Ambrose should sue as Police & Key fail Laws 101

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, March 27th, 2012 - 55 comments
Categories: crime, john key, police - Tags: ,

To say someone broke a law when that hasn’t been proven, and without legal defence, is to defame them. It is a particular issue when a government figure does it because they are effectively imposing an extra-judicial punishment by sullying the person’s reputation.

The rules are strict – remember Clark lost a defamation case for saying a man was a murderer when he was actually convicted of manslaughter.

By saying Bradley Ambrose broke the law when that hasn’t been proven and he hasn’t admitted it, Key and the Police are defaming with the power of the State.

Key said he took his compliant on principle (‘the principle that he should be allowed to slag off voters in a public place and not have it come back to bite him).

Well, there’s an actual principle at play now. Key and the Police cannot be allowed to serve up extra-judicial punishments to whomever they choose by branding them a criminal and then not taking them to court to prove it. That undermines our rule of law and division of powers. Only in the case of summary offences can the Executive judge if a person’s actions are illegal. The offence Ambrose was accused of, and which he has not been found guilty of, is an indictable offence, not a summary one.

Ambrose should sue Key and Assistant Police Commissioner Burgess in defamation for saying what he did was illegal. Judging by the media coverage, he would have plenty of friends to help with his legal bills.

Here’s a sampling of the coverage –

Herald Editorial:

No crime had been committed, despite the police attempt yesterday to save face by claiming the cameraman’s action was “unlawful” or, in a telling show of doubt, “at least reckless”. The lawfulness would have been for a court to decide, but no prosecution will be taken…

….It suited the political times, or so Mr Key’s advisers thought, to turn this into a sprawling week of allegations against the media. We were, predictably and unimaginatively, likened to the News of the World, the UK tabloid closed after hacking a murdered girl’s mobile phone, among many other outrages. Then, Mr Key claimed we would publish parents’ private discussions of suicidal children. And when those preposterous attacks fell flat, he shrugged that the police had time to investigate this case because National had lowered the crime rate.

As it happens, the police took months to locate those who also drank coffee near the two politicians that day, to take pro-forma statements from a range of news photographers and journalists – including one whom they didn’t realise had stayed inside the cafe drinking coffee because he considered it a public place – and to work out a way to let the whole sorry mess drop without further embarrassment.

So a letter from the cameraman, Bradley Ambrose, to the two politicians expressing regret and explaining he meant no harm to them or himself was considered adequate contrition and the Prime Minister agreed with prosecutors that that should be that. The letter was consistent with Ambrose’s sworn evidence in a court action he took at the time.

The police announcement conveniently coincided with Mr Key being in Korea, responding through a brief press release. He noted the police claim the cameraman’s actions were “unlawful” but even he could not try to make much out of this sorry business. He did not believe a prosecution was “now necessary” and thought all could now move on.

Sadly, that should have been his view at the time. It was a stance he seemed incapable of adopting because of a misguided mission to stop what he imagined to be a “slippery slope” of media intrusion. There is no slope, slippery or otherwise, in the coverage of political or public affairs. There is a slippery slope, however, in police inquiries arising from political discomfort. As the police walked away yesterday, there was an unnecessary but chilling sting in the tail. The warning to Ambrose “sends a clear message to media that the recording and distribution of conversations that are considered private is likely to lead to prosecution in the future”. But “considered” by whom?

Vernon Small

Despite his protestations, it would not have damaged Prime Minister John Key much – had he not inflicted the damage on himself.

He could have shrugged and moved on. Even declared it the political cliche it was begging to be called – a storm in a teacup.

But instead he came over all “line in the sand” and righteous indignation.

Of course the media were an easy target and Mr Key was bound to win that battle, especially with the London tabloids in the news so recently last year.

But the slide in his approval was almost palpable on the campaign trail from the time of the stunt; a cosy cuppa with a party doomed to failure without that deal in Epsom.

In the end the teapot stunt scalded Mr Key the most.

Of more concern is the use of the prime minister’s office in the cause of “principle”, the high-handed raids on media organisations and the police putting a private citizen through the grinder.

