Tag Archives: Inquiry

Pike River realities surface . . .

At Twitter:

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Video at ODT Online:

The father of one of the men killed in the Pike River mining disaster says the families have always believed the Government wasn’t telling the truth about mine safety.

Mon, 1 May 2017
ODT: Pike video shows men in mine after blast
The Government has long said high concentrations of methane inside the mine make it too risky to re-enter to retrieve the bodies of the 29 men killed in the November 2010 blast, because the gas could explode. But footage leaked to Newshub yesterday showed two Mines Rescue workers inside the mine three months after the explosion, with no gloves, apparently relaxed as they fashioned a makeshift cover for a robot out of cardboard and tape. The robot is seen to be steaming or smoking well inside the mine, but the workers do not panic – and nothing explodes. Bernie Monk, whose son Michael was killed in the November 2010 explosion in the West Coast coal mine, said the newly leaked footage did not come as a surprise. Cont/

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At Twitter:

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nzherald.co.nz Uploaded on Nov 23, 2010
Raw video: Robot camera inside Pike River mine
First pictures from inside the Pike River mine which show the miner’s helmet and mine damage.

Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum Published on Oct 21, 2013
Case Study: Pike River
View the full case study here:
http://www.zeroharm.org.nz/leadership/case-studies/pike-river/

Graeme Axford Published on Oct 31, 2014
Pike River families believe photos show bodies
Friday 31 Oct 2014 8:06 p.m.
It is understood that a decision from Solid Energy on whether it will allow recovery teams to re-enter the drift of the Pike River mine is imminent. The drift is not the mine itself, but the two-kilometre tunnel that leads to the mine.
Families of the victims are desperate for a mission to collect evidence and to see if there are any bodies in the drift.
They say if Solid Energy won’t do it, they will. They say they know there are bodies in the mine, and tonight, with their blessing and for the first time, we can show you their evidence. Dean Dunbar, the father of lost miner Joseph Dunbar, spoke with Campbell Live producer Kate McCallum. Watch the full interview with Dean Dunbar.

Division of Humanities, University of Otago Published on Jul 4, 2016
███ Pike River – How could this happen in this day and age?
Colin Smith, Chairman on the Pike River Families Group Committee and the Pike River 29 Legacy Trust, talks about the Pike River disaster and asks ‘how could this happen in this day and age’? Find out why the Pike River Families have fought so hard and for so long. Colin Smith is a law graduate from the University of Otago and is a partner with the Greymouth Law Firm Hannan & Seddon.

RNZ Published on Jan 23, 2017
Pike River survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes it’s safe to enter: RNZ Checkpoint
Pike River mine survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes the mine’s drift is safe to enter, and is willing to be among the first party that goes in.

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davedobbynmusic Published on Dec 15, 2014
Dave Dobbyn – This Love (Live Perfomance)
‘This Love’ by Dave Dobbyn with the Orpheus Choir of Wellington is a moving tribute to the 29 men who died in the Pike River Mine explosion.
The piece was first performed at a concert attended by members of the miners’ bereaved families and was recorded by Radio NZ Concert. The choral arrangement is by Mark Dorrell. Also performing are Wellington Young Voices, Mark Vanilau (piano), Jo Barus (bass), Ross Burge (drums) and Chris Clark (cornet). With special thanks to TVNZ and Satellite Media – taken from the TVNZ documentary ‘Dreams Lie Deeper’.

Related Post and Comments:
24.1.13 Pike River, Department of Internal Affairs #skippingthebusiness

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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[FUT] There will be an SAS inquiry

Photo via publishers pottonandburton.co.nz

█ Website: HIT AND RUN – https://www.hitandrunnz.com/

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N U T S H E L L S ● S I N C E ● B O O K ● L A U N C H

At Facebook:

### ODT Online Mon, 3 Apr 2017
No SAS inquiry: PM
There will not be an inquiry into allegations an SAS raid in Afghanistan led to civilian deaths. Prime Minister Bill English revealed that decision at his regular post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, saying there was no basis for an inquiry. It came after formal advice from Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating. “After considering Mr Keating’s briefing…and viewing video footage of the operation I have included there is no basis for an inquiry.” Mr English said if new information changed this it would be reconsidered. He said the allegations had caused distress to NZDF staff and their families. […] Hit & Run by journalists Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager claim six civilians were killed and 15 were injured in the 2010 raids in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province, and those facts have been covered up by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).
Read more

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### radionz.co.nz 4:17 pm today
From The Panel with Jim Mora
No inquiry into the Afghanistan SAS operation #
Are there gaps in the NZDF account of the SAS operation in the Hit & Run book?
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (6′57″)

