Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom

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010914DIRTYCHART

The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom

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 Williamson – who resigned as a minister in May after contacting police over a National party donor who was facing domestic violence charges – rejected the claim last night, as did the legal services chief at Customs.

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 it was as if ministers were prepared to say: “F*** the OIA, I’d rather fight it through the Ombudsman because it takes three years.”

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.

…will John Armstrong or the rest of the press gallery focus on this as much as they focused their attacks on Kim Dotcom’s decision to take his fight to Parliamentary Privileges?

Of course they won’t. As far as most of the mainstream media are concerned their role is to make apologies for Key. When it came to dirty politics, their claim was ‘politics is dirty, everyone does it’, despite Key’s bare faced lies and the seriousness of the allegations, when confronted with mass surveillance their response is ‘everyone spies, so what’, despite the Key’s barefaced lies and his daily change of story.

We have been as betrayed by our fourth estates inability to critique the Prime Minister as we have by the National Party.

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This rot has to stop – join the other half million NZers who have early voted – vote now!

15 COMMENTS

  1. I read this mess of an article over and over to find out just what this lawyer had resigned for. Dear oh dear its poorly written.

    However add this to the mounting information that government ministers, all the way to the top, have been manipulating and or misusing the law to suit themselves and others in respect of Kim Dotcom. Hopefully someone else can fill this massive void in.

    As Dirty Politics revealed, if you are a friend of the National Party and especially if you are doing a character assassination on opposition OIA requests are processed in hours or even minutes. Anyone else, weeks or months, if you oppose them, years if ever. Sounds very corrupt to me.

    New National Party slogan:, “When working for NZ it’s not what you know but who you know in this government!”

    • New Cameron Slater drop-box NZ Herald slogan:, “When working for the NZ Herald it’s not what you know but who you know within this government!”

      could be just as pertinent.

  2. “Mr Gregorash quit his role as Customs’ chief legal counsel in March this year after more than a decade as a government lawyer.”
    There’s still some hope as long as we still have people of this calibre and integrity.

    • Absolutely Yogibare.

      And the article was placed below that of the major headline promoting FJK!

      This topic of yet more squalor from government, under FJK’s watch, should have been a screaming, in your face headline!

      Just goes to prove msm is as corrupt and as sordid as FJK!

      Vote for change. It’s necessary now!

  3. Yeah the corruption appears to go all the way through far beyond Liu, Dotcom….

    According to a whistle blower we have at least one official saying, “fuck the OIA”, and ordering that information which would make the government look bad not be released as they are legally required to do.

    This is a quote in todays Herald from Dame Beverly Wakem
    “We may as well kiss democracy goodbye. The work of this office relies in great measure in the maintenance of a high level of trust and integrity between ourselves and government agencies,” she said.
    Found at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11327328

    More on the above story as it relates to Dotcom found at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11327317

  4. I’ve been saying it for (what seems) for-ever, NZ Lame Street Media is ‘bought and paid for’, by the right wing-wealthy (and probably non NZ at that).
    NZ is NOT well served by the supposed fourth estate and after a left leaning Govt gets into power, the corruption in the LSM needs to be looked into, and consequences should be severe.
    Hone walked away from me when I mentioned this, so he’s seems quiet happy with the status quo. KDC and Laila got what I was on about.
    The media has had a MASSIVE effect on this election and it’s massively right-wing and accuracy (of the message) WAS NOT their aim.
    Almost ALL news and TV media ‘journalists’ should be invited to take up their book writing desire from their ‘bucket list’, after their action have been shown to be unprofessional and beyond fair balance.
    Kim Hill and John Campbell are probably the only ones who’d sleep well at night.
    And the puff journo reading the morning TV news, acting as National party propagandist in mild disguise, should be taken to court and shown to be the shills that they are !!!

  5. The element of corruption that plagues NZ public office intrigues me .
    Endemic corruption doesn’t suddenly happen over night . It takes years and years of dysfunction , manipulation and the weeding out of those less corruptible to make a decent nest of rats . ( No disrespect to actual rats . )
    So what is in New Zealand’s past that might have been the splitting of the diseased cells that created the monster that we’re slowly and surely becoming aware of ? Rounding up the few miscreant jurno’s for a smack down is just putting a poultice on the boil . Whaleoil , collins , even Jonky are small time players .
    It’s the big and fancy . It’s the big rat in the dark corner , just out of sight and doing their work . They’re the ones to go after .

    Imagine if Curtis Gregorash had swung the other way ? As have many before him . Imagine the wake of disease and dysfunction that would have , must have , followed his career path ? He’d have spent his entire working life carefully gathering about him his loyal minions , if for no other reason than his own survival . No doubt paid well , elevated to high positions of power and even given knighthoods for their services their country .

    I can congratulate Curtis Gregorash for his noble stand . And in my own paranoid way , I can also see the logic in his call to free himself from the snare that is NZ Politics and its associate Great New Zealand Institutionalised Lie .
    One certainly doesn’t want to go down with that particularly rat infested sinking ship .

    Writhe you greedy old Scum . Here comes the Truth . RIP Ma x .

    • “what is in New Zealand’s past that might have been the splitting of the diseased cells that created the monster that we’re slowly and surely becoming aware of ?”

      “HER MAJESTY VICTORIA … has deemed it necessary … to establish a settled form of Civil Government…” Link

      The ethical base of English democracy comes from English common law. When the civil state was established here there was no ethical nexus with the Westminster system, and the state’s connection to that ethical base was by franchise only, subservient to political will.

  6. There needs to be a royal commission enquiry into government corruption, and another one into bias and corruption of the press in my view… combined they are a perfect storm of awfulness that keeps the truth away from the NZ public and seriously undermines our democracy.

  7. “Endemic corruption doesn’t suddenly happen over night . It takes years and years of dysfunction , manipulation and the weeding out of those less corruptible to make a decent nest of rats.”

    It’s not just NZ – Australia, UK, USA… The neo-liberal revolution of the 1980’s weakened the “social good” aspect in politics and promoted the influence of profit-seeking corporations. A new era arrived in which huge profits depended on political decisions, so money flowed to those individuals and parties that promised the “right” decisions.

    There is no simple cure. Exposure and people in the streets are probably the most effective

  8. LATEST FROM GREENS TODAY:

    Greens pledge to clean up Govt:

    The Green Party is needed in Government to clean up politics after repeated abuses of power by National, the Green Party said today.

    A former high-ranking Customs lawyer, Curtis Gregorash, says he was told to bury information that could embarrass the Government. The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, will include this allegation and other concerns in a wide-ranging inquiry she will hold after the election. This inquiry will look at suppression of information in breach of the Official Information Act (OIA) and will include Ministerial offices.

    “This is the third inquiry in the space of just a month into the alleged abuse of power by Ministers or their staff,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

    “The Inspector General of Intelligence and Security is investigating John Key’s staff over the selective use of the OIA, there is a Government Inquiry into the conduct of former Minister Judith Collins, and now the Chief Ombudsman is looking at Ministers’ staff and selected government agencies over possible systematic abuse of the OIA.

    “These high level investigations into actions of the National Government by parliamentary watchdogs reflect repeated abuses of power.

    “It’s incredibly serious for there to be three simultaneous investigations, and demonstrates again that National is unfit for government.

    “Today’s claims by a high ranking lawyer in the Customs Department are very concerning, and are similar to many of the concerns regarding abuses of power documented in Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics book.

    “It’s crucial for any democracy that that the public are able to trust that the Government of the day is transparent, open, and focused on what’s best for New Zealand.

    “It’s impossible to govern in the interests of ordinary people if Ministers are enmeshed in dodgy political games, crony capitalism and spy scandals.

    “These things runs counter to the workings of a good democracy.

    “The Official Information Act was set up to protect our democracy and it’s vital for clean, honest politics that this system is open and transparent and not abused by those in positions of power.

    “The Green Party has been championing clean, honest politics in New Zealand for years.

    Today we’re announcing that in Government we will strengthen the OIA to ensure an open and accountable political system, including:

    Requiring all OIA and Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) request responses to be published on a designated website seven days after they have been sent to the requester. All information, excluding personal details of the requester, will be published unless it is not in the public interest to do so. This includes where privacy would be compromised.
    Increasing funding for the Office of the Ombudsman, ensuring the Ombudsman has the resources needed to respond to the increasing number of complaints it is receiving in a reasonable timeframe.

    “It’s vital that the political system is more open and accountable, and strengthening the OIA and the Office of the Ombudsman is central to this,” said Dr Norman.

    “We’ll increase funding for the Office of the Ombudsman and require official information responses to be made publically available seven days after release.

    “At the moment, OIA and LGOIMA responses are made public in an ad hoc way with some local councils and government agencies, for example, NZTA, proactively publishing responses after their release, but others don’t. It also follows a similar system used by the UK Government.

    “We need a more effective OIA and LGOIMA so that the public can access the information they want without lengthy delays or censorship.”

    Subject: Parliament and Politics

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