When a senior police officer effectively declared Ambrose guilty of intent yesterday, without a trial, it turned a bitter taste into a very bad taste in the mouth.

There is no doubt Mr Key got what he wanted: a threat that lasted long enough to keep the sound on the tapes out of the public ear. Oh, and an announcement when Mr Key was well out of the country.

That happy coincidence only adds to the unpleasant flavour.

John Hartevelt

a faint stench still hangs over the whole saga. In the police reckoning, the recording was serious enough to pursue with three part-time staff executing search warrants on newsrooms during an election campaign.

But it was not serious enough that police would bother chasing down whoever it was that published what appeared to be a version of the tape online. What’s more, a simple apology letter appears to have been the key to getting the supposed law-breaker off.

The impression left by the comments of police and Key in the wake of today’s decision is that taking matters any further was just not worth it.

Then why all the fuss in the first place, especially if law-breaking has been established by police? Key got himself, via the law, in front of a mildly embarrassing recording being released during his campaign for re-election.

David Shearer

Labour Party leader David Shearer said Mr Key’s complaint and the subsequent investigation, which occupied three officers part-time, was “a complete waste of time”.

“Four months later, Mr Ambrose comes out with exactly the same statement as he did four months ago and it’s enough to drop the case.”

Though the letter was written eight days ago, “police decide not to pursue the charges three days after John Key goes overseas”, Mr Shearer said. “It’s all too convenient, it seems to me.”

Winston Peters

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the timing of the police announcement suggested an improper degree of co-operation.

“It invites the question as to whether or not there is a parallel discussion wrongfully going on between the government of the day and law enforcement officers.”

Mr Peters said the cafe meeting “was a political stunt against the democratic interest of the country”.

“It came horribly unstuck; he should have the guts to say so.”

55 comments on “Ambrose should sue as Police & Key fail Laws 101”

  1. RedLogix 1

    But of course Ambrose won’t sue. He’s been thoroughly monstered by both the Prime Minister and the Police and I personally wouldn’t blame the poor SOB for wanting to put this as far behind him as possible.

    It is of course the big media players who were the real target all along, and reading these editorials, even couched in fairly polite terms… tells us that they’ve gotten the message loud and clear.

    And they don’t like it.

    • marsman 1.1

      Hopefully the MSM will start hounding Key about his nasty policies now as they should have been doing from the word go.

    • deuto 1.2

      Re the possibility that Ambrose may or may not sue for defamation, imo this is still open, based on his interview on Morning Report this morning. In the interview, he actually calls for Key to apologise to him and leaves the question of defamation action open. Ambrose also stated that his giving the recording to the Herald on Sunday arose out of a lightheared conversation with a Herald reporter with the HOS then contacting him and asking for the recording. He also reiterated that he was not paid for it.

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2513845/bradley-ambrose-says-he-may-sue-pm-for-defamation.asx

      • Pete George 1.2.1

        “Ambrose also stated that his giving the recording to the Herald on Sunday …”

        He still hasn’t said how TV3 got the recording?

    • lprent 1.3

      But of course Ambrose won’t sue.

      It is unlikely, it’d cost well above $30k to mount, take at least a year to get to trial, and turns on points of law with few direct local precedents. It’d be risky. He has already had many months with little work due to the PM’s comments which means it’d have reduced his ability to mount such a case.

  2. Tc 2

    You know shonkey and the hollowmen play by their own rules. The police allow themselves to be compromised by the govt when they’re meant to be above that sort of political gaming.
    another fail of our democracy just the way the NACT like it and the MSM only have themselves to blame for being so compliant with Key instead of hammering the deceptive banskta salesman.

  3. Come guys no surprises, politicians after all are human.

    The Spirit in the Gene: Humanity’s Proud Illusion and the Laws of Nature

    «As for pointing to our mental failures with scorn or dismay, we might as well profess disappointment with the mechanics of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics. In other words, the degree of disillusionment we feel in response to any particular human behaviour is the precise measure of our ignorance of its evolutionary and genetic origins.»

