Reporter's phone records released

By Kate Shuttleworth

United Future leader Peter Dunne said he was shocked three months worth of Miss Vance's phone information had been accessed. Photo / Mark Mitchell
United Future leader Peter Dunne said he was shocked three months worth of Miss Vance's phone information had been accessed. Photo / Mark Mitchell

United Future leader Peter Dunne said he was told by the head of an inquiry into the leak of the GCSB report David Henry that he intended to access his phone records along with a Fairfax press gallery journalist.

Mr Dunne's comments on his way to Parliament today contradict a statement from Speaker of the House, David Carter.

Today in a statement Mr Carter said the phone records of Andrea Vance had been received by David Henry's inquiry into the leak of the Rebecca Kitteridge report into the GCSB but were rejected.

Prime Minister John Key also contradicted Mr Dunne's comments, saying the inquiry were aware of a mandate only to focus their inquiry on ministers and their staff.

Mr Dunne said he was shocked three months worth of Miss Vance's phone information had been accessed, saying it was very serious.

"He told me when he sought access to mine that he was seeking access to both.

"I am simply reporting what I was told - why does he now say that he wasn't after one set of records, when he told me he was," said Mr Dunne.

Prime Minister John Key said David Henry did not ask for the phone records of Miss Vance, but where "inadvertently" given them and chose not to use them.

Today Mr Carter apologised to Miss Vance and Fairfax group executive editor Paul Thompson in a statement.

He said the release of the phone records was "completely unacceptable".

"This private information should not have been released and could be seen to attack the freedom of the press which is critical to informing the public about what Parliament is doing and ensuring public confidence in Parliament. I view any actions that may put at risk journalists' ability to report very seriously," Mr Carter said.

His statement today was in contradiction to answers to written questions provided to the Green Party last week, saying Mr Henry had requested the records and they had been declined.

In his statement today, Mr Carter said they were not requested by Mr Henry, but he had received them by accident.

He said Mr Henry immediately returned the records without viewing them and made it clear he had neither sought, nor wanted them.

Mr Key said he was disappointed in Parliamentary Service.

"Quite frankly in releasing that information to the Henry inquiry they got it wrong, they made a mistake and they should have never released that information."

"They didn't access the information, they didn't look at the information - it was quite clear they didn't want the information - in that regard Parliamentary Services have got it wrong and let itself down."

When asked why Speaker David Carter had changed his answers to written questions, Mr Key said: "The information was released - on the advice he got from Parliamentary Service, the answers he gave were wrong and he accepted their advice."

Labour leader David Shearer said it was unacceptable Miss Vance's records had been given to the inquiry.

"The question I have is who asked for Andrea Vance's phone records, if it wasn't the Henry inquiry, then who was it?

"Was Mr Key's office involved in this and did Mr Key have any involvement himself?"

Green co-leader Russel Norman said answers to written questions asked by the Greens were contradictory.

Originally David Carter said the phone records had been requested, but not provided.

"However the statement that he's put out today say they were not requested, but they were provided.

"I'm very disappointed that there seems to be quite a degree of confusion within Parliamentary Service about what's going on and how much information they provided - but I also think there was enormous pressure coming from the Prime Minister's office onto Parliamentary Service to provide this information."

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