The oxymoronic “responsible Minister”

Written By: - Date published: 6:43 pm, May 6th, 2013 - 19 comments
Categories: john key, Spying, winston peters - Tags:

Spying on Kiwis is ok if “the responsible Minister” says so – this was how the Herald described today’s announcement from John Key regarding the GCSB clean-up Bill.

Responsible Minister? Yeah right -that’s an oxymoron when applied to John Key. Was he responsible when Dotcom was illegally arrested? Was he responsible when Bill English signed off on the warrant attempting to keep the GCSB involvement in the debacle? He was so responsible that he didn’t know Dotcom lived in his electorate, hadn’t heard that the FBI had any interest in him, took no interest in the case and nobody had told him anything about it!

God knows what he was able to say to Obama or ex-Senator Dodd, now Motion Pictures Association lobbyist, when the subject of Dotcom came up.

Today Key tried the good old “cybersecurity” smokescreen, ramping up the numbers – of course there will be some probes from abroad around the edges of what intellectual property is still held in New Zealand. But this is a long way from cyber-spying on Kiwis – something members of all parties were absolutely insistent should be and would be avoided, when the GCSB legislation was passed.

This will be a real test for Winston. Key needs him desperately to get anything through. To give Peter Dunne credit, he has stood up for an independent system. The only other group that have come out of this with any credibility intact are the judiciary.

Ultimately Labour is right. There is no need to panic, and there should be a proper inquiry before any legislation is proposed or introduced. Its a real opportunity for Winston to be statesmanlike once again – he has been so before.

19 comments on “The oxymoronic “responsible Minister””

  1. Anne 1

    Well said Mike Smith.

    I’m sure you remember (as I do) how Muldoon manipulated the SIS for his own ends in the 70s and early 80s. And guess what, Key is on record as saying “Muldoon is the politician he admired the most.”

    Do I trust Key to use the provision wisely and in the interest of fair play and justice? Never, never never!!

    I can think of a few former National Party ministers who would be spinning in their graves at the thought of Key being let loose on the spy agencies. We’ve already seen evidence of his traitorous duplicity in the Hobbit and Dotcom sagas… and the spurious appointment of an old school mate to head the GCSB.

  2. BrucetheMoose 2

    If the the laws of the land don’t suit your agenda, just change them.
    Worked for Hitler.

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      Quite. But always worth remembering that the monoballed Austrian corporal used the laws of the land to his advantage, when it suited. He was democratically elected, after all.

    • toad 2.2

      Arguably. But let’s not Godwin the thread this early.

      • BrucetheMoose 2.2.1

        True, true. However, looking at that photo image, change that suit to brown and pen in the Chaplan mo, well there you go.

  3. Vagabundo 3

    I wonder what Peters will be asking for in return for supporting this disgusting bill.

  4. burt 4


    The partisan party supporters will defend the role of the PM being one with said power and not share your disregard for the man holding the power. Such is party politics, the same man as leader of the opposition and they would hate him. Flag followers are often not the most objective people.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Is it too much for the Labour Party to come out and say simply that it opposes the spying on NZ citizens except in rare and exceptional circumstances which will require either police, Ministerial, or judicial oversight and probably a combination of all three.

    And subject to the OIA within 10 years of such surveillance being initiated.

    Do we need yet another inquiry, review, white paper to tell us what is right.

    • McFlock 5.1

      Do we need yet another inquiry, review, white paper to tell us what is right.
      So people know the difference between a judicial warrant, a ministerial warrant, and police authorisation.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        So it’s too much for the Labour Party to come out and say simply that it opposes spying on NZ citizens except in rare and exceptional circumstances?

        • McFlock

          I would suggest that no, it’s too little.
          Even john key would have no problem agreeing with that trite statement.

          And every circumstance would be a rare and exceptional circumstance.

          • Colonial Viper

            I’ll gladly look forward to the results of the review/inquiry/white paper to see what Labour really thinks about Government spying on NZ citizens and residents then.

            Shucks according to you it might even explain what the difference between Ministerial powers, Judicial powers and Police powers are, if I’m lucky.

            • McFlock

              don’t get me wrong, I love the action-now, cut-red-tape, anti-thought, sound-bite-size, go-getting cut of your jib. It’s just a bit… shall we say “blunt”?… to apply to the complex issue of the security-liberty compromise.

  6. Clockie 6

    It was a long time ago and I don’t pretend to have a perfect memory of subsequent events, but I remember being part of a large and rowdy protest against the SIS amendment bill in 1977? which ended with listening to several Labour MP’s speaking from the steps of parliament in support of the protest and against the amendment. I don’t recall Labour giving that amendment another mention in the intervening years..

    Always seems to be a different view when you’re in power doesn’t it?

  7. RedLogix 7


    If I don’t have an SIS file on me this thick by now, I’ve been wasting my time!

    • Clockie 7.1

      That’s what they all say until the Gestapo comes for them at 3.00am .. 🙂

  8. Ed 8

    It is clear that that nice Mr Key has had enough of all those bludgers who cheat on their taxes and is determined to attack that hole of about a billion a year of tax cheating by only a hundred or so dishonest individuals. It should be quite efficient to use the resources of government to follow up n their communications with lawyers, accountants and associates in New Zealand and overseas to hugely increase the revenue achieved by government. It would not be efficient to use the GCSB for simple fraud of unemployment etc benefits – and the money from the biggest tax cheats can be used for programmes to get many of them back in work anyway. So of course we can trust that nice Mr Key – its just other people in the future when we won’t need GCSB to assist IRD that we have to be concerned about.

    I wonder how Watson and Hotchins feel about the wholesale license to spy on ourselves . . .

    • tc 8.1

      ‘I wonder how Watson and Hotchins feel about the wholesale license to spy on ourselves . . .’

      comfortable as they’re never in NZ and aren’t we the better for it.

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