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What did Key really know about Dotcom?

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, July 2nd, 2012 - 57 comments
Categories: john key, national, police, spin - Tags:

We know that the Police overstepped their authority following their Hollywood wannabe raid on Dotcom’s home. They used invalid warrants to take property of Dotcom’s that they weren’t entitled to, and gave that data to the FBI. Now, we learn that Key’s office was involved in advising the Department of Labour on shutting down a leaked email.

The leaked email showed DoL immigration officials told the Overseas Investment Office about the FBI’s interest in Dotcom before his application to buy the Coatesville mansion was initially approved, then rejected by the Government.

This was a year before the Police-FBI raid on Dotcom’s home. How did DoL know the FBI was looking into Dotcom? They won’t say.

This is where is starts to get nasty. OIA-ed documents reveal that DoL”s media team ignored journalists’ calls and delayed responses to frustrate and slow the story. They asked the PM’s office for advice on shutting things down.

And senior managers exchanged emails about the Herald’s David Fisher, who has been instrumental in exposing the Dotcom story, calling him ‘evil’ and ‘crazy’.

The fact that DoL went running to the Prime Minister’s office as soon as knowledge of their involvement in blocking Dotcom’s mansion purchase became public is very interesting. Departments don’t go to the PM’s office for any old thing. And then you remember that Dotcom lives in Key’s electorate and Key’s electorate office had been lobbied by locals about approving Dotcom’s OIO bid. Was it Key’s office that told the DoL about the FBI’s interest in Dotcom?

It all makes it harder to believe that Key had never heard Dotcom’s name until the day before the raid.

Key got very shirty when challenged on Breakfast this morning about the whole Dotcom affair and whether an independent investigation into the Police’s actions was needed. For the second time in a week, he resorted to insulting the interviewer – telling Rawdon Christie that his question about the overkill of the raid by 70 armed Police on Dotcom’s house was ‘journalistic spin’.

Clearly, there’s a lot more to come out on this.

57 comments on “What did Key really know about Dotcom? ”

  1. Glg 1

    I believe ACC has a nice machine(don’t call it a lie detector) that could possibly sort this little misunderstanding out. Still it beggars belief the Key had never heard of Dotcon till the day before the raid.

  2. Aye it smells to high heaven.  And I suspect that TV3 has more information to come out.  This is why John Campbell has asked Key on a few occasions when he first found out about Dotcom.
    My personal conspiracy theory is that Kim was approached to make a donation to the National Party.  There is no way that he would have made such a generous donation to Banks and for National’s interest not to be raised.

    • burt 2.1

      Perhaps National didn’t declare the donation and perhaps they will deny it then it will be proven via the privileges committee – will National be your hero and suitable partners to get Labour the numbers to govern if this is the case ?

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        I don’t recall Peters ever saying releatedly that he did not know who Owen Glenn was until the day before the police raid burty.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.1.2

        Oh, Winston Peters did it too? Is he the new benchmark? Sad, feeble excuse much?

      • Deano 2.1.3

        burt thinks that Winston Peters is the benchmark for ethical behaviour. ‘if Winnie did it, it’s OK if anyone else did it’ – that’s Winnie-lover Burt’s attitude.

        • burt


          Ah, no. I think Peters is the benchmark for self serving and corrupt. The fact Labour would jump at the chance to form a government with him speaks volumes about Labour’s disregard for ethics and integrity.

          • mike e

            Key has changed his tune on peters saying he would not rule it out,
            Another broken promise burt

            • TheContrarian

              Sorry, which broken promise was that?

              • McFlock

                Silly Mike,
                Key only promised not to work with winston after the last election, not 2014 (possibly) onwards. When winston as on 2% at the polls with to electorates.
                Like any trader, key is negotiable when it comes to principle.

                • Trader? I think you mean….

                  Like any politician, Key is negotiable when it comes to principle.

                  • RedLogix

                    All politics is the art of compromise. Especially democratic politics; and in this there is nothing new nor anything to apologise for. Society is a complex, multi-faced beast with many competing demands and desires that can only be resolved by negotiation.

