Monday, June 10, 2024

Putin would be proud of them

A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa:

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an independent inquiry into Te Pāti Māori.

Te Pati Māori is facing mounting investigations into whether it has misused Census data and information collected from people who had COVID-19 vaccinations for electioneering.

The Privacy Commissioner, Electoral Commission, Police and Stats NZ are already investigating the allegations.

There is no question that the allegations against Te Pāti Māori are serious. Misuse of census data has been a crime since the early C20th, and covid data was protected by a similar secrecy clause with criminal penalties, reflecting the value of this private information. And Te Pāti Māori have themselves called for a police investigation to resolve the issue. But that's very different from an inquiry by Te Kawa Mataaho - a body which simply has no jurisdiction over political parties, or criminal matters - where the PM gets to pick the inquirer and write the terms of reference to ensure the outcome he wants. Such a process lacks any pretence of fairness, and any credibility. Instead, it just looks like National augmenting its blatant racism with tyranny. Putin would be proud of them.