Topic: Rereātea - Midday News

Investigation fails to find leaker of Whaitiri report

By Regan Paranihi

The investigation into who leaked the media report regarding the alleged bullying incident of former Minister Meka Whaitiri’s has failed to identify the leaker.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called for an inquiry into the leak of the redacted report by the Department of Internal Affairs.


Whaitiri was stripped of her Ministerial roles following an altercation with her press secretary at an event in Gisborne in August.

As a result, Deloitte was hired to conduct a thorough forensic investigation into the leak but found no evidence that any Internal Affairs staff were responsible and could not identify any other individual at fault.

However, the investigation found a poor security and access controls around information and a poor redaction process.

Internal Affairs chief executive Paul James says, "The department has robust information security and management policies in place, but in this instance, we fell short of our own standards."

A number of staff members and external parties were interviewed by Deloitte investigators and internal files and email systems were also examined as part of the inquiry.

The investigation found the press secretary involved in the altercation was left alone with a copy of the draft report for a five minute period, however, there was no evidence to suggest she made any copies or passed it on to anyone.

There were five different versions of the report that was leaked, but only three of them ever went to Internal Affairs.

While Deloitte found no evidence that any Internal Affairs staff member leaked the report to the media, "the level of confidence that we would normally be able to reach around the report's movement within DIA was materially diminished given the process deficiencies we identified,'' the investigation found.