John Key’s defence to Hager’s book starts to unwind

Written By: - Date published: 4:29 pm, August 16th, 2014 - 153 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags: , ,

John Key has for the past couple of days dismissed Nicky Hager’s book and has claimed that National has done nothing wrong and has nothing to apologise for. It appears that the defence is starting to unwind however and there must be questions about the veracity of what Key has told the country.

One of the claims was that Jason Ede, Ministerial and Parliamentary staffer had hacked into the Labour Party server when it was crippled and took information from it. Key has rubbished this claim. This is a report from Radio New Zealand two days ago:

But Mr Key told reporters in Dunedin today that National had nothing to do with that. “Yeah, this is Nicky Hager, one of life’s great conspiracy theorists … Cameron Slater’s made it quite clear it had nothing to do with the National Party.” He was then asked why the public should believe Mr Slater over Mr Hager and replied that the writer was “making stuff up.”

In the book, Mr Hager singles out National Party staffer Jason Ede as a key conduit to right-wing bloggers, especially Mr Slater. Mr Key said while National Party ministers and staff do talk to bloggers, they’re doing nothing untoward. He said he totally rejects claims in the book that he or his staff were involved in hacking the Labour Party’s website or information releases by the SIS.

Mr Key said Dirty Politics makes all sorts of wild allegations and joined a whole lot of dots that can’t be connected. He said Jason Ede no longer works in his office, but does for the National Party and he stands by Mr Ede and his actions.

In an ironic twist of fate a letter has emerged which contradicts what Key has said about the hacking of Labour’s computer. The Herald has just reported:

Speaking to media this afternoon Labour leader David Cunliffe said: “The Labour Party is today releasing correspondence from the National Party, dated 2011, which confirms that at least one of its staff were involved in infiltrating the Labour Party’s website.”

A copy of the email correspondence was sent to media this afternoon.

It consists of an email from National’s general manager Greg Hamilton, to Chris Flatt, then Labour’s general secretary, dated June 13, 2011.

“We do accept that one of our staff visited your public website via URL and read files that were publicly available,” it said.

“It appears that he downloaded a file named Labour Newsletter and several compressed files with the view of reading later. In fact the compressed files remain un-opened.”

“The National Party has not and will not be publishing any of it and has not and will not be releasing any personal information.”

Mr Cunliffe said he expected Prime Minister John Key to apologise to New Zealanders.

“I would now like to see an apology from the Prime Minister and an admission that he misled the public in the last 48 hours.”

The correspondence consisted of an admission from National’s general secretary that the party “actually did infiltrate our website”.

Mr Cunliffe would not confirm if the person he alleged hacked into Labour’s website was Mr Key’s close advisor Jason Ede.

“The person is not named [in the correspondence], but you can draw your own conclusion,” he said.

Maybe Key will try the defence that it was staff employed by National and not him that did the hacking. But is this is the first test then it is clear that Hager and not Key should be believed.

Update:  Thanks Karol for this transcript which really makes it clear:

KEY: There’s a couple of allegations that Hager’s made that are completely and utterly wrong.

REPORTER: Which are?

KEY: A: National’s been nowhere near Labour’s website, as I said. Mr Slater’s made it quite clear this morning that he found the way in there and that’s because it was completely open and Labour didn’t have any protection on it. Nothing to do with National.

REPORTER. Hager has emails showing that Jason Ede was talking about tr0lling through the Labour Party website:

KEY: yeah, well that’s not correct. It’s nothing

REPORTER: Are you saying those emails are false?

KEY: What I’m saying is that it is nothing to do with us. What happened was – Mr Slater’s made it quite clear on his website today, that in fact it was nothing to do with the National Party.

REPORTER: [?] goes back to your office?

KEY: No I don’t think that’s right. Nothing to do with our office.

153 comments on “John Key’s defence to Hager’s book starts to unwind”

  1. karol 1

    The stupid thing for Key is, that the admission of National Party involvement was reported way back in 2011, and such reports are freely available online.

    NBR report on it.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Key was very tricky: National didn’t download and release the files. Slater did. Therefore Slater was the “hacker”. Key is an experienced, practiced and considered liar; “a natural politician”.

    • redfed 2.1

      He may say that. If he does it will make him look ridiculous. Do the people of New Zealand need to get everything he says vetted by lawyers to make sure that there is no wriggle room?

      • weka 2.1.1

        Yes they do, and unfortunately that’s been the case for a very long time. As OAB says, the man is a practised liar par excellence, and this is a another example. In that whole 20 min TV3 video, Key lies straight to our faces over and over and over. And gets away with it because his lies are slippery as. Watch Key now tell a still relatively compliant media, that of course he said Ede has seen some of the website as it was available to the public, but the hacking was done by Slater and had nothing to do with National.

        Part of the problem here is going to be the use of the term ‘hacker’, and confusion over what is public and what is private and what was accessed and how (witness the confusion in the convos on ts on this in the past few days). Whether that will work in NACT’s favour or the left’s I’m not sure yet. Could go either way.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          “No, we don’t do that, [sotto voce, and is there a musical expression for “mumbled quickly”?] no more than anyone else does.” A shiny new way of saying ‘yes’.

    • karol 2.2

      It’s in the TV3 20 minute video. I’m pretty sure Key repeatedly stated that the National Party was not involved in accessint the confidsential stuff on the Labour Party website.

      • ianmac 2.2.1

        Not sure if anyone has posted the Cameron Slater interview on the Nation this morning.
        A very interesting response to Lisa’s very precise questions.

        • Anne

          Just watched it. Lisa Owen is rapidly becoming NZ’s best and most intelligent interviewer. Hagar, Goff and Turei put across their points in a concise and impressive manner. Can you think of even one Tory minister who could match them in the credibility stakes? I can’t.

        • Murray Olsen

          He was terrible. He would have been better served if his ego hadn’t made him go on tv. The useless prick is all attack and no defence, like a bad English rugby league team.

          The main thing that worries me about his involvement is that our lords and masters are stupid and crooked enough to actually use Blubber Boy. I want to be represented by people with a modicum of good sense. Oh, and FJK.

      • weka 2.2.2

        If that’s the vid from yesterday, Key eventually says that Ede might have looked at the website.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Whereas the whole truth is that Ede looked at it, verified that files were able to be downloaded, then briefed Slater on how to do it so as to hide the Prime Minister’s* involvement.

          *yeah, that’s right: Ede did the work he’s paid to do. Just like Barker, González, Martínez, McCord and Sturgis.

          • weka

            And hide his (Ede’s) own involvement. Key doesn’t know this though, because apparently he hasn’t read the book.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Ede is Key National. What he does, Key National has motivated and provided resources for. Key is up to his tongue in it.

              • weka

                Am sure that’s QFT. Bet there is no direct evidence of it though.

                • Chris

                  Things are getting way too close for there not to be. This is the beginning of the end of one of NZ’s darkest periods in politics. I’m glad this will be remembered as Key’s legacy.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  A neat trick worthy of Doug Stamper, to work out of Key’s own office and yet maintain the veneer of strict deniability. My considered opinion is that incompetent arrogant thugs make mistakes, and Jason Ede is no Doug Stamper.

