A leak has revealed that Melissa Lee is under investigation for pilfering taxpayers’ money. Before the Mt Albert by-election she was cleared of a different rip-off, but it turns out that NZ on Air was still investigating her for keeping $100,000 of contingency funds that should have been returned to NZ on Air. Lee denies any wrong-doing but she would, wouldn’t she? Lee felt no need to reveal this investigation to be public during the by-election or after.
It gets murkier. Lee’s campaign manager for that disastrous by-election campaign was Jonathan Coleman. And who’s the minister responsible for NZ on Air? One Jonathan Coleman.
It is simply not possible that Coleman wasn’t aware of the investigation into Lee. So when did he find out about it?
While he was still managing Lee’s campaign? I suspect so because the letter to Lee informing her of the investigation was dated the day before the by-election and NZ on Air would surely have given the minister a heads-up first under the ‘no-surprises’ rules.
If he did know before the election, what right did he have to keep that kind of information from the voters?
How long did Coleman think he would keep a serious investigation into a sitting MP secret from the public? Didn’t he think we had a right to know?
Why did Coleman think he had the right to misuse his ministerial powers to cover-up this information about his National Party colleague?
Whoever leaked this information is to be congratulated for exposing this cover-up. There is a feeling within this government that it is above the law and above public scrutiny. They think they can do whatever they like and bully anyone into silence who speaks up, so it’s a real act of bravery on the leaker’s part to speak out.