The team at E2NZ.org welcomes today’s news that talented photo-journalist, Bradley Ambrose, is suing John Key for $1.2 million.
NZ beleaguered ‘dirty politics’ Prime Minister is being sued by the freelance cameraman for remarks he made during the teaptapes media beat-up (listen to the leaked tape above).
— Morning Report (@NzMorningReport) December 8, 2014
In addition to Key’s alleged defamation, NZ police conducted a heavy handed and lengthy investigation into the journalist after he accidentally recorded a conversation during a public event in a teashop, staged for the media.
Ambrose was served with a search warrant that included a requisition for his text messages. Later lawyers
demanded “review of how police intercept private communications after a photo-journalist’s cellphone logs and messages, including exchanges with a lawyer, were obtained in an inquiry instigated by the PM…
Auckland University associate professor Bill Hodge said it was “mind-boggling” police would intercept text messaging over such a minor charge, especially when the Evidence Act 2006 provided clear protections for journalists to guarantee the freedom of the media. “Why in hell would they have those, for what investigatory purpose?” he asked. Source “Spying on another journalist – what did Key have to hide?“
After investigating the journalist police later dropped charges against Bradley Ambrose and gave him a warning, but not before his liviehood and reputation has been compromised.
“News of the World type tactics”
Ambrose’s work dropped off and his reputation took a battering, especially when John Key labelled him as using ”News of the World-style tactics” by planting a recording on the table.
“It was purely an accident, but people started judging on how they saw it and that was the worst part,” Ambrose said.
“It took years to build up my reputation as a photographer and to have it being slammed – it took a nosedive.”…
He also felt anger that the investigation had taken so long, saying.
“There are real criminals out there and real crimes, but police have put time, money resources into this when it could have been dealt with on day one.” source
The contents of the tape were suppressed until they were eventually leaked – listen to the Youtube recording above.
However, police have yet to show the same dedication to investigating the claims made in the Dirty Politics Book. Nor have cross party calls for a Royal Commission for Inquiry into the allegations raised in the book been successful.
The book’s author, Nicky Hager, is currently under police investigation and was subjected to a 10 hour raid of his home, during which computer equipment, phones and storage equipment were seized. A Give a Little account, established to help pay the journalist’s legal bills, currently stands at $65,000.
Here’s what the Herald had to say about Bradley’s forthcoming civil litigation
John Key is standing by his statements about Bradley Ambrose and indicated he will do so in court after the Teapot Tapes cameraman this morning confirmed his plan to sue the Prime Minister for defamation.
Ambrose, who recorded Mr Key’s now infamous chat over the teacups with former Act Leader John Banks ahead of the 2011 election, is suing Mr Key for $1.2 million for alleged defamatory comments made by the Prime Minister about him on three separate occasions, Radio New Zealand reported this morning.
Ambrose has now filed papers at the High Court at Auckland.
This morning Mr Key said: “Look I don’t resile from anything I’ve said.”
“It’s been a long standing dispute and in the end it’ll go through the court process.”
Bradley, an E2NZ Twitter follower, is more than justified in bringing this action and we wish him every success.
John Key has got form for making disparaging comments about public figures. He once allegedly called David Beckham “as thick as batshit” (despite him having amassed a greater fortune than he).
NZ Slips out of top 10 for Media Freedom (Jan 2012)
New Zealand has dropped out of the top 10 countries for media freedom after a year in which police searched newsrooms over the now-infamous “teapot tapes”.
In its annual press freedom index, advocacy group Reporters Without Borders ranked New Zealand 13th in the world for media freedom last year – down five places from eighth in 2010.
The report noted traditionally good performers in the Asia-Pacific region, including New Zealand, had failed to shine. “With New Zealand’s fall to 13th position, no country in the Asia-Pacific region figured among the top 10.”…
Related content from E2NZ.org
Tea Pot Tape : Bradley Ambrose’s Letter To The PM (March 2012)
“The Right Honourable Prime Minister Mr John Key and the Honourable Mr John Banks,
As you are aware I attended your media meeting at the Urban Caf6, Newmarket. I was paid a small fixed fee to film the event for the Herald Online News, Webb Page. I was working alone on this occasion.
My camera radio microphone was left on your cafe table. lt had been placed there by me in a rush to pick up audio while you were speaking to the media. I had not expected this and was not prepared for it.
I was having difficulty getting good footage due to the media scrum around you. So I moved off and away from the table area to try and get some workable footage from a different vantage point. ln doing so I left the microphone on the table. My primary concern was to get film footage.
When I later realised that I had left the microphone behind I returned to uplift it. I spoke to your staff who acknowledged they had taken possession of it, that it would not be returned and would be referred to the police. I did not realise at that time what the concern was and or why. I had no intention of secretly recording any conversation.
Later that day when the existence of the recording became public I was requested to pass on what I had recorded. I accept that I did so without thinking properly about the effect this would have. I regret this decision.
As stated I do regret passing this audio on to the Herald on Sunday due to the effects that this had had on those involved including yourself. Contrary to what has been said by some people, this was not intentional, nor was it a “News of the World tactic”. There was no money offered for the recording by the Herald on Sunday nor did they or any other outlet pay for it.
This whole event has been blown out of proportion by a number of people and I would like to put it behind me.
I just want to get back to work and not be known as someone alleged to have dubious ethics. This has been hard on me and my family.
I trust that you are prepared to accept and appreciate my regret for how this matter has unfolded and escalated for us all. lf I knew then what I know now, I would have deleted the tape at the first opportunity and not provided it to any other third party. I have become much wiser and more protective of my reputation as a result of this event and what has transpired.
Accordingly I trust that you find this letter as a genuine statement of regret and that you may be understanding of my position and the sincere sentiments I have expressed.