Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Parliament to get rules on tracking

The Speaker, David Carter. Photo /  Mark Mitchell
The Speaker, David Carter. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Rules for accessing emails, security pass details and other information inside Parliament will be reviewed after concerns an MP and a journalist were tracked without permission.

Speaker David Carter has asked the privileges committee to draw up rules that set out the circumstances under which movements or information within the parliamentary precinct can be obtained.

Mr Carter's ruling came after the Parliamentary Service released swipe-card details of United Future leader Peter Dunne and Fairfax reporter Andrea Vance to David Henry as part of his inquiry into the leak of a GCSB report to Vance. The details allowed Mr Henry to trace some of their movements in Parliament.

Mr Henry also asked to examine "metadata", or logs of Mr Dunne's email traffic, without Mr Dunne's permission.

Mr Carter was responding to a letter from Green Party co-leader Russel Norman, who made a privileges complaint against Prime Minister John Key regarding the release of parliamentary information.

The Speaker said the claim against Mr Key was not clearly made out, but the letter raised serious issues.

Mr Carter told Parliament: "The exercise of intrusive powers against members threatens members' freedom to carry out their functions as elected representatives ... without outside interference."

On a separate issue, the Speaker dismissed Labour's breach-of-privilege complaint that Mr Dunne had misled Parliament by denying that he leaked the GCSB report.

- NZ Herald

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