    – Reg Morrison

    Politicians will scramble over dead babies to get to the top of the heap.

    • Who cares if it’s a surprise? It’s not acceptable behaviour, it wasn’t when clark did it, and this is honestly a lot worse given that it’s not even arguably a matter of semantics here- if a judge (or jury) doesn’t convict, behaviour is by definition not proven to be illegal.

      • Puddleglum 3.1.1

        Yes, it also happens to be an evolved response to shame those who are found out doing this sort of thing.

        One of the most effective sanctions is public humiliation – we’re ‘designed’ to be vulnerable to it (well, most of us). 

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    I guess the police will add this one to the list of ‘crimes prevented’

    The fact that he is in Korea makes him more accountable, because he doesn’t normally make himself available for comment in NZ unless his minders pre approve the questions .

  5. Mr Peters said the cafe meeting “was a political stunt against the democratic interest of the country”.

    What about Peters’ political stunt in Invercargill the following Thursday? He used the recording for his own political purposes.

    And he appeared to be in cohorts with TV3. Their promotion of the storm in the teacup could also be questioned – particularly their interst in trying to influence our democratic process.

    • So Petey what about the teapot tape itself.  Was it not the political stunt to end political stunts?  And if so why are you trying to divert attention to a Peters’ meeting in Invercargill?  Did charges arise from that meeting?  Did the police execute search warrants on major media organizations because of something that was overheard at that meeting? 

    • Galeandra 5.2

      One questionable act should not be excused because of another questionable act by someone else. ‘What about…?’ is not an apologia at all, though I am sure you want to preserve the aura of sainthood that surrounds the leader of the Blessed Hair.
      And its cahoots, dipstick, cahoots.

    • Uh, it’s “in cahoots” if you mean there was some sort of conspiracy going on. In cohorts would imply they were peers or served together in the armed forces, both of which are ridiculous things to say about a TV station.

      As for Peters’ grandstanding? Might have been a distraction if the Nats had actually had any sort of serious policies they were campaigning on, but they didn’t, and honestly, a publicity stunt blowing up in your own face is great news during an election, it doesn’t take a conspiracy to want to tv-bash Winston or anyone else who’ll talk about it.

      National chose to make the election about PR, and they shouldn’t complain about having to sleep in their bed after they’re the ones who made it.

    • starlight 5.4

      No matter what you say or think about winston peters,he is not afraid to stand up and bring
      rorts to the public attention.
      Most nz’ers agree we need peters in parliament and to be quite honest,it would be ho-hum
      without him there.

      • Pete George 5.4.1

        “he is not afraid to stand up and bring rorts to the public attention.”

        I presume you mean other party’s and people’s rorts.

        “Most nz’ers agree we need peters in parliament”

        How do you know that?

        • McFlock 5.4.1.1

           
          More NZers think Peters should be in parliament than NZers who think anyone from UF should be in parliament. Quite a few more.
               
          But do you think Ambrose should sue for defamation, Pete? Or why do you disagree with the article above? I think it would be reasonable, but I’m not sure he has the cash to go through with it.

          • Pete George 5.4.1.1.1

            It’s up to him obviously, but I’d recommend he calls it quits.

            Otherwise he might find himself in a position where he has to explain how TV3 also got the recording. And if and how Winston Peters got the recording or transcript (or more probably enough information to play the public with TV3).

            • McFlock 5.4.1.1.1.1

              Here’s a likely explanation for all of the above: as soon as he gave it to his boss, further distribution was out of his control. Not his problem, legally or otherwise.
                 
              Personally I think that the only reason against going for defamation is the cost and the obvious small-minded and petty vindictiveness of the state apparatus at the moment – while it’s possible he’ll win, they will definitely seek to bankrupt him with their own costs should he lose.
                   
               

        • David H 5.4.1.2

          How many seats did Peters win? A 8. And how many did your lot win ??? eh ?come on, oh yes thats right ONE!

