The secret diary of . . . John Key

Last updated 05:00 04/08/2013
John Key

SECRET DIARY: "I never liked that Andrea Vance. I thought: That girl needs to have her phoned tapped.''

DIARYIST: Sunday Star-Times columnist Steve Braunias.

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OPINION: I never liked Fairfax journalist Andrea Vance. Right from the second I saw her, I thought, "That girl needs to have her phoned tapped."

Not that I looked at her phone records when they arrived on my desk, but my suspicions of her lax moral standards were confirmed when I saw how many times she'd been contacted by Video Ezy asking her to return late items.

And I'm afraid I don't share her taste in films. Not that I've watched her on instore CCTV, but I've sometimes wanted to shout while she's dithering over a romantic comedy, "Hey, don't rent that one! Get out Flight, with Denzel Washington! He flies a passenger aircraft upside down!"

Neither do I approve of her friends. Not that I've ordered background checks, but the surveillance reports reveal some pretty alarming behaviour. One of them hasn't spoken to his mother for quite some time, and actually forgot to ring her on her birthday.

Not that I've waited outside in the bushes while a spook from the GCSB spy service forced entry into her house, but I don't know how anyone can live like that. There was dust on the windowsill. She hadn't put away the dishes, or made her bed.

Not that I've pored over her bank statements, but she really needs to budget more carefully.

Not that I've gone through her MySky, but I feel she's neglecting the Living Channel.

Neither do I go along with the songs she has on her iPod. Why no Hayley Westenra?

Not that I've followed her down the street or dusted her car for fingerprints or analysed her urine samples, but keeping tabs on Vance is tiring, grubby work, and the last thing I want after all that is to put up with her questioning of my Government, especially our new bill which gives the GCSB wider powers.

It's none of her business.


Geoff Thorn from Parliamentary Services attended an emergency briefing and said that Vance had found out we'd got hold of her phone records.

He said, "The good news is that there's nothing which directly implicates you, Prime Minister."

I said, "What's the bad news?"

He said, "Well, there is evidence which directly implicates Parliamentary Services."

I pondered his answer for a minute, and said, "OK. Thanks for coming in."

When he left, I asked my chief of staff, "How do you think Geoff was looking?"

He said, "Fine." I said, "Really? Do you think so? I thought he looked a bit unsteady on his feet. Like he was about to take a fall."


We needed a diversion from the Vance scandal, so I arranged an interview with a credible news organisation.

"The thing is," I told More FM, "New Zealand is overrun with al Qaeda operatives. I don't want anyone to panic, but they're everywhere. They're in the supermarket aisles. They're at sports grounds on Saturday mornings. They're buying Lotto tickets. They look and act like New Zealanders, but the truth is that they're working to subvert our way of life. It's frightening. Thank God for this new GCSB bill, which will allow us to observe their movements, and prevent them from winning Lotto."

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The DJ said, "Anything else, Prime Minister?"

I said, "Yes. How about some Hayley Westenra?"


The diversion didn't work, so I called in Geoff Thorn, and wished him all the best trying to pick up the shattered pieces of his life.


I was enjoying a drink in the parliamentary bar after work when I noticed a limp grey mop in a dark corner. It took me a while to realise it was Peter Dunne.

I went over, and sat down.

I said, "What do you do with a problem called Andrea?"

He said, "Yeah. Good question. Search me."

"I have," I said. "Oh, I have."

- Sunday Star Times


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