                  • Murray Olsen

                    Incompetent arrogant thugs with ego problems definitely make mistakes. Seaslug thinks he’s a genius because he got School C, therefore he’s smart enough to trick anyone. Keeping the emails unencrypted was his first mistake here. Lying about it was the next. Poor diddums will have to get over himself and get a job after this.

          • karol

            Yes, I remember discussion on TS at the time. People said that there was no way Cam Slater had the IT skills to discover the site, or to produce instructions for others on how to access it. Some people said back then, Slater would have had someone else doing the techie leg work.

        • Picard110

          Slowly the truth is being dragged out of Key. Eventually he will have to speak the full truth.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.3

        Karol, Key certainly uses a form of words that gives you that impression. Like I said: a practiced and experienced liar.

  3. 100% Pure NZ 3

    Plausible deniability as a defence is not credible to Kiwi’s – indeed a term coined by the CIA – additionally “I don’t remember or have no recollection” smacks of the illegal Iran-Contra actions and Oliver North.

    These “tactics” are direct descendants of the selective amnesia defence employed by the senior Nazi officials and bureaucrats at the War Crimes Trails at Nuremberg at the conclusion of WW2.

    Happy Days, New Zealand

  4. KJS0ne 4

    Good. Hopefully this is just the start of a growing wave. It’s still too late to be categorical about it, but my hopes are that Key’s confuse and redirect tactics about this (labelling a credible Hager a conspiracy theorist, a nut, etc) will actually begin to work against him. As soon as he is forced to start mounting a defense against the specific allegations he has already lost. I think Key knows this and that’s why they have so vehemently refused to go anywhere near the actual material contained within the book, resorting to blanket denial and smokescreens of ad hominem insults towards Hager, character assassination and ridicule.

    I am still disappointed that so many Kiwis are not even willing to consider that their God king might have done something illegal here, let alone that he is actually a lying hollow man who doesn’t represent their interests in the least, and thinks very little of their intelligence, so little that he thinks the greater New Zealand public will continue to swallow his verbal ejaculate indefinately without so much as a second thought.

  5. alwyn 5

    “He said he totally rejects claims in the book that he or his staff were involved in hacking the Labour Party’s website”
    Can you please explain how this statement by John Key, which you highlight, conflicts in any way with the email from what I take to be the National Party organisation?
    John Key and his staff are the Prime Minister’s office. They are not the National Party office.
    Perhaps the Labour Party is different as it appears that David Cunliffe’s staff are heavily involved with the election campaign but there is nothing in the email that Cunliffe quotes that conflicts with Key’s statement.
    All the email shows is that the National Party office displayed singularly ethical behaviour.

    • redfed 5.1

      You are joking right?

      Hager says that National raided Labour’s computer. Says that he has lots of emails between Ede and Slater confirming it.

      Key says there is nothing for National to answer for and Hager got it all wrong.

      Also says something which clearly suggests National did not interfere in Labour’s computer at all.

      Then it is clear that National did interfere with Labour’s computer because they apologised for it.

      In my last paragraph I pretty well challenged someone to argue this because I thought someone would try to say something this stupid. Tell the people of New Zealand that when the PM says National had nothing to do with interfering with Labour’s computer he was referring to his Ministerial Staff only. See how they respond.

      Thanks for competing.

      • alwyn 5.1.1

        Why don’t you therefore stick to the bit for which you do have a case that you can make, regarding the fact that someone from the National HO may have accessed the database, and apparently got a bollocking for it?
        However you have also quoted, and highlighted, the statement by Key saying that neither he nor his staff, which clearly means the PM’s office, were involved. That is what I am questioning and which you don’t appear to have an answer.
        When you make a whole string of claims the person being attacked only needs to show that one of them is false to spoil your whole case. It is a little bit like Parliament where only beginning MPs throw in multiple parts to a question. They are far to easy to answer.
        Here you have thrown in something that is not justified at all by your evidence. Stick to the arguable bits and don’t try and extend your claims to things for which you cannot show any evidence.

        • redfed

          My diversion alert is going off big time.

          Have a look at Karol’s transcript. In it Key says that “National’s been nowhere near Labour’s website” and he kept repeating it.

          The reality is that National people had not only been near the website they had also downloaded stuff from it.

          Key was not telling the truth. Do you honestly not see this?

          • locus

            But redfed, as Alwyn says: key said……. So it must be true. Dont you see how irrational it is for you to contradict him……

          • alwyn

            That is fine. The e-mail from the National Party to the Labour Party is evidence for this part of the claim and you can hammer away at it to your hearts content.

            However in the material you posted the emphasis is on
            ” He said he totally rejects claims in the book that he or his staff were involved in hacking the Labour Party’s website or information releases by the SIS.”
            This is the bit you highlighted, and therefore I assume what you regard as the most important part of Key’s claims.

            What I am saying is that the apology from the National Party to Labour does NOT provide any evidence at all that the item you highlight in Key’s comments is false.
            Stick to the bit where you are on solid ground. Don’t mix it up with things where you don’t have any evidence. It simply enables people to say that you are trying to make bricks without straw.

            • framu

              ” He said he totally rejects claims in the book that he or his staff were involved in hacking the Labour Party’s website or information releases by the SIS.”

              “The reality is that National people had not only been near the website they had also downloaded stuff from it.”

              the two statements dont add up – which one is correct?

              the only way you can argue both are correct is if you start playing semantics with the word hacking

              did someone working in national or the PMs office access info they knew was meant to be private, download it then communicate with WO about it?

              • alwyn

                Framu. You don’t seem to understand but I’ll try to explain again.

                “he totally rejects claims in the book that he or his staff were involved”
                This means people in his office. They are not people in the National Party Head Office.

                “National people had not only been near the website they had also downloaded stuff from it.”
                These are people in the National Party Head Office. They are not people in the PMs office.
                Don’t you understand? They are not the same offices or people.

                There. Is the fog of confusion in your head starting to clear?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      Alwyn, that might work in court (after all, legality is the only benchmark you wingnuts respect) and how’s it going to play out in public again?

    • It would be fascinating to see a timeline of Jason Ede’s employment history. Because when the allegation is “PM’s senior adviser involved in hacking, theft, and skullduggery” the answer is “No, he works for the Party, not the PM.” When the allegation is “National Party involved in hacking, theft and skullduggery” the answer is “No, he works for the PM, not the Party.”

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3.1

        I’d rather see him before a judge than a timeline. As a witness, protected from prosecution because he has provided evidence against his boss.

      • lprent 5.3.2

        It would be fascinating to see a timeline of Jason Ede’s employment history.

        From what I understand from gossip, he was fully employed by Parliamentary services as part of John Keys staff until about March this year when most (but not all?) of his income was shifted from Parliamentary Services to the National party.

        This could be wrong as it is just what people are telling me. But it does seem kind of weird for someone not employed under the public service rules to be on the 9th floor. After all there is a whole lot of pretty secure strategic info going on up there. He;d have had to have had some kind of security clearance.

        As mike said this morning below, it is hard to get information from the office of the prime minister.

        However I suspect that getting an OIA on the employment dates of Jason Ede from Parliamentary Services is going to a popular past time.

        • Tracey

          well, the whaledump twitter feed has quoted WO as saying he never got any emails from Jason Ede telling him about OIA wording… so can we assume that will be in the early dump this afternoon?