    • North 5.5

      PG – Key and Botox Banks furnished and filled the teacup by seeking to parade their “omnipresence”. In karma, the tea spilled. Key’s response – to whimper and simper like an entitled schoolkid denied.

      Don’t we just naturally give our little ones a good talking to when they whine about the downside of their failed stunts ?

      New Zealanders do not “owe” these buffoons life-long insurance against what they reap.

      It’s no good anyone lashing Winston. What was he meant to do ? “Oh sorry you giants of men, here, let me wipe it up for you……..”. Their arrogance and hubris got the better of them and good job !

  6. burt 6

    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the timing of the police announcement suggested an improper degree of co-operation.

    I’m sure he knows exactly what he’s talking about…..

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    The rest of the world continues to treat ‘overheard’ conversations as legitimate news.

    A live microphone caught a private moment of candor by President Obama on Monday as he told President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia, during a discussion of the contentious issue of missile defense, that “after my election I have more flexibility.”
    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/microphone-picks-up-obamas-private-exchange-with-medvedev/?ref=world

    Yet only in NZ is the tinpot dictator model followed. And Obama was talking about sensitive issues with a foreign leader, not political chit chat with a electorate candidate

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      Snap 🙂

    • aerobubble 7.2

      Obama, unlike Key, had not just told the press that they could record video and take pictures, but it would be illegal to put up the full video on the web where a lip reader could transcribe it.

      The expectation that Key could have a private conversation with Banks while video was being taken is absurd as it is abuse of our common sense. geez, they have devices now that aim a laser at glass and can record the sound vibrations.

  8. Dv 8

    The next time a media stunt is set up like this by the NActs, the media should just boycot it.

    • The media were a big part of promoting it and making it happen. They kept talking it up and asking when it would happen. And then some of them kept pushing and promoting it for a week afterwards.

      Right from the start they were as big a part of the circus as Key and Banks.

      I think this case illustrates how the media can be the problem, not the solution.

      • Fortran 8.1.1

        Pete George

        You are right – the media had nothing better to do and Ambrose was one of their chosen ones so lets eviscerate Key and Banks, who are in elected seats whereas Winston was not elected – his party was. They will be out next election with a Labour/Green coalition (Labour being led by Greens wants (and will get))).

        • aerobubble 8.1.1.1

          Yes! The Herald and National created and then prolonged a publicity event. Ambrose did nothing wrong, he was told he could take video from outside the coffee shop and anything said was off the record. And as yet it has not been made public by the Herald, Ambroses employer.
          The teapot saga was an abuse of power by the government and the Herald in my opinion, and should shock everyone who loves liberty, boycott the Herald already!

  9. vto 9

    “. The warning to Ambrose “sends a clear message to media that the recording and distribution of conversations that are considered private is likely to lead to prosecution in the future”. ” This slides off into the states secret service machniations…

    … it is ok for the state to record the public’s own private conversations, but not ok for the public to record the state’s own private conversations.

    Yet another reason many people give the state the one finger salute.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1

      “it is ok for the state to record the public’s own private conversations” but they need a warrant !

      Except when they cant be bothered to comply with the law.

      You would be surprised how many police ‘overhear’ conversations.

  10. aerobubble 10

    A few comments on teapot sound recording. Now that the Police have been clear that recording a publicity stunt could cause legal risks to members of the press, will the press now give the guarentee that all recordings will not be listened to where they may potentially invade the privacy of public politicians in public place. This it not the nineteen century, sound recordists can cheaply offshore their recordings before they listen to them (or use software to crop speach and feed it into a speach to text converter, without any human input and oversight) where others not privy to the nuance details of the lawful collection. Maybe someone overseas in Iceland wants to buy all recording taken legally for a cent each? In the particular teapot saga, the recordist had been given consent to record for the duration of the event only then to have the terms renegotiated by the PM press handler at the last moment, please turn your microphones off AND get out TEMPORERILY, thus ?twarting? the ability of the mob of journalists to gather up their equipment in the ensuing ruckus. Even during the tea ritual Key knew his lips could be read – a common danger for politicians where cameras are positioned in their face. But worse, Key picked up the microphone pouch, so he was well aware of holding someones property, that could have be a terrorist pouch. His duty of care to himself, to his invited guests – the press, all counter the argument that he was the victim. Or rather architect?

