Police raiding journalists is a thing now

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, December 2nd, 2015 - 132 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, police - Tags: , ,

Yesterday, this happened:

Heather du Plessis-Allan says police home search “unsettling”

Journalist Heather du Plessis-Allan has said the police search of her Wellington home was “unsettling” but says she will stand by the story she delivered.

On Tuesday morning police officers searched through her drawers and personal belongings in the Wellington apartment she shares with her husband, broadcaster Barry Soper, as part of an investigation into an alleged unlicensed purchase of a gun by mail order.

“They know what’s in my bedside drawer, they know what’s in the boxes under my bed,” du Plessis-Allan said.

The search was criticised by MPs as a waste of resources and an example of the force’s “tunnel-visioned approach”. …

Earlier in the year of course police raided journalist Nicky Hager. Giovani Tiso yesterday posted this “reconstruction”:

The raid

And so on that Thursday morning in early October of last year, five police officers entered the journalist’s house, allowed his daughter to call a lawyer – upon her request – and, when she got no answer, commenced the search anyway. When she asked to get dressed by herself in the bathroom, they told her she had to do it in front of a police officer, as if she could have secreted on her person the information they were after. They then proceeded to search her room, rifling through her drawers and her private photo albums: again, as if there was a likelihood that this person, who wasn’t even a witness, might have hidden the information there. They cloned her phone, on which no journalistic privilege could be claimed, copying all her contacts and taking a year’s worth of personal messages, which they planned to review later. This person whose only crime was to live with her father, in the house of a journalist.

Then they seized her laptop – because of course they did – just two weeks before the final papers for her Honour’s degree in History were due. ….

Well worth reading the whole piece, it’s a disturbing account.

These raids come on top of the 2011 police raids on journalists at TVNZ and The Herald as part of the “teapot tape” affair.

In short, it’s pretty clear that police raids on journalists (were there any in NZ prior to the teapot?) are a thing now. All part of the Brighter Future you see.

132 comments on “Police raiding journalists is a thing now”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Soper and Du Plessis-Allan are both NewstalkZB regulars. Soper in particular is often on Larry “Lackwit” Williams’ dire segment “The Huddle”. It will be interesting to see if Williams—or any of his colleagues—has the courage or integrity to say something critical of Key.

    My bet is that his reflexive support of the National government will win out, as usual.

    • Grindlebottom 1.1

      Dunno why Key should feature in any discussion of the raid on HDPA & Soper’s home, Morrissey. As I recall the Minister of Police only said it was “an operational matter” when the police said they’d look at charging HDPA after the TV3 Item was shown.

      I don’t like him much but Soper would obviously be more likely to direct any barbs at the Police than to the PM.

      • Morrissey 1.1.1

        Fair comment. What I should have written was this:

        It will be interesting to see if Williams—or any of his colleagues—has the courage or integrity to say something critical of the police.

        My bet is that his reflexive support of state power, no matter how abusive and illegal, will win out as usual.

  2. TepidSupport 2

    While I feel we need to hold our govt to account- whom ever is in power- I get nervous when we feel we have to resort to illegal or dubious acts to do so. Whether we feel the govt has done the same is irrelevant if we want to take the ‘moral high ground’ I feel..
    I believe that our police do a great job and have very low levels of corruption compared to most countries and they MUST act and investigate actions that breach or that are suspected to breach the law.
    There must be other ways for journalists to lawfully make a point and investigate and therefore keep the heat off themselves?

    • Lara 2.1

      This is probably the line that middle NZ will cling to. “She broke the law, its the job of NZ Police to enforce the law”.

      Which ignores the special circumstances surrounding this particular breach of the law.

      She broke the law precisely to illustrate how easy it was to do, which was a fact that NZ Police publicly rubbished before she did it.

      She broke that particular law in plain view, publicly, to show up how useless enforcement was. She embarrassed NZ Police.

      In those circumstances its hard to not see the search as a vindictive retribution for their public embarrassment.

      Now what they SHOULD have done is publicly thanked her for showing how useless their enforcement of that law was, and changed their procedures so any idiot cannot buy a gun online with such ease.

      When she broke the law she did not do it with the intent to obtain a gun for her use. She did it to embarrass the NZ Police. And that is the key difference.

      • You_Fool 2.1.1

        The police are caught a little bit in between a rock and a hard place, as the owner of the gun shop the HDPA brought the gun from was jumping up and down about the illegality of the whole thing and would have brought a private prosecution which would have been highly critical of the police as well as he was feeling personally vilified by the whole affair.

        I don’t think he needed to be so temperamental about it all, as his shop didn’t do too much wrong (other than not actually checking that the police office signing the documentation was real or not) and really his reaction has made his reputation damage worse than otherwise (and he was easily ignored anyway) so it wasn’t a reason for the police to be so heavy handed, but I am sure it was a factor in the decision (along with the hope of finding some saucy possessions of HDPA I am sure)

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          other than not actually checking that the police office signing the documentation was real or not)

          I thought the shop checked and had it confirmed that the police service number provided was a real (valid) one.

          • BM 2.1.1.1.1

            Where did HDPA get a valid police service number from?