                    The real questions to ask are: Who is being served? What is being traded? And for what price?

                    A politician with no principles has no answer to these questions, beyond mere self-interest and survival. Helen Clark could answer these questions; Key never does.

                    • McFlock

                      The difference between “compromise” and “for sale” is frequently beyond the tory view. 

                  • yeshe

                    As Winston Peters commented a few weeks ago on Q and A —

                    ” Key holds himself to the highest possible double standards”.

                    A great Lange-ism !

          • Kotahi Tane Huna

            Nope, Burt, it speaks volumes about their ability to form a government.

            Taking your benchmark of “self-serving and corrupt”, you were saying that the National Party is about on a par with Winston. I disagree; they are demonstrably worse.

      • bbfloyd 2.1.4

        The tories must be shitting themselves if borty is the only one prepared to take “point” on this ….

        One more card slips off the stacked house… maybe another one, or two, and the whole lot will fall down….

        Even guyon asspinner won’t be able to save them soon…..

        • gobsmacked

          Is that Guyon Espiner of “60 Minutes”, who highlighted the pokies/casino deal, and grilled Steven Joyce more effectively than any Labour MP has managed? Or the guy(on) who did the fracking story, on the same TV3 programme?

          One story has led to an Auditor-General inquiry, the other is being investigated by the Environment Commissioner.

          To say nothing of ACC, also featured on “60 Minutes”.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2

      Has Key ever denied meeting Dotcom, or was it one of his ‘cant recall meeting him’ flimsy excuses that have been shot down before.

      Im thinking that Key may not have seen Dotcom ‘privately’ but may have been indroduced as a very small group.

      After all Key did go to a car dealership fundraiser that sells BMW/Rolls Royce and Dotcom is a roller owner

      • felix 2.2.1

        As I recall he said he’d never heard of him, and further to that he said it’s such an unusual name that he’s sure he wouldn’t have heard it and forgotten it.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Sounds like his answer to whether he was ‘religious’ a few years back- his answer was that the kids attend church services at the private schools-
          But of course , that wasnt the question asked then either.

          Slipperiest politician I have ever heard of.

          So I gather he hasnt directly denied meeting Dotcom

  3. yeshe 3

    I keep wondering how on earth Kim Dotcom got enough internet access in rural Rodney Coatesville to run his vast stack of computers for Megaupload ????

    And yes, so much more to come on this story … can’t wait.

    • Dv 3.1

      I think the main file servers were in other countries.?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.1

        Using 5% of the entire internet traffic would be difficult from Coatesville.

        The difficulty in rural areas is for residential users, if you were a business using 100GB per day, which isnt that much it would be done fairly quickly even in Coatesville. There is a whole range of equipment which far exceeds the average home users requirements especially for business and large users

  4. gobsmacked 4

    Yes, David Fisher (Herald) and John Campbell (TV3) have done a good job investigating this story.

    Still, we must never forget, it’s the media’s fault Labour aren’t doing better. Or … something.

    • ropata 4.1

      Seen the front page of the paper lately? It’s either bloody murder or trivia about the rich and famous.

      Reports of destructive govt policies, affecting all NZer’s are seen as boring politics and relegated to the middle pages. Probably because the editor is a gen Y twentysomething with no understanding of social context.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Hilarious to see Mr .Com on a TVNZ7 protest.

    Maybe this curious affair will be the one that sees ShonKey finally get his. A giant german of interest to the FBI thundering through the PM’s electorate in a pink ’59 caddy and donating dosh to Banksie–the other ahem, Newmarket tea bagger, and JK didn’t know he f*****g existed?

  6. Glg 6

    Someone made a very good point about John Key being the head of the SIS, and he still had not heard of Kim Dotcom? That’s a Tui’s moment that.

