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Andrea Vance’s privacy breach is going to the Privacy Commissioner

Written By: - Date published: 8:12 am, August 3rd, 2013 - 83 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, Parliament - Tags: , , ,

Peter Dunne

In a late Friday afternoon dump of information more emails relating to the handling of Peter Dunne’s and Andrea Vance’s personal information were released.

Reading them and going through the events of the past few months really makes me feel like I am in either a Kafka novel or that I am firmly ensconced in Wonderland.  Because nothing is what it seems to be and reality is ever changing.  And there is a smell of cover up that will deeply harm National’s relationship with the Fourth Estate.

Over the past few months we have witnessed:

  1. The early leak of the Kitteridge Report or at least details that formed the basis of the Andrea Vance article.
  2. The formation of a heavy handed yet legally toothless inquiry into an event that posed no threat to national security but which embarassed the Prime Minister slightly and spoiled a trip to China.
  3. Peter Dunne refusing to hand various emails over to investigation head David Henry because Dunne regarded them as private and because they were sent to his Parliamentary not Ministerial email address.
  4. Henry being reported as asking for Andrea Vance’s telephone records but being refused them.
  5. A further report that he did not ask for them but they were collated and sent anyway but then emailed back without being viewed.
  6. Speaker David Carter saying that Parliamentary Services did not hand the phone records over but then saying that it did.
  7. And yesterday’s kicker that Dunne’s emails were sent to the investigation without his or Vance’s consent but in a chillingly similar treatment to the handling of the phone records the pst file sent was not opened and was returned.

One could treat the claim that the emails were not opened with a degree of skepticism.  The inquiry office may have used a different mail program but the chances of a computer in that office having a copy of Microsoft Outlook must be extraordinarily large.

And another head may be on the chopping block.  DPMC head Andrew Kibblewhite knew of the privacy breach for a month but did not tell John Key, Dunne or Vance until yesterday.  Kibblewhite has apologised to Vance saying “I have checked my records and can confirm that I first became aware of this on July 5. In hindsight, and notwithstanding the inquiry never viewed the email files . . . I acknowledge we could have prompted Parliamentary Services to inform you of their error”.

The people involved have understandably gone ballistic.  Peter Dunne is considering seeking legal advice and Fairfax on behalf of Andrea Vance is complaining to Privacy Commissioner head Marie Schroff.

The Dominion Post this morning reports group executive editor Paul Thompson as follows:

Fairfax has no confidence in the way this matter is being handled and we feel we have to take the matter further.  This will include requesting, under the Privacy Act, a full account of how Andrea’s private information has been handled.

The release of information detailing Andrea’s swipe card usage, telephone calls and emails to the Henry inquiry was highly inappropriate and intrusive. There has also clearly been an attempted cover up. This has all put enormous pressure on Andrea who has been unfairly targeted for doing her job.

We hope the privacy commissioner will cut through the Government spin and provide Andrea with some redress.

And erstwhile National Party cheerleader John Armstrong has also ripped into the Government.  In a strong article he said:

It goes without saying that journalists are by nature deeply suspicious of politicians and the motives which drive them – and vice versa.

Thrown together in the rabbit warren which passes for the parliamentary complex – a veritable hothouse fuelled by rampant ego, unrequited ambition, never-ending rumour and constant intrigue – MPs and media nevertheless have to establish a degree of trust for their mutually parasitic relationship to function effectively.

That trust works on many levels, be it MPs feeling they can talk off-the-record confident they will not be shopped to their superiors, to journalists respecting embargoes, to Cabinet ministers not blocking the release of sensitive documents sought by media under the Official Information Act.

That trust can take a long time to establish. It can be destroyed in a matter of seconds.

Even so, when trust does break down, it usually amounts to little more than a pin-prick on the fabric of democracy.

Not so this week, however. The prevailing sound was of the democratic fabric being ripped asunder.

The trawling of a Press Gallery reporter’s phone logs by parliamentary authorities is a breach of trust of such mega proportions that it may well place a lingering chill on politician-journalist contact.

Dunne’s position on the status of his emails has always been clear.  He refused to disclose the full text of the emails because he considered them to be private.  He resigned as a Minister rather than release them.  Why they should have then been collated shows a complete indifference to his privacy rights by the organisation that has a major role in making our democracy work.

Banana republic status for New Zealand appears to be just around the corner.  Because these sorts of events happen under regimes who are totally indifferent to rights of privacy and human rights and who are determined to stamp out opposition at all costs.

