So, if it wasn’t IRD then who was the leaker

IRD has confirmed that no leaks came from them regarding Winston Peters private tax and superannuation arrangements.

Inland Revenue has concluded an investigation and found its staff members were not the source of a leak of Winston Peters’ private information.

The department said it does not hold the information about Peters’ superannuation that became public, so could not be the source.

“New Zealanders trust Inland Revenue with their personal financial information. It is essential that we can assure New Zealanders their personal information is respected and protected at all times.”

Other investigations into the leak are ongoing.

Ministerial Services is now looking into the handling of the information by the ministerial offices involved, and the Ministry of Social Development is also investigating if its staff were involved.

If not IRD then who?

I’ll bet MSD has the same result. That then leaves Anne Tolley, Paula Bennett, Wayne Eagleson and several staffers on the hook. If it wasn’t the civil servants then it has to be one of that lot.

Peters has called in the lawyers and pointed his finger at the National Party as the possible “leak” to the media of the news he had to repay overpayments for his superannuation since 2010, saying it was an attempt to destroy NZ First.

That followed revelations that ministers Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley were briefed on the overpayments by government department heads under a “no surprises” policy.

National leader Bill English has said he did not believe the leak came from National and was assured by Bennett and Tolley they had not passed on the information.

Bill English is wrong and a staffer is being lined up to take the hit. It is always the way. He will be reassured that he will be looked after…don’t worry we will find you a job.

There is of course a problem with that line of reasoning. Firstly, a call to Todd Barclay and Jason Ede will confirm that National never looks after their own. Secondly, National will probably not be in a position to be able to offer that.

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has defended the decision to inform the ministers, saying it was carefully considered and the Solicitor General had been consulted.

However, English said the government departments should not have told ministers, given the personal nature of the information. He said the ministers had handled it “with integrity”.

Cough, cough, bullshit…and that will be revealed in due course.

Bennett has said she knew the information would be “explosive” so decided not to share it even with her staff. She denied National had leaked it, saying there would be little benefit in it for National and it was not the kind of behaviour she would engage in.

That was a cute answer…she did share it though, just not with her staff…insert the word former in there and you will get a clue as to who.

Tolley was told by MSD chief executive Brendan Boyle on July 31 and got an update from MSD on August 15. Tolley also told the PM’s chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, who has denied telling anyone else in the office, including English.

And if you believe that Wayne Eagleson didn’t tell Bill then I have a bridge in Northland I can sell you.

The Ministry of Social Development said Brendan Boyle was told on June 19 as part of a routine briefing. On July 27 he was advised the matter had been resolved to officials’ satisfaction.

Boyle asked the State Services Commission if it should be disclosed to the minister under the “no surprises” policy and was told to do so.

That happened four days later on July 31 at a one-on-one meeting with Tolley. It was followed up with a written note on August 15.

Hughes told State Services Minister Paula Bennett.

Newshub had reported they received an anonymous tip-off by phone three days later on August 18. Newsroom has also reported details of the repayments, claiming the total Peters paid was $18,000 and the overpayments were detected when Peters’ partner Jan Trotman applied for superannuation.

It isn’t that anonymous…everyone knows who did it. They might be able to hide behind the OIA but they won’t be able to hide behind court discovery. National are just being cute. They leaked it and that will come out. If it wasn’t IRD or MSD then it can only be ministers or ministerial staff.

 

-NZ Herald

 


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