What was National’s role in the police raid on Nicky Hager?

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, December 18th, 2015 - 128 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, Dirty Politics, journalism, national, Politics, same old national - Tags: , ,

Hager and his book Dirty Politics

The repercussions of Justice Clifford’s decision that the police raid of Nicky Hager’s home was illegal are starting to be felt.  The decision itself is a scathing condemnation of the police behaviour and you really have to wonder how the police got things so wrong.  Having their behaviour described as “fundamentally unlawful” is as strong as you can get.

Essentially Justice Clifford has ruled that despite the huge resources put into the case the police failed to disclose to the Court that there were clearly issues of journalistic privilege.  There were fundamentally important public interests at stake.

As said by the Judge:

[121] I am therefore satisfied that the failure of the police to disclose in the application for the Warrant the s 68 issue, and more generally the principles and issues relating to media warrants identified by the Court of Appeal in TVNZ, was a material failure to discharge the duty of candour. The central issues relating to the lawfulness of the Warrant were not drawn to Judge Malosi’s attention. Those issues reflect fundamentally important public interests.

[122] It is also to be noted that it could be said Mr Hager does not act out of concern for protecting the identity of the Source. After all, he is adamant that no evidence of the Source’s identity remains in his possession. On the other hand, the Search necessarily put into the possession of the police, I infer from Mr Hager’s evidence, evidence of the identity of other confidential sources which was both protected by s 68 and, also, irrelevant for the investigation the police were conducting. In my view, the chilling effect of the issue of the Warrant and its execution needed to be seen in that context, and those matters also drawn to Judge Malosi’s attention.

There are two aspects of the decision which stand out to me, the description of Hager as a “political author” and the police’s searching of his daughter’s clothes drawers and her laptop.   The complete disregard the Police had for Hager’s rights and the wider issues of journalist privilege have rightfully received a very discretely worded but very clear bolloxing by the Judge.

National’s role needs to be investigated.  How were the police persuaded to take such extreme steps which have been shown to be so spectacularly wrong?

David Parker has commented on the issue in these terms:

“For the past two elections, complaints in the media from the Prime Minister have led to inappropriate and excessive action by the police against journalists. In 2011, it was the tea tapes, following a media stunt gone wrong between John Key and John Banks,” Mr Parker said.

“Last year, the disreputable antics of the National Party involving Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Jason Ede in the Prime Minister’s office, Judith Collins, and the Prime Minister himself were outed in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics.”

Mr Parker said Hager had been painted as a villain by the Government after the release of his book and today’s findings vindicated him.

“Instead of the police attention being on the perpetrators, John Key kept asserting Nicky Hager based his book on hacked emails. The police in turn reacted on the public complaints by the Prime Minister and the formal complaint by Cameron Slater, and again turned on the media.”

Mr Parker said police and the Prime Minister needed to publicly accept that the politicisation of the police was serious and wrong.

Parker could have added the Police’s refusal to take action in relation to any of the complaints Labour made about the Dirty Politics revelations.  And the failure to investigate payments by Mark Hotchin to Cameron Slater to attack and smear the former head of the Financial Markets Authority and the Serious Fraud Office still rankles.

Winston Peters has also commented on the issue:

Mr Peters said a police warrant application had to be upfront and comprehensive, and in the Hager case it was not.

“That shows a serious deficiency of not understanding some of the fundamental rights of this country.

“There’s a seriously improper use of authority in the case of Hager’s home being broken into, literally.

“The second thing is, yes …. Hager says he does know the identity [of Rawshark] but in many cases, and every journalist would know this, you get information where you don’t know who the source is – you’d love to know but it literally comes off the back of a truck – you don’t know what the source is and you have to rely on it because of its apparent veracity.”

Mr Peters told Morning Report journalists’ ability to reveal the workings of the authorities was essential to democracy and the rule of law and the Hager case breached legal protections over keeping sources confidential.

“If journalists are going to be outed for their sources then the public’s right to know what’s going on in the power structure or in authority be it politicians or bureacracy, the public’s right to know is … not seriously damaged – it’s shut down.

“The big issue – put aside Hager, and put aside journalists – the public’s right to know is why this law’s in place in the way it is in the first place.”

So the question that needs to be answered is what political pressure was put on the police to act in the way they did.  A properly functioning democracy would be able to provide an answer.

