The Difference between John Key and Phil Goff

We now have two very similar cases before us regarding briefings from intelligence agencies.

In 2011 I broke the story that contrary to his assertions that he was never briefed by the SIS about the Israeli citizens involved in the Chirstichurch earthquake that he was in fact briefed.

Phil Goff maintained and still maintains to this day that he was never briefed and worse he went on to attack the head of the SIS.

Move forward to today and we find out that John Key was briefed in February, in a superficial way, about the Kim Dotcom raid and the involvement of GCSB.

A review of Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) files has revealed Prime Minster John Key was told about the spy agency’s role in the Kim Dotcom case in February.

Until now, Key has insisted he wasn’t told until September 17 – when he was briefed about illegal snooping by the agency. He can’t remember the reference in February but accepts it took place.

Three more cases of possible illegal spying have also been identified.

Key visited GCSB offices on 29 February for a briefing and to meet staff. A presentation contained a short reference to the Dotcom arrest in January ”as an example of cooperation between the GCSB and the Police.”

”The presentation was an electronic slide presentation. The cover slide was a montage of 11 small images, one of which was of Mr Dotcom,” Key said.

No written record was kept of the meeting and he wasn’t given a copy of the briefing.

Key says no reference was made to questions about residency status.

John Key hasn’t denied that he was briefed, in fact he has said he doesn’t remember it and no notes were were kept but accepts that the briefing took place.

The difference is clear. Phil Goff and Labour attacked the civil servants, attacked the blogger who made an OIA request and still denys the briefing ever took place. If he had said at the time he was mistakedn and now accpets he was briefed then there never would ahve been a big story about it.

Unfortunately for John Key the left wing and media will use this in an attempt to suggest that John Key lied….when in actual fact he has been remarkably forthright about details concerning the intelligence agencies. The left wing, labour and their apologists in the media unfortunately see conspiracy everywhere.


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  • Labour are pole vaulting over mouse shit

    • Quite so Harry; already you get the sense that people have had a gutsful of Dotcom stories, and this one will just add to the boredom.

  • BJ

    On the latest TVNZ news report the media stated John Key was given the paper of discussion points (implying he was handed it) – at least the Herald was decent in their reporting. If MSM are so good at putting their own slant on John Key maybe someone with some guts to be different might find it in themselves to do John Key a decent service by explaining how this briefing likely played out. Firstly it appears JK has a jam-packed daily schedule and finding himself in a room with a presentation delivered in no doubt, secret agency dry monotonous tones, he may have not been fully attentive 100% of the time especially if it was an after lunch situation. Meaning his mind may have drifted off to more pressing issues. Also right at the time K.C was mentioned he may have been having an exchange of words with the Director perhaps sitting next to him or reading a note just slipped to him while 11 photos only one of which was K.C was on the screen (the image wasn’t life size).

    Why won’t anyone stand up for him in the media? Aren’t there any decent people willing to use their platform for reporting with integrity?

    • blokeintakapuna

      BJ – because when your party and all within are bereft of ideas and credible alternatives – the only way to make yourself appear credible is to try and tear into your main competitor like “wreckers & haters” thereby hopefully lowering their profile to give the appearance of increasing your own.
      …and then you shrill as loud as possible about all manner of “conspiricy” and wrong doings – which also doubles nicely as a smoke screen to drown out all the negative issues about your own poor performance coming to light in the MSM e.g. demoting pregnant woman because she’s Maori and pregnant and totally furkin’ useless.
      Labour even had the well-past-his-use-by-date, useless trougher Past President, Mike someone trying to appear credible on TV ranting about something. I didn’t listen as it would have been another TV3 beat-up – but it just demonstrates how desperate Labour actually are when they need to revert to stale, past-it has-beens to give voice for their corner. Don’t they have anyone current who might be slightly credible?

      • Morgy

        And that Past President’s comments lead the TV3 news when introducing the Christchurch Schools protest last weekend they said “some are saying this is an election loosing issue”. When they actually went to the story and we had Mike Williams saying it, well fuck me……!!