    • Mike Smith 5.4


      There are three “offices” on the 8th and 9th floor of the Beehive. They are the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Prime Minister’s office, and the Office of the Leader of the National Party. The DPMC is a public service department, the PM’s office is a Ministerial office with departmental secondees, and the Office of the Leader is a parliamentary office. The Office of the Leader is according to them not subject to the Official Information Act, as I know from previous requests I have made.

      Jason Ede worked in the Office of the Leader of the National Party at the time he was communicating with Slater on the matters referred to in the book. Matthew Hooton explained it on Friday on RadioNZ Ede would have been in meetings discussing strategy and tactics with the PM’s office staff and the National Party on a daily basis. For Key to say that the activities of someone who worked for the Office of the Leader of the National Party had nothing to do with the National Party is clearly false.

      But it does explain why when asked by journalists from RadioZB yesterday why they could not get correspondence between his office and bloggers such as Slater and Farrar his response was “We obey the law.”

      • alwyn 5.4.1

        Yes, that’s all fine. However the offices do not include the National Party itself. I am merely suggesting that any attacks on Key should be limited to statements for which there is some evidence, not to just throw in all sorts of unrelated claims.

        Redfed can argue that the letter from the party shows that someone there accessed the database. However he then highlights, and claims evidence for, the claim that it was done by people in the Beehive. That can simply be denied and the other parts dismissed as well.

        You say that “Ede would have been in meetings” etc. That is almost certainly true but the letter from the Party official is no evidence of anything untoward going on.

        • redfed

          You have not read the book have you.

          Chapter 3 confirms that Ede accessed the site before Slater’s big splash and there is email traffic between Ede and Slater working out which bits of the attack should be emphasised.

          You seem to be arguing from a position of blindness but you insist you are right?

          • alwyn

            No I haven’t read the book, in which circumstance I suspect I am like the majority of people commenting.
            I did look for a copy but it had sold out by the time I got around to it. Next printing may be available.
            I have a distinct feeling of bullshit about a lot of what Hagar writes from reading his previous books though. John Key was certainly correct when he called him a conspiracy theorist (or whatever the exact words were).
            However I’m not talking about what Hagar says. I am talking about what you are trying to make out of the apology from the National Party to the Labour Party. You are pushing it to far in my opinion.

            • Tracey

              “in which circumstance I suspect I am like the majority of people commenting.”

              What do you based that upon, that everyone is like you?

              Even the Nats could only find ONE error in Hollow Men.

  6. Scott1 6

    Regarding the hacking of the website and Whaleoil’s video.
    “I wonder if the link leading to the file directory was the hack.”
    In other words it was just like these links would normally look before – but care of access to the labour system the links were created that it lead to all sorts of other files.

  7. karol 7

    from the TV3 video linked above, Key said:

    KEY: There’s a couple of allegations that Hager’s made that are completely and utterly wrong.

    REPORTER: Which are?

    KEY: A: National’s been nowhere near Labour’s website, as I said. Mr Slater’s made it quite clear this morning that he found the way in there and that’s because it was completely open and Labour didn’t have any protection on it. Nothing to do with National.

    REPORTER. Hager has emails showing that Jason Ede was talking about tr0lling through the Labour Party website:

    KEY: yeah, well that’s not correct. It’s nothing

    REPORTER: Are you saying those emails are false?

    KEY: What I’m saying is that it is nothing to do with us. What happened was – Mr Slater’s made it quite clear on his website today, that in fact it was nothing to do with the National Party.

    REPORTER: [?] goes back to your office?

    KEY: No I don’t think that’s right. Nothing to do with our office.

    And on and on… though he admits that Ede may have looked at it after Slater published how to look at it.

    • Macro 7.1

      KEY: What I’m saying is that it is nothing to do with us. What happened was – Mr Slater’s made it quite clear on his website today, that in fact it was nothing to do with the National Party.

      Duh!!! And people actually believe this man????

      A serial liar refers to a serial liar for verification! Unbelievable.

    • Pat 7.2

      Just a couple of the allegations are wrong Mr Key? The rest all true then????

  8. TeWhareWhero 8

    The Yahoo!Xtra news poll today asks the question – “Would you read Nicky Hager’s book ‘Dirty Politics’?”

    These were the results earlier – the numbers go up but the proportions remain the almost identical from the moment the poll opens.

    Yes Definitely

    Not interested

    Not sure

    The inept wording of the poll aside, IF this is a true reflection (I don’t know if it’s possible to register multiple ‘votes’) of the attitudes of Kiwis, it’s truly depressing.

    I really don’t want to believe that 8 out of 10 Kiwis are that reactionary and ignorant. I find it hard to believe that it’s even an accurate measure of the people who regularly vote on the Xtra poll – even though a majority is almost always GUARANTEED to come down on the reactionary side of ANY question.

    But, IF those who vote on this poll are representative of the wider population and, IF this is an accurate measure (i.e. the National Party Dirty Politics department hasn’t managed to rig it), the sad conclusion is that almost 80% of Kiwis either:

    lack intellectual curiosity;
    are lazy pudding-heads;
    are so blindly loyal/obedient to their dear leader they would believe anything that comes out of his mouth (or any other part of his anatomy);
    have been so dumbed down they believe the likes of Hoskings, Henry, Garner, Plunkett, and the right wing schlumps Farrar and Slater.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      I’m not going to read the book because I don’t really think I need to.

      Does that make me reactionary and ignorant?

      • Tracey 8.1.1


        I bought it to support hager who does great work. he wont make from this what slater makes in a year from sir doug grahamz boy… and it confirms much of what is discussed here is real and not conspiracy.

        the assumed identities of posters at wo and that he puts his name to articles written and forwarded by others for money or motive…

      • TeWhareWhero 8.1.2

        That would depend on why you thought you didn’t need to.

      • Puddleglum 8.1.3

        Does that make me reactionary and ignorant?

        No, but it seems to mean that it does strongly suggest that you “lack intellectual curiosity” (one of TeWhareWhero’s options) about the contents of the book.

        You say you won’t read it because “I don’t really think I need to“.

        That is at least one example of a lack of intellectual curiosity.

        Now, of course none of us can be intellectually curious about everything but when we state that we have little curiosity about something (e.g., because we think we already know enough about it) then we do, indeed, “lack intellectual curiosity” about that particular thing.

        There are other logically possible explanations that avoid the charge of a ‘lack of intellectual curiosity’ – e.g., Nicky Hager could well say “I don’t think I need to read it” given that he wrote it. But I don’t expect such other logical possibilities apply in your case?

        I don’t mean this to be an insult – just a pretty straightforward conclusion from what you have written.

        Personally, I am intellectually curious about its detailed content and so I intend to read it as soon as possible.

        • Lanthanide

          I am intellectually curious, but given the wide coverage, I don’t see why I need to pay $$$ in order to read the actual words myself.

          • Puddleglum

            I think I see your point Lanthanide and it’s perfectly reasonable.

            In effect, you’re assuming that you will get to read the book by proxy – or through intermediaries (i.e., those who provide interpretations of its contents)? And that will satisfy your intellectual curiosity about its contents.

            What you’re not particularly curious about is what you personally might make of it by reading it directly? (Perhaps because you don’t think you’d come up with anything different from others’ interpretations that you could access.)

            The $$$ is not an issue since I presume it will be acquired by public libraries (or by some of your friends?). People here may also be willing and able to lend you their copy.

