Goff makes serious allegations

There’s a saying that ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof’ and Phil Goff has made some very serious claims about the supposed ‘spy’ story.

Goff said the Prime Minister was wrong when he reported that the Opposition Leader had been briefed.

“I was not aware of the allegations.” – Goff

He’s gone further today:

Labour leader Phil Goff denies he was briefed on the SIS investigation into suspicions that Israeli backpackers were spying in Christchurch.

Goff is furious over the Prime Minister’s entire handling of the affair, including claims yesterday that the Labour leader was kept in the loop.

Goff insists he was not briefed before, during or after the investigation and says he has texted the head of the SIS to complain about John Key’s comments…

…He said the Prime Minister has to understand the responsibilities of his office and cannot “mouth off” without checking his facts first.

Goff has made serious allegations against the Prime Minister, and the head of the SIS, given the legal requirement on the SIS to consult the Leader of the Opposition:

New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Act 1969

4AA Political neutrality of New Zealand Security Intelligence Service

(1) The Director must take all reasonable steps to ensure that—

(a) the activities of the Security Intelligence Service are limited to those that are relevant to the discharge of its functions:

(b) the Security Intelligence Service is kept free from any influence or consideration that is not relevant to its functions:

(c) the Security Intelligence Service does not take any action for the purpose of furthering or harming the interests of any political party.

(2) The Minister may not direct the Security Intelligence Service to institute the surveillance of any person or entity or any class of person or entity within New Zealand.

(3) The Director must consult regularly with the Leader of the Opposition for the purpose of keeping him or her informed about matters relating to security.

(4) Subsection (2) prevails over section 4(1).

Intelligence and Security Committee Act 1996

6 Functions of Committee
(1) The functions of the Committee are—

(a) subject to subsection (2), to examine the policy, administration, and expenditure of each intelligence and security agency:

(b) subject to subsection (2), to consider any bill, petition, or other matter in relation to an intelligence and security agency referred to the Committee by the House of Representatives:

(c) to receive and consider the annual report of each intelligence and security agency:

(d) to consider any matter (not being a matter relating directly to the activities of an intelligence and security agency) referred to the Committee by the Prime Minister by reason of that matter’s security or intelligence implications:

(e) subject to section 18, to report to the House of Representatives on the activities of the Committee.

(2) The functions of the Committee do not include—

(a) inquiring into any matter within the jurisdiction of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security appointed under section 5 of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996; or

(b) inquiring into any matter that is operationally sensitive, including any matter that relates to intelligence collection and production methods or sources of information; or

(c) originating or conducting inquiries into complaints by individuals concerning the activities of an intelligence and security agency that are capable of being resolved under any other enactment.

If Goff is right, there is an argument that the head of the SIS should resign.  If Goff is wrong, it should be him.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.