Fairfax leaked or Peters is lying

Someone leaked information about Peter Dunne to Winston Peters. That information was probably nowhere near as substantial as Peters is trying to portray – for example, in Parliament over the past two weeks Peters claimed the evidence was all in the phone records, but as soon as the Henry report came out he switched to intimating he had seen incriminating emails, because the report had details only on emails.

But obviously someone leaked to Peters. There are some very unlikely sources, like Peter Dunne, the GCSB, someone within parliamentary IT or a hacker. But there is as evidence much pointing to the source as there is linking Dunne to the Kitteridge leak.

Peters clearly indicates he got information from a journalist, as a Friday interview on Radio NZ shows:

Peters: I saw sufficient electronic records to know what I was talking about.

Watson: Where did you get them from?

Peters: Well that doesn’t matter really.

Watson: Well, it would be interesting to know though.

Peters: Ah, I’d never ask a journalist for their source because it’s a matter of professional integrity, you can’t disclose it otherwise you’ll never get any more information, and nor can I.

There is no proof Peters has seen emails, he won’t answer directly about that, he allows journalists to make statements for him and he answers vaguely – but doesn’t refute or deny. So he tacitly claims to have seen incriminating emails.

Whether Peters has seen emails or not, he has been fed sufficient certainty to launch a sustained attack on Dunne. A journalist from Fairfax would almost certainly be his source. This is despite continued Fairfax claims of secrecy. NZ Herald reports:

Asked if Dunne leaked stories to Vance, Fairfax executive editor Paul Thompson said: “We never talk about our confidential sources. I have no comment whatsoever to make, we won’t be going anywhere near that.”

But someone appears to have talked. Confidential sources may find it very hard to have any confidence in Fairfax.

In a column today Colin Espiner says:

Even though I also work for Fairfax I have absolutely no idea who Andrea Vance’s sources for her story were – journalists protect sources absolutely, and wouldn’t tell their own mother or partner let alone their editor or a colleague.

If Winston Peters isn’t lying then Espiner looks to be promoting a journalist lie – sources at Fairfax haven’t been protected. And it isn’t difficult to work out from this who must have some responsibility.

Someone has broken supposedly strict confidentiality knowing it is likely to end the career of New Zealand’s longest serving MP.

That can’t just be swept under the political/journalist rug.

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1 Comment

  1. Ominous for Dunne | Your NZ

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