            • Grindlebottom 2.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s claimed here she simply invented it and it just coincidentally happened to be a valid one. Could be true. She probably didn’t expect the gunstore owner to check with the plod.

              It is alleged she ordered the weapon using a form with a fictitious police ID number and signature.

              http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/73616400/Investigation-continuing-into-Heather-du-Plessis-Allans-gun-purchase

            • McGrath 2.1.1.1.1.2

              She broke the law and flaunted the fact. It’s a bit hypocritical now for HDPA to cry foul when the police knock on her door.

              • BM

                Yep, back to South Africa for her.

              • You_Fool

                Once again, the ‘crying’ is done over the heavy handedness of the search. I mean it wasn’t like she was hiding any detail of the whole thing; what were the police going to find in the search? Evidence that she faked the forms and got a gun illegally? All they needed was to go to the TV3 website to find her confession on that, or her statement when she surrendered the gun to the police mere hours after getting it.

          • You_Fool 2.1.1.1.2

            I think you are right actually, i was not remembering correctly. Grindlebottom has it right I think (or at least that was how it was reported later) that she made up the number and happened to luck out.

            The original story was that there was no check done as that was probably the only way they thought they would pass the check.

        • Lara 2.1.1.2

          Even if the gun store owner was pushing police to do something, the right and appropriate thing for police to do was to tell him to STFU.

          Police needed to make a public apology for their lax enforcement of this particular law. If they had done that and included a statement that the gun store owner had followed their procedure and it was police procedure, not him, that was at fault, that would have shut him up.

          So no, I do not accept that they were forced to raid HDPA’s home because of pressure from the gun store owner. They raided her home precisely because they can, and she embarrassed them. It’s vindictive retribution.

          What HDPA has done has simply showed that this law isn’t being well enforced, and any idiot can buy a gun online in NZ.

          And in this whole saga that very important point seems to be being missed somewhat.

          • Colville. 2.1.1.2.1

            What law exactly do you feel has not been enforced by Police?

            the one about fraud or the other one about impersonating a Police Officer?

            • Lara 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Neither. The one about how to buy guns online. Where a valid licence is required.

              HDPA showed it was remarkably easy to do without a licence and without a police officer seeing the documentation.

    • miravox 2.2

      they MUST act and investigate actions that breach or that are suspected to breach the law.

      She’s a journalist. She writes things. They searched her whole house for a handwriting sample. This is over-reaching, imo, even if she is under investigation. I feel nervous about this.

      Btw – Good title r0b. It seems it is a ‘thing’. Journalists and academics who write stuff about them… oh…

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Asking her or her employer for a handwriting sample would have sufficed, for instance.

        • Grindlebottom 2.2.1.1

          Retried Judge Roy Wade made the same point to the Police Commissioner:

          He wrote to Bush that he “very much” doubted police needed to search du Plessis-Allan and Soper’s personal space.

          Du Plessis-Allan did “nothing more than expose the hopeless inadequacies of our own gun laws,” the letter from Wade published on the Herald said.

          The former judge labelled search warrants “inherently obtrusive” in the letter.

          He told Bush if the officers really needed a handwriting sample from the journalist, “why not simply ask for one?”

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/74641158/retired-judge-wades-into-heather-du-plessisallan-police-raid-saga

          • savenz 2.2.1.1.1

            +1 Grindlebottom

          • You_Fool 2.2.1.1.2

            Soper was on Hauraki this morning (didn’t hear if he had to answer the 10 questions or not) and he stated that HDPA would have signed an autograph for them if they wanted a handwriting sample… Seems a much nicer way of doing things.

    • greywarshark 2.3

      Sorry Tepid but I like my tea made with boiling water. I’ll send this back to the kitchen. Cook up a better excuse.

      And when lawmakers, and law upholders are accused or seen to be not following the law correctly, then investigation into that is essential and remedial action on the law’s side must be taken. Not waving the red flag at the bull making the charge and dancing away.

      And that carries the implication that it was a good law in the first place. Placing the law in a gold case as something sacred, is not the only criteria to consider. What law, aimed at whom, and is it for the good of the country needs consideration also.
      edited

    • DH 2.4

      “they MUST act and investigate actions that breach or that are suspected to breach the law.”

      That’s not true. The Police have discretionary powers to prioritise the cases they pursue or not, they can also decide not to proceed with an investigation. Even prosecutions are not compulsory, there’s a public interest caveat there.

      There was nothing forcing the Police to take these actions, myself I’ve assumed orders came down from above.

      • Lara 2.4.1

        IKR!

        They seem very willing to use their discretionary powers when it’s sexual assault on our young people.

        Roastbusters 1 and 2 come to mind.

        And when they do that, use discretionary powers for sexual assault cases, I don’t see much of Middle NZ screaming that they need to enforce our laws on sexual assault. No. I see a bunch of victim blaming going on and “boys need to grow up” kind of bullshit.

    • Leith 2.5

      What (on Earth) illegal acts are you talking about? The use of anonymous sources? That’s legal. Refusal to name them? That’s legal. You’re implying, with no supporting evidence, that the journos, not the police, are the problem. Precisely backwards.