Peter Dunne it is not too late to change your mind on the GCSB bill.  The treatment that you and Andrea Vance have received show why there has to be hard edged limitations on the power of the state to collect our personal data and why they should be the minimum powers required to function adequately to protect our democracy.

83 comments on “Andrea Vance’s privacy breach is going to the Privacy Commissioner ”

  1. North 1

    Will Dunne turn dog on ShonKey Python with his GCSB vote ?

    If he doesn’t the plot just gets thicker and smellier. Inevitably there will be suggestion that ShonKey Python has made it specially worthwhile for Dunne to keep ranks, or ShonKey Python has something on Dunne.

    Corrupt corrupt corrupt. ShonKey Python masquerades as a New Zealander. He is not. His homelands are Wall Street and City of London. That is how he will be written in history.

    • Jimmie 1.1

      I would love to know what the text of what was contained in the emails.

      It is obviously very embarrassing to Dunne and perhaps wouldn’t reflect well on Vance’s professional reputation.

      Oh where is a whistle blower when you need one? C’mon you lazy civil servants – do your duty and leak lol

    • David H 1.2

      Naaa he’s owned body n soul by Shonkey . Like he said Willing seller, Willing buyer, so he sold our privacy for the fucking trinkets of office.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.2.1

        There’s more to it than that if you ask me: blackmail is a sight more effective than bribery.

  2. amirite 2

    I will just say, if this have had happened during any Labour government, people would’ve been filling the streets, protesting and asking for a PM’s head to roll. What we have instead, is the apathetic sheep-like public ready to roll over to any of PM’s lies.

    • Gashead 2.1

      And therein is the biggest threat to democracy in New Zealand

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      People trust the NATs more. And (until now) they have been better at managing the PR and media situation.

      • infused 2.2.1

        And the country.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Well better at managing the country in the short term interests of the 5%, yes, no disagreement there.

        • tricledrown 2.2.1.2

          cofused running the country in to the ground so the filthy few can laud it over the other 90%

          • infused 2.2.1.2.1

            keep telling yourself that. so blind and you wonder why labour can’t get out of 33%.

            • Akldnut 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Not wondering that at all.
              We only wonder why so many sheeple walk around with their heads up their collective arses without pulling them out long enough to see that their ingnorance is allowing a group of roorters, liars and conmen to pull off one of the biggest stings on NZ in modern history.

            • Tim 2.2.1.2.1.2

              a wishin, a hopin – who was it – that gay icon lady singing your descant?
              I await the sound of squealing pigs when the nearly competent defeat the totally incompetent. I admit it might be 2017 before that happens, but I’m hoping for 2014 – and things are looking pretty good atm it might even happen sooner than that

    • lurgee 2.3

      Those sheeple are the electorate you have to win consent from, dullard. When the left deomonstrates that sort of dismissive atittude, is it any susrprise people don’t vote for the leftwing parties?

      • Chooky 2.3.1

        @ lurgee….the sheepies want a good leader ….and you righties aint helping and you know it….you hate Cunliffe and you just love Shearer, who you promote at every opportunity….so dont be such a tricky little wolfee

        • lurgee 2.3.1.1

          Rightie? I voted for Mana and supported Cunliffe in the original leadership bid.

          Do you never tire of being wrong?

        • Chooky 2.3.1.2

          @ Lurgee…squawk squawk !….pardon me!….your argument sounded like it came from a Rightie….

  3. Veutoviper 3

    Good summary of the latest – but everchanging situation, MS. It is so hard to keep up and to join the dots.

    Re Dunne changing his mind, however, there seems little chance that this will happen.

    On his Twitter account, Dunne keeps claiming that the GCSB Bill and the situation with his and Vance’s communications violations are two completely separate issues. This is despite a number of people including Alastair Thompson (Scoop)*, Rob Hosking and Paul Brislen all trying to persuade him otherwise.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/PeterDunneMP

    *Alastair Thompson has adopted Dunne under the Twitter ‘adopt a MP’ idea
    http://scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1307/S00196/the-privileges-of-parliament-peter-dunne-500-words.htm

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.1

      I watched Dunne’s Campbell appearance…just…so…..wrong. I was thinking surely he is being blackmailed or something because he wasn’t that stupid before.

      • yeshe 3.1.1

        agree 100% and how evil is this ?

      • Veutoviper 3.1.2

        I also found that interview — disturbing. (Can’t find the right word). Put this together with Key’s assured view that Dunne would support the GCSB Bill before Dunne said that he would, and Key’s attitude towards Dunne since then. Something has gone down behind the scenes.

