Prime Minister John Key says he's off to Hollywood to promote New Zealand as a movie making destination and suggestions he is in cahoots with the United States film industry over internet mogul Kim Dotcom are "fantasy".
The Government has been criticised for being too close to the US after the dramatic raid on the MegaUpload founder's Auckland mansion in January.
Police arrest warrants and spying by the Government Communication and Security Bureau (GCSB) have since been found to have been unlawful.
Dotcom himself has said he believes US Vice President Jo Biden personally ordered the closure of MegaUpload on behalf of the American film industry, particularly his close friend and former senator Chris Dodd, who now heads the Motion Picture Association.
Key today said such suggestions were "nonsense".
"There's a few people that live in a fantasy land who have conspiracy theories," he told Newstalk ZB.
The Prime Minister said his upcoming trip to Hollywood was on the back of Warner Brothers hiring 3000 New Zealanders and spending "a billion dollars" for the Hobbit movies after the Government changed the law to redefine what a contract film worker was.
"The reason we did that was to promote interest in making movies in New Zealand. The view of a number of people in Hollywood is that while we are doing well with Warner Brothers, it's quite possible we could do as well with many other movie studios like Fox and Universal and Disney and the likes. So I am certainly keen to go and promote New Zealand as a place to make movies."
The case against Dotcom was sparked by belief in the US he had broken copyright laws and an extradition treaty being invoked, he said.
"Either Kim Dotcom has broken the law in the United States and he'll face trial or he hasn't. But that's got nothing to do with whether New Zealand is a good place to make movies or not."
Meanwhile Key has defended Deputy Prime Minister Bill English not telling him he has signed a rare ministerial certificate to keep the secretive actions of the GCSB out of a court hearing. Key only found out about the order in a subsequent briefing when GCSB revealed it had illegally spied on Dotcom because it believed he was a foreign national, not New Zealand resident.
Key today said English had a "30 second" conversation with the spy agency about the certificate but it was not up to his deputy to tell him about it.
"I agree GCSB should have told me when I came back to New Zealand," he told Radio Live. "Bill English wouldn't do that. That's not his job."
Asked if it should have been part of an update from English, Key said: "A lot of things happen when you are away."
"He would have assumed, and did assume rightfully so, that there would be a process where the ministry would tell me and they just didn't."
Key was last week forced to apologise to Dotcom over the illegal spying by GCSB.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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