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Peters admits to mansion visits, sides with Dotcom against Key - and claims govt could be spying on him

Kim Dotcom continues to wreck minor havoc on NZ politics.

Barely three weeks after Prime Minister John Key extended an MMP olive branch to potential coalition partner Winston Peters, their relationship seems to have gone to heck.

Mr Key has spent the past two days ribbing the NZ First leader, alleging secret visits to the giant German's rented mansion.

Mr Peters refused to confirm or deny the liaisons, saying it was a private issue.

This afternoon, Kim Dotcom tweeted, "Winston Peters didn't answer questions about his visit because we agreed on confidence. I released him from this confidence now."

The newly released Mr Peters duly told media he had met with Mr Dotcom three times over the past two years.

The first visit was to discuss Mr Dotcom's immigration issues, the next two to discuss the GCSB's spying on Mr Dotcom, which was ruled illegal due to his status as an NZ resident.

Mr Dotcom made the first approach, Mr Peters said.

The accused pirate has long-maintained that Mr Key knew about the January 20, 2012 raid on Dotcom mansion before it happened. Mr Key says he did not.

Today, Mr Peters said, "Kim Dotcom is telling the truth about that matter.''

Earlier, Green Party leader Russel Norman confirmed he met with Kim Dotcom on two occasions. Dr Norman tried to talk Mr Dotcom out of launching the Internet Party. Dr Norman argued the Greens already had the issue of internet freedom covered. Some pundits see the Internet Party being most likely to pull votes from Labour or the Greens, potentially denying the left wing bloc victory in a close election.

The Green co-leader has now watered down his February 10 comment about potentially blocking the extradition of Kim Dotcom, should he lose his extradition case (due to start July 31), while Labour leader David Cunliffe has backed right away, saying it its a judicial matter.

Former ACT and National Party leader Don Brash has also confirmed he met with Mr Dotcom. Dr Brash said the meetings were for general background discussion about the NZ political scene.

And Labour's Trevor Mallard says while he has not been to the mansion, Mr Dotcom "has come to our place."

For his part, Mr Dotcom has said he will "self destruct" the Internet Party if it does not each the 5% MMP threshold in polls by the time ballot papers are printed (which must be after nominations formally close, 20 to 27 days before the election). Currently, his party is polling at zero percent, with 1 in 5 people in a 3News-Reid Research poll saying they would consider voting for the Internet Party, but not a single one of 1000 responses actually choosing the party.

If the Internet Party does disband, M Dotcom says he will throw his weight behind another party? Who? Cue another round of visits to Dotcom mansion.

Spying allegation
In a statement, Mr Peters said National Party sources obviously knew of the three meetings and this points to information being passed to and from the top floor of the Beehive.

“Does this mean that some New Zealand politicians are now under surveillance? Exactly when did the Prime Minister authorise someone to keep tabs on me?," he asked.

“New Zealanders should be outraged that a former Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Opposition party leader has apparently been spied on," he said.

Mr Dotcom built on this theory, tweeting, "Ask John Key how he knew about Winston Peters visiting the mansion 3 times. Only 4 people knew about it & probably Ian Fletcher at the GCSB."

Mr Key flatly denied the allegation.

The PM refused to say how he learned about Mr Peters' visits, however, leaving the door open for conspiracy theorists.

Surveillance apparatus could have been turned on Dotcom mansion. But there are also several lower-tech possibilities, including NZ First caucus leaks, Parliamentary staff or onlookers blabbing, or the PM reading Whaleoil.

Peters says no taxpayer money was spent on his visits to Mr Dotcom, and nothing was offered. 

But ironically, Mr Dotcom would take away.

The 3News-Reid research poll found of the one in five considering a vote for the Internet Party, the largest block (30%) was NZ First supporters.

Comments and questions
22

What else did Peter's discuss with Dotcom? Did he come away with any 'anonymous' donations to NZ First or understanding that such donations would be made? Has any sizeable 'anonymous' donations actually been made to NZ First that would relate to the dates of his visit?

