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Did Key try to get ‘wage drop’ journalist sacked?

Written By: - Date published: 5:56 pm, March 4th, 2008 - 42 comments
Categories: john key, Media, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

Michael Cullen made an interesting remark in the House today in response to a question on John Key’s statement that he “would love to see wages drop“.

Here’s what Cullen said:

I think they would be appalled to learn that the Leader of the Opposition proposed that New Zealand wages should drop, then tried to explain himself by saying he meant that Australian wages should drop, then tried to say he did not mean it at all, then tried to say he did not say it, then got people to ring up the newspaper to try to get the reporter sacked.

That last line – accusing Key of trying to get Bay Report journalist Greg Robertson sacked – tallies with what I’ve heard around the traps from a few of my journalist contacts, and if true is a very serious matter indeed.

It may also explain some of Key’s cryptic remarks on Havoc last week, where he repeatedly attacked and denigrated Robertson, then added ‘there’s more to this than meets the eye’ and ‘we’re taking our own issues with it.’

This is all very interesting given how upset some people get when Helen Clark criticises the media. I’d say trying to get a journalist sacked for presenting you in a less than favorable light is a far more serious issue. I wonder if the Herald will be launching an investigation into this particular attack on free speech?

42 comments on “Did Key try to get ‘wage drop’ journalist sacked?”

  1. out of bed 1

    So why would they think they could get him sacked?
    Unless ….. gee that explains a lot

  2. Billy 2

    I suppose a precedent was set when Cullen threatened to change the APN’s tax status unless the Herald stopped being so mean to him.

  3. Scribe 3

    I will admit if I end up being wrong on this, but common sense suggests there is NO WAY John Key would have asked for Robertson to be fired or had his people make such requests.

    Why would he do that when the story has come to nothing? Why would he do that in an election year, when doing so would lose him countless votes and be totally hypocritical? And when his party is 20 points ahead in the polls? Think about it.

    As you say, Tane, Cullen made these remarks in the House, where one can say whatever he likes without a shred of evidence and get away with it, e.g. “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

  4. Concerned from Tawa 4

    If true this is nearly as bad as Cullen kicking out Chinese journalist Nick Wang from the beehive because of pressure from the Chinese Government.

    For once I agreed with Russell Norman: “a sad and desperate attempt to win favour with the Chinese so that they will sign a trade deal with New Zealand”

    Oh and while we’re on bullying and cronyism any chance of a post on the Hawkes Bay DHB-King-Haussmann crisis?

    • Muttonbird 4.1

      More conjecture without support in linking references.

      I can’t believe RWNJ trolls got away with this in 2008.

  5. Tane 5

    Scribe, I’m not convinced he did try to get Robertson sacked and certainly I’ve seen no evidence (other than gossip around the traps) to suggest it happened. I do think an allegation like that deserves some investigation though.

    Concerned, I didn’t like what happened to Nick Wang either. We’ll probably talk about the HBDHB controversy when we have some information to work on. In any case, there is no ‘we’ in these things, so it’ll depend on one of us being sufficiently interested and informed to post on it. And please do try to keep the misdirection down to a minimum.

  6. higherstandard 6

    Tane if you’re not convinced Key tried to get Robertson sacked why did you put up this post which is insinuating he did – why not put this to bed once and for all and get someone in the house or otherwise to question him on it a get a clarification on the matter you can then fuck him over or not depending on his answer.

    I would persoannly would find it very concerning if any politician was meddling with the freedom of the press.

    captcha council time …..anythin but that

  7. r0b 7

    I wonder if the Herald will be launching an investigation into this particular attack on free speech?

    It’s a very interesting allegation, and it’s very telling if it’s true. Odds on the Herald doing its job? – I feel a Tui moment coming on.

  8. Nothing but a timely diversion from the real issue. The tabled emails proving a Labour party political appointee and business partner of the then misister of health, “adjusted” correspondence and tender forms for his and the ministers financial gain.