    Now my understanding, however non-professional, on the law is that for a remedy to have be available for wrongs they has to be shown to be a loss of some kind. Key in fact gained a week of media turd blossums. The teapot tape sensation, what was in it? what was Key hiding? Key victim of smear campaign! So let’s just partially sum up. Key controlled the venue, Key had motive to create a crisis, Key gained from the crisis at the detriment of democracy shutting out real election debate. Very tacky. And yeah what about the law on elections, if Key shuts down a private cafe and stops the premises from selling coffee to have a photo op, is that a benefit for his campaign???

    Anyway, its chilling all right, not only to the press freedom, but to every citizen who now knows its quite legal at the last moment to change the rules, in this case turn a public event into a private one, and not give reasonable time for journalists to comply, more so, the expectation was journalists would not comply since they collect first mentality, their job is to find controversy after all. Just imagine this for a second, take any profession, a postal worker whose job it is to deliver mail, happens into a CCTV camera area and meets a raging dog. The classic infinite force means immovable object, does the controller of the space have a duty of care? to arrange matters so dogs do not attack postal workers. Did the sound recordist have a duty of care owed to him by the PM and his press handler? I would say yes, I would suggest that the PM alledgely took advantage of his own lack of care and has now offended not only the press but many citizens who found his lack of moderation and eagerness to take up Police time (which they have ample) was gross. Remember the PM changes the rules, turned a public stunt into a partially private one, did not provide adequate time for journalists to comply despite having consented to them recording there, and continue recording through the glass of the cafe, not only that the PM knew his lips were moving and being recorded, Key also failed to have remove the microphone and sat down at the table despite the risk to his own security, who knows what have been in that bag. Sorry, but to make any claim that a sound recordist lack care surely opens the PM to the same, and if the intent was to cause a controversy, the PM had much more to gain that this sound recordist. Did, the PM benefited by saying something controversial when he hypothosied there was a microphone in that pounch on the table, his own staff should have cleared the table of such devices they see every day if they believed privacy was so important.

    Look how easy is it for an organizer to hire the most inappropriate person to judge a skateboarding event, not provide background checks, or training, or any effective filtering, and some big aggressive man is placed where young highly annoying young people are likely to be. Maybe the PM press handler should have resigned, maybe press should boycott events managed by the idiot who changes the rules and exposed the PM to temptation. The PM is a human being

    after all, he has a unconscious, his unconscious would have been aware of recording devices at press conferences and would have made the connection between the bag on the table even if Key had not consciously, it was gift he could not help buy take, and a gift the sound recordist could not help himself but pass to the editor, likewise. But who had the control, who had the experience, who have the duty of care. The PM handlers.

    The stench is now hurting John Key because he still doesn’t get it, it looks like a set up, which he was well rewarded by shutting down the election debate with a classic turd blossum of news noise that helps the incumbent party and him. The press are pissed off, and so are many who loath nasty politicians who abuse the duty of care provided by high office. The PM is not the only minister that has a problem with due diligence, and eases into the lack of care core to abuses of power by good people doing bad. The moment it was decided to have a private conversation in a partially public arena – cameras full on and glass shuting off sound – they had a duty to clear the area so recently containing microphones. Its frustrating that Police have failed to standup to the PM and act as a impartial referee in this case, since obviously the PM does not have a right to say how video should be used just because the PM does not want the sound recorded (even when his lips can be read). Would you suggest that a person who consents to run in a race, can decide to tell the judges how to measure who wins at the last moment?

  11. ianmac 11

    Oddly Ambrose was never interviewed by Police. How odd is that given that the Police were able to declare that he had done it intentionally. Strange justice there methinks.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    I actually agree with you Eddie on the implications of this situation for Ambrose.

    It would have been better for him either to have been sent to trial and found not guilty, or have it found by the police that there was no charge to answer. As it stands, he is in no-mans land. He effectively has a guilty sentence over him, even though he hasn’t been found guilty.

