Getting excited over, well, nothing

August 21st, 2014 at 10:09 am by David Farrar

The PM has said he wasn’t told about the OIA release from the but his staff were.

NewstalkZb discovered a three year old letter from the SIS Director to them where he said he did advise the Prime Minister.

This got people all excited, but I never saw this as a contradiction as I have worked in Government and in a PM’s Office.

When officials say they have advised the Prime Minister, they generally mean they have advised someone in the PM’s Office.

In my experience it would be very very rare for a Government Department to talk directly to a Minister, let alone the Prime Minister, on an OIA request.

And my assumption has just been confirmed as the then SIS Director has confirmed to media that his 2011 letter was referring to having briefed the PM’s staff, and that he never had a conversation with the PM on it.

Also on the wider issue, of someone tipping off Cameron Slater to ask for the document, I’d also point out that in terms of motive, it may not be someone in Parliament. Phil Goff had incorrectly claimed the SIS had been derelict in their duty and never briefed him on an issue. I could imagine that there were a number of people in the SIS upset about this, and would have been quite happy for the briefing notes to be made public, if requested under the OIA.

I genuinely don’t know who tipped off Whale, but I do know agencies get pretty unhappy when politicians accuse their boss of incompetence or dereliction of duty, and many people at SIS would have known that Goff had been briefed, despite Goff claiming he hadn’t been.

UPDATE: I should add on that I think it is a good thing that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is investigating. I’d also point out that while it involves the SIS, this is an issue about a document that was suitable for release under the OIA, not secret material. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an issue here, but there is a difference between alerting someone to ask for a document suitable for public release, and alerting someone to something classified.

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63 Responses to “Getting excited over, well, nothing”

  1. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    The excitement of Hager’s book reminds me of a WW1 offensive. A lot of sound and fury against entrenched positions that have already been attacked. There is material in there that could be damaging but focussing on three year old stories with little new facts is just bizarre.

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  2. mjw (396 comments) says:

    So who is running the SIS then? Because it doesn’t seem to be the PM.

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  3. Nigel Kearney (1,013 comments) says:

    God this is so boring.

    Can’t we all just agree whale is a c**t and anyone who helps him is foolish and should know better, then get on with discussing what the various parties want to do if elected and what the consequences will be for NZ?

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  4. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    Considering how fundamentally lame Hager’s “revelations” have been. You have to wonder how much all of this press is actually just journalists trying to get one back over ‘bloggers’. What would journalists reactions have been if say Andrea Vance’s emails were getting leaked? I’m sure most journalists would have some pretty far flung things to say when they think they’ve having a private chat with confidants.

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  5. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    So who is running the SIS then? Because it doesn’t seem to be the PM.

    Have you tried Google? If you think being Prime Minister or Minister of something means that you’re responsible for the day to day running of anything you are sadly deluded.

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  6. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Goff tells lies.
    SIS know he is telling lies.
    Get an OIA.
    Release the proof Goff is a liar.
    Bloody John Key. It’s all his fault.

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  7. flipper (4,067 comments) says:

    mjw……

    Are you really the fuckwit that every utterance by you suggests?????

    Go check the Legislation, mjw. The SIS is responsible to the Prime Minister (as Minister in Charge). The Prime Minister does not “run” the SIS.

    If you are going to offer ill-informed comment on such matters mjw, do it elsewhere

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  8. Fentex (978 comments) says:

    . I could imagine that there were a number of people in the SIS upset about this, and would have been quite happy for the briefing notes to be made public, if requested under the OIA.

    In this case the public meaning WhaleOil but not Fairfax media who requested it before him?

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  9. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    mjw

    The Director General ( or whatever the correct title is ) runs the SIS not the PM. The fact that the Director is responsible to the PM ( as the Minister for the SIS) does not mean the PM OK’s every decision made –otherwise you would ask the question “What does the Director do?”
    In this case , obviously the decision on the OIO request was an operational matter.

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  10. Nookin (3,344 comments) says:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11311764

    Seems that a few people may owe Key an apology. Will he get it?