128 comments on “What was National’s role in the police raid on Nicky Hager?”

  1. red-blooded 1

    And yet (surprise, surprise!) neither our beloved leader nor the Minister of Police is willing to comment…

    • Brigid 1.1

      And that fact is most telling. It suggests both of them are a little scared of any scrutiny and this time can’t manufacture any utterance to deflect the accusation of collusion that surely Guyon Espiner would have queried either of them on.

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        Key doesn’t front to bad news, something that has caught on with other Ministers

        • rob 1.1.1.1

          with the help of fairfax media reporting imo.
          they seem to have control/ ownership of most forms of media in nz. i would not be surprised if they even donated to the nat party.

        • Murray Simmonds 1.1.1.2

          Yep, Tracey, that’s exactly it – – – “in a nutshell” as they say. You are good at distilling a lot of “..??.. ” down to its essential truths. That’s a very valuable skill.

        • Rodel 1.1.1.3

          Very common these days on RNZ news…”The minister was unavailable for comment”.
          I think they could rephrase that to something like…… ” The minister was too embarrassed to comment” …or “too cowardly/ ashamed to comment” or simply..”the minister was too busy running for cover to comment.”

      • NZJester 1.1.2

        Crosby Textor must be on their Xmas break right now and not available for helping out with a good spin line.

        • Tracey 1.1.2.1

          Key needs 24 hours. Always he needs 24 hours…. 18 hours at the least so he can practice the lines overnight

          • Murray Simmonds 1.1.2.1.1

            Yep again Tracy. But don’t forget he also needs a bit of “lead-in” time to consult his wretched focus groups. Only after THEY have reported back to him, is he in a position to know what to say.

            • Tracey 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Too true.

              He is a creation. His real self seeps though when caught on the hop or he thinks no one important is watching.

              • weston

                reckon tracy that pic of him with his mouth buried in judiths hair is pricless personaly i liked the caption ” Thats how they feed “

              • Corokia

                When caught on the hop and forced to make an on-the-spot decision this week, he made the really bad decision to get in the cage. Thank god he hasn’t got his finger on the button of any nuclear warheads.

            • NZJester 1.1.2.1.1.2

              But is it not Crosby Textor that run those focus groups for him in helping work out the lines?

          • Sacha 1.1.2.1.2

            Bronagh wonders why he’s in the master ensuite ..

        • BLiP 1.1.2.2

          Not so sure about that. The line which came out yesterday and is still being pushed hard is that the “fundamentally unlawful” actions of the police were, really just a “technical error” in the application for the warrant. Had the police told the judge Hager was a journalist and there was an issue with privilege, she would still have issued the warrant. National Ltd­™ just needs to keep its head down and let John Key’s Dirty Politics Machine embed that meme.

        • Tautuhi 1.1.2.3

          John Crosby is currently out of the country on annual leave and is unavailable to comment I heard on the news?

    • Tautuhi 1.2

      We haven’t heard anything lately on the hacking of the Labour Party website?

    • Tautuhi 1.3

      The silence is deafening?

  2. NZJester 2

    National have made it a mantra of those on the right that Dirty Politics has been discredited. It needs to be stated over and over that the book has not been discredited and that statement is a lie.
    Judith Collins according to a lot on the right was cleared of the accusation in Dirty Politics after being cleared in the inquiry that saw her demoted till recently. It also needs to be stated over and over that the statements claiming she was cleared of all accusations in Dirty Politics is a lie.
    If these kinds of things we see over and over in the MSM tell us anything, it is that Dirty Politics is still alive and well within some of the MSM.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      +1

      Exactly. Dirty Politics is alive and well and the corruption of our highest office continues unabated.

    • Bearded Git 2.2

      Where is Jason Ede?

      (Good title for a song)

    • plumington 2.3

      If any member of the public did what our police (state )and their accomplices did ‘we the peasants’ would be facing serious criminal charges
      I doubt anyone will be held to account
      A small win for the freedom of speech but justice will lose the war

  3. Anne 3

    And don’t forget the release of top secret information to Cameron Slater by a former SIS Director which seriously damaged Phil Goff’s reputation as a person of honesty and integrity. What is worse, it was eventually revealed the information was wrong anyway and the current SIS Director had to apologise to Phil Goff for the ‘misdemeanour’.

