PRIME Minister John Key says he’s confident the US didn’t spy on New Zealand, but he won’t say why.
The US has serious diplomatic problems to deal with because of the revelation that its National Security Agency (NSA) spied on world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Mr Key was asked at his post-cabinet press conference on Tuesday whether the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had been involved in the spying, because it is part of the international surveillance organisation known as Five Eyes.
The Five Eyes partners are the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“I don’t know all of the information they exchange and the discussions they (the GCSB) have with their counterparts… and I’m not aware of all the activities the United States undertakes,” he said.
“I don’t have all the details but I’m comfortable that all the activities of the GCSB have been lawful.”
Asked whether he was satisfied the US didn’t spy on New Zealand, he replied: “Yes.”
Asked why he was satisfied, he said: “For reasons I’m not going to bother going into.”
Mr Key wouldn’t answer questions about whether New Zealand was exempt from US spying because if was a member of Five Eyes.
He said he wasn’t going to discuss that. “I’m just confident of the position (that the US didn’t spy on New Zealand).”
Mr Key said he didn’t know anything about the NSA’s activities.
“I read the papers like everyone else, it’s a matter for the US to manage and it’s not a matter for me.”