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  11. flipper (4,067 comments) says:

    metcalph (1,395 comments) says:

    August 21st, 2014 at 10:18 am

    ****

    Well said.

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  12. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Nookin
    I can answer that.

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  13. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    NewstalkZb discovered a three year old letter from the SIS Director to them where he said he did advise the Prime Minister.

    This got people all excited…

    Excited about nothing? Well, I remember similar levels of excitement when the OIA release in question showed the SIS director had it in his notes to brief Goff on the Israeli tourists – which didn’t necessarily mean he had actually gotten round to it in his meeting with Goff, of course, but it certainly did seem to get some people all excited. You were among them, if I recall correctly…

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  14. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Goff appeared to have had a mental relapse when he said he had not been advised, except he appears to have had a direct briefing from the Director of the SIS as he was on the Government Intelligence Committee

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  15. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    The MSM need to be afraid of what their pro-Left, pro-Hager the Horrible campaign will bring them.

    Diving prices for NZ export commodities, a diving NZ dollar, and international economic problems will be the environment of any Greens-heavy government.

    The Greens will hammer petrol prices up with higher duty, on top of these prices rising because of the falling NZ dollar. Tthe result will be grim for NZ. The MSM, already in trouble because of advertising moving away, will be sustained only by Green-Labour funnelling tax money as subsidies of one type or another. The new masters will then make the MSM beg for its tax bone.

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  16. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    Much and all as a political junkie like most who post here I fear outside the beltway there is a huge turnoff by middle NZ. Given 800K or so didn’t vote in 2011 I wonder if we might see this figure increase substantially as middle NZers use non voting as their only way of showing their disinterest or contempt for a bunch of self serving self interested pollies who don’t give a rates arse about them or where the country is heading.
    As one who first voted in 1972 when Norm Kirk and Labour swept to power it seems to me this is the election with the least focus on policies and a contest of ideas and is more about Me Me Me the pollies themselves.

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  17. jaba (2,142 comments) says:

    John Key MUST be very close to telling us to get fkd and simply walk away .. the personal attacks started way back BEFORE he became an MP and they haven’t stopped.
    I want to know who the leak was .. the guy/girl should be sacked and Goff simply needs to fade away as he basically started this issue using sources that were supposed to be neutral

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  18. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    ‘However Newstalk ZB also has Ombudsmen correspondence, between its office and the SIS, relating to release of information regarding the matter. It clearly states Dr Tucker had a discussion with the Prime Minister.’

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  19. mjw (396 comments) says:

    Ross, Flipper – sure, take your point. I should instead ay, who is providing oversight of the SIS, because it doesn’t seem to be the PM.

    It is a serious question. There appears to be an anonymous staffer doing all the actual work of oversight on behalf of the PM. Were they elected? What checks or balances do they have on them?

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  20. mjw (396 comments) says:

    Smoking gun 2. The head of the SIS has changed his story. He told the Ombudsman he had a discussion with John Key, and now tells the media he didn’t.

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  21. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    The Left has got nothing except the twit Hager the Horrible! Labour-Green supporters are behaving increasingly as you would expect from people frozen through life at the level of 18-year-old student activists.

    There are real issues hanging over NZ, like how we are going to come through the collapsing price of commodity exports and how we can survive as a First World-standards country. All the Leftists want to talk about is who talked to which blogger. What idiots.

    In the meantime, Milkenmild (11.08) read this link.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11311764

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  22. oldpark (331 comments) says:

    Been listening to Labours 12TH man a RATBAG CALLED SOPER,friend of Labours 9th floor when Labour s Clark and H2 ran their reign of terror for nine years.Labours 12TH man,seems to be very accusing to a conversation going on between PM and SIS,was he there.If he wasn’t he should STFU.

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  23. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Oldpark, the easy solution is to switch to another station

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  24. publicwatchdog (2,596 comments) says:

    Unbelievable.

    So the public are supposed to have confidence in the SIS, when the (former) Director made information that was supposed to be for the attention of the Prime Minister, available to staff in his Office?

    Which ‘staff’?

    Why didn’t Warren Tucker just pass this OIA reply to the tea lady and be done with it?

    Smells VERY ‘political’ to me …..