### radionz.co.nz 8:35 am today
PM trusting military’s word ‘a joke’ – Hager
By Craig McCulloch, Political Reporter
Investigative journalist Nicky Hager has accused Prime Minister Bill English of joining “a seven-year cover-up” by refusing to hold an inquiry into a 2010 raid in Afghanistan. Mr Hager and Jon Stephenson’s book Hit & Run claims six civilians were killed in a raid on two Afghan villages involving New Zealand’s SAS in 2010. Mr English yesterday ruled out an inquiry after being briefed by the Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, and watching video footage of the operation shot by some of the aircraft involved. But Mr Hager said it was “a joke” for Mr English to trust the military’s word. “These are the people who are in trouble, so of course they don’t want an inquiry … No experienced minister should fall for that.”
Read more

### radionz.co.nz 12:39 pm on 3 April 2017
RNZ News
Soldiers’ honour hinges on inquiry – Transparency International
By Jane Patterson, RNZ Political Editor
A global anti-corruption group has added its voice to calls for an inquiry into allegations in the book Hit & Run, relating to raids on a Afghan village in 2010. The book alleges several civilians – including a three-year-old – were either killed or injured in the raid, which involved New Zealand special forces. The Defence Force has confirmed Operation Burnham took place on 22 August 2010, that New Zealand had a leading role, and there were fatalities that could have included civilians. However, it said the troops followed rules of engagement and the only people they could definitively say were killed were insurgents. Along with some parties and the book’s authors, Transparency International New Zealand chief executive Janine McGruddy wants an inquiry.
Read more

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The New Zealand Special Air Service was formed on 7 July 1955 and is the special forces unit of the New Zealand Army, closely modelled on the British Special Air Service (SAS). It traces its origins to the Second World War and the famous Long Range Desert Group that a number of New Zealanders served with. The New Zealand Government states that NZSAS is the “premier combat unit of the New Zealand Defence Force” and it has been operationally deployed to a variety of locations, including the jungles of South-East Asia, the Pacific region and Afghanistan. The NZSAS was accorded Regimental status in 2013 and presently has the responsibility of conducting domestic Counter-Terrorism operations and international on request, overseas Special Operations missions and performing the disposal of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive hazards for both the military and civilian authorities. #

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At Twitter:

█ Read more at Twitter #HitandRunNZ

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### radionz.co.nz 8:35 am on 26 March 2017
From Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman
Jon Stephenson – Hit and Run #
Co-author of the book, Hit and Run, Jon Stephenson, joins Wallace to talk about what he and Nicky Hager uncovered in their book and why there needs to be an official enquiry into what happened in Afghanistan.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (19′36″)

### radionz.co.nz 7:11 am on Wed 22 Mar 2017
From Morning Report with Susie Ferguson and Guy Espiner
New book claims Govt, NZDF covered up civilian casualties #
Journalist Nicky Hager says it is beyond belief government officials deny New Zealand SAS troops were involved in civilian deaths during a botched raid in Afghanistan in 2010.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (12′51″)

### radionz.co.nz 8:11 am on Wed 22 Mar 2017
From Morning Report with Guy Espiner
Blanket denial made about claims SAS soldiers killed civilians #
Journalist Jon Stephenson says SAS soldiers involved in a botched raid in Afghanistan have told him and fellow writer Nicky Hager that lies were told to cover up the fact civilians were killed.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (8′56″)

### radionz.co.nz 8:20 am on Wed 22 Mar 2017
From Morning Report with Susie Ferguson
War crimes specialist says NZ could face problems #
War crimes specialist Alison Cole says Hit and Run contains enough information for International Criminal Court prosecutors to begin an investigation.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (5′40″)

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S A T I R E

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C I R C L I N G ● T H O U G H T

COOL! Published on Mar 25, 2017
Sia – Blank Page ft. Christina Aguilera (Mashup)
“Blank Page” is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Christina Aguilera, taken from her seventh studio album, Lotus (2012). It was written by Aguilera, Chris Braide and Sia Furler, with production done by Braide. Aguilera had worked with Furler on her previous two albums Bionic and Burlesque, both released in 2010.

Artist: Francis Perreault
https://www.facebook.com/perreaultcreations

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Basic questions arising for the City, unpublished by the newspaper

Received from John Evans
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 at 7:47 p.m.

From: John Evans
Date: Monday, January 16, 2017
Subject: KPI
To: ODT editor

The Editor, ODT

Sir,

We are often regaled by company directors, CEOs and bureaucrats with discourses on the importance of KPIs. KPIs?

