Goff made a serious mistake, possibly an illegal one, when he did this earlier this year
Mr Goff has released part of the report into the death of Corporal Doug Hughes which he says reveals “critical deficiencies in the training and deployment of Kiwi troops”.
In February, Coroner Gordon Matenga released his report into Cpl Hughes’ death in April 2011, ruling it was a suicide, and an inquest was not necessary.
All other details of the report were suppressed, “including the report of the Court of Inquiry, in the interests of justice and on the basis of personal privacy”. Â
Mr Goff says the government has tried to cover up “damning revelations” in the Court of Inquiry report, including reduced and rushed training for soldiers in Cpl Hughes’ rotation, which its commanding officer had raised concerns about.
“The report found these issues didn’t ‘directly’ contribute to Doug Hughes’ tragic death, but the investigation into it has exposed serious failings that put all troops in the Bamyan deployment at considerable risk,” Mr Goff said.
Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says it was illegal for Mr Goff to release the report, and he presumes “there will be consequences”.
Well, one of those consequences is that Goff is still facing a police complaint I laid. Â At the time, I said
I decided to go lay the complaint because of the bizarre public statements by Police who said that they werenâ€™t investigating his breach of suppression orders because no complaint had been laid.
No complaint was ever laid against me but the Police managed to trot around to my house very early in the morning to summons me to the police station.
Labour politicians have a bad habit of breaking the law and thinking they can get away with it. If it was good enough for the Police to drop a ton of bricks on top of me for breaching suppression orders then it should be the same for Phil Goff.
Phil digs himself a bit deeper – I can see a conviction in his future. Â He’s handing the court all the evidence they need.
Goff said the most disappointing aspect was that Matenga’s suppression order remained in place, and Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman had “hidden behind it” to avoid discussing the case.
“My concern is the ultimate effect of the coroner’s decision was to stop public debate and government accountability about what was in the Court of Inquiry decisions. The coroner has effectively given cover to the Government to say nothing, and perhaps do nothing.”
Goff said he would write to the chief coroner asking him to review Matenga’s decision.
“I would have thought first and foremost you look to the feelings of the relatives and obviously the coroner didn’t bother about that because he took an action which was against the wishes of the family – which was to suppress the Court of Inquiry.”
It appears Goff thinks suppression law is inconvenient, or perhaps even wrong. Â That remains my stance to this day. Â But my principled stand on the issue resulted in convictions.
Let’s see if Goff is similarly principled, or this is just another empty stunt for air time.