What is Grant Robertson’s role?

Grant Robertson has been front running the attack on John Key and the GCSB. This was done partly because David Shearer is compromised when it comes to remembering things, since he can’t even remember millions stashed in an offshore bank account.

However there may be another reason for Grant Robertson to be front running this…he knows more than he is letting on. The Labour Party have opened up a whole can of hurt on themselves by desperately trying to link the Prime Minister to the unlawful spying by the GCSB on Kim Dotcom. I say this because it turns out, after the Kitteridge report was leaked yesterday that the GCSB may have spied on 88 New Zealand citizens unlawfully, using legislation that Labour set up in 2003.

David Shearer scoffed at the report on Q+A on Sunday when asked, dismissing it as an “internal report”, now however he says that the report validates his calls for an independent inquiry into our spy agencies. Quite how that could be done without compromising our national security has probably escaped him right now.

However what is more curious is that Grant Robertson, who has been leading Labour’s attacks on the Prime Minister’s oversight of the GCSB, was Helen Clark’s senior advisor when the legislation was written. Is it possible that he has known about these issues for quite some time and has used his information to conflate the Kim Dotcom issue in order to attempt to smear all of GCSBs illegal spying under Clark with the few instances under John Key’s watch?

Helen Clark was also notoriously secretive about the GCSB and its operations, and never answered any questions in Parliament about the agency, citing national security reasons. Labour are trying to hang the PM for answering questions in a much more forthright manner than his predecessor.

Air Marshal Bruce Ferguson, who has led the attacks on the appointment of Ian Fletcher, was as the agency’s director in 2012, was the GCSB Director during most of the time the 88 allegedly unlawful spying incidents took place.

That is an amazing coincidence of Clark appointed people all hammering the government in unison over something that was started by them, indeed performed by them, over a much longer period that under John Key.

Rebecca Kitteridge, who reviewed the GCSB’s systems, found that GCSB’s compliance systems set up over many years were totally inadequate, that there was no depository of legal advice, that the audit regime is flawed, that it’s external reporting was insufficient, that it’s management structure is top-heavy, poorly performing staff are tolerated and redeployed, and that the view of the previous Chief Legal Advisor, who wore “too many hats”, was viewed as authoritative and seldom questioned by staff.

It’s no wonder the State Services Commissioner recommended that an outsider with transformational change management experience, rather than yet another military flag officer, take over the leadership of the GCSB.


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  • kohibruce

    No surprise that Robertson and H1 left the gcsb in a buggers muddle.

  • What Labour do not realise is few people outside of Grant Robertson’s electorate understand this issue, actually see it as an issue – or care.
    Like almost all so called political issues over the last year is it solely of interest to the smartypants clever dick ‘Beltway Set’ and not the general public which is why the opinion polls will not move.
    Most people are only interested in food prices, electricity prices, their children’s school, interest rates on their mortgage, petrol prices and other bread and butter matters then they are about who did what to whom at the place with the thing that Grant Robertson asked a question about in Parliament.
    In short – it’s too complicated for ordinary people to understand and it doesn’t pay the bills, so they don’t care.

    • unsol

      it is “solely of interest to the smartypants clever dick ‘Beltway Set’ and not the general public which is why the opinion polls will not move”

      So Labour picks up on issues that are not only most likely to blow up in their face, but also the kind that no one really gives a crap about bar a handful of
      “smartypants” & the MSM….how very true!

  • williamabong

    The Labour party should tread very carefully here, this has the potential to blow up in their faces, as for Ferguson, he is currently trying has hardest to prove the decision to remove him from the job was the right one.
    Sadly these Col Blimp types run through their entire career unchallenged by anyone and grow to believe they are gods right hand man, and can do no wrong, in the case of Ferguson, some thought him an idiot and a fool and every utterance he now makes reinforces this as correct.

    • johnbronkhorst

      I believe that the circus they (labour) created (GCSB), is about to explode in their faces……like every clown show you have ever seen.

      • williamabong

        Yes, it’s a sure bet the Teflon raincoats are being dusted off in New York as we speak, and for backup Heather will be digging dirt on someone, anyone, to use as a deflector should it get real messy.

      • Joe_Bloggs

        To see this explode in Labour’s face will be poetic justice…

        It’s becoming clearer by the day that this whole GCSB issue is a poison chalice that was created by Clark and her minion Fergusson.

        Unfortunately I suspect that Labour will deny and lie through their teeth, and with the backing of a sympathetic left-leaning MSM, they’ll be left free of skid-marks

  • What is the bet that most of those illegally spied on ended up with convictions? Not something that ‘ordinary’ New Zealanders need to be worried about. Rather we welcome any means of cracking down on those who may attract GCSB attention. Media ask, “Did they spy on you?”. Why would they, I have nothing to hide. Only those involved in criminal activity might be worried.

    • richard.b

      My thoughts too. We just need the name of one piece of shit that was ‘spied on’ who now resides in a 6×6 cell.
      Most reasonable people would then say job well done, move along, nothing to see here.

