Key: “we’re doing everything we can” for drug smugglers


The Prime Minister says consular assistance is being offered to two New Zealanders facing drugs charges overseas, but says there is little more that can be done.

Antony de Malmanche, 52, could be on death row by as early as next year if convicted oftrying to smuggle 1.7 kilograms methamphetamine into Baliin his backpack last Monday.

And Peter Gardner, a 25-year-old New Zealand-born Sydney resident, is due to appear in a Chinese court this week after allegedly trying to traffic 75 kilograms of methamphetamine from Guangzhou to Australialast month with his partner.

John Key says New Zealand opposes the death penalty but if people “undertake these actions in these countries it’s a high risk thing to do and a very serious situation to put yourself in”.

“I hope anyone would think through the consequences,” Mr Key told TV ONE’s Breakfast this morning, adding New Zealand will do everything it can to make sure the two men are properly looked after.

I realise we have an obligation to render some level of assistance to Kiwis that get themselves into trouble overseas, but let’s have some perspective here… “everything we can”?

You’re not even putting “everything you can” into anything else John.  Why would you make sure these Darwin Award nominees are so well looked after?

I’d prefer it if you did “everything you can” for people who haven’t actually broken the law by trying to import kilos of drugs into countries.

Or, since I am apparently able to give you orders, how about you do “everything you can” in finally ejecting Mr Dotcom from our fair isles?





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  • steve and monique

    Done the crime, now do the time. And in Bali, that could be forever.

    • Sundreamer

      Or it could be quite short

      • steve and monique

        Picking very quick.

  • caochladh

    “New Zealand will do everything it can to make sure the two men are properly looked after.” There’s not much else he can say by way of platitude, because those of us who live in the real world know damn well NZ is not in a position to do anything apart from make noise.

    • James

      “Everything we can” is very different to “everything we reasonably can”; the former includes the like of sending the SAS in to storm the prison and break the drug smugglers out – the latter doesn’t!

  • Jas

    Just saying it to appease the ‘middle class left wing liberals’ but in reality most people in the embassies overseas in South East Asia would be of the opinion ‘tough s#%t’

  • Admiral_Moorer_believed

    Given Keys proven penchant for lying, I am guessing that we have abandoned them.

    Or maybe just spying on them. . .

    • Dumrse

      Why shouldn’t we abandon them, you have obviously abandoned the Standard, what’s the difference?

      • Admiral_Moorer_believed

        “Why shouldn’t we abandon them”?

        Because they are New Zealanders. The government represents them as well as us.

        • Wallace Westland

          Up to a point. The “Government” has never bothered to represent me when all my hopes and dreams didn’t exactly come to fruition and I never expected it would.
          Of course some of us just fall back onto personal responsibility.
          Why exactly should it waste the resources (my tax dollar) on people that have clearly abstained from the realms of personal responsibility except for the bare minimum that a just society requires for it’s citizens?

          Oh…and when the society these people are in chooses to punish them using the same yardstick they apply to their own citizens far be it from me to howl with indignation!

          • Admiral_Moorer_believed

            Not sure if being held in prison in a foreign land is part of someones “hopes and dreams”.

            I am sure that if you were, you may appreciate your government stepping in to help out. These people haven’t been tried and sentenced and you want to throw them to the dogs. Nice line of morality you have there.

            Of course they should be held responsible if/when found guilty. If that is the death sentence, so be it. That is the law of that land. But until then, they deserve support.

          • Wallace Westland

            I did say “up to a point” And they don’t deserve anything from me.
            Feel free to donate to their cause if that’s your desire.
            And don’t ever lecture me on morality.
            You have no idea about who I am and what I’ve done. My morals are beyond the question of some internet troll.

  • KiwiM8

    What’s happened to not guilty until proven guilty??

    • Hoju

      Haven’t you seen how close together their eyes are?

    • Hard1

      Caught with drugs. That’s guilty.

      • KiwiM8

        They could have been set up. How would you feel if one of your family members found themselves in this situation. We don’t know, do we …

        • Hard1

          Of course he was set up. He didn’t have any money.
          Printed on the Indonesian Arrival Card;
          WARNING Death Penalty For Drug Traffickers Under Indonesian Law.
          There is no defense, no clemency for stupidity.

  • John1234

    This rant appears to have leaped to the conclusion that these dopes are guilty. Maybe we should wait till that point before we pull the trigger, eh?

  • I feel kinda sorry for the guy in Bali – being desperate and dateless enough to travel across the world thinking he was in love and getting married – however if he knowingly carried the meth from Hong Kong to Bali then no doubt the sentence will fit the crime

    The one caught with 70kg of meth in China will get everything they deserve – they were motivated by greed and little regard for what harm dumping 70kg of meth into the community would cause

  • NotGandalf

    Drug smugglers deserve the penalty imposed upon them by the country they are attempting to enter. JK stated quite fairly that we do not believe in the death penalty in NZ, but I would interpret this as a caveat that we should be aware that we are playing in someone else’s backyard – when in Rome.

    • nervus

      John Key said we do not believe in the death penalty in NZ. Wrong, i do and most of my friends do as well.

  • Annoyed

    We need to make sure they get as fair a trial as possible as all people deserve that. Beyond that, if proven guilty, they are in the hands of the locals and their laws.

  • cows4me

    Sometimes I think JK is losing the plot, he seems to be floating in dross these days. To much crap that his paid minnows should be handling. It’s our future he should be concentrating on, not small time drug dealers or copy-write pirates.
    edit spelling again

    • Hard1

      The left are getting to him, to the point that he feels he has to preempt them. He’s cracking.

    • island time

      Surely he was just answering questions about this case because some media person was asking? I suspect he would answer questions about other subjects as well. I am not sure the media really care about the “important issues” – they just care about stories where they can push the “human element”.

  • RAS

    Calm down. “Everything we can” is just a figure of speech.

  • Greg M

    Well I’ve had enough of this. How many lives would have been ruined by 1709 grams of P ? If I am supposed to feel sorry for some lonely broken arse who thought he would be marrying some piece of poontang he had never met, in exchange for trafficking drugs into a country where we all know the penalty is a bit on the harsh side, then I’m sorry but I don’t care.
    Firing squad at dawn, and broadcast it to ” encourager les autres”.

  • anonface

    We’ve already got Stuff pushing the “givealittle” campaign which is raised $3700 in “support” for this. Seems just about every news article of late has the family with their hand out immediately via “givealittle”.

    • Aucky

      There’s a way to go yet then. That should just about cover a business class ticket to Bali for a Kiwi lawyer.

      Can you imagine the outrage of the NZ MSM if there was offshore pressure on our system to mitigate on foreign drug mules caught importing A Class drugs into NZ?

  • It’s situations like this where I sort of miss ‘the good old days’. And I don’t mean the horridly socialist 20th Century, but the 19th Century when we’d go to war to repatriate these people, not because they deserved anything less than a severe punishment, but because only we had the right to punish our own citizens.

    • Rick H

      If this had happened in the “Good old days of the 19th Century” – -nobody in NZ would have been any the wiser.
      Nobody would know.

  • Tom

    We should be doing the same. -Shooting people who deal and produce meth, that is.

    • Hard1

      Would you shoot your own daughter? Personally? . My old man used to say that, even after my sister was caught dealing and did time. Boy did he love his grandchildren, both lawyers.

      • Tom

        My cousin got addicted to heroin in the Uk when he was 15. He’s been on methadone for nearly 20 years, his life is garbage. He’s never dealt. Would I shoot the evil bastard that sold a 15 year old schoolboy smack? You bet I would.

        Also, with penalties like they have in Singapore (yes been there done that) amazingly there is SFA in the way of drugs, and thus drug related crime (burgs, theft ex vehicle, muggings, kipnap etc).

  • abbaby

    I read the man has a slow mental capacity. Should we still string him up?

    • wooted

      To answer your questions:
      No (not “we”, but I’m OK with the Indonesians doing it.
      Anyone who tries to smuggle drugs into their country is by definition “stupid”)
      Irrelevant (the crime was not committed here)
      No, he was warned, and did it anyway.

    • LabTested

      Prison would not be fine for me. Read ‘the Damage Done. 12 years of hell in a Bangkok prision’ I would take the bullet over prison.

  • Wheninrome

    All that is required is to ensure they have advice from the NZ Embassy, as all NZ citizens are entitled if something happens, legal or otherwise whilst overseas. This is what I take John Key’s words to mean. However we must abide by other country’s laws, we expect them to abide by ours.
    There should be no payment by tax payers, the individuals made choices, they are adults.
    To do otherwise for these people incurs a great wrong to all New Zealanders and sets a dangerous precedent.
    Illicit Drugs cause untold misery to all who use, wider families etc., we are not tough enough, these individuals are looking to make money pure and simple, they have no thought for others.
    Give a little my “arse” .

  • Unless its a stitch up that can be proven NZ should do nothing for them.
    Get the Red Cross to help, they help all nupties.

  • jv7

    Calm down – it’s just the visit most other idiots like this get. The reality is that “everything we can” means sfa because that is all we can and all we want to do.

  • Geoff

    I see the preamble to this article again refers to 75 kilos. That’s over twice the normal baggage allowance. The guy would need a truck. I believe it should be 75 grams. If it was 75 kilos I suspect he would have already been shot.

    • kayaker

      He/they would have to be travelling first class.

  • Michelle

    75 kgs is one hell of a lot of anything how on earth did they expect to get away with that they would need alot of luggage to carry all that and would raise eyebrows with anyone

  • Rick H

    I see Tony was a very lucky man, a feww months back.
    He was a $50.00 Pak-n-Save voucher winner.

  • bjmarsh

    Your argument, Cam, is a bit of a non sequitur. All Kiwis are entitled to receive Consular Assistance if detained overseas. That assistance CAN NOT allow Kiwis to escape the natural consequences of their actions. We all have to obey the law of the country that we are visiting, and in South-East Asia, involvement in drugs is regarded as a crime against the community of the worst kind. Memories are long in Asia, and we continue to reap the consequences of the Opium Wars. KIm DC is a bit different, he is “accused” of crimes in the USA, but remains err “innocent”, until the judgement of the US Federal Courts is known . Hence PM Key is being entirely consistent in his actions and has done all he can, without altering important parts of our Kiwi system. I would like to see the end of him in NZ but am not sure about the price we will pay from the “liberal socialists”overseas.

  • AF

    Cam has a history of mis-interpreting statements to suit his agenda – in this case I believe to undermine John Key – as evidenced by the unflattering photo to suggest how we should feel towards him. NZ is doing “everything it can” has been interpreted by Cam as we will pull out all stops and do EVERYTHING we can possibly do such as incantations, sending in the military, writing a strongly worded letter etc etc etc at the expense of doing other more productive things as if there is some sort of diversion of scarce resources away from some more worthy need towards freeing alleged drug smugglers. This is not the case. This isn’t about doing “everything”.

    The correct interpretation is that we are doing everything we can within the constraints we find ourselves – there are a LOT of things we cannot do and if the only possible thing we could do was to send a note via a diplomat, then we have done “everything we can” with emphasis on the limitation on the things we can actually do while respecting the laws of other countries. There has not been any diversion of resources or effort away from other more worthy causes.

    It’s a non-issue and hardly worthy of a blog.