            While I’m certainly curious about its contents I’m also a bit ‘neurotic’ about discussing and debating the contents of books without having read them.

            I wouldn’t want to be in the same boat as National ministers who seem to be making damning claims about the book while almost boasting that they haven’t read it (but others have told them what’s in it). I think that lacks persuasive power in a discussion.

            I’m also concerned to make sure that if someone debates the contents with me I will be able to respond in detail with direct reference to the book’s contents.

            • Lanthanide

              I think reading the words themselves can only give you the unvarnished look at how horrible Slater (et al) is (are). I don’t really need the gory details, and I’m more interested in the ultimate outcomes than I am the actual misdeeds themselves.

              Also this is the sort of topic that I tend not to actively debate about. Of course not having read the book puts me in a position where I can’t, but I’m fine with that.

      • wtl 8.1.4

        I’m not going to read the book because I don’t really think I need to.

        I was of the same opinion as you, until I read danyl’s passionate post on it. That make me realise that if the book could affect him in such a way, then maybe it really was worth reading, even if only to get the same sense that he got about what Slater and others really are like.

        So I read the book, and it was worth it. Reading about the Labour party ‘hacks’, for example, and seeing emails back and forth from Slater and Ade, it is clear whatever means they might have used to access the server, their intentions were clearly malicious and criminal. They wanted to get the donor list so they could ‘ruin’ Labour, and had no qualms about using names on the list to damage innocent people whose only ‘crime’ was to donate to the Labour party. I had been following the previous posts on this topic, but the true extent of what happened was only apparent after I read the book.

        There is nothing like reading the book first hand, and seeing just how nasty these people really are. There is so much hate flowing through their everyday comments that it is deeply troubling, they simply do not care about others, do not care about the damage their actions do to others, and will do whatever it takes to get their way. These people do not belong anywhere near our political system, let alone so close to the top. Left or right, it wouldn’t matter, anyone like that needs to be shunned, not rewarded for the things they do.

        So in my opinion, you should read the book. You don’t even need to leave your house – you can get it on Amazon as an ebook (and convert it to whatever format you like, e.g. for reading on a Kobo).

      • michael 8.1.5

        No it makes you culpable for the destruction of New Zealand’s democratic process. You must read the book (borrow a copy if you can’t afford it) and make sure your family and friends are aware of its contents. Then make sure the lot of you get to a polling booth some time in the fortnight before 20 September and vote for any party other than National. Throw the bastards out. It’s the only way they will learn from this.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2

      I don’t much want to read it: the behaviour described fosters negative thoughts, and I’m not one of those people who turns anger inwards.

      Nixon won the 1972 election in a landslide. Don’t get your hopes up.

      • disturbed 8.2.1

        One anonymous bloke

        Yes I was there when the news first broke in 1972 and it took a while like this is to focus on who was responsible, and every hour speculations were rife but we were still mired in Vietnam so the thing got put on the backburner until after that election.
        He was popular so he got back in.

        But things were different then, everyone couldn’t believe Nixon would do it something like Key perhaps.

        But now we have both hindsight and Knowledge ahead of elections,

        So if we can get the case before the courts this year he should be gone in one year year?

        This if you follow Nixon’s time line from indictment and evidence in June 1973 till his final resignation in august 1974.
        The affair began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex on June 17, 1972. The FBI connected cash found on the burglars to a slush fund used by the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP), the official organization of Nixon’s campaign.[3][4] In July 1973, as evidence mounted against the President’s staff, including testimony provided by former staff members in an investigation conducted by the Senate Watergate Committee, it was revealed that President Nixon had a tape-recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations.[5][6] After a protracted series of bitter court battles, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the president had to hand over the tapes to government investigators; he eventually complied. Recordings from these tapes implicated the president, revealing he had attempted to cover up the questionable goings-on that had taken place after the break-in.[4][7] Facing near-certain impeachment in the House of Representatives and equally certain conviction by the Senate, Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974.[8

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Nope. He will get away with it. Even a Left victory in September won’t guarantee prosecution, let alone conviction. Right now there are people queuing up to excuse him. Helen Clark signed a painting you know. I’m not being flippant. People believe that shit.

          • Tom Jackson

            If that comes to pass, will you conclude that our kind of democracy has had its day in the sun?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Not at all. Spells can take time to wear off. That isn’t to say we can’t do any better. I think many in the National Party will eventually reluctantly accept that official support for poisonous criminal trash like the Prime Minister is a mistake better avoided, even on their feet of clay.

              • weka

                It pays to remember too that it wasn’t half the country that voted for Key. Most eligible voters didn’t vote for him/NACT. So it’s not like most of NZ thinks there is nothing wrong. I’d bet most NZers think there is something seriously wrong. The problem is that too many people feel powerless and/or too scared to do anything about it.

              • Tom Jackson

                Really, I would have thought that this, and the response of electorates to the Iraq invasion would have been to realise that the only real job of a left wing government is to create institutions that serve the sole functions of paralysing and marginalising the authoritarian right forever. They cannot be given an inch.

      • Tracey 8.2.2

        I dont think it will change the outcome either.

        • Tom Jackson

          Well, it will in the sense that a significant number of NZers will realise that we are dealing with an openly criminal regime, and that their fellow citizens are enabling it.

    • weka 8.3

      “The inept wording of the poll aside, IF this is a true reflection (I don’t know if it’s possible to register multiple ‘votes’) of the attitudes of Kiwis, it’s truly depressing.”

      Might just as easily be a reflection of how many astroturfers were on the job.

      There have been times in the past when I wouldn’t have read the book, for similarish reasons as OAB above. Some people care about NZ and what happens but don’t want to expose themselves to any more bullshit than is necessary.

      • TeWhareWhero 8.3.1

        Almost 10,000 people have voted (assuming it can’t be rigged); that’s a significant number.

        The poll is really asking – do you believe Hager or Key? Leastways that’s the spin some people will put on the results even if the 77% of respondents who say they are ‘not interested’ in reading the book include some people who aren’t interested in reading it because they don’t want to be depressed, can’t afford to buy it, can’t access a copy, already know what it contains and agree with it …. but would those people say ‘not interested’?

        I really need to change my ISP.

      • Tracey 8.3.2

        most people on left cant afford to buy 10 copies each to make it a best seller as the right can do for the key book

    • Tel 8.4

      At this early stage 1 in 5 people wanting to read this book is a staggering number (in a good way) imo. I think the only mistake Hager made was not giving away a free jar of Swarfega with each copy.

      • weka 8.4.1

        +1. How many people normally read political books? Hopefully we’ll see the numbers of books sold.

        • Tom Jackson

          That doesn’t matter so much. What matters is people who have read it or who are aware of the issues talking about it to people who know and trust their judgement.

          Think of how many people you know who you trust to give you accurate information about stuff that isn’t of primary interest to you. Well, lots of people get their information about politics that way. The more this stays in the press and the more people talk about it, the more that it spreads.

          BTW. The book was sold out in Whitcoulls Hamilton the Base today. A sign told people when more would be in. Apparently people have been asking for them a lot. That is very heavy interest for a NZ book.

          I got the third last on Thursday morning at another shop, and that was at about 9:30am.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yep, about 10%-20% of people are the true opinion makers in any social circle. Their individual views tend to have an outsized opinion on the views of the collective.