    • Anne 6.1

      Perhaps the SIS don’t tell him much anymore because they know he’s got a memory like a sieve.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.1

        Its not his memory , it seems he doesnt do any work, read any papers, make any decisions- they all seem to be made by his underlings.
        His managerial style is ‘dont ask dont tell’

        • Anne

          Too true gwwnz. I was being sarcastic. I should have said:

          Perhaps the SIS don’t tell him much anymore, because they know he doesn’t want to know… unless it’s something to his personal advantage to know.

          • mike e

            he can remember when labour slipped up
            but he must be being advised by Brownoselee
            I know nuthink

          • mike e

            Key claims he was briefed 1 or 2 days before the raid !

  7. felix 7

    I wish the PM’s office would hurry up and get their lines sorted.

    The post has been up for over 5 hours now and still no show from any of their mouthpieces.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      I think their spin is there is a mix up , its the Department of PM and Cabinet, not the PMs private office, which would get those close to Key off the hook. Yeah right

    • mike e 7.2

      like the ctv building manager and Pike river Key Banks none of these over paid high powered people’ they must all be Crosbie textor Clones (clowns).
      I can’t remember yeah right (wing nutters)

  8. Treetop 8

    When 70 cops were deployed to Dotcoms mansion on 20 January 2012 there was a message in this. I think the message was we have the power and the cops were used to send the message from an anonymous source.

    Next Fisher might be raided/set up so he has to watch his back, I just hope he keeps digging and that Dotcom invites him over for a beer.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      I think the message was we have the power and the cops were used to send the message from an anonymous source.

      Or was the message, ‘we can’t get the fucking basics right so although we look the business dressed up, all our shit just ends up thrown out as a waste of incorrect procedure, effort and money’

  9. Can anyone tell me why TVNZ has shortened the interview with Key this morning to 58 seconds?  It starts off and then ends abruptly.  We get to miss the interesting stuff …

    • Anne 9.1

      What the hell! That was far too abrupt to have been inadvertent. Why? Key obviously said something that he – or someone influential – wants to keep off-line.

      TVNZ recently revamped it’s online news layout. They made quite a fuss about it, but a noticeable change is that they have buried the ‘political news’ category so that its not quite so readily available. And how many people have noticed they have been cutting back on political stories on the 6pm news including Close Up? Tune into TV3 and the political stories have prime billing. Tune into TV1 and more often than not it’s… nothing.

      TVNZ has become politicised. They are nothing less than a mouthpiece for the NActs. They have their broad instructions from the PM’s office, and heaven help anyone who doesn’t tow the Party-line!

    • yeshe 9.2

      But it is there on the full programme site for On Demand …. here you are .. starts around 31 mins in


      the usual 3D deflect effect … deny, discount, disparage .. so boring and disingenuous.

      • Anne 9.2.1

        Thanks for that yeshe. You’re right it was utterly boring and disingenuous. No wonder they didn’t put the whole thing up. Showed Key up for the shifty, fudging bugger he is:

        “Not sure if that’s an accurate description of what happened… the matter is before the courts so I can’t say anything much… that may or may not be correct blah blah… matter before the courts… its got nothing to do with NZ… Dotcom just happens to be living here… the USA authorities want him extradited and they have been working with our authorities to that end… that’s all there is to it… simple as that.”

    • yeshe 9.3

      mickysavage and Anne .. perhaps it was a genuine error. I emailed to highlight the brevity yesterday and had a reply this morning with a new link from a senior TVNZ news producer ….

      Dear xxxx,

      Many thanks for getting in contact regarding the John Key interview on Breakfast.

      The link below will take you to the full interview.


      Kind regards and many thanks once again.

      David Dunham
      Senior Producer, onenews.co.nz
      D. 64 9 916 6904
      M. 64 21 299 0011

  10. jack 10

    Looks like the Herald is coming out with articles that boost Key’s popularity after the asset sales legislation went through. Is there a New Zealand newspaper owned by a New Zealand company I can read? Key definately new about Dot.com but it is interesting the Morgan polls coincidentaly came out with National gaining in the polls. Does anyone believe that? Looks like the media is becoming more of a propaganda machine for Key and National and my gut feeling is the Dotcom issue will be lightly covered. It won’t publish Key lying about not knowing him. Frustrating, very frustrating.

