Friday, July 16, 2010


Last month, Radio New Zealand obtained leaked advice from the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs on the granting of $4.8 million in non-contestable funding to the Pacific Economic Development Agency - a private company run by National party crony J R Pereira. The advice was highly embarrassing to the government, so they did what they always do in these circumstances: started a witch hunt.

That witch-hunt has finished, and has failed to uncover any information about the source or manner of the leak. Good. Leaks are a vital part of our democracy, essential to telling us what the government is up to. While governments hate them, they are very much in the public interest. Stringing up leakers may prevent further embarrassment for self-interested politicians, but we would all lose if the government was successful in shutting down this information flow.