The Herald’s top political correspondents take a look at the Moment of Truth event, held tonight in Auckland, and decide whether it lived up to the hype.

John Armstrong

A very tough day at the office for John Key. No question. But at the end of it things had not changed that much from when it began. Kim Dotcom, Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald threw everything at Key. But Key hit back, not always entirely convincingly.

The argument about mass surveillance got lost in the technicalities. Everything hinges on the Warner Bros email which - if genuine and the contents are accurate - would require the Key's immediate resignation. Except that he would deny it or cite memory loss. In contrast, Dotcom's case collapses if the email is - as Warner Bros insists - a fake.

Toby Manhire


Any moments of truth were contained in the articles published by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden - the Town Hall spectacular had riveting moments, especially when Greenwald spoke and Snowden beamed in from Moscow, but there was barely any fresh substance to chew on.

No mention, even, of the disputed "Warner email". Key still has questions to answer, however, especially about the use of XKeyScore.

Audrey Young

Edward Snowden is a hero in my eyes, not a villain. He sacrificed his life as he knew it for the public good by stealing thousands of documents as evidence of what the NSA and other spy agencies were doing. From exile in Russia, few could disagree with his views on mass surveillance: it's okay only with democratic consent.

But he has not provided evidence beyond circumstantial that the GCSB is actually conducting mass surveillance on New Zealanders. He is really saying, trust me.

If it's not good enough for Key to say it over the GCSB, it's not good enough for Snowden. Show me the evidence.

Fran O'Sullivan

If Kim Dotcom thinks his Moment of Truth will affect the outcome of Saturday's election, he is seriously deluded.

Dotcom set out to prove the Prime Minister a liar over moves to extradite the MegaUpload founder to the US.

But there were no killer punches landed on John Key. Neither was any conclusive evidence revealed proving Key knew about Dotcom well in advance of the Coatesville raid. Even the email that was flicked to the Herald as positive proof that Key was involved in a Hollywood plot to spirit Dotcom to the US, was quickly dismissed by Warners as a fake.

The mass surveillance issue was always a red herring, Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden presented no concrete evidence of privacy breaches, Julian Assange was a sideshow. Snowden's revelation that the NSA had an operation in Auckland has to be followed up.

But Dotcom set out to demolish the Prime Minister's credibility. He has spectacularly failed.

Read more:
Dotcom's moment of truth: NSA has Auckland facility
Key releases GCSB documents
Dotcom email is a fake - Warner Bros
As it happened: Kim Dotcom's moment of truth
John Armstrong - Dotcom's last chance to shine
Kiwis' data lodged with NSA - Greenwald
PM withheld spying data - critics