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Scoop Coverage: Key, Whale Oil, Hager And Dirty Politics

Scoop Coverage: Key, Whale Oil, Hager And Dirty Politics

Coverage of the reaction and fallout from Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics.

Page is being updated (from the top) as events unfold.

December: Word Of The Year 2014: #dirtypolitics

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>>


On Cameron Slater: "Key should close down Black Ops" - Greens
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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

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

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>>


Report Dump - SIS/Goff Release: Gordon Campbell On The Inquiry Into One Case Of Dirty Politics

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>>

IGIS: Statement On Early Report Release

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>>



Meanwhile – Intelligence Bill Rushed Through:

Report Dump - Collins/SFO Investigation: Government Inquiry Report Released

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>>


  • NZ Govt - Government Inquiry report released
  • Judith Collins - Collins welcomes Government Inquiry report
  • Adam Feeley - Collins Inquiry - Statement from Mr Adam Feeley
  • Labour - Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
  • Carrick Graham - Inquiry Shows New Media PR Here to Stay
  • Out-Link - Judith Collins inquiry: Four unanswered questions
  • TV3 Video - Judith Collins cleared of colluding with Whale Oil blogger Slater
  • November - The Pantograph Punch: Dirty Politics

    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>>

    12/11/14: Did Collins Cover Up Slater’s OIA Requests?

    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>>

    23/10/14: Press Statement In Relation To Search Of Nicky Hager's Home

    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 sources...

    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>>

    PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil As Parliament Resumes

    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>>


    Hacker Search vs Journalism: Police Raid Nicky Hager's House, Seize Computers

    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>>


    Lyndon Hood: The Source Of Denial

    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>>



    Crowdfunded Ad: 2,100 People Send Message About Dirty Politics

    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>>


    10 Sept - Protesters Demand: “No More Dirty Politics”
    Earlier: Grassroots Protest Outside Parliament Tomorrow

    Public Health Experts Call For An Inquiry On Conflicts

    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 professionals. More>>



    SIS Inquiry Under Way: Goff Gives Sworn Evidence To IGIS

    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 political purposes.

    “I am today releasing my opening statement in the interests of openness and transparency,” said Mr Goff. More>>


    Details: Government Inquiry Announcement

    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>>


    John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

    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>>


    Sept 3 Polls:

    Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s ‘blame It On Judith’ Strategy

    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>>


    John Key Statement: Judith Collins Resigns As A Minister

    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>>


    Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

    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>>


    Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

    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>>



    From The Scoop Video Archive: PM Says SIS "Told Me" About OIA Release

    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>>


  • Scoop Video in the news - New questions over Key claims | NZ Herald News -
  • Original video Alastair Thompson - Audio: PM's Post-Cab Presser Monday, 08 August 2011
  • TV3 Video - Housing issue nudges Dirty Politics aside - David Cunliffe: Key's SIS explanation 'defies belief' - SIS leak came from Key's Office - Goff - Key 'categorically denies' Slater OIA discussion - Video: Key faces more Dirty Politics questions

  • TVNZ - Winston Peters: ‘Dirty Politics' is a new low
  • The Nation - Debate Between Grant Robertson And Russel Norman
  • NZ First - “The Words Mean What I Say They Mean”
  • Martin Doyle - Martin Doyle Cartoon: Best Song Ever Written - Martin Doyle Cartoon: Stuffing around with street names
  • Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

    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>>


    Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

    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 purposes...

    “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>>


    Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

    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>>


    MORE AT: 'Dirty Politics' Cartoons: Whale Comes Home To Roost - Spike Mountjoy

    Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

    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 Robertson,

    "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>>


    Satire: Laundering Dirty Politics

    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

    ALSO: Martin Doyle cartoon: (Book) Sorrows and Joyce
    Martin Doyle Cartoon: Big Hager is watching you

    Gordon Campbell: On The Ongoing Fallout From Nicky Hager’s Book

    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>>


    Gordon Campbell: On Nicky Hager’s New Book

    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>>

    Multimedia: Launch Of Nicky Hager Book - Dirty Politics

    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>>



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