      When you say “keep the heat off themselves” you may as well say they brought it on themselves. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear. Intrusion into our privacy is an intimidation tactic, as accounted by Tiso, above. Intruding into our personal spaces, examining our underwear, personal diaries, sex toys, family photos… I can’t imagine how you think this is a good thing. It’s purely designed to make the target feel vulnerable and violated. Because, you know, they ARE.

      Why don’t you front with some of these ‘other ways’ you’re alluding to? Is it because, once you’ve ruled out using leaks, your only proposal for investigative journalism is to faithfully repeat press releases? Is a lapdog your ideal watchdog? It’s like you don’t want journalists digging into our society’s dirty laundry – you just want the police digging through OUR dirty laundry!

  3. tracey 3

    Perhaps Soper might start to think the impact of his own simpering reporting of Key’s government over the last 7 years? Sinc ehe left Prime there has been a move toward more even handedness, imo.

    • maui 3.1

      I had hoped the police might find a room full of signed portraits of Key, cases of 2008 John Key wine and the tv on showing people rowing to Eminems “lose yourself” with Barry singing and dancing along. That would clear some things up.

  4. Lucy van Hout 4

    Normally people are ok with cops until it affects them personally – may be the simpering reporting might disappear for both Soper and Du Plessis-Allen and we may get some journalism from them! I however am not holding my breath as the giggles with Duncan money will stop her being anything but a bit of fluff and a foil.

    • tracey 4.1

      our journalists are not immune from self interest.

    • North 4.2

      Tracey and Lucy Van Hout @ 3 and 4 above…..Hear Hear !

      Wouldn’t hold breath though. Soper and Du Plessis Allen are both long in the tooth about them personally being at least as important as any issue at hand. A certain hubris to both of them.

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    Forging a court document may be some kind of Gonzo journalism experiment, so I don’t see why subsequent police and court action wouldn’t be part of the story.

    Not sure what a search was supposed to achieve. Deliberate intimidation?

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.1

      “Not sure what a search was supposed to achieve. Deliberate intimidation?:

      The cops in Auckland phoned Soper in Wellington to organise a convenient time to execute a Search Warrant on HDPA? Auckland cops travel to Wellington to execute Search Warrant at the mutually agreed(with the husband of the accused) time.

      Meanwhile, alleged offender is in Auckland.

      All a little bit weird.

      • tracey 5.1.1

        cf Hager raid
        cf non raid on Slater
        cf teacup tapes

        • greywarshark 5.1.1.1

          +1 What Tracey said.

          And what Anne said. Take note of her experience.

          • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1.1.1

            Having had our home literally raided by the police (in our absence), with a search warrant that was obtained on extremely dubious grounds, I can speak from experience.

            The only reason the police did not have to exercise their “right” to forcibly enter our home was the fact that the key was in the door.

            You see in those days, the days ‘before’, the days of innocence, like most rural folk we trusted people.

            And the only ones who betrayed that trust and forced us into a siege mentality was the police.

            (So, when the burglars finally got round to our home a year ago, they did have to smash their way in. Very inconveniencing with a wheelchair user in the family.)

            Yes, we have had some extremely weird police shit go on. Especially in the weeks preceding my trial.

            The police prosecutor had failed to intimidate me into pleading guilty, and we suspect now that the last thing the police (and their co-conspirators(?) ) wanted was for the case to go before a Judge.

            And have the complainant outed as a liar, and the charge against me dismissed.

            And the last time my ‘case’ what brought up on these pages we had a further incident of aerial harassment, by an unidentifiable pilot flying an identical aircraft.

            But we are a lot tougher than we were five years ago.

            But back on topic….we actually waited for a week for the cops to arrive…waited at home. (We had called the police and assumed that he had also.) So, when the Warrant was finally obtained, nearly two weeks after the ‘event’ (theoretically involving a firearm) there was absolutely no need for the police to execute that warrant, under urgency, in our absence.

            They could have phoned us up.

            But that wouldn’t have had the same intimidating effect would it?

    • Anne 5.2

      Not sure what a search was supposed to achieve. Deliberate intimidation?

      Of course. A message to all journalists: YOU MESS WITH THE COPS AT YOUR PERIL.

      And non-celebrity online posters are not immune from the odd bit of intimidation. I can say that from personal experience. The last occasion was a few months ago immediately following a comment here about some past police experiences of mine.

      It usually takes the form of certain police car manoeuvres within close proximity to oneself that are momentarily frightening – the sort of thing if other motorists were caught doing them they would end up in court. There are no flashing lights and the car inmates pointedly stare at you during the ‘manoeuvre’ just to make sure you don’t miss the ‘message’.

      l’ll let you know of it happens again. 🙂

    • Grindlebottom 5.3

      Not sure what a search was supposed to achieve. Deliberate intimidation?

      As they could’ve just asked for a handwriting sample, my assumption was:

      1. She made them look bad in the media, so they’re returning the favour as they know this’ll be in the media, and

      2. It’s retribution. She could’ve instead just quietly let them know without splashing their shortcoming in procedures across the media. They think she deserves payback, and

      3. It’s a very public warning to other journalists they’ll come after you if you make them look bad.

  6. Sabine 6

    we just can’t have investigative journalists, now.
    and we always have been at war with east asia, or something like that. right? right?

    oh look it, reality tv

  7. dv 7

    What struck me was the were looking for handwriting samples.
    OK found samples -How would they authenticate they were Allens?

