Scoop Coverage: Key, Whale Oil, Hager And Dirty PoliticsCoverage of the reaction and fallout from Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics.
Page is being updated (from the top) as events unfold.
Public Address: “I honestly can’t understand how this has happened,” said a flabbergasted Public Address owner Russell Brown. “But
#dirtypolitics won this year’s reader vote by a country mile. I mean, Jason Ede and Phil de Joux have new jobs, Judith
Collins has a newspaper column, David Farrar has returned to his familiar role of providing an internet platform for
scary racists and bigots – and confused, mendacious Taxpayers’ Union press releases are being pasted into newspaper
stories again. More>>
John Key must assure New Zealand that he has closed down the Black Ops attack unit in his office, and promise to sever
all contact with blogger Cameron Slater, the Green Party said today. “John Key has today gone on the defensive making
all sorts of excuses for misleading reporters... More>>
Text messages released by PM's office.
Click images for bigger versions
John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled
journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today... More>>
Suddenly, we’re awash in inquiries and reviews. (It feels almost as if the Greens won the last election.) Caught out by
the damning inquiry by SIS Inspector-General Cheryl Gwyn, the government’s response yesterday was utterly in character –
it released two other major reports at the same time to try and distract public attention...
Inquiries are supposed to re-assure the public. What these inquiry outcomes share in common is a government culture of zero responsibility. More>>
As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take
over the early disclosure of information from the report... Ms Gwyn said that she was aware of Mr Goff's subsequent
statements that he had disclosed some information concerning findings in the report. She will be seeking further
information from Mr Goff and others. More>>
Prime Minister John Key has today released the findings of the Government Inquiry into allegations regarding Judith
Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley... “I am pleased the report shows no evidence
that Ms Collins acted inappropriately. I will be recommending to the Governor-General that she be granted use of the
title "The Honourable" for life." More>>
It’s been three months since Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics was published. Since then, Judith Collins resigned and then
returned to Parliament as the MP for Pakuranga. John Key continues to dodge questions from the opposition while
consistently mispronouncing Nicky Hager as Nicky Hay-ger (Hager rhymes with lager... or saga). Hager’s house was raided
by police, who were seeking information on the hacker Rawshark. Hager will now challenge the legality of the search
warrant used by police, a legal campaign crowdfunded by public donors. It’s far from over with. More>>
Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official
Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents
obtained by Labour show Judith Collins did not log OIA requests from Cameron Slater that were completed by her office on
December 21 2012 and February 12 2013. More>>
On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at
his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential
Mr Hager has now had a chance to consult his lawyers. He believes even more strongly that the Police have acted outside
of the law in seizing his property and seeking to search through all of his documents. Mr Hager has decided to challenge
the Police's actions by way of judicial review. He expects to launch those proceedings during the next few days.
In the meantime, the Police are asserting that there is no valid claim for privilege over the documents. More>>
Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with
blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>
On Thursday, 2 October, five police arrived at my home with a warrant to search and seize property. I was in Auckland at
the time for two days of lectures at the University of Auckland.
The police spent over ten hours searching the house and removing property in an attempt to discover the identity of the
person who provided information used in my book Dirty Politics.
Soon after the police arrived, the lead detective stated that I was not a suspect in their case, merely a witness. I
spoke to him by phone and informed him that he would find no information in the house about my source. Nonetheless, he
and his four colleagues seized a large collection of papers and electronic equipment belonging to my family, including
computers, drives, phones, CDs, an IPOD and a camera. More>>
Confession time. All those anonymous sources you see quoted in the media: me. I am every anonymous source. I am also
every anonymous twitter account, but you know me best as every anonymous source. More>>
2,100 people have signed their name to a full-page open letter featuring in the New Zealand Herald this Wednesday
[17/9/14]. The letter is designed to send a message to politicians that dirty politics is an important election issue.