    The other point I was trying to get to yesterday, before I inadvertantly got into a bit of trouble, was that I wonder if Ambrose also is now liable for the costs that Crown Law was claiming recently. From what I remember the case Ambrose took was to get a judicial declaration that there was no case to answer. As I understand it, the judge left it for the police to make that decision. Given that the police appear to be saying there is likely a case to answer, but they are not going to persue it, it seems to me that Crown Law would have grounds to persue Ambrose for costs. Perhaps MS might be able to shed some light on this point.

    I agree with Eddie that the police shouldn’t be saying that what Ambrose did was unlawful. What they could say is that it is the opinion of the police (and crown law?) that Ambrose acted unlawfully. However, I don’t think they are in a position to make a definitive statement to that point, as it leaves the impression that he has actually been found guilty.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      The police statements are deeply confused:

      http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/the-real-problem-with-the-teapottapes-decision/

      http://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/police-ambrose-not-guilty/

      there are good reasons to believe that a prosecution would not have been sucessful, based on the police’s own statements yesterday.

      • deuto 12.1.1

        This post by Andrew Geddis on Pundit is also worth reading (and the comments) –

        http://pundit.co.nz/content/half-a-baby-for-everyone

        • aerobubble 12.1.1.1

          If I change the terms of a contract, i.e. turn a public invited press stunt into a partial private moment and expect the press not to have lip readers amongst their rank, without any mutual agreement that they will turnoff their lip reading abilities, and this is not noticed by Geddis. Its not the first time I have found Geddis reading of the law to be offensive to common sense.

          • McFlock 12.1.1.1.1

            That doesn’t mean his interpretation of the law is inconsistent with its meaning 🙂

            • aerobubble 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah. But he should be aware as a lecture of law that selecting a subset of the evidence will invariable change the direction of accusation since this is basic to all forum. Ignoring contextual evidence that the event was an open press stunt rather than a private discussion between two people, and that partial privacy was impressively hard to provide since lip readers can legally review the legally obtained video.

              Did Key and Banks have an expectation of privacy when a video camera was pointed at their mugs? Did they both invite journalists to their meeting for uncensored media stunt. Yes. So why would they expect the same privacy they would have got behind the podium that they never expect to get in front of the podium while they were all too aware of cameras.

              Its not a CCTV camera that people expect can hear them talking, these were top notch professional cameramen whose journalistic profession depends on independence from censorship. The idea that a politician on the podium, primarily for the press, should sudden expect privacy.

              Off the record, cannot protect you on live TV, why would Key think it would?

  13. Blue 13

    The most concerning thing is that the police were full of shit when they said that Key would be ‘treated just like anyone else’ with regard to this complaint.

    That is patently not true. The police are under political influence now, and woe betide whoever John Key turns his sights on now.

    The message is clear: take John Key on and you will be defamed and shamed with no hope of ever getting justice.

    The media are too busy being all self-righteous about themselves, as usual, and have not said much about the fact that this is the most chilling political climate in years. Fuck all that rubbish the Herald came out with over the EFA – this is the real attack on democracy, and not a peep out of them.

  14. aj 14

    An interesting comparison is taking place now: lets see how long the police take in deciding whether to lay charges or not in the skateboard incident

    • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1

      The papers are all ready saying the police are not interested in the skater incidents.( In spite of having video)

      The real problem that ‘police ‘ and ‘prosecution’ is combined as one in NZ for all practical purposes.

      • felix 14.1.1

        Video of two assaults, confession on video to responsibility for both assaults, and several eye-witnesses to both.

        Good thing he’s a middle-class middle-aged shaven-headed white dude in ugly shorts I guess.

        • Vicky32 14.1.1.1

          Good thing he’s a middle-class middle-aged shaven-headed white dude in ugly shorts I guess.

