The Mendacities of Mr Key #2: Secret Sources



key's credibility takes a hit


In an on-going series, we will look at the half-truths; mis-representations; omissions; and outright lies, told by Dear Leader John Key.

2. Secret Sources

TDB Recommends


On 4 October 2011, John Key made this astounding statement in the Debating Chamber,

When Standard & Poor’s were giving a meeting in New Zealand about a month ago, what they did say was there was about a 30% chance we would be downgraded – that’s what happens when you’re on negative outlook. They did go on to say though, if there was a change of government, that downgrade would be much more likely.”

The comment was made under Parliamentary privilege.

Five days later, on 10 October, Key “explained” that the comments had come to him in an email, from an un-named “friend”. He duly released the text,



When Standard and Poors heard Key’s comment, they were none too pleased.  Standard and Poor’s sovereign rating analyst, Kyran Curry, who attended the Auckland meeting that the “email” referred to, replied,

“In Auckland last month, I might have talked about the importance of the Government maintaining a strong fiscal position in the medium term but I would never have touched on individual parties. It is something we just don’t do. We don’t rate political parties. We rate Governments.”

Key fronted to a media conference and was grilled by journalists,




His body language, tone of voice, and other minute clues all indicate he was being less than honest. I leave it to the reader to reach their own conclusion how honest Dear Leader was.

In my opinion, John Key lied and the email was subsequently fabricated.

Nearly two and a half years later, and Key is embroiled in yet another “secret sources” mess;

On 12 February, Key disclosed that Winston Peters had met with Kim Dotcom, at his mansion in Coatsville, three times. Peters accused Key of using the GCSB/SIS to spy on him, saying,

“What’s his informant, who is he? … This is is a surveillance matter and I want to know more about it.”

Key responded the same day,

“I heard from an individual who’s a person who’s got nothing to do with National Party, nothing to do with any government agency. The person told me it was three. I was pretty sure they’d be right – because they often are – and guess what, they were.”

On the 13th of February, Key stated,

“I can absolutely categorically tell you it’s got nothing to do with an official agency. From time to time people see things and from time to time people tell me.”

Key added,

“Contrary to what [Peters] might want to believe, I can read. A member of the public, for want of a better term rang me up and said what was the case. I assumed it was right. I said it, it turned out to be right. I didn’t think it was that controversial, to be honest.”

So did a member of the public” phone Key and inform him that Peters had visited Kim Dotcom? Or did Key “read” about it somewhere?

When questioned by the media, Slater told the Herald,

“If the Prime Minister says I’m a source, I guess I must have been.”

Which kind of makes Key’s earlier assertion that he “heard from an individual who’s a person who’s got nothing to do with National Party” a complete lie. As we all know, Slater is closely connecxted to the National Party; his father (John Slater) is an ex-President of the National Party; and Slater is probably a paid up member of the National Party.

Unless it is Slater who is lying (which is equally plausible as he has a reputation  for telling lies)? Otherwise, if Slater is telling the truth, then he has landed Key in it.

One of them is lying.

Take your pick.


Key had not been forthcoming either on the Standard and Poors “email” or on where he got the tip-off that Winston Peters had visited Kim Dotcom.

What is equally disturbing is that Key is willing to use private information to smear a political opponant. Not since Paula Bennet released information on Natasha Fuller and Jennifer Johnston, has a politician willfully invaded another person’s privacy.

Whatever one may think of Winston Peters – and I am no fan of his – Peters deserves his privacy like anyone else.

Verdict: mis-information/half-truth/deflection/broken promise/lie:

  1. Mis-information
  2. Probable lying





NZ Parliament: Credit Rating Downgrade—Effect on Economy

TV3: Key accused of lying in Parliament over downgrade

Previous related blogposts

Nick Smith

Politicians never tell fibs





Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen



= fs =


  1. I couldn’t agree with you more Mr Macskasy. What puzzles me is that the NZ voting public doesn’t seem to get it or mind. This exasperates me greatly! The man(using that term loosely) doesn’t even lie well, and still there’s no backlash. So either the NZ public doesn’t care or DonKeys PR people are genius. I can’t bear to imagine another three years putting up with that wanker, so I hope the opposition use his lies as part of their election campaign to remind people of his dishonest character.

  2. So how did Cameron Slater know that Winston Peters had gone to see Kim Dotcom (exactly) three times? Anyone who doesn’t know for sure would equivacate and, for political purposes, hint at more e.g. “at least 3 times that we know of”.

    Someone is watching and recording – meticulously and comprehensively. On the balance of probabilities – is that going to be a member of the public or an agency?

  3. “Unless it is Slater who is lying (which is equally plausible as he has a reputation for telling lies)? Otherwise, if Slater is telling the truth, then he has landed Key in it.

    One of them is lying.

    Take your pick.”

    My pick is both. It’s the most probable option.
    The tragic thing about all this is that the RWNJs don’t care if Key lies, as long as he makes his stupid putdowns in parliament. Many average voters still seem to believe his rubbish about ashprishuns and think swallowing his lies is part of the price. Many still won’t vote, because only Greens and Mana are being at all inspiring as far as alternatives go, and people have it drilled into them that a vote for a small party is wasted.

    Come on Cunliffe. We need you to do a bit more than tell us you weigh more than Key. The situation is dire.

  4. Middle NZ loves their Prime Ministers with boldness, bravado, and plenty of bullshit. The rest is inconsequential.

Comments are closed.