Russel calls for a leak inquiry and then denounces it for being effective

July 1st, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

When the Kitteridge report was first leaked, Green co-leader was outraged by the leak. He suspected it was a deliberate leak by the PMs Office or similar, and demanded the Govt take action.

On 9 April he said:

Dr Russel Norman: In light of the fact that the cover note on the report says that the appendices are legally privileged and highly classified, does he believe that the leaking of the full Kitteridge report is a serious offence? 

So he is calling it a serious offence, if the full report was leaked.

Dr Russel Norman: If it does turn out that the full report has been leaked by someone in his Government, what consequences should face the person who leaked this information, which the Government Communications Security Bureau describes as legally privileged and highly classified? What consequences should that person face? 

And he calls for serious consequences.

Dr Russel Norman: Given that so far the only member of his Government who, he has told us, has had access to this report is the office of the Prime Minister, did he or a member of his staff leak the report?

Which was a stupid allegation to make, as the leaking of it undermined the PM’s trip to China.

Dr Russel Norman: If he does not know who leaked the report, will he launch an inquiry to get to the bottom of it, given his previous support for an inquiry into a leak at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade over documents that were probably quite considerably less sensitive?

So he explicitly called for a leak inquiry. He said the leak may be a serious offence, and called for serious consequences.

But now today, he has changed tune and decided that the leak inquiry was draconian, and went too far.

The Prime Minister’s inquiry into the leaking of the Kitteridge report appears to have acted beyond the law by accessing ’s email account log without his permission, and the Green Party has lodged a complaint with the Ombudsmen on this issue, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Norman seems to be arguing that the Henry inquiry should have merely asked every Minister if they leaked the report, and when they said “no, it wasn’t me”, should have left it there.

If the Henry inquiry had done that, Norman would no doubt have been calling it a cover up.

 

 

 

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21 Responses to “Russel calls for a leak inquiry and then denounces it for being effective”

  1. Manolo (13,518 comments) says:

    And to think this arsehole could be Minister of Finance! God help New Zealand.

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  2. dime (9,805 comments) says:

    He’s losing the plot eh!

    The best thing he could do is just shut his mouth for a few months. Some people will forget his true colours that he has shown recently.

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  3. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    It looks like Norman over-egged the need for an inquiry.

    But the issue now is whether Henry overstepped his authority and possibly acted illegally in obtaining data. No matter what Norman’s change of tune is, surely acting within the law is necessary for an inquiry called for by the PM. And note that the Prime Minister himself has already expressed ‘disappointment’ about some of the data that Henry obtained.

    Henry should surely have have followed proper legal processes. If he needed authority to take his inquiry further he should have obtained it properly.

    …the Henry inquiry should have merely asked every Minister if they leaked the report, and when they said “no, it wasn’t me”, should have left it there.

    After obtaining initial data that seems to be pretty much what Henry did. And two of three who were investigated further said “no it wasn’t me” and he accepted that.

    But Henry went a lot further with the remaining “suspect”, obtaining data with increasingly questionable authority.

    And failed to find any evidence – so even pushing boundaries he didn’t get what he wanted. Perhaps if he wasn’t so dedicated to looking in the direction he seems to have been pushed he might have found something different – and succeeded in finding the leaker.

    Who was pushing Henry? Who used Peters to push either or both Henry and Dunne?

    Perhaps someone wanted to divert attention from something even more concerning. Point scoring against Norman won’t find out what should be known. There looks to be a lot more to this than releasing a report a week or so early.

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  4. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    Norman seems to be arguing that the Henry inquiry should have merely asked every Minister if they leaked the report, and when they said “no, it wasn’t me”, should have left it there.

    Norman is pointing out that by going to parliamentary services and saying “please tell us who this MP was emailing and when”, Henry (in his role as an inquisitor appointed by the executive) appears to have taken a fairly cavalier approach to the separation of powers. And, further, that by doing what Henry asked, parliamentary services acted like little lapdogs, rather than watchdogs over parliamentary privilege.

    So, does this mean the only alternative was to simply ask Ministers “did you do it”? Not at all.

    (1) Henry could have asked for their permission to access this information – and if any of them said “no”, then drawn the same conclusion that he did when Dunne refused to let him see the content of his emails.

    (2) Henry could have asked the Speaker for permission to get this information.

    Either of these would have been better processes for investigating the matter, rather than Henry simply saying to parliamentary services “I’m doing the PM’s work – now tell me who this MP has been emailing and when he did it, because I want to know.”

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  5. Psycho Milt (2,406 comments) says:

    Norman is paraphrased by the Herald as follows:

    The Prime Minister’s inquiry into the leaking of the Kitteridge report appears to have acted beyond the law by accessing Peter Dunne’s email account log without his permission…

    So, yes he wanted an inquiry, but no he didn’t want the inquisitor acting outside the law. This is an indictment of his character how, exactly?