    Hollow Hollow Labour. What corrupt games we play

  9. Tane 9

    Um, first of all I can’t get someone to ask anything in the house. Secondly, Key doesn’t have to answer questions in the house, as we saw with the original wage drop comment.

    As for why I posted this, it’s simple – I think it’s a serious allegation that deserves investigation.

  10. Concerned from Tawa 10

    Tane there are a few serious allegations flying around these days that you seem very keen to avoid.

    You don’t seem to be in such a hurry to post anything on Kings cronyism and the serious issues coming out of the Hawkes Bay DHB.
    I’m sure you’ll “probably talk about the HBDHB controversy when we have some information to work on” but you haven’t extended the same to John Key.

    Smell something bad?

  11. I see the trolls have crept over here waiving Davey’s talking points as if they are some kind of talisman that will protect them from the truth. Here’s a reality check fools – there is no evidence of corruption at the DHB.

    There is however a report that all parties in the debacle seem intent on suppressing. I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you kiddies ‘cos my information is that there is serious embarrassment all around on this issue that even goes into some interesting financial issues concerning senior Nats. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the report, eh?

    Oh and when DPF sends you over does he say like, “fly my pretties” or something?

    And while I’m at it – yes. I’m pretty sure from what I’ve sniffed out that Key did try to get Robertson disciplined and perhaps fired – he is desperate to get that comment discredited because he knows it will haunt him this year…

  12. mike 12

    Yawn…more diversion tactics from Sullen and te Standard.

  13. Hey Mike – you made a comment without telling a lie. You’re losing you touch, bro.

  14. the sprout 14

    Key proves yet again just what an amateur he really is.

    Did anyone see Key on One news tongith talking about the auckland airport issue? English was in the background, visibly wincing at Key’s comments about asset sales until he saw he was in the shot.

  15. burt 15

    Tane

    there is no ‘we’ in these things, so it’ll depend on one of us being sufficiently interested and informed to post on it.

    But on your “about” page it says….

    We’re The Standard – a collective who saw a gap in the New Zealand political blogosphere and decided that we should have a go at filling it….

    So a collective isn’t a “we”, decided that we should….

    Why not just say we – the collective are deliberately keeping well away from the HBDHB corruption fiasco?

  16. the sprout 16

    burt how does it feel to know your saviour is such an amateur?

  17. Tane 17

    Burt, stop being a dick. We run this site collectively and consult each other from time to time, but we don’t run it like Stuff.co.nz where we assign stories and make sure we cover everything. How it works is I come up with an idea, I write it and I publish it. If something isn’t touched on it’s highly likely becaue no one’s got around to doing it.

  18. burt 18

    the sprout

    Tane is not my saviour, but yes he’s an amateur.

  19. Tane 19

    Sprout, just saw the TV3 footage and it was painful. Poor old Johnny Key, just so hopeless under pressure. By the way, I wouldn’t worry too much about burt, I think the old fella’s been on the sauce again.

  20. Oooohh, Burty made a funny! Good boy burty-boy, good boy… who’s a good boy? You’s a good boy burty…

  21. burt 21

    Robinsod

    Thanks sod, praise means a lot coming from you. You’ve brightened my day.

  22. the sprout 22

    it was kind of funny in its childishness

  23. Murray 23

    What no post on Cunliffe sacking the HBDHB. I am pissing myself, some of your idols will be shiting themselves.

  24. Tane 24

    Murray this is getting tiring. Your lame misdirection was addressed earlier in the thread.

  25. the sprout 25

    murray how does it feel to have such an amateur for a leader?

  26. Murray 26

    Looks like the “neutron” bomb back fired. FYI Tane, my last post was my first post today so I have misdirected nothing prior. There is more than one person in this country named Murray. I know somebody else called Tane. You really wouldn’t want to be confused with him. He is pathetic, worthless, parasitic piece of shit.

  27. Tane 27

    Muzz, I’m talking about the misdirection getting tiring. It’s common courtesy to read down the thread first in case your point has already been dealt with. You’re like the guy at the party who always walks in half way through a story and asks everyone to go back to the beginning for his benefit.