        Despite the latest revelations, Dunne is still maintaining today that the two things are separate, but with no explanation as to why he thinks so.

        Sudden thought not yet fully developed

        – perhaps Dunne thinks that by keeping them separate, he can pursue action on the PS privacy breaches without jeopardising whatever has been agreed in relation to his support of the GCSB Bill.

        • yeshe 3.1.2.1

          Then he has become an egregiously stupid man. No ethics on behalf of the country whatsoever. Nice one, Mr Dunne.

      • Chooky 3.1.3

        @ Asleep While Walking…..did you notice how he kept putting his tongue out ……like a cat…or a naughty toddler?….This must mean something in the psychological literature of bodily signs indicating psychological states of mind…you dont see this too often in 50’ish males

        • Anne 3.1.3.1

          Yes, he did the tongue thing a couple of times at least. I understood it to mean the person was either lying outright, or not coming completely clean about something.

          My feeling is there are some very embarrassing emails in that cache of emails and he knows they’ve been seen but he may not be sure by how many people. In that regard I have sympathy for him. Who hasn’t, at some time in their lives, developed a crush on somebody. Very few people I would hazard a guess can honestly say it has never happened to them.

          No need to overtly blackmail him. Just the thought some of them might end up in the public arena would be enough to frighten him into submission.

          • Murray Olsen 3.1.3.1.1

            Dunne is pathetic. I don’t care if he has emails with jpegs attached of himself being rogered with a strapon by Judith Collins. I do care that he has shown he is for sale at a very low price. What he can be sure of is that whatever he’s so scared of will not go away. It will be used again and again. He’s better to face up to it, find a conscience to vote according to, and get out of the road.

            I’m an old fool myself. I know how silly we can be. That is why the minute we see the possibility of a compromising situation developing, we need to step aside and be honest, principally with ourselves. People eventually forgive and forget stupidity, but treachery and dishonesty hang around for a very long time.

            • North 3.1.3.1.1.1

              Murray Olsen – Sunday morning in the green and pleasant land of my neighbourhood – you give us this ???;

              “I don’t care if he has emails with jpegs attached of himself being rogered with a strapon by Judith Collins.”

              Tumeke !

  4. tracey 4

    Notice eagleston didnt have a problem with the ethics per se just that is was a support minidter. Does that mean he is happy to authorise shit against opposition members

    I indicate to Mr Thorn that I am uncomfortable authorising the release of the content of Mr Dunne’s emails as he is a support party minister”

  5. Jenny 5

    If all this intrusive spying into his own personal affairs is not enough to sway Dunne from voting for this bill. The conclusion must be: (1). That they have far more on him than has been hinted at. Or, (2) That the bribe he will receive for this dirty work will be quite a substantial one.

    The first may remain always hidden. But the second won’t.

    Most people on this blog are picking that the bribe will be in the form of a diplomatic posting of some sort, to tide over Peter Dunne in his retirement years, after he disgracefully bows out of parliament.

    But to Dunne I would say beware, those whose daily currency is blackmail deception and subterfuge will have no hesitation after getting what they want, in going back on their deal.

    Expect to see all your dirty washing come out, and as a result of the scandal revealed, your promised dream of a comfortable sinecure in your sunset years will be snatched back.

    • Jackal 5.1

      +1 The bouffant really does need to reconsider his position and not just on how he plans to vote for the GCSB amendment bill, which would legalize warrantless mass surveillance on all New Zealanders. Clearly there is currently no proper oversight, so why should those who’ve shown absolutely no consideration for the law have their powers increased?

      Micky Savage

      Dunne’s position on the status of his emails has always been clear. He refused to disclose the full text of the emails because he considered them to be private. He resigned as a Minister rather than release them. Why they should have then been collated shows a complete indifference to his privacy rights by the organisation that has a major role in making our democracy work.

      I wouldn’t portray Peter Dunne to be the good guy here. Sure, his privacy rights were breached when the DPMC ordered his communications to be intercepted, but you have to ask yourself why is he still supporting legislation that will undermine the privacy rights of all New Zealanders in a similar way? He’s being a hypocrite at best, brought off or complicit in blackmail at worst.

      It is my understanding that the Vance/Dunne emails were collated by a “contractor” before Dunne supplied his edited versions to the David Henry inquiry. Dunne says he didn’t supply all the emails requested because some were private. However, aren’t all the emails between a Minister and a journalist private? Dunne’s apparent principled stand wasn’t really all that principled.