    Add that to the list of inappropriate conduct by various authoritative bodies as outlined by mickysavage and suggestions of pressure – and perhaps even intimidation – from top government politicians can be seen as almost a certainty.

  4. Richard Christie 4

    Most of the sting will be buried over the holiday season. The cynic in me ponders if this might have been deliberate.

  5. savenz 5

    It was clearly a politically motivated and illegal search.

    Nicky Hager had to put his life on hold, pay huge legal expenses to get this outcome. It is clearly not fair and not acceptable, that had he not been able to pay to bring this case (and the public had to help fund this case against the police acting illegally) justice would not have been done. And that is not acceptable, especially in the context of other cases of illegal political searches like Dotcom. These are of public figures, how many illegal searches are going on, not in the public eye?

    The police must be held accountable and clearly not even the minister of justice can be trusted!

    What a joke our government is!

    • NZJester 5.1

      I wish our government was a joke because then at lest then I could laugh at them.
      They are more of a bad pun that does not make sense than a joke.

      • DoublePlusGood 5.1.1

        I think National are most like that guy at a party who makes awful racist jokes, and everybody just smiles and nods until you call the guy on his racism, and then everybody piles in on you and tells you to stop being so sensitive and PC.

    • Chooky 5.2

      +100…undermining of democracy and human rights by stealth…while jonkey cavorts in a cage with soap…he is not fit to be a Prime Minister

    • plumington 5.3

      +100

  6. I am sure J Key will make a comment, if you promise to take his photo, if you can find him.

    He likes that.

    Comment most likely would be, yea at the end of the day, going forward.

  7. Karen 7

    Asst. Commissioner Malcolm Burgess seems to be implicated in both investigations.
    Just reread this about the teapot tapes:

    http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/its-worse-than-you-think/

    In the Nicky Hager case Burgess began his investigation after an email from Cameron Slater on 19 August, a full week before an official complaint.

    So Slater, the mate of John Key and Judith Collins, can email the Assistant Commissioner and immediately get the police to begin a well-resourced investigation into the hack of a personal computer, and we are expected to believe Key and/or Collins had nothing to do with it?

    • Tracey 7.1

      Karen, wasn’t Ms Collins Minister of Police just before the raid? Or at the time of the raid? I recall that Woodhouse ot the job after the election?

    • seeker 7.2

      @Karen 9.34am
      re Malcolm Burgess
      Glad you noticed this. Malcolm Burgess worries me…. is he fixer for the government, an apologist for the government or a hitman for the government or all three and more?
      I wish there was a blip list which covers all the seemingly unjust things he has been part of including implying that Bradley Ambrose was more than likely guilty rather than exonerated. (sorry can’t find or paste link, but I remember his unfair comment.)

    • Tautuhi 7.3

      There also appears to be a link with the David Bain Enquiry?

  8. Tracey 9

    Mickey, I wonder if Winston Peters, like me, is having flashbacks to 1992 and Citbank, the then Minister of Police (one John Banks) and the police?

    I hesitate to reference Ian Wishart but in this case, from my own knowledge, he is spot on.

    Go to page 24 and read from there…. note the similarities of police behaviour and at whose behest in relation to wrongly issued search warrants. Once Paul White was dead, there was no one to complain or take a case against the police.

    http://briefingroom.typepad.com/files/paradiseconpreview.pdf

  9. AmaKiwi 10

    Our NZ form of government is past its “use by” date.

    The constitution of every democracy begins, “All power comes from the people.”

    ALL our political leaders believe, “Parliament is sovereign.”

    Enough! This is OUR country, not theirs.

    The police should serve the expectations of the people, without the possibility of interference from MPs.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Yes, it is time that we had it implemented in law that the people are sovereign and that MPs are the people’s servants and that they’re publicly accountable. This doesn’t mean that they can be voted out every three years but that the people can actually fire the bastards.

    • plumington 10.2

      +100

  10. Tory 11

    What a load of speculative drivel, flat earth society seems to have plenty of paid up members here. How about providing a link to your comment “Nationals Role…” that refers to this issue? You infer direct political interference between National and the Police and that should be substantiated (don’t quote Hagers book as that book and associated email and other corospondance, as that nothing to do with this issue or inference of corruption that is being made regarding the Police warrant).

    • Tracey 11.1

      You are calling for resignations from the Police though following the judges decision, yes?

