Key denies knowledge of spy visit

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 11:06 04/12/2012

Relevant offers

Politics

Four new flags - and four million opinions Panel get two out of four flags right according to survey Labour MPs go against leader on charter school Southland way behind cities on broadband - Labour MP Abuse in state care 'hurts forever' Chat recap: Prime Minister John Key answers your flag questions Laser-kiwi artist uninspired by flag designs Mike Yardley: Final four flags a flop New agency to unlock potential of $1b worth of Auckland Council land RECAP: Final four NZ flag designs unveiled

A number of foreign spies held a meeting in Wellington last week, Prime Minister John Key has confirmed.

Key has been coy about the identity of a mysterious senior American official who flew into the Capital.

"I just don't know," he told reporters this morning.

But he has confirmed "a number" of US intelligence officials were here to meet with our spooks.

"There was a routine meeting held in New Zealand last week...with a number of other countries," he said.

However, he has denied it was a meeting of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, made up of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand 

Key - who has responsibility for the intelligence agencies - says he wasn't involved in the meeting and doesn't know what was discussed.

"I don't track every official that comes to New Zealand. People come all the time. Some come on planes, some don't...I don't bother going to ask who's on those particular planes."

He agreed it must have been a senior figure in President Barack Obama's administration. "There'd be lots of senior and important people that come to New Zealand."

Pressed by reporters for the second day running on the passenger, he has agreed to find out more. "If someone parks a US plane at Wellington airport, in my opinion, that doesn't count as a secret

"If someone was secretly trying to get into New Zealand you presumably won't park a marked plane at Wellington airport."

Five Eyes meets regularly across the globe. They are believed to have met in New Zealand in September.

Within days Key ordered an investigation into illegal spying by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) on internet piracy accused Kim Dotcom.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Where do you stand on political coat-tail riding?

If it gets marginalised voices into Parliament, I'm for it.

I'm against it - if you don't get the votes, you shouldn't be there.

It's just part of the political game.

Vote Result

Related story: Voters reject riding on the coat-tails

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content