      • lprent 8.4.2

        I think the only mistake Hager made was not giving away a free jar of Swarfega with each copy.

        Indeed. That was how I felt when I hit the end of the book.. In a urgent need of the clean.

        Collins and Slater really are the equivalent of some form of gangrene, busily rotting everything of value from the body politic..

      • karol 8.4.3

        I think there will be many people who bought the nice smiley man line, who will resist considering they may have mis-judged.

        That’s a big challenge to many people’s existing world view.

        It can take time for people to change such perceptions.

    • Dialey 8.5

      a poll of 500 people, doesn’t say where or how selected, so I guess could have been in Epsom, or some other safe Nat electorate

  9. Lead Bow 9

    Sorry, but I can’t equate visiting an open web-site and downloading stuff that was available for downloading with ‘hacking’ or ‘infiltrating’. Both terms imply a deliberate and conscious penetration of measures intended to keep certain items secured from ‘public’ access, which doesn’t seem applicable here.

    Similarly, while it stinks to high heaven that National Ministers would abuse their powers to make dirt on their opposition available to bloggers, it’s pretty crass for that opposition to have dirty washing for them to expose in the first place.

    I’m afraid that as uncommitted, and pretty cynical, voter the words ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ well describe this whole affair.

    • mickysavage 9.1

      Read the legislation. It talks about unauthorised access. Coming upon a crippled website and helping yourself to the data is the same as coming upon a shop with a broken window and helping yourself to what is inside.

      But knock yourself out. Labour accessed National’s servers when?

    • weka 9.2

      “it’s pretty crass for that opposition to have dirty washing for them to expose in the first place.”

      What dirty washing?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1

        Human error equals dirty washing in Lead Bow’s false narrative. Mistakes are malice.

    • Tracey 9.3

      I take it you havent read the book or studied law.

      • Lead Bow 9.3.1

        I haven’t read the book and don’t intend to. As for studying the law I have an LL.B. (Hons) and if you want to be technical we’re talking about Mens Rea. Helping yourself to goods from a broken shop window is theft because of the knowledge of wrong-doing. Innocently accepting something someone gave you by mistake imposes an obligation to return it to the extent you can, and where the property is purely intellectual (and thus incapable of ‘return’) the obligation is not to misuse or take advantage of it which is exactly the position National took in this case, it appears.

        I’m not going to read the book as I’m perfectly aware National’s senior politicians are all scumbags and I don’t really want to know chapter and verse of the sordid details.

        I’m with Plato when he observed that those who seek power are not worthy of that power, and there are many in Labour I’d tar with the same brush. However, as Plato also observed, “the penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men”, so on 20th Sept. I’ll have to hold my nose and try to decide which bunch of charlatans will do the least damage to the Nation.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          …and having paid lip service to that noble cause you’ll set no benchmarks for your “opinion” whatsoever and vote for the party your transparent bias dictates: National. Drop the act it doesn’t fool anyone.

        • Lanthanide

          “the obligation is not to misuse or take advantage of it which is exactly the position National took in this case, it appears.”

          Except for the bit where Ede pointed out the vulnerability to Slater and Slater deliberately took and exploited the information.

        • framu

          ” Helping yourself to goods from a broken shop window is theft because of the knowledge of wrong-doing”

          so your saying that ede, slater and others in the nats are two bloody thick to recognise that donor lists, credit card details etc arent public info?

          But if thats the case why did they go to efforts to remain hidden?

          if you saw a patient file at a bus stop would you read it? Or would you look left, then right, shove it in your bag and read it at home while no-ones looking?

          “the obligation is not to misuse or take advantage of it which is exactly the position National took in this case, it appears.”

          except for the fact that they are neck deep in a political scandal that did the exact opposite of this of course

          seriously – for what appears to be a considered response its really weak – so weak im surprised grown ups a trying to use it

        • Tracey

          “where the property is purely intellectual (and thus incapable of ‘return’) the obligation is not to misuse or take advantage of it and to immediately delete it from your system”


    • CnrJoe 9.4

      dirty washing ?

    • Murray Olsen 9.5

      Lead Bow – cry me a river. I’m not surprised you can’t understand the difference. Your post is garbage. I hope Collins paid you heaps for it. Now get back under your bridge.

      Please let’s stop feeding these trolls. And FJK.

  10. disturbed 10


    MSM is at fault for the lack of interest.

    I watched the Watergate saga unfold and it was certainly hyped as the OJ Simpson murder of his wife.

    It was on the news all the day every hour both OJ and Watergate and I was working in Canada, so we heard every little juicy bit of every detail but with the same Watergate type issue here the MSM washed their hands of supplying a fair assessment of the books facts..

    So those figures show only that a lack of hype of this issue and failing to carry out investigative journo cover which needs to be done or we are not served by an “Impartial” public media.

  11. Mike the Savage One 11

    And Slater is still allowed to keep his “media award” for supposed “BEST BLOG”, I cannot believe it:

    It reads in that article:
    “NPA editorial director Rick Neville said the award was made by independent judge Deborah Hill Cone in recognition of Whale Oil breaking a major story relating to the Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown.

    Some media have questioned if the NPA should withdraw Slater’s award in view of allegations made in Hager’s book claiming that Slater used unethical means to get the Brown story.

    “The NPA has not considered this, and Canon has made no request for this to happen,” Neville said. “In the 40-year history of the awards, none has ever been withdrawn and it would be an extreme, highly unusual step.

    “The only justification for even considering this would be if concrete evidence came forward of illegal or highly unethical methods having been used to obtain the Len Brown story. Nicky Hager has made a number of allegations but these are not the same as evidence or proof.””

    So accessing the Labour Party website and computers without permission, and retrieving information from it without legal authority, is that not reason enough now?

    John Key can say whatever he likes, he increasingly looks like a fool, and certainly more and more like a liar, as Labour today released proof of him lying about this all having nothing to do with National:

    Key is a liar, and there is more to come, he must resign, Judith Collins must resign, in any case, the New Zealander voters will now certainly have to sack them all on 20 September 2014, as this government has lost all credibility.

    I recommend ALL watch the Nation on TV3 tomorrow morning at 10 am, or watch it on On Demand afterwards, as that interview Lisa Owen conducted with Cameron Slater is a “jewel” of an interview. Slater admits illegal conduct himself, and he does refuse to answer endless other questions, while he admits being good friends with Judith Collins, who gave him some info that he used to discredit and attack a Labour Party member working in the public service.

    And the Whale was “wailing” about “death threats” now, after he allowed others making death threats on his blog. Oh, come on “cry baby” now, I can’t believe it.

    Now it is time for the media to finally start doing the work they should have been doing the last few years, but did not. The public must learn the truth, and not get more diverting tactics from Key and Nats, which too many in the MSM have been repeating.

    Give us an honest and fair election, please, report the truth, and do some research into what Hager has so far revealed, so the facts come to the surface, thanks!

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      I would have thought multiple paid mouthpieces posting under the WO moniker, when Slater swears black and blue it’s all his work, would be sufficient to take away his trophy.

      • Mike the Savage One 11.1.1

        Another GOOD enough reason, but like the one who “nominated” him, too many in the MSM seem to have less problems with “the Whale” than with Hager and the actual truth.

