Key sticks to Dotcom story amid rowdy debate

John Key

The prime minister's personal statement to the House, much anticipated in some circles, turned out to be a damp squib.

John Key has reiterated earlier comments about when he knew of the GCSB's involvement in the Kim Dotcom matter. 

The prime minister has earlier said he was not aware of the GCSB's involvement until September 17, despite revelations he attended a briefing at GCSB headquarters on February 29, during which Kim Dotcom was mentioned. 

Before question time in parliament this afternoon, he told the House the February 29 briefing was not about Mr Dotcom specifically. 

"I was advised that the talking points of the presentation included a short reference to the Dotcom arrest as an example of co-operation between the bureau and the police.

"The cover slide was a montage of 11 small images, one of which was Dotcom. Neither the presentation nor the talking points was provided to me in hard copy.

"Neither the director of the GCSB or me can recall the reference to the Dotcom matter during the visit, but I accept it may well have been made.

"I wish to make it clear that I was not briefed by the GCSB on its role in the Dotcom matter, nor any issues of potentially illegality until Monday September 17.

"My answers to questions were based on recollection at the time, and there was no intention to mislead the House."

A rowdy question time was mainly noteable for the ejection of Winston Peters from the house and Labour's Trevor Mallard and David Parker leave the chamber as they boisterously demanded to make points of order before the prime minister spoke.

After making his statement, Mr Key continued to come under fire during question time from Labour party leader David Shearer, deputy leader Grant Robertson.

While Mr Shearer continued to emphasise Mr Key's alleged inconsistencies in his earlier statements about the GCSB, Mr Key took a shot at Mr Shearer's allegations last week.

Mr Shearer had said a video tape had been made of Mr Key making reference to Kim Dotcom while speaking at GCSB headquarters on February 29.

He later said such a tape had been wiped, and therefore no longer existed.

Today, Mr Key told the house: "I've been advised by the director that there was no video, that there was never a video, and nothing has been deleted from the GCSB's system.

"So quite frankly, Mr Shearer should put up or shut up. In fact, he should apologise for his unsubstantiated claim."

However, Mr Key confirmed, under questioning by Mr Robertson, that a camera "capable of audio visual recordings" was present when he spoke at the GCSB on February 29, but it was not being used.

He says internal investigations by the GCSB showed the tape was used on February 21, and then not used again until April.

"The GCSB then went to every camera operator that they have, including some that are currently posted overseas, and confirmed that they did not take any video of me."

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19 Comments & Questions

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John Key has the same selective memory as John would seem it doesn't matter what they do or we really want huey and luey running this country......hmmm


Yeah - a Labour virus caught: speedergate, paintergate, "I have a recording, oh, no I don't", and where is all the "don't sell land to foreigners" uproar at the moment as a hapu beachfront land to a US golf course developer? Usual Greens, NZF, Labour hypocrisy.


I see facts count for nothing in your world...


Definitely time to withdraw Mr Dotcoms residency. He obtained it by deception and is hoodwinking the New Zealand media and public.
The government has far more important things to do that be continually sidetracked by Mr Dotcom.


Good comment. Now let us have a discussion as to why wannabe immigrants are able to buy their way into NZ but cannot sail here in a leaky old boat?? Anybody know?? My great great grandpappy came here in a leaky old boat and was welcomed!


Yes, far more important things to do has our government such as leaking vast amounts of confidential information through WINZ, such as stripping then selling off our collective assets for a song, such as wreaking the economy and creating unemployment. I voted for National in the last election and am very sorry for having done so. The silly Dotcom saga is not even the point, he's insignificant. Lying to Parliament and the public is significant, and it doesn't matter what it's about.


wouldn't it be great if we had politicians who spoke honestly and truthfully;but then pigs don't fly!


Given there are other more important issues to be managed -with respect to the economy, job creation, social welfare reform and improving our social services in general- it is lamentable that the opposition should hi-jack so much of the House's precious time arguing about whether or not the name DOTCOM was or was not mentioned in a briefing at the GCSB! For goodness sake the Prime Minister should be allowed to devote his time to leadership rather than be hounded by opposition MP's claiming there is a video (smoking gun!). Winston P and David S earn no brownie points for wastage of parliamentary time trying to drag out a media-fest about nothing!