  • Mr_Blobby

    My question is. Will DonKey and Blinglish front up to
    Parliament to answer questions, or will they be conspicuous by their absence
    and leave the situation for Joyce.

    • pukakidon

      What for it is a non event. We have people in management positions that are supposed to take responsibility for this sort of thing. Someone stuffed up and GCSB and they will probably pay the consequences of sloppy work, or more than likely not. You can hardly the blame of the Prime minister. These are faceless government plebs who have stuffed up here, do you think he hangs on every word these guys speak?

      • Mr_Blobby

        Well done, that is the problem “more than likely not” “these
        are faceless government plebs”. Exactly he is the only one they answer to;
        there is no one else, unless you count a retired judge who appears to be a bit
        gaga. If DonKey is not prepared to hang onto every word these guys speak then he should step aside. He and Blinglish should front up and answer questions. It is not acceptable to pass the job onto
        some one who has no knowledge of the subject.

        It is not just this situation I see it more and more frequently when the hard questions are being asked the relevant Minister is missing in action.

        • Kimbo

          So what you are saying is that with hundreds, no, thousands of factoids to absorb over years in the most responsible and varied job in the country, Key should be able to recall just a single specific one on demand?

          That, while also balancing the need to not directly intervene or interfere in a police/spook surveillance procedural matter (usually referred to as the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of Government), while also going through the necessary procedure of being kept sufficiently up to date?

          And despite the fact that the GCSB legal experts made the initial error, and Key is not a lawyer, nor was he acquainted with the facts of KDC’s immigration status, he should have used his psychic powers, jumped up, and said, “No! Wait! You can’t do that – it is illegal!”?!

          Still, considering the micro-managing fetish of his predecessor, who was foolish enough to believe that Government can be both infallible and solve all of life’s pitfalls, I can see how Key’s delegating style equates to “missing in action”…

          • niggly

            Well said! It’s amazing how the beat-up people just expect more than 100% recall from the PM 100% of the time. And if it ain’t 100% then it’s “not good enough, there’s a conspiracy or he’s cracking under pressure etc” … how ridiculous and talk about tall-poppy syndrome in action, what a bunch of negative unpleasant whiners!

        • pukakidon

          The problem is, is that you assume that members of the public of which the MPs are, are experts in their particular portfolios. They are not! They have to trust the individuals who have the so called expertise and who get well recompensed for it. These government employees get paid the big bucks and therefore need to take responsibility for the advice and actions they provide to the Government.

          Like the teachers they are government employees, and there now needs to be some tough measures taken against these incompetents.

        • BJ

          What a naive adolescent stance you take – expecting parents to provide for their self centered wants all the while criticising their parents position. Time to grow up and get real. The critics of John Key are either dishonest destructive individuals or totally lacking any understanding of responsibility – it is not a ‘fact’ he is responsible – that burden of obligation is his call not yours or anyone elses.

          JK is a great leader, but only a man, so it is unrealistic to expect him to perform godlike on the one hand and then tear him down as a man with such unjustification on the other.

          How many people and how much information can you deal with in your day before you become imperfect?

  • Morgy

    Totally agree BJ. If the MSM can’t be bothered talking in ‘real life’ environments, they could at least use the hypocrisy smoking gun Cam prepared for them above when the usual suspects look for blood. The Mr Blobby’s of this world will never be happy and will continue to talk this up although there is nothing here. JK has been completely open….why is that so hard to understand??

    • blokeintakapuna

      “why is that so hard to understand??”
      9 years of Labour’s usual modus operandi is why…

    • Kimbo

      And speaking of “‘real life’ environments”, I find BJ’s scenario realistic and believable.

      It is a hell of a lot more plausible than speeding across the Canterbury Plains in time to make a plane leaving from Christchurch for Wellington to get to a rugby test, almost certainly knowing it will be a close-run thing but not being aware, let alone curious as to what speed the limo is doing!

