Dunne in clear over leaked GCSB report?

The Privileges Committee has dismissed a complaint made by Labour against Peter Dunne, finding he “did not deliberately mislead the finance and expenditure committee, nor were in contempt of Parliament“.  Dunne had denied accusations by Winston Peters that he leaked the Kitteridge report.

No misleading. No evidence. Not Guilty.

Dunne in clear over leaked report

From Cartoon: Dunne’s concessions

The Dominion Post reports Dunne: Leak complaint dismissed

 Dunne says Carter has ruled that he did not deliberately mislead a select committee when he denied being responsible for leaking the Kitteridge Report on the GCSB.

According to Dunne, Carter has “dismissed a breach of privilege complaint that had been laid by Labour following the Henry Report into the leaking of the Kitteridge Report, which led to Mr Dunne’s resignation as a minister.”

Dunne said: “I welcome the Speaker’s decision to dismiss the complaint and his ruling that my answers did not deliberately mislead the finance and expenditure committee, nor were in contempt of Parliament.”

He added: “Although the Henry Report made no allegation against me, nor challenged any of my evidence, its excessive focus on circumstantial matters led to unfounded inferences and innuendos that have not only damaged my reputation, but also made it impossible for me to continue as a minister.”

The complaint by Labour relates to Dunne’s response to an accusation by Winston Peters. Reported by TVNZ:

Peters’ accusation came during a Finance and Expenditure Committee meeting this morning when he repeatedly asked Dunne if he was responsible for leaking the report.

 “Why did you come here to duck that? My assertion is that you did leak the report,” Peters said, invoking his right to speak under Parliamentary privilege.

In response, Dunne maintained that he did not leak the report.

“I’m not ducking the question, I’m here as the Minister of Revenue responsible for the administration of the Tax Act,” he said.

“The secret supervisions of those legislation are paramount in my view. I honour them in my daily activities as minister.”

Dunne continues to deny the allegation but has acknowledged speaking to David Henry, the man leading the inquiry.

“He’s questioned everyone who had access to the report,” Dunne told reporters after the select committee meeting.

And he hit back at Peters. 

“It was a scurrilous stunt. I don’t quite know what lay behind it, certainly had nothing to do with Vote Revenue,” Dunne said.

And Winston should prove leak – Key:

“It seems to me that Mr Peters has made an allegation using Parliamentary privilege against Mr Dunne of which he has no evidence to support.”

He says he has received a “categorical assurance” from Mr Dunne that he didn’t leak the report.

“I’ve worked with him for a long period of time and over that time, I’ve found him to be entirely trustworthy,” says Mr Key.

There is still no evidence to support the repeated accusations by Peters, nor the implication of guilt in the David Henry report. Dunne has always denied he leaked the Kitteridge report.

And it appears from this that the Privileges Committee has agreed that the accusations by Peters have been unfounded.

That is effectively a Not Guilty verdict for Dunne on the leaking of the Kitteridge report.

Leave a comment

15 Comments

  1. That’s good news

    Reply
  2. Darryl

     /  12th July 2013

    Awesome news.

    Reply
  3. Keith

     /  12th July 2013

    So what’s your evidence Winston Peters? Ah, just as we thought: non-existent. Maybe he imagined it while under the influence of mind-altering substances?

    Reply
  4. Flashing Light

     /  12th July 2013

    “That is effectively a Not Guilty verdict for Dunne on the leaking of the Kitteridge report.”

    No. It isn’t. It’s a finding that the questions Peters asked in the select committee hearing was irrelevant to that Committee’s inquiry, hence even if Dunne lied when answering it he could not have committed a contempt (as that lie would not have mislead the Committee).

    The Speaker’s ruling says NOTHING AT ALL about whether or not Dunne leaked the report.

    NOTHING. AT. ALL.

    Reply
    • What does it say then? I searched for what they said and couldn’t find anything on the parliament website.

      Reply
      • Flashing Light

         /  12th July 2013

        Well, wait and see.

        But have a think about it. How on earth is the Speaker in a position to say “I have conclusively determined that the Hon Peter Dunne did not leak this report, so his answer to the Hon Winston Peters was true in all its particulars.” What inquiries did he undertake into this matter? What evidence was given to him on it?

        So given that the Speaker has said that Dunne’s case doesn’t have to go to the Privileges Committee (which would be the forum for determining whether, in fact, Dunne’s answer was true or false), the reason has to be that he’s determined that EVEN IF Dunne lied, it isn’t a contempt. And that would be because Peters’ question (which Dunne may or may not have honestly answered) had nothing to do with the select committee’s business.

        Reply
  5. Flashing Light

     /  12th July 2013

    Oh – and you also are wrong when you say “the Privileges Committee has agreed that the accusations by Peters have been unfounded.”

    The Privileges Committee did not even consider this, because David Carter has has decided not to refer it to them (on the basis that there is no possible contempt, as Peters’ question was not relevant to the Finance and Expenditure Committee’s inquiry).

    Reply
  6. Flashing Light

     /  12th July 2013

    “Wait and see? You haven’t seen any detail? So what do you base your comments on?”

    Common sense, Pete. It’s all that is needed … right?

    Look – you can take Dunne’s press release at face value if you want. As long as you are prepared to put up a new post saying “Dunne mislead me, and he actually hasn’t been completely cleared” when it turns out that the Speaker hasn’t said anything like what is claimed.

    And if it turns out that the Speaker HAS actually said what Dunne says he’s said, then I’ll come back here and apologise.

    A fair deal?

    Reply
  7. Flashing Light

     /  12th July 2013

    Oh … there’s this, too.

    No Exoneration for Dunne in Speaker’s Ruling

    The Speaker’s delay of 31 days to work out what the breach of privilege issues were in relation to questions asked by members during a hearing of evidence at the Finance and Expenditure Committee has got to be a new record says New Zealand First.

    A breach of privilege complaint was laid with the Speaker on 10 June regarding questions from New Zealand First leader Rt Hon Winston Peters to the then-Minister for Revenue Peter Dunne.

    “The complaint has been ruled out on the basis that my questions were out of order.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1307/S00208/no-exoneration-for-dunne-in-speakers-ruling.htm

    Reply
    • I hadn’t seen that. But it appears to be wrong:
      “Although committee chairman and National MP Todd McClay tried to shut down further questions from Mr Peters”
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10887055

      Reply
      • Flashing Light

         /  12th July 2013

        I don’t understand what you mean by “wrong”. The fact that McClay told Peters his questions were irrelevant to the Committee’s inquiries (i.e. “tried to shut down further questions”) is precisely why the Speaker will have ruled that Dunne’s answers could not be misleading … if the question has nothing to do with the business of the House (or its committee), then the answer cannot be misleading (even if it is an outright, barefaced lie).

        Reply
      • In the press release you link to Peters says ““The chairman of the Committee found the questions in order.” That doesn’t appear to be the case, it conflicts with what you just said about McClay.

        Reply
  8. Flashing Light

     /  12th July 2013

    In the press release you link to Peters says ““The chairman of the Committee found the questions in order.”

    Of course … because Peters is a lying scoundrel. But just because he lies about that issue doesn’t mean he’s lying about the reason why the Speaker has dismissed the complaint. Because that reason fits exactly with the Herald account you linked to.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s