Hooton has a post today on his OIA request regarding the Brash Email affair.
It makes sickening reading. This is the sort of pro-government political manipulation & undermining of the opposition we have come to expect from Zimbabwe, not here in New Zealand.
The fact that Matthew has to explain *why* this is important would also suggest that we have lost our perspective in a haze of government spin.
The letter then says that the police began their investigation on 28 September 2006. In other words, according to Police National Headquarters itself, they waited 13 months before commencing an investigation into an alleged theft that had potentially very significant electoral and constitutional implications.
(In a democracy, it is vitally important that political parties, unions, business groups and other NGOs are able to meet and communicate in private to achieve a common policy position, and then agree on strategy, tactics and operations. If collective groups are unable to do this, they cannot function, because no group of adults will ever agree on everything the moment they walk into a room, and they may not want their initial differences to be made public. Demanding that everything be transparent is Pollyanna-ish and simply undermines the efficacy of political parties, unions, business groups and other NGOs and therefore undermines democracy. The Police should take very seriously any suggestion of politically-motivated crimes which undermine this ability for groups that are important to our democracy, such as the main opposition party, to reach agreement privately.)
But Police National Headquarter’s dodgy behaviour is even worse than this.
In the letter, Police National Headquarters claims they were first notified of the alleged thefts on 30 August 2005. This is new information because, until now, it has always been believed that the first they knew officially about the alleged theft was when Dr Brash made a formal complaint in September 2006.
We now learn, from Police National Headquarters itself, that, in fact, the police waited at least 22 months from the time they were first notified about the alleged theft before interviewing any of the key players!