Marwick on dirty politics, leaks and the OIA

Written By: - Date published: 2:01 pm, March 13th, 2017 - 31 comments
Categories: Dirty Politics, john key - Tags: , , ,

Interesting piece by the tenacious Felix Marwick at Newstalk ZB:

No sunlight, no disinfectant. Political machinations remain behind the veil

A little over three years ago the then Prime Minister, John Key, made an off the cuff comment at one of his weekly post-cabinet press conferences that he did have contact with bloggers. It was an interesting statement at the time as it was quite clear Government messages were being channelled directly to websites that were aligned with, and sympathetic to, the National Government’s agenda. I was curious to see what these contacts entailed so lodged a series of Official Information Act requests with the Prime Minister and several Cabinet Ministers to see exactly what was being passed on, and to whom.

Read on in the original piece for the sorry details. Conclusions…

Well a lot of the material disclosed in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics probably went through the exact same channels that I tried to use the OIA on. Hager came in for intense criticism, mainly from those who were front and centre in his book over their political machinations, for his ethics and the way he acquired his information. What my use of the OIA shows is that leaks and surreptitious acquisition of evidence is the only way you are going to get political material of this nature that is in the public interest. The Official Information Act won’t overcome political self interest as long as politicians are allowed to determine what hat they’re wearing when they’re using public information for their own political ends. Being a Minister and a Prime Minister is a full time job. Politicians shouldn’t get to finagle the system just so as to protect their political manoeuvring. Governments wield immense power so there need to be adequate checks and balances on those that exercise that power.

The other thing you can deduce from a three year battle over access to correspondence is that the most senior politician in the land probably had something to hide.

Seems like.

31 comments on “Marwick on dirty politics, leaks and the OIA”

  1. tc 1

    What did you expect ? Dirty politics and the use of pengiun/blubber etc are stock in trade methods of operation for nact.

    They’ll never lie as well as shonky did so they need it more than ever now.

  2. Keith 2

    No shit Felix!

    I recall the same PM telling opposition MP’s he had “drawer full of dirt ” on them or words to that effect prior to the last election. Wonder where that came from?

    But even more strange is how Newstalk ZB even allowed such an OIA inquiry to be made by one of their reporters in the first place.

  3. shorts 3

    Felix Marwick has done good work here, respect – and the NZ public need reminding of the dirty politics saga and who orchestrated it… especially as we near another election

  4. Tory 4

    “What my use of the OIA shows is that leaks and surreptitious acquisition of evidence is the only way you are going to get political material of this nature”

    Or in other words steal the information or contract someone to steal the info. Who knows as Hagers dirty tricks seem to be on a par with Ministers (I.e. Deny the source etc)

    • Muttonbird 4.1

      Hager isn’t a public servant, although he does better work than most of them.

    • Keith 4.2

      You cannot possibly defend the filth Key and others were up to. They are scum.

      As Marwick found out and as we all know, National simply refuse to comply with the law insofar as the OIA goes to hide their dirty little secrets. They are above the law!

    • adam 4.3

      LOL your always good for a laugh Tory. I love how you can just ignore facts, and just get to the heart of your propagandize message.

    • Andre 4.4

      Are you suggesting that whatever they do is OK with you as long as they don’t get found out?

      • Draco T Bastard 4.4.1

        That’s exactly what he’s saying. Tories always defend the actions of their leaders no matter how unethical their actions.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.5

      Hagers [sic] dirty tricks

      What were they again? Oh that’s right: he shone some sunlight on scum like you. A job that should be done by the cops.

    • Or you know, that if you’re concerned with people “stealing information,” you might want to loosen up the chains on the old OIA responses so that people don’t need to go digging through other sources to do legitimate journalism.

      As for your framing, there is no such thing as stealing information, as information can’t be “lost” the same way property can. There is “unauthorised leaking,” or “hacking computer systems,” but neither of those actually involve stealing anything.

      Hager also doesn’t hack anyone. He’s just established as someone who people who do have this information can go to if they think there’s no other way to get it public, which is precisely what a good journalist should do, whether you rate him as such or not. This is precisely what “anonymous sources” always was, at least when the label was used legitimately, it’s just that right-wingers are much more likely to cross the lines so your lot have been cracking down on the leakers rather than simply making an effort not to do things the public doesn’t like.

      If you were actually consistent about your standards of behaviour for politicians, you couldn’t have supported either Key or English, even without the leaks from Hager. Ponytailgate was waaaay past anything Clark ever did, and Bill English has some very discriminatory things to say about immigrants that shouldn’t be tolerated in NZ politics.

  5. Anne 5

    I’m currently trying to put together some time-lines concerning several controversial events involving John Key in recent years. My aim is to see if there are common political threads (local and off-shore) that link them together. It will be impossible to include everything that has happened, but if it works out successfully I will post here. 🙂

    • Carolyn_nth 5.1

      I looked a bit at Xero NZ, Thiel and John Key.

      It looked to me that Key got involved with Xero NZ, more in relation to Kiwi Rod Drury than via Thiel. Thiel did meet Key early on. But I think they were all part of the circles Key moved in.

      Drury is a globalist, looking to do business int he US. Plus someone else in Xero, chris Liddell joined Trump’s team.