    Why not ask her to give a sample?
    And she had already admitted that she had filled the form out.

    And there was a problem because the police changed the procedure.

    All a bit bizarre.

  8. vto 8

    Why didn’t the police just ask her to produce some handwriting samples for them?

    Smells of lies and bullshit

    It is outright intimidation, nothing less

  9. Ad 9

    Hardly thanks for actually doing the Police’s job for them.

  10. kenny 10

    What I want to know is who authorised this level of invasive unnecessary search for evidence? This is way over the top and smacks of intimidation.

    Who is the senior police officer who feels he/she has the right to go to these lengths, and probably feels they can get away with it.

    Who is accountable and responsible? It seems the police think they are a law unto themselves. Their activities since the KimDotCom raid smack more and more of a police-state mentality from them.

    What are the politicians doing about it? Or are they part of the problem (likely).

    • Anne 10.1

      What are the politicians doing about it? Or are they part of the problem (likely).

      Yes, I’m certain they are kenny. See my comment @ 5.2 above. The police experiences I referred to had political connotations attached to them. I have to assume that is why I was targeted a couple of times. Protecting the NAct party politicians and others associated with them – and themselves.

      • kenny 10.1.1

        I’m sure you are right Anne – the behaviour of Speaker Carter is a good example of mis-use of power by politicians. He seems to take delight in bullying opposition MPs and laying down the law as he sees it. He tries all means to stifle the voice of democracy and dissent.

        He would feel right at home in fascist Germany.

        Somehow we have to start fighting back; perhaps this little episode will wake up more journalists to this threat to our democracy.

  11. esoteric pineapples 11

    The good news is Heather is pretty mainstream. Even people like her sidekick Duncan Garner must feel a cold breeze blowing into the room right now, like Death (or maybe the Devil) just walked in.

  12. ianmac 12

    I remarked last night that Heather was suddenly serious about how she felt about the invasion. Usually when dealing with the injustices of others she is pretty casual; light hearted even. But suddenly the reality hurt.
    I wonder if certain MPs are equally disconnected from the realities of their actions.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      MPs are (literally) the privileged 2%. Gently cocooned in plenty of money, contacts and knowledge of how to work the levers.

  13. cogito 13

    Time for the NZ Police to be rebranded as the PoliSS.

  14. Puckish Rogue 14

    It was worrying that his wife could be charged “but the fact is that the story was done in the full knowledge that there could have been repercussions I believe”.

    Yet now there’s crying because theres repercussions happening

    • You_Fool 14.1

      I don’t think having strangers rummaging through her panties and other private belongings was quite what she expected as repercussions of her actions; esp. since she was very open about what she did and had already returned the gun to the police.

      • Puckish Rogue 14.1.1

        Oh c’mon she’s a big girl, I’m sure she’s not a quivering intimated wreck simply because the police rang them up and let them know they’d be coming round

        • Anne 14.1.1.1

          And who has said she was…?

          …the police rang them up and let them know they’d be coming round

          That’s the telling part!

          Hi, is that you Barry? It’s the plod here. Look I hope you don’t mind but we’re coming around to see you tomorrow to have a good gink in all your drawers and cupboards. Is 8 o’clock ok with you? Oh good, we’ll see you then. Byeeeee

          • Muttonbird 14.1.1.1.1

            This is the weird bit and it smells of a campaign to have the Police appear to be even handed on the left and on the right when they do their raids.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.2

          its a pretty shitty and unnecessary thing to have happen in your personal life.

        • tracey 14.1.1.3

          How many times have you had your home searched by the police PR?

          • Puckish Rogue 14.1.1.3.1

            As many times as I’ve deliberately flouted the law

            • McFlock 14.1.1.3.1.1

              Lucky you.

              Some of us aren’t so fortunate.

              I have had my home searched, and not only was it for something I didn’t do, I’m not sure I’ve ever in my life committed an offence that would justify a search warrant – a few traffic violations (never stopped, let alone ticketed) on my conscience, nothing particularly bad. And yet it’s still a funny feeling knowing some stranger went through my washing basket while I was at work.

              Although at that stage of my life I was probably one of the few people who ended up having the cops leave their place tidier after the search than before. Sucks to be them lol

              edit: oh, my vehicle’s currently unregistered, I spose that makes me quits with the cops… /sarc

    • vto 14.2

      it is the nature of the repurcussions puckish, can you not distinguish the issues?

      It is important to be able to distinguish issues and not confuse and conflate them

      • Puckish Rogue 14.2.1

        She deliberately broke the law to show how easy it is to buy a gun when you break the law

        Journalists don’t get a “get out of jail free card” simply because she says its in the public good

        She didn’t need to go through with the purchase to make the point but she went through with it for shock value

        All this is doing is creating controversy which, in turns, creates more viewing for the show

        I think she knew what would happen and planned for it accordingly, mind you the police were dumb for falling into her trap

        • vto 14.2.1.1

          You still have not distinguished the particular issues eh, and why the main issue is important.

