Blame for the failings of an inquiry into the unauthorised release of a report into illegal spying falls at the feet of John Key, Privileges Committee member Grant Robertson says.
“It was John Key who signed off on the terms of reference for the David Henry inquiry and it was his chief of staff Wayne Eagleson who critically intervened in decisions to release material from Parliamentary Service.
“John Key has spent a lot of time trying to distance himself from the inquiry but the bottom line is he and Wayne Eagleson were donkey-deep in it.
“The Privileges Committee tabled its report in Parliament today. It indicates there were significant failures and shortcomings in David Henry’s inquiry, including that it was ‘unacceptable’ that it released information without the direct involvement of MPs concerned or the Speaker of the House.
“The committee also found that in the inquiry was a ‘seeming lack of regard for the separation of the Executive and Parliament’. This was a result of the actions of David Henry, the Parliamentary Service and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Wayne Eagleson.
“This inquiry was a shambles, and as the person who was responsible for it John Key is answerable for that.
“At the end of all of this, we still do not know who leaked the Kitteridge Report. The way this inquiry was set up almost made sure that would be the case. New Zealanders deserve better than this when it involves the leaking of a sensitive and confidential report.
“The Privileges Committee’s report does not vindicate United Future leader Peter Dunne but, given our terms of reference, we were unable to investigate who leaked the report.
“John Key owes it to the public to once and for all clear up who was responsible for the leak, otherwise it appears the inquiry was set up to fail,” Grant Robertson says.