Key Performance Indicators – one of many PR corporate speak Buzzwords.

Wikipedia’s definition is pretty broad but basically it means that certain measures designed by the company or board are measured against actual performances.

Recently, the term gained another meaning when KEY performance [was] reassessed in the light of John KEY’s resignation. Unfortunately his stellar career as Prime Minister seemed to be judged poorly by those political pundits doing the assessment.

The key word is Performance, the measure of which is judged in order to provide an increase in salary or measures which might lose the judged their position if they failed to meet the KPIs included as part of the employment contract.

The test is what performance is paramount and who is it paramount to.
These tests are important in worldwide businesses but is there a different reality in New Zealand? It seems to me that either the KPIs are set incorrectly or there is a disconnect because no one seems to fail, to not meet their predetermined KPIs.

[infront.com]

One example is the role of council lawyers. Why would council lawyers write in an employment contract a clause which gave the employee a golden parachute even if they failed to meet their KPIs? Or was it the employees themselves who wrote the KPIs for their own future benefit? Surely if this was so, the lawyers acting for the company or body they represent would refuse to condone the parachute for employees and directors after proven incompetence.

The Dunedin City Council and its management, and the council owned companies, are surely charged with KPIs and, one surmises, about the results of such indicators and the resultant effects on the council and its employees. Can we analyse a few actions of the council and what the KPIs may have been and whether they would meet them and perhaps the consequences of meeting them or not.

The first and most obvious one is the theft of 152+ cars.
What was the measure of acceptable theft? Was it 20 cars, 100 cars or was 150 cars sufficient to tip them over the edge. And as another example, what was the Police’s key indicator on this matter? Do they prosecute for the theft or conversion of 1 car or does it take 160 cars to prosecute somebody for being involved either in the theft or knowing receipt of a car or cars?

The next is the investment in land and development projects by Delta.
Was failure in one, two or three such projects acceptable or is the magic number 5 (Delta will do it again and we have not quite got there yet).

The Dunedin stadium KPIs. Is a running cost of some $20million acceptable as an annual loss to the ratepayers or should the losses be only $15million or shock horror only $5million. Or should the ratepayers be released from the financial burden which was never the choice of the majority?

Sewage Treatment KPI – Is it acceptable to process sewage to a point that it pollutes the ocean two kilometres out or are we entitled to potable water ex site at Tahuna?

Mudtank cleaning KPI – How many mudtanks cleaned would be an acceptable result, would a flood in South Dunedin suggest that measure was incorrect? Contractual performance and payment for same. Would a KPI for the DCC CEO include overall managing payments to contractors? If a contractor did not perform to those KPIs set within the mudtank cleaning contract, should the contractor be still paid?

Wastewater treatment – Is it an acceptable KPI for wastewater treatment that in high rainfall such overflows are discharged into the pristine Otago Harbour?

Delta KPI on pole replacement. Is 100 unreplaced tagged poles acceptable? Is 1000 acceptable? On suspect poles, is a KPI that the company changes so that they did not breach a previous KPI acceptable or should every company and council just change their KPIs to avoid failure, blame or the legal consequences?

Richard Healey, the “whistleblower” on Delta’s failures seems to have personal ‘built-in’ KPIs —including integrity, high quality job performance, peer safety and corporate responsibility. Just why do the CEO and directors’ KPIs apparently differ from these such that Healey has to resign for them to take note?

On Directors of the council owned companies, do their KPIs reflect their responsibility under the law or are they designed to protect the directors from prosecution under the law despite failure by other measures?

And where does the buck stop?

Just what are the KPIs upon which we judge the mayor, based? Is the only measurement his electability?

Are we the ratepayers not entitled to expect a KPI that includes retribution against failings in any DCC departments or DCHL companies? If we do not reward success and prosecute failure in some way are we not missing the whole point of Pavlov and his dogs? Should we not then close our prisons and let the perpetrators of violence, antisocial acts and any injustice roam free, surely this is the logical nett result of such an attitude of no judgement.

The analysis of John Key’s contribution would suggest that electability and performance may well be poles apart. Perhaps that is the greatest lesson we can learn from the errors of judgement of recent times in our city.

John P. Evans
Otakou

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Filed under Business, Central Otago, Citifleet, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Electricity, Finance, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Pet projects, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, South Dunedin, Stadiums, Travesty

OIA Review: Bev’s off, thank god! #politicallyblinkered #shakethattreesomemore

Updated post
Sat, 5 Dec 2015 at 1:17 p.m.

