Prime Minister John Key says senior US intelligence officials
were in New Zealand last week for a "routine" meeting with
officials from several countries, but maintains he still does
not known exactly who was in town.
As his weekly press conference yesterday, Mr Key was asked
about a US Government jet at Wellington Airport and said a
senior official was visiting a New Zealand intelligence
However, he did not recall the name of the visitor or the
nature of the meetings, saying it was probably written "on a
piece of paper" but he did not recall the details.
Mr Key is the minister in charge of the intelligence
agencies, the Security Intelligence Service and Government
Communications Security Bureau.
He said this morning he had still not checked that piece of
paper and still did not know exactly who the visitor was, but
a number of countries were involved in the same meeting.
"There was a routine meeting held here in New Zealand last
week. I wasn't involved in those meetings, I don't know the
broad agenda of what they were talking about. I know the
meeting was routine. I can't tell you exactly who was on the
plane and who wasn't."
He said officials from other countries visited all the time
and he did not know their travel arrangements, but leaving a
marked jet on the tarmac did not indicate there was a high
level of secrecy about it.
Labour leader David Shearer said Mr Key's apparent reluctance
to find out more about the visitor raised suspicions.
"You either make a decision that you do not talk about who
comes to the country, full-stop, or, if you are going to talk
about it, you make sure you know who was in the country. I'm
surprised he didn't know, as the democratic guardian of our
- By Claire Trevett of the NZ Herald