Peters calls for leak inquiry to vet Dunne's phone data

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said phone records of Revenue Minister Peter Dunne should be examined by David Henry, who is conducting an inquiry into the leak of a report by Rebecca Kitteridge into the GCSB spy agency.

"All the evidence is in those phone records and your minister is gone," Mr Peters called across Parliament's debating chamber yesterday to Deputy Prime Minister Bill English.

"We know there are electronic records that help this inquiry. He has got the power to find them. He should find them."

He also said the inquiry into the leak could be "an in-house snow job".

He said he had written to Mr Henry asking if he had been taking evidence on oath and keeping an electronic record of answers. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet had written back saying they did not want to reveal that information.

Having denied being behind the leak, Mr Dunne yesterday refused to answer any further questions about the inquiry including whether email and phone records had been provided.

The GCSB did not respond to questions about whether the inquiry had the power to require such records to be provided - or whether Mr Henry's report would be delivered today as anticipated in the terms of reference.

Mr Peters accused Mr Dunne on Wednesday of leaking the report and revealed that Mr Dunne had been interviewed by Mr Henry.

Mr Dunne was the only one of the 11 ministers who had the report to have been interviewed and has been interviewed several times.

Mr Dunne has also said he has seen a part of the report that relates to him. That admission suggests the report could be critical of Mr Dunne. Under natural justice provisions it is a requirement of such inquiries to show parts of reports that are critical of people to the person concerned before a final report is published.

Mr Peters also launched an attack on Mr Henry who was Commissioner of Inland Revenue when Mr Peters was campaigning for action to be taken against tax deals in the Winebox inquiry. Mr Henry has also served as Chief Electoral Officer, and was on the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Pike River.

"When did he ever show any forensic ability on the facts," Mr Peters said.

Mr English suggested an ulterior motive for Mr Peters' criticisms yesterday: "I cannot help wondering whether his criticism of the inquiry may be preparing the ground for the fact that he cannot quite prove the allegations he made [on Wednesday] and he is now going to blame the inquiry for failing to back him up."

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf01 at 28 Dec 2014 21:18:51 Processing Time: 340ms