Ambrose versus Key fundraising

Bradley Ambrose, the freelance journalist who recorded the ‘Teapot Tape’ conversation between John Key and John Banks, is being helped by crowd funding in order to take a defamation case against Key.

Give-a-little page

Help Bradley Ambrose fund his legal case against PM John Key.

As a result of the infamous Teapot Tape saga of 2011, work for freelance journalist and cameraman Bradley Ambrose dried up. Now he faces significant costs in his defamation case against PM John Key, including huge court fees. Can you help? He needs a total of $38,000 to be able to bring the case to court.

The current total is nearly $6,000.

The Givealittle page was created by Greg Treadwell:

I’m involved in this because I am a former journalist who sees the increasing pressure the fourth-estate role of journalists is under from the powerful in society. Mr Ambrose is fighting a matter of principle on his own and I think there are NZers out there who believe in the freedom of the media and would like to help. Irrespective of how the court finds, I think Mr Ambrose, whom I have never met, deserves support in his fight to clear his name. Any money left after Mr Ambrose has paid his court costs will go to the New Zealand Centre for Invesrtigative Journalism, a coalition of investigative journalists and academics that support, practise and promote investigative journalism.

I’m not sure what I think about this personally, I have mixed feelings.

The public meeting between Key and Banks, encouraged by media for several days before it took place, was fairly farcical.

Even when in ‘private conversation’ in a goldfish bowl Key and Banks shouldn’t have spoken of anything of consequence, it was a publicity stunt.

Ambrose shouldn’t have recorded the conversation – it’s claimed that was accidental – and I don’t think the recording should have been released if it wasn’t supposed to be recorded.

Key didn’t handle the aftermath well, and that’s what has led to this attempt to take a defamation case against him.

Give-a-little page

Leave a comment

31 Comments

  1. Pete Kane

     /  6th March 2016

    Thing is Pete, it turned out to be such a ‘nothing’ conversation. Worked out pretty well for the now Member for Northland though.

    Reply
  2. kittycatkin

     /  6th March 2016

    Dream on, Bradley-it’s too late, it’s stale news.

    If the recording was accidental-and I don’t think that it was-he should have deleted it immediately. He didn’t, so he showed himself to be unscrupulous-could that be why people don’t want to employ him ? He’s a potential embarrassment to anyone who did.

    Reply
  3. Pantsdownbrown

     /  6th March 2016

    That’s the real issue here – even if he accidently recorded the private conversation (which I don’t believe for a minute) he should have just binned it (especially when the parties involved said they didn’t want their private conversation released) but instead he tried to hawk it about. From there the MSM (& Winston who obviously lied when he said he had heard the tape and it was ‘explosive’) beat it up saying it was ‘a game-changer’. Of course that was all bollocks and the tape was shown to be a rather bland conversation, thus failing any ‘in the public interest’ defence Ambrose may have had.

    Out of work churnalist then decides to try and make some dough by taking Key to court, blaming Key for his predicament. Wouldn’t give the guy a cent.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  6th March 2016

      I can’t even remember what it was about.Good luck to someone recording a private conversation and then trying to sue the person whose conversation it was. It should be the other way around.

      Reply
      • Key went to the police about it. Ambrose apologised for releasing the recording to media.

        In March 2012 the police announced that they had issued Ambrose with a warning but would not be prosecuting as there was not sufficient public interest in the matter going to court. They said that their opinion was that the conversation was private and that the recording was at least reckless and probably was intentional. Ambrose wrote a letter to John Banks and John Key saying that the recording was not intentional, and expressing regret that he had released the tape to the Herald on Sunday. The police said that this letter was a factor in the decision not to press charges. Ambrose’s lawyer said that he believed that no criminal offence had been committed, and that if the police had a strong case they would have proceeded.

        Ambrose later asked for an apology from the Prime Minister, but it never came.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_tape_scandal

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  6th March 2016

          It’s stretching it to call it an apology-it was a real Claytons apology. Why on earth should John Key apologise to someone who’d taped his conversation and then, while claiming it to have been an accident, told what was in it ? ‘I’m sorry that you listened to my private conversation and then spread it, do forgive me.’

          Didn’t you get sick of seeing endless bits of film of the two men in that cafe ? Night after night after night after night…

          Reply
  4. Pantsdownbrown

     /  6th March 2016

    Bradley Ambrose (not his original name) has an interesting history…….

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5970037/Teacup-cameramans-police-past

    And what about his letter of apology to Key?

    Click to access Ambrose_letter.pdf

    And on what other basis does he have to take the PM to court on the matter? Police concluded his actions were illegal and ‘most likely’ on purpose.

    Stuff 26/03/2012 : A letter of regret had been forwarded to Key and John Banks.
    Key said he welcomed Ambrose’s letter and believed there was now no need for the prosecution to continue. While he only received a warning, Ambrose’s actions were illegal, Assistant Police Commissioner Malcolm Burgess said.
    Future occurrences were likely to be prosecuted.
    “We were satisfied on this occasion that there was [prima facie evidence]. But police decided there was not sufficient public interest in the matter going to court, he said.
    “I reached the view that a prosecution was not required in this instance.”

