Author: Rt Hon Winston PetersDate: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 – 16:30
New Zealand First is questioning why any of John Key’s costs are being met by the taxpayer in the teapot defamation case.
“Despite Mr Key now saying the National Party will meet settlement costs, the taxpayer is still paying the bill for his lawyers,” says New Zealand First Leader and MP for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“The Speaker must re-think this decision. Mr Key was not at any time acting as the Prime Minister when he made statements about freelance cameraman Bradley Ambrose, which he is now stepping away from with this settlement. He was the leader of the National Party, doing a political deal to stitch up the seat of Epsom with ACT MP John Banks.
“There was no prime ministerial responsibility involved – not a whisker.
“According to the Prime Minister’s statement today, in 2013 the Speaker ruled that Mr Key’s legal costs and representation could be met by the taxpayer funded leader’s budget. The Speaker was wrong then and he is wrong now.
Tracy Watkins has written an opinion piece that is long on wishful thinking and short on logic.
Anyone who thinks John Key’s backdown over the teapot tapes isn’t a huge deal to him personally clearly can’t have been on the election trail at the time.
Key’s temper is slow to the boil and the teapot tapes bombshell was the first time any of us who followed his political career had seen him truly angry.
There is only one other occasion during which most of us can recall Key really losing his rag like he did over the teapot tapes and that was a whole election campaign later, the day after Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics landed.
Key’s clipped answers to questions on Monday about his legal settlement with cameraman Bradley Ambrose is an indication of just how deep his feelings still run over the teapot tape saga.
So no $1.25m for Ambrose then.
John Key has conceded a camera operator did not deliberately record a conversation he had with John Banks during the 2011 election campaign, which became known as the ‘teapot tape’.
Bradley Ambrose decided to take Mr Key to court over the Prime Minister’s comments, which included comparing Mr Ambrose’s actions to the discredited News of the World newspaper.
The two parties have now reached a settlement, meaning the case will not go to trial. Mr Key says a payment was made, but won’t reveal how much. Mr Ambrose had sued for $1.25 million.
“These comments caused harm to Mr Ambrose personally and professionally,” the joint statement reads.
“The comments reflected Mr Key’s honestly held views at that time. Mr Key and Mr Ambrose have met to discuss the events of that day.
“Mr Key now accepts that Mr Ambrose did not deliberately record the conversation, or otherwise behave improperly.
“Mr Ambrose now accepts that Mr Key believed that the conversation had been deliberately recorded at the time Mr Key made his statements.” Read more »
Bradley Ambrose the ratbag who recorded the conversation between John Key and John Banks secretly is attempting to sue the PM for defamation.
The Herald reports:
Bradley Ambrose, the freelance cameraman who recorded the so called “teapot tapes” conversation between Prime Minister John Key and Act’s John Banks is taking defamation action against Mr Key.
Mr Key acknowledged the court action today while speaking to reporters in Hamilton.
“We’ve been aware for some time now that he’s likely to file proceedings for defamation and we’ll be defending that action.
“I’m not really going to go into any great comments about it. It’s a matter that’s before the courts so we’ll just leave it there.” Read more »
Winston Peters claims have been dismissed by the Police, essentially saying he has lied, and because he based his outrageous claims off of a Herald on Sunday article that they lied too.
NZ Police have received a number of requests for a copy of the Operation Carlton (“tea pot tapes”) investigation file. An appropriately redacted copy of the file was provided to Mr Ambrose’s legal team in June 2012 as part of the disclosure process.
However, a number of allegations were made by Mr Winston Peters on 7 August 2013 in relation to statements made in the Police file. After receiving further requests this week and considering relevant factors under the Official Information Act, NZ Police are releasing relevant extracts from the file. These extracts are reproduced in full below.
Police confirm again that there are no references in the Police file to accessing Mr Peter’s phone records, nor is there any consideration of an application to access his records. Read more »
They have dredged up the tea tapes saga and re-written it to suit their narrative of spying. They lie to readers in doing so. But then this is what “decent journalists, trained and skilled” do these days. They lie, they cheat and they manipulate public opinion to suit their own political agendas.
No wonder people distrust media.
Lawyers are demanding a review of how police intercept private communications after a photo-journalist’s cellphone logs and messages, including exchanges with a lawyer, were obtained in and inquiry instigated by the PM.
That is a lie right there in the preamble. The communications were not “intercepted”. The txts were obtained after a legal warrant was obtained, some months after the event took place. There was no interception.
