The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

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He Uiuinga i a Operation Burnham - Inquiry into Operation Burnham

On April 11 2018, the Government announced that an inquiry into Operation Burnham and related matters would be held. 

Terms of Reference

Further Information

Inquiry members

Sir Terence Arnold KNZM QC (chair)

Sir Terence Arnold graduated from Victoria University (BA and LLM) and New York University (LLM (Crim J)). He taught criminal law at Victoria University in Wellington as well as at several Canadian universities, including Dalhousie University and the University of Calgary. From 1985 to 1994 he was a partner of Chapman Tripp Sheffield Young, where he undertook commercial litigation, with a particular focus on competition and regulatory matters. In 1994 he became a barrister sole and shortly thereafter he was appointed Queen’s Counsel.

In 2000 he was appointed Solicitor-General a position he held until 2006 when he was appointed as a judge to the Court of Appeal. He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court on 11 June 2013. In 2017 he retired from the permanent bench of the Supreme Court but sits as sits as an Acting Judge when required.

Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer KCMG AC QC PC

Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC was admitted as a solicitor in 1965 and to the bar in 1966 and practised in Wellington with O'Flynn and Christie before taking up a British Commonwealth Fellowship to the University of Chicago where he graduated JD cum laude in 1967.

He was a law professor in the United States and New Zealand for some years before entering politics as the MP for Christchurch Central in 1979. In Parliament he held the offices of Attorney-General, Minister of Justice, Leader of the House, Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister. He is a member of the Her Majesty's Privy Council, was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1991 and was made an honorary companion to the Order of Australia the same year.

In 2010 and 2011 he chaired the Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident for the United Nations in New York that reported to the Secretary-General. For eight years he was New Zealand's Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission. Sir Geoffrey is a Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Centre for Public Law and the Law Faculty at the Victoria University of Wellington.

The inquiry, in common with all inquiries under the Inquiries Act, has no power to determine the civil, criminal, or disciplinary liability of any person.  However it may, if justified, make findings of fault and recommend further steps be taken to determine liability.