    In the view of police investigators, the recording was “most likely” on purpose, but at the least “reckless”.

    The letter to Key and Banks from Ambrose was “one of the factors that we took into account” and his lack of a criminal record was another.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  6th March 2016

      That letter didn’t sound sincere to me-more like someone trying to justify himself, not very convincingly. There was no apology for doing it in the first place.

      Reply
    • Timoti

       /  6th March 2016

      Kelvyn Alp wasn’t that far away from storming the Beehive. He was talked out of it by Maori elders. The good people of Aotearoa slept through what could have turned into a very nasty situation. Especially given America wouldn’t have hesitated to protect its interests in New Zealand, and by connection, islands and Antarctica….especially Antarctica. New Zealand being the major gateway for American supply lines and emergency evacs.

      Reply
  5. I didn’t understand it at the time and I don’t understand it now.
    Surely Key and Banks were “fair game”?
    Conversely, I wouldn’t give Ambrose money to conduct his defamation case even if I had money to give. He’s fair game too, surely? You make your bed and you lie in it.

    “Give-a-little bit, give a little bit of your life to me” – Supertramp

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  6th March 2016

      Thank you for that earworm.

      I don’t believe that people having a private conversation are fair game-if they’d sat at an outside table, that would have been very different. This is like opening and reading a letter written to someone else and then making the contents public. It wasn’t in the public interest-and it wasn’t OF public interest. He did something he knew to be unethical, then he whined when there were consequences.

      Reply
  6. lurcher1948

     /  6th March 2016

    [No need for personal attacks like that. PG]

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  6th March 2016

      WHO wants to know?

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  6th March 2016

        lurcher1948 does 🙂

        Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  6th March 2016

          Well that’s ok then……

          Reply
          • kittycatkin

             /  6th March 2016

            My only aim in life is to be a helpful little pixie 🙂

            Reply
            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  6th March 2016

              I find pixie caramels hurt my jaw?

          • Mike C

             /  6th March 2016

            @Kitty and Pants Down

            Darn it … I go out to dinner and miss out on someone being an arse hole.

            BUGGER 😦

            Reply
            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  6th March 2016

              That made me think actually – where has Blazer got to? Haven’t seen him post on here in a while?

            • Pantsdown – There’s a thing called tempting fate … Have you heard of it? Or do you want him back?

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  6th March 2016

              Not at all – but couldn’t help using Mike C’s comment for a sly dig……. 🙂

  7. jamie

     /  6th March 2016

    I haven’t followed this lately.

    Has there been any judicial ruling on whether the two politicians were entitled to claim a reasonable expectation of privacy?

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  6th March 2016

      That letter was incredibly disingenuous. It wouldn’t have been worth John Key’s while not to accept it and let the whole tedious saga die, I suppose-he had more interesting things to think about.

      Reply
      • jamie

         /  6th March 2016

        Ok. I like pink carnations but I would never wear a white sports coat.

        Reply
  8. Steveremmington

     /  6th March 2016

    Wouldn’t the left be better off donating to those suffering poverty than giving to a dodgy journo?

    Seems the Chardonnay socialists have money to burn.

    Reply
    • @ Steveremmington – Compare this $38,000 to the Right’s $26 million flag debacle and $350,000 top-up for a Give-a-Little-Bit beach in Te Waipounamu …

      Oh, it barely shows up! Never mind, have another glass ….

      Reply
  9. Clemgeopin

     /  6th March 2016

    I am wondering if you guys would hold similar sanctimonious views as you have expressed here if the two political leaders involved in this so called ‘private discussion’ in the cup of tea episode were say, Ms Clarke and Mr Peters?

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  6th March 2016

      In terms of what he did I couldn’t care who was having the conversation – same rules apply……

      Reply
  10. Patzcuaro

     /  7th March 2016

    I don’t know whether the recording device was deliberately left one the table or not. But the cup of tea was a blatant publicity stunt in front of the media so the two of them show have been careful in what they said. Loose lips sink ships.

    We wouldn’t be talking about it now if Key had just laughed it off and moved on. Instead he aimed the full force of the law at Ambrose like a playground bully. Key has a jovial manner but I don’t think he likes to be crossed.

    Reply
    • Clemgeopin

       /  7th March 2016

      ‘Even if’ it was left there deliberately, it could be seen as a public service means of exposing any possible crooked talk/underhand deal/secretive scheme by politicians in high places. Isn’t it kind of the mark of a good journalist to inform and enlighten the public as much as possible? The price of democracy is eternal vigilance. Remember Watergate?

      Another intriguing aspect of this tea brew episode was the utter panic displayed by Key and Banks and the astonishing way the police raided the various Newspaper and TV offices. What did these two politicians have to hide? If a similar incident had involved two ordinary people would the police acted so swiftly, enthusiastically and in the same overzealous Gung ho manner?

      Reply

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