I’m not personally against leaking and spinning of government reports – let’s be real – that is part of the job to try and get favourable coverage of policies etc.
Where the line should be drawn though is not reports on policies and programmes but judicial type reports. David Benson-Pope has today been exposed as having selectively leaked the Police report into his actions to the HoS. And his office denying they had done so.
If a Minister wants to arrange a good story of a report saying that xyz educational programme has been well received, then go for it. But when you are the accused in a criminal investigation then do not use your press secretary to undermine the Police process. Likewise Clark was also wrong to use the SST to leak (incorrect) information against Peter Doone who was facing a criminal investigation also.
The bottom line is no problem with Ministers leaking reports that they are the authors of, or directly concern their portfolio area. But semi-judicial reports by the Police, Police Complaints Authority, the Auditor-General etc should not be leaked and spun to the media until the final official version is released.
Oh talking of spinning, Trevor Loudon has a naughty comparison to DBP. And no he is not seriously making a comparison, but the holing up in a bunker part is funny!