John Key is trying to rid himself of the responsibilities every Prime Minister has to bear – that of overseeing our intelligence organisations, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker.
“This is a dereliction of duty. Managing our spy agencies is an integral part of being Prime Minister.
“Oversight of the SIS and GCSB has traditionally been the responsibility of Prime Ministers. It is an unprecedented move to delegate those responsibilities to a lower minister.
“John Key has been dogged by intelligence agency scandals for years, culminating in the revelations that SIS information was used by the Prime Minister’s Office to score political points against former Labour Leader Phil Goff.
“Controversies include illegal spying on 88 New Zealanders, the Prime Minister’s personal involvement in appointing his old school friend as head of the GCSB, the leak of the Kitteridge report, bungling of the Kim Dotcom raid, and ramming through the GCSB legislation despite public concern.
“It has become apparent that the Prime Minister has not properly exercised his oversight. The answer is to do the job properly not palm it off elsewhere.
“There have been serious issues of intelligence leaks and misuse of power under John Key’s watch. His attempt to distance himself by creating an entire new layer of bureaucracy will put our intelligence security and secrecy at even greater risk,” says David Parker.
6 October 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT