Goff: SIS report leak 'perfectly appropriate'

  • 25/11/2014

Labour MP Phil Goff has admitted he leaked details of the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) report to reporters, but insists what he did was "perfectly appropriate".

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn released a report yesterday into the release of SIS documents to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater that embarrassed the then-Labour leader in the lead-up to the 2011 election.

After initially claiming he'd only released the report to his party leader Andrew Little and party whip Chris Hipkins, Mr Goff conceded he'd told journalists the content of the report the day before it was due out.

"I gave an outline of some relevant points that I said cleared my integrity," he told Radio New Zealand.

"What I did was perfectly appropriate. If the journalists decided to run information given to them in confidence, then you should raise it with your colleagues."

But Mr Goff's version of events seems to differ from Mr Little's, who says he sought assurances the MP didn't leak the report.

"He's given me those assurances, I'm satisfied with that," he said on Firstline this morning.

"He hasn't given the report to anybody, he declined media interviews until the report was released at 10am yesterday, so I don't know where they came from and I'm satisfied they didn't come from Phil Goff."

Prime Minister John Key says it is common for political staffers and MPs on both sides of the House to brief media.

"Now people might not like that – it might be the sort of inside of the sausage that we don't talk about – but we know that's the fact because when this report actually came out it was embargoed for 24 hours, and Phil Goff actually went around and briefed the media on it," Mr Key said on Firstline.

In 2011, Mr Goff had denied being briefed on alleged Israeli spy activity in the aftermath of the February 2011 Canterbury earthquake, but the SIS told Mr Key's office Mr Goff had been briefed.

The report found Mr Key's staff passed on information about the briefing to Slater and he obtained SIS documents confirming that.

But Ms Gwyn found the information provided to both Mr Key's office and Slater was incomplete, inaccurate and misleading, and she slammed then-SIS director Warren Tucker for his failure to correct the misinformation.

Mr Goff says the report upheld his integrity.

"It's nice to be vindicated but it comes three years too late," he told TVNZ.

3 News/NZN

source: newshub archive