    • Patrick

      I agree to a point, would be a wee bit embarrassing for the Government of the day though if it transpired that they used the GCSB to spy on their political opponents….makes you wonder how those National Party “secrets” came to be in the public domain aka Don Brash’s time at the top.

  • GregM

    The Kitteridge report has highlighted the problem that also extends to the NZDF. Too many high ranking officers with no management skills are put into positions in which they have no practical experience, and anyone that questions their skills or decisions effectively has their career ended. Hopefully this may be the start of some changes. Also,

    when will someone from the MSM ask Robertson, apart from Dot Crim, how many of the other people allegedly spied upon were known about and condoned by the previous administration.

    • williamabong

      You can almost bet Ferguson’s climb to the top has been made on strategically placed knives deposited in others backs, now he stands up with the same arrogant attitude and expects the world to pay homage to him, he hasn’t worked out yet he’s being played and there is a good chance he could be first to go under the bus.

  • Pete George

    Are Robertson and Ferguson working together on this?

    Is Ferguson allowed to be colluding with GCSB staff and blabbing and blubbering about his involvement? Surely his employment had some sort of permanent gagging clause.

    Also a part of this, as reported by the Herald yesterday:
    “Senior sources have told the Herald that the person suspected of
    leaking information to Labour about that briefing – including claims Mr
    Key was not only briefed about the Dotcom surveillance, but joked about
    it – had been identified and had now “lawyered up”.

    • williamabong

      In some countries Ferguson would have been involved in a nasty car “accident” by now.

      • tarkwin

        Why bother, he hasn’t noticed the lobotomy yet.

      • parorchestia

        polonium – it hurts more

    • Phar Lap

      Not only those mentioned,how about the reports from the cub reporter from Dompost some kid called Vance ,whom Whaleoil pointed out her association with the antagonists by way of tweets.He showed the connection last week.Much more than a coincidence where that Dompost kid is getting her hits from.

    • Phar Lap

      Like your assessment of Grant Robertson,being the enemy within and a catalyst for the spin to hide Lie-bours incompetence.Amongst many other things in their nine years of Clarkism.Yes Robertson was known as H3 a proven Lie-bour bully and a shin kicker.He would sit up on the ninth floor of the beehive under the mismanagement of H1 and H2..Yes he today stands indicted,as he desperately tries to hide his culpability in the framing of the spy legislation drawn up by H1 H2 and himself known as H3.

      • williamabong

        Grant certainly has all the hallmarks of the son Helen never had, nasty, bitchy, backbiter (in both senses of the word ), vindictive, childish, and petulant just to name a few of his redeeming virtues.

        • Joe_Bloggs

          Lovely description! Could apply to Fergusson as well

  • Pete George

    Labour accusing National of leaking the Kitteridge report doesn’t make sense, National didn’t need to leak it, they could simply release it whenever they wanted to. Methinks it could simply be an attempt at diversion from where the leak would have come.

    I’m not going to accuse Ferguson of leaking to Labour, there’s no evidence of that, but he has publicly said he has seen a draft version of the report and has been very active alongside Robertson in trying to stir up a diversion.

    • National didn’t WANT the information to become public while Key was in China, so why would someone in the PM’s office leak it, as Russel Norman has alleged, without any evidence.

      The fact that it was only a draft report leaked, without the seven appendixes points in one direction; a disaffected former GCSB staff member who had been criticised either directly or indirectly in the Kitteridge report.

  • Phar Lap

    Seems the Liebour Party under the reign of terror of Clark and co,plus the commie “green” joke party ,who were party to the 2003 legislation,are donkey deep in the cloak and dagger surveillance business completely culpable of a big brother mentality.If the Clark Government had been on the ball for the benefit of NZ ,they would not have let an Australian wetback commie like Russel Norman into NZ.

  • cows4me

    I don’t really care whose fuck up this outfit belongs to. What I do know is that when politicians say trust us it’s probably easier to believe in Santa Claus.

  • Excellent post Cameron. The MSM’s lack of balance in reporting this to date has become an embarrassment.

    • williamabong

      Sure has they’re sharp enough to work out the shit spray from this will reach all the way to New York, as it should,

  • Pete George

    Remarkable comments from Ferguson via Barry Soper’s political report:

    One person who found it hard to disguise his distaste of his former
    political boss is the super spy who served under the State Homie for his
    first two years in office.

    Sir Bruce Ferguson told me he’s sick of public servants being slam
    dunked by politicians, knowing they have no right of reply. Now that
    he’s retired, he’s exercising it saying Key had little interest in the
    GCSB, in fact he was disinterested unlike his predecessor Head Girl
    Helen who crossed every T and ticked every i, right down to giving him
    marks out of ten for his reports and even writing on one that he could
    do better.

    But Sir Bruce says there are many politicians that make you feel like
    washing your hand after shaking theirs. He was asked whether than
    included the current PM and he said he respected the office but stopped
    short of saying the same for the man.


    Ouch indeed, seems like someone’s pride is hurting.

    • BJ

      Poor little Man – wasn’t feeling like the General or being appreciated as the PM right hand man. Did he not think perhaps that JK expected that the GCSB was in good hands so he could get on with more important issues like fending off the lunatic Left.

