Key’s “high ethical standards”

Written By: - Date published: 9:52 am, October 30th, 2014 - 55 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, john key - Tags: , , ,

Long long ago Key promised us “a higher standard of government”, and that his ministers would be held to high ethical standards. Perhaps he meant it at the time, but he long ago abandoned that promise in favour of getting away with any damn thing he could. Case in point, yesterday in question time:

Dr Russel Norman : Is the Prime Minister satisfied that his office upheld the highest ethical standards when his employee Jason Ede accessed the Labour Party’s private database without permission?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : In answer to the first part of the question, yes.

What? The first part of the question?

Dr Russel Norman : When did he or his chief of staff become aware that Jason Ede, while employed on the Prime Minister’s staff, in his office, had accessed the Labour Party’s private database without permission from the Labour Party?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : My chief of staff became aware of the fact that Mr Ede had gone into the part of the Labour website that it had failed to properly secure, that its members apologised to their supporters for this, and that the database was publicly available some time after that event occurred.

The database was “publicly available” if someone with sufficient technical skill knew how to sneak in, that person appears to have been a Nat staffer who showed Slater, who subsequently made a video explaining the complex process required to find this “publicly available” information.

Dr Russel Norman : Is the Prime Minister now saying that it is acceptable behaviour for ministerial staff to go into private databases—which they have no right to go into; they have not gained permission to go into them—take the data from those databases, and share it with attack bloggers like Slater? Is that now acceptable, ethical behaviour for ministerial staff?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : What I am saying is that that part of the website was publicly available for people to go into. What I am also saying to the House is that, no, I do not agree with Nicky Hager being part of an action to steal emails. I do not agree with people coming to the National Party cocktail party and secretly taping our people. No, I do not agree with people secretly taping other activities undertaken by us. I think the member, actually, should pick up a mirror and have a bit of a look.

Key runs the “but the front door was open” defence (no it wasn’t, see above) then falls back on his usual deflect and attack. Highest ethical standards? Not so much.

A question that still needs to come up in Parliament is, just who were the “senior nats” that Slater was working with in plans to release Labour’s confidential information, in an attempt to embarrass and intimidate Labour members and donors? (Slater: “it will shut down their donors, shut down their it systems shut down their membership flow and shut down their online campaigns”). They would have done it too, if Labour’s forensics hadn’t linked the intrusion back to the Nats. National’s highest ethical standards? Not so much.

As even John Armstrong acknowledges, there are questions still to be asked.


In bizarre but related news today, Key claims to know the identity of Rawshark.

Mr Key is quoted as saying: “Someone phoned and told me who the hacker was, but other than having a look at this person, I thought, ‘Oh well … nothing will come of it. Life goes on’.”

So – the police didn’t need to go and trample all over Nicky Hager’s home for 10 hours after all – because Key already knows. Uh huh.

55 comments on “Key’s “high ethical standards””

  1. shorts 1

    key will say anything, stand by that and believe anything for minutes if it suits the outcome he desires…. asking him to do anything longer requires a hefty service fee, one that NZ cannot afford

    to expect anything else is foolhardy at best

    the sad outcome of this is politicians and business types are emulating his complete lack of ethics, values or plain decency – we’ve hit open season on being a complete wanker thanks to this govt

  2. In the new chapter from John Roughan’s biography of Key didn’t Steven Joyce also say that Ede resigned from his post the evening of the release of ‘Dirty Politics’? (That’s what my partner mentioned having read this morning from Facebook or twitter … the link doesn’t mention that point.)

    If true, that’s a strange response from an entirely innocent person.

    (Anthony, at least for me the last link goes to a page about the Nobel Prize Winner donating her winnings to Gaza – not to Key’s comment about Rawshark.)

    • r0b 2.1

      Ooops – wrong tab – fixed, ta.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2

      As people pointed out when they first said ‘Ede resigned in january’, that nothing changed for him as he was working out of the Beehive.

      Its all a bit of butt covering as Ede had to be pushed as far away as possible, in theory only.

    • This is the link to the Steven Joyce comment about Ede resigning on the evening of the release of Dirty Politics:

      Roughan’s book also quotes reports National Party campaign manager and Cabinet Minister Steven Joyce saying Mr Key’s former senior media adviser Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the evening Dirty Politics was released at Wellington’s Unity Books — more than five weeks before the election.

      That conflicts with a National Party statement released after the election which stated Mr Ede had resigned the day before the election.

      As I said, that’s an unusual reaction for an innocent person – and/or an unusual demand from National given that their claim that evening was that what was detailed in the book was either a ‘left wing conspiracy’ or, anyway, amounted to ‘business as usual’ politics.

  3. blue leopard 3

    Question and Answer time is a chance that the opposition parties get to question the governments actions and decisions.

    Incorporating the opposition parties in parliamentary process in this way, is an important aspect of our democracy that helps to keep those currently in power accountable and discourages the abuse of power, among other things.

    We require the people in the highly privileged position of representing us, and being paid well to do this, to respect this process (and others) that keeps the government in check.

    That these types of answers are accepted in the house is a disgrace.

    To accept this degenerate calibre of answer in the house shows disrespect and contempt to important aspects of our democracy and also to all New Zealanders

    It is making a joke our our democracy and degenerating it.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    The police or SIS ( and thats who Key got his info from) knew all about Rawshark before the book was released. They have had close watch on Hager for quite some time.

    We know that the Police were aware Don Brashs emails were in Hagars hands long before the book was released and before Brash made an official complaint about his ‘stolen’ emails.

  5. politikiwi 5

    “Someone phoned and told me who the hacker was”

    We heard this sort of refrain in the past in relation to Winston Peters’ visit to Kim Dotcom’s mansion. In that case, the phone call came from one Cameron Slater. I wonder if the same is true here?

    Also, it seems like a lot of people have John Key’s phone number and just call him up every now and then. If this person knows who the hacker is, why didn’t Key put them in touch with Police?

    • shorts 5.1

      if memory serves, slater not long after the book was published said he knew who the hacker was.

      • politikiwi 5.1.1

        Well, if that’s the case, I wonder if Police requested a warrant to search that person’s house? If not, why not?

        They’d probably answer that the only evidence pointing to this person was the word of Cameron Slater, which is worth the same as his credibility (zero).

        My cynical side suggests that even if they had evidence, they’d still have raided Hager’s place as this is about intimidation rather than investigation.

        • shorts 5.1.1.1

          I’m with ya cynical side – there is no real win in naming or pursuing the hacker, other than as a distraction – the Nats don’t want to tempt fate and push rawshark or others to release even more damning evidence

          attacking Hagar is the strategy as it discredits the contents of book to many/some

          as a twitter aside this made me laugh:

          John Key ‏@johnkeypm 9m9 minutes ago
          Cricket legend Sir Richard Hadlee invites fans to New Zealand for #CWC15: http://youtu.be/OFewqjVeCfo

          Alex Coleman ‏@ShakingStick 4m4 minutes ago
          . @johnkeypm This is a clue eh. Is Paddles Rawshark?

      • Tracey 5.1.2

        he also kept saying it was dotcom

      • lprent 5.1.3

        Slater lies constantly about things that he has absolutely no way to know about.

        A good example was he absolutely said through several posts that the author r0b on this site was Rob Salmond – apparently because the fool thought that a coincidence of name was “evidence”. A few years later Anthony r0bbins outed himself as being r0b and shifted to authoring under his own name. Many of the authors throughout r0b’s authoring history were aware of who of who he really was.

        There have been many instances, both to do with this site and in the wider community, where Cameron Slater was known to have deliberately lied about facts. In my view, even when he isn’t lying about facts, his interpretation of the significance of events usually contains several lies both direct, and by omission.

        What I am surprised about are the idiots (like Josie Pagani whenever she talks on our authors) who appear to appear to regard him as a reliable source because I can’t think where else some of the more stupid things some people say can have come from.

        If you are wise, then assume that Cameron Slater is always lying. Then you are probably going to be accurate.

      • karol 5.1.4

        Yep. Around the time of the court case, Slater said hew thought he knew who Rawshark was, but couldn’t be completely sure. He didn’t have confirming evidence, so couldn’t name him to the police.

        • Tracey 5.1.4.1

          seems out of character to let that stopping him blabbing

        • lprent 5.1.4.2

          I guess that he has been courted into being more cautious about blaming things because his arsehairs told him to do so?

        • Murray Rawshark 5.1.4.3

          That’s more bullshit from Slug Boy. If someone for some filthy reason wants to help the police, they give them the name of the suspect and tell them what they do know. It’s then up to highly ethical detectives to fabricate the evidence.

  6. Stickler 6

    Key’s just trying to flush out Rawshark.

    “Having a look at this person” means asking the secret squirrels to go hell for leather to find evidence.

    If I were Rawshark, I’d be doing the deep spring cleaning, if it’s not already completed.

    • politikiwi 6.1

      I suspect it already has been – the WhaleDump Twitter account mentioned that all equipment used in the hack and the leak had been destroyed.

  7. Dialey 7

    “If no one is accountable, the problem must lie in the system. This is the inevitable conclusion and the reason that the public is right to be indignant. Every barrel has its rotten apples, but the problem, comes when the whole barrel is rotten.
    Much of what has gone on can only be described by the words ‘moral deprivation’. Something wrong had happened to the moral compass of so many of the people working in the financial sector. When the norms of a society change in a way that so many have lost their moral compass—and the few whistle-blowers go unheeded—that says something significant about the society. The problem is not just the individuals who have lost their moral compass but society itself.”
    Joseph Stiglitz

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

      And the rise of neoliberalism seems to have increased the spread of that moral deprivation.

