New Zealand security agencies warned Prime Minister John Key in 2010 there was no guarantee New Zealand's broadband infrastructure would not be compromised if Huawei was awarded the contract, Labour's Clare Curran claimed in Parliament yesterday.
She has been questioning Mr Key on Huawei's involvement since last week when it was revealed Australia banned the Chinese telco last year from tendering for its broadband network because of concerns about potential cyber attacks.
Most of the time Mr Key has been refusing to answer questions on the basis that he never answers questions about security briefings and initially stuck to that position yesterday.
Then Clare Curran asked: "Did he read the report he received from security agencies in 2010, and did it say there were no mitigation measures that would totally counteract the compromising of our broadband infrastructure should Huawei be given the contract?" Mr Key replied that he would have read that report, although it was a couple of years ago.
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He went on to defend Huawei, saying not only was it one of the three major suppliers of broadband infrastructure equipment in the world, alongside Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, it operated in Australia, the United States, Britain, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.
"And by the way, if it's so unwelcome in Australia, I was amazed to find out that it has just become the official sponsor of the Canberra Raiders [rugby league team]."
Labour's Trevor Mallard responded: "That's because they are raiding Canberra."
Clare Curran told the Herald later that her information did not come from Phil Goff, who was briefed regularly by security agencies as Opposition leader. Audrey Young