      If Dunne was informed by Henry that the inquiry already had his correspondence, why did he continue to refuse to release that correspondence to the inquiry? Instead, Dunne resigned from his portfolios apparently knowing that the inquiry already had the information he was refusing to release, which makes no sense at all.

      This entire debacle has the distinct stench of a coverup. Hinting at a mutually beneficial transaction with John Key to ensure Dunne supports the GCSB bill just raises further questions and shows that Dunne’s vote can be purchase by the highest bidder. That’s not the type of person we want in government…that’s the type of person who corrupts democracy.

      Henry says Dunne is a liar and today, Steven Joyce also called Dunne a liar. In that case, there will likely be a choice between Dunne or Henry’s resignation. Only one of these men can be telling the truth. There should obviously be the resignation of Key’s chief of staff Wayne Eagleson for pressuring Parliamentary Service to break the law. Whether the Minister in charge, John Key, will take any responsibility for the grievous breach of privacy is yet to be seen. In any case three more heads should roll for this, which clearly makes it anything but a beltway issue.

  6. Yes very good summary Mickey and needed in this ever-rapidly-changing quagmire.

    How this all pans out will show us where the real power brokers are – media become very unhappy when they become the targets and they have some ability to make waves. Will the big men behind key have to step up to squash this or will they back down to the all-seeing media. Does the right hand even know what the left hand is doing? We could ask Shane Jones I suppose – he’s my pick to be standing up with key, sooner rather than later – they may not be cut from the same cloth but their message is similar.

  7. dumrse 7

    I suspect this will get interesting when the ownership of the systems in question are clarified. For example, my employer owns the emails on his server and often reminds his employees of this. He also has unrestricted access to the data within so as to ensure his IT systems are not used to access or download from sites he decides are inappropriate, ie, porn and that his systems are not exposed to the virus community. It goes without saying he also knows when and who accessed his premises security system. I wonder if the Govt, as “employer” has similar such ownership rights.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      That’s why Parliamentary Services administers those systems, and is supposed to be completely independent and neutral of political party influence and pressure.

      Except it looks like it isn’t.

  8. The BIG issue I have – is how LAWFUL was the involvement of the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Wayne Eagleson, in any of this?

    How many people, including those holding positions at the highest levels of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), and the Office of the Prime Minister, are actually aware of their quite different roles and functions?

    Good grief – you couldn’t make this stuff up……
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    (FYI – this email was sent at 4.53pm 2 August 2013)

    2 August 2013

    ‘OPEN LETTER’

    Andrew Kibblewhite
    CEO
    Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

    RE: The role and functions of the Office of the Prime Minister, compared with the role and functions of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet – have these ‘lines’ being crossed by the ‘Chief of Staff’ from the Office of the Prime Minister?

    Dear Andrew,

    “Mr Eagleson emailed the offices of the Ministers who had received the report to inform them that on my wishes they should comply with the inquiry, and, secondly, on 9 May he emailed Geoff Thorn at Parliamentary Service to confirm that I wished him to make available the inquiry records in relation to Ministers and their staff’

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/50HansQ_20130731_00000003/3-prime-minister%E2%80%94chief-of-staff

    QUESTIONS:

    1) Upon what lawful basis is the Chief of Staff (Wayne Eagleson) from the Office of the Prime Minister, playing a role, which, in my considered opinion, is one that should be played by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet?

    http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/dpmc

    THE ROLE OF DPMC

    The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet occupies a unique position at the centre of New Zealand’s system of democratic government. It exists to support the effective conduct of executive government by the Prime Minister, the Governor-General and members of the Cabinet. The department’s principal role is provision of advice, on a daily basis, to the Prime Minister and Cabinet on the wide range of complex issues that confront the Government – particularly its policy priorities. Issues that governments are required to deal with are often complex or pressing, and require well-founded advice and judgement. DPMC also provides impartial advice, through the Clerk of the Executive Council and Government House, to the Governor-General. In addition it plays a role in coordinating and leading the work of government departments and agencies, and other entities as appropriate, to ensure that decision making takes account of all relevant viewpoints and that advice is as coherent and complete as possible.

    Supporting the Prime Minister and Cabinet
    The Prime Minister is the political leader of the government and the country – and its main public “face”. The Prime Minister is also the chair of the Cabinet, and is responsible for the effective operation of executive government. These roles combine political and executive responsibilities.

    DPMC provides assistance to the Prime Minister in three broad categories.

    Issues that are the direct responsibility of the Prime Minister
    This entails the provision of free and frank advice and support on constitutional issues relating to the conduct of executive government – including during elections and transitions between administrations – and issues associated with the operation of the Cabinet system.

