Govt 'go-to' girl rides shotgun on GCSB/Dotcom probe
The lawyer investigating the Government Communications Security Bureau spying on Kim Dotcom already holds a swag of government appointments.
Kristy McDonald QC was today appointed to look into Green co-leader Russel Norman’s complaint to the police that the GCSB had breached the Crimes Act by snooping on Mr Dotcom and an associate, Bram van der Kolk.
Police Commissioner Peter Marshall announced Ms McDonald’s appointment “to provide an overview of this assessment and resultant investigation".
"This will lead to Ms McDonald's review of any recommendations that may arise. She will then make her own recommendations to the Commissioner's office.”
The matter is to be treated with urgency, he says.
That will mean Ms McDonald – seen as a leading government "go-to" girl – will have to juggle the job with a number of other government roles. Last month she was appointed to the board of the Accident Compensation Corporation after ACC ministerr Judith Collins' boardroom cleanout earlier this year.
She has run the government’s case at the Pike River inquiry, representing the Department of Labour, the Department of Conservation, the Ministries for Economic Development and the Environment at that hearing.
She also sits on the Crown prosecution panel in Wellington and the Serious Fraud Office prosecution panel.
Further back, Ms McDonald also carried out a report for then Justice Minister Simon Power on convicted murderer Scott Watson’s application for the royal prerogative of mercy to be exercised in his case, giving it the thumbs down.
She is also chair of the Real Estate Agents Authority and the Judicial Control Authority for Racing.
Prime Minister John Key described Dr Norman’s complaint as “a stunt” but says the police still have to investigate it.
Dr Norman – whose complaint is the source of the inquiry – welcomed Ms McDonald’s appointment, but Labour leader David Shearer says this, and other recent inquiries, do not go far enough.
The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Paul Neazor was “a whitewash” and the appointment yesterday of Secretary of the Cabinet Rebecca Kitteridge to review the GCSB is too secret, he claims.
“We don’t need a piecemeal mish-mash of reviews and reports, we need a proper independent inquiry.
"We need an inquiry that can look at all our intelligence agencies, whether they are operating within the law… Anything less is just a shabby cover-up.”