John Key to be grilled by Ombudsman over TXTs he and I sent to each other

Newstalk ZB’s Felix Marwick is on the “not a fan” ledger when it comes to both Key and myself.  He’s been after the content of  our communications since the Dirty Politics hit failed to do its job hoping to succeed where Rawshark and Nicky Hager failed.

The Chief Ombudsman will investigate the Prime Minister over his refusal to release details regarding his, and his office’s contact with right-wing bloggers David Farrar and Cameron Slater.

Back in early 2014 Newstalk ZB requested records of all such contacts that had occurred over a two year period.

John Key’s office declined to release details, saying to do so would require substantial research and collation and also that some communications may have been made in Mr Key’s capacity as an MP and leader of the National Party.

Now, almost two and a half years after a formal complaint was laid with the Ombudsmen about the matter, Chief Ombudsmen Peter Boshier has announced he will investigate the compliant.

He’s written to the Prime Minister notifying him of the complaint, and also asking for a report on his office’s decision.

I nearly decided not to cover this development, because my reaction to it was more or less “Meh”.  There is nothing there of any substance.

Back when this started, John Key should have responded with “So what?  I talk to whomever I like, I am, after all, the Prime Minister for all of New Zealand”, but instead he brought down the shutters and gave the left the win.

He then followed it up by dropping me in the sh*t.  Something for which I received a personally signed letter of apology from John.  A pragmatic move to prevent me taking my frustrations out via a court case that I would have won even if I had lost.  Months, perhaps years of ugly fighting in court.  At the time, I was pretty cheesed off.

I’m happy to cooperate with any genuine investigation into this matter.  And as long as I can protect my sources, the remainder of those texts and emails are completely innocuous.  Once they have 7 years of your emails and Facebook chats, other texts and emails aren’t going to make any difference to me.

But that’s not the point.  Felix Marwick is still hoping to find something he can use against John Key.

I’m frustrated that there is no privacy at all.  That another journalist can push his hobby horse right up to the Ombudsman just to see what this journalist and the Prime Minister said to each other – with the expectation of confidence.

Perhaps I should pop in an OIA requesting all the texts, personal messenges and emails to and from the prime minister and the media.    I honestly don’t see the difference in that request when compared to that from Marwick.


As long as my sources or any info leading to their identification are redacted from such communications, I truly don’t care what they do with the rest.  That’s all stale.  Everyone has moved on now, including using ephemeral methods of communication that leave nothing on record, not even meta data.  That was the natural outcome of Labour’s Dirty Politics hit.


– Felix Marwick, Newstalk ZB

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