    Penny Bright

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  25. macdee (42 comments) says:

    Is this the same Phil Goff who broke protocol and confidence on the Don Brash comment on nuclear warships and the same Phil Goff who used leaked documents from MFaT.

    btw like you DPF I’ve worked close to the Beehive, wrote dozens of briefing notes for the Minister but rarely briefed the Minister herself directly, can’t guarantee the Minister ever got to see my work

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  26. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    The quote from the Ombudsman is:
    ‘Dr Tucker has advised Ms Wakem that he is prepared to release a statement regarding his discussion with the Prime Minister’

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  27. publicwatchdog (2,596 comments) says:

    Apologise for the length Kiwibloggers – but I think you’ll like the quality? ;)

    SEEK TRUTH FROM FACTS!

    http://cabinetmanual.cabinetoffice.govt.nz/2.2

    Role

    2.3 The Prime Minister is the head of the government.

    The functions and powers of the Prime Minister have evolved over time.

    There is no statutory provision that constitutes the office of Prime Minister or defines its role.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    Is THIS a major part of the problem?

    That the unregulated ‘Office of the Prime Minister’ is effectively completely OUT OF CONTROL?

    In my opinion, any OIA reply from the Director of the SIS should have been passed on to appropriate staff from the DEPARTMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET (DPMC) – not the party political ‘Office of the Prime Minister’.

    It is NOT the role of the ‘Office of the Prime Minister’ to handle OIA requests – END OF STORY.

    How many people know that the DEPARTMENT of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) is NOT the same as the ‘Office of the Prime Minister’?

    Here’s the difference:

    http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/dpmc

    THE ROLE OF DPMC

    The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet occupies a unique position at the centre of New Zealand’s system of democratic government. It exists to support the effective conduct of executive government by the Prime Minister, the Governor-General and members of the Cabinet. The department’s principal role is provision of advice, on a daily basis, to the Prime Minister and Cabinet on the wide range of complex issues that confront the Government – particularly its policy priorities. Issues that governments are required to deal with are often complex or pressing, and require well-founded advice and judgement.

    DPMC also provides impartial advice, through the Clerk of the Executive Council and Government House, to the Governor-General. In addition it plays a role in coordinating and leading the work of government departments and agencies, and other entities as appropriate, to ensure that decision making takes account of all relevant viewpoints and that advice is as coherent and complete as possible.

    Supporting the Prime Minister and Cabinet

    The Prime Minister is the political leader of the government and the country – and its main public “face”. The Prime Minister is also the chair of the Cabinet, and is responsible for the effective operation of executive government. These roles combine political and executive responsibilities.

    DPMC provides assistance to the Prime Minister in three broad categories.

    Issues that are the direct responsibility of the Prime Minister

    This entails the provision of free and frank advice and support on constitutional issues relating to the conduct of executive government – including during elections and transitions between administrations – and issues associated with the operation of the Cabinet system.

    Issues that arise across the full range of government business

    DPMC provides a continuous flow of advice to the Prime Minister on major and daily issues, along with oversight of wider government activity and access to information and assessments. DPMC also works directly with Ministers on specific issues. The Deputy Prime Minister plays a lead role on behalf of the Prime Minister over a number of the government’s policy programmes and DPMC supports him on some of these matters from time to time.

    DPMC works with central agencies to draw together departments in support of the Government’s priorities, to focus agencies on providing options for action, to ensure implementation of agreed programmes and policies, to drive for enhanced agency performance, and to deal effectively with issues which affect the nation. DPMC also provides the secretariat support for decision making by the Cabinet and its committees.

    Administrative support to the Prime Minister

    This includes preparation of replies to Parliamentary questions, and dealing with Official Information Act requests and other correspondence.

    A totally separate body, the Office of the Prime Minister, also advises the Prime Minister: it is the primary point of responsibility for managing political issues and relationships with other political parties and for providing administrative and media support.