So according to you, Stewart R, "the economy, job creation" etc should always be available as an escape route for the Prime Minister when he is under scrutiny for inconsistent statements?

It's his honesty in question now, and the honesty of the leaders of this nation are definitely worth Parliament's time.


Hmm. I remember when John Key said he didn't know beforehand about the buying of that fleet of new ministerial cars.

It turned out he did... That he'd forgotten.

As for the Prime Minister devoting his time to leadership, his autocratic style of leadership -the anti-smacking infamy - the Marine and Coastal Area Bill 0 The Emissions Trading Scheme.. . National's advancement of racial apartheid...he has already caused enough damage to this country. The last thing we need is more overbearing leaders - what we need instead is democracy.

What happened to Kim.Dotcom was a disgraceful business - and the buck stops with the minister responsible.


Key's bouts of selective amnesia insults everyone's intelligence. The guy needs to grow -up and stop bull shi##ing us


Cassandra - what youfail to realise - even after it's been mentioned and confirmed as fact numerous times, that those BMW Ministerial cars were brought/leased and all signed up by the LABOUR PARTY government.

For National/Key to break a commercial contract - there would be all manner of liquidated damages...and they'd still need vehicles!

Numpty! The Anti-Smacking bill was Sue Bradfords - ram raided through by the LABOUR PArty again...

Get your facts right before you start whinging up the wrong tree. I bet you're a union organiser or a high ranking Labour Party sycophant?


If such a video does exist it probably shows the PM making a joke about something he read on ".com" - there he said it Dotcom.

Interesting I sometimes work with guys who come from a company called DOT i.e.

I also remember the guy who stood for NZ parliament who changed his name to Micky Mouse -

Time we stopped harping on about this German immigrant or at least use his original name - repeated referencing to this guy by his "Play name" albeit a legal one

It just makes all our politicians look absolutely silly I mean listen to them DOTCOM this and DOTCOM that for gods sake what sort of people do we have in parliament - take some time out and listen to yourselves.

This man is just making a mockery of our politicians, all of them whatever party they belong to.

You are all embarrassing us - stop it - move on.


John Key appears to have the memory-recall prowress of a gnat.


I just cant believe John Key any more. He's like a shifty used car salesman, never giving a straight answer. We need a prime minister who at least appears honest. Banks has been dishonest in his statements as well, and Key still supports him fully. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum


Vote Kim Dotcom for Prime minister.


Dotcom.. MW3 Champ


I think the dot com circus has gone on far too long and is a great foil for obscuring the very real issues affecting this country. Outside of Auckland the markets are going backwards or stagnating. Skilled work is getting hard to find and salaries here are just a joke. Unsurprisingly, we have an exodus of outbound immigration happening, and a growing underclass who are becoming increasingly over dependent on government handouts because no one seems to be able to figure out how to grow the economy.

Perhaps its time to kick that fat german out and to start looking at the real problems facing us


What a surprise that the Prime Minister & his friend Ian Fletcher whom he recently appointed as head of of the GCSB, should now NOT have their memories shown to be wrong by a video held by the GCSB. Of course it's gone missing. What on earth did we expect?? That the remaining GCSB staff would rush to find a video which would incriminate their boss & their Prime Minister?? Any staff who may have had a will to find the video tape will undoubtedly be those who have been stood down - ie not allowed in the office.
Is Ian Fletcher John Key's friend? Why else would he be so disappointed in the GCSB one week and so defensive of it's head the next?
Grow up John Key - these are probably loyal, hard-working, intelligent Kiwis who have made a mistake. Isn't that also a description of you Mr Key & of many of us which we would happily accept??
As far as I can see, no deliberate or malicious mistakes have been made - if loyal & long-serving members of GCSB (of which Fletcher is not one) have made a mistake, than the GCSB systems for peer reviews, checking, etc need to be upgraded. Having a witch hunt on GCSB staff & punishing individuals is the behaviour expected from third world dictators, not from the prime minister of a modern, civilised democracy.
Look to successful businesses and you will find that when errors occur, quality systems are upgraded, staff are re-trained in them. The individuals who erred are never fired or cast before the client to take the rap (except when their errors were deliberate or malicious) - the company wears the consequences & turns the failing into an opportunity for improvement of their staff and their business.


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