Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Nicky Hager files further proceedings against the Police

Nicky Hager files further proceedings against the Police

Nicky Hager has filed further proceedings in the High Court against the New Zealand Police.

On 29 February 2016, the Police released further documents to Mr Hager under a Privacy Act request that he had made back in 2014. The newly released documents reveal that the Police obtained Mr Hager’s travel information from airlines. The Police wanted to know who Mr Hager was travelling with, where he was travelling, when he was travelling, who was funding the travel, and whether Mr Hager was funding anyone else’s travel. The purpose was to try to identify Mr Hager’s confidential informants. All of this was done without Mr Hager’s knowledge.

To get this information, the Police applied for and received production orders using applications essentially the same as the one used to obtain a warrant to raid Mr Hager’s home. That warrant has been found by the Court to have been “fundamentally unlawful”. That was because the Police failed to inform the judge issuing the warrant of the potential impact of the warrant on journalistic source protection.

Mr Hager is asking the Court to hear this new claim together with the second stage of the proceedings already before the Court. Those proceedings are still to resolve issues relating to the Police accessing his bank information and a determination of damages for the Police’s unlawful raid on his house.

Mr Hager’s barrister, Felix Geiringer, said, “What the Police have done with Mr Hager’s travel information has all of the same problems that existed with the raid on his home. The Police were seeking to bypass Mr Hager’s rights to protect his sources by obtaining Mr Hager’s private information from third parties. But they did not tell the people issuing the production orders that that was what they were doing.”



“What the Police were trying to do here could do enormous damage to the ability of the New Zealand public to receive information. Journalists need to be able to travel to meet sources, they need to talk to some sources on the phone, to exchange emails with them. If the Police can do what they were trying to do here then it will be very difficult for journalists in this country to promise to keep sources confidential. The public’s source of information on such things as public corruption could dry up” said Mr Geiringer.

The Police only released the documents after receiving a preliminary view from the Privacy Commissioner on a complaint made by Mr Hager. The Police have also admitted that there are yet further documents that have not been disclosed.

Mr Geiringer added, “In some ways what the Police did in this case was worse than the raid on Mr Hager's home. They tried to obtain the information in secret so that Mr Hager couldn’t claim privilege over it. Shortly after the raid on his home, Mr Hager’s lawyers sent a letter to the Police. In that letter they told the Police the efforts to obtain Mr Hager’s information were unlawful and that Mr Hager’s information held by third parties would also be privileged. But, the Police did not tell that to the people issuing the travel data production orders. Then the Police unlawfully hid the facts of these searches from Mr Hager for well over a year.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


camouflage

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Shouldn’t Genuflect To Calls For Secrecy

Reportedly most (and possibly all) of the Royal Commission investigation into the Christchurch mosque shootings will be closed to the general public and to the media.

Oh sure, come delivery date in December there will be some kind of “public-facing” document containing conclusions and rationales, but there will have been no interim way of scrutinizing the inquiry’s rigour, or how fairly its findings reflect the evidence. More>>

 
 

Budget Announcements: Family And Sexual Violence Response

The family and sexual violence package, which sits across eight portfolios, is the result of the first ever joint Budget bid from multiple government departments. More>>

ALSO:

Taking Children Into State Care: Minister For Children On The Nation

Simon Shepherd: ... So, we’ve seen this jump in the number of newborn Maori babies being taken from their parents in the last three years. Is that because it’s a directive from Oranga Tamariki to get involved earlier? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Christchurch Call

The zigzagging nature of Christchurch Call To Action's content (“steps to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online” on one hand… and “a free, open and secure Internet” on the other) reflects the genuine tension on this subject. More>>

ALSO:

Getting Moving: Wellington Transport To Get $6.4b Overhaul

A new $6.4bn transport project aiming to free up traffic in Wellington CBD will combine a mass transit system with an improved bus network, the government says. More>>

ALSO:

Privacy Commission Report: MSD Systematically Misused Fraud Investigation Powers

An Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) inquiry has found the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) systematically misused its investigatory powers while pursuing benefit fraud, unjustifiably intruding on the privacy of many beneficiaries. More>>

ALSO:

Consultation Doc: Safety Focus In Improved Drug Driver Testing

Improving the safety of all road users is the focus of a new public consultation document on the issue of drug driver testing. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels