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Key settles Ambrose defamation case – with public money

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, March 21st, 2016 - 68 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, john key, journalism - Tags: , , ,

As told by Twitter…

https://twitter.com/NewZcam/status/711643255998271488

https://twitter.com/Zagzigger2/status/711711169006804992

68 comments on “Key settles Ambrose defamation case – with public money ”

  1. TepidSupport 1

    Um.. Is this legal?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Yes.

      • TepidSupport 1.1.1

        Ugh. I guess most people will “not care” enough to change their vote- it doesn’t matter to me if others have done it previously when JK and the Nats try to state they play by the ‘moral high ground’

    • gez the rev 1.2

      it sure is…
      my wife was working for a govt dept, quite high up on very good salary
      a pommie import(been here 1 year) who was working underneath her started sexually harassing her, I stepped in and made it quite clear to him it was unacceptable and if it carried on I will stop it. he complained and they set about trying to make life hard for her(construct a dismissal)
      luckily I have half a brain and we went after them, she walked out with 50grand and both her and I had to shut our mouths. I would like to say thank you govt but it was actually taxpayer money we got, she wasn’t the first either from this dept.
      anyway pommie dickhead got his just desserts from myself personally(for all you ladies wondering) and last I heard he was heading off

  2. McFlock 2

    Query: if the statements were made during the election campaign, shouldn’t it be a campaign expense?

    He was talking about events at an election campaign photo-op for fuck sake.

  3. McFlock 3

    on an adjacent note, Key now accepts that the recording was accidental, but says it was an honestly held belief at the time.

    How long has our prime minister been experiencing these bouts of paranoia?
    Were his suspicions of being secretly recorded exacerbated by what he was told the GCSB was getting up to?

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      He got political advantage out of it at the time, claiming he was a victim etc.

  4. mickysavage 4

    So Key must have had his Prime Minister’s hat on when he defamed Ambrose.

    Funny that …

  5. Tautuhi 5

    Should read “the taxpayer settles Key Teapot Case with Bradley Ambrose”?

    • mickysavage 6.1

      Labour did it too!

      So BM how do you feel about taxpayers money being used by Key to pay for his *ahem* mistake?

      • Refelusion 6.1.1

        Same as I did about Margret Wilson if a genuine mistake made on the job, fair enough.

        It’s the old JKDS raising its head again Mickey

      • Lanthanide 6.1.2

        I’m sure he was against it when Labour did it, so he must surely be against it again now.

        Otherwise he’d be a hypocrite, and we know he’s not… Right?

        • BM 6.1.2.1

          He wasn’t a politician in 2001.

          • McFlock 6.1.2.1.1

            lol that’s right, he can’t remember any political opinions he had before 2004

            • BM 6.1.2.1.1.1

              He would have been far too busy, he probably didn’t even know Clark had been sued.

              If he did though, I’d say he would have been quite relaxed about the matter, just part and parcel of being a PM.

          • Lanthanide 6.1.2.1.2

            The “he” referred to you, BM.

        • alwyn 6.1.2.2

          “I’m sure he was against it when Labour did it”.
          Perhaps you can enlighten us on what makes you so “sure”.
          You have some evidence do you, or are you relying on you imagination?
          Perhaps you have psychic powers? Or maybe KDS?

      • Neil 6.1.3

        BM will be fine with it, its only wrong if Labour do it & Key is Mr perfect who can do no wrong in BM’s eyes

      • BM 6.1.4

        About the same as I did when the government had to pay out for Clark.

    • McFlock 6.2

      not surprised you’d have a “labour did it too” at the ready.

  6. Gristle 7

    The good news is that Key has been forced to publicly say he was wrong. Big hit on the ego but unfortunately not the pocket. Congratulations to all who helped fund Ambrose as taking litigation funding out of the equation made this a far more politically dangerous situation for Key and the National Party.

    • alwyn 7.1

      ” taking litigation funding out of the equation”
      Ambrose said he wanted $38,000 to fund his action.
      As of yesterday it was only a bit under $8,000 and there hadn’t been any money coming in for quite some time. He never had the money to pay for a case did he?

      I think Ambrose would take anything at all he could get from Key, and what he got was certainly not much was it? Sue for $1.25 million and settle for a small contribution to your legal expenses.
      On the other hand I wonder what he will do with the $8,000?

      • Mike C 7.1.1

        @Alwyn

        Probably the same thing Rachinger did with the money he managed to get out of Slater.

