Media release from Internet Party
New Zealand women deserve transparency over the appointment to a top Government job of a former high-flying army officer convicted of indecent assault on a junior officer.
That’s the call from Internet Party leader Laila Harré following the revelation that Allan Kinsella will have a senior role in the Ministry of Primary Industry’s new export standards unit.
Ms Harré says it is important for Mr Kinsella’s victim, his colleagues and for all women that details of the appointment be made clear – especially the shared army history between Mr Kinsella and the Director General of the MPI, Martyn Dunne, who signed off the appointment.
Mr Dunne led defence operations in East Timor and Mr Kinsella was part of the deployment. Since his court martial hearing Mr Kinsella has been working in Mr Dunne’s office.
“I am not trying to double-punish Mr Kinsella or his victim, but staff at the MPI appear surprised at the lack of detail accompanying the internal announcement of the promotion,” said Ms Harré.
“Given the climate of dissatisfaction and mistrust among women when it comes to government bodies’ response to sex crimes, anything that has the whiff of an old boys’ club has to be brought into the light – not hidden away in a sparse internal memo.
“It’s unacceptable that we get a wall of silence from the Ministry, the State Services Commission and Minister Nathan Guy over this appointment, which is said to have lacked the usual background details – causing curiosity among staff.”
Ms Harré said the Minister either knew of the appointment under the “no surprises” policy, so was trying to dodge the issue, or he didn’t know, which was an indictment on reporting between himself and the MPI’s Director General, Mr Dunne.
Mr Kinsella was demoted from Lieutenant-Colonel to Major after being found guilty by court martial in 2009 for sexually assaulting a junior officer on a training programme at Waiouru. The court martial heard that Mr Kinsella entered the woman’s bedroom and tried to force himself on her.