    Your comment about a ‘neutron bomb’ is baffling.

  28. Honestly, don’t you guys think that six Key/National attack posts a day is getting a little tiresome?

    And isn’t this newspaper thing getting a bit old – have you heard the term ‘beating a dead horse’

  29. Tane said “Sprout, just saw the TV3 footage and it was painful. Poor old Johnny Key, just so hopeless under pressure. By the way, I wouldn’t worry too much about burt, I think the old fella’s been on the sauce again.”

    Hey Tane, where was the 3News footage on Cunliffe misleading the Hiouse, and the leaked e-mails, and the urgent debate over the Hawkes Bay DHB etc etc – oh, that’s right, Duncan Garner!

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/03/what-media-bias-helen.html

  30. Daveo 30

    Inventory- Until the document is released there is no story, it’s as simple as that. What we have now is the Kiwiblog right getting overexcited about what the story might be.

  31. Daveo 31

    TDS- Take a look at Farrar’s (or no minister or whale) some time if you think the standard is alone in attacking a party it doesn’t like.

    You should also remember the standardistas can post about whatever they like. It would actually be quite a big deal if it transpired Key had tried to get this journalist fired.

  32. Wrong Daveo – Ryall tabled a number of e-mails – they are now public property

  33. Historian 33

    Leaked e-mails? But surely they are “a work of fiction”? Or “stolen”? And of course, “I did not open that e-mail …”

  34. Concerned from Tawa 34

    Does that mean Creative NZ will fund a play based on the emails tabled by Ryall? The Hollow Women?

  35. burt 35

    Historian

    Can you please clarify. Are you saying Labour will say what National said and therefore such behaviour will be acceptable from Labour or do you think we should hold Labour to account the same way that Don Brash was held to account?

  36. Dancer 36

    this was an editorial from the Bay Reporter last week. At the very least the locals see it as bad judgment in terms of political management from Key:

    Bay Report (editorial):
    “Suddenly the Bay Report’s journalist was getting calls for transcripts of the interview, requests for witnesses to the interview, and, in an indictment on the National Party and it’s leader, observations that journalism standards in papers such as the Bay Report were inferior, as well as calls for a retraction

    While all of us should be excused those little verbal indiscretions that does not excuse an attack on the person who heard that statement even if that person had the nerve to include it in an article. For most people the concept of political interference is an anathema. In this situation the leader of the opposition, who could quite possibly be the leader of the next National-left government may have done his cause less harm by accepting that he had made a verbal slip-up rather than trying to “shoot the messenger’ (28 Feb 2008)

  37. george 37

    I suppose that one might point out that for a national party person to release leaked emails about Labour would fit in this world ,but what about a national party person(front bench?) releasing emails about their OWN leader which meant Don Brash was held to account.

  38. insider 38

    “that does not excuse an attack on the person who heard that statement”

    So now he heard it not taped it? Is there a subtle shift here? FWIW I agree with the last sentence in Dancer’s quote.

    Funny that the Standard has shown such a strong interest in the issue, with outrage and strong pronouncements on it and drawn such complex inferences and with some claims of inside info, yet still don’t appear to have actually gone and spoken to RObertson to get the information from the source. The nearest thing we have to a primary source is Barnsley Bill and a report from David Slack.

    And I’ll repeat despite all the interest from the media quoted above and egging on from Labour, none of them have felt the story has legs. Why would that be? ARE they all worried about losing out on tax cuts?

  39. james 39

    i want know from national if there going to bring back the employment contracts act keys statement proves to me there is a hidden agenda in national they just dont learn i heard this week english supports assets sales that party never learns.
    if keys tried to get this reporter fired this is very very serious that is what dictators do john keys is same as vladamire putine.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
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    3 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
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    3 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
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    4 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
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    4 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
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    5 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
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    5 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
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    5 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
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    5 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
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    6 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
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    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
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    1 week ago