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GCSB in the House on Wednesday

A compilation of videos and transcripts covering the GCSB/Dotcom affair on Wednesday.

Question Two: Winston Peters To John Key on GCSB

Question Four: David Shearer to John Key on GCSB

Transcripts of Question Two and Three
2. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Minister responsible for theGCSB: Specifically, have there been staff issues associated with the Government Communications Security Bureau and Dotcom affair brought to his attention by the Government Communications Security Bureau or members of the New Zealand Police, in which such staff members no longer work in their previous capacity for the Government Communications Security Bureau or any government agency; if so, what were the circumstances?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Minister responsible for the GCSB): The director of the Government Communications Security Bureau has raised some staff issues with me. As the member will be aware, the director made a public statement last week, which advised that an investigation had commenced within the bureau as to whether there had been unauthorised disclosure of information, and if so, its source. I do not believe that it is appropriate for me to make further comment about staff matters, which are clearly the responsibility of the director.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Does the Prime Minister have any knowledge at all of disciplinary action being taken against an individual working for the Government Communications Security Bureau in respect of the Dotcom affair; if so, why will he not tell the House when he was first informed of it?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I am not in a position to discuss staffing matters; they are a matter for the director, and best left with him.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am not asking him to discuss staffing matters; I am asking him whether there was a discussion relating to staffing matters that came to his attention. That is a different question.

Mr SPEAKER: I am prepared to let the member repeat his question, but that was not what his question actually asked. In case I am in error, I am happy for the member to repeat his question.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Does he have any knowledge at all of disciplinary action being taken against an individual working for the Government Communications Security Bureau in respect of the Dotcom affair; if so, why will he not tell the House when he was first informed of it?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I am not in a position to confirm whether disciplinary action has or has not been taken. I am advised by the director as he sees fit. But they are ongoing staffing matters and it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Is the Minister saying that he is not aware of a member of the Government Communications Security Bureau being specifically and particularly put on “gardening leave” in respect of the Kim Dotcom affair, despite the name and role of that person being widely known around Wellington?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: What I am prepared to say is that any matters involving personnel at the Government Communications Security Bureau are a matter for the director. It would be inappropriate for me to publicly comment on those at this time.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: In another case, can he assure the House that an officer of the New Zealand Police force with a record of 15 years’ service in the Diplomatic Protection Squad never spoke to him about Dotcom prior to 19 January 2012, the date the PM now finally admits he first learnt of Kim Dotcom?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I have no recollection of any Diplomatic Protection Squad agent speaking to me about that.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Is he saying as Minister that a member of the Prime Minister’s protection squad with a record of 15 years’ service to Prime Ministers, including himself, never told him as Prime Minister of his intention to leave the Diplomatic Protection Squad to go to work for Kim Dotcom?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The member is referring to a chap whose last name I do not know; his first name is Regan. He does not work for the Diplomatic Protection Squad; he works for—or he used to work for—VIP Transport Services in Auckland, and, no, I was not aware that he went to work for Kim Dotcom.

Dotcom Case—Actions of Government Communications Security Bureau3.

DAVID SHEARER (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister: Further to his answers to the first supplementary question to Oral Question No 1 on 26 September and the first supplementary question to Oral Question No 1 yesterday, does he now know on what date the Government Communications Security Bureau was first told that its surveillance of Kim Dotcom was illegal?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): I am advised by the Government Communications Security Bureau that the first time it became aware its activity in relation to the Dotcom case was unlawful was between 7 September, when an affidavit was filed in the court, and 13 September, when my office was informed. As I have previously stated publicly, there were two main aspects to the human error at the heart of this matter: first, the Government Communications Security Bureau originally relied on the police information about the residency status of the people in question and did not check further, and, second, the error was compounded after the operation was concluded by a simple wrong interpretation of the law, which occurred in February, as I have stated publicly several times.

David Shearer: Did the Government Communications Security Bureau mention the police operation of Kim Dotcom at either or both of the briefings that it gave him on 14 and 24 February?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No.

David Shearer: Given his answer yesterday, has he now gone and asked his department, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, what, if any, knowledge it had of the Kim Dotcom case prior to September?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: A member of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet was aware of the Government Communications Security Bureau’s involvement after the raid took place; that would have been in late January. That information was never passed on to me. We have looked at all of the records and notes and email correspondence and the person has confirmed that they never discussed the matter with me, and has actually never discussed the matter with me.

David Shearer: Who was that person who did not pass on that information to him?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Roy Ferguson.

David Shearer: Which of his ministerial colleagues, other than the Attorney-General, did he discuss the Government Communications Security Bureau’s unlawful surveillance of Mr Dotcom with prior to the bureau’s actions being made public?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I do not know the answer to those questions.
David Shearer: How, then, can he be sure he actually spoke to Ministers if he cannot actually recall who they were?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I remember having a discussion; I think it was with the Attorney-General. I am sure there were another couple of Ministers there, but I do not recall who they were.

David Shearer: Mr Speaker—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! I want to hear the—[Interruption] Order! Order! I say to the Labour members to show your leader some courtesy. I want to hear his question.

David Shearer: Will he confirm that he had not heard of Kim Dotcom or Megaupload prior to 19 January?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Correct.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: On the question of the Prime Minister’s knowledge or memory, does he stand by his written answer to my question of 7 May when he was asked what dates between 7 April and 23 July 2011 he met with the Hon Simon Power following Mr Power’s seeking further information on Kim Dotcom, and can he assure the House that Mr Power did not raise the subject of Kim Dotcom at that 13 June 2011 meeting?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I can confirm he did not raise the matter.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: How can the Prime Minister make that assurance when in his written answer to my question on 7 May he claimed: “There is no record of what was discussed … and I have no recollection of the discussion.”? How could he give that assurance to the House today?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: As I distinctly recall, the first I heard of Kim Dotcom was 19 January 2012.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: How can the Prime Minister possibly give an assurance that that matter was not raised by the Hon Simon Power with him back in June 2011, as he just did, when in his formal writing to me in a written answer he said: “There is no record of what was discussed … and I have no recollection of the discussion.”? How can he reconcile those two statements: the one today and the written one in the House?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Quite easily because I do not recall the exact conversation of why Simon came to me on that particular occasion, but I know for a fact it was not about Kim Dotcom.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! A point of order has been called.

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: I seek leave to table this question and answer—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! We do not table questions for written answer. They are available to all members anyhow.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Well, a further supplementary question?

Mr SPEAKER: The member, I think, has used his allocation of supplementary questions available.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I seek leave to get the truth out of the Prime Minister.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member can seek leave only for a procedure of the House.

Hon Trevor Mallard: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The idea that you would indicate that getting the truth out of the Prime Minister is not a procedure of the House—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member will resume his seat. This is the House of Representatives. We do not need that sort of nonsense

The Follow up speeches in Question Time


Grant Robertson General Debate

Bill English General Debate


Winston Peters General Debate

Gerry Brownlee General Debate


Ends

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