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Would John Key sack himself?

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance

24 September 2008 Media Statement

Would John Key sack himself?

Given the standard John Key claims he would have set for Winston Peters, Finance Minister Michael Cullen is asking whether Mr Key would have sacked himself in response to his lies over Tranz Rail if he had been Prime Minister.

John Key has been under pressure this week over revelations that he lied to the media over his failure to disclose a major conflict of interest with the former private owner of the rail system. He has been forced to admit that he lied to reporters in July this year and to TVNZ just this week.

The Tranz Rail episode follows weeks where Mr Key used grave and serious language to describe how he would have handled Winston Peters if he had been Prime Minister.

“Would John Key’s behaviour have been acceptable in a John Key-led government?” Dr Cullen said.

“We know that Mr Key said misleading the media was grounds for sacking.

“We know that Mr Key said people should not have to wait for direct questions before providing the facts.

“We know that Mr Key thinks declarations of pecuniary interests are fundamental to keeping trust in Parliament and the government.

“So would John Key have demanded accountability for his own actions? Would he have demanded that John Key produce documentation, correspondence, and phone records to back up his claims that his broker acted without his instruction?

“The truth is that John Key grandstanded for weeks on Winston Peters and then surrendered all his new found standards the second that he was caught out lying. Suddenly it became possible for Mr Key to admit that people can make mistakes as they try to remember events that happened several years ago.

“John Key lied because he knew he had something to hide. And he’ll keep lying whenever he is under pressure.”


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