      • Phar Lap

        Seems he was one of the four suspects on the short list and got dumped.He was interviewed by chimpanzz ee Campbell who drooled every time Bruce Ferguson put the boot into John Key. Chimp to his friends forget to ask Brucie why he was dumped ,yeah right.

    • williamabong

      Bruce has been out of the job for a wee while now, and suddenly he develops concerns, me thinks, this stinks.
      My advice to anyone standing near the fan would be to stay well clear, there could be a rather large bucket of shit about to be thrown into it.
      By the way Bruce those are the same politicians you felated to get your title, or doesn’t that count in the picture currently up on the screen, hypocrite.

    • In Vino Veritas

      Ferguson probably doesn’t realise it wasn’t Clark who marked his reports……

  • peterwn

    Labour has an important reason to keep David Shearer out of this to a large degree. As Opposition Leader he is privy to the goings on of SIS and GCSB. If he were to do what Grant is doing he would badly compromise himself in that role to the point where John Key could tell him to buzz off.

    • AnonWgtn

      Shearer is on the Security Oversight Committee, so he is fully looped on all security matters, including GCSB and SIS.
      Very probably Robertson, or one of his homo friends in Shearer’s office, has access to these Committee reports.

  • spollyike


  • parorchestia

    Great post. There are probably internal struggles going on within Labour over two issues – Robertson is positioning himself for a leadership bid – and Liebour is desperately trying to deflect blame games onto the government.
    It amazes me that a spy agency is not allowed to detect traitors. Enemy states could plant an operative, get him permanent residency and he could then spy away on commercial secrets and American military secrets to his/her heart’s content. Naive to the extreme.
    And what useless Directors Labour appointed. ‘Nuff said. H1 gets 0/10 for this.
    The Greens are so commercially dumb that, for eg, they don’t realise that Fonterra’s commercial secrets are worth millions, if not more.

    • Pete George

      “It amazes me that a spy agency is not allowed to detect traitors.”

      Senior sources have told the Herald that the person
      suspected of leaking information to Labour about that briefing –
      including claims Mr Key was not only briefed about the Dotcom
      surveillance, but joked about it – had been identified and had now
      “lawyered up”.

      If the report establishes a leak, the GCSB’s legislation carries a penalty of up to two years in prison.

      A certain Ex-GCSB director and some of his friends still on the inside may have to do some lawyering up eventually as well.

  • Patrick

    Name the 88 – that should determine the what why & where of how the GCSB powers were being used.

    • AnonWgtn

      And the timeframes so we can see who were under the Clark regime.

      • Patrick

        Helen wouldn’t be the first communist leader to use the tools of the State to spy on her enemies would she? There is a sack of weasels here – just waiting for someone to untie the top, so keep digging Robertson, keep digging.

    • Problem then is that they will all want compo. The reasons for the spying would be interesting though. I put my money on the majority being, helping the police catch criminals.

    • tarkwin

      I got pissed a couple of years ago and sent a ranting email to the Horrid. I’m probably one of the 88. If drinking, gambling, large carbon footprint making and rampant capitalism are crimes then they’re doing their job.

      • Patrick

        They were most definitely crimes under the Clarke regime, fortunately for you & me Key has some sympathy for this kind of (blokey) behaviour.

  • AnonWgtn

    Robertson’s role, along with his appointees in the leader’s office, currently is to undermine Shearer.
    He is doing that very well and we will see Shearer resign as leader about August with Robertson and the Rainbow faction taking over.
    As a backstabber he is well trained and taught Clark and Simpson.
    It would be unusaul that he was not aware of all the GCSB appointments including the telephone tapping of the Air Marshal (which is really an honorary promotion when she appointed him to head the Defence Force, prior to the GSB.

  • DavidW

    Betcha dollars to a knob of goat poo that a fair number of the 88 were involved in the Urewera debacle and that Helen Clark knew all about it. Questions then for Annette King who did her best impression of Sergeant Schultz (or all three of the wise monkeys.). Quietly buried when intercept evidence was ruled inadmissible in Court. Nothing happens in a vacuum.

  • Phar Lap

    Lovely to see the soft underbelly of Grant “knucklehead” Roberson being exposed.Certainly cant fool all the people all of the time.Lie-bour and he are completely culpable of omission on the GCSB true facts, when he and his party LIE–BOUR have set out to mislay the people of NZ.He wont forget the damning GCSB of 2003 with he and half the present Lie-bour politicians aboard all sitting in the house, accusing the Nats ,what LIE-bour is completely guilty of, misleading the voters.

  • Pete George

    Kinda weird, Andrea Vance reports on the possibility of an investigation into who leaked the Kitteridge report to Andrea Vance – she could have saved everyone the effort right there and then!


  • johnbronkhorst

    Considering the fact that the labour party hired private investigators to go through Bill English’s garbage, back before 2005. Makes me wonder if auntie Helen used GCSB to do similar??

  • Blah blah blah, Labours not in National is in, its up to the Govt to answer the questions!!