          And yet, and yet… From what I saw on Clive last night about this, he was backed up by at least one other organiser of the skate tournament, who also said that the little shite he assaulted had been monstering 6 year old.
          Teenage boys deserve to get their ears pinned back now and then. They’re (many of them) awful bullies.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 14.1.1.1.1

            Men supervising the behaviours (let me count the ways) of teenage boys have no excuse for violence. The teenagers won this encounter.
            The second assault was potentially very serious indeed. If anyone ever tried to hit me in the throat like that I pray that I hit them first and they stay hit.

            • aerobubble 14.1.1.1.1.1

              The benchmark is moment of insanity, a man obviously inappropriate for the job, lost his cool. Probably happens a lot. Was there intent?
              From what I’ve seen it looks like the management of the event was insufficient.

          • hawk 14.1.1.1.2

            So stopping bullying by bullying.

            Thats a great plan.

            So a supporter of the bald tough guy says “Oh but they did it first to other kids” makes it all ok. Despite the fact you have no evidence of this happening.

            So going further with your great theory on how to stop bullying. Is now the father of the child (that on video footage) was knocked to the ground by a man. Should go and whack this bully to the ground like he did to his son.

            Yip that a great solution.

            • aerobubble 14.1.1.1.2.1

              Exactly. Because the event was so badly managed, the correct procedure would be to talk to the event organizer about the man, not to as you point out to have a second moment of insanity that escalates the issue.

              If someone gets in your face, then the last person you should be wanting to engage with is the angry mad who lost his rag whose in your face, reasoning with him is counter-productive. Back off, find his boss and give him your full attention.

              The manager of the event should have immediate asked the judge to leave and said sorry to all the kids, that they were all winners on the day.

              But NZ has a culture of being far too soft on poor managers.

          • felix 14.1.1.1.3

            Perhaps you didn’t see the whole video, Vicky.

            He also lunged at and grabbed a guy by the throat, hard, and totally unprovoked (not that provocation is either here or there).

            He’s a thug and he shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near kids until he sorts his shit out.

            • Vicky32 14.1.1.1.3.1

              He’s a thug and he shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near kids until he sorts his shit out.

              You’re right really, Felix!
              My remarks were coloured by an experience I had a few days ago. In a park outside the PT Chev library, I came across a former neighbour and schoolfriend of my son, being monstered by another guy, and ended up sticking up for C., even though I know he’s a sore trial (he’s struggled with ADHD and drugs) and I wished I were a big man and could have looked threatening… as it is, I am a 153 cm 44 kg woman, and I’ve learnt over the years that merely speaking to boys and asking them to behave merely results in their derisive laughter and insults. Whilst most teenage boys are well-behaved, some of them simply can’t resist picking on younger boys, girls of any age and old women! (NB – by girls I mean females between 0 and 18 years old, not women..)

              • felix

                I know what you mean Vicky32, and I know kids can be right bastards sometimes. But as adults we still have a responsibility to not lay into them.

  15. Jackal 15

    John Key defames

    Claiming that there is not enough public interest in the teapot tape debacle is ludicrous! The police have in fact labelled Ambrose a criminal without a trial. This is undoubtedly to ensure Key’s complaint isn’t viewed as a wasteful employment of police time…

    • aerobubble 15.1

      I disagree. Police rightly have to collect the video of the event which means *all* the video.
      I have no problems with the gathering part of the Police case.
      The problem I have is how does a politician have an expectation of privacy when he has a camera pointed at his face, when the politician invited the press to have cameras pointed at his face, and the expectation of all there was for a open press conference, and any last moment revisionism by the PMs courteirs that it was suddenly a private meeting was far fetched at best, and more likely a suggestion for the press to get the best presentation. That Key and Banks were ‘secretly dealing’ the post election spoils. All pretty much incentive for the press to push in closer.

  16. Eduardo Kawak 16

    If the police and govt made a deal with Ambrose to write the letters of regret in exchange for the case being dropped, then they must also have gotten Ambrose to sign an NDA of some kind which would prohibit him from pursuing a defamation case or chase the court ruling on whether the tape conversation was public or private. John Key alludes to other conditions in this article.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6641462/Key-turns-other-cheek-over-tape

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