The SST has claimed that Helen Clark told them that the official reports into Doonegate indicated he said “that won’t be necessary”. Neither of the official reports did say that, which exposes her very badly.
She has responded that there was contested evidence on what Doone said. This may be true, but it misses the point.
An investigation into the behaviour of the top police officer in NZ is a matter of the gravest importance. The formal investigations are the ones charged with finding out what happened and testing any contested evidence. When you have the PM leaking untested allegations, it absolutely undermines the process. How on earth could she have thought it was appropriate to say *anything* at all while the reports were not final?
Some in the media and Labour are trying to make this an issue on whether or not Doone should have resigned or did anything wrong. That is not the issue. For what it is worth, I believe his other actions were enough to make it untenable for him to continue.
The issue is the PM’s egging on of a newspaper to pressure her own Commissioner of Police. Yesterday NZPA reported her saying that her ‘open relationship’ with journalists is in ‘the interest of open government’. This is almost farcical.
If the PM wished to comment ‘on the record’ to the newspaper and be quoted as saying the report says so and so, then that is in the interest of open government. An anonymous confirmation of a false or unproved rumour about what the Police Commissioner said is nothing to do with open government.