NZ right wing media take 3 years to realise John Key was probably hiding something

By   /   March 15, 2017  /   28 Comments

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ZB are less guard dog of democracy and more stoned poodle for the National Party.

You can’t help but laugh can you.

Newstalk ZB, The hard right commercial voice of NZ, has just come out and admitted that John Key was probably hiding something all along…

Felix Marwick: 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.

Initially some ministers responded revealing minor interactions, while others said they’d had none at all. However some, including the Prime Minister and Ministers Judith Collins and Paula Bennett refused to disclose information. As a result of those responses in April of 2014 I lodged a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsmen to seek its intercession. Now, almost three years later, I have a result – of sorts.

The Office of the Prime Minister has consistently refused to release any of the details I have sought. Its position, via Chief of Staff Wayne Eagleson, has been the information sought fell under the Prime Minister’s position as Leader of the National Party so the information was not subject to the Official Information Act. Mr Eagleson’s position has also been that to provide the information, in the case of interactions with blogger and party pollster David Farrar, it would require the searching of a large volume of correspondence. In a nutshell, any information the Prime Minister’s office held, it was not willing to disclose.

On this point the Ombudsmen have accepted the view of the Prime Minister’s Office with Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier’s view that the threshold for him to check the communications in question has not been met.

Matters have also been further complicated by John Key’s departure from the office of Prime Minister. The Chief Ombudsman did approach Mr English’s office last December to see if he adopted the position of his predecessor. Mr English, via his chief of staff Wayne Eagleson, backed the position of his predecessor and also made the point that given Mr Key’s departure, and that of many of his staff, he couldn’t be certain in what capacity Mr Key made the communications and whether they were official information or not.

Add to this the fact that when a Minister or official ceases office, information that they alone hold stops being official information at that point, and it becomes immediately apparent any formal attempt to use the OIA to elicit details is a lost cause.

So what can we learn from all of this?

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.

…wow, it took ZB three years of following the rules to hold John Key to account and all they got was, that the Prime Minister of NZ ‘probably had something to hide’.

ZB are less guard dog of democracy and more stoned poodle for the National Party.

The reason the corporate mainstream media turned a collective blind eye to Key’s interaction with Slater was because 3 years ago they all had links and ties to Cameron Slater. The NZ Herald were launching the Donghua Liu smear when Dirty Politics came out and it looked exactly like the same MO as Hager had outlined.

The bias from the mainstream corporate media for John Key continued well after Dirty Politics. Remember how the NZ Herald outed the identity of the waitress he touched and twisted the story against her by Rachel Glucina pretending to be a journalist?  Remember how the NZ Herald were told about the deception and ran it anyway? Remember how Mike Hosking was then allowed to attack that waitress on TVNZ?

The gutless acquiescence of these ‘journalists’ to speak truth to power has in 9 years helped build a mass surveillance state, allowed the SIS to collude with the PMs Office to smear the Leader of the Opposition in the lead up to the 2011 election and has ignored the plight of poorest amongst us.

Aotearoa has been badly let down by her journalists.

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28 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    Here here Martyn,

    It is clear that the beaurocrats are closing ranks to protect themselves and deify us by hiding the truth at their pleasure.

    All a bunch of criminals all of them.

    Roll on September!!!!

  2. esoteric pineapples says:

    “The gutless acquiescence of these ‘journalists’ to speak truth to power has in 9 years helped build a mass surveillance state, allowed the SIS to collude with the PMs Office to smear the Leader of the Opposition in the lead up to the 2011 election and has ignored the plight of poorest amongst us.”

    It’s also encouraged a deep cynicism of the main stream media from the public. In the United States, one of the reasons Trump has been able to milk this kind of cynicism is because journalists had not been doing their jobs. So when they start (rightfully) attacking Trump it looks like partisan politics.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Esoteric Pineapples: “It’s also encouraged a deep cynicism of the main stream media from the public.”

      My default position on almost anything apart from natural disasters reported by the MSM is that I want to see corroborating evidence – not from the same sources – before I accept it as credible.

      “…because journalists had not been doing their jobs. So when they start (rightfully) attacking Trump it looks like partisan politics.”

      Yeah, I’m sceptical about all these attacks as well. It looks like yet another Trump Dump. The MSM has wrecked its own credibility.

      • Priss says:

        Really, D’esterre?? Most of what the msm reports is straight out of Trump’s own foul mouth or twitter account. Or are you saying it’s all invented? Did someone else say that he had an entitlement to grab women’s vaginas?? Was it someone else who attacked mexicans, muslims, women, etc??

        Hey, let’s not hold politicians to account. Give them a “get out of jail free” card and blame the world’s problems on minorities.
        It worked for Hitler, at least for a while.

