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44% don't believe Key over SIS briefing - poll

John Key says it is "a bit soul-destroying" that a new poll has revealed people do not believe him over a Dirty Politics revelation.

In his book, Nicky Hager discusses SIS documents that were embarrassing to then Labour leader Phil Goff being handed over to Cameron Slater with unusual speed following the Whale Oil blogger's OIA request.

Mr Hager speculates the PM likely did know about the release, writing: "The head of the SIS would surely never have done anything so unusual, so public, and so political without their minister’s knowledge and approval.”

Mr Key said his office was briefed but he was not.

The latest ONE News Colmar Brunton poll found 41% said they do believe him, 44% say they don't and 14% said they didn't know.

"Every time you ask the public whether they believe a politician or not the answers wither a bit like that or much worse," Mr Key said this morning on Breakfast.

"Every time I lose one of those polls I find it a bit soul-destroying. But I can tell you what I know I wasn't in the country, the head of the SIS said I wasn't involved, and the Chief Ombudsman backs him up."

Mr Key said he welcomed the inquiry being conducted by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn

The inquiry does not focus on whether the prime minister knew about the release of the documents but whether they were released for political purposes. 

Yesterday, it was revealed senior members of Mr Key's staff plus Mr Slater had been summoned to meet with the Inspector-General. 

Asked if he would be questioned by Ms Gwyn, the PM said this morning, "Apparently not. There’s a little bit of confusion there."

Collins/SFO inquiry
The Prime Minister also said an inquiry would take place into an email that suggested the Justice Minister Judith Collins had tried to undermine (then) SFO boss Adam Feeley in 2011. The email led to her resignation Saturday.

Mr Key said he had taken advice overnight and expected to announce the terms of the inquiry on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Click to zoom.

Race tightening
TVNZ also released the latest OneNEWS-Colmar Brunton.

The poll of more than 1000 eligible voters was taken from August 23 to August 27, before two major events: the first leaders' debate and Judith Collins' resignation.

The survey found the race tightening, with National down 2 to 48% and Labour up 2 to 28%.

Translated into seats, National would have 59, unable to govern alone.

With ACT (1), UnitedFuture (1) and the Maori Party (3), it would have 64 seats. However, it is still very much up in the air whether ther Maori Party will hold all of its three electorates.

Labour (35), the Greens (14), NZ First (8) and Internet Mana (2) could muster 59.

The result – although already taken over by events – indicates a possible kingmaker role for NZ First or the Maori Party.

What do you think? Do you believe Key over SIS briefing? Click here to vote in our subscriber-only business pulse poll.

Comments and questions

Never mind I am sure he will be relaxed about it at the end of the day.

Hehe well said !
I'll bet his life is littered with "soul destroying" moments.

No-one knows what to believe after the KDC raid and Collins fiascos.

I think we can all believe that New Zealanders are more interested in snapper.

Actually, I'm curiously awaiting whether the shenanigans at the top of our government will drop us down in Transparency International rankings next time around. That would be quite a legacy.

Let's change the headline : 56% believe Key over SIS briefing - poll

No, 41 % believe him. 14% don't know whether to believe him or not.

No. You didn't read it. Only 41% believe. The rest - understandably - don't WTF to believe.

"Soul destroying"?

"When I lose a poll like that"?

Now that the glove puppeteers are pulling their hands out, the PM is starting to sound very much like the guy who never understood the role - or the employer - in the first place.

It sucks to be him right now. But it sucks even more to belong to a country under his governance. What a shameful disgrace.


The taller John Key stands the more sniping will come his way. Great Leaders let others execute the strategy whilst they check on them at regular reviews. Unlike Helen C who micro managed (dictated) how and what everyone did, Key in different thank god.

Lets hope at the end of the day he is relaxed over it, because the one thing John Key can do, that most Kiwis can't, is find something better to do with his time and not be too worried about a multi headed hydra trying to run NZ Inc should National not take office for a 3rd term.

By "multi headed hydra" a suppose you're including the beast of National, Act, UF, Maori Party and the other-worldly Conservative Party.

And Winston.

The one thing that John Key has done which most Kiwis haven't, is to put himself donkey deep in a set of allegations of government corruption.

Whatever else he put his time to in the last 6 years, it did nothing to prevent his second term ending up a shambles.

Can you identify any characteristics of a a leader in JK's behaviour?

"I can't recall..."
" I wasn't told.."
" I wasn't there...."
" It wasn't me...."
" I didn't..."

Absolutely, when he did not have to under any circumstance he brought the Maori Party to the Government Table to participate in the transformation of NZ.

Unlike Labour who sidelined and isolated the Maori Key welcomed their input.

He has dispatched 8 or 9 non performing National MPs during his tenure, he has refreshed his caucus so that there is a continual pool of enthusiastic participants.

He has managed to let his Ministers get on with their jobs and keep out of their way so they can take responsibility for the outcomes. Sometimes that means they don't live up to expectations but at least they are clear on the outcome.

I assume you would rather have a dictatorial type leader, and perhaps if John followed more of the Singaporean model he would be a closer fit. But NZers aren't ready for the cane in prison or being locked up for spitting, well not yet.

I assume everyone here has seen the exact wording of the question. We also know the CB polling is done by random calls to landlines only.

So my question is; of the "500 or so" calls they made to the demographic that actually even have a landline, how many of them actually know what the SIS or OIA even stand for?

I think the question should have been .. " Do you like John Key or not" and its about exactly the same as the "Preferred Prime Minister" result.

[The Ross Patterson above is not the former Telecommunications Commissioner of the same name -- Editor]

'So my question is; of the "500 or so" calls they made to the demographic that actually even have a landline, how many of them actually know what the SIS or OIA even stand for?'