      • Morgy

        And if I remember correctly, she said she was doing paper work.

      • JeffDaRef

        In the same way that Banksie signing a document without really looking is far more believable than signing a painting you know darn well you didnt paint.
        Voters want a party who can clearly illustrate their ability to lead the country, not just be sanctimonious pricks on every possible issue they can..

  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    “The left wing, labour and their apologists int he media unfortunately see conspiracy everywhere”

    You’re wrong, Cam

    They only see conspiracy when it suits them.

    Never forget Goff is the slimeball who spat on the troops as they returned from Vietnam and who leaked a confidential diplomatic note to undermine Dr Brash.

    Goff has no morals. He’s a fine example of a Labour politiciam.

  • Gower basically stated that he lied followed by reactions from Greens, Labour and Winnie… saying that he is either a liar in or incompetent.

    Cam, you called it correctly. And it seems there have been 58 cooperating cases over the last few years… the question is not did he know but did he know that the law was being broken.

    Key isn’t a lawyer… and no one knows all the law. He has to act on advice. He stated that he was advised on 17th Sept that GSCB screwed up. He may have been informed about dotcom before that in other contexts.

    Switched TV3 off. It seems that the only unspun part of the news is the weather report.

    • @ Chris – are you sure that they don’t blame the PM for crap weather too?

  • LR

    Easy… Goff is a proven liar.

  • Meg

    I see the justifying of the PMs mistruths has begun.

    • Bunswalla

      Meg, at least have the courage of your (hopelessly misguided) convictions to come out and say what you really mean. If you think JK has told lies, don’t be afraid to say so. Of course. you’ll need to back it up or risk libel or slander action, but that’s never bothered you before. Has it?

      • Meg

        I would have though mistruths were lies. Silly me, I still do not have the hang of right winger speak. Mistruths are ok, but lies are not, got it.

        But seeing as you asked, yes he lied. He was briefed, at least in part, before he said he was. He was aware, at least in part, of what was going on.

        So, to tell the country he knew nothing of what was happening until the 17th of Sept (I think that’s the right date) and then it turns out he actually did, that would be a lie.

        Or is there some clever right wing way of looking at it so a lie becomes a mistruth with then becomes the truth?

        • LR

          You poor misguided thing. Good luck with your left wing crusade.

          • Meg

            Not misguided at all John Key has been caught out.

            It is funny how whenever he is caught lying to the public he cannot recall that part of the event.

            John Key either has VERY poor memory, in which cases he is not fit to lead. OR he is just a plain old liar who got caught.

            Given how he has handled the whole John Banks mess, I do not think he has a poor memory.

          • LR

            Now that Labour has many pretenders to be leader I guess you need to have a very good memory. Whose turn today ?? That’s right its Shearer. Maybe silent T tomorrow. Hang on what about poor old Goff.. He is still hanging around somewhere trying to remember what his SIS briefing notes said.

        • niggly

          JK was briefed on 17/09 (by higher level officials authorised to speak about the issue) but attended a presentation back in February (whereby staff from a range of background and levels were present and someone there happened to show a PowerPoint slide show with some whizzy graphics and text about GSCB cooperation with other agencies with an example being the KDC raid. In other words nothing high level, no briefing, just a few seconds of spoken bullet points).
          See the difference between a briefing and attending a presentation?
          It would be a bit like Hekia Parata attending an education union conference today, were the educators “briefed” about eg National Standards (and thus know everything about the system now)? Or were they shown a Presentation (with bullet points – I bet if you read the teachers review of the presentation they still exclaim to the media that NS still doesn’t make sense etc).
          Pity some in the Media are pushing a beat-up agenda and manufactiring the news.

          • Meg

            Key knew about the Dotcom case and that it was underway. He stated in the house he knew NOTHING about it until the 17th of Sept.

            That was a mistruth AKA a lie. And now when the house next sits he has to go in and make a formal correction.

