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Teapot tape: Key storms out of media conference

Wednesday 16 Nov 2011 11:39 a.m.

By Dan Satherley and James Murray

Prime Minister John Key stormed out of a media conference this morning, refusing to answer questions about the teapot tape.

3 News political editor Duncan Garner was at the Federated Farmers event at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, and reporters on social networking site Twitter have also commented on it.

Mr Garner asked the Prime Minister "four or five" questions regarding the teapot tape, which Mr Key refused to answer.

• Live updates from the election campaign – click here

"I'm here today to talk about trade and the economy, and I think they're the issues that matters to New Zealanders, and I'm not interested in engaging in any others," said Mr Key.

Asked if he could recall yet what he said in the conversation with ACT's John Banks, Mr Key replied he was "interested in talking about trade and the economy".

Asked if there was any public interest in what's on the tape, Mr Key replied: "I'm interested, and I think the public are very interested in the economy, I think they're interested in our record."

Mr Garner suggested there is room for more than one issue in the campaign, and Mr Key replied: "I think the things that the public are really interested in, and the feedback I get from them, is they're interested in the economy, they're interested in the serious policies that matter, and they're not interested in other things. Thanks very much."

With that, he abruptly left.

New Zealand Herald reporter Derek Cheng called the response "extraordinary", and Scoop's Lyndon Hood tweeted: "The last National leader who walked out of a press conference in the late election period ended up leading ACT."

There have since been allegations the walk-out was staged - read more here.

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