The International Federation of Journalists has condemned actions by the New Zealand police against news organisations over the tea tapes, warning it could be interpreted as an attempt to suppress media freedom.
Jacqueline Park, Asia-Pacific director of the IFJ, said police demands on media outlets "alarming''.
"While there are ethical questions about how the recording was made, the police clampdown on news media organisations just nine days before New Zealand's general election is alarming.''
Park added police action could "be interpreted as an attempt to suppress media freedom''.
The IFJ "supports journalists at Radio New Zealand and other news media organisations for upholding their ethical obligation to protect confidential sources and responsibility to gather and report news in the public interest''.
Cameraman gets his day in court
The cameraman responsible for inadvertently recording the tea pot discussion betwen John Key and John banks will plead his case in court early next week.
Freelancer Bradley Ambrose is seeking an urgent judgment in the Auckland High Court.
He is asking for a declaration on whether the conversation between the pair was a "private communication" under the Crimes Act, and if the court rules it was not, it would mean the recording was not illegal.
After a telephone conference this afternoon involving most of the parties, during which there was no opposition to the matter being dealt with urgently, Justice Douglas White has set down a hearing for 10am Tuesday, with the hearing expected to take half a day.
Submissions are expected from the Crown and Mr Ambrose, as well as a joint submission from affected media outlets.
No escape for Key
Despite being the one to call in the police over the teapot tapes saga, Prime Minister John Key says he has "no clue'' about their operation and says it would be "hugely inappropriate'' for a politician to get involved.
Mr Key was in Queenstown today for a tourism announcement but couldn't avoid more questions about his cafe conversation with Act's candidate John Banks.
Asked if police searches of four media organisations were appropriate so close to the election, Mr Key said he had '' no clue how their operation is going to work''.
"I simply made a statement about what I felt was a potential offence against me and I asked them to deal with that matter, that's what any member of the public can do,'' he said.
"How the police go about their work is a matter for them and it would be hugely inappropriate for a politician to get involved.''
Mr Key, who is visiting Queenstown, Winton and Invercargill today, held a press conference in the Crowne Plaza Queenstown hotel to announce he would take the tourism portfolio again if he returned as prime minister.
He also announced the cap on the number of core state sector employees would be continue to be reduced to about 36,500 if his party was returned to power.
Goff 'sick to death' of tape saga
Labour leader Phil Goff says he is "sick to death" the teapot tapes are diverting attention away from key issues including asset sales, the cost of living and young New Zealanders' job prospects, as the country heads into the last and "most important" week of the election campaign.
Flanked by Labour colleagues David Cunliffe, David Parker and Lianne Dalziel, Mr Goff presented his party's economic development, finance, and commerce policies as a comprehensive package at Auckland's Sky City Grand Hotel today.
The package pulled together central policy strands including retaining state owned assets, introducing a capital gains tax, compulsory KiwiSaver, a tax-free zone for income up to $5000 and increasing the retirement age.
However, Mr Goff acknowledged the furore over the recording made of Prime Minister John Key's discussion last week with Act's Epsom candidate John Banks was overshadowing more substantial issues.
"What we need as we're one week out is not discussion about a cup of tea gone sour in some Epsom cafe and all the nonsense that has gone along with that but a real debate about what we need to do as a country in seven days time that will make a real difference.
"New Zealanders are sick to death of that, I'm sick to death of that, it's time to move on. If the Prime Minister's not man enough to front up and say what he said then so be it, but now is the time to focus on what's important for the future.
"In seven days time our assets go on the block, that's something we need to be debating."
With the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey showing Labour still well off the pace with 29.1 per cent, Mr Goff accepted the final week of the campaign was "a big challenge for us".
"But then the French were the underdogs right up until five minutes before the test."