An inquiry into the release of a sensitive security document
to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater within days of requesting
it will include access to computer systems, documents and
In an unusual step, Inspector-General of Intelligence and
Security Cheryl Gwyn provided an update about her inquiry
this afternoon, in recognition of public interest.
She is looking into whether anything inappropriate took place
when the Security Intelligence Service provided Slater with
response to an Official Information Act request just days
after it was requested, and which was not given to media
outlets that had asked also made OIA requests at the time.
"The scale of the inquiry is significant - it involves access
to a variety of IT systems, documents, phone records and so
forth," Ms Gwyn said.
"I then need to analyse that information, discard what is
irrelevant, and then take into account the evidence from
The released information showed that the then-SIS director
Warren Tucker had briefed then-Opposition leader Phil Goff on
an incident that he had previously denied being told about.
Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics raised questions about
whether Slater was tipped off or given preferential treatment
as part of a politically-motivated attack.
"It is important that the inquiry is comprehensive, fair and
independent," Ms Gwyn said.
"I will not be cutting any corners."
The inquiry will not be completed until well after the
It will begin nine days before the election, and individuals
will give evidence in private over more than a week.
Slater, Mr Goff and several members of the Prime Minister's
office have been summoned. John Key has not been, although he
has said he would be happy to appear.
Jason Ede, who used to work in the Prime Minister's office,
is expected to give evidence as well. Dirty Politics alleges
that Mr Ede helped Slater with an OIA request in relation to
the restructuring plans at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Trade in 2012.
Ms Gwyn said all witnesses will appear under oath.
"I am adopting this practice in respect of all those who I
interview for the purposes of this inquiry."
Anyone who fails to comply with a summons without reasonable
excuse can be fined up to $5000.
- by Derek Cheng