    Supporting the Governor-General

    The Governor-General occupies a leading position in New Zealand’s constitutional framework. We are a constitutional monarchy. His Excellency serves as the representative of The Queen, New Zealand’s Head of State. His constitutional, ceremonial, and community roles together seek to maintain national unity and foster national identity. The Clerk of the Executive Council and Government House staff support the Governor-General in carrying out his functions. The Queen’s powers and those of her representative, the Governor-General, are almost always exercised only on the advice of Ministers.

    Bringing the System Together

    DPMC strives to support a high standard of executive decision making by providing quality advice that is timely, responds to the directions set by government, is forward-looking, is cognisant of changing circumstances and emerging issues, and gives assurance that policies are being delivered in an effective and coordinated manner.

    To provide this support the department draws on close relationships with other departments and agencies, crown entities, local government, business, iwi, and the wider community.

    DPMC’S OUTCOMES

    The overall outcome that DPMC – in conjunction with other agencies – seeks to achieve is:

    Advancing a confident, well governed and secure New Zealand

    In achieving this outcome, DPMC has adopted five contributing outcomes that reflect the department’s key streams of work:

    Decision making by the Prime Minister and Cabinet is well informed and supported.

    Executive government is well conducted and continues in accordance with accepted conventions and practices.

    The Governor-General is appropriately advised and supported in carrying out his constitutional, ceremonial, community and international roles.

    National security priorities, the civil defence emergency management system and the intelligence system are well led, coordinated and managed.

    A higher-performing state sector that New Zealanders trust, delivering outstanding results and value for money.

    Statement of Intent 2013-2017

    The diversity of work contributing to these outcomes is indicative of DPMC’s history, structure and the roles of each business unit.

    STRUCTURE

    DPMC formally came into existence on 1 January 1990, as a result of a report which recommended establishing structures to provide two separate streams of advice to the Prime Minister; one, a new government department to supply impartial, high quality advice and support to the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), and another, a Prime Minister’s Private Office (which is not part of DPMC), to provide personal support and media services, and advice of a party political nature.

    Government House was included in the scope of the department in August 1990, after a review of the Governor-General’s support requirements. The External Assessments Bureau (now called the National Assessments Bureau) became part of DPMC on 1 July 1991.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright

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  28. Sporteone (43 comments) says:

    Well said David. At last someone with some sense.

    I am sick of Labour and Goff with their holier than thou attitude. Goff lied and got caught out. Now he trying to make someone pay for it.

    I wish the media would get on with some real issues. There are more important things out there than this.

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  29. Fentex (978 comments) says:

    NewstalkZb discovered a three year old letter from the SIS Director to them where he said he did advise the Prime Minister.

    This got people all excited, but I never saw this as a contradiction as I have worked in Government and in a PM’s Office.

    When officials say they have advised the Prime Minister, they generally mean they have advised someone in the PM’s Office.

    An understandable absence of context that someone without, reading Tuckers letter should be forgiven for not comprehending. I am glad to read DPF considers context so carefully when reading as it will surely help avoid all kinds of mistakes and misrepresentations.

    Though one does notice the deputy Ombusdmans Leo Donelly refers to the matter, regarding an enquiry by Felix Marwick of Newstalk ZB, as Tuckers discussion with the Prime Minister. How can one blame the public for thinking a discussion involves the people it is said to be between?

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  30. rangitoto (247 comments) says:

    Journo’s getting in a lather over nothing.

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  31. Chuck Bird (4,884 comments) says:

    I may get a few down ticks but think there is a reasonable possibility John Key may be lying. I also think if he is so bloody what. He did not rape anybody like the evil lefty Governor Clinton.

    Honesty is relative. How many on this blog prepared to use their real name would say that they have never told a lie.

    I look at the total picture of the dirty tactics of the far left in NZ compared with the centre which defines National.

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  32. oldpark (331 comments) says:

    Ombudsman vindicates John Key on the smoking gun that never was,on the SIS FIASCO. Goff, Soper, and all the MSM lefty sycophants Labour TVNZ ,TV3, Herald all NZ Fairfax papers all jumping at shadows desperate to see the defeat of the most popular NZ National Government.GO BACK TO WHAT YOU ALL DO BEST FEEDING OFF PERSONAL STOLEN PRIVATE EMAILS,as long it is not your own.

