31 July 2013
Green Party welcomes parliamentary investigation into intrusive powers
The Green Party is welcoming the Privileges Committee’s commitment to investigate how a journalist and an MP’s private information was released, as well as developing principles to ensure this is not repeated.
In response to a Green Party privileges complaint against Prime Minister John Key, Parliament’s Privileges Committee is now considering the use of intrusive powers within the parliamentary precinct, following revelations that independent MP Peter Dunne and Fairfax journalist Andrea Vance’s information was accessed without their authority.
“It’s good to see that the Privileges Committee is looking to uncover what happened with the David Henry Inquiry and the unauthorised disclosure of a journalist and MP’s information,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
“I’m also pleased that the Committee is looking at the broader issues as well, to establish guidelines to protect the fourth estate and parliament from the executive.
“It’s promising that the Committee will be inviting evidence from those directly involved, and that those hearings will be open to the public.
“I expect the Committee will call on Prime Minister John Key and his Chief of Staff Wayne Eagleson, among others, as parties directly involved in this incident, for them to explain what they believe their mandate was for the David Henry Inquiry and to shed light on what happened.
“This is an important opportunity for the public and Parliament to get to the bottom of what has happened, and to ensure that guidelines are in place to stop it from happening again.”