Key deflects questions over Collins

AIMEE GULLIVER
Last updated 08:50 18/08/2014
John Key
DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ
JOHN KEY: Standing by Judith Collins

Relevant offers

Politics

Colin Craig asks forgiveness and puts his political future to a ballot Tim Groser commits New Zealand to 11pc cut in greenhouse gases Former state care kids included in CYF review International student threatens to set himself alight at MP's office Government delays release of Saudi sheep information Politicians split on foreign investment strategy's value to South Cantabrians Pacific trade talks said to resume, a sign deal may be near $200,000 for new flag public workshops 2015 Budget surplus back to taunt Bill English just after dream abandoned Government launches plan to attract billions more from wealthy migrants

Prime Minister John Key refuses to answer questions on the appropriateness of Justice Minister Judith Collins leaking information to a blogger.

In Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics, released last week, Hager alleges Collins and WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater were behind an attack campaign that led to public servant Simon Pleasants receiving death threats.

Collins on Friday admitted giving Slater the identity of Internal Affairs official Simon Pleasants. She thought he was responsible for leaking information to the Labour Party about Finance Minister Bill English's taxpayer-funded accommodation allowance in 2009.

>Share this story on Facebook.

Pleasants was targeted on WhaleOil the day after Collins emailed Slater saying: "Simon Pleasants, manager, ministerial property".

Police became involved after death threats were directed towards Pleasants, his wife and children. Pleasants has denied leaking anything.

Key is standing by Collins, and said he did not know all the details of the scenario, so would not go into it.

"I don't know all of the details behind all of that," Key said on Radio New Zealand's Morning Report today.

"What I do know, is that it [the book] is a series of selective pieces of information, many of which can't be backed up."

The allegations were a "smear campaign" from the Left, he said.

Key denied Jason Ede had run a "dirty tricks" campaign when he worked for the prime minister's office.

Key said he did not know Ede had accessed private information about Labour Party donors on their website.

"I probably should have known, because there was some correspondence between National and Labour that a person had," Key said on TVNZ's Breakfast programme.

But he denied the claim that National had "hacked" the website, arguing that a lapse in security meant anyone could access it.

"The point is, if the Wallabies left up on their public site their starting 15 on Tuesday, would the All Black management go and have a look?"

Share this article on Facebook.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content