    Issues that arise across the full range of government business
    DPMC provides a continuous flow of advice to the Prime Minister on major and daily issues, along with oversight of wider government activity and access to information and assessments. DPMC also works directly with Ministers on specific issues. The Deputy Prime Minister plays a lead role on behalf of the Prime Minister over a number of the government’s policy programmes and DPMC supports him on some of these matters from time to time.

    DPMC works with central agencies to draw together departments in support of the Government’s priorities, to focus agencies on providing options for action, to ensure implementation of agreed programmes and policies, to drive for enhanced agency performance, and to deal effectively with issues which affect the nation. DPMC also provides the secretariat support for decision making by the Cabinet and its committees.

    Administrative support to the Prime Minister
    This includes preparation of replies to Parliamentary questions, and dealing with Official Information Act requests and other correspondence.

    A totally separate body, the Office of the Prime Minister, also advises the Prime Minister: it is the primary point of responsibility for managing political issues and relationships with other political parties and for providing administrative and media support.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    2) How is it that apparently neither Prime Minister John Key, nor his Chief of Staff Wayne Eagleson, appear to know the lawful functions and different roles of the Office of the Prime Minister, and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national

    ” ..John Key said this morning that Wayne Eagleson acted “absolutely professionally and quite correctly” by intervening in the so-called Henry inquiry into the leak of a report on the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).

    He said the chief of staff’s job was safe, and that he didn’t accept claims that the phone records were only released because of emails from Eagleson.

    “He has acted totally professionally and has my 100 per cent support. I think I have a very good understanding of what he’s done and he’s done what everyone would have expected him to do,” Key said.

    Key said Eagleson had helped set up the inquiry, including writing the terms of reference on his behalf. Those conditions had then been put in the public domain, making it clear the inquiry was aimed at ministers and their staff.

    “No information about a journalist was accessed that was sent to the reviewers. Actually they rejected that. With the one exception where the reviewers did ask for the swipe card information and I’ve already said publicly I don’t agree with that decision that they made.”

    Key said he was not expecting further resignations over the phone records issue. He felt he and Eagleson had been accountable and they stood behind the review. …”

    3) Whose role is it to make sure that those at the highest levels of the NZ Government – know what they are doing, and HOW they should do (in a proper way), what they are doing?

    ie: Whose job is it to TRAIN staff (including the ‘Chief of Staff’ from the Office of the Prime Minister) – to ensure that they inducted and familiarised in a proper way of their role and duties, pertaining to this Office?

    I look forward to your prompt reply.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1

      The Crimes Act is pretty clear. There are specific circumstances under which intercepting phone calls etc. is a legal activity, and I don’t think this meets any of them.

      • UglyTruth 8.1.1

        Legal and lawful are different things.

        • North 8.1.1.1

          Not that I would ultimately disagree necessarily………but how are “legal” and “lawful” different quantities ? Without explanation of your observation it is actually impossible to form a view about it.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    One could treat the claim that the emails were not opened with a degree of skepticism.

    piss easy to make a copy of the .pst file and “send back” the original (which makes no frakking sense anyway, because it’s not a parcel, you can’t just “send back” an email to get rid of it, it just stays in your ‘sent items’ email box!).

    What we’ve learnt from this and the NSA/GCHQ mess – these people use English in a way to obfuscate and distract, often using words in a way with their own special technical meanings, and not common-usage meanings.

    Key’s speech to the SIS(?) was a classic example. IIRC it was said that no “tape recordings” of Key’s visit existed. I mean WTF, who uses “tape” any more??? All these recordings are now digital on hard drives. Things to watch closely for.

    • Jackal 9.1

      Manipulators will often use subtle word changes in order to give themselves an excuse for lying. Key does this all the time.

  10. aerobubble 10

    Sorry, but I can’t help thinking something is amiss. someone leaks national security matters and doesn’t bother to hide their leaking. Obviously Vance did not get the leaked document from Dunne, which makes this farce even more farcical, because what happened to meetings with deep throat in darken garage complexes? Either Dunne should own up and leave parliament, or we should all wonder how incapable John Key is in finding leaked national security (or worse that he fears losing dunnes vote so much – but hey it was always wrong for a single MP party to get a seat on the intelligence oversight committee – just imagine a single seat party MP suddenly finding themselves the support partner who does have a fetish for women, or something, and whose cushion talk gets Kiwis killed).

    • yeshe 10.1

      if Dunne didn’t — who did and why it is still hidden from fresh air ?

      • aerobubble 10.1.1

        Key?

