Labour leader David Cunliffe says he expects to be
consulted on an inquiry into Judith Collins's alleged dealings
with blogger Cameron Slater.
Mr Cunliffe also expected the inquiry to cast a wide net and
investigate all of the allegations made against ministers and
their staff in Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics.
Prime Minister John Key launched the inquiry on Saturday
after he was shown an email which suggested Mrs Collins was
sharing information about then-head of the Serious Fraud
Office Adam Feeley with right-wing bloggers while she was
Mrs Collins denies any wrong-doing but has stood down while
the matter is investigated.
Mr Cunliffe, speaking to reporters in Christchurch today,
said he expected "as Leader of the Opposition" for Mr Key to
approach him about the terms of the inquiry before the
details were released.
"I understand that there is a constitutional convention
around that," he said.
The Labour leader wanted an independent, well-resourced,
broad inquiry with powers to sub-poena, powers to protect
evidence, and powers to inquire not only from the former
Minister of Justice's office but across all
"I've certainly made public our willingness to sit down and
work through in a bipartisan way the terms of reference for
this inquiry that would restore public confidence in
government and ensure that it's lifted above party politics,"
Labour wanted the investigation to be able to pursue issues
of inappropriate behaviour by ministers and their offices in
the Hager book and in the emails released by a hacker under
the Twitter account Whaledump, as well as the new allegations
about corporate directors and bloggers working together to
undermine the SFO while it was under investigation.
Mr Cunliffe said it was also important that the Police
Commissioner made a decision about whether police should
separately investigate the allegations.
He had been advised that if the allegations were true then
there could be breaches of criminal law.
Mr Key is expected to reveal the terms of reference soon.
- By Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald