New Zealand Dairy Board Investigations

  • Paul East

The Attorney-General, Hon Paul East, confirmed today that the Government would co-operate with British authorities investigating the New Zealand Dairy Board.

``We have an established mutual arrangement with the United Kingdom that covers such matters,'' Mr East said. ``It is reflected in legislation in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The British authorities have requested our co-operation under it.

``Assisting United Kingdom investigating authorities certainly involves no assumption as to guilt. But it is in everyone's interests that inquiries be dealt with according to normal procedure and in an expeditious way.

``This is part of the ordinary operation of the justice system. We have requested and obtained British co-operation in such matters in the past, and they have obtained ours. It operates on a reciprocal basis."

Mr East said that the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act makes provision for co-operation in such cases. The United Kingdom is one of the countries listed under the Act in respect of which New Zealand provides, and receives, such co-operation.

``Assistance for such investigations is normally provided through police channels,'' Mr East said. ``There is no basis in the law for dealing with this request any differently than others.''