No Surprises Policy - Just Breached By Civil Service And National Politicians

Government ministers, political staff, and the civil service have been caught out breaking the rules by divulging personal information – an offence against the privacy rules of this country, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“The Prime Minister, Bill English, is saying his Ministers should not have been briefed.

“He doesn’t explain why a party operative, Wayne Eagleson, not a Minister, was also handed information.

“The ‘no surprises’ policy requires both the civil service and Ministers to ask all of following three questions.

1. Is this an operational matter? If the answer is ‘Yes’ they should not have told the Minister because that Minister should have asked this question: ‘Is the matter you are about to talk to me about operational?’ If the answer is ‘Yes’ the Minister should have declined to be briefed.

2. Is Ministerial action required? If the answer is ‘No’ a briefing should not have been offered or accepted.

3. Has the matter been resolved? If the answer is ‘Yes’ a briefing should never have been offered or accepted.

“Both civil servants and Ministers have broken the rules here in what is a nasty piece of underhand, political skulduggery, hatched against New Zealand First and its leader.

“The chronology of events is enmeshing this government in what is clearly a dirty conspiracy, which by definition is where two or more set out to break the law.

“None of these people are going to get away with it,” says Mr Peters.