Tukituki MP Criag Foss had the honour of grilling Cunners this afternoon. You can read the full transcript here. But this is the "money" question:
"Craig Foss: Can the Minister confirm that documents released under the Official Information Act show that he advised officials in December 2007 that he wished to appoint Sir John Anderson as commissioner at the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, which was months before he expressed no confidence in the previous board and issued his ultimatum to the board demanding that it justify its continued position?
Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: No. All I can say is that my final decision was not made until the afternoon of 27 February. The member is referring to a factual misunderstanding concerning a mistake made by the Ministry of Health in the release of papers, some of which were incomplete. This will be explained in court proceedings, and I can comment no further on it."
Now one thing I didn't pick up on this morning was that these documents were supposed to have been withheld from release to Foss due to the impending legal challenge to Cunliffe's arbitrary decision. Were they mistakenly released, or is someone determined to make a point to Mr "I'm running this show now" Cunliffe? If so, it would do nothing to diminish speculation that Cunliffe is being set up to "take one for the team", in particular, to take the spotlight off Annette King and her husband.