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  33. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    Well, at least it is taking heat off Judith Collins giving her a well earned break. If John or Judith (herself) ‘cracked’ re Judith’s alleged issues, the left and MSM would then turn on another target.

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  34. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    This is sloppy at best.

    If you informed the pm’s office you should write that.

    I believe the PM but the letter is factually wrong and does not look good.

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  35. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    The letter is consistent with what the Ombudsman told Newstalk ZB, that Tucker discussed the matter with the PM.

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  36. oldpark (331 comments) says:

    See now reading a story about SIS releasing some documents.John Key said he wasn’t told.John Key was out of NZ JULY 23 TO JULY 31.Documents were released JULY 26 2011.Of course our PM did not know,after all he was not even in the country.

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  37. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Hmm, seems Tucker was the man in the firing line at the time according to this Scoop article:

    Sludge understands that Mr Tucker was furious when Goff denied being briefed on the matter publicly. However if he was angered by Mr Goff’s remarks – which were probably very unwise – then there are other ways to deal with it short of soliciting an OIA request and providing secret documents to a blogger which embarrass on of his employers.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1108/S00058/tucker-vs-goff-and-the-politicisation-of-the-sis.htm

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  38. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    In my experience it would be very very rare for a Government Department to talk directly to a Minister, let alone the Prime Minister, on an OIA request.

    What if it were a potential ‘gotcha’ issue that could embarrass the then current opposition leader? No doubt Tucker told Key about Goff’s having been briefed by the SIS regarding the Israeli backpackers, hence Keys adamant accusation that Goff had lied, but whether or not Key knew about the fast-tracking of the OIA request for Slater is another matter. I suspect that, unlike Judith Collins, Key knows how to delegate responsibility.

    But if push come to shove Key can always give an ironic shrug and quote Goff’s response when cornered at the time:

    …when he changed his “I was not briefed” statement to something akin to “something may have been flicked past me”.

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  39. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    In The Herald:
    “It has also emerged that Mr Key was in Maui on holiday at the time, following his first official visit to the United States in July 2011.

    The SIS has said it told the Prime Minister’s office that it had received a request for the paper from Slater on July 26, 2011 and advised them again a day later that it was about to release it.

    Mr Key’s visit to the US ended on July 23, NZ time and his office confirmed this morning he had then taken some days off in Maui and did not return to New Zealand until July 31, after the documents had been released.”

    I hope they check Warren Tucker’s travel records. Perhaps he actually did jet up to Maui to have a face-to-face with the PM about an OIA. And catch a bit of sun.

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  40. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Rob at The Standard seems to be getting excited over the wrong thing, claiming Key lied – The smoking gun

    He is referring to Tucker briefing Key over having briefed Goff, but the current kerfluffle is over Tucker briefing Key’s office over the release of the OIA to Slater.

    See the UPDATE in http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/goff-produces-smoking-gun-letter-ig-opens-slater-sis-investigation-ck-161142

    And same for Karen getting excited over nothing, I think that Q & A was done with Key from Washington.

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  41. Zapper (1,021 comments) says:

    So he wasn’t even in the bloody country. I look forward to a whole heap of left wing apologies.

    God the left in NZ is disgusting.

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  42. Lindsay Addie (1,515 comments) says:

    This story isn’t half as interesting as the idiotic media beat-up is trying to say it is. As DPF pointed out there is an investigation underway and that’s how it should be. But the obsession to pin it on Key come hell or high water has gone way over the top.

    Is Felix Marwick bucking for a payrise/promotion?

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  43. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    I think Marwick was doing his job well, putting factual information out there as the story developed.

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  44. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    You have to love The Standard. Of their first NINE stories, six have a photo of John Key and one begins with his name.
    Talk about promoting face and name recognition.
    Are they obsessed or secretly in love?

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  45. rangitoto (247 comments) says:

    Idiot MSM journos still squawking even when the Chief Ombudsman has told them they are full of shit.

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  46. Chuck Bird (4,884 comments) says:

    As Key was out of the country on holiday he would have told staff not to contact him unless something was important or very important. Both these words are subjective like “reasonable”. I think he may have been told but more likely he wasn’t.

