The Rebstock Report

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.

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