    • Te Reo Putake 10.1

      The Otago Daily Times is still independent, isn’t it?

      • mike e 10.1.1

        Owned by Act National party people

        • Colonial Viper

          Financial capital owns the country. And it is far more friendly to NACT than to anyone else. A centre-right Labour might be acceptable at a push.

    • gobsmacked 10.2

      Jack, that is drivel. The media have been covering the DotCom story extensively – including the examples I mentioned above.

      Let’s play a game. David Shearer versus David Fisher. One is leader of the opposition (and well-paid for it). The other is a journo. So, it’s Super Labour versus Nasty Herald. Who will win?

      I’ll start. Here’s David Fisher’s reporting, including many on DotCom, and other gov’t issues.


      Now, I invite anyone to demonstrate a similar quality/quantity of output on Dotcom from David Shearer. Questions to the PM? Press statements? Feel free to link and share.

      How long are we going to keep blaming the media for not reporting what Labour are NOT doing?

      • jack 10.2.1

        The media have been covering extensively about Banks and Dot.com.. There isn’t any rebuttel whether Key knew about Dot.com. We all know he did. Read John Armstrong yesterday defending Key which Armstrong says that Key came out with his 10 point plan for whatever is not a diversion to the asset sales saga. Another commentary about how Key is CEO of New Zealand. Also, another article trashing ACC in favour of private insurance. Yet this very article did not associate National with ACC. National has had 4 years to “clean up ACC” but it has gotten worse. I’m going to start reading Otago News.

        • idlegus

          don’t bother, even though the odt is locally owned its very tory leaning, john armstrong, nat press releases on third page, the other day on page 3 was a big colour picture of that anne tolley car crushed thing, the infamous ‘hi heels’ shot. i actually think tv3 & nz herald are not too bad.

      • Te Reo Putake 10.2.2

        And yet Labour under Shearer continue to make gains despite your worries, gobsmacked.
        Perhaps not being seen as negative and allowing stories to develop at their own pace is a good strategy for the Labour leadership. I note they left Tariana Turia alone last week, when it would have been easy to put the boot in. Maybe Shearer and his advisors are playing the long game and distancing him from the nasty stuff. If so, it does seem to be paying small but incrementally mounting dividends.

        • gobsmacked


          They are the same gains that Bill English made after 2002. Because the only way was up.

          Given the performance of this PM and gov’t, to suggest that no longer being at an all-time low is an achievement is generous to a fault.

          • Anne

            At this stage of the electoral cycle, I think it is better that Labour keeps rising by small, incrementally mounting dividends. I don’t want to see too sharp a rise because it could just as easily be followed by a sharp fall.

            Its hard for us politically aware types to understand why – given the performance of this PM and gov’t – Labour’s polling is not higher. But when you consider that a very large portion of the population is seriously politically unaware, then it stands to reason it will take one hell of a lot longer for them to catch up with the political play.

            • Colonial Viper

              But when you consider that a very large portion of the population is seriously politically unaware, then it stands to reason it will take one hell of a lot longer for them to catch up with the political play.

              Labour is out of touch with mainstream NZ. Its run by beltway intellectuals who know how Auckland and Wellington think, but no where else in the country. And Labour also deliberately left behind many of its core supporters, even as it undermined its founding principles to be just another mainstream free market driven political party.

              As Anderton said, it was not he who left Labour.

              “The People’s Flag is Palest Pink”

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                Which page number is all that on Nationals talking points.

                It appears that people like Bill English not qualify as a ‘beltway intellectual’

  11. PoliticallyCorrected 11

    Somethings’ rotten in the state of Denmark. Key & Warners.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Was it Key’s office that told the DoL about the FBI’s interest in Dotcom?

    More than likely – the intelligence services report directly to the PM after all.

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