        • Veutoviper 10.1.1.1

          Or someone close to Key, eg someone within the inner sanctum of Key’s office or another (National) Minister’s office or similar. Someone who has been in that situation for a long time …. remember they never got to the bottom of the leaking of Brash’s emails in 2006(?).

  11. BrucetheMoose 11

    Does anybody know if ACC covers psychological pain?
    This relentless insult to my intelligence by politicians is giving me a sore head.

    • Arfamo 11.1

      😆 Not covered I suspect. They wouldn’t have enough in the kitty for all the migraines this is causing.

  12. SukieDamson 12

    Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all.

    Their columns and articles, to date, seem to fall short and still ring a little hollow. Too self centred and perhaps only playing lip service to the wider national estate.

    With this heightened awareness, that they are indeed mounted upon their high horse, perhaps they can timeline how many columns and articles, over the last 5 years, that have been written about our PM Brent dancing upon the head of a pin.

    The leader of the opposition may not have a killer blow in him, maybe he needs to be shown how it is done. A feint ankle tap for the sake of this country’s democratic principles.

  13. Mary 13

    Ooooooh! The Privacy Commissioner. They’re going to get a real telling off. I bet they’re really scared.

  14. Arfamo 14

    Public disquiet has increased since yesterday (Stuff Poll – up from 65.7%):

    How is the prime minister handling the Parliamentary phone records scandal?

    Well
    241 votes, 10.2%

    Badly
    1622 votes, 69.0%

    It’s more a Parliamentary Service issue
    278 votes, 11.8%

    Don’t really care
    211 votes, 9.0%

  15. Dv 15

    According to Tracy Watkin the emails were sent THREE times

    Once by the contractor

    Once by the staffer AND

    AGAIN by the staffer to make sure they were received.

    Hardly by mistake then!!!!

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      holy frak. Sounds like the “mistake” was that their bullshit activity was found out.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.2

      “The contractor”?

      And that would be? A private company? The GCSB?

    • Veutoviper 15.3

      Do you have a link for Watkins’ comments, Dv? Looked on Stuff with no success.

      This article by Watkins and Small at 0500 today says that Vance’s phone logs were sent twice – but could not find anything about the emails being sent three times.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8997730/Adviser-knew-of-privacy-breach

      “The late Friday “dump” of information has also revealed Vance’s phone logs were twice sent to the inquiry – the second time by a senior Parliamentary Service staffer – leaving Speaker David Carter and Prime Minister John Key red-faced after earlier publicly blaming the leak on a lowly contractor to the service. “

      • Dv 15.3.1

        Here tis

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/tracy-watkins/8998288/Spy-bungles-start-to-entangle-PM

        So, too, does the revelation that Vance’s phone records were handed over to the inquiry by a Parliamentary Service staffer, after a week of Government protestations that a low-level contractor was to blame.

        The staffer was apparently CCed in on the phone records at the same time the Datacom staffer forwarded them to the Henry inquiry.

        The parliamentary staffer emailed them again to the inquiry to make sure they were received. That makes the assurances of both Key and Speaker David Carter that the phone records were handed over by mistake ring somewhat hollow. Once is a mistake, twice is intent.

        • Veutoviper 15.3.1.1

          Thanks for the link, Dv – I should have thought to look at the DomPost website. Articles there sometimes take a while to appear on the main Stuff site, if at all.

          Unless I am mistaken, Watkins does not say that the Dunne/Vance ’emails’ were sent three times. Rather that the Dunne.Vance ’emails’ were sent once and Dunne’s ‘ phone records’ were sent twice – thus making three separate instances of Dunne/Vance communications being supplied by email to the Henry Inquiry people.

          (Sorry, not criticism – I am just a pedantic person!)

          • Dv 15.3.1.1.1

            Thats OK
            I misread the article
            Datacome emailed phone records to inquiry and CC them to Staffer
            Staffer then emailed them to enquiry.

            So enquiry got them twice not three times.

          • Dv 15.3.1.1.2

            Thats OK
            I misread the article
            Datacom contractor emailed phone records to inquiry and CC them to Staffer
            Staffer then emailed them to enquiry to make sure the enquiry got them.

            So enquiry got them twice not three times.

    • Jenny 15.4

      According to Tracy Watkin the emails were sent THREE times

      Once by the contractor

      Once by the staffer AND

      AGAIN by the staffer to make sure they were received.

      Hardly by mistake then!!!!

      Dv

      “Once is coincidence, twice is happenstance, three times is a conspiracy”

      Winston Churchill

  16. tracey 16

    Turns out mr key is the misinformed and politically aligned one NOT the marchers last week.

    oh the sweet iroby.