LIES and SPIN, Bev

Beverley Wakem 1 [nbr.co.nz]### NZ Herald Online 1:40 PM Wednesday Dec 2, 2015
Official Information Act review finds ‘no deliberate misuse’
By Isaac Davison – NZH political reporter
A high-level review of the Official Information Act will not uncover any widespread political interference in the release of information, its author says. The Ombudsman’s Office will release the findings from its comprehensive, year-long review next week. Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem said today that the investigation had not discovered malicious or deliberate misuse of the Act by ministers’ offices or by Government departments.

“We’ve really shaken the tree over this and haven’t been surprised by what’s fallen out,” she told a Parliamentary committee this morning.

She admitted that she had suspected political interference, but had found no hard evidence of it. Dame Beverley said people who had complained to her office could be perceiving political spin or “bad behaviour” when it did not exist, and she could not make any findings “based on hearsay”.
Read more

█ The release of the report will be Dame Beverley’s last act as Chief Ombudsman after 10 years in the role. She is being replaced by former Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier next week.

Gun shy ? (broken record – your 10 limp-wristed years, inter-agency OBFUSCATION, or lose your privilege, your confidence, your connections, your office budget….)

DemiLovatoVEVO Published on Oct 9, 2015
Demi Lovato – Confident (Official Video)

Sharon Murdoch (@domesticanimal) 5.12.15 Dame Beverley [Stuff.co.nz]Sharon Murdoch, Dame Beverley December 5, 2015 [Stuff.co.nz]

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16.12.14 Chief Ombudsman | OIA review
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█ For more, enter terms such as *audit nz*, *auditor general*, *citifleet*, *corruption*, *courthouse*, *cst*, *dcc*, *delta*, *department of internal affairs*, *dia*, *dvml*, *fraud*, *gambling*, *kaipara*, *nzru*, *oag*, *orfu*, *pokies*, *racing*, *rugby*, *sfo*, *stadium*, *ttcf* or *whistleblowers* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: nbr.co.nz – Beverley Wakem

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Chief Ombudsman | OIA review

“The effective operation of the OIA is crucial to our system of open and democratic government, and this review will scrutinise how things are currently operating and set out a framework for systemic improvement where deficiencies are identified.” –Beverley Wakem, Chief Ombudsman

Beverley Wakem 1 [nbr.co.nz]### NZ Herald Online 2:11 PM Tuesday Dec 16, 2014
Government offices selected for OIA review
By Isaac Davison – NZ Herald political reporter
The Chief Ombudsman says a major review of the Official Information Act will scrutinise all 27 government ministers’ offices.
Dame Beverley Wakem today began her review of the way the public sector used the OIA, which she first announced in August.
Twelve government agencies have been selected for formal review, based on their size, number of OIA requests, complaints, and other criteria.
A further 63 agencies and all ministers’ offices have been asked to complete a detailed survey. At least one agency cited for good OIA practice would be included in the review.
The Ombudsman’s office would also seek input from past and present public servants, Opposition parties, journalists, academics and others.
Dame Beverley said the goal was to assess the quality and integrity of OIA practice in the public sector and to address any issues that were found.
Read more

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24.10.14 John Key’s Godzone and the OIA
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23.9.14 John Oliver on Eminem vs National #LastWeekTonight
19.9.14 Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem to launch post-election inquiry
23.9.14 John Key PM —real or fake? and one email
2.9.14 John Key PM, plus and minus
7.12.13 Corruption in NZ Sport: Where has John Key PM been hiding ???
21.3.13 Public service causing “paralysis of democracy” with OIA requests
26.7.12 ‘The Public’s Right to Know’ – OIA Review
9.2.10 John Key made NZ fall apart #FAIL
2.12.09 DScene – OIA requests about stadium endless?
21.11.09 Stadium: Key’s message to opponents….

