By Dave Williams
He's been to a doctor and a vet just to make sure, but Prime Minister John Key is adamant he's not a shapeshifting reptilian alien.
Mr Key was unusually forced to deny any previously non-declared extraterrestrial connections to reporters after an Auckland man put in an Official Information Act (OIA) request asking for proof he might be one.
"To the best of my knowledge, no. Having been asked that question directly, I've taken the unusual step of not only seeing a doctor but a vet, and both have confirmed I'm not a reptile," a smiling Mr Key said today.
"So I'm certainly not a reptile. I've never been in a spaceship, never been in outer space, and my tongue's not overly long either."
Last month, Auckland man Shane Warbrooke put in an OIA request to the prime minister's office, asking for "any evidence to disprove the theory that Mr John Key is in fact a David Icke style shapeshifting reptilian alien ushering humanity towards enslavement".
David Icke is a British author who believes many world leaders are actually part of a plot to enslave the human race, driven by reptilian shapeshifting aliens.
Mr Key's chief of staff Wayne Eagleson replied to Mr Warbrooke, saying that the OIA request was declined under a section of the act because "the document alleged to contain the information requested does not exist or cannot be found".
Mr Warbrooke, a writer and musician, says he put in the OIA request as a joke alongside some other more serious requests as part of his research into UFOs.
He was happy with the OIA response, which was what he expected.
"But they waited the full 20 working days they are allowed before getting back to me."
When asked how he would describe himself, Mr Key said he was "just an ordinary Kiwi bloke".