The Rebstock Report

December 12th, 2013 at 12:56 pm by David Farrar

The full report is here. Some key extracts:

Actions of some employees in supplying information and personal views directly to Ministers, to the Labour Party Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, to officials and former public servants outside MFAT and to the media fuelled the political debate. This directly undermined MFAT’s ability to provide Ministers with robust, unbiased advice once the Secretary had consulted and considered the views of staff at  MFAT.

61 Prior to the change programme, MFAT had been regarded as an agency that could be trusted with government information. This trust, locally and internationally, is critically important given the role that MFAT undertakes on behalf of the Government and all New Zealanders.

62 The of documents that had been prepared by MFAT staff detrimentally affected MFAT’s reputation as a trustworthy organisation, thereby damaging New Zealand’s interests and the Government’s trust and confidence in MFAT.

Those MFAT managers who did the above put their personal interests ahead of the interests of their department.

But it almost certainly wasn’t one of them who leaked the cabinet paper. We turn to X:

[X] was employed by SSC through an employment agency on a short term contract during the period relevant to the investigation. SSC was aware that before joining SSC, [X] had been employed by Parliamentary Services in the Labour Party Research Unit.

And:

[X] confirmed [X’s] previous role working for the Labour Party in the office of the Labour Party Leader and that [X] had maintained social contact with colleagues from that time. SSC’s logs of external email traffic for [X] showed [X] was in touch with some colleagues in the Labour Party Research Unit, including in the fortnight before the Cabinet Committee papers were leaked.

Some details:

9.02am: Scanned a document of 10 pages
9.04am: Scanned a document of 18 pages.

The Change Programme Cabinet Committee Paper was 10 pages long, the Europe Posts Cabinet Committee paper was 18 pages long.

[X] could not explain the scanning of documents of the same number of pages as the two Cabinet Committee papers, either side of the photocopying activity.

It’s not proof, but in the absence of any explanation as to what document he was scanning in, the conclusion that it was the Cabinet Papers is very reasonable.

His initial denials were not much:

When asked: “Are you quite clear [X] that you didn’t scan those Cabinet Committee papers to provide them to someone who was not authorised to receive them?” [X] replied:

I can’t recall to be honest. I can’t remember.

I can’t recall if I leaked it or not!

Now X of course has name suppression which means that suspicion will fall not just on him, but all former Labour parliamentary staff.  If they find it hard to get jobs in departments or companies that require professionalism and confidentiality, then they should blame X for his name suppression which leaves the rest of them under a cloud of suspicion.

I can’t find the exact reference but I recall Phil Goff claiming the leaks were from affected MFAT diplomats. If Person x is the leaker (which is almost certain), then Phil Goff lied because I guess saying it is a leak from a former staff member who is a temporary clerk in the SSC doesn’t sound as good.

Tags: , ,

20 Responses to “The Rebstock Report”

  1. straya (55 comments) says:

    Answering with the phrase “to be honest” is usually a dead giveaway that the person is lying.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Ed Snack (1,535 comments) says:

    Is it known if the documents that were leaked were emailed out, I would have thought that there would be email logs and/or archived emails. Otherwise I suppose they were printed from the scanned documents or copied and provided on removeable media. There apparently are no electronic tracks to be found, so presumably they can’t track documents.

    This evidence surely must go pretty close to being prima facie evidence for the leak.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Huevon (101 comments) says:

    Poor “Person X”. He probably thought he was being “staunch” and “sticking it to the Tories”.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    So have I got this correct – If you leak sensitive information you get name suppression ?

    Why ?

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Why does this surprise anyone?

    Aren’t Lefties always banging on about ‘speaking truth to power’?

    Obviously ‘speaking truth’ means leaking confidential information, and the ‘power’ referred to is the leadership of your political party.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. iMP (2,147 comments) says:

    Interesting david. We are having cases where people simple claim amnesia, and I hope in this, and the Banks case, the law deals with that appropriately. It is such a dishonest wimp out.

    Presume you mean “(dis)affected MFAT diplomats.” It is likely X lied to Goff and told him that is where the documents came from. If so, this might grow, and be a case where a known labour research unit activist went in to MFAT (how was he appointed?), received and then distributed Cabinet papers to discredit the Nat/Coalition govt.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Reid (15,505 comments) says:

    Is it known if the documents that were leaked were emailed out

    Ed, they were scanned and emailed to the person’s inbox then put on a USB and the person’s email account was deleted when s/he left.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    iMP

    If that were the case it would be treason ???? I guess being an x-Labour staff member he will be immune from prosecution because it won ‘t be in the public interest – Move on ….

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. tvb (3,937 comments) says:

    If Goff mislead Parluament regarding the source of the leak and as a result undermined confidence in MFAT then that is a serious breach of privilege.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    tvb

    It’s different when Labour do it – Ask Chris Trotter.. He can explain courageous corruption and the means justifies the ends

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. MikeG (359 comments) says:

    “I can’t recall to be honest. I can’t remember.”

    He was just quoting the John’s – Key and Banks

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    The Public Service Organisation or who-ever represents carreer diplomats should be outraged that GOFF falsely and knowingly tried to blame the treachery of the leaked Cabinet papers on them. Goff really is an unprincipled little creep.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. itstricky (1,139 comments) says:

    Goff is a liar – Pretty big call DPF particularly given the report also supposedly says it is probable that senior staff fed Goff & the media. And,as said above, X may well have lied to him in return. There are a large number of permutations.

    Your outrage at ‘I can not recall’ is hillarious. C.f. Basically all MPs in recent memory particularly Banks, Key & Dunne. I remember that for the next ‘to be honest I can’t recall’ statement. Putting those two statements together it’s almost as if X is taking the mickey out of Key. All he need do actually would be to put ‘LOOK’ at the start for the perfect parody… ‘LOOK. To be perfectly honest I don’t recall’

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    MikeG

    “I can’t recall to be honest. I can’t remember.”

    He was just quoting the John’s – Key and Banks

    Perhaps – but lets not forget the lefties called for Banks to resign because of his dishonesty… It’s different when their own do it ….

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. RF (1,126 comments) says:

    I sincerely hope is going to be – “My name is Goff and I am off”.

    His grubby little fingerprints are all over this.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. MikeG (359 comments) says:

    Burt – I don’t think that the leaker is in a position to resign from being an MP. Don;t we expect ‘higher standards’ from MP and Ministers? That’s what John Key said, but I think that he’s forgotten that by now.

    Of course, the right never ‘leak’ do they!

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    MikeG

    I think the previous self serving PM set the bar for Key – The PM can’t leak !!!!!!

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    We might see Rebstock or Rennie making an embarrassing apology.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11171532

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. itstricky (1,139 comments) says:

    Exactly as I said ross69.

    Pause, touch and wait for the cries of disbelief at the left-biased MSM…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. tvb (3,937 comments) says:

    The SSC stuffed up by allowing a fly by night contractor access to sensitive Government information. That is a basic error of judgement. I was involved in giving advice on who should have access to the Crown banking system. I advised that only trusted long term career employees should have signing authority. This caused a problem with an extra Government agency who were not permanent employees and were insisting on this access but we stuck to our guns on that one.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.