Ministers Listened To Secret Tapes As Ministers

06 July 2017

It is clear that some National Ministers did listen to secret recordings of a conversation in the Clutha-Southland electorate office, says New Zealand First Deputy Leader Ron Mark.

“Under questions in Parliament today Prime Minister Bill English again refused to answer questions relating to the cover-up and the privacy breach.

“However, yesterday the Prime Minister said he agreed with the Cabinet manual that Ministers had a ministerial responsibility 24 hours a day.

“So, Ministers who listened to the recording were in fact listening as Ministers.

“On June 29 this is not what Minister Joyce, answering for the Prime Minister, claimed when he answered our question.

“We asked: Since 18 May, can he categorically say that no current or former Minister has listened to the recording Mr Barclay offered to play to him, which allegedly talks about sex and illicit drug use?

“Mr Joyce responded: I doubt that any member would have been listening to that in their ministerial capacity.

“Today we asked the Prime Minister Bill English if he and  his Minsters were aware that covering up an illegal act in the hope it would go away, could make him and other Ministers an accessory after the fact to an offence, a party to the commission of the offence and potentially open to a charge of perverting the course of justice?

“There has been a lack of honesty and complicity over the secret recordings and the payouts, Mr English cannot deny it,” says Mr Mark.