Inquiry into phone record release launched

  • 31/07/2013

Parliament's Privileges Committee has launched an inquiry into the release of a journalist's phone and swipe card records.

Committee chair Chris Finlayson says the inquiry will get evidence from key figures including political journalist Andrea Vance, who was targeted by a ministerial inquiry.

The announcement of the inquiry comes after Speaker David Carter vowed to use his power to find out why three months' worth of Ms Vance's phone records were given to a ministerial inquiry aiming to find out who leaked the GCSB report.

The first public hearing will be held on August 21.

Meanwhile Prime Minister John Key has still not apologised for the phone records being handed over in what he says was a "mistake".

"It's not really my job to apologise for a mistake made by Parliamentary Services because they don't report to me.

"This is not something we've done wrong."

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman does not think it was plausible for an IT contractor to have collated Ms Vance's phone records without being asked to, as Mr Key has previously said they could have.

He says it is clear Parliamentary Services was pressured to hand over the phone records by the Prime Minister's office.

Mr Key's chief of staff Wayne Eagleson had no right to tell Parliamentary Services what to do in pressuring it to release the records, he says.

"Wayne Eagleson is John Key's right hand and as the Prime Minister of New Zealand he has no right to interfere into the business of Parliament.

"Otherwise we just live in some kind of dictatorship where John Key gets to tell us what to do all the time."

Mr Key says he would have no issue with Mr Eagleson being called before the inquiry.

"It was quite clear in a number of emails I've seen, that the information [sought in the David Henry inquiry] was about ministers and their staff and absolutely everyone would have understood that."

Labour leader David Shearer says the Privileges Committee inquiry is a "good step" and Mr Key and Mr Eagleson should front at the inquiry to come clean about what they know about the phone records.

3 News

source: newshub archive


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