            See the difference between knowing nothing and knowing something?

            And as for Hekia’s performance (just caught it on the news) what a rude arrogant self important person. Just as bad as the old Minister was.

          • Kimbo

            OK, Meg.

            So you can recall all the people you had conversations with on 29 February this year, and what you discussed in perfect detail?

            Tell you what, why don’t you start detailing it for us now…

            And if you get just one of those details wrong it automatically makes you a liar, rather than mistaken. Right?


          • Meg

            So you are seriously going to argue that it is ok for the Prime Minster not to remember what goes on in top secret security briefings???


            Well if that is the case he really needs to resign and someone who has a better memory should take over.

            By the way, on the 29th my husband and I discussed with friends plans for a trip away the following weekend. We sorted out who was bringing what, when we were leaving and so forth.

            There was also book shopping for the kids for school, had an argument with the eldest as to why we were not going to buy everything in the Smiggle shop.

            Those were the 2 MAIN events of that day. Now I would imagine a security meeting would be a MAIN EVENT for Key. So if I can recall 2 rather trivial main events from my personal life on that date, I am sure the PM would be able to remember the contents of a security briefing. And if he cannot, as I said, he needs to resign.

          • Kimbo

            “So you are seriously going to argue that it is ok for the Prime
            Minster not to remember what goes on in top secret security briefings???


            Not the exact and precise detail of every fact, name, date, and case – no.

            I don’t consider autiomatic memory-recall as a prerequisite for fulfilling the office of PM, be it Labour or National. And neither do reasonable electors, be they National voters or not.

            How much did you spend at the Smiggle shop, what was the exact description of all the items on the docket, and the GST component?

            Remember now – get it wrong and you are a liar.

          • Meg

            LOL that is it, keep shifting the goalposts Kimbo. Keep telling yourself that Key is on the level, not a liar, not corrupt.

            And no, not knowing what was on the docket wouldn’t make me a liar, say that I purchased nothing blue at all, even though I knew I did, that would make me a liar.

            Key knew about Dotcom, The evidence is all against Key and if he was a plain old Minister and not the Prime Minster, he would be fired. And you know it.

          • axeman

            What about discussing the subject of the post you leftard twat.
            2011 yesterday’s man Phil-in the Goof … the ultimate hypocrite.
            But if you STILL want to hold ministers to account then:

            Lets discuss Paintegate, Speedgate (Klarkenfuhrer).. was she held
            to account….NO….her excuses were good enough for you lot.

            Lets discuss Tilegate (Field) … was he held to
            account…NO…you lot defended him and even when he was convicted couldn’t bring
            yourselves to admit you were all wrong, just that “we accept the decision”.

            Lets discuss Donationgate….(Winston Peters)…was he held
            to account…NO…you lot were happy to stand by him and blamed it on the NATS and

            Lets discuss H-Feegate …. well you get the drift.

          • Meg

            Lets discuss who is in power now and who said he had a higher standard.

            Or was that just another John Key mistruth?

          • Magor

            thank goodness for the diary you keep…, which implies that your memory is rotten!!!

          • Kimbo

            …indeed, why should we stop at conversations?

            Why don’t you tell us what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Meg, on February 29 2012, and the exact (not approximate! No obfuscating liars allowed around here!) time you ate?

            See the difference between lying and being mistaken on a detail that was seemingly inconsequential and unmemorable within the context of a whole bunch of information you needed to absorb and retain or discard from your consciousness in the course of an ordinary day?!

          • Meg

            As I have just posted, it was a security briefing, a main event in his day.

            Do you understand how unacceptable it is for a Prime Minster not to be able to remember his GCSB briefings? Or would you rather blow more smoke to defend this inept Prime Minster?

          • Kimbo

            How’s it going on recalling the contents of your meals on February 29 2012, Meg? They are a “main event” because if you don’t eat, you get sick and die.