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      (don’t quote Hagers book as that book and associated email and other corospondance, as that nothing to do with this issue or inference of corruption that is being made regarding the Police warrant)

      Yeah, actually, it does as it indicates that National were already operating in a corrupt manner and thus could be expected to extend that corruption.

      You should probably also read this as it clearly shows that things were happening in the background.

    • Stuart Munro 11.3

      riiiight – police just spontaneously raided Hager and stole his computers cos… cos… he mighta been with ISIS. Anyone who doesn’t love Il Duce/батюшка/Der Fuhrer Key is naturally a suspect.

    • Pat 11.4

      This government is economically inept, trying its hardest to destroy the public service and the social fabric of this country but that can all be redressed by future governments….the most dangerous feature by far of this administration is its normalisation of corruption……a slippery sided pit nigh on impossible to escape from, take a look around the world, and pray it aint too late

    • plumington 11.5

      While it seems the media and the National party supporters scream for evidence the circumstancial evidence shouts volumes
      Politicians and their masters manipulating our legal and democracy for thier corrupt ends
      They are also very good at covering their tracks
      Everything happens for a reason

  11. Paul 12

    Democracy dying under Key.
    A police state on its way.

    • Tracey 12.1

      We have a Minister found in brecah of OIA, Minister’s with conflicts of interest, Ministers using influence for friends, use of taxpayer money to boost a campaign in Mt Roskill for a Nat candidate and a police force which manipulated data for its Minister and now wrongly withheld information from the Court, violated a person’s professional and personal privacy, …

      BUt what a great bloke the PM is…

      Compare to

      Paintgate
      Drivegate
      Pledgecard
      Clark being hounded for spat between Peters and Glenn

      • weka 12.1.1

        We’re not meant to be criticising Key 😉

      • rawshark-yeshe 12.1.2

        plus whatever influence was used to silence matters in the case of Sabin and Northland …

      • madtom 12.1.3

        And please don’t forget the many quite successful centralizations of “local” government powers, the imposition of direct control from Wellington, and the use of retrospective legislation to do what every other time in its history was agreed it should *never* be used for, which is to damage one of the affected parties as it certainly did in the Kaipara Rates Validation.

        Damn, the list just gets longer and longer.

    • AmaKiwi 12.2

      @ Paul

      “A police state on its way.”

      Yes. And it’s so easy to do under our obsolete elected dictatorship form of government.

      Referring back to my comment #10 above.

      • Paul 12.2.1

        If the TPP is signed, it will be even harder to undo.

        • Tautuhi 12.2.1.1

          Evidently Tim Groser is an International Expert on International Trade however he has only ever worked in Government positions and probably has no real understanding of the real world and International Trading this TPPA thing is the complete opposite to a Free Trade Deal, it is a deal to protect corporate interests and their future revenue streams.

  12. Treetop 13

    To be addressed in the New Year

    Court costs.
    Damages.
    An inquiry into the police raid and/or an IPCA complaint.
    An illegal search warrant was used.
    Political interference in a police matter needs to be investigated (either Bush is incompetent or the government interfered).

    Nearly 39 years to the day of Sir Alfred North’s part release into the police handling of the Moyle file.

    Thank you Nicky for showing up gross incompetence in the police executive.

    I find most general duty cops to be fine, the ones with political aspirations get seduced into wrong doing.

    The contents of Slater’s computer would be revealing when it comes to dirty politics by select National MPs.

    • Tracey 13.1

      IPCA complaint. Like complaints tot he Ombudsmen can take a year or more…

      • Treetop 13.1.1

        Both IPCA and Ombudsmen are under resourced, justice delayed is justice denied.

        And the banking privacy issue also needs addressing.

        • Tracey 13.1.1.1

          Agreed. And Departments KNOW how long a complaint to the Ombudsmen takes, which is why IMO< they feel able to do pretty flimsy refusals, as long as they advise you have the right to appeal.

          • Tautuhi 13.1.1.1.1

            Like any industry there are always a few bad apples in the box hopefully the truth will come out.

  13. Adrian 14

    Everybody went to school with people that went on to be cops. If you think about them , with of course a few exceptions I,ll bet they were the sneaky, toadying types who loved a bit of power no matter how slight.
    Pity one of the many tests kids undergo these days isn,t a proto-fascist flush out number.