        So as long as we have too many Paul Henrys, Mike Hoskings, Sean Plunkets, Duncan Garners, Fran O’Sullivans, even Gowers, Leighton Smiths and what else their names are, Cameron Slater is likely to keep is “trophy”, no matter what.

        He gets the most “hits” and is therefore more “commercially interesting”, for advertising and other purposes.

        Hence other blogs that are more considerate, more balanced and respectful, and that actually may report, write and discuss more of relevance, are living a life struggling to survive.

        Throw this government out, and bring back stronger, better funded, actually informing and educating public broadcasting, then the future may get back to be somewhat “brighter”, a promise given to us, but never kept.

      • Blue 11.1.2

        Yes, I was thinking about that when that idiot Guyon Espiner was on the radio going on about how no one knows who the Standard’s authors are and how ‘everyone knows who Cam Slater is and where he’s coming from’.

        It’s complete bullshit. Posts attributed to Slater aren’t even written by him and at any given time his posted opinions are whatever he has been paid to say by corporate and political lobbyists.

    • TeWhareWhero 11.2

      People need to email Canon and tell them their continued association with Slater is bad for business. What if people were to judge the quality of Canon products and service by the intellect and probity of the judge and winner of the Best Blog award?

      • yeshe 11.2.1

        yes, and make sure they understand the name of the website they are associated with. In case tbey haven’t nticed, and I’m sure they haven’t:

        “Whale Oil Beef Hooked” is Well, I’ll be fucked. Proud of this association Canon ? Yeah ? Nah.

    • And Slater is still allowed to keep his “media award” for supposed “BEST BLOG”, I cannot believe it:

      Why not? Accountability is for the little people. If you are in the favoured circle, you can do pretty much whatever you like and those in power will deflect, lie and simply brazen out any attempts to hold you responsible for your actions. If you aren’t in that circle, then you’re fair game. It’s like The Departed. There are some people you can hit and others you cannot hit.

      It’s a culture of impunity. Judith Collins should have been sacked three times already, yet she remains a minister. Who’s going to hold her accountable? Anyone who can is already in the favoured circle.

      If you’re trying to hold them accountable through traditional democratic means, you are wasting your time, because they’ve already gamed that system.

      I’ve said before that if you want to know what the right is doing, you need to look at what they are accusing others of doing. The right are subject to a delusion of omniscience: they know exactly what is wrong with society and exactly where the bad is and how it operates, except they project this on to their opponents.

      The corollary of this is harder to accept and that is that if you want to know the only way to take the radical right out of the political game, then you have to adopt their own perspective on politics and that is that they are a cancer to be eradicated. None of this means adopting Slater’s dubious practices, but it does mean taking a highly tough attitude in which the right cannot be given an even break.

      People like Slater operate because others give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s the same way that psychopaths manage to con people into forgiving them. This is effectively what Hager is doing: making it blindly obvious that Collins, Slater and their ilk cannot be permitted in politics.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    Well, “Vote Positive” hasn’t lasted very long, has it?

    Readers here can dismiss my comments here as “concern trolling” if they wish. I don’t really care.

    The TV1 poll tonight shows that most people don’t care and aren’t influenced by the scrapping in the media over the Hagar book. Labour is falling into exactly the same trap they have fallen into over the last two elections. By focussing on the perceived failings of National in areas that have no relevance to most people, they are robbing themselves of valuable air-time that could be used promoting their own policies.

    Labour doesn’t need to convince people to not vote for National. They need to be giving people a reason to vote for Labour. They are not doing that at the moment. “Vote Positive” implied they had seen the light and had decided to provide positive reasons for voting for Labour. However that strategy is clearly missing in action now.

    I hope Labour continues on in the way it is going because they will become increasingly irrelevant and Cunliffe will continue to reinforce his public image of a grumpy, unpleasant person.

    • Puddleglum 12.1

      The Colmar Brunton ‘Snap Poll’ had 9% having had their view of the National Party negatively influenced (4% said it positively influenced their view of the party) and 12% being more likely to vote because of the book.

      28% believed the suggestions about smears coming from high in the National Party and Prime Minister’s Office with 43% not believing it (something less than National’s polling). 29% ‘don’t know’.

      Given that it was in the first two days of the book’s release I think that’s a pretty interesting effect for a political book to have on people. What effect did the PM’s biography have, I wonder?

      A sample size of 509 eligible NZ voters and +/-4.3 points at 95% confidence interval.

    • weka 12.2

      christ on a bloody cross, can you please put up a link? Don’t know how many time I’ve had to ask today.

      edit: thanks Pg.

    • Puddleglum 12.3

      Labour doesn’t need to convince people to not vote for National. They need to be giving people a reason to vote for Labour. They are not doing that at the moment. “Vote Positive” implied they had seen the light and had decided to provide positive reasons for voting for Labour. However that strategy is clearly missing in action now.

      I hope Labour continues on in the way it is going because they will become increasingly irrelevant and Cunliffe will continue to reinforce his public image of a grumpy, unpleasant person.

      Sorry, but what does Labour’s Vote Positive campaign have to do with Nicky Hager releasing a book?

      I hope you’re not invalidly conflating the two as being done by the same people? Aren’t you a better thinker than that?

      • TeWhareWhero 12.3.1

        Is that a rhetorical question PG?

      • tsmithfield 12.3.2

        Of course not. However, it is more the faux outrage being expressed by Cunliffe and regurgitating news that was done and dusted years ago that I am talking about.

        • Puddleglum

          A book is released that provides allegations supported and corroborated by emails (that all seem to accept are genuine) about improper access to one of your web servers by a PM staffer. That access jeopardised private membership details.

          Cunliffe is then meant to (a) not respond to those allegations, or (b) say it is of no concern to him or the Party.

          Really tsmithfield, what on earth are you thinking?

          In that situation, Cunliffe is duty bound to respond to protect the interests of his party and his party’s members. If he said he wasn’t bothered after hearing about such evidence-based allegations he would be derelict in his duties.

          More generally, the first reaction of any politician in possession of even the most vestigial moral sensibility who hears these claims made by a respected investigative journalist should be to express outrage that such goings on may be happening in New Zealand politics. I don’t care whether or not it is, at the personal level, ‘faux’ but politicians of all stripes should certainly express outrage at these suggested happenings in order to put a stake in the ground about what is acceptable and what is definitely not.

          One of the most disturbing consequences of these revelations is how so many politicians, journalists and commentators have tried to dismiss them as ‘politics as usual’. Well, I’m sorry, but that is a despicable and morally derelict attitude to bring to this issue (believe me, this is not faux outrage). If this is politics – and media – as usual then the outrage should be deafening. (Even Duncan Garner said that these events seemed a lot dirtier than what he’d been used to.)

          And while we’re on the topic, what would your positivity advice be for John Key, Steven Joyce and Judith Collins in the light of their sickening, personal, negative attacks on Nicky Hager? Have they no decorum, no pride in or respect for their offices?

          In fact, irony of ironies, while pointing out the supposed irony in Hager’s book being titled ‘Dirty Politics’ they then proceed to engage in just the kinds of tactics apparently detailed in the book (I’ll know for sure when I read it for myself). They enact the QED before our eyes.

          Could they not resist being unremittingly abusive and quite personally vicious about their critic, Hager? Is ad hominem now laudable in your eyes?

          • tsmithfield

            So has Hagar actually proved anything?