What arrogance, actually.

OK well I challenge you to ask your local dairy owner, or anyone a little less blessed as yourself

[The Ross Patterson above is not the former Telecommunications Commissioner of the same name -- Editor]

Sounds like you only mingle with the top 25% of income if you can only rely on polls

Maybe mingle with a broader range of people and then you won't need a poll to tell you that the man in the street is actually pissed off and doesn't relate well to the bullshit going on

Even loyal National voters or disciples of John Key have had enough

Wake up and get your head out of the sand old boy

Slow down there Doc - you'll pop a valve. I am saying however the question on JK was given they would have probably had roughly the same % response. Hell , the only person I know with a landline is my old man & he is 83. I am the guy on the street & I'm fed up with all of this. I want to hear about policy which is something Labour is clearly a little thin on..

[The Ross Patterson above is not the former Telecommunications Commissioner of the same name -- Editor]

You may be right.

But people with land lines are more likely to be wealthy and therefore a) National voters and b) more informed about stuff than people who can't afford either the land line, or the data, or the computer, or the newspaper, to keep them informed.

Dear John Key

You arrived as PM 6 years ago as the potential Messiah and 6 years later risk leaving as the Pariah.

Do the right thing and expose all the wrongs going on - don't hang out to dry with the septic bunch who have let you down. Blind loyalty won't stack up with the voters. Collins has now gone but should have gone weeks ago.

She has all but destroyed Nationals chances of re election - expose her and her sins and any others - do what is right for NZ

Then NZ may be forgiving - the alternative is all the hard work you have done will end up with you compared as the modern day Muldoon - who is now remembered for all the wrong things.

As they said on Breakfast TV this morning, might also be part of the "no one believes anything a politician says" anyway.

So, that makes it ok?

By that logic, as a result of this, even fewer than zero people will believe politicians.

The multi-headed Hydra which Chris warns us of is looming ever larger as the 'dirty tactics spoilers' gain more traction during this campaign. John Key is a decent, hard-working and smart PM who has led this country through the GFC to a point when NZ is the envy of the world. It would be tragic if the 'Hydra' clan of untested and rampant tax and spend merchants take over...tragic!

Hard working; for his mates.
Decent; would a decent man be talking to Cam Slater?
smart; condescending


What cloud are you on?

Ask yourself what good has he done for this country? Apart from be super friendly to invested interests in the US, giving tax cuts to the mobile wealthy while leaving the rest of us a debt we can never hope to repay.

Unlike him, I don't need to buy friends. If you havent worked it one, merchant bankers and currency traders are just high end sales people, who add no value to society; and whos purpose is to transfer wealth of the masses to the so called elite!

I would have thought the fact Michael Cullen left the NZ Govt with very little debt (despite the bellowing calls for him to cut taxes when he was running consistent surpluses) saved our bacon in the GFC. Net crown debt in 2008 was 5% of GDP (and thank God it was that low), and it is now close to 26%, and that is despite putting some of our best earning public assets on the chopping block. So not so sure John Key and Bill English are quite the economic messiahs they are claiming to be.

We might just as well have a condescending parrot leading us through the current political crisis.

An adequately funded team of halfwitted spin doctors could medicate it and program it to repeatedly put forward their own warped and narrow view of what constitutes properly functioning democracy.

It is sad that John Key has let himself down but it is extremely disturbing to feel that he has left New Zealand open to ridicule.

Mr Key must surely be well aware that pathos carries no weight on the international stage.

Me thinks the good Doctor is over-medicated on his own prejudicial blogs and is suffering from the old green eyed monster. Perhaps bloggers of his ilk ought to focus on working smarter and harder so he can at least see both points of view or empathise with those that so readily attract his wrath - people who are just plain successful.

A vote for Labour is a vote for Kim Dotcom - convicted criminal.

Enough said.

C'mon, give Collins a chance to catch up on the conviction front.

Looks like all the left wing trolls are up and about early this morning. No surprise there, its a Monday and that's when those with jobs who pay the tax (as opposed to those on the benefit who receive our tax) are busy doing the stuff that keeps the country moving.

So you trolls, led by the Doctor, probably think you are in the majority?

Or is it just that you can't afford an NBR subscription so you pounce on the unlocked articles?

Is there a particular reason you feel compelled to carry out attacks on people instead of thinking about the issues??
Just smile and wave as the corruption washes over you.

If I read this survey correctly then 44% of NZers don't believe two of our most senior civil servants as they have come out and backed Key's comments.

In reply to Tricyclist, you seem happy to criticise people in your comments, even if politicians are fair game! You rightly mention talking about the issues yet we have seen Trial by Media and Trial by Hager for weeks when the rule of law says anyone is innocent until proven guilty. This applies to Judith Collins: even she has the same rights as you or me. So, yes, let's all stick to the issues.

classified information is frequently "leaked" to reporters by officials for political purposes. Several U.S. presidents have leaked sensitive information to get their point across to the public. (wikipedia)

Other reasons for withholding official information:
(g)maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through—
(i)the free and frank expression of opinions by or between or to Ministers of the Crown or members of an organisation or officers and employees of any department or organisation in the course of their duty; or
(ii)the protection of such Ministers, members of organisations, officers, and employees from improper pressure or harassment; or ...
(k)prevent the disclosure or use of official information for improper gain or improper advantage.

Who cares what people believe when they have no basis for that belief other than politically motivated slurs and abuse?

You're obviously not talking about the recent scandalous behaviour that has been corroborated by released evidence, I see.

Has anyone seen or heard from Matt McCarten lately? Perhaps we should be checking under the rug for this skulduggery. The continuous innuendo and BS from the last 6 months has MMC's sticky hands all over it.