The NZ Herald carries the story of the early warnings to the Minister over Taito Phillip Field’s immigration activities. I blogged about this yesterday. I think there are serious issues for the former Minister and Associate Minister to answer.
But today I want to focus on the curious situation where the Secretary of Labour denied any concerns had been raised, and then he was contradicted by the Deputy Secretary who detailed what the concerns were and who they had been raised with.
So why did the Secretary of Labour deny there had been any concerns raised? Either he did not tell the truth or he had not bothered to be fully briefed on the Field issue – something astonishing considering its political sensitivity.
The Deputy Secretary is Mary-Anne Thompson. There are few public servants I would rate more highly. When I was in the PMs Office, she worked for Winston Peters and then for DPMC, heading up the policy advisory group – a first class intellect. I would trust her integrity entirely.
The Secretary, James Buwalda, is most well known for the whitewash internal inquiry into the “lie in unison” memo which led to the Ombudsman taking the rare step of conducting his own inquiry which was damning.
Maybe a journalist or MP should ask the Secretary why he denied there had been any concerns raised. If he had not been briefed on that question, then why did he answer it? And if he had been briefed why did he deny there had been warnings?