          You have just confused and conflated again.

          • infused 14.2.1.1.1

            Nope. It’s fairly simple, actually.

            She didn’t need to go through with the process. Doing so, she committed fraud, and some other things i’m sure.

            • vto 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Nope. It is not simple. Few things in life are.

              People who cry “blah blah I like to call a spade a spade blah blah” make me laugh… because there just aint that many spades in the world. Are there..

          • Puckish Rogue 14.2.1.1.2

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11554219

            “Not a single bogus mail order gun sale was found by detectives checking records at the firearms shop chain from which TV3 current affairs presenter Heather du Plessis-Allan bought a rifle without a licence, says the owner of the chain.”

            So more investigation is needed before vilifying a business

        • Pascals bookie 14.2.1.2

          You don’t think it’s weird though?

          Getting a search warrant to try and find a ‘writing sample’ of someone who has freely admitted that it was them what filled out the forms?

          • vto 14.2.1.2.1

            .

            exactly

            this is the issue that the police have not answered. And this is the issue that cause very serious concern, because the perception is that the police are trying to intimidate journalists of a certain nature.

            this is no small thing and the police have an obligation to outline and explain

          • Puckish Rogue 14.2.1.2.2

            It is strange plus is it common for the police to ring up before they conduct a raid?

            Its not exactly secret police stuff

        • Grant 14.2.1.3

          *”Journalists don’t get a “get out of jail free card” simply because she says its in the public good”

          Your mate Farrar thinks different.

          “She did break the law but she has a strong public interest defence. I suspect she’d get discharged without conviction.” http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2015/10/cops_tighten_up_gun_rules.html

          • Aaron 14.2.1.3.1

            A lot of people seem to get lost in the detail and lose the big picture on these issues. For me I just have to answer these questions:

            What was the consequence of a journalist openly breaking the law to prove something was possible? Additional clue – does it contribute to the greater good?

            What are the consequences of leaving the loop hole in the law and doing nothing about it?

            What are the consequences of the Police using obviously heavy handed and unnecessary tactics to get evidence for something the accused has already admitted to? Especially when it’s not the first time in the last year?

            The results of the police doing something designed to intimidate and then providing a clearly weak excuse? The message to journalists and their supporters is crystal clear while at the same time the excuse is just enough that supporters of the police action and those who generally like to have ‘strong authorities’ are able to apply a logical veneer to a position that has actually been taken for emotional reasons.

        • tracey 14.2.1.4

          Can you post a link to the report of the raid on Cameron Slater’s home and office after he posted information taken from a computer that was not his?

          It’s about prioritising and cost of police resources. Take, for example, the 35 offices working on the Rawshark case… imagine how many sexuala ssults or rapes could have been investigated. If the will were there.

  15. Tiger Mountain 15

    it is obvious the NZ plods have cultural problems beyond their state forces role, like a time warped “flying squad” from a 70s UK TV cop show, only the MKIV Cortinas are missing

    on one level quite pathetic really, Soper’s pics of out of town cops with coloured gloves rummaging through DPA’s receipts on the carpet, and then the continuance of political harassment of journalists via the NZ Police and military (the Stephenson case)

    the NZ Police still brook no criticism and act as if spring loaded on top floor Nat requests, the Ambrose Teapot Tapes affair we now know was not a one off at election time, are the right wing journos going to continue their membership of the “Key Love” club or will even they feel the need to speak up?

  16. Detrie 16

    This may be the wakeup call Heather needs and many others who support the typical right wing ‘tough talk’ on crime, punishment and enforcement. She likely naively expected to be thanked by the police for bringing this matter to their attention be it on national TV. Now she is at the receiving end and being [unjustly] treated as a criminal herself, will be interesting to see if it changes her attitude and perspective.

    The possible charge of fraud is still possible though, although normally only upheld by the courts if there was some financial or personal gain, which didn’t occur here. Worse case would be a few hours community service. No doubt it would all make good TV, a special sort of reality TV, easily fulfilling current TV channel objectives of more entertainment, less information….

    • infused 16.1

      Why would the police thank her? They knew about it for 2 years.

      • Detrie 16.1.1

        Indeed. I also suspect for Heather and her bosses, it was more to do with boosting TV ratings than say, investigative journalism or research. An error of judgement, which the police pounced on, be it harshly.

      • Ross 16.1.2

        But they did nothing about it for 2 years. Now, thanks to HDPA, the loophole has been closed. 🙂

  17. John 17

    Doesn’t anybody think it is strange that the police phoned Barry and told him they wanted to do the search warrant. They wouldn’t ring up a “gang” and say, “Hi chaps, sorry to inconvenience you but we want to come around and execute a search warrant. When is it convenient for you” As Homer Simpson says, “Doh”

    • mary_a 17.1

      @ John (17) yes, you have a good point there. I wonder if when police warned Soper of an impending search, whether they also asked him to put the kettle on so they could all have a nice cup of tea before commencing?

      I doubt Nicky Hager received a warning the police were about to execute a warrant on his premises and possessions!

      Despite this police/HdPA issue being somewhat odd, NZ must have strong investigative journalism to keep the establishment open for scrutiny. However, it seems recently, journalistic investigation is under threat and attack through police intimidation, with orders … coming from where … ??

