The words of the title of this post are those of Ombudsman Dame Beverly Wakem:
Ombudsman ‘appalled’ by ex-Customs lawyer’s OIA allegations
… She said the Ombudsman’s relationship with the government service was based on trust. Without that, she said, “we’re all in trouble”.
“We may as well kiss democracy goodbye. The work of this office relies in great measure in the maintenance of a high level of trust and integrity between ourselves and government agencies,” she said.
The Ombudsman is referring to this story, appearing in a separate article by David Fisher in The Herald:
Ex-Customs lawyer claims he was told to bury info that could embarrass the Government
A former high-ranking Customs lawyer says he resigned from his job after allegedly being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government.
Curtis Gregorash said he was told by senior Customs executives to refuse Official Information Act and Privacy Act requests, which he believed was at the direction of former Customs Minister Maurice Williamson.
It comes at a time the Prime Minister’s office is under inquiry over the release of intelligence material through the OIA and accusations that former Justice Minister Judith Collins was manipulating OIA responses for political purposes.
Back to the Ombudsman again:
“If our examination and investigation finds that [trust and integrity] has been betrayed or warped in any way that is something I am going to be taking very seriously and I think the public of New Zealand should be taking very seriously because it attacks the whole integrity of the system of governance.”
Dame Beverley said whistleblowers should make contact with the Office of the Ombudsman if they had evidence of such practices.
Yet another typical scandal from the dirtiest government ever seen in NZ.