Staff unions are seeking legal advice regarding the scope of the inquiry into the alleged leaking of confidential information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Public Service Association and the Foreign Service Association say the terms of the investigation, which is being led by Paula Rebstock, are extraordinarily broad.
"Our concern is that she has been given the scope to essentially go on a fishing expedition and trawl through a range of information that isn’t relevant to the subject of the inquiry," says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.
"That is what we believe needs to be questioned."
"The PSA and the FSA are not trying to be obstructive nor prevent MFAT staff from speaking to the inquiry, but we believe they should have representation when they do so and need clarity around what are legitimate and relevant lines of inquiry."
Staff are currently being asked to participate in interviews regarding the investigation and both unions are seeking a meeting with MFAT senior management to ensure that representation will be provided.
"The whole change management and restructuring at MFAT was badly handled and there were high levels of political interference. Staff are still dealing with the fallout from that and it’s important that the processes around this investigation are fair and reasonable," Brenda Pilott says.
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