STACEY KIRK / STUFF
The President of the Parliament has appointed a Queen & # 39; s Counsel to investigate the leak of Simon Bridges's publications.
Speaker Trevor Mallard has announced that former solicitor-general Michael Heron will lead the independent forensic investigation, but the scope of his mandate has yet to be announced.
However, it is expected that it will be a great success to get the perpetrator behind a politically motivated attack on Bridges for the public release of all MPs' expenses.
Bridges' use of the chariot and housing costs were picked out in the media after a leak to Newshub that he spent $ 113,000 in a three-month period coinciding with his national road show to people in the region. to meet as the new leader of the national party.
That went down to about $ 919 a day, but because he was not a minister, the cost of a Crown Car was more expensive than normal for him. That is something that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had caught in the past, a bill of $ 80,000 when she was opposition leader.
Bridges was also a Tauranga-based party leader, so a higher travel account on average than his counterparts based in Auckland or Wellington was not uncommon.
But the leakage of his data was considered a serious breach of trust, and although the fingers were pointed in all directions, it seemed that they were most likely to come from the parliamentary service or from National.
Mallard said that the investigation was necessary because it was a security breach.
"In my opinion, someone has consciously undermined an individual or the system, and I want us to be able to come to the end at all.
"If there is a gap in the parliamentary service, I want it to be resolved and if it is not, I think it is appropriate that the person who leaked the documents has been identified," he said last week.
Heron was experienced in performing "high-profile questions regarding integrity and conduct".
"I appointed him after consulting with the leader of the opposition, Mr. Heron will use forensic IT support to help him," said Mallard.
"It is important to determine how this breach of trust has occurred and to determine whether there is a system problem or whether a person is responsible and if so who this person is."
"For the sake of completeness, I would like to point out that Heron, at the same time as Simon Bridges (in various companies), acted as Attorney General and was appointed (and together with him) to Solicitor General. [former attorney general] Chris Finlayson from 2012 to 2016. I met Mr. Heron several times when he presided over Drug Free Sport NZ and I was an opposition spokesman for sports. "
Bridges had asked Mallard to conduct a formal investigation and said he was adamant that the leak did not come from his own party.
MONIQUE FORD / STUFF