    • tricledrown 16.1

      The liar with the haircut like a friar!
      Who’s pants are on fire
      is digging deeper into his own made my mire

      • North 16.1.1

        Tricledrown………your doggerel is better than your name…….which is excellent. Belly laugh !

  17. Molly 17

    If I was unprincipled, dishonest and a bit shonkey – all instructions regarding actions that are “dubious” for any inquiry would be done in verbal instructions and preferably via conduit – ie. Wayne Eagleson.

    Then once this data is received, (view and/or copy it) and send back to contractor with some kind of dismissive note “Let’s be clear. We did not request the second report you’ve attached here – the one showing all calls to and from the numbers of interest. We’re not interested in looking at that,” . To me, the wording is preconceived and deliberately reflective of a possible future investigation.

    What is needed to get to the truth, if this is the case:
    Unfortunately, an unprecendented turnabout from a National Party lackey who knows the truth AND the acceptance of the media and the public that he speaks the truth,
    – or – a digital or hardcopy trail, if anyone in the inquiry was foolish enough to copy the file or write about those verbal instructions.

    Otherwise, we are going to be treated to another “He said, she said” debacle intended to bore the average NZer to tears, followed up in a few days by “Oh look, the royal baby has a new outfit!”

    The reason I think John Key would be so careless with adhering to correct procedures for a seemingly trivial matter such as this – he is a basically careless man. Those boundaries exists for “other” people and not for him.

    I have my fingers crossed that I am wrong, would dearly love to see this play out in full sunlight.

    • karol 17.1

      Molly: If I was unprincipled, dishonest and a bit shonkey – all instructions regarding actions that are “dubious” for any inquiry would be done in verbal instructions and preferably via conduit – ie. Wayne Eagleson.

      I agree. And I noticed that the pdf of emails in Friday’s dump referred to several face-to-face meetings. The email record is just the tip of the iceberg of interactions relating to the Henry inquiry.

  18. North 18

    What’s this Flying Circus all about ?

    EVERYTHING ShonKey Python touches turns to shit………correction he’s never touched ANYTHING and he’s never responsible for ANYTHING.

    Yes……..we know…….Prime Minister.

    Increasing numbers of people develop and retain a mind’s eye where ShonKey Python is a terrible, terrible disappointment in a heart sense……..now flashing “danger” when we think about our democracy.

    Readily explicable. ShonKey Python is not a New Zealander in wairua.

    Rich smiley guy parachuted in to further the agenda and the morality at his point of departure. Philosophy never waivered. Excellent.

  19. exitlane 19

    What is missing is the bigger picture arising from the latest Guardian revelations.

    It’s almost certain the GCSB had already has accessed Dunne’s and Vance’ phone calls and emails anyway without relying on Parliamentary Services. Why almost certain? Because the latest revelations in the Guardian about XKeystore confirm a lowly analyst Like Edward Snowden can obtain the content of calls and emails of anyone anywhere with a few keystrokes and without a warrant.

    These latest Snowden documents are headed with “NZL” at the top of all of them – meaning the GCSB has access to the XKeystore program as well. Are we so naive as to believe that the GCSB has this capability but does not use it and provide the data relevant to the Kitteridge report to its Master ?

    It’s well overdue for the media – (and Dunne for goodness sake !) to start joining the dots between privacy breaches involving a few individuals like Dunne and Vance and the mass surveillance which will be permissible under the new GCSB law, and ask some hard questions of Key

  20. Sable 20

    This all sounds like poetic justice to me. Now these two have had a taste of how the obnoxious behaviour by our so called government can bite then on the ass just like the rest of us.

  21. Chooky 21

    @ exitlane…Implictions?

    From the perches as it stands (imo)….The potential for blackmail will be huge…We are all ( on the sinful , atheist Left at least ) going to have to think pure thoughts, no flirting, no swearing , no hankey pankey ….unless one is willing to engage with unseen observers … it may bring forth a new evolution of paranoid celibacy….priests, nuns, monks….? OMG!…. we will only be able to commune with God in silence ….or with other sinners by pigeons….. (until quantum computing evolves) …..or secure cloud encrypted computing…..where is Mr Dotcom?….is this what he offers?….is this why he is being persecuted?…is he our salvation?

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      The potential for placing undue pressure on MPs, judges, lawyers, political candidates, jurors etc is huge. It enables a government within a government to subvert democracy in terrifying ways.