    • lprent 14.1

      Most police are OK and do their job well.

      However it doesn’t take too many of subservient members of the police in moderately senior positions to bring the police force into disrepute. Obviously there are always people in a such large organisation with rotten attitudes and corrupted by their power delegated from the public. The problem is that they appear to think that they are unassailable as in this case.

      Clearly we have rather too many of them in the police ranks at present. To the point that the police don’t seem to be capable of dealing with them themselves. They have been clearly ignoring even the ineffectual IPCA for a number of years. So how are the police ever going to clean up their act?

      It was pretty damn obvious from the start that the search warrant was issued on very very dubious legal grounds and would damage the ability of the police in future interactions with the judiciary because of its blatant disregard to the laws once it was reviewed. Regardless of that, someone very senior signed off on it for what look like purely political reasons.

      It looks to me like it is time to give police an independent review body who has teeth. One that can order disciplinary actions up to dismissal and laying of charges against individual police at the command level when the police are unable to politically do it themselves.

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        Most police are OK and do their job well.

        Thanks for saying that. Most of the ones I’ve gotten to know over the years are fine people. Slurring all of them with the corruption of a few does not help.

        • Richard Christie 14.1.1.1

          Most police are OK and do their job well.

          Yeah well, at least it’s a comforting phrase, always offered without a shred of evidence.

          • Rich 14.1.1.1.1

            There is merit in the idea of a conscript police service, where everyone does a few days policing / training every couple of years and there are only a small core of professionals.

          • weka 14.1.1.1.2

            It’s also been my experience that most police are ok and do their job well. But I’m acutely aware that (a) I’m Pākehā and (b) I’ve always passed for middle class and (c) as a woman I’ve not been living in the Bay of Plenty area when I was younger (or various other parts of NZ that would have put me at risk).

            I think we should call individual police out on their behaviour, and the NZ Police on their institutional issues. Damning them all doesn’t really help, not least because we want the good ones to stay.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1.2.1

              +1

              We need to support the good ones in such a way that they’re empowered to report the bad ones.

        • whateva next? 14.1.1.2

          I agree, and it must be demoralising for the shop floor workers seeing 5 cops going n for 10 hours on this, (and behind the scenes stuff) when they are out there on the front line answering to the public, and all the social unrest that comes along with vast wealth gap.
          National have had years to position/promote “their” people, and it is showing, I am hugely relieved that we still have some areas where this mob cannot reach, and yesterday’s judgement showed us that.

        • John Shears 14.1.1.3

          @ Red Logix I agree thanks. However I find it hard to imagine how I would react if my computor was taken and not returned
          for months, there would be a bit of a rucus knowing me and Ms.Barrie & Mr Coleman would wish they had never heard of me.

      • Treetop 14.1.2

        An independent body with teeth is long overdue.

      • Lucy 14.1.3

        Actually my experience of the police does not bear out your first statement! My and my families interactions with the police in a number of cities would tend towards the version that relates more towards Chicago law enforcement. They are lazy, not interested in solving crimes, only interested in nailing non whites and only shift for the wealthy! And the attitude towards sexual victims is crass in the extreme. The only time we had police attend a burglary within 2 days was because the rich prick over the road had been burgled and they needed to see if there were any fingerprints in our house.

    • Anne 14.2

      Interesting comment Adrian.

      I recall reading an article by a pre-eminent Canadian psychologist some years ago who proclaimed that psychopaths are far more common than people realise and they can be found in all strata of society. He observed that the most common areas which attract them are:

      1. the police
      2. health related professions
      3 education
      ( I would add a 4th – right wing politicians)

      All of them areas where psychos have control over vulnerable individuals.

      In fairness to the many good people who work in these professions, there should be tests conducted on new recruits that can weed these types out before they do any damage.

      • RedLogix 14.2.1

        Yes I think I must have read a similar article myself years ago. Certainly the stereotypical pop-eyed deranged nutter represents only a tiny minority of them. Most are high-functioning people who’ve learnt to conceal their ‘difference’ extremely well.

        The difficulty most people have is distinguishing between psychopaths and the other closely related Dark Triad characteristics. Or the large group of people with all sorts of shade of various Personality Disorders. It’s a dangerous area for amateurs to tread.