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  6. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    Don’t be so disingenuous DPF.

    Russel Norman is hardly the only person that has raised concerns about the way in which the investigation, including the ethical and legal implication of accessing email logs for the investigation. His points in the press release are very clear and are reasonable points of concern.

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  7. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    …then denounces it for being effective.
    Except that the inquiry wasn’t effective – unless you call a witchhunt effective.

    Henry said he couldn’t take his inquiry any further because one person refused to comply with his (possibly illegal) demands to hand over information. Nevertheless he deliberately made it clear who the only person he wanted to pursue was, despite having no direct evidence of guilt.

    Henry seems to have decided on the only line of inquiry despite having no evidence, or he was told something that he hasn’t revealed. And we know that he didn’t reveal some aspects of his inquiry.

    This raises suspicions that Henry wanted to hide what he knew and how he knew it. Who pushed him towards Dunne, why, and who used Peters?

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  8. Ross12 (1,391 comments) says:

    Hasn’t Henry accessed the email account log and then asked Dunne for copies of specific emails ? That is, he was not privy to the actual emails before asking for some of them. If this is the case can someone tell me what actual law has been broken or is it a case of certain procedures have not been followed.

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  9. hmmokrightitis (1,585 comments) says:

    Question asked:”does he believe that the leaking of the full Kitteridge report is a serious offence?”

    Inference drawn:”So he is calling it a serious offence, if the full report was leaked”

    No, he didnt. He asked a question. He drew no inference, he merely asked the question, does the Minister indeed think that – he may not.

    Yes DPF, Norman is a twat of the first water, and a danger to the country, I firmly believe that, but youve drawn a really long bow.

    Hell, just link to his “give me my fwag back!” video and be done with it, we know hes a cock :)

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  10. RF (1,371 comments) says:

    Norman is a stupid fool who is just grand standing. No substance in his whinging.

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  11. Paulus (2,603 comments) says:

    All Norman wants is publicity, irrespective of the contents – like Winston.
    As long as the media keeps upping him he will be satisfied.
    Better than being ignored.

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  12. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    OK Hmmo…

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  13. Fentex (923 comments) says:

    Dr Russel Norman: In light of the fact that the cover note on the report says that the appendices are legally privileged and highly classified, does he believe that the leaking of the full Kitteridge report is a serious offence?

    So he is calling it a serious offence, if the full report was leaked.

    Norman is quoted asking a question, how is that an assertion of an opinion?

    Dr Russel Norman: If he does not know who leaked the report, will he launch an inquiry to get to the bottom of it, given his previous support for an inquiry into a leak at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade over documents that were probably quite considerably less sensitive?

    So he explicitly called for a leak inquiry.

    DPF may infer that Norman wanted an enquiry from his question, but I think it’s a reach to even call that question an implication Norman wanted an enquiry – Norman is, well, explicitly asking for someone elses decision.

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  14. sparky (235 comments) says:

    Who in there right mind takes any notice of Ginger Aussie Norman! He is always calling for enquiries, like the boy who cried wolf, after a while, one is not sure which enquiry he is talking about, or is interested. Find another hobby Aussie Norman.

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  15. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    Keep talking Norman!, you’ve almost ruled out a left wing coalition government next election.
    Just a little bit more……

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  16. gravedodger (1,546 comments) says:

    Our bio security was compromised when he arrived at our border.

    Inineration would have done the trick

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  17. unaha-closp (1,158 comments) says:

    Who was pushing Henry?

    Probably the GCSB.

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  18. hmmokrightitis (1,585 comments) says:

    Thanks Longknives. I also note that he is wearing a fawn suit. I mean, what grownup man wears a fawn suit?

    The man is clearly missing the ‘brownshirt’ days of yore.

    What did we as a country do that was so bad, so evil that we deserved to have this oick foist upon us?

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  19. greenjacket (455 comments) says:

    Hell, let Russel Norman yabber on all he likes about an issue that no-one outside diehard political junkies knows anything about or cares about. I just hope he keeps going on about various oddball conspiracy theories for another 18 months.

    In the meantime, National continues to sail serenely on, getting shit done that actually makes a difference to voters like building motorways and rebuilding Christchurch.

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  20. Random Punter (68 comments) says:

    “…what grownup man wears a fawn suit?”

    As the old Duke of Norfolk used to say: “Never wear a brown suit, or people will think you’re the sort of chap who wears a brown suit”.

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  21. hubbers (137 comments) says:

    You couldn’t make this shit up. It’s like they don’t want to lead because that would ruin the cosy little make believe world they live in.

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