            For an investigative journalist, it strikes me that he has performed very poorly. In fact, on TV3 news tonight he was starting to backpedal already.

            The reason he has been attacked so strongly is that he has based his research on e-mails stolen by a third party. This means he can’t guarantee that all relevant e-mails were stolen, or that he can be sure that the third party has passed on all the relevant material. He appears to have then selectively published this material to suit his own theories.

            He has then published his book without even bothering to approach the authors of the e-mails first to check that there aren’t alternative explanations to his own theories. He might have e-mails “A” and “D” that could support a certain conclusion. However, he could well be missing e-mails “B” and “C” that could suggest a completely different meaning.

            As mentioned, he has already started backpedaling. If any of his allegations can be shown to be false, then that will tend to undermine the credibility of his work as a whole.

            That is why it is important to thoroughly investigate the issues with the parties concerned before going public

            [lprent: what has he “back-pedalled” on? Details. You look like you are trying to astroturf. ]

            • Puddleglum

              What back-pedalling has he done?

              • tsmithfield

                He apologised on TV3 for including information about Collins he acknowledges is wrong.

                [lprent: A link and some detail please. I suspect that you are inflating something minor. Next time I see you making an assertion without some detail, I will remove your commenting rights. It looks to me like you are diversion trolling. ]

                • Adele

                  Kiaora tsmithfield,

                  You obviously care deeply for Nick Hager’s credibility but shouldn’t you be more concerned with the credibility of the named politicians in his book. As I see it, should an allegation against a politician be found to be truthful than their credibility is diminished by that amount.

                  If the allegation is of a serious nature and is found to be factual than they should be removed from the privilege of being part of the Government.

                  If attacking Hager’s credibility is the only means of defense than already it says a lot about the credibility of many of the people named in the book.

            • weka

              “So has Hagar actually proved anything?”

              Have you actually read the book?

            • bad politics

              “So has Hagar actually proved anything?”

              so far…Collins has admitted giving Slater the staffers name. Key has admitted him & Slater did talk about the west coast woman that Slater makes the disgusting comment over. Cactus Kate has confirmed asking & recieving Hagers home adress from Slater & Hooton. Cactus Kate has also confirmed she has written articles on Whaleoil with Slaters name on it. & so far there doesn’t seem to be many defamation suits going on.

              Hager has admitted he got the moving the prisoner story wrong, thats why he included it in the notes. He should have left it out.

              Hager has done NZ a great service. Now i see Gilmore is looking at taking Whaleoil & Ede to court.

              • He didn’t get it wrong. It is correct in the book. It’s just easy to attribute it to Collins from the way it is written. It doesn’t actually claim she is responsible.

            • Blue

              So has Hagar actually proved anything?

              You might have heard that Judith Collins has admitted to one of the allegations – that she passed the name and job title of Simon Pleasants on to Slater so that he could make an innocent public servant’s life hell and lead to the police being called in over death threats made to Pleasants. While Collins was Minister of Police.

              I’m not sure why you think Hager ringing up Slater, Collins, Ede and Key would make any difference at all. They are all liars and they would not tell the truth under any circumstances. The only effect would have been to warn them that the book was coming and their lawyers would get an injunction to stop publication, burying evidence of their wrongdoing.

              • tsmithfield

                You might have heard that Judith Collins has admitted to one of the allegations – that she passed the name and job title of Simon Pleasants on to Slater so that he could make an innocent public servant’s life hell and lead to the police being called in over death threats made to Pleasants

                See. You have proved my point. The first part of your statement above is admitted fact. The second part is inference and conjecture about the motivation for Collins passing the information on. Fact-checking with Collins first might have turned up a different reason.

                • lprent

                  In my opinion Slater is an sociopathic arsehole, certainly acts like one. So what do you think that Collins thought would happen? Not to mention all of those emails and facebook conversations in the book where Collins gloats about Slaters mostly undeserved attacks on people.

                  Have you read the book yet?

                • Blue

                  I’m pretty sure there is no legitimate reason why a Government Minister would email an attack blogger the name and job title of a public servant. If you can think of one, please feel free to explain your theory.

                  For my money, a Government Minister should never pass on information of any kind to an attack blog.

                • Tracey

                  Cos she never lies

            • disturbed

              Here comes tsmithfield another Nat spinner the doubt caster again, seems you Nat’s love to spray infected rubbish eh!

              You are as toxic as your party political ideology, Fuck the “West Coast ferals” and “ChCh scum”.

              Then Collins remarks about naming the eponymous Simon Pleasants and this is o/k for you eh!!

              “Any news here Whale? Can we get the prat harpooned? And shamed, and fired, and tarred ‘n feathered?”

              If you are happy with this conduct of our paid employees the you are one sick puppy indeed with a lack of humanity in you..

            • Colonial Viper

              Hey TS. You and your mates Key, Collins, et al. are fucked. The time of reckoning nears.

      • TightyRighty 12.3.3

        Seeing as the left are smart enough to create a conspiracy theory about WO/Ede/Key then they are probably smart enough to indulge in conspiracy. Maybe hager is being used by the labour party and has published this book based on emails they’ve obtained via hacking and got hager in as their proxy so they can keep their hands clean? just as plausible as what hager is claiming.

        • framu

          then go and find some evidence – off you trot.

          Its taken years of suspicion re: slater ede lusk for the relationship to finally be proven so we wont expect to year back from you for a while

          thats the thing here – this has been suspected and discussed for bloody years – and the somewhat foolish claim that the left are somehow the same has only cropped up in the last couple of days… oddly enough just after the book was published

          1+1 = what exactly?

    • lprent 12.4

      …that *most* people don’t care and aren’t influenced by the scrapping in the media over the Hagar book.

      I highlighted the word for you. Elections aren’t won by influencing most people. They are won by influencing a relatively few people – the ones who cause a an election to swing one way or another. Typically it is less than 5%.

      There is a word for people like yourself. These days I’m polite enough to find that word to be moran

      • tsmithfield 12.4.1

        As mentioned, this sort of stuff has arisen in the last two elections, and it hasn’t turned out well for the left on either occasion. Keeping doing what you’re doing and expecting a different result not very bright.

        • Colonial Viper

          “This sort of stuff”? Nay my friend, this “sort of stuff” is a whole new sort of stuff.

        • lprent

          I think that you are making a inaccurate assumption here. The “left” and in particular the parties knew something about this.

          Nicky Hager wrote this book in secret. None of the political parties knew about its topic until the day the book got released. Hager doesn’t tell them what he is writing about. Think of the reaction by Helen in 2002 or the injunctions from Brash in 2005 to understand why.

          I was aware that someone was interested in Slater from the questions coming through to me from intermediate sources. My initial thought was that it was a journo looking to make a short one-off story. I happily helped (with no questions asked) to point the contacts to where they could pick up information. Just as I have done for several previous people wanting to write something on the obnoxious Slater.

          The political parties from NZ First to the IMP are asking the obvious questions. Why was so much of the National party entwined with the foul Cameron Slater? Why were they perverting the course of government with private information and OIAs to support his business? If it looks corrupt, then it probably is corrupt.

        • framu

          so your saying that WO and the nats dirty tricks machine has had impact – thanks for proving the point

    • Tracey 12.5

      Nicky Hager isn’t Labour Party

      The Standard is not the Labour Party

  13. MrSmith 13

    Half way through the book now!

