16 Nov 2011

Peters urges media to publish recording

3:17 pm on 16 November 2011

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says media organisations with copies of the recorded conversation between John Key and John Banks have a responsibility to publish them.

Mr Peters told a rally in Whangarei on Wednesday that National Party leader John Key had dumped on old people and on ACT Party leader Don Brash in his conversation with ACT's Epsom candidate John Banks.

Mr Peters said if anyone other than John Key had been involved, the recording would have been made public by now.


"Is there one rule for National and John Key and another rule for all the rest of us?

"If that tape recording had been of Winston Peters and some other political party leader ...it'd be published wouldn't it, before lunchtime."

Mr Peters would not say how he knew what was on the tapes or whether he'd heard them himself.

John Key has laid a complaint with police over the recording of his exchange with Mr Banks at an Auckland cafe on Friday.

A freelance cameraman left a microphone on the table during the meeting and gave the recording to the Herald on Sunday which said it decided not to publish the contents for legal and ethical reasons.

In a speech on Tuesday, Mr Peters said the truth would be out shortly about what Mr Key really thinks of older New Zealanders, many of whom went through a great depression and a world war.

He indicated in the speech that whatever was said on Friday was uncomplimentary.

"Some people think that they're superior to you just because you're going grey. Doesn't show much gratitude, does it?" he said.

Speaking on Morning Report, Mr Peters said the conversation was a publicity stunt during an election and the public ought to know what was said between the two men.

Mr Key has said he will not go into the details of the conversation but can genuinely not recall talking about Mr Peters or his supporters with Mr Banks.

Grey Power president Roy Reid told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report that there could be political repercussions for National over the recorded conversation.

Mr Reid says it could affect the way the elderly vote, if they consider they've been singled out by Mr Key and think National intends not to support the elderly so much. Mr Reid points out that Grey Power is apolitical.

Move on, says Labour

Labour Party leader Phil Goff says it's a farce to pretend the conversation was private when the media had been invited.

He told Morning Report that there is one way to put an end to the speculation, and that is to release the tape.

Mr Goff says it is time to move to other issues in the election campaign rather than what might have been said between Mr Key and Mr Banks.

"I want to move on, I want to get back to the issues that are really important to New Zealand not the stupid comments that might have been made in a discussion between Mr Key and Mr Banks," he says.

The tape is not the major issue facing New Zealand at the moment, he said.