      Drury and Xero seem to want to keep a step or two away from Key’s government, but nevertheless were looking to influence him/Nats.

      It may have been the case that Key linked up with these right wing, business oriented, individualistic, entrepreneurial libertarians because they had some common aims: dominance of the internet machinery, plus wanting in on global power networks, rather than being totally in sync. Plus the 5 Eyes connection

      Key seemed to encourage a range of overseas, wealthy, digital business entrepreneurs – as well as some behind the scenes dirty politics, bloggers, and spinners.

      A wide network Key has been spinning.

    • Chris 5.2

      Have you had a look at Campbell Live’s analysis of the links and timelines around Key’s visit to Warner Brothers etc and his denial of his previous knowledge of the Dotcom saga? Campbell et al did a great job and got so close to nailing Key’s massive lie. He was one thread of teflon away. I’m guessing big things are about to be uncovered before the election, hence Key’s shock departure.

      • Anne 5.2.1

        Yep. Followed that analysis closely. Had quite a few things to say about it here. The biggest tell-tale sign was Key’s decision not to attend the funeral of the three soldiers killed in Afghanistan. His excuse was he had promised his son he would fly to Los Angeles in time to see him play a baseball game. It transpired the game wasn’t scheduled until four days later – plenty of time to attend the memorial service and get to his son’s game. But:

        it also transpired he had a dinner date prior to the game with Warner Bros. and you can bet your bottom dollar there were some other very interesting people in attendance. We just don’t know who they were.

        • mosa 5.2.1.1

          I remember Anne being outraged that he was not attending the soldiers funeral and when i learned of the reason why i sent a letter of disgust to his electorate office.

          Yet not one howl of outrage from anywhere with regard to his actions in fact the general consensus was that he was a Father and had to make time for his kids sport.

          How things have changed, no previous PM could have got away with this , the political damage would have been huge.

          With this latest revelation it just proves what an utter bastard John Phillip Key was and is and that he was not motivated to seek high office to do anything for his country and its people but instead used the office to further his own personal agenda and that of his many powerful friends in New Zealand and overseas.

          Whats happened to the respect we all had as a nation to our soldiers past and present that we could elect somebody as Prime Minister who does not recognize the sacrifice and honor of his owned armed forces and when they pay with their lives his priority is not too attend a memorial but be in America furthering his corporate friends agenda.

          • Anne 5.2.1.1.1

            Hi mosa, I’ve just completed a post which comes to the same conclusion. I’ve used a time-line perspective and its too long to be a comment so will have to submit as a guest post – my first, so I hope people will be nice to me. 😀

            • mosa 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Great Anne

              I am looking forward to your post and i am sure it will provoke plenty of comment.

              Don’t worry about the nasties, they are always offended when presented with the reality of the truth.

  6. emergency mike 6

    One of my favourite Nicky Hager quotes: “A government that needs dirty politics is a government with something to hide.”

    • tc 6.1

      Exactly and IMO another reason key shot through is because he can’t be sure it’s not going to hit the fan before the GE.

      The fact he skewerd the economy with his sugar rush property bubble, had diary shit all through our waterways and flogged assets/laws/sovereignty ackshully was something he couldve kept shrugging off. Especially with our rank MSM.

      Yet he didn’t, he snapped his fingers and was gone. I do hope Winnie chooses SCF for a last hurrah, NZ deserves to know.

  7. Ad 7

    The next Labour etc government needs to prepare to be even dirtier.

    If landowner and business 1%ers really have their monopolies challenged, they
    will not play fair,
    or obey the law,
    or play the ball,
    or “go high”,
    or observe due process,
    or separate legislative and judicial authority,
    or use clean money,
    or twist whole capital markets against the state,
    or overturn governments,
    or not undermine society to protect their interests,
    or not use $$ to corrupt politicians and civil servants,
    or not go after your family hard, or stop using attack media …

    … in no small part because the 1% of capital and of politics are interchangeable in their interests.

    I respect dirty politicians who smash markets. They tend not to live long, but by and large they know that. The politicians with clean hands are either lazy, cowardly, ineffective, lotto-scale lucky, or once-in-a-century lucky with historical circumstance.

  8. The Weatherman 8

    I was visited or befriended by both a Xero employee and someone who worked for the Clinton Foundation while overseas. Probably a coincidence. The others weren’t.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Housing report earns Nats the red card
    National’s failure to acknowledge and fix the housing crisis will be their legacy. Labour will tackle the housing crisis head-on, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    4 days ago
  • Sluggish growth reflects nine years of drift from National
    Today’s GDP figures reflect an economy that the National Government has allowed to drift along on the basis of growing population rather than improving productivity and adding value, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is important to recognise that ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s campaign of deception an affront to democracy
    Voters this week have a clear choice between Labour’s optimism and honesty, or rewarding National’s campaign of relentless lies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Day after day National has been deliberately spreading lies about Labour, our intentions and what ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s economy scorecard: D for drift
    New Zealand’s economy is failing the very people it is supposed to uplift, characterised by stalled productivity, exports going backwards and a Government content to let it drift, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Voters have a clear choice ...
    5 days ago
  • Another day – another health crisis
    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    5 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    6 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    6 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    6 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    6 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    1 week ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    3 weeks ago