David Parker writes a guest column in NBR on the importance of media independence and freedom.
It’s worth a read:
Media freedom and independence under threatDavid Parker | WEEKEND REVIEW |
The SFO issued that order against the NBR with no outside oversight.
NBR was right to inquire into what had gone wrong. The SFO interference in the NBR proved beyond doubt that the SFO powers are excessive and undermine the important role of a free media.
OPINION: Media freedoms are absolutely essential to the long-term health of any democracy. New Zealand is no exception.
The production order used by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) against the National Business Review demanded that NBR give up their records, including sources, of the NBR inquiry into the South Canterbury collapse.
That collapse caused hundreds of millions of dollars of cost to tax payers. The huge losses led to allegations of improper behaviour by South Canterbury Finance.
Serious questions were also raised about incompetence of the Government and its Ministry (the Treasury).
They allowed the size of that risk to grow by hundreds of millions after the Crown guarantee was granted, and rejected alternative ways of solving the problem which may have saved tens if not hundreds of millions.