            Exact details, please. Not that you simply had meals, which would simply be analogous to recalling you had “meetings”…


          • Agent BallSack

            Holy fuck 2012 was a leap year? Good point. I run a business and I cannot remember what I did on that day even though – My business is critical to my families survival. Will check my diary tomorrow. Hope no one interviews me before hand!

          • Meg

            I don’t expect Key to remember meals. I expect Key to remember the contents of security meetings.

            So your rather childish comments do nothing to help prove that Key is in the right. In fact they do more harm than good because it shows how pathetic and desperate you are to protect this rather inept PM.

            No doubt you will have another childish comment to “defend” your Dear Leader with.

          • Kimbo

            “I don’t expect Key to remember meals. I expect Key to remember the contents of security meetings.”

            No, Meg. I was asking YOU to recall your meals, because that is a comparative analogous exercise to Key having to recall an EXACT detail made in passing in the course of a meeting.

            That he had a meeting, and gave it his full attention, I have no problem with. That he should recall and report exactly months later ALL the details?! Is as foolish and impossible as the task which you have failed at. We all have to filter out information, some of it important for a season, some of it not. You’ve given no evidence to support your contention that you can accurately discern Key’s INTENT in this matter. Your insistence that he lied (without even allowing for the possibility he was simply mistaken) is an obvious bluff because you are playing a crap hand. But good luck to you, because those who want to buy into your bluff no doubt will.

            Now you are obviously acting like a troll. No more feeding for you until you you answer my call of your bluff by telling us what you ate on February 29 2012…

          • Meg

            No Kimbo, this is an attempt by you to explain away Key’s ineptitude.

            Key knew about Dotcom before the 17th. It is not foolish at all to expect him to recall it, or the main points of which DC was one. And lets assume for a moment (even though this is pure fiction) Key didn’t know/remember. A smart man, before shooting off his mouth to save his arse, would say…

            “I do not believe I was briefed on this case, however I will check to see if there is anything that was talked about in previous GCSB meetings”.

            Then he could have come back and said, ” Yes, there was a brief mention of…..” As opposed to being a smart arse, getting caught out telling porkies and now having to deal with even more bad press.

            But hey, far be it from me to prevent Key doing this. Hell I hop he does a lot more of this sort of thing. By the time the next election comes round National would be in ruins. So I say, Key is a proven liar, but may he keep going he and all is useless Minsters. Keep making silly mistakes for the media to feed on.

          • Kimbo

            …so was it bacon and eggs, or Weet Bix for breakfast?

          • niggly

            Oops Megs, you’re a bit off with your facts, it’s not how you stated it, the issue is “The Prime Minister was not briefed by the GCSB on its role in the Dotcom matter, nor any issues of potential illegality, until Monday 17 September.” (see
            Thus no mistruth AKA lie. As for the formal correction, JK goes on to say:
            “I have been clear from the outset that I received no briefing on the operation from GCSB prior to 17 September, and this review confirms that,” says Mr Key.
            “While neither the GCSB Director nor I can recall the reference to the Dotcom matter being made during my visit to the bureau back in February, I accept that it may well have been made.
            “Given the public statements I have made in Parliament and in the media, it is important that I take this opportunity to provide this additional information.
            “I will be correcting my answers to the House when it resumes on Tuesday 16 October.”

            As for Hekia in the news today, whilst I thought her answers (as replayed on Radio NZ news this afternoon) seemed somewhat “harsh” perhaps, on TV when you saw her actually speak, it was clear it was selected edited negative “highlights”, probably a sense of frustration at some dumb questioning by some of the agitators there trying to show dominance over Hekia. But still Hekia should have realised the media will spin the negative bits and ignore the jist of the presentation – she’ll need to try harder next time to remain cool!

          • Meg

            In regards to Hekia – on the news they didn’t show what questions were asked (which I was annoyed about), but they did show Hekia being amazingly arrogant in the way she dealt with the questioners. I would say her frustration comes more from her poor performance and the fact that teachers (rightly so in my opinion) do not swallow the nonsense she is pushing.