    It is hardly fair that he be judged by what he may have known. I suspect there are many people like me who could not care less whether he knew or not and will not change their vote.

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  47. Lindsay Addie (1,515 comments) says:

    Pete George,

    I don’t agree that Marwick has been the bees knees with this story. I listened carefully to him and Leighton Smith and he seemed to jumping to conclusions without real proof. Anyway unless someone can prove beyond all doubt that Key wasn’t on holiday as he says, the part of this story with his supposed involvement could be dead in the water.

    I do agree with Marwick about his concern with how quickly Slater was given access to this information.

    Finally this Whaledump-Hager led story must be close to dying in the media. It has been going on for all but a week. It may still influence the election and some people have come out of not looking so dusty. It will take something special to keep this story going up until election day.

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  48. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    BeaB (2,074 comments) says:
    August 21st, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    You keep visiting the Standard? Are you obsessed, or secretly in love?

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  49. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Zapper (946 comments) says:
    August 21st, 2014 at 3:06 pm
    So he wasn’t even in the bloody country. I look forward to a whole …

    I look forward to a whole heap of proof

    1. that he was definitely not in the country,
    2. of the actual dates that the communication was made,
    3. the sacking of someone that on several instances in the same letter, forgot to put ‘office’ after the words Prime Minister.

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  50. goldnkiwi (1,304 comments) says:

    Had to laugh when listening to David Cunliffe talking about letting people (experts)get on with their jobs with out constant interference on the Herald panel.

    I do hope in the unfortunate event that he becomes PM that he is made aware of absolutely everything that happens in government environs There would be so much minutiae that there would be no time for well…serious stuff.

    Scary stuff if Goff and Cunliffe do not know how it works in the Beehive. Why bother having staff if they do not filter things for their Minister?

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  51. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    A good summary of how this has all come out today – Felix Marwick: Laying out facts over SIS documents

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  52. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    The Left are crazy !! Here the media is getting carried away about nothing –an minor OIA application !?! in the meantime Cunliffe is out there trying to push some policy ideas and is being kept off “the front page”. Isn’t this shooting yourself in the foot??

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  53. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    I expect that Cunliffe and Goff will want to see copies of the Key family airline tickets for when he was in Hawaii, when Tucker sent his SIS letter advising the PM of the Slater OIA request.
    This was received by a member of Key’s Office as the PM was actually in Hawaii and could not have received the letter.
    Goff lied about the briefing by Tucker at the time saying he was never had a meeting with Tucker.

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  54. publicwatchdog (2,596 comments) says:

    Can’t believe this organisational SLOP.

    As I have already explained – there are effectively TWO ‘Offices’ – with which the Prime Minister deals.

    The ‘Office of the Prime Minister’ – the unregulated, partial, PARTY POLITICAL ‘Office’ the purpose of which is to cover John Key’s butt as the Leader of the National Party – whose job does NOT cover dealing with OIA requests.

    It is the impartial, independent, politically neutral Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) who are the ones who are supposed to handle OIAs.

    How is it in any way proper for the party political Office of the Prime Minister to have had ANYTHING to do with OIA requests/replies involving the SIS especially when they involve another the Leader of another political party?

    Penny Bright

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  55. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    I do not get why the media and Phil Goff wish to dig up this dinosaur of an issue. The background of this story is that there was a relatively minor security issue. Phil Goff got all sanctimonious that as the Leader of the Opposition he was not informed. He then thrashed this out in the media and accused the SIS of pulling a number on him. However there were documents that indicated that he was informed (discussed at length I believe was written on them). Anyway as the story goes, a heavily redacted document was release to Cameron Slater who promptly published it. Goff was made to look a fool and incompetent in the media.

    The big issue being thrashed out here is why was this released to Cameron Slater and not to anyone else: Other media and Phil Goff in particular. I recall at the time Slater asked for a very specific document. Newstalk ZB and Goff had a far broader request, hence why he was able to get his hands on it first. Bearing this in mind, the only issue outstanding here is that someone must have tipped Slater off as to what to ask for. It is not too far fetched to suggest someone in the SIS who was sick of Goff ridiculing them and stating they were lying which of course they had good reason to believe they were not.

