Not in the public interest….

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.


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  • NotLen

    It would also be interesting to know the statistics of how many cases are not prosecuted because “it is not in the public interest” to do so.  Of those cases, how many involve political partiesor issues, politicans, “celebrity” figures etc..

    For example will the breaches of the Electoral Act be treated in the same way?

  • Mr_Blobby

    Not in the interests of John and John  is my guess.

  • LesleyNZ

    Slap on the wrist and a wet bus ticket for Bradley Ambrose. Oh well – we know ALL about him now. Has this set a precedent for journalists and reporters? Will it happen again?

  • LinkinHawk

    I would be very interested to know how much this investigation cost the tax payer, 3 police worked on the case part time over 6 months, im sure if Whale oil can find this out it is not a good look for the pm

    • LesleyNZ

      Why? Bradley Ambrose’s actions were unlawful – he broke the law.

      • LinkinHawk

        My house was broken into last year and had $25000 in equipment stolen 1 police officer came to my house ,looked for fingerprints then took a statment then filed it for safe keeping , about 1 hour of police time, i would consider that more important than someone  taping a private conversation ,, someone breaking into my home and stealing my property  is a far more serious crime i would of thought,, why would the police spend soooo much time on such a minor crime,, 3 officers for 6 months what a joke .

      • David

        I had a laundry tub stolen from a house I was renovating and despite my pleas not to bother about it I had two detectives witha fingerprint kit turn up to swab an out house. They stopped for an hour or so for a yarn, strange but true.

  • BJ

    If Ambrose has to pay the Crown Solicitor’s costs of $14000 I’d say that would be punishment enough. At least  the Assistant Police Commissioner made it clear that the next journalist that tried it on would face prosecution.

    • Gazzaw

      Maybe that’s why Soper got all prickly with Larry Williams when this matter was raised. Soper seems to have some interest in this case.

  • Blokeintakapuna

    Yes lets hope the Electoral Commision, the police and the GG chase up the Labour Party about the almost $1,000,000 the Labour Party stole off the tax payer whilst they attemptyed to rig the 2008 election – whilst they were the sitting government no less.

    Then to add insult to injury for the NZ public – Labour firstly denied it trying to cover it up, then they claimed they didn’t understand the law – that they themselves passed… but then what?

    Surely criminal charges of theft as a servant, or gross corruption, State Treason, should and could stick if followed through…

    Has the Labour Party paid these monies back to the tax payer yet? if not, why not? and when?

    Anyone know?

    • AngryTory

      Of course not.  

      NZ Labour should be deregisted and banned. 
      Like in Queensland.

  • Apolonia

     It’s in the public interest to have people break the law with impunity?

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Do it again Ambrose, you got away with it onceand the Police don’t seem to care, the temptation must be strong.

    • Disinfectedtwice

      I doubt that he is employable much so will have little chance.

  • Fergus

    Amazing…The FACT that 2 people had a public conversation, which then ended with the media being asked to leave. Whereby initiating a PRIVATE conversation, which was taped “accidentally” (yeah right). Then distributed to the wider media.Tell me, if after the media were asked to leave, the johns also left, would it be ok to “accidentally slip a tape recorder on John Key’s pocket and record what he said to his wife and kids?? The difference is only time and location.

  • Fergus

    As for “not in the public interest”, wasn’t that, what they said post helen clarkes fraudulent paintings? Which were then “accidentally” destroyed by a staffer?

  • Phar Lap

    Yes so far so good for the  HERALD ON SUNDAY  stooge.Latest is, he now wants an apology from our PM John Key.Seems he is now back to where the privacy invasion took place,he must be getting his strings pulled by TV3 or his puppet masters H.O S.

  • Engineer

    I am willing to bet that if I kill someone no body likes, and everyone wants dead, then suddenly somehow it would be in the public interest.  What a dreadful precedent to allow.  Not in the public interest, what nonsense.  It’s almost the opposite of the police state.  It is not in the public interest to prosecute the person who stole your property as it might cost money which is not in the public interest.  I mean where does this end.

  • Peter WIlson

    Absolutely disgraceful. Funny how it seems the left wingers always seem to get away with no being prosecuted. Labour’s pledge card, paintergate, mallard, and now Ambrose.

  • dad4justice

    Great to see the keystone cops spending time on such crap!!!

  • Vikingonmars

    Well the is an alternate opinion and one supported by the police back down is that he didn’t do anything unlawful and that indeed the police would have lost the case just as they have a bunch of others in recent times. 

  • Doug

    Will this be enough to stop Labour stalkers roaming National
    Political Meetings Recording private conversations?

  • Disinfectedtwice

     From TV3 interview:- Ambrose is waiting now for an apology from John Key for his comments at the time. Then he also states he wants to put the whole thing behind him. Go figure! Don’t hold your breath waiting for the apology Ambrose.

  • Kosh103

    NITPI = no real proof of any law broken. Becasue there wasnt.

    • In Vino Veritas

      Kosh, you are in la-la land. The police said that there was a prima facie case against Ambrose and that on the balance of probabilities it was deliberate. They could have charged him, but chose not to. Stick to whatever it is you do, because it sure isn’t law.

  • Chris

    What would have happened to to Ambrose if had done the same thing in North Korea , China or Cuba. No slap on wrist there I bet.

  • niggly

    Eh, I’m sure I heard Ambrose’s lawyer Ron Manfield say on RNZ Checkpoint (at the end of his interview where most of the time he bashes the investigation etc) that the letter was only written on 16 March (which astonished Mary Wilson … and she’s hard to astonish) and that it was Mansfield’s idea!

    Otherwise I was going to say at least Ambrose wrote a reasonable letter of contrition …. but now I wonder whether he was ably assisted so-to-speak??

  • Waiuku

    Weak as piss Police Force, weak as piss media in NZ. I blame Aunty Helen, when she left the testosterone levels in NZ dropped dramatically.

  • allfinanz finance

    No its Not in the interests of John, this is my guess. NZ labour is weak and needs a new improvement with New Zealand Bank

  • allfinanz finance

    Great news for banking

  • Sadu

    I’m quite happy for the police to not prosecute – providing Ambrose pays the $14k and shuts the fuck up. If he’s going to pop up in Women’s Weekly crying foul about the whole thing, the police should throw the book at him.

  • Steve

    I would like to know why Ambrose had to leave the police.  And why he found it necessary to change his name.
    Our thanks must go to Whale Oil for publishing that Facebook piece posted by the so and so about how his story would blow Key apart.  That bit has been studiously ignored by the APN stable.

    • Roland

       Sorry, didn’t realize he was ‘Ex’, I will ask the question and get back to you Steve, if you are still interested….Know why Banksies former minder left (when he was Police Minister) and what he has been up to since then, very loose cannon