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Panpa Bulletin : February 2006
We're the new company created by the merger of XSYS Print Solutions and Flint Ink Corporation. Now more than ever before we meet the needs of the global printing, converting and colourants industries around the world. 1403 Vetro PANPA Introducing Flint Group Auckland 09] 579 8089 Wellington 04] 568 3019 Christchurch 03] 384 2119 www.flintgrp.com Melbourne 03] 9797 5400 Sydney 02] 9605 7111 Adelaide 08] 8539 4400 Brisbane 07] 3216 2255 Perth 03] 9797 5400 Shirking work led to spy scoop A front-page scoop, including chance discovery of a top secret document about spying, was the result of curios- ity and time to spare during the sum- mer-time absence of political news. The Sunday Star-Times politi- cal editor Helen Bain had recently read of the time limit for release of information in the British archives and decided to do some browsing at Archives NZ to see what might be of interest. Bain told the PANPA Bulle- tin, "I was just thinking of spending a little bit of quiet time during sum- mer and out of the reach of the chief reporter. The most successful work shirking I have ever done." There was no news tip to spark the search. Bain simply started entering some relevant names in Archives' new Archway computer system to see what was available. Bain entered the name of the late Prime Minister David Lange, because, said Bain, the man and events during his time in office were so interesting. Up on screen came a list of private files available only at the discretion of the chief archivist. Bain, in writing, sought and gained necessary permission to view the files. Cabinet approval was also in- volved. Having viewed the files Bain then sought and gained approval to publish quotes from or references to 28 documents from among the papers. The documents Bain found and used included: > A top secret 1985-86 annual report by New Zealand's electronic spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, listing countries spied upon. Targets included the United Nations and a number of friendly states. > The same report shows that while the intelligence received from he USA dropped in the wake of he anti-nuclear dispute between he two countries the GCSB kept ignificant links with American ntelligence agencies. > Advice to the then Prime Minister David Lange about American hreats to spy on New Zealand if the overnment continued its anti- nuclear policy. > Evidence of the disorganised state of Lange's personal finances, including threat of legal action concerning overdue tax returns. > Lange's view that the country's trade unions of the time were disorganised, incoherent and chaotically led. > An unsigned handwritten leadership list of Labour MPs likely to support Lange, and those likely to support then Finance Minister Roger Douglas. The same list showed the then future Prime Minister Helen Clark as sitting on the fence. Bain said that in her application she "slightly under-stated " the sig- nificance of the annual report of the electronic spy agency, the GSCB. Bain listed it as the report by Colin Hanson. He was the then director of the GSCB, as any search of the paper and computer files would show. Following the big splash in the Sunday Star Times and sub- sequent fall-out Archives NZ tried to ban the newspaper from publishing information from the Lange private papers. Access to the documents was given in error and permission to publish should not have been given, according to Archives NZ. Chief archivist Dianne Macaskill told the newspaper it did not have permission to publish. To publish without her permission, said Ma- caskill would be in breach of the Public Records Act 2005. Such a blanket ban was mad, the Sunday newspaper editorialised, but the Public Records Act does not allow any appeal. PEOPLE