        • Sunny says:

          Well you know what they say….Trump is no Hitler….after all, Hitler didn’t need Russian help to get elected.

  3. Im right says:

    “roll on september” be careful what you wish for…i see dissapoinyment and tears in your future come 24th sept 🙂

    • bert says:

      “i see dissapointment and tears in your future “

      One of Nationals policies over the past 9 years.

    • i see dissapoinyment and tears in your future

      For families living in cars and garages, that “dissapoinyment and tears ” exists now, Imright. Not that you’d notice or care, I suspect…

    • Mike the Lefty says:

      You forgot about being aware of the Ides of March (15th). Obviously a day where the NATZKI trolls all pop up from under the bridges.

  4. bert says:

    And today the Dirty Politics continues…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11818923

    National are really worried and they see Adern as a serious threat. Given what Kaye has been through personally, she should be ashamed. As for Maggie Barry, she’s the twin of Crusher Collin’s, horrid women.

    and I know “I’m Right”

    • Wensleydale says:

      It’s particularly telling that Jacinda and Nikki apparently came to an understanding when they ran against each other in Auckland Central to avoid personal attacks, and instead focus on the issues.

      Didn’t take Nikki long to start putting the boot in, did it? Nice to see that National MPs value things like integrity and decorum just as much as they always have… which is to say, never. Let’s fling manure around and desperately hope some of it sticks. Whatever it takes to win.

      And as for Baggie Marry’s smug, vitriol-soaked contribution to Jacinda’s evaluation – if that woman were any more sour, she’d be a lemon floating in a bucket of curdled milk.

      • bert says:

        “Let’s fling manure around and desperately hope some of it sticks.”

        Seems also to be the mantra of the Herald’s politico journalists Fran O’Sullivan, Audrey Young and Claire Trevett when writing on behalf of their masters. Devalue the opposition at all costs.

        At least if they ended their journalists posts with “Bought to you on behalf of the National party” rather than publishing blatant propaganda, they’d be honest.

        And I’m with you on Maggie Baggie

  5. Tamati Tautuhi says:

    MSM it all depends on who is “paying the piper”?

    MSM is controlled worldwide by 6 corporate entities, these are controlled by the bankers and the global elite, the average man in the street does not realize he is being played like a fiddle?

    Our PM an ex Treasury Banker is interconnected with the likes of the IMF who have dictated NZ fiscal policy for the last 40 years, to the detriment of NZ and the average New Zealander?

  6. Whispering Kate says:

    Bring back the presses and the underground newspapers so that the people can read and be told the truth for a change, for sure as hell we are not going to be told anything remotely like the truth from our MSM who are in the pay of the neo libs. Its no wonder this Government gets into power like it repeatedly does, everybody is being kept ignorant of their rorting and disgraceful conduct. We need more whistle blowers who have the courage to delve and find the dirt which is perpetuated everyday by our elected officials and parliamentarians. No wonder citizens don’t want to vote, IMO I don’t blame them one jot.

  7. WILD KATIPO says:

    ” 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.”
    ———————————————————————————

    The above defines John Keys extraordinary capacity to twist the truth , divert , fabricate and tell bald faced lies to the public of NZ while staring straight into the camera.

    A camera that was sympathetic to , and had vested corporate interests in the maintenance and the upholding of that lie.

    It was no hard task for Key to simply allocate blame or smear his political enemy’s to avert criticism using devices such as these ie :

    ” Glen Greenwald is one of Dotcoms little henchmen ” …or ‘ John Key dismissed Dirty Politics as the work of “a screaming left-wing conspiracy”

    ——————————————-

    He’s Dotcom’s little henchman: PM attacks journalist’s spy claims …
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11324113

    NZ spied on Pacific neighbours – Greenwald | Stuff.co.nz
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/…/NZ-spied-on-Pacific-neighbours-Greenwald

    Nicky Hager » Dirty Politics
    http://www.nickyhager.info/dirty-politics/

    —————————————–

    AND FINALLY , … a complete Tour de Force of all the lies and deceit of one of the most corrupt politicians and greatest threats to our democracy this country has ever known is complied here :

    The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED) « The Standard
    https://thestandard.org.nz/the-great-big-list-of-john-keys-big-fat-lies-updated/

  8. Mike in Auckland says:

    Oh, so they took it to the Ombudsman. Well, why do they not publish the OIA they sent to the Prime Minister’s Office and other Ministers then? Perhaps the questions asked were not all that well put? Or was there a lack of understanding of the law, and how so much info can anyway be refused, see the Act:
    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1982/0156/latest/DLM64785.html

    The Ombudsman has only so much power under the Ombudsmen Act, so he can often not do all that much at all, and investigations end as mentioned by ZB.

    Also the new Ombudsman has now published so much in