WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange dialled into New Zealand last night - but his fairly tame talk started off with him talking about his cat.

The Australian, who is holed up in Ecuador's London embassy, spoke and answered questions via live video link to students and others at Auckland University and a crowd at the Melbourne Town Hall.

About 300 people turned up to the Sir Paul Reeves Building, where the New Zealand stream was showing, to join the debate, called

Julian Assange: No More Secrets, No More Lies



Think Inc producer Michael Tucker said he thought people mainly turned up to see if Assange was alive and how he was getting on.

He said Assange, who was speaking from the Embassy of Ecuador in London, started off talking about his cat, which was rather boring, and then he gave no real revelations.

The event was organised by Think Inc, an Australia-based initiative which organises speaking events with intellectuals.He'd already spoken via video link to Brisbane and Sydney.

Assange has been in the embassy since June 2012, refusing to meet prosecutors in Sweden, where he remains wanted on an allegation of rape, fearing he would be extradited to the US to face espionage charges if he leaves the embassy.

He came to prominence in 2010 when WikiLeaks published information leaked by US Army Private Chelsea Manning. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking the information but was commuted by Barack Obama as one of his last acts as President. She is due to be released in May.