An investigation into the Malaysian diplomat bungle has been hopelessly compromised by the public comments of the Prime Minister John Key, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer.
“Today Mr Key was quoted as saying that he thought the person responsible would ‘need to think very strongly about whether they are in the right job.’
Mr Key has decided who is to blame and wants action taken to protect himself and Minister McCully. He’s taken on the role of judge, jury and executioner.
McCully has said he will have an investigation. But Key’s words show that this will be just a whitewash because the culprit has already been found, so that no ministerial responsibility will be required.
The inquiry is supposed to look into the ambiguity that surrounded New Zealand’s official position on immunity for the Malaysian official who was arrested on charges of burglary and the attempted rape of a 21 year old woman.
“But it is flawed from the beginning.
“John Allen the CE of MFAT will be heading it, the man who was blithely unaware of the issue under his own nose. He too shares responsibility for this debacle and has just as much incentive to save his skin and blame the lowest ranking official as McCully.
“Why should a staff member take the fall for a series of systems problems in MFAT which has been caused by the current Minister, Murray McCully, says David Shearer.
“Mr McCully seems to be a serial avoider of responsibility when things go wrong in his department. Now his boss has made it worse with comments that will make any investigation prejudiced from the outset.
“It is totally inappropriate for John Key to be menacing individual staff members of MFAT through the media.
"The issue needs a fully independent inquiry that looks at this issue but also the dysfunctional practises that have arisen since McCully restructured MFAT, leading to widespread disillusionment and some of the most talented people walking out the door,"said David Shearer.