This is a classic case of how the media manipulates people to fear things, in this case the government and John Key. Read more »
Scott Yorke calls out the liberal types on the John Banks affair:
When police concluded that the “teapot tapes” cameraman Bradley Ambrose probably committed an offence, but decided not to prosecute because they were not satisfied that they could make out all the elements of the offence to the required criminal standard, there was an outcry among liberal-minded folk because the police appeared to be saying that someone was guilty even though police just couldn’t prove it. We were reminded by liberal types that the police don’t determine someone’s guilt because, in a free and democratic society subject to the rule of law, determining guilt is the domain of the courts.
But now we have what appears to be a collective amnesia, because we happen to dislike the person at the end of the police’s attentions. I don’t like John Banks, and I think it’s reasonable to conclude from his public statements that he is a liar and lacks any sort of moral compass. It is also reasonable to conclude that a person like John Banks is utterly unfit to be a minister, or even an MP. But he has not committed any offence, has not been charged with any offence, and has not “got off on a technicality”.
Of course Labour has just opened themselves up for skewering on a number of recent cases, with their behaviour. A re-visit of the Darren Hughes affair is the most salient, but so to the ongoing investigations into their cash for citizenship scandal involving Shane Jones and Bill Liu.
The Bill Liu affair is the one though most close in substance to the allegations that Labour are making and in their case the clear cash for citizenship favours are much, much more smelly than cash for nothing which is what Kim Dot-con got for his donation.
All this is just petty revenge for not getting a soft mattress in the pokie when he demanded one. Kim Dot-con thought, like Bill Liu that he had bought favours from a politician. Unfortunately for him John Banks is not a member of the Labour party.
Now with him turning up at parliament he is just like Michelle Boag and just as irrelevant and without the Versace suits.
Oh the tired old phrase has been wheeled out again…it seems that is “not in the public interest to pursue a prosecution”:
Police will not lay charges over the “teapot tape” saga and say freelance cameraman Bradley Ambrose has received a warning.
Assistant Police Commissioner Malcolm Burgess held a press conference this afternoon and said police had resolved the case.
The announcement follows a long-running investigation after Prime Minister John Key complained about Ambrose recording a conversation between him and ACT MP John Banks on the campaign trail in 2011.
A letter of regret had been forwarded to Prime Minister John Key and John Banks.
Key said he welcomed Ambrose’s letter and believed there was now no need for the prosecution to continue.
While he only received a warning, Ambrose’s actions were illegal, Burgess said.
Future occurrences were likely to be prosecuted.
“We were satisfied on this occasion that there was [prima facie evidence].
But police decided there was not sufficient public interest in the matter going to court, he said.
“I reached the view that a prosecution was not required in this instance.”
In the view of police investigators, the recording was “most likely” on purpose, but at the least “reckless”.
The letter to Key and Banks from Ambrose was “one of the factors that we took into account” and his lack of a criminal record was another.
At least Bradley Ambrose now admits he was wrong and his apology letter sees the end of his spurious defamation case too.
Now the Police have finished up with that investigation perhaps they might like to advise progress on the more than a dozen cases referred by the Electoral Commission for breaches of the Electoral Act….surely breaking the laws protecting our democracy ARE in the public interest to prosecute.
Russell Brown at Public Address was the first reasonable size website to publish the audio and Youtube video of the teapot tapes. At the time he was all full of bravado coomenting:
He isn’t so sure now after taking the links down:
What is very interesting is that none of the mainstream media sites who made this an issue int eh forst place have had the balls to publish even links to the files. For all their talk about public interest you would have thought they would have done so now that Bradley Ambrose has released the file into the wild.
That would suggest that their legal advice is somewhat better than Alistair Thompson at Scoop who has also now published the audio and Youtube video. It seems though that Russell Brown may be furiously trying to stuff the cat back in the bag.
The Teatapes have been published. A short time ago I was sent an email that had a Soundcloud link and a Youtube link (uploaded by 2Johns2Cups) to the tea tapes. They are easily found, but I will not link to them until the legal position of the tapes is clarified, at this point in time it is still an illegal recording and it is still subject to a Police investigation.
However, I have listened to them and now you can too if you are of a mind. You will now know that in stark contrast to the sensational media reporting of the tapes at the time that there is nothing “explosive” on the tapes at all.
TV3, Duncan Garner, Patrick Gower and the staff of the Herald on Sunday should hang their heads in shame for their News of the World style tactics in publicising this and changing the focus of the election from issues into a sideshow perpetrated and manipulated by them for political gain.
Winston Peters has been proven to be a liar. Nothing on the tape even remotely suggests what he breathlessly intimated.
This whole episode shows the parlous state of some media outlets in NZ.
It is curious that the tape has been released on the same day as the Prime Minister’s first major speech of the year. Proving that this whole stitch-up has been a political act from beginning to end, shamelessly milked by media outlets desperate for sales and corrupt politicians desperate for votes.