Wayne Mapp makes an excellent point in his criticism of the Labour Department for not investigating Taito Phillip Field, with their reliance on the Ingram Report to say nothing in there indicates an employment relationship.
Mapp highlights that Ingram found some of the documents he was given were fake, or to quote him, he had “cause to consider the authenticity” of them. And that Ingram found the testimony given by the Labour Party Chair who claimed to contract out the painting as unreliable.
This is where the Government truly passes the boundary from sleazy to corrupt. The issue is not the original el cheapo favours Field had done for him, but the cover-up.
The PM’s inquiry, which was given no powers, found it was lied to, and given fake documents, amongst an obvious orchestrated cover-up. Having had your QC investigator report back that there is a cover-up, and that further investigation by a body with powers is needed, the Government has done nothing.
Remember there were 45 unfavourable references to Field or his associates in the report – many to do with an inability to get to the truth.
Helen Clark hides behind two excuses for why she won’t have a proper inquiry. The first is the cost of the Ingram Report at almost $500,000. But this is rubbish. Firstly the Govt squanders more than that almost every day. But more importantly the reason Ingram cost so much is because he had no powers and was so frustrated at getting to the truth. And Clark was asked to set up a more powerful inquiry in the first place and refused.
The second excuse is one doesn’t want the PM to be able to set up inquiries into any MP at any time. That somehow this would be an abuse of office. Now sure one doesn’t want a Muldoon type figure launching investigations into MPs willy-nilly, but there is a simple way forward – that the PM launches a commission of inquiry when there is sufficient evidence of concern, and when the MP’s party leader agrees.
We saw this with Colin Moyle – Labour agreed to the commission of inquiry set up by Muldoon. And the rationale for its need – the evidence which suggested Moyle had not told the truth – just as the Ingram Report strongly suggests Field and associates have not been truthful.
So all Helen Clark PM needs to do is get permission of Helen Clark Labour Party Leader and she could announce a commission of inquiry today. So long as Clark refuses to have a proper investigation, then the corrupt label remains.