  22. Chooky 22

    From the Perches:

    “FIVE EYES” is either an extension of the ALL SEEING EYE OF THE ONE AND ONLY GOD

    ….or it is the five eyes of the DEVIL beast

    whatever the case ….Peter Dunne and Andrea Vance have been caught in a CATCH 22

  23. Treetop 23

    Quietly waiting in the wings is the Maori Party and Key knows this.

    How much is he prepared to give them to prop up his government?

    I think that the Maori Party know that they are not likely to get a seat at the next election so there is nothing to lose.

    See how the Maori Party voted at the second reading of the GCSB bill, two against and one vote (the third one) could not be counted.

    • Veutoviper 23.1

      Although the MP have been opposed to the GCSB Bill, they have been relatively quiet about it – but they have had a lot going on in terms of leadership etc.

      Re their vote at the second reading of the Bill, the fact that only 2 votes were cast against the Bill not their full entitlement of three, I believe that this was probably yet another instance of only one Maori Party MP being within the Parliamentary Precinct at the time of the vote – not a case of one Maori Party menber abstaining. An abstention would have had to be recorded.

      As I said in a comment in the Friday Document Dump post thread (link below), the rules on Absence of Members affect the numbers of party votes that can be cast depending upon how many/percentage of that party’s MPs who are absent at the time of the vote.

      There have been many previous instances of the Maori Party only recording two votes rather than three in the vote on various pieces of legislation due to these Absence rules. The rules appear to affect the Maori Party more than any other party in the current Parliament, having only three members. For example, the one person parties/independents – Mana, Dunne and Horan – are covered by the ‘one proxy vote’ allowance meaning their one vote is allowed even if they are absent.

      Friday document dump

      Here is the link to the Absence of Members section in Chapter 17 of ” Parliamentary Practice in NZ”.
      http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/about-parliament/how-parliament-works/ppnz/00HOOOCPPNZ_171/chapter-17-temination-of-debate#_Toc263861132

      • Treetop 23.1.1

        I did see your comment in the Friday Document Dump and this got me thinking about any leverage which the Maori Party could have once Dunne votes at the third reading and were Key to dump him.

        Key will either have to ostracise Dunne or clean out his inner circle.

        When it comes to the order of the final vote to the GCSB Bill were Dunne to vote against the bill a member from the Maori Party could vote for it.

        Mana will get the Maori vote at the next election as they have the capacity to become vibrant and they are not tainted by being associated with the Key government.

        You appear to have answered a question about being able to abstain. I wondered if Dunne could abstain or he may fail to show up and not give a proxy vote, (which you have mentioned above).

        Were I Dunne I would be a no show and a no proxy vote.

        • Treetop 23.1.1.1

          Looks as though the edit has not worked. The order of voting is the size of the party and then when the same size it is done alphabetically. When it comes to independent members this is alphabetical after the party vote.

        • Veutoviper 23.1.1.2

          I so wish that Dunne would be a no show and no proxy vote – bat can’t see it, in terms of the stance he has taken both prior to and since the Friday dump.

          I am about to get some fresh air for a few hours, but I want to go through the provisions in the above link to the rules on abstentions, split party votes etc to refresh my memory on all of this. From a quick read, Dunne would have to declare an abstention or no proxy vote – it would not be automatic. Ditto, Banks. So, kidnapping Dunne and Banks so they were not there would not work -No, no I i am not serious! [Hi there, GCSB, NSA and lprent]

          A remote thought that crossed my mind last night (probably too much wine!) was what would happen if all those opposed simply left the House and created a no quorum situation and did not let a vote take place.

          Looked up the quorum provisions quickly early this morning and found out that since 1996, there has been no quorum requirement in the House! So that would not work. The lack of a Miinister in the House can cause the session to be discontinued, but did not read those provisions closely as it was not relevant to my thoughts.

  24. Murray Olsen 24

    Has anyone thought to ask what format the unread emails were saved in? And what programs are on the computers that couldn’t open them?

    I can’t think of any way this could be possible with software that has been widely available for the last 20 years. Are there any IT geeks here that can? I’m assuming that they were not encoded in any way, since that wasn’t mentioned.

  25. Dv 25

    BUT they did TRY to open the attachments, or else how would they know they couldn’t open them. So there was an intent to read them.

    AND who believes they will not have struck the format difference before.

    It is just not credible. As you say these systems have been around for a long time.

    The emails were in .pst format -(microsoft) and they have groupwise (Novell) apparently (I am Not a geek)

  26. Aotearoean 26

    Wake up everyone.Dunne does not his wife to see what was on the Emails.

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