Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Key's resignation and the OIA

Did you want to know something about how John Key acted as Prime Minister? Which bloggers he briefed, or which journalists he had on speed dial, for example? Sorry, you're now shit out of luck. Key is subject to the OIA as Prime Minister, and all information he holds is official by default unless he can clearly show that it is held in a private capacity. But that obligation ends the moment he leaves office. And as we've seen in the case of Judith Collins, information about his specific practice as Prime Minister effectively disappears with him.

Its particularly annoying when complaints have been made to the Ombudsman and are now being shitcanned because of this. I've had one complaint which they've sat on since March which I've just had to withdraw because there is simply no credible prospect of the PM answering it in the next week. The briefings to bloggers complaint (which I'm a part of along with various media organisations) is currently going back and forth between the Ombudsman and the PM's chief of staff - and its clear that all the latter has to do is drag their feet and the information will never emerge. Which would of course be contemptuous of the law and utter bad faith towards the Ombudsman and requesters. Sadly, I've grown to expect nothing less from this government.