  8. Andrew Welsh 8

    ‘his ministers would be held to high ethical standards’

    As reported in the Herald 3 April 2011, [r0b: deleted: We’ll leave people’s personal lives out of it thanks.]

    People in glasshouses …, so much for espousing the merits of following the moral compass

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      What do you know of morality, when your own compass points to “he did it too” as some kind of defence?

      Do you know the difference between ethics and morals, by the way?

  9. CnrJoe 9

    If it hasn’t been mentioned – do the Police now have to ring the Prime Minister or the Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services or the Minister of National Security and Intelligence or the Minister of Tourism or Bronaghs husband or Moonbeams jailer or Camerons Slaters Beehive tipline or National Party Leader or whoever he can claim to be or not be at any moment and get the name of Rawshark? whew.

    • TheContrarian 9.1

      “If it hasn’t been mentioned – do the Police now have to ring the Prime Minister”

      Good point. If he does know then wouldn’t he be then withholding information on a current criminal investigation?

      • Nic the NZer 9.1.1

        I am pretty sure the Prime Minister doesn’t know who Rawshark is. The police are clearly waiting for the leader of the National party to appear (at an opportune moment) so they can contact him and extract the lead however.

    • BLiP 9.2

      No. The police must now ring His Orifice.

  10. Tracey 10

    higher ethical standards? oh you mean the cabinet manual!?? anyone able to link to articles in msm mentioning this part of the cabinet manual in their treatment of key or collins behaviour over the last year or two?

  11. James 11

    ‘the complex process required to find this “publicly available” information’

    That appears to be incorrect. All I saw in the video was someone going to healthyhomeshealthykiwis.org.nz and getting a directory listing. There’s no hacking involved.

  12. BLiP 12

    Long long ago Key promised us “a higher standard of government”, and that his ministers would be held to high ethical standards. Perhaps he meant it at the time, but he long ago abandoned that promise in favour of getting away with any damn thing he could . . .

    Yep, and John Key is still getting away with it. How long ago was it that John Key lied through his teeth about the upgrading of Ministerial BMWs?

    the decision to buy brand new BMWs was made by the Department of Internal Affairs without reference either to their minister or to me

    I didn’t have a clue that Ministerial Services, which I am in charge of, was going to buy brand new BMWs

    even though four of my ministers knew all about it, I didn’t have a clue that brand new BMWs were being bought.

    even though my Chief of Staff met with officials to discuss purchase of the the brand new BMWs, I didn’t have a clue

    even though I personally signed papers discussing the matter, I still didn’t have a clue

    Labour forced us into buying the brand new BMWs, its their fault

    ummm, look, sorry about that BMW thing , it was because I was so upset

    And why was he upset? A dead soldier. Today John Key is preparing to send more New Zealanders into a mass murder American Imperialist venture.

    This time round for the upgraded BMWs, John Key has the gumption to at least acknowledge his mendacity but describes his handling of that earlier situation as “sloppy”. Its like he now realises that the lies were clumsy rather than wrong. No doubt John Key’s calculated lies are now far better planned and executed – “we will not put troops in without a United Nations mandate” – but John Key’s casual disregard for the truth is instinctive. Check out the whopper he told the House last week . . .

    . . . I did not admit to having abused the OIA process. . .

    . . . didn’t bat an eyelid.

    So there’s your National Ltd™ Cult of John Key’s version of “higher ‘effecal’ standards” so far they they relate to the Leader. Ask Maurice Williamson if he was talking as an electorate MP or a Minister, or . . . whatshername . . . you know, the one who John Key says is disHonourable? I suppose every good cult needs a few “Heads On Spikes” to keep the flock focused. Situation isn’t helped by the indolent “Fourth Esate” which ignores John Key possibly misleading Parliament (IMNSHO) in favour of cheering on the crushing of the crusher.

    Yeah, I know, news of John Key telling another lie hardly compares with the human rights abuses being visited on effective journalism. The disparity in justice can be observed through a comparison between the police actions surrounding the sexual abuse of youngsters vs the police actions against someone annoying John Key by telling inconvenient truths. Still, it is rather chilling to realise that the practice of deceit by the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key is observed even in the mundane.

    But back to the BMWs – riddle me this: if you were the ‘Noozullund’ Minister of Tourism, would it be a good idea to demonstrate the nation’s “100% Pure” brand by purchasing the latest and greatest electric cars? Just askin’.

