The Herald reports:
Emails exchanged between former minister Clare Curran and millionaire entrepreneur Derek Handley over the Government’s chief technology role via her private email account remain a mystery, despite attempts by Parliament’s Speaker to shed light on them.
Speaker Trevor Mallard yesterday directed State Services Minister Chris Hipkins to bring with him to the debating chamber today all previously undisclosed emails from Curran’s private Gmail account to and from Handley on the CTO role in order to satisfy questions from National’s Nick Smith.
Today Finance Minister Grant Robertson, standing in for Hipkins who has gone on parental leave, read out the dates and a description of the content of the emails.
Curran has handed over her emails to Archives New Zealand, which has in turn told Mallard that the Public Records Act overrides the Official Information Act and Curran retains ownership and control of them.
Robertson said he had been assured Curran would release them under the Official Information Act.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has told Parliament that in addition to a text message, she also received an unsolicited email to her private account from Handley on June 7 but did not open it or reply to it.
Her staff had told her it had informed her that he had applied for the CTO role.
Ardern yesterday said she had received a text message from Handley about the CTO role but said she never spoke to him.
It is of course quite normal for someone applying for a $400,000 a year Government job to text the Prime Minister and tell them they have applied.
It is also quite normal to be appointed despite (reportedly) applying after the deadline for applications.
Also quite normal to have a secret meeting with the Minister in charge of making the appointment.
Nothing at all out of the normal here.