      • maui 17.1.1

        Also without a warning, how else could there have been a tv crew there at 8am in morning. A chance to improve ratings..

        • Anne 17.1.1.1

          Well, if the police were looking to make an example out of Heather D-A, that is exactly what they would hope would happen. Maximum publicity and not a journo in the land will miss the inherent message.

      • Anne 17.1.2

        I doubt Nicky Hager received a warning the police were about to execute a warrant on his premises and possessions!

        No he didn’t. They knew he was off to Auckland for the day and they must have known his sister was at Hager’s home. They took the opportunity of his absence and turned up with a warrant. His sister contacted Nicky and he in turn contacted his lawyer who went to the home and remained there until the police left. That’s my memory of the sequence of events anyway.

  18. infused 18

    That’s what happens when you break the law.

    • vto 18.1

      ha ha

      that is the single most funny line I have read here in eons

    • tracey 18.2

      That’s what happens when you break the law depending on who you are.

      FIFY to point out the lack of consistency and wierd allocation of police resources in NZ

  19. rob 19

    haha what a joke this all is! ringing to organize a search time haha and no tipping drawers out on the floor etc going thru rubbish etc. just a completely staged load of bullshit.
    and she broke the law so should take what’s owed to her.

    • greywarshark 19.1

      I hope you get what’s owed to you sometime soon rob. Getting their just deserts can be a bit of a shock to some people.

  20. Pascals bookie 20

    interesting seeing the RWers chipping in to confirm that they think it’s the police’s role to punnish people for breaking the law.

    Jackbooted little no account bastards

    • vto 20.1

      Exactly again P’s b.

      The right wing nutters do think that. They have no idea about the separation of powers or anything even remotely along those lines.

      Trump supporters likely

      • Bob 20.1.1

        According to comments above, Left wingers seem to think it is fine to break the law if it is for some mythical “greater good”. Who determines what is the “greater good”?
        The Police can say that they are acting for the “greater good” as they are acting within the Laws that generations of Governments have enacted, mainly via the will of the people of this country.
        HDPA seems to think she is acting for the “greater good” by allegedly committing a crime and dragging a company into disrepute, when further analysis finds “Not a single bogus mail order gun sale was found by detectives checking records at the firearms shop chain from which TV3 current affairs presenter Heather du Plessis-Allan bought a rifle without a licence, says the owner of the chain.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11554219
        “They have no idea about the separation of powers or anything even remotely along those lines”, this coming from someone who seems to think journalists should be free to run roughshod over any law they like without consequence, even when they are exposing people that have broken no laws themselves?

        • vto 20.1.1.1

          “this coming from someone who seems to think journalists should be free to run roughshod over any law they like without consequence, even when they are exposing people that have broken no laws themselves?”

          Nope didn’t say anything of the sort. Maybe you would care to address the point rather than running off on assumptions.

          Do you know what the separation of powers is? And how it comes into play in this event?

    • tracey 20.2

      Remember even Libertarians, those doyens of freedom fo choice, movement, market, want a ppolice ofrce and an army! The people (and their mouthpieces) can get scary when they start to wake up to the unfairness.

  21. Manuka AOR 21

    “Dear Mike”

    Retired long serving district court Judge Roy Wade writes to police Commissioner Mike Bush – The letter is here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11554548

    • greywarshark 21.1

      Thanks Manuka AOR for that link. Drug squad start. Interesting. I wonder how certain senior police might have been influenced in their attitudes by the very heavy handed approach we have taken to drugs in NZ? And perhaps those police are from the time of the Goon Squad that got so out of hand with its crash and burn style that it was wiped.

      I suddenly realised that Bush is the top guy’s surname. Any USA relatives?

      Anyway it will all blow over. No worries. Nice bit of furniture though. I wonder if that has been in Home and Living – style for the nicely-off?

      • Grant 21.1.1

        “Nice bit of furniture though. I wonder if that has been in Home and Living – style for the nicely-off?”

        lol

    • Grant 21.2

      Great letter.

    • tracey 21.3

      Someone needs to quickly make up a story to show the Judge has a vested interest and some kind of hobby horse which renders his opinion dismissable.

    • vto 21.4

      That sort of letter is no small thing.

      It is a big thing.

      The Police will know this

  22. Tory 22

    So to quote Fisher:

    Gun City owner David Tipple said he asked detectives to check previous mail order sales and none had turned out to be illegitimate. He said there were about 50 mail orders a month and police checked many hundreds of sales.

    “It was squeaky.”

    He said the failure to find bogus buyers showed there was no “loophole” to be closed because the law as it was worked.

    Mr Tipple said the mail order system required a credit card, an address to which the gun was to be delivered and a valid firearms licence number, which Gun City checked with police. It also required the “Police Use Only” section to be properly filled in, showing a police officer had reviewed the purchase.

    Heather du Plessis Allan forged documents and impersonated a police officer. Police actions are fully justified and she will pay the price for her actions.

    • Colonial Viper 22.2

      hey mate when it comes your turn as our democracy deteriorates, there will be no one left to plea on your behalf. Good thing too.

