The Leader of the Opposition and the Speaker of the House have agreed an investigation into the leaking of Simon Bridges travel expenses is warranted

Gerry Brownlee

Parliament's Speaker Trevor Mallard will appoint a Queens Council (QC) to investigate the leaking of National Leader Simon Bridges’ expense accounts to media.

As well as a QC, Mallard will request a forensic IT expert to join the investigation too.

“In my opinion, someone has deliberately undermined either an individual or the system and I want us to get to the bottom of it,” he told media.

As part of the investigation, MPs will need to sign a waiver of consent to have their computers searched – Mallard will ask Bridges to ensure all his MPs sign that waiver.

Mallard says he will also be signing the waiver, “although the evidence will show neither myself or my office received the document in electronic form.”

The evidence will show if MPs forwarded the document, and to whom, as well as if they printed it.

The Speaker says the “level of expertise” in the investigation may lead to someone admitting to being the leaker before the inquiry begins.

Mallard says both he and the Leader of the Opposition came to an agreement that the leak was “quite serious.”

On Tuesday, Bridges called for a High Court Judge to lead a “comprehensive investigation” into the leak.

“This isn’t about me or the Opposition, it’s ultimately about the fact a leak such as this potentially affects all members of Parliament and we all have an obligation, a duty and a right to feel free from these things,” Bridges said.

Speaking to media after Mallard’s announcement, Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee said the Speaker had made the right choice.

He says the investigation will “almost certainly” flush out the leaker, who’s name will most likely be made public.

“Nothing that goes into a server stays there, no matter what you do with it.”

He says the QC, with the help of the forensic specialist, will be able to find out the document's movements.

Brownlee says all National’s MPs will sign the waiver.

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13 Comments

So let's spend another swag of tax payers money to find out who leaked details of another incident of misuse of taxpayers money. Do tax payers really care who leaked what? I think the majority of us believe Bridges has already wasted enough money.

Disagree. It's not the info itself, but the breach of confidentiality that's important. Hopefully the person will be exposed and their reputation tarnished for life, no matter what their political persuasion.

Why not stone them to death as well .......

Probably not culturally appropriate (yet) and it creates a martyr.

Am trying to recall if you were as worried about the principal of confidentiality when Winston's info was leaked?

I agree we should be taking confidentiality seriously, though.

Can't recall if I commented on his situation, but in principle yes the same should happen even though I rate the complainant as pond scum. It appears that court proceedings will take care of that in any case.

BTW: I have worked under some inspirational leaders. One of their consistent traits was the ability to keep confidences. I tell my children that leaking confidences and it's informal counterpart, indulging in gossip is a character flaw. When they ask why? I ask them whether they would trust a person who broke their confidences? When they answer no, I know it's sinking in.

I agree.

(One good reason why Paula Bennett and Judith Collins will never be inspirational leaders.)

What confidences have they leaked?

BTW: In an age where nothing would surprise me about the character flaws of people in the public domain, I would only truly be inspired by people I personally interact with. Politicians of all flavours seem inherently flawed to be in such a position in the first place.

In this day and age, leaks are going to happen no matter what. Answer? Disclose all the info. Put it all out there for anyone to see. 99% of people won't be bothered to look and the other 1% can only 'leak' what's already in the public domain. Forget this 'it was within Budget' nonsense, and just disclose how all taxpayer money is spent - all of it.

Wasn't it due for automatic disclosure in 3 days time?

Could not agree more - the Government is ours! We own it, we fund it, we vote for it.

Interesting that there has to be a signing of a waiver first before computers can be searched? Or are they talking about personal computers? It feels like a bit of a gamble to me. If this investigation turns up nothing and the leaker doesn't cough first, well then what?

You're the one for me, fatty