█ For more, enter terms such as *corruption*, *fraud*, *whistleblowers*, *dia*, *department of internal affairs*, *stadium*, *gambling*, *auditor general*, *oag*, *audit nz*, *orfu*, *nzru*, *sfo*, *pokies*, *ttcf*, *racing* or *rugby* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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John Oliver on Eminem vs National #LastWeekTonight

John Oliver on NZ Election 1b

█ Watch at YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e25YmpQiEEY

Last Week Tonight at Facebook

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### tvnz.co.nz Published: 7:34AM Tuesday September 23, 2014
US show mocks NZ over accent and National’s Eminem stoush
Source: ONE News
A British comedian has taken aim at an issue the National Party faced during its political campaign. In a clip posted on YouTube, John Oliver, who hosts the US show The Last Week Tonight, says New Zealand has re-elected Prime Minister John Key on Saturday, “despite a turbulent campaign with a major scandal that engulfed him earlier this week”. He then plays a ONE News clip, in which Wendy Petrie says: “Rap superstar Eminem’s become the latest to take pot shots at our Government.”
Read more

John Oliver on NZ Election 3John Oliver on NZ Election 2aJohn Oliver on NZ Election (ONEnews)John Oliver on NZ Election (ONEnews samples National ad with Eminem audio) 1John Oliver on NZ Election (ONEnews samples National ad with Eminem audio)John Oliver on NZ Election (Stuff - Steven Joyce, National Party campaign manager) 1John Oliver on NZ Election (Steven Joyce, National Party campaign manager)It's pretty legal --Steven Joyce 1

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19.9.14 Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem to launch post-election inquiry
17.9.14 John Key PM —real or fake? and one email.
● 16.9.14 Eminem sues National Party
15.9.14 The Moment of Truth

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem to launch post-election inquiry

█ What today’s ODT editorial doesn’t tell you, story sunk not headlining…..

“We may as well kiss democracy goodbye” –The Standard
By NATWATCH, published at 8:13 am, September 19th, 2014
The words of the title of this post are those of Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem …. Yet another typical scandal from the dirtiest government ever seen in NZ. Read more + Comments

Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem to launch wide-ranging inquiry after election in respect of OIA practices

### NZ Herald Online 5:30 AM Friday Sep 19, 2014
Ombudsman ‘appalled’ by ex-Customs lawyer’s OIA allegations
By David Fisher
A former Customs lawyer claim that he was told to bury bad news matches similar stories which have sparked a wide-ranging inquiry by Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem. She said she was “appalled” by Curtis Gregorash’s claim. “Having said that one of the reasons I am undertaking of selected agencies in respect of their OIA practices is that anecdotally a number of people have told me similar stories,” she said. She said a planned inquiry to be launched after the election could see the Ombudsman’s office using its Commission of Inquiry powers to compel evidence to be given under oath were there signs information was being hidden. “Ministerial offices will be figuring in our inquiry and that is all I will say.”
Read more

Tweet from Chris Slane (@Slanecartoons) tweeted at 9.18 AM on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 (1)

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Whistleblower Curtis Gregorash said he was subjected to an internal investigation after releasing information about Dotcom sought by the NZ Herald through the Official Information Act. The information released saw Customs staff discuss earning “brownie points” by passing on Dotcom information to the FBI.

### NZ Herald Online 5:30 AM Friday Sep 19, 2014
Ex-Customs lawyer claims he was told to bury info that could embarrass the Government
By David Fisher
A former high-ranking Customs lawyer says he resigned from his job after allegedly being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government.
Curtis Gregorash said he was told by senior Customs executives to refuse Official Information Act and Privacy Act requests, which he believed was at the direction of former Customs Minister Maurice Williamson. It comes at a time the Prime Minister’s office is under inquiry over the release of intelligence material through the OIA and accusations that former Justice Minister Judith Collins was manipulating OIA responses for political purposes. [Mr] Gregorash quit his role as Customs’ chief legal counsel in March this year after more than a decade as a government lawyer.

The lawyer turned whistleblower said: “I’ve sat on it for a long time. But the story itself is so awful it needs to be told. I think people really need to see what ministers and some senior executives do.

He had decided to speak because he believed the alleged instruction “was unlawful”, undermined the way the public service was meant to operate and was given for what was ultimately political reasons. “The direction came down (from the minister) through the CEO (Carolyn Tremain) and group manager (of legal services) Peter Taylor to me saying ‘you don’t release anything – I don’t care what the OIA says, I’d rather fight it in the courts’.”
Mr Gregorash said the alleged instruction came during a briefing from Mr Taylor to the legal team in which he referred to Ms Tremain and meeting with Mr Williamson. “I resigned over it. I couldn’t stare my staff in the face and say this is actually serious conduct that’s being presented to you in a lawful way.”
Mr Gregorash said the alleged instruction to withhold information was general – but became specific in relation to “sensitive” issues, including entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, wanted for copyright violation in the United States. “Mr Taylor directed me to withhold all information and pass the same direction on to my team.”
Read more

● In the public interest, lengthy citation of articles by David Fisher at New Zealand Herald (APNZ).

Related Post:
21.3.13 Public service causing “paralysis of democracy” with OIA requests

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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