Wednesday, October 20, 2004


I see that the opposition is already trying to label the inquiry into John Tamihere as a "whitewash", with Gerry Brownlee noting yesterday that the QC has no power to compel evidence and asking how the government can be certain that Tamihere will co-operate . I would have thought that the answer was obvious: if he fails to co-operate to the satisfaction of the Prime Minister, she'll sack him.

So far the government has acted properly on this, in swiftly standing Tamihere down while an independent inquiry investigates the allegations against him. While I would expect him to be sacked anyway on the grounds of what we already know (that he mislead the public and failed to declare gifts received while a cabinet minister), given the existence of further allegations (fraud, tax evasion, receiving a large payment in exchange for work done in Parliament) it is probably better to deal with it all at once.