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Hager’s response to Key

Written By: - Date published: 3:05 pm, October 18th, 2007 - 29 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

I’ve just listened to the audio and it doesn’t sound like Nicky Hager’s too happy with Key’s claims made on RDU last week.

At one point in that interview Key claims that Hager admits that the Brethren email may have been sent to the wrong address. Hager calls this a “complete invention” given his crystal clear testimony to the Select Committee (here) that Key is still not telling the truth about his involvement. Hager also refutes Key’s claim that he has ever apologised for incorrect facts in the book.

Nicky’s asked to give his assessment of Key, to which he replies:

“I have a suspicion that the main thing that drives him is ambition and that there isn’t a great deal of ethical underpinning. He looks to me like one of those politicians [who]… will say anything or do anything to get where they’re going. But it’s still a tentative opinion because we’ve only seen nine months of him in the National Party leadership. But it’s not a very impressive picture yet, that’s my opinion”.

He loved the play though.

Also worth noting is his reluctance to move to a new subject, even now the book is done. So little is has changed in National under Key, he suggests, it’s “quite likely that my work over the next year will be watching the politics and trying to pick up the same threads again. I’m not sure yet but if i get the right sources and get some solid information that might be what i do.”

I’m already looking forward to the sequel.

Audio here.

29 comments on “Hager’s response to Key”

  1. Wodger 1

    Guess which book Hager is talking about in this quote:

    “I’ll tell you my take on it. I think the book was absolutely sound and I also think that the commotion and damage control was so overwhelming that lots of people thought that I got it wrong. … I do think that it is a good book personally”.

    BTW when HC agrees to release all her private emails to Nicky Hagar I’ll buy a copy of The Hollow Men. Anyone who thinks Labour is not driven to do anything to stay elected is kidding themselves. This applies to most politicians, particularly the leadership group.

  2. Tane 2

    So you’re not denying what happened in the Hollow Men… but you don’t want to read it because you think (without any evidence, I might add) that it’s just as bad over at Labour?

  3. burt 3

    Excellent, keep talking about how credible Hager is.

    Seeds of Distrust

    Over the following weeks, the pulling up was replaced by a cover-up. Helen Clark’s government did a U-turn: the contaminated crops, including thousands of GE sweet corn plants, were allowed to spread their pollen and then be harvested for sale in New Zealand and overseas. The rest of the known contaminated seed batch was approved for planting. The public was not told. The Government misled the Royal Commission members about the incident to stop it influencing their findings.

  4. JamesK 4

    Burt I see you’re a Hager fan. Are you still voting National, or is ACT more your cup of tea?

  5. Wodger 5


    Remember this…

    Wed 14-Sep-05 Mike Smith writes to CEO offering to include pledge cards in election advertising

    Wed 05-Oct-05 Mike Smith writes to CEO withdrawing offer to include pledges cards

    A paragon of honesty. Still General Secretary of Labour’s New Zealand Council I see.

    If Labour have done nothing wrong, then why not release those emails ?

  6. r0b 6

    Every time The Hollow Men comes up, the Right will try and link it to Seeds of Distrust. If one is good they argue, the other must be good too. Take that, Leftie!

    Ummm, no. If an author writes one good thing it does not follow that everything written by the author is good.

    If Dylan releases one good album it does not follow that every album released by Dylan is good. If Labour has one good policy it does not follow that every Labour policy is good. See how silly it gets?

    The Hollow Men was written with a wealth of concrete inside evidence. It was so damning that brought down a leader. Neither of these things are true of Seeds.

    To those National Party supporters who haven’t read The Hollow Men – shame on you. You don’t know what it is that you are supporting, or how cynically you are being used.

  7. robinsod 7

    Ohh Wodger – you’ve got all the good inside goss. Are you a national party staffer by any chance? ‘Cos if you are can you confirm that you guys will be doing a big advertising spend on billboards in November? Oh yeah, and what will they have on them? (I hear you’re still trying to get Ansell on board but given how long it takes to get skins printed I’m assuming the art’s already done).