Great question David B, in fact have all political parties been checked?

john key will likely lose this one, but he will remain prime minister after the next election.

lando - if John Key loses this election he is gone for good.

Agree with you on the election outcome, but people, including the most Pro- National are feeling increasingly uneasy each day with Key, the USA, FBI and the GCSB. Something fishy with this revelation by Key, does not sit well.

That is another reason why National supporters are moving to the Conservatives.

So many revelations regarding the coming and goings to the rented property of German Dot Com.The alleged criminal case against John Banks should be thrown out.Here we have at least a number of unelected list MPs adoring at the altar of a person who is wanted by the FBI,what is going on.

And yet every country except the USA is looking to reject secondary copyright infringement as a criminal offence (as it should be a civil offence, at worst). Given this is what Dotcom is accused of, why would NZ look to extradite KDC for this...most people seem to realise that the FBI moved at the behest ultimately of corporate lobbyists (the major "donors" to congresspeople), and that their attempt to cast secondary copyright infringement as "money laundering" is ridiculously ambitious and transparent.

So why were Key & Co. so keen to jump through hoops for them?

That's something to be asking "what is going on" about.

We categorically deny that we helped John Key spy on anyone although our mother ship sometimes monitor the GCSB to check on the existence of intelligent life in NZ.

Wait for the simple answer - Winston needed some help with Windows 8. He was still working on Windows 97 and thought Dotcom might be able to assist.

Peat, you better go and get some help from Kim as well - Windows 97 never existed.....

The minor parties - and minor is the right word - all want money. It's pathetic. There is no conspiracy; it is just boring. Yes, National will form a new coalition and return to office, just. He has no real competition and is far too successful for them.

Watching all this unfold is very instructive for understanding how NZ Inc works.

Do I believe that govt agencies are still spying on Dotcom?
Of course they are.
Its just as likely that the odious whale could be the source also and has some of his rabble texting away about anything that moves about targeted people, gossiping stuff into the Nat party rumour mill.
Cant see any news organisations paying journos to rat through skips and hide in bushes like the old days.

So in the 70's politicians spying on each other caused the resegination of a US president; fast-forward to 2014 and it is just par-for-the-course?!

Does anyone seriously believe that Winston needs to be spied on? Hilarious.

Peters' visits to Dotcom? Perfectly legal, and pretty understandable. Nothing much scandalous about them, though obviously Key wants the press to feast on them.

Key's interactions with Dotcom? Breaches of the law by the agencies reporting to him, and quite possibly untrue statements about Kim Dotcom, as well as real blurring of the lines that should be there between the judicial sector and the executive & legislative sectors (e.g. Customs' "brownie points"...why was there so much back-and-forth between government agencies over Dotcom - who were Key & Co trying to please?).

And now Key is keeping tabs on political opponents to exploit for his own gain. Great...

And you fall for Winston's red herring?

What about Winston's denial about the meetings?

This is a man who was caught red-handed lying about the Owen Glen donation.

Pathetic.

Winston's denials? Silly and unnecessary, given his actions were not illegal (unlike the GCSB's).

Key was muck-raking, and Winston fell for his red herring.

Ah, but you fell for Winston's red herring hook, line and sinker.

Winston has shown himself to be totally untrustworthy per the Owen Glen affair - he has just shown his true colors again here. John Key masterfully has shown that again to the public.

What fun. If this is the best the GCSB can come up with, that alone would justify the dismissal of the whole shebang. Of course political leaders meet with Dotcom, just as they meet with any number of other bigwigs - and smallwigs.

Of course, it raises the question if the GCSB spies on politicians, who else do they spy on? If it's OK for the gummint to spy on anyone, then is it OK for it to spy on everyone? How do you determine which is which?

Life in NZ is just so much more fun since KDK washed up on our shores!

Peters draws much less respect than any other politician, on account of his childish attitude in the Debating Chamber. Recently he was sent from the Chamber by Mr Speaker, because of his far too frequent disgusting arrogance.