8 Aug 2013

Police release extracts of teapot tapes

5:01 pm on 8 August 2013

Police have released extracts from their files into the so-called teapot tapes in response to allegations made by the New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

Winston Peters in House.

Photo: RNZ

Prime Minister John Key laid a complaint against cameraman Bradley Ambrose during the 2011 election campaign claiming a conversation between himself and the ACT Party's John Banks in an Auckland cafe had been illegally taped.

Police found that while the recording was unlawful, it wasn't in the public interest to prosecute.

In Parliament on Wednesday, Winston Peters claimed that police wanted access to his private phone records during their investigation.

Police say that is not true and on Thursday released excerpts from the case file which show where Mr Peters' name was mentioned.

The file mentions Mr Peters' statements at the time showing he had obviously listened to the recorded conversation.

It also shows that police said at the time that if it was found that the cameraman had committed an offence, then Mr Peters should also be investigated.

Police said on Wednesday that Mr Peters' records were not accessed, nor was there any application for a warrant to get those records.

PM says no influence from his office

John Key.

John Key. Photo: RNZ

John Key says his office exerted absolutely no influence on police while they investigated his complaint about an illegal recording.

Winston Peters told the House on Wednesday that police wanted access to his private phone records and that he understands they intended to keep the Prime Minister's office "in the loop".

Mr Key said police kept in touch with his office, as is usual since he was the complainant, but any suggestion of political interference is nonsense.

"(Winston Peters) is completely, utterly wrong as per normal. He's grossly over-exaggerating Mr Eagleson's influence."