Prime Minister John Key yesterday announced further
details on the inquiry into matters concerning former minister
Judith Collins but the inquiry is unlikely to go far enough for
The New Zealand First leader is well-known for his refusal to
name parties with whom he will be prepared to deal after any
election in which he may be the kingmaker.
In the first MMP Parliament, he kept New Zealanders waiting
for weeks while he made up his mind who to support.
The 2014 election is shaping up to provide Mr Peters with
another opportunity to influence the formation of the next
government. If National slips further, and if Labour and the
Left continue to gain ground, Mr Peters comes into play.
But already the NZ First leader is setting some rules. He
wants a royal commission of inquiry into allegations the
former justice minister was involved in a campaign to
undermine former Serious Fraud Office head Adam Feeley.
''Our position, and it is rock-solid from which we will not
deviate, is we want a full-scale commission of inquiry with a
respectable commission that we can trust and with terms of
reference that we can trust,'' he told Radio New Zealand.
Mr Key ordered the inquiry after an email emerged targeting
Mr Feeley while the SFO investigated collapsed investment
company Hanover Finance in 2011.
The email, sent by Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, said Ms
Collins was ''gunning'' for Mr Feeley.
She resigned on Saturday, but vehemently denied the
Mr Peters said the inquiry should not have been instigated
before the election because the Government was effectively in
a caretaker role.
Mr Key said the inquiry would be carried out by a retired
judge or a QC, who would have full powers under the Inquiries
Act to conduct an independent investigation into the
allegations, and would report to the Prime Minister.
He expects the inquiry will take weeks to complete its work,
and is likely to be reporting back after the election.
Labour and the Green Party have also criticised the narrow
terms of the inquiry. However, none has the power to sway the
inquiry quite like Mr Peters, who is watching NZ First
comfortably polling above 5% in the latest opinion polls -
ensuring his return to Parliament.