Complaint to Lockwood Re: PM | The Jackal

10 Oct 2011

Complaint to Lockwood Re: PM

Dear Lockwood Smith,

I write to you as Speaker of the House about a most serious issue. On the 4th of October 2011 a Parliamentary debate was conducted in the House of Representatives.

During question time, the Leader of the opposition party Phil Goff asked the Prime Minister John Key a number of questions concerning potential credit rating downgrades. Here is the relevant paragraphs from the Hansard:
Hon Phil Goff: Is it correct that New Zealand’s credit rating with those two agencies is now the same as Spain’s—a country that National has constantly derided as being an economy in trouble?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I cannot confirm that. It may well be; it sounds logical. But let me quote this from Fitch Ratings: “New Zealand remains well placed amongst the world’s highly-rated sovereign credits, with its creditworthiness supported by moderate public indebtedness, fiscal prudence, and strong public institutions.” But I will say this: when Standard and Poor’s was giving a meeting in New Zealand about a month ago, what it did say was that there was about a 30 percent chance that we would be downgraded. That is what happens when one is on a negative outlook. It did go on to say, though, that if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely.
The New Zealand Herald reported today that Standard and Poor’s sovereign rating analyst Kyran Curry, who attended the meeting in Auckland said that would not have happened.
“In Auckland last month, I might have talked about the importance of the Government maintaining a strong fiscal position in the medium term but I would never have touched on individual parties. It is something we just don’t do,” Mr Curry said. “We don’t rate political parties. We rate Governments.”
It appears that John Key has therefore misled the House of Representatives. I request that you investigate this matter and take whatever action is required to ensure honesty within Parliament is upheld to the highest degree.

Below, John Key blames his misleading the House of Representatives on an unnamed source.