  8. Wodger 8


    I see that you have completely failed to respond to the actual point I was making. I guess you really don’t have a good answer when Labour duplicity is exposed.


    I’ll repeat my point of above…

    “BTW when HC agrees to release all her private emails to Nicky Hagar I’ll buy a copy of The Hollow Men. Anyone who thinks Labour is not driven to do anything to stay elected is kidding themselves. This applies to most politicians, particularly the leadership group.”

    Are you suggesting that only National listen to advisors or have influences?

  9. robinsod 9

    And Wodger – And you choose not to respond to my questions. As for your’s (if your allegation is correct – any chance of some proof?) I can only assume further advice was taken and it was decided (a decision that was subsequently shown to be incorrect) that the pledge card wouldn’t need to go into the spend. Jeez a political party deciding not to add money to their spend if they didn’t have to? Who’d’ve thought that? I’m assuming that when you get the chance to save money you stoically turn your back on it?

    Now – I’ve answered your question how about you answer mine? Or would you rather dissemble about the emails. Cos if you would I can only repeat what I’ve said earlier. Every time the Hollow Men comes up National talks about the “stolen” emails. This is misdirection and is intended to draw people away from the substance of what has been revealed. If National is so concerned about the “theft” of these emails then why did they take so long to file a complaint with the police and why are they being uncooperative? Is it because the emails were leaked by a staffer who brash was having an affair with or is it because they were leaked by English? Or is it some other reason.

    But – back to my point – Wodg – are you a National Party staffer? etc…

  10. Wodger 10


    Are you a Labour party staffer?

    It might surprise you lefties, but just because someone disagrees with you that does not make them a paid employee of the National party.

    I have to wonder about the gang that run this blog though. I’d bet that they are all on the Government tit one way or another.

    BTW can you quote the date of the election in 2005 w.r.t the above Mike Smith emails?

    (Captcha for this comment is “Many Bribes” – seems strangely appropriate

  11. robinsod 11

    No Wodge – I’m not a labour party staffer. Nor have I ever been. I’m pretty certain I never will be as well. Now see how simple a straight answer is?

    So, once again (‘cos you seem a little slow on the uptake) are you a national party staffer? And if so can you answer my questions about the billboards?

    Oh, and I don’t think anyone who disagrees with me is on the payroll (that’s more a trope of the right) but when researched information from inside the game comes up and is backed with by-the-book National party misdirection (that’s what you’ve shown so far) I figure it’s not too paranoid to suspect a Nat campaign staffer – it’s fine if you are though I find the thought I’m nattering with an insider kinda cool and it’s nice to preview your lines.

    And, in case you forgot during the last par, Wodger – are you a national party staffer?

  12. Phil 12

    Hager’s comments on Key could just as easily apply to every other political figure of note in the house… it’s a sad fact that the days of the honest and open politician are long behind us.

  13. Wodger 13

    No Robbo – I’m not a National party staffer. Nor have I ever been. I’m pretty certain I never will be as well.

    How are you getting on with the 2005 election date?

  14. robinsod 14

    Wodge, why would I bother talking to you – you’re just a punter for crying out loud.

  15. burt 15


    Ummm, no. If an author writes one good thing it does not follow that everything written by the author is good.

    Yes agree, so which one is true. If I ask you you would most likely say the nasty story about National is correct and the nasty story about Labour is not.

    If I ask a National supporter they would say the the nasty Labour party story is true and the story about National is not.

    I don’t have a clue, I agreed with somebody else’s perspective that the guy is a loon, but I don’t just take that stance when it suites me and reverse it when it doesn’t.

    Has Hager publicly declared a stance that Seeds of Distrust was incorrect, and the story was nothing like that?

    I’ll drop reminding you guys about Corngate every time Hager is mentioned on this blog to denigrate National if he has.

  16. JamesK 16

    Burt, your continual assertion that the Hollow Men isn’t trus is absurd. If you’d read it, you’d be aware Hager has provided the primary source documents in the form of Brash’s emails. There’s no denying it, it’s there in black and whie.

