Face of the day

Bradley Ambrose

Bradley Ambrose

The Tea tape scandal is an incident involving the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and ACT Party candidate John Banks, during the New Zealand general election campaign in 2011…  After publicly meeting for some time, media were asked to leave. A journalist, Bradley Ambrose, left his recording device behind, and subsequently gave the recording of the politicians’ conversation to the Herald on Sunday newspaper, which declined to publish it...

The politicians involved considered that their private conversation had been illegally recorded. John Key and the National Party said that it appeared that the Herald had deliberately recorded the conversation, and described it as “News of the World-style tactics“, however journalists argued that that the recording was in the public interest and should therefore be released. Following a police complaint laid by John Key, search warrants were issued by police to media outlets to obtain all unreleased media involving the taping.

In March 2012 Ambrose wrote a letter to John Key and John Banks expressing regret that he had released the recording to the newspaper, and the police decided to issue a warning rather than prosecute.

The recording was leaked online on 26 January 2012.



So our face of the day said sorry AFTER the recording had been leaked online and because of his apology he was warned rather than prosecuted. He got off very lightly in other words, after illegally recording them and invading their privacy and then releasing it online for the world to listen to.

So how does Bradley two years later react? He blames John Key for his loss of work after the scandal and is suing John Key for 1.2 Million dollars because he

…lost tens of thousands of dollars as work dried up during the scandal.

-NZ Herald

Sooo no personal responsibility then? This is as ridiculous as if the hacker of Cameron’s personal communications sued him for saying mean things about him and causing him to lose IT contracts.



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  • Dumrse

    After a full day on FOTD he will be really sour as he realises 10’s of 000$ will continue to pass him by. WO, you may also face a $1.2M claim in two years time.

  • Aucky


    You should really have thought this through Brad.

  • dumbshit

    someone should take his shovel off of him!

  • Curly1952

    Where does it all end. We are surrounded by some absolute plonkers – Ambrose, Smalley, Gower, Norman, Cunliffe, Martyn Martin, Brown, Bright (not so…) etc etc…….,,.

  • Pete

    Sneaky litter git…”accidently” made a recording, when he finds it, he goes running straight to the press in order to get a scandal going and no doubt, reap the expected rewards. When it doesn’t go to plan, all of a sudden he is the victim.

    To me the timing of this is just another example of the lefts running interference of the govt and JK in particular, expect to see much more of this folks, they are going to keep this up for the next 3 years, chipping away and keeping the negative sound bites going against JK in the hope it will swing some percentage points in 2017.

    • Barnacles2

      I wonder when JK will go “bugger this, I’ve had enough” with all the constant sniping. It will be such a shame if this happens as NZ will lose a real leader. it will also set a precedent of destroying the person, not their politics, but I guess the left always play the man not the ball.

      • Spiker

        Thats when they win.

        • Monito

          Yeap let’s hope that John Key can continue to bat them off like bothersome bugs..

  • rantykiwi

    Remember his face oilers. If you see him out and about filming make sure you photobomb whatever he’s up to – “accidentally” of course.

  • Cowgirl

    The man’s lack of professionalism and untrustworthiness is why he can’t find work. This has nothing to do with JK and should be chucked out of court.

  • How things have changed since Mr Ambrose wrote to John Key and John Banks on 18 March 2012; check out the highlighted passages.

    I smell naked opportunism…

    • rantykiwi

      That really makes it look like he hasn’t got a leg to stand on in his defamation case. He accepts responsibility for his actions, regrets them and acknowledges that as a result of his conduct his reputation is damaged.

      This reeks of the involvement of a shyster like Tony Ellis – the case has about as much merit as Traynor/Smith’s not-guilty plea to the charges of escaping custody. Whoever is advising Ambrose needs to be struck off for incompetence, and also made to pick up the tab for wasting the court’s time on this matter.

      • Precisely; someone smells a quick buck, so they float this story to the media to ramp up pressure on the PM.

        But how can you defame someone who admits they were in the wrong?

        • Time For Accountability

          Just like an employee thief who admits theft and then brings an unjustified dismissal claim and wins because due process was not followed.

      • Jonathan P

        “That really makes it look like he hasn’t got a leg to stand on in his defamation case.”

        Alford plea?

    • Ross15

      Keeping Stock.
      I’m not sure about the opportunism KS. I think it is just an idiot with a short memory and some one who doesn’t like personal responsibility. Or maybe he is simply allowing his name to be used in another stupid attack on JK.

      • I don’t think it’s Ambrose being opportunistic Ross. I suspect he is just a pawn in someone’s game, and we all know who spends a lot of time playing games…

        • Ross15

          I think you are right KS and the “someone” has forgotten about the letter you posted.

          • To be fair, that “someone” had some rather pressing affairs in the first few months of 2012 (and subsequently), so the letter of regret from Ambrose may have passed him by.

    • stanman

      what a slime ball
      Caught out and back peddling

      Just explain me one thing Ambrose… As Bill Ralston pointed out-the cameras ran continuously for 20 minutes not one stop for repositioning ,nothing.you think they knew what was goin on Bradley.huh…ya think…..

  • Ross

    This is another reminder for me why the MSM are scum with their “end justifies the means” approach to obtaining information. By supporting the release of this information at the time, they effectively sanctioned illegal snooping under the guise of public interest – well sadly it’s more self serving than that as it’s blatant click bait. Aside from the media circus at the time, how anyone can think illegally recording a private conversation between two political party leaders is morally acceptable is beyond me. And of course they did it all over again with the release of CS’ emails.

  • Kevin O’Brien

    This smells of Liabores faceless attack squad.Some are believing they have the right to choose the government and to force a change through promoting doubt and disharmony.These are old socialist attitudes.The quicker this cabal is taken out the better.

    • Jonathan P

      You mean the same way National along with other “parties” (non political) promoted doubt and disharmony during Phil Goffs stint as Labour leader.
      Yeah, damn dirty socialists.
      How quick people are to forget.

      • Cowgirl

        Phil Goff didn’t need any help to look ineffective as Labour leader.

        • Jonathan P

          Didn’t stop people “assisting” him though did it.

          • Cowgirl

            It’s politics – it goes with the territory. All the hit jobs on Key aren’t coincidence either, otherwise why would Ambrose resurrect a long-dead issue like this? Public interest in this ended circa 2011, his case is pretty spurious – doesn’t this smack of a JK beat-up to you?

          • Jonathan P

            So only one part of society is allowed to ignore morals while everyone else must adhere. Gotcha.
            And if it does smak of a JK beat up so bloody what, re read the very first thing you just said. “It’s just politics” Don’t support the attacks on Goff by non political entities and then whinge when someone has a go at Key.

          • Cowgirl

            I don’t believe I was the one having a whinge on this thread, but whatever.

            My point is if it cuts both ways, then you can’t moan about Phil Goff being undermined as leader (in some cases by his own MPs). I would say though that if anything happened to Goff along these lines, it hasn’t been such a long coordinated effort like we are seeing on JK, and the reasoning behind it – that they can destabilise a sitting government and PM because they didn’t like the election result – is considerably more alarming than anything aimed at Goff, who wasn’t PM or part of the government, and wasn’t likely to be. What’s happening in the attacks on JK is an attempt to circumvent a democratic election result, because they think if they take down the PM, they will take down National, despite what the voters want. That’s pretty worrying to all NZers I would think.

        • Too true; he had David Cunliffe white-anting him. Remember the “Show me the money” quip, where Cunliffe hadn’t briefed Goff on the details of the CGT tax policy?

    • Mrs_R

      If Labour are behind this then they truly do need a new tactician on their boat because if they really want to hurt the government they are going about it the wrong way with Ambrose. Joe Public doesn’t care about something that happened years ago and doesn’t directly affect them. There are two issues at the moment that most of my acquaintance who support National are talking about and aren’t happy. This is where Labour will score a direct shot if they climb out of the gutter and start to concentrate on the real issues that affect Joe Public. I’m not going to do Labour’s work for them and mention them here but they really just need to get out and talk to people who are National supporters and find out what they aren’t happy with and then start getting serious as an opposition party.

      • Andru

        Like you say, Labour is going about this the wrong way. So maybe a National supporter is behind Ambrose coming forward. A tactic to make it look like the Left is playing dirty politics.

  • Jonathan P

    Might pay to be a bit clearer.
    The politicians felt it was illegal, this doesn’t mean it was illegal.
    The police also didn’t prosecute.

    Nice spin though.

    Interesting that you mention “News of the World-style tactics“ as one of the lawyers for those victims deemed it “good journalism”

    Was he morally wrong? Yes.
    Did he do anything legally wrong? I guess we will never truly know, only speculate.
    How its illegal though to record to publicly paid individuals meeting in their capacity as leaders of political parties is something I can’t imagine, unless of course at that point in time John Key wasn’t the prime minister but leader of the national party or just John Key NZ citizen.
    Lets see what “FREED” does with those drones.

    • Chris EM

      “News of the World style tactics” is quoted from Wikipedia, Jonathan.

      • Jonathan P

        And I also used a section from the wikipedia article used.
        Only fair to use the same article.

    • Actually JP, the Police believed that Ambrose’s behaviour WAS unlawful:

      While he only received a warning, Ambrose’s actions were illegal, Assistant Police Commissioner Malcolm 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.”


      • Jonathan P

        I stand corrected.