    • blue leopard 12.1

      There are a fair few people, now, who realise that NZ’s new brand is now “100% Pure Bullshit” (that is why we need a new flag). This shift is because that is what a majority of New Zealander’s who vote seem to think is a winning quality.

      Too bad for those of us who don’t view things that way – we are forced to experience this horror-ride despite our views, and just remember: don’t complain cos muddle nu zilinders don’t loik it wen anyone does that, they gets upset. It must be terribly upsetting having one’s concentration in the seamless reassurring lie disturbed, even for the time it takes someone to say “it’s a left-wing conspiracy”. That moment must be so scary for them, so ‘shhhh’, people who do such upsetting thungs just thunk to much and we can’t be having that. No thunking please just watch some more rugby, have anuvva beer and repeat after me ‘trust them, they know what they are doing” and she’ll be roight.

  13. Skinny 13

    I would be picking Rawshark has some embarrassing connection to National, not sure what but probably a former young Nat who is a IT geek, maybe a son of a high ranking party man, bit like Slater in this regard.

    Really comes as no surprise Key probably knows their identity. In typical Key fashion shrugging his shoulders and saying “oh well” kind of hints at that. In the mean time the police are sent in to harass Hager for kicks.

    • Anne 13.1

      In the mean time the police are sent in to harass Hager for kicks.

      Not for kicks. Intimidation yes, but also Key needs to find out what else Hager has got on him. Problem is, us loony Lefties – with (I suspect) a large smattering of principled people who are not necessarily on the Left thrown in – have helped Hager raise enough money to have a good legal team around him and stop him finding out through the police. He might have to resort to instructing the SIS and GCSB to do it… if he hasn’t already done so through his sidekick, Chris Finlayson.

  14. Russel Norman should keep this going

    Dr Norman this afternoon said: “‘If this is the Prime Minister now saying that he thinks he knows who Rawshark is the question for the police is why aren’t they raiding his house?

    “The police spent 10 hours going through Nicky Hager’s house because Nicky Hager supposedly knows who Rawshark is, well the Prime Minister is now on the public record saying he knows who Rawshark is. I would expect the police to be consistent and even handed and to raid the Prime Minister’s house and his office to find out who Mr Key thinks Rawshark is.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11350747

  15. Tracey 15

    has anyone got a link to where anyone in the media asked key shy he announced ede left after the election when he left weeks before? I cant find it.

    • not media but Russel again – close perhaps

      Roughan’s book also quotes reports National Party campaign manager and Cabinet Minister Steven Joyce saying Mr Key’s former senior media adviser Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the evening Dirty Politics was released at Wellington’s Unity Books — more than five weeks before the election.

      That conflicts with a National Party statement released after the election which stated Mr Ede had resigned the day before the election.

      Hager’s book claims Mr Ede was a central figure in a political dirty tricks campaign run out of Mr Key’s office.

      Dr Norman said Mr Key should have said during the election campaign that Mr Ede was no longer working for the National Party.

      “Mr Key seems to spend a lot of time as the leader of the National Party, not as the Prime Minister, so you’d think he would have known that Mr Ede was no longer working for the National Party as has been revealed today.

      “If New Zealanders during the election campaign had known that Mr Ede was no longer working for the National Party they would have realised that there was a lot of weight in the very serious allegations in Nicky Hager’s book, and that’s why the National Party didn’t want anyone to know that Mr Ede was no longer working for them.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11350747

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1

        If New Zealanders during the election campaign had known that Mr Ede was no longer working for the National Party they would have realised that there was a lot of weight in the very serious allegations in Nicky Hager’s book…

        No, Russel, they wouldn’t have: have you been associating with economists? Their logic and intellectual rigour are equally shite.

      • Tracey 15.1.2

        exactly. .. the media have not seen fit to quote the cabinet manual or at least call for it to be burnt as redundant. this allows the public to conclude that if no law is broken their conduct is fine. the manual states otherwise.

  16. RedbaronCV 16

    Well can we infer from this what the focus groups are saying that is worrying Key?

    Looks like a good number of people are saying he demanded the raid on Hager and they don’t like the look of it. So if he says he knows then obviously the police are acting independently. But why did he not pass the name on or the name of his contact to the police. After all he surely cannot claim journalistic privilege.

    And who was his contact? has some state agency been watching Nicky?

    And we keep getting the huge flag distraction. Unpopular housing policy and war policies?

    • les 16.1

      think you may find he couldn’t care less.The Natz think they are invincible now,and unless Labour wake up real quick,they will be.

  17. Doug Stuart 17

    When are we going to get a conclusion on the fake e-mail ? (never)

  18. Sable 18

    Maybe they should change their name to the National Anti-Socialist Party and be done with it.

  19. cogito 19

    The only part of “ethical” that Key understands is that most kiwis are too “thic” to do anything about his constant deceptions.

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