    I am struggling to see how this will gain traction. This is a bureaucratic process issue at the end of the day. Hardly anyone understands it or gives a toss. There seems to be a clear buffer here between the Prime Minister and the office staff. Furthermore, had the information been released to the media, would the outcome have been any different? I think not. Goff would still be made to look stupid and incompetent. Even if there is a connection, it does not change the fact that Goff acted rather foolishly before the information was released.

    That was 3 years ago. Honestly 3 years later, who really cares? If I were Goff, why would you want to continue to hug this corpse. He looked a fool 3 years ago. The information, no matter how it was release still makes him look like a fool today.

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  56. Zapper (1,021 comments) says:

    Thanks for explaining the office of the PM to us Penny – I’m sure you’ve spent much time there.

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  57. publicwatchdog (2,596 comments) says:

    No – I haven’t spent ANY time at either the Office of the PM or the DPMC, actually.

    Although I have had a number of OIAs answered by the PMs Chief of Staff – Wayne Eagleson – which I have challenged

    Penny Bright

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  58. goldnkiwi (1,304 comments) says:

    God I bet the people who get OIA requests from Penny just light up lol. Nice of you to keep people employed Penny, you are a brick. ;)

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  59. OneTrack (3,107 comments) says:

    Grizz – “If I were Goff, why would you want to continue to hug this corpse. He looked a fool 3 years ago. The information, no matter how it was release still makes him look like a fool today.”

    We needed reminding. Thanks Phil.

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  60. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    @goldnkiwi

    Yep she certainly does keep people employed. Particularly those who pick up houses and take them away.

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  61. ross001 (213 comments) says:

    I genuinely don’t know who tipped off Whale, but I do know agencies get pretty unhappy when politicians accuse their boss of incompetence or dereliction of duty, and many people at SIS would have known that Goff had been briefed, despite Goff claiming he hadn’t been.

    Still pedalling garbage I see. You might like to recall what Goff said after he was allegedly briefed by Tucker:

    “The head of the SIS, Warren Tucker, has released a note under the Official Information Act to Cameron Slater from Whaleoil that has a notation on it showing he believes he showed me a document relating to the investigation during one of our regular meetings.

    “I was not shown that document. I never read that document. Warren Tucker is wrong. He may have brought the document to the meeting but he never showed it to me. Mr Tucker acknowledges that I was never briefed on or shown two other documents the SIS compiled on the issue of the Israeli backpackers.

    “He has since shown me the first document and I know I have never seen it before. He has also told me in writing that the NZSIS does not hold any acknowledgement from me as having read or received the document.

    “I was never ‘briefed’ by the SIS. When asked to explain, Warren Tucker says he ‘flicked’ over the issue during a regular meeting with me but ‘didn’t dwell on it’. He says he probably suggested to me that it was not significant. That is not a briefing or a discussion.

    I would have thought that the last week may have brought an attitude change from you. Alas, some things never change.

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  62. ross001 (213 comments) says:

    And why does John Key feel the need to mention that he was on holiday in Hawaii? Does he think that will somehow absolve him?

    Here’s what Key said to Guyon Espiner on Q+A on 24 July 2011 – while he was on holiday in Hawaii:

    GUYON: Did you brief Phil Goff?

    JOHN KEY: Phil Goff was briefed, yeah, that’s right. I personally didn’t brief him, but my understanding from the director of SIS, Warren Tucker, is that he was briefed and he was shown the same note and report that I saw.

    OK – so while Key was in Hawaii he was aware – after apparently talking to Warren Tucker – that Goff had allegedly been briefed. John Key will have to think of another lie because this one is as pathetic as him.

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  63. MH (757 comments) says:

    there hasn’t been so much confusion and intrigue since Jewish insurance assessors were sent to Christ’s tomb. Much ado about something with Key being clawed to death by a thousand cats. First casualty of electioneering has to be the news’ “stretcher bearers”. Last election we had spin(e)less doctors, where have they gone or morphed into ?

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