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Key turns down glimpse at 'teapot tapes' transcript

Tuesday 15 Nov 2011 6:09 p.m.

By Duncan Garner

John Key was out meeting young and old in West Auckland today, but the secret recording of his conversation with John Banks continues to haunt him.

3 News has heard it and today Winston Peters told his mostly elderly supporters that he knew what was on it too - and says the Prime Minister has levelled an insult at them.

We asked Mr Key some questions today about the contents of the tape.

3 News: Did you talk about the diminishing support of NZ First and link it to the age of some of the NZ First supporters?

John Key: For good reason I will not go into the details of the tape that is a matter for the police but I believe the conversation to be bland.

Mr Key has said in the past that Mr Peters supporters are "dying - which is why he may not make 5 percent".

3 News: Do you think you may have offended elderly people or NZ First supporters in any way in what you spoke about?

John Key: I've never listened to the tape, I can't recall - no one has ever given me a copy of that.

So that is easily solved, 3 News has heard the tape and has a transcript - we offered it to the Prime Minister to help his recall, but he suddenly turned shy.

3 News: Would you like to see a transcript?

John Key: No not bothered about it.

We also wanted to offer the transcript to John Banks, but when we rang and offered he declined to even meet.

We wanted to ask him about his support for leader Don Brash because he has said many times that Mr Brash has his full support - including this from yesterday.

John Banks: Don Brash has my support yes.

3 News: So your relationship with him is healthy ?

John Banks: It's very good, very good yes, Don brash is the leader and I'm the candidate with Epsom, it's a very good relationship.

We asked John Key his opinion on this.

3 News: John banks is saying he did not undermine Don Brash do you believe you and John Banks undermined Don Brash in anyway?

John Key: I'm not going to go into details of the conversation, that's for the police the ACT Party caucus and is a matter for the ACT Party members.

Clearly this tape, this issue, isn't going away and with 11 days to go until the election it now threatens to overshadow the rest of the campaign.

• Live updates from the election campaign – click here

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