    • tracey 22.3

      I thinkit is prudent to only listen to a person who makes a living selling guns about whether guns should be sold or laws around selling them tightened, but not shine a light on anything they say.

    • Grindlebottom 22.4

      He said the failure to find bogus buyers showed there was no “loophole” to be closed because the law as it was worked.

      And yet the plod then said they made changes to close it.

      This was what started it all. Wonder what’s in store for Greg O’Connor?

      We didn’t order a firearm for a bit of a laugh. We ordered a firearm because Greg O’Connor from the Police Association told the public on radio 10 days ago they could order a gun via mail order – without a licence. You can’t just leave that information out there. Criminals listen to the radio.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11534642

  23. rob 23

    i have had visits with no warnings and had rubbish tipped on the floor and gone thru looking for stuff. nothing found and no apologies. i am no right leaning person either, i still think she broke the law and now should face the music.

  24. rob 24

    greywarshark, notice i didn’t attack you either for being a dimwitted fool. haha

    • greywarshark 24.1

      Hello rob., it takes one to know one ay! And as to what level of fool you are I wouldn’t know. But you and the law sound as if you have some connections, so I bow to your greater knowledge.

      !

  25. Muttonbird 25

    The Dotcom, Ambrose, and Hager raids were politically motivated, the Soper raid is not, but all four highlight the distancing of Police from proper conduct, the new number 8 wire approach to investigation, and their vulnerability to being encouraged to produce action under the influence of outside (political) forces.

    The same can be said for the SIS and GCSB, unfortunately.

    • tracey 25.1

      Maybe. But by raiding two journos, on ewho has been insipid in his questioning of Key, might make the polcie and others think this is them being even-handed?

      • Muttonbird 25.1.1

        Yep. I alluded to that also. Who in the National Party machine would action that though? Wayne Eagleson seems to be the best bet.

  26. Muttonbird 26

    Notice who the two MPs are who have been put out to comment on the inappropriateness of the Soper raid?

    Dunne.

    And, Seymour.

    No-one tagged to the National Party.

    Dirty Politics…

    • Grindlebottom 26.1

      Probably just couldn’t find any National MP who thought it was inappropriate.

    • Ross 26.2

      When this story first broke, Police Minister Michael Woodhouse commented that he thought HDPA had committed a “pretty serious offence”. Maybe he was signalling to police that he wanted her scalp…Ministers should not be telling police whether an offence has been committed. Isn’t that up to police and, ahem, a jury to decide?

      http://m.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11532873

    • Anne 26.3

      Yep, and I also noticed an avoidance yesterday on the part of both TV1 and TV3 to report the responses from Labour and the Greens – as if their thoughts on the matter are of no consequence. But Dunne and Seymour are so very important.

      Biased Politics.

  27. Ross 27

    I get the feeling HDPA isn’t a fan of Labour. She recently said that a female Labour MP had once complained about her texting on a plane. I digress…

    But I do think she been badly treated in this instance. Following the plane-texting story (see video), there’s an item about her gun purchase. She accosts Malcolm Burgess up Molesworth St which presumably didn’t go down well at Police HQ. I have little doubt that the search of her apartment was meant to humiliate and intimidate her.

    http://www.tv3.co.nz/STORY-Tuesday-November-24-2015/tabid/3692/articleID/121111/MCat/4662/Default.aspx

  28. Observer (Tokoroa) 28

    To: Gun City owner.

    It seems to me that you are “Protesting your innocence too much”.

    I will ask the upright commentator TORY to organise a police raid on your home and your wifes lingerie (in case of concealment) to prove how utterly innocent you are.

    The real motivation of the Police Raid on Miss Du Plessis, was of course her private possessions and garments.

    The police have practised their same skills quite recently on Miss Hagers gear, and found it to be a very pleasant assignment. Even though it is a salacious excercise and not relevant to anything.

    It is a pity that the Police have become a type of low life. How deeply they have sunk in brown nosing Mr key.

  29. greywarshark 29

    Police out fishing eh? I guess that’s always in season for them. If you have a conversation with them and say yes to something, does that constitute approval? By the way, such a good photo shot – security camera?

  30. Smilin 30

    Doesnt this smell of a witch hunt now. First Nicky Hager now Heather du Plessis Allan FOR WHAT, little misdemeanors and giving the law small reason to inflict maximum exposure in an obviously flawed and percussive manner towards both journalists who have only sort to expose the truth on the subjects they have brought to the public’s attention which as dangerous and conflicting to the “law” as they maybe, in fact, our PM with his ability to change laws to suit some lawbreakers has obviously deemed a path to be as direct as possible on these matters of security when journalists are involved .
    As these matters affect the most influential in power concerned in these two cases.
    As with the PM and his own Ponytail pulling which is technically assault which he has manage to circumvent the law on that and the contrived situation of Ruatoki beaten up to look like a major terrorist assault on the freedom of NZ ers
    When are we going to get some sober governance in this country Maybe our governor general, if I could be so bold as to suggest he may want to be the commander, could design a compulsory shock treatment camp for National party over the holiday period with the top cops attending as trainees as well so that they might begin to understand what its like to be on the receiving end of their abuses of takin others freedoms without good and sufficient reason Ludicrous ? oh dear I was having fun like Key BSg world at the current Paris talks. You dont think he actually believes what he is saying do you? How much of his personal fortune is tied up in pollution?
    A bit of a wacky solution to say the least but how much different is it than the crap this govt gets away with.