      • Gangnam Style 7.1.2

        “On the other hand I wonder what he will do with the $8,000?” Yeah, you have said that before, a few times actually. Did you contribute to it? If not why do you give a fuck? Or if you did why don’t you ask for it back. Unless you just stirring shit &/or smearing.

      • Gristle 7.1.3

        Let me see if I understand your logic.
        1. Ambrose only had $8k
        2. $8k isn’t enough money to litigate
        Therefore
        3.Ambrose settled.

        How about if you were Key and knew that Ambrose had insufficient money to litigate, why would you settle.

        Maybe your premise is wrong.

        • alwyn 7.1.3.1

          And maybe Key simply didn’t want to waste any more of his time on the matter.
          It is quite normal for people to settle defamation claims early, even those with nothing in their favour because it takes up a lot of time, and costs a lot of money to defend them. It may not have cost Key money but it would certainly have taken up his time.

          David Lange made a nice little side income from bringing “defamation” claims. Most people or organisations settled. His practice only stopped when North & South successfully defended one and got a ruling that greatly strengthened freedom of speech. I don’t think Lange ever tried to bring another claim.

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/tony-stickley/news/article.cfm?a_id=143&objectid=164812

          • Gristle 7.1.3.1.1

            Key has not said sorry ( except to Slater.) Key does not say he was wrong. ‘Cause probably, when he has seen the figures, in the fullness of time, most people will realise that he, is most likely, at least, a Demi-God.

            Having both an unlimited litigation budget and the ego at least the size of a planetoid, Key, IMO, would press ahead into a defended hearing time be damned.

            Maybe the matter went to a Judicial Conference and he was getting spanked by the Judge/Master presiding over it. And at this point one cut their losses and have a confidential settlement where everything can quietly disappear.

            “What defamation! I have never defamed anybody!”

            Key didn’t get to where he is today without going for the jugular.

            • alwyn 7.1.3.1.1.1

              “Maybe the matter went to a …..”.
              And maybe, and most likely, you have no idea what you are talking about.
              You just have a hatred of our current PM.

              • framu

                kind of a strange thing to say after making several “i reckon” comments of your own alwyn

                • You_Fool

                  ahh, but Alwyn likes John Key so its ok for him to speculate

                  • alwyn

                    “Alwyn likes John Key”.
                    Not at all. There hasn’t been a politician I “liked” since Jack Marshall.
                    I do however think he is vastly more competent than any of the blithering idiots that have led the Labour Party in the last few years.
                    New Zealand are better of with him as PM than we would be with Andrew. Shame really as we need a competent opposition and an alternative government. No Government should go on too long but there has to be a realistic alternative. I had great hopes about Little but he isn’t showing any sign of improving.

                • alwyn

                  Not at all.
                  You are perfectly entitled, if you wish, to say you don’t agree with me and that I am wrong. Just as I am allowed to comment on what I think is other people’s foolishness.

                  • framu

                    as long as your happy that “And maybe, and most likely, you have no idea what you are talking about.”

                    and that this implies some sort of deep seated emotional response instead of rational argument

                    • alwyn

                      Goodness me.
                      We have someone who seems to think he (she?) is a shrink.
                      Learn the jargon in PSYC 101 did you?
                      “deep seated emotional response” my foot.

                    • framu

                      “And maybe, and most likely, you have no idea what you are talking about.
                      You just have a hatred of our current PM.”

                      your exact words alwyn – its you making the implications re: emotions not me

                      good grief – it was one passing observation – and you feel the need to drag it out like this?

  7. Neil 8

    This should’ve been paid for out of Key’s own pocket & not the tax payers pocket, next thing is that we will be paying for monogramed golf balls for Key.

  8. Chuck 9

    Good outcome all round for Ambrose and Key. The only people crying tears will be the lawyers (substantial fees they will miss out on) and the John Key haters who thought this was the “one to get him on”.

    • TC 9.1

      Good for ambrose so he can move on and key gets to bury another of his screw ups as bradley was expected to go quietly but he didnt.

      I dont hate key. hes doing his job very well on behalf of foreign and local businesses. I just hate how its turning out for the average kiwi.

  9. ianmac 10

    I do not think Key has apologised at all. No sorry. (Except to Cameron.)

    • Mike C 10.1

      @IanMac

      I doubt very much that John Key has even spoken to Cameron Slater over the past year or so … let alone apologized to the big fat bastard.

