PM: Don't protest outside my home

Last updated 08:40 26/05/2014
John Key
DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ
PROTEST SOMEWHERE ELSE: "My own personal view is that I am actually opposed to protests outside politician's houses, that includes my own house."
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Prime Minister John Key has hit out at protesters who gathered at his home last night, to protest his position on deadly drone strikes.

Last week Key said drone strikes were justified, but acknowledged innocent civilians were caught in the crossfire.

He disagreed with critics who said drone killings were execution without trial, in which ordinary people were massacred.

"For the most part drone strikes have been an effective way of prosecuting people that are legitimate targets," he said.

"But there are examples of where things have gone wrong and there are always examples, sadly ... where things go terribly wrong and where civilians are killed."

Last night, protesters including Internet Party leader Kim Dotcom and protester John Minto gathered outside Key's family home in Parnell, for a candlelight vigil.

The group said it was highlighting New Zealand's "complicity" in drone strikes, by providing information believed to be used in identifying targets.

Today, Key said he was not happy about their presence outside his home.

"My own personal view is that I am actually opposed to protests outside politician's houses, that includes my own house," he said.

"My reason for that is there were plenty of opportunities for legitimate people who wanted to protest, to protest me yesterday - I was at the CNI [central North Island] conference for the National Party in Hamilton, there was plenty of opportunity to do that.

"But that's the place [his home] where my family lives and I don't think many New Zealanders would think it's okay to wander round to David Cunliffe's house and start protesting out there."

The Keys were planning a family dinner for son Max last night, who celebrated his 19th birthday yesterday.

While the protesters were entitled to protest the issue, Key stood by his statements made last week.

"In terms of New Zealand's role in a place like Afghanistan, we have gathered intelligence along with all of our ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] partners, or many of them, and we give that to ISAF," Key said.

"But what we do is both legal, there's quite a clear legal framework for what we do, signed off by not just ISAF but approved NATO.

"But also, I think it's important to say we're gathering information about people that is used to prosecute them. These are people that are Taliban or Al Qaeda, people that have potentially killed fellow New Zealanders and have killed many many other people."

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Last week Key confirmed that intelligence collected by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) might be passed to the controversial US programme.

However, the foreign spy agency didn't supply information that led directly to the death of Kiwi Daryl Jones in Yemen last November, he said.

The GCSB had a warrant to monitor Jones, and passed some intelligence to Five Eyes security agency partners.

The Government said Jones had been taking part in an al Qaeda training camp near Hadrabout, but has presented no evidence to support that.

Jones was not the primary target in the attack which killed him.

- Stuff

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