      • island time

        However, it is the court of law that decides guilt not the police. The police present evidence to be judged

    • SP

      Criminal Law lesson 101: He was warned for it. That means it WAS illegal. The Police can’t warn you for NOT committing an offence. As if they are not busy enough, I can see it now… “Excuse me sir I just pulled you over to warn you for driving within your lane, keeping to the speed limit and generally driving safely!”

      • Second time around

        The police don’t try the criminal cases they bring, They may believe there was a case to be answered, but it is up to the courts to decided if the case was proven. Also, we work in a system where criminality has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, and even then conviction may depend on the good will of the judge and the blood line of the defendant.

      • Wahbonnah

        excuse me sir, I’m just pulling you over and warning you for driving at 101 in a 100 speed zone.
        they’ve made their bed, now they need to sleep in it too

  • I would like to know who is paying his legal bills. I suspect it won’t be him personally.

    • Who else is represented by Ron Mansfield? Who else despises John Key?

      Join the DOTs, and you might have your answer…

    • Magor

      Hopefully some investigative techniques will be in play to uncover this..!

  • Karma

    I can’t help but think there’s something suspect about this. Why bring it up now? As we all know, legal fees aren’t cheap. So who’s funding this exercise?

    • Saggy

      Ambrose better hope that whoever’s funding it has deep pockets because if he thinks work dried up before it’s going to be drier than a dry day in Drysville after this. Not surprised to note that judging by his photo someone’s broken his nose.

      • symgardiner

        And once costs are awarded against him he is going to be broker that a broke guy in Brokesville too.

      • Karma

        And how does losing “tens of thousands of dollars as work” add up to $1.2 million? I’m pretty sure his line of work ain’t that lucrative!

  • OT Richter

    How does “lost tens of thousands of dollars as work dried up during the scandal” turn into 1.2M?

    • peterwn

      Just use Inland Revenue type formulae and interest rates.

    • Damon Mudgway

      Cause he’s really only after $200k.

  • Timboh

    His twitter feed seems to include anti government and pro labour. Well well!

  • Wheninrome

    The pockets of “Give a Little” givers are definitely going to run dry at this rate. Typical, something which was a good idea to help those genuinely in need gets ruined by the “must get on the band wagon and get my share types” that seem to proliferate in New Zealand.
    Mr Ambrose may well find he has to fund this one himself.
    PS New Year’s resolution, Must do a journalism course, from his account it pays extremely well.

  • kehua

    Immature, gutless little scumbag, all good until the birds come home to roost. Get a real job fella.

  • Mick Ie

    What I can not fathom is: every attack the left make against John Key strengthens the resolve of the right, and their attempt to draw the centre left further to the left is also backfiring, as shown in the results of the last election. This means they are only talking to the already converted. How can they think these monotonous attacks increase their voter base?

    • jude

      Can you imagine this going on for 3 years?
      I am over it already and it has been all of 2.5 months!
      If the left don’t come up with some new strategy ,they will surely collapse ..

  • stanman

    beats me……. Key gets taped illegally,the guy subsequently apologises (to avoid prosecution), the tape is leaked, and now John Key is responsible for this loons loss of business??
    Am i stark raving bloody mad-have i missed something? Is this seriously the world we live in ?

    I give up-i simply hold my arms up and surrender

  • timemagazine

    JK and his team were very gracious to let him go so lightly. What would have happened if anyone of us would have done something like this at our workplace?

  • Bluemanning

    The action he committed and the reputation he created caused him to lose work, he can’t blame anyone else but himself. IMHO if he came to me for work I couldn’t because of his actions.

  • Bryan

    it’s only his opinion not fact people may have stopped using him for all sorts of reasons and it was you ambrose that left the machine there it’ simple actions have consequences!!
    It;s is not John Keys fault that you did what you did it is yours, and you should have thought about it before you ran off to the media who threw you under a truck. you should be tapping Winston as he was the one that did very well out of your little error, three more years at tax payers expense.

  • Catriona

    No harm in aiming high I guess. But really, we’re beginning to resemble ‘sue happy America’.
    So you do something you’re not supposed to and get busted for it and now you want $1.2M?
    Good on ya Bradley – maybe it’s time for a little navel-gazing to discover exactly why it is that your work has dried up and maybe its because you’re not that good at your job.

  • Glad Im not the only one he wants to take court. Well its either him or someone from the website “The Standard” claiming to be him, has been coming to my blog the past few months asking me to remove a Photo that is copywrite and he (Bradley) is the owner, last message said he would invoice me. I kinda think it’s just one of the idiots from the standard, posing as this guy.

  • bjmarsh

    Sorry, I am confused. I thought the man was a part time photographer, and not a journalist by ordinary definition at all.