      • Rodel 14.2.2

        Anne-@ 14.2- I would think the opposite is true except for right wing politicians. Most of the people I know in the Police, health related professions and education are the antitheses of psychopaths..empatheticopaths?(No I guess not)

        • Anne 14.2.2.1

          Read my last sentence Rodel. The actual numbers would represent 5% or less of the full staff complements, but they cause problems far in excess of their numbers. Example: the bullying of young doctors which is prevalent at some Auckland hospitals. It was brought to light a few weeks ago.

    • dave 14.3

      corruption start from the top its like cancer eating away at society
      the cure is to remove this government key is out of control and is not of good character he must resign along with his government

      • Tautuhi 14.3.1

        Unfortunately since Roger Douglas days there has been a cosy relationship with big business, high net worth individuals, the legal fraternity and law enforcement authorities, the Wine Box Enqiry was a classic example of the holding of hands at the top end of town.

  14. veutoviper 15

    Yet another excellent summary of the Hager court finding by Gordon Campbell at Scoop. Well worth reading.

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2015/12/18/gordon-campbell-on-the-police-harassment-of-nicky-hager/

    [With all that is going on at the moment, those of you who are anti-TPPA, I will also post Campbell’s latest on the TPPA on Open Mike as it provides a ray of hope.]

  15. Tautuhi 16

    The Keystone Cops were also very quick off the mark after the Mad Hatters Tea Party in Mt Eden between JK and Banksie.

    • Steve Withers 16.1

      The usual rule is that there must be the appearance of propriety…..so the standard is a high on. It should be obvious there was no interference.

      Unfortunately, we’re now in the position of it being the other way around. There is very much the appearance of impropriety becoming endemic, but the reponse is now either “How dare you!” or “If you have proof, let’s see it”.

      That is a very low standard.

      National seems to specialise in lowering standards.

  16. Kev 17

    “So the question that needs to be answered is what political pressure was put on the police to act in the way they did. A properly functioning democracy would be able to provide an answer.”

    How would you go about finding this out? Official Information request? Complaint to the Police Complaints Authority?

    Serious question.

    • Tautuhi 17.1

      Don’t worry JK will sort it out and it will be off the radar by the time Parliament sits next year, this is merely a minor distraction in the big picture, after all he has a far bigger job managing the economy in these tough times.

    • Chooky 17.2

      need a whistle blower or two

      i also believe in the decency of the police …and sometimes heroism…it is a hard job if done with integrity and care….but like everyone else they are human and susceptible to political power ….and a few bad apples can do enormous damage…eg Louise Nicholas case….and other miscarriages of justice

      there needs to be an official inquiry of some sort to find out if political pressure was applied to the police at the top, to hit on Hager

      • Anne 17.2.1

        I doubt there was any direct contact between the police and the top levels of government Chooky but the message was coming through loud and clear with Key’s public utterances at the time. The police hierarchy would have known that an all out assault on Hager was what was expected of them – just as they got the message during the unfortunate journo’s tea-tape saga.

        This is how this government and it’s Public Service lackeys operate, and then further down the track they – the police in this case – can deny they had any pressure applied to them.

        • Chooky 17.2.1.1

          well if heads do roll in the top echelons of the police….

          ( those who ordered the surveillance harassment , bank investigation , home search for a whole day …intrusion and raid , human rights violations on Hager and his family)

          …it will be interesting if they claim political justification/direction in order to extricate themselves

          …or will they go quietly like common criminals for breaking New Zealand law?

          … and take all the blame and punishment and career termination on themselves?

          whatever the case it will be a salutary lesson to the police to always act within the law and not inwhich ever way the political wind is blowing

    • Steve Withers 17.3

      The usual rule is that there must be the appearance of propriety…..so the standard is a high one. It should be obvious there was no interference.

      Unfortunately, we’re now in the position of it being the other way around. There is very much the appearance of impropriety becoming endemic, but the reponse is now either “How dare you!” or “If you have proof, let’s see it”.

      That is a very low standard.

      National seems to specialise in lowering standards.

      • Tautuhi 17.3.1

        Maybe all members of the NZ Police should be signing a Code of Conduct Agreement?

        • Treetop 17.3.1.1

          There is something that they swear to.

          I wonder how cops sort it out among themselves when there is a complaint about one of their own. The complainant probably gets bullied out if it is political.

