John Key Just Can't be Straight With New Zealand.

Five days on from the release of Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics, the Prime Minister has told Morning Report he is standing behind his staff and ministers.

Listen to John Key avoid answering tough questions and struggle to deflect attention from the crimes committed by his team.

SOME HIGHLIGHTS:
Espiner: What about the behaviour of your minister Judith Collins? Is it acceptable for her to divulge the name of a public servant because he may have leaked details?

Key: Well i dont have the details on that one

Espiner: Well why don't you ask her? In fact, with respect Mr Key, she has admitted that, she conceded she did pass on that name

Key: Yeah but I don't know the details of all of that scenario

Espiner: So why don't you ask her?

Key: Because at the end of the day, we're 5 weeks out from an election, people can see that Nicky Hager's made a whole lot of things up in his book, and that he can't back a lot of them up

Espiner: Well I'm talking about one that can be backed up. You're not going to get away with that. Because this is one that can be backed up because the Justice Minister of New Zealand has conceded publicly that she did pass on the name of a public servant that resulted in him getting some pretty severe death threats. And you think that's OK?

Key: And people can see that this....

Espiner: Is it OK?

Key: And people can see that this....

Espiner: Yes or No? Is it OK?

Key: And people can see that this is....

Espiner: Is it OK?

Key: People can see....

Espiner: Is it OK? Is it OK that Judith Collins did that? Yes or No?

Key: And people can see that this is a smear campaign by Nicky Hager

Espiner: I'm not asking you for a critique about Nicky Hager's motivations, I'm asking you about something that is publicly in the arena. Judith Collins has said 'I passed on the name of this public servant', and we know what happened after that.

Key: But the critique....

Espiner: I'm asking you a simple question. Is that appropriate? Yes or No?

Key: But the critique is totally relevant, because at the end of the day i dont know the context of what happened here or in all those situations

Espiner: You know the context here, Prime Minister, please answer the question.

Key: I dont know the....

Espiner: Was it appropriate for your Justice Minister to pass on the name of a public servant doing his job, who was then severely sanctioned on a website?

Key: I don't know all the details behind all of that, but what I do know is this is a series of selected pieces information, many of which can't be backed up

Espiner: I'm asking you about one of them

Key: Yeah, well I'm not going to go into your individual ones because in the end this is a smear campaign