  31. Tc 31

    Excellent stuff keep it up nzpolice so theres plenty of evidence for the next govt to overhaul your politically aligned asses.

    Soper and HDPA just found out they arent in the club.

  32. Rosemary McDonald 32

    Does anyone’s memory reach back to 2010?

    Does the name Alan Emerson ring any bells?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10649573

    “A semi-retired farmer and journalist has outed himself as the main suspect in a bomb scare in Parliament last month.

    In the latest Farmers Weekly, Wairarapa resident Alan Emerson accused police of being excessive after his office was searched in relation to the incident on May 17.

    The Beehive was evacuated after a box was sent to Agriculture Minister David Carter’s office. The box was full of dead cluster flies.”

    Around about this time, Emerson was writing in his column criticising various government policies, especially those surrounding the downsizing of Biosecurity and reduction in supports for agricultural R&D.

    His columns were always an interesting read, even when he took his default stance of centre/right/right as one would expect from a farmer and businessman.

    • Rosemary McDonald 32.1

      And a couple of years later…an un-intimidated Emerson submitted this…

      http://farmersweekly.co.nz/article/montys-maggots-in-dawn-raids?p=23

      “Monty’s ‘maggots’ in dawn raids…..The young 71-year-old has done more things in his life than a dozen less energetic or committed people.

      ….. he started the New Zealand Botanic Research Institute.

      ….All that stood for little when he was raided at dawn by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) staff accompanied by the police complete with a search warrant.

      ….Graeme was one of four couples treated thus; the other three were in Wanganui, New Plymouth and Auckland with the latter couple being curators of the Auckland Botanic Gardens.

      ….. he was sitting at his computer in his undies first thing in the morning when “a police car came roaring down the drive followed by five others”. The other families had similar treatment.

      I asked Graeme if he’d had any previous trouble with the authorities.

      His reply was that he’d been arrested for spying in the former Yugoslavia 50 years ago.

      “They subsequently let me go and apologised for the misunderstanding,” he explained.

      They obviously had better manners in communist countries back then than government agencies do in NZ today.”

      • Lara 32.1.1

        Crikey. He thought the reason he was raided was something to do with confusion over a species of Kauri????

        What a stupid reason to raid a home!

        This is pretty chilling actually.

        I make my living using my computers. If police raid my home on spurious grounds and confiscate my computers, they’re pretty much confiscating my income.

        Kinda as vital as Hagar’s daughter whose computer was confiscated… right before a thesis for a masters was due. Probably written on that computer.

        Its just not acceptable that they can enact vindictive retribution and disrupt a persons life…. all before a trial and a verdict of guilty….

        That’s not democracy.

        • Rosemary McDonald 32.1.1.1

          This targeting of outspoken journalists is not new.

          Alan Emerson was probably targeted because he was openly critical of National Party policy in a publication aimed directly at the Blue Heartland. He had made references to clusterflies in an opinion piece about how out of touch with rural communities National were.

          The ‘package’ was obviously…like really, really obviously a fame up….the cops went way over the top in their raid.

          Instead of being intimidated by this… silenced… he and the publication he worked for continued to tell it like it is….including the bizarre raid on the botanists.

          Thanks for your response Lara…

  33. RedBaronCV 33

    Well if the journo’s don’t like this sort of treatment then they know what they should do. Read all Nact party and police press releases and then put them on the bottom of the pile. Go to the opposition for comments on these any and any other issues the opposition want brought to the public attention. Run all these stories in the negative / critical mode for the right.

    And for the next month do not interview any single member of the ruling party or any single senior policeman or invite them to comment (unless it has had a negative spin put on it)
    A month of unremitting bad publicity might even the scales a little.

  34. ZTesh 34

    Alternatively if they don’t like it, don’t impersonate a cop and forge signatures to commit crimes.

    They didn’t actually need to go through with it to prove it could have been done. The latter course just made for better t.v…

    • Ross 34.1

      You’re right, police were told multiple times about the loophole. But they did nothing about it.

      But within hours of the gun being bought, the loophole was closed.

      I’d call that a job well done.

      • Smilin 34.1.1

        “I’d call that a job well done.”
        By who the Police or HDPA?
        There’s a quaint expression in the East end describing the police “The Filth”
        Maybe a bit of good old cockney slang should be included in our english tutoring for a bit of balance in the amount of abuse we should be expected to take as citizens under this current govt since they want to bring us up to international standards for our tourists and in parliamentary journalistic procedure
        LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKIN BARRELS
        How would Key and Carter like that to go with there abuse of our democracy ? And the police who could spend a bit more time dealin with real crime on the streets and our ordinary everyday lives
        Its about time those on a certain level of income paid for the services of the police uno user pays and all that

        • Stuart Munro 34.1.1.1

          Hey – the police clearly have plenty of time on their hands. In fact they’re bored and looking for trouble. Time Treasury went knocking on their door… Bill’s got a surplus to fake.

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