  17. burt 17


    I never said it wasn’t true. I’m not a National party supporter. I’m not insanely partisan. However I can’t see how if The Holow Men is thru e that therefore Seeds of Distrust is not. That’s simply a partisan stand that defies any logic.

    Shall we say they are both true? I’m happy with that position, how about you?

  18. Robinsod 18

    Burt – I’d be happy to say they’re both true but the evidence for Hollow Men is greater. It’s just the nature of investigative journalism: sometimes you get the smoking gun, sometimes you only get someone talking about how they saw the smoking gun. The Hollow Men is the former.

  19. burt 19


    So by the reasoning both books are true, Labour are as unfit for office as National? Have we just found the first thing we agree on?

    I also wonder why no police investigation had gone on over the apparent stolen emails, especially since the book has become a Govt funded play. Perhaps Corngate will be the next in the Hager season.

  20. Robinsod 20

    Burt – the info I have is that the Nat’s are behind the slow police.

  21. burt 21


    I just saw a pig fly past my window, it had vote Labour written on it. I hope it wasn’t tax payer funded.

  22. Robinsod 22

    Nah Burt – It was probably paid for by the north koreans – I just saw a vote national pig fly by and I swear it had “authorised by the EB” typed on its arse in smallprint…

  23. r0b 23

    Burt – Re the significance (or “truth”) of Hollow Men and Seeds of Distrust, I think “history” has already rendered a verdict that goes beyond politically partisan views.

    “Has Hager publicly declared a stance that Seeds of Distrust was incorrect, and the story was nothing like that?”

    Not as far as I know – but then, it’s not the sort of thing he’s likely to say is it.

    “I’ll drop reminding you guys about Corngate every time Hager is mentioned on this blog to denigrate National if he has.”

    You can do what you like of course, but every time you claim that the two books must be of equal significance, you know you’re, ummmmm, not doing your best work.

  24. burt 24


    It was flying Robinson, it’s clearly a GE pig. Must have eaten too much of Helen Clark’s special imported corn.

  25. burt 25


    Is ‘best work’ defined as taking a partisan Labour party supporters stance? If so I fail. I also fail taking a partisan National party supporters stance. Oh well, at least I get to enjoy the whole story rather than being forced to block out the bits that offend my partisan views.

  26. Robinsod 26

    Burt – you’re a pugnacious bastard, I’ll give you that. Obtuse for sure but pugnacious. You’re not a computer programme are you?

  27. r0b 27

    Burt – “Is ‘best work’ defined as taking a partisan Labour party supporters stance?”

    Best work is defined as intellectual honesty. Telling the truth.

    “Oh well, at least I get to enjoy the whole story rather than being forced to block out the bits that offend my partisan views.”

    Yeah tempting – one gets to feel superior to everyone. But there’s also a saying – “the hottest fires of hell are reserved for those who seek to preserve moral neutrality in the face of a crisis”. I somewhat believe in that.

    In short, if you believe in anything, then I think you’re obliged to stand and be counted.

  28. burt 28


    I have stood and been counted.

    I said: “Shall we say they are both true? I’m happy with that position, how about you?”

    I’m picking you think Corngate even if true was nothing but the EB story is the crisis?

  29. r0b 29

    Burt – “I have stood and been counted.”

    Oh, good for you. Sorry, I thought you were claiming to be neutral.

    “Shall we say they are both true? I’m happy with that position, how about you?”

    We can say what we like. The public, or history, or whatever, has passed its own judgments. Hollow Men took down a party leader, Seeds of Distrust did not.

    “I’m picking you think Corngate even if true was nothing but the EB story is the crisis?”

    If everything Hager said about Corngate was true then it would reflect pretty badly on Labour. If everything Hager said about Hollow Men was true then it reflects extremely badly on National.

    I’ve read both books. Have you Burt?

    Anyway, goodnight, if you’re still up replying to this, you get the last word!

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  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
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  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
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  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
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  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
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  • Sport Recovery Package announced
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  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
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  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
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  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
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  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
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  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
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  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
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  • Tailored help supports new type of job seeker – report
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  • A modern approach to night classes
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