, was very low level security, the leak did not more than break an embargo by a week, and leaks are as common as political waffle – why was there an inquiry in the first place?

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  19. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    This is going to go nowhere.

    I think we can rely on David Carter to find a way to find no breach. I actually think Lockwood Smith would have considered the complaint in a more impartial manner, but Carter? Not a chance.

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  20. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    david,

    I think you are mistaken in interpreting Thompson’s statement as a threat. I think he was making an entirely valid point that a witch-hunt would affact the way reporters operate to the detriment of (what Fairfax sees as) the public good, ie expose the truth wherever possible.

    As for Peters, once again I think you may be leaping to the wrong conclusion. Peters’ initial accusations against Dunne were based on the fact that he had been spoken to several times personally by Henry (unlike other ministers). It might well be that that is all that he had. I imagine he might have figured that the leak inquiry would be inconclusive (as such inquiries usually are) and thus he could get away with a free smear, leaving the impression of a nasty stink over Dunne and himself appearing to be in the know. The actual fingering of Dunne may even have been a surprise to him.

    His innuendos re possession of the emails now may be exactly that: he is (typically) implying more knowledge than he actually posesses, knowing that this will get him publicity without any accountability.

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  21. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Pete George (17,801) Says:
    June 10th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    ————————————-
    The Henry Report states the rules relating to the handling of ‘sensitive’ and ‘restrictive’ documents are essentially the same.
    It then goes on to explain the classification of the Kitteridge report (page 14, Appendix One)

    On that page under point 7 it states:
    Because it was classified as “sensitive”, the final version of the Kitteridge report was accessible only by staff that are cleared by their respective departments to view such information. Knowingly passing such a document on to someone who does not hold that clearance would violate security practice. It would also, in many cases, violate a government agency’s code of conduct …..

    Point 6 refers to storage – Documents classed as “Sensitive” must be stored in a lockable cabinet, or a storage area protected by controlled access. These documents should not be taken home and stored, unless the person has been authorised to do so and uses approved storage.

    And point 5 – ‘The final verson of the Kitteridge report before it was publicly released was classified as “Sensitive”, without endorsements.

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  22. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Journalists are now starting to mention the “lying” word regaqrding Peters’ claims about emails.

    Remember that in parliament he claimed all the evidence was in the phone records. As soon as the Henry report came out he switched his story to emails and “electronic records” to cover other possibilities if the come up.

    He is fishing and by implication it looks very much like he is lying.

    If Dunne has to resign for lying, what should Peters have to do for lying?

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  23. wf (442 comments) says:

    Says it all really :

    http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/president-obama-listening-to-peter-dunnes-phone-conversations-with-amusement/

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  24. wrightingright (143 comments) says:

    > “If leaking means resignation from Parliament, then the only MP left in Parliament would be Ross Robertson.”

    Why Ross Robertson in particular?

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  25. Northland Wahine (667 comments) says:

    Just caught a bit on Campbell live, reporter questioning Dunne outside his home.

    Don’t like the guy, one iota, but I find that kind of approach invasive

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  26. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    @ Peter george He didn’t respond to either, uncharacteristic for him which first made me realise all was not as it seemed.

    Pete – so our comments on here weren’t enough to get you wondering. ? Dear oh dear

    He’s made a fool of himself over a chick, we’ve all done it, but when you are as vain as the average politician its worser I suppose – he’ll have spent the weekend wandering around like a opossum in headlights muttering ” I’m Peter Dunne, politician with the sharp hair , how the hell is she not digging me?” mutter mutter…….

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  27. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay – I was way ahead of you.

    The chick thing is grossly overegged, according to Fairfax. They say absolutely nothing personal.

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  28. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Talking of dicks, John Campbell just held Peters to account for what emails he had. Bluster overdrive, but absolutely nothing else. Who’s the liar Winston?

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  29. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    The chick thing is grossly overegged, according to Fairfax. They say absolutely nothing personal

    well why not release the bloody things Pete ?

    And please none of the flannel about ” its a slippery slope ” I hope you are getting paid as the de facto Minister of Propaganda for UF

    According to fairfax yep Tui Billboard here. FFS

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  30. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Releasing them is up to the two people how sent and received them. Why should anyone else demand to see them? And seriously, what would it achieve?

    I agree with many others that there is an important principle of privacy and confidentiality between two people, and in particular between a politician and a journalist.

    Would you turn all your electronic communications over to Winston Peters if he started accusing you of something?

    According to Fairfax: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8776490/Attempts-to-get-reporters-emails-will-be-fought

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  31. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    If anyone had any doubts about Winston Peters’ credibility watch this:
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Peters-Dunnes-leak-illegal-totally-improper/tabid/367/articleID/300949/Default.aspx

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  32. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    @Pete George
    If Winston is lying then why did Dunne resign?
    Where there is smoke there is fire, Dunne has publicly admitted to being a fool, how foolish he has been is the question.

    “Mr Dunne, who has traded on his “common sense” approach to politics, said he’d resigned because “some of my actions after I received an advance copy of the report were extremely unwise and lacked the judgment reasonably expected of a minister in such circumstances”.

    “I have acted extraordinarily unwisely, even stupidly, and I am now resigned to paying the price for that.”

    But Mr Henry’s report shows he arranged a lunchtime meeting with Ms Vance the day before her report was published

    Mr Henry’s report also shows Mr Dunne exchanged 12 emails with Ms Vance the day before he was to meet her, but also 49 others between March 30 and April 7, a period when he was on an overseas holiday with his wife.

    “He has told me categorically he did not leak the report. I want to believe him but the problem is unfortunately the inquiry doesn’t rule him out and I can’t dismiss the possibility he has because of the information contained in the (Henry) report,” Mr Key said.

    He said what details had been released by Mr Dunne “of themselves would be inappropriate … in so much that it discussed GCSB and that was a sensitive matter which I don’t think he should have been discussing anyway”.

    KevinH:

    The final comment from John Key unequivocally states the fundamental issue at the centre of this scandal i.e. that Mr Dunne did release sensitive material, and that it was inappropriate for him to have done so.

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  33. Nostalgia-NZ (5,213 comments) says:

    Give it up KevinH, Dunne resigned for well….nothing. That’s Pete George’s version so we should all go long with it.

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  34. Honeybadger (212 comments) says:

    glad to see nostalgia, that it isnt only me you like to have a crack at

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  35. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Dunne resigned because he was caught out by the Henry inquiry. He has admitted acting inappropriately and stupidly, and for that he signed his ministerships and other government roles.

    That was going to happen regardless of the Peters attention seeking sideshow.

    Incidentally it’s good that Peters thought he could make opportunistic political hay, it has exposed him for what he is far enough out from the election, as if anyone needed reminding.

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  36. Honeybadger (212 comments) says:

    PG, I still find it hard to believe that Dunne actually admitted he thought about leaking the report, how stupid was that?

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  37. Nostalgia-NZ (5,213 comments) says:

    ‘glad to see nostalgia, that it isnt only me you like to have a crack at’

    I wouldn’t know or care who you are, you might be a stalker going by your comment that you couldn’t believe the ‘gall’ of Peter Dunne asking for his family to have privacy, but enjoy yourself.

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  38. Nostalgia-NZ (5,213 comments) says:

    Peter Dunne was told from several quarters to back off from messaging the journalist at the centre of the GCSB leak.

    ‘Newstalk ZB understands Fairfax Media raised the issue with the United Future leader and so did those close to him who were concerned how it would look.

    There was a feeling that Mr Dunne was infatuated with reporter Andrea Vance, who hails from Northern Ireland and who’s due to be married later this year.

    That’s led to the claims from Winston Peters that there’s no fool like an old fool.

    In the week leading up to the leak, Mr Dunne emailed Ms Vance, while he was on holiday with his wife, more than 20 times.’

    For those that think Peter Dunne hasn’t been hung out to dry.

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  39. Honeybadger (212 comments) says:

    the reporter’s bosses told Dunne he shouldnt be correspoding with her?

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  40. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    ‘In the week leading up to the leak, Mr Dunne emailed Ms Vance, while he was on holiday with his wife, more than 20 times.’

    He just wanted to know about Wellington’s weather. Nothing else.

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