  17. Once was Tim 18

    “What was National’s role in the police raid on Nicky Hager?”

    In the Police, just as elsewhere in our corporatised public service …… simply a nudge nudge wink wink ….. as and when required.

    If there are only two things the next non-NATZI government does ….
    The first will be to totally restructure the administrative branch of government, such that crony appointments to CEO and board positions in the public service are no longer possible. (Perhaps a power of veto, or similar available to all political parties).
    Just check out Frank McSkacey’s ‘Crony Watch’ to get an idea of how our public service has been degraded – and done in such a way that a ‘veneer’ of impartiality exists, behind which the most fascist of regimes could/can exist.

    The second thing will be to restore a public sphere (which for some time now has not simply been the soapbox in the square, but through electronic broadcast means.
    Resurrection of Public Service Broadcasting (Radio/TV/Internet – the ‘ether’) ….. FREE from both political ad commercial influences and control. (There are ways of doing this (again by means of veto powers by opposition political parties/presidential or royal mandate – whatever).

    If you think about it, whilst we’re not there yet, NZ has the means and structure by which a Fascist State could quite easily be implemented.

    Actually, call it what you like ….. Fascism, Corporatism,,,,,,
    We don’t have a democracy where the interests of the citizen and voter trump the interests of the corporate or special interest group.

    Inch by inch….. foot by foot. It could never happen here right?

    The above two things should hopefully be a bottom line by whichever party gets to hold the balance of power in 2017

    • John Shears 18.1

      Well said OWT .
      We used to jokingly say ” Me Public , you Servant, start serving” Oh for the days of yore.

  18. AB 19

    NZ Police are the uniformed branch of the National Party. Hasn’t this been self-evident since forever?

  19. Steve Withers 20

    The police seem happy enough to operate under a do-as-we-please / wet-noodle-from-the-courts-later regime.

    It’s working for them….as far as they are concerned.

    Certainly no one in the police is on the carpet in the Beehive over any of this.

    Promotions all round, I’m sure.

    • Redelusion 20.1

      John key is a lizard man, head of the illuminatie and drinks the blood of the poor, he also led the fake moon landing, blew up the twin towers, killed Diana and Kennedy and was the cause of the gfc while also been the spawn of the devil

      • ropata 20.1.1

        Aren’t you getting confused with Nicky Hager? Isn’t he supposed to be tried for thought crimes for daring to criticise the Messiah Honest John Key?

        • Reddelusion 20.1.1.1

          My view of Nicky hagar is he is just weird and probably not a full 6 pack apart from that no issue with the guy, he simply makes a living as a conspiracy author of fiction

          • RedLogix 20.1.1.1.1

            I gave Nicky a lift on a long car trip some decades ago … before he became well known … and I can assure you Reddelusion, that you are completely wrong.

            We had a long and memorable conversation. He’s very well read, well informed, modest and very principled. And my opinion is congruent with that of many others who have met or worked with him.

            Your view cuts no mustard.

            • Reddelusion 20.1.1.1.1.1

              Can’t argue with you, don’t know the guy, only basing my opinion on his TV and radio persona. Its probably his dogmatic principals and world view that makes him appear weird and wired, but good on him, boring if we are all the same

          • b waghorn 20.1.1.1.2

            Can you please enlighten me on the fictional parts of dirty politics. ??

        • Reddelusion 20.1.1.2

          John key is also the messiah, I will add that one to the list 😀

      • Pat 20.1.2

        I thought it was a slippery fish and Mossad that did Diana?

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      Promotions all round, I’m sure.

      Cases of wine from that winery that John Key doesn’t know that he owns.

  20. Govt should solved this issue.

  21. Tautuhi 22

    JK will get to the bottom of this, the Police were acting in the best interests of the country and the current Government, maybe they didn’t dot their eyes and cross their t’s. However they see Harger as a threat and he needs to be silenced.

    • ropata 22.1

      i hope that’s some kind of sick joke.

      so you admit the cops were acting for the government with no regard to the people of NZ or the law?

      cops silencing journalists… as the judge said it is “chilling”

      the worst attack on NZ democracy in a generation, why are the papers so quiet about it? why aren’t they running front page headlines like they did when Labour was in power?

  22. sirpat 23

    the real pity is that everyone justifiably comments on “social media” about this but no one is on the streets about it……..

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