      The Prime Minister is well aware that Slaters loyalty has always been … and will always be … to “Aunty Judy”.

      John Key once had respect for John Slater … which was why he put up with Cameron for so long.

      • Anne 10.1.1

        You are wrong. Key formerly apologised to Cameron Slater for releasing a text message linked to the D.P. revelations. At least it was something along those lines. Anyone who has a smidgen of political nous would know the real reason he made the apology was because Slater knows too much about the D.P. scandal operating out of the PM’s office.

  10. Smilin 11

    Key wasnt representing the nation in capacity as PM at his tea party he was canvasing support for the national party therefore all particulars should be available to the public

    Another piece of archaic law protecting the royal decree of fuckin upper crusties who dont deserve it

  11. b waghorn 12

    Key using tax payers money to pay for his cockup has got to cost him a few more voters! Drip drip wing nuts.

  12. John 13

    John claims that when he made the statement he did so as the leader of the National Party, so why aren’t they paying for it?

  13. Gristle 14

    Anyway, who has a copy of the recording? The criminal law based prohibition against playing it has now passed as Key has accepted that there was no intent in making the recording.

    Gizza a listen.

  14. b waghorn 15

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11609448

    I’ve always had my doubts about how accidental the recording was, but this makes it seem plausible,

    • Muttonbird 15.1

      Yep. Key’s assertions at the time about Ambrose’s guilt, and his running to the police on the matter betrayed a lack of comprehension about the unscripted nature of the teapot circus with multiple interests involved from freelance media to the PM’s goon squad all making rules up on the fly. New technology involved and all.

      If you take a long lens to this, it it yet another of John Key’s clumsy, under-managed screw-ups…

      …just like his flag project.

  15. Nick K 16

    Helen Clark used public money to both pay her legal costs and pay damages to John Yelash.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      Yes, and look at the hatred and vile abuse that was directed at her. I’m picking the people who were responsible for that will find themselves impotent in this case.

    • mickysavage 16.2

      Two responses:

      1. Prove it.
      2. I thought Helen Clark was the devil incarnate to righties. So you are saying that the standard she set is now acceptable?

      • You_Fool 16.2.1

        It has become clear that when the right yelled about high standards in public accountability in 2008 they didn’t mean relative to Helen Clark’s government but to the late 90’s Shipley Government

      • Nick K 16.2.2

        Prove it?

        It’s here: http://tvnz.co.nz/content/39524/2556418.html

        The draft copy includes an apology to Yelash and says the Crown will pay him $55,000…Clark would not confirm whether taxpayers will foot the bill for the pay-out, although that is usually what happens when a minister is involved in a defamation suit.

        The Crown paid the damages.

        The taxpayer clearly paid her legal costs. She would have denied it otherwise.

        • te reo putake 16.2.2.1

          Remind us. What that case during an election campaign? Did the alleged defamation occur as a result of a private meeting between a candidate from a party and the leader of one of the other parties?

          If the two cases were different, and they clearly are, shouldn’t the arrangement for costs also be different?

        • Sacha 16.2.2.2

          Such costs are met when people are acting in the role of Ministers or MPs (just ask frequent flyers like Nick Smith), not for party leaders. Even Key recognises that by trying for the money from his leaders fund.

          Andrea Vance seems pretty clear that there is an explicit ruling somewhere that leaders funds are not to be used for legal cases or settlements and it’s hard to see how underwriting the behaviour of a party leader on the election trail is a “parliamentary purpose”.

  16. Simonm 17

    I gave some money to the “Give-a-little” page to help Bradley Ambrose take litigation against Key for defaming him. Now that they’ve settled out of court, do I get my money back?

    • Slippery 17.1

      I guess we’ve all contributed funds one way or another, you’ve got as much chance as anyone else, don’t you think you are asking the wrong person/s?

    • grumpystilskin 17.2

      It would appear I’ve contributed to JK’s defence, do I get it back?

    • greywarshark 17.3

      Simonm
      When researching crowd funding entities in NZ I seem to remember that GiveaLittle does not work on target or nothing, and does give the donations under target to the fundraiser.
      So if I am right you don’t get it back. They do call it GiveaLittle and it is slanted towards helping people with a need. I think Ambrose made the point that he has missed out on a lot of work since the episode and would find it really helpful in meeting his expenses.

  17. Nick 18

    Maybe the audio will appear on dotcoms Mega upload site?

  18. Sebbie 19

    When are we going to hear what happened with National stealing from Eminem’s publishers?

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