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Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
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Charge laid over threat to John Key - Collins


At least one person has been charged with threats against Prime Minister John Key in the past two weeks, Police Minister Judith Collins says.

NZPA
Fri, 06 May 2011

At least one person has been charged with threats against Prime Minister John Key in the past two weeks, Police Minister Judith Collins says.

Ms Collins would not go into details about the threat whether the threat occurred in New Zealand or overseas.

"The fact is from time to time the police do have to deal with specific threats against, obviously, the prime minister, but other visiting dignitaries and other MPs, ministers and the governor-general," she told Radio New Zealand this morning.

"The police don't even tell the prime minister of these threats. They have, on occasion, advised me of these matters and normally after they've been dealt with."

Ms Collins revealed the threat following revelations the Diplomatic Protection Squad (DPS) had blown its budget by $800,000.

Figures released under the Official Information Act showed the DPS budget for the last financial year was $3.98 million but it spent $4.8m, and $30,000 of that was used to send officers with Mr Key on his summer holiday to Hawaii.

Labour MP Peter Hodgson said last night that the extra squad protection was unnecessary.

He said he thought Mr Key liked having an entourage.

"Protection for the prime minister is a good thing, a reasonable thing, but it needs to be used reasonably and I'm afraid the current prime minister seems to use it mainly for visual effects," he said.

"When Helen Clark went overseas for a private holiday she never took protection and I'm pretty sure Jenny Shipley didn't -- I think John Key enjoys having an entourage."

Speaking to Radio Sport, Mr Key rejected Mr Hodgson's comments.

"Do people seriously think at 3 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon if I want to walk down and buy the newspaper or a litre of milk, that I really want to have a diplomatic protection agent? The answer's obviously no."

Ms Collins said police made all decisions relating to the security of the prime minister.

"The police are not there, as Pete Hodgson and the Labour Party have tried to imply, simply to make these VIPs, dignitaries, prime minister, look good. They are there doing a very serious job."

Ms Collins said $600,000 of the blowout was related to a new contract clause regarding time-off-in-lieu.

NZPA
Fri, 06 May 2011
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Charge laid over threat to John Key - Collins
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