            As to the PM, he was briefed on security matters on the 29th and Dotcoms case was used in the briefing as part of what what being discussed. He was therefore at least partly briefed on what was happening and did in fact know about what was going on.

            Silly messy nonsense that a Prime Minster should not be causing.

          • Kimbo

            Don’t disagree with you, meg, that Parata has made a pig’s arse of aspects of her portfolio.

            However, I take comfort that when teachers, uni students and/or lecturers are unhappy with the policies of a National Minister of Education, then that Minister (Merv Wellington, Lockwood Smith, Max Bradford, Anne Tolley) is pretty much doing the right thing by the country.

            Doesn’t apply in all cases, but I find it a useful rule of thumb…

          • Meg

            Just as a useful point of historical information, the last real major teacher strikes were under a Labour government.

            I think your rule is broken. You might want to buy a new one.

          • Agent BallSack

            “Just as a useful point of historical information, the last real major teacher strikes were under a Labour government.
            I think your rule is broken. You might want to buy a new one.”

            @ Meg…a bunch of sycophants being pandered to by a pack of wankers. You choose. Most Labour party members are teachers, so from how high did the order come in the party? Care to elucidate?

          • Meg

            I love the stories you make up ABS. So fun to read.

        • pukakidon

          The Prime Minister is not worried about small silly issues such as a fat German in the corner of a laptop monitor. He is involved with the big picture things. He allows his people to get on with the business that they are paid for. He is not a control freak like Helun.

          You are trying to make a mole hill out of a ant turd. Focus on the big issues such as why the teachers (government employees) are acting in an unprofessional way and are going against their employers direction.

          • Meg

            He should be worried about silly issues. Because it is the silly issues that put you in the media spotlight and lose you elections.

            Key has made a right mess of this. Every day more and more comes out about how much he knew, that there are more investigations starting up.

            Crime in NZ is at its lowest point since records began. That is a MAJOR event and the Government should be making lots of hay out of that one.

            Instead what do we have? incompetence in the news. Every night. A Prime Minister who doesn’t seem to have a clue what is going on anywhere, an Education minister fumbling her way through one disaster after another, the pulling of visas a day or so after granting them because of screw ups with basic facts.

            Key is far too lose with his leadership and his approach to his own responsibilities. He needs to sort his house out otherwise the public won’t care about the really good stuff like record low crime. It will just be all the silly stuff. And the silly stuff looses you elections.

          • pukakidon

            No he dosnt, Remember he runs the government for the second term, has the largest party support in the country and will not have to give a blow job to the watermelons in order to get into parliament, such as will be the case for Liabour who continue to focus on these silly issues and continue to sit on 30%. Being nasty does not seem to be working

            No one likes a pain in the arse and the liarbour party are experts in everything arse and pain.

          • Meg

            If he keeps behaving the way he is, he will not be PM after the next election.

            And I am amazed at your lack of basic political knowledge about how silly things can cause major damage.

          • Agent BallSack

            You raise some good points Meg. Education is a major failure apart from NS. Key is losing valuable face from the constant lurching from one position to the other. PR from this Government seem non existent, to the point where dotcom has the upper hand. AT least Clark had a media that were scared to report, a polpotism not seen since Muldoon. All these things do nothing to inspire the hoi polloi.

        • Agent BallSack

          Congratulations on becoming the new Phil Ure of WhaleOil. Annoying, full of conspiracy and unfortunately no where near as intelligent. Yawn.

          • Meg

            The truth is the truth .

            Key knew, Key lied.

            If you don’t want to accept that, well that will have more to do with your political leanings that any willingness to know facts.

          • axeman

            More like the “old” Kosh or Teacherscock ABS

  • fozzie

    John Key our liar in chief … been doing it all his life – gamblers are habitual liars -now he just can’t help himself – only other explanation is that he has early on set alzheimers … time to put him out to pasture… can’t remember. don’t know , won’t read it – calling time Johnny !