    News flash:

    The ship SS National was seen sinking off wellington heads this evening.

    A balding man, with dead eyes, dressed in a $2000 suit, could be seen clinging to the bow as she went down, all the while shouting I’m pretty relaxed about this, don’t worry it’s all just part of a left wing conspiracy theory.

    • disturbed 13.1

      You have post this exact email before get lost or come up with another piece od poison we are sick of it.

  14. Jrobin 14

    28% in the first couple of days must be significant. Having just read most of the book, what strikes me as the worst aspect, but hasn’t hit MsM yet, is Slaters connections with corporates and anti union lobbyists, “Cash for comment” ch 7, and yet several journalists are claiming there is no smoking gun. I suspect they just read the chapter on Key which is the weakest in terms of information. Why am I surprised at Slater’s betrayal of his own country? How did Nz get this sick and twisted. I can understand those who don’t want to read it, like Cunliffe I now feel like washing my hands. Filth.

    • Picard110 14.1

      This is Slater. This his what he does, and his followers are almost as bad. He has caused so many people to have threats made to them through his disgusting actions.

      Any flak he cops because of his actions is deserved.

  15. disturbed 15

    All you Natz, the book is going viral.
    Was tipped off five to one of Keys.

    The book is growing in popularity and effect.

    The Nat’s are back spinning here today and this shows they are freaking out, and I would too.
    knowing so many of these books are flying off the shelves every minute to be read and circulated to a “National Dumbed down population” about to awaken to vent anger at what these evil Nat bastards have been scheming using our tax payers funds against us at the Beehive behind our backs..

    This next week they will again be out rigging every poll result again, trying to make the result so hopeless for opposition and much in them.

    Well don’t believe their propaganda polls any more as the only one that will count is on election day.

    Prepare for the backlash, time’s up you losers.

  16. Gail Jesson 16

    Despite what we all think about any dirty politics which we all know happens on both sides I would be more concerned about the distance between Labour and Greens.
    A Greens led opposition would be interesting.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      No, “it” doesn’t happen on both sides; if you have evidence to the contrary provide it to the Police. You don’t seem to understand that serious criminal offences have been committed. Interesting? Would it be criminally corrupt?

      • TightyRighty 16.1.1

        have been alleged. don’t believe everything that is written

        • framu

          well give us a thesis, a working assumption, anything

          please outline how anything that labour or the greens do is in any way comparable to the highly co-ordinated and well funded attack machine that the nats, ede, slater, lusk and farrar built

          show where either the greens or labour have a co-ordinated black ops machine that has smearing political opponents and cynical manipulation as its primary function

          • Tracey

            he does, however, believe and love everything cameron has been pretending to post as his own work…

  17. Mark 17

    KDC was on Radio Live saying he cut short his road trip to confer with his lawyers with a view to taking legal action against Slater. Since Jan 2014 Slater has published over 200 articles about KDC and his lawyers are trawling those posts as we speak with a view to taking defamation proceedings. KDC said they should be ready to file by end of next week. KDC repeated a couple of times that “discovery” should be very interesting. The whole edifice is starting to fold like a pack of cards.

  18. mike 18

    Yeah right who cares? Focus on the real issues. On second thoughts what the hell ….. You have lost the election so why bother? A great example of why Labour is stuffed. No-one is interested in this sideshow. Until you start talking about real issues the electorate couldn’t care less. Do you think a family in Sth Ak living in a garage with only a one bar heater cares who hacked into Labour’s website or who gave info to Whale Oil?

    Get into the real world & you may have a chance!

    • emergency mike 18.1

      I don’t agree with you mike, but by crickey, can I just say it’s good of you to be so concerned for us lefties.

    • tricledrown 18.2

      Mike they are interested in a National govt who have subverted democracy just like your trying desperately ,shifting the blame game
      tsm come up with something original ,its getting so boring and obvious you are just repeating the same BS from the National spin machine.
      Shonkey Slater and Collins have their backs to the wall no where left to hide!
      By the 15th of. september Keys and cronies will need a lot more Dirty tricks to make people believe he is not a liar!

    • Adele 18.3

      Kiaora Mike,

      Tell me why, under this Government who supposedly are do so well economically, we continue to have whanau living in garages. Also, if you knew anything about the lives of the poor, they wouldn’t be running a one bar heater. Usually they wouldn’t have power running into the house.

      Next time you do a jaunt into South Auckland or even rurally at night – check out the lights. The houses that look abandoned or empty could very well have people living in them.

  19. Vaughan Little 19

    when I was campaigning for Labour in 2011 it was an open secret that a right wing politician was involved in something that would have caused a scandal if it had gotten out. but we were principled and stuck to our game plan. and I’m proud of our party for having that sort of moral compass.

    for myself as a leftie, I know that I put myself in a better position to serve the cause by reading more deeply in economics and by watching that I always have a generous spirit toward my political opponents – it’s so easy to get bitchy. to wit: derogatory references to slater’s physiognomy harm the tone of the discussion, and no matter what he’s done (attack our national culture), death threats are not ok and he does not deserve them.

  20. outofbed 20

    And what about Slaters vicious attacks on DR Mike Joy of Massey a leading expert on the health of NZ rivers?
    Who in the Nats is behind that?

    • MrSmith 20.1

      Fonterra might be a place to start, Hager links to them at the start of the book re breast feeding, but basically it could have been any individual or group who had the cash for a smear campaign.

      One thing that needs to be pointed out is attacks by Farr and Slater are generally paid for in cold hard cash, they are guns for higher, you pay they take care of the hit, a lot of people in the National party are going to be very uncomfortable with this.

      Farr’s name has hardly come up yet, but he is in this up to his eyes.

  21. Observer (Tokoroa) 21

    To: Vaughan Little

    You are right. There is certainly no need to sink as low as the National Party. In fact it would be very difficult to get that low anyway.

    Equally, it would be extremely difficult to get as cross eyed as the majority of commentators in the media. Mora and Ryan, who claim impartiality, are going to be dragged through the same gutter as Farrar, Williams, Pagani, and Collins. Friends of the low life, Hoskins too, the complete national partisan. But the list is too long.

    It is one thing to have Bill English feathering his Karori nest to the tune of $700 a week It is another thing to have a PM rubbishing the election system by shoving a non National of doubtful character into Epsom. Key is such a resourceful person when it comes to roughshod. He takes advantage of weakness rather like a rat in a sewer.

    Nevertheless, Key ices his daily cake by claiming to be a victim. It is very touching to see and hear, No wonder he resents and resisted those well off dead miners getting a few dollars for their families. Key is the victim. Not them. So mean.

    The problem the National activists have with their self induced pain and self proclaimed victimhood, has been neatly put by The Herald, through John Armstrong. To wit:

    Hager’s Book has been written by the words and emails of Nationals.

    They have been fouling their own nest to a degree not seen ever before in New Zealand. The stench will not go away. Until they go away. They are the pooh people.

    Their Bloggers accurately reflect National’s core, from bottom to top.

  22. philj 22

    Arise Sir John!

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    9 hours ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
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    15 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    17 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    18 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
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    18 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    19 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    19 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    19 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    22 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    2 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    3 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    3 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    5 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
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    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    6 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    6 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    6 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    7 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    7 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    7 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    1 week ago