Prime Minister John Key says nothing has changed after a
video emerged from 2011 appearing to contradict his claim he
was never told by the SIS it intended to release politically
sensitive secret documents to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.
Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics claims Mr Key's office or
the SIS helped Slater obtain the documents, which he then
used to embarrass former Labour leader Phil Goff.
In the video, Mr Key referred to the briefing from Dr Tucker
while being questioned about the matter during his post
Cabinet press conference on August 8, 2011, in the days
following the documents' release.
Speaking to media outside Mt Roskill Grammar school this
afternoon, Mr Key denied the video was a contradiction.
"No, not at all. In the context of that video, I meant 'my
office'. Frankly the demarcation wasn't significant back
"Yesterday when I checked, I did a very, very thorough check.
I checked with the director at the time. He fully supported
the position the ombudsman was independently checked with.
She fully supported the position and I know my position is
"There'll be an inquiry, people will look at all that."
Mr Key said he "probably should have" clarified that it was
his office which was briefed over the OIA release, not him.
"But, to be honest, that wasn't the big issue at the time."
It was "definitely not the case" that he was briefed about
the release while on holiday either, he said. "I'd be more
than happy for my phone records to be [seen]."
"There's no dispute that somebody in my office was briefed. I
don't think anybody disputed that and, in fact, ultimately
the inquiry's undertaken [and] those people will be spoken
"The reason I don't name them is because these are people who
handle national security issues, and I simply don't want to
put their name in the public domain."
Mr Key said he was "100 per cent confident" a member of his
office hadn't leaked the information to Slater, and he said
he was prepared to go under oath on the issue.
The emergence of the 2011 video came after Mr Key's version
of events -- that he was never directly briefed by Dr Tucker
on Slater's OIA request -- was backed up yesterday by Dr
Tucker and Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem.
Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn is
investigating the issue after deeming there was "sufficient
public interest" to justify her holding her own inquiry to
get to the bottom of what happened.
The findings are not expected to be released before the
- By Brendan Manning of APNZ and Adam Bennett of the NZ