Key politicising security for own political gain

John Key's claims he will declassify secret security documents in order to 'protect' himself and his reputation is deeply concerning, the Green Party said today.

"It's reprehensible that John Key is politicising New Zealand's security and intelligence agencies and using them for his own partisan interests," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

"John Key is doing whatever suits him for purely party political reasons, using New Zealand's security agencies for his own political gain.

"Declassifying secret documents in order to protect your personal reputation must be outside of the scope of any rules or guidelines around declassification of secret documents.

"John Key's relaxed approach in this case to declassifying documents also raises serious questions about his claims that he had nothing to do with the declassification of documents prior to the 2011 election relating to former Labour Party leader Phil Goff and the Security Intelligence Service (SIS), as revealed in the 'Dirty Politics' book.

"John Key has claimed that declassifying documents had nothing to do with him and that it was a decision for the Director of Security of the SIS. But he is now contradicting himself and undermining his arguments on what really happened with the release of SIS documents by pushing ahead with declassifying documents at his will.

"John Key's credibility as the Minister responsible for New Zealand's security agencies is seriously in question.

"The revelations that have come to light in the last few days courtesy of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald make it appear that the GCSB has been doing whatever it wants, even if against the law.

"When you look at the timeline of events, it appears that it wasn't until Rebecca Kitteridge was brought into the agency that the GCSB's work on mass surveillance stopped.

"It's all very well for John Key to say that he stepped in to stop mass surveillance from continuing, but given his callous approach and neglect in this area, how can we be sure.

"This weekend's revelations make it all the more urgent to fix our spy agencies.

"In Government, the Green Party will undertake a wide ranging, full and independent inquiry into New Zealand's intelligence agencies," Dr Norman said.