Key calls Labour's bluff over GCSB tape

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 16:58 12/10/2012

Relevant offers

Politics

Speaker David Carter has 'no interest' in London move to become High Commissioner John Key says Panama Papers leak a cautionary tale for Kiwi businesses Unicef head Deborah Morris-Travis new Green Party chief of staff Labour leader Andrew Little's 'healthy homes' bill passes first reading Huge fee hike approved for Overseas Investment Office Labour's Chris Hipkins schools up on having a baby John Key's lawyer linked to 'sham' trust involved in failed Auckland property development Has Winston Peters scuppered David Carter's chances of London High Commissioner post? Spotlight on possible John Key visit to Marlborough's theatre Prime Minister John Key has confidence in OIO despite Onetai farm sale 'mistake'

Prime minister John Key has come out fighting over Labour's spy tape allegations - calling for any recording to be made public, if it exists.

Labour leader David Shearer says Key was filmed making a joke about Kim Dotcom at a briefing in February.

But the Government Communications Service Bureau (GCSB) said it has completed an exhaustive search of its files and no official recording exists.

And Key said he couldn't remember cracking the joke. A private recording of the speech would be illegal, but Key said he gave authority for it to be released publicly.

''I am notorious for cracking jokes at events that are in the public domain. Mr Dotcom's name had been in the public domain for five weeks but there is no recording from GCSB, there has never been a recording from GCSB.''

Key said he gives more than 25 ''off the cuff'' speeches a week and would struggle to remember everything he said.

''But if the allegation for Mr Shearer is somehow that I had some secret briefing, that I was fully au fait with everything the GCSB was doing and that's what led me to crack a joke, he's utterly wrong.''

He also accused Shearer of ''utter desperation.'' 

''He really should apologise to the GCSB for making such claims with no backing.''

Key said GCSB had planned to film his briefing to staff in their cafe. But they changed their minds before he arrived.

Cameras, equipment logs, files and back up files had all been thoroughly checked.

''So if Mr Shearer has a private recording, which someone may have recorded on a phone or whatever, he should feel free to put that in the public domain.''

Key has admitted a reference to Dotcom was made in a ''wider'' briefing about the Bureau's work.

But he said: ''On the 17 September this year I had the first briefing that I can recall about Mr Dotcom.'' He insisted: ''I stand by everything I said.''

He didn't know who was behind the leak to Labour and an investigation at the agency was under way.

''That's a matter for the agency. The agency is notorious for very high ethical standards and if somebody has been talking about my visit that's disappointing.''

Key said he is ''free political game''  but he is disappointed the integrity of GCSB agents was attacked.

''New Zealand needs to judge me...they can either rely on my word or not. I leave it up to them.''

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