Lead by members of ActionStation - a progressive, member-lead campaigning organisation - the letter is in the form of a
full-page advert, the cost of which was crowd-funded and raised over eight thousand dollars. More>>
A group of 33 senior population health researchers and practitioners have made public a letter they sent to the Prime
Minister last week calling for an investigation into the apparent serious conflicts of interest on the Board of the
Health Promotion Agency.
Board member, Katherine Rich, who is CEO of the Food and Grocery Council, has been at the centre of controversy because
of evidence in Nicky Hager’s book ‘Dirty Politics’ that she has been denigrating and undermining population health
Former Leader of the Labour Party Phil Goff this morning gave evidence under oath to the Inspector-General of
Intelligence and Security’s Inquiry into whether security intelligence documents were leaked by John Key’s office for
“I am today releasing my opening statement in the interests of openness and transparency,” said Mr Goff. More>>
Prime Minister John Key today announced the establishment of a Government Inquiry into allegations regarding Hon Judith
Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley. More>>
Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a
Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent
inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>
Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with
Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the
Serious Fraud Office.
Nice try, but it won’t wash. What the Dirty Politics book and other emails have revealed is a pattern of misbehavior that has involved the SIS, ACC, Cabinet Ministers and
staff in the Prime Minister’s office.
Meaning: it is a problem that seems to have involved the systematic misuse of government information and procedures in
order to launch attacks on public servants and political opponents alike. Finally, there is email evidence that could
even entail criminal behavior. More>>
Prime Minister John Key has announced that Hon Judith Collins has resigned from Cabinet... “new information suggests Ms
Collins may have been engaged in discussions with a blogger in 2011 aimed at undermining the then Director of the
Serious Fraud Office. Ms Collins was the Minister responsible for the SFO at the time." More>>
Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy
Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>
A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current
polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>
In a press conference immediately following an controversial OIA release of notes on an SIS briefing to then Labour
leader Phil Goff, Key said "at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ...". Since the release of Nicky Hager's
'Dirty Politics' Key has denied being personally informed and said references by officials to 'the PM' being told
briefed referred to his office. He now says the same about his own statement. More>>
At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual
practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>
The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced she would be instituting an inquiry
concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official
information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political
“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the
substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>
When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward
slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner
on RNZ’s Morning Report.
In particular, they’ll cite the broken record moment when Espiner repeatedly asked Key whether he thought the behaviour
of his Justice Minister Judith Collins was OK, and Key kept on trying to ignore the question…
Key couldn’t or wouldn’t answer the question, choosing instead to repeatedly bluster about Nicky Hager’s motives for
writing his book, Dirty Politics. More>>
Judith Collins’ admission that she was involved in a baseless smear campaign against a public servant is more than
enough reason for John Key to sack her as a Minister, especially as she is on her ‘last warning’, said Labour MP Grant
"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to
admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a
baseless smear campaign. More>>
Scoop News: So this book, then. Fire away.
Prime Minister John Key, Probably: Well you have to remember Nicky Hager is a well-known conspiracy theorist.
SN: In that he is presenting evidence of people conspiring, secretly, to do things?
PMJK,P: Exactly. Point proven.
SN: Some of which sound illegal.
PM: They don't sound illegal to me.
SN: Why not?
PM: I'm not listening.
Martin Doyle cartoon: Dirty politics
Call me old-fashioned, but ad hominem attacks have almost seemed the last refuge of a scoundrel. That doesn’t mean you
can’t reach a conclusion or make a judgement call – but you need to be guided by the evidence. More>>
The simple antidote to all this ad hominem abuse is to read the book. I doubt that many people who do read the book – and especially the emails that provide the bulk of its narrative –
will feel very happy about how politics is being conducted in this country right now. That’s the thing. Hager hasn’t
needed to clothe the content in a conspiracy theory: the emails speak very eloquently for themselves. More>>
Approximately 300 people gathered at Unity Books for the launch of Nicky Hager’s new book Dirty Politics: How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment.
The book details the extent of political dealings between the Key administration and members of the right-wing
blogosphere. Hager reveals that certain media events that appeared to be isolated instances of scandal were in fact part
of a systematic effort by National to create political smears against their opponents. More>>