Opposition MPs have used parliamentary privilege to label United Future leader Peter Dunne as the person who leaked the sensitive document that set in train events leading to a high-powered inquiry accessing a journalist’s emails, swipe-card and phone records.
Prime Minister John Key opened the door to Dunne picking up a ministerial portfolio next year after Parliament's privileges committee yesterday slated Parliamentary Service and a former top public servant for over-reaching their powers in seeking to track down the source of the leak.
But in Parliament tonight, Labour MP Phil Goff said Dunne was not fit to be a minister and had broken his oath of confidentiality.
"He has no right to be a minister; that's why he resigned, that's why it is totally improper for Key to be talking about bringing back Peter Dunne as a minister."
Former Inland Revenue boss David Henry led a prime-ministerial inquiry after a report into potentially unlawful spying by the Government Communications Security Bureau was leaked to Fairfax journalist Andrea Vance.
In the course of his inquiries he sought phone records, swipe-card records and email logs belonging to both Vance and Dunne which were handed over by Parliamentary Service without reference to Parliament's Speaker.
The Privileges Committee investigated and found that the inquiry had given no consideration to the special status of MPs and journalists in a democracy. Its report was debated in Parliament tonight.
Henry concluded that he had been unable to rule out Dunne as the source of the leak of the GCSB report but said he had been refused access to the content of Dunne's emails so could not take the matter further.
Dunne resigned as a minister rather than hand over his emails to the inquiry and claimed the privileges report as a vindication. He has always denied leaking the report.
But Opposition MPs tonight said Dunne should accept responsibility for the leak.
NZ First leader Winston Peters said all the evidence "overwhelmingly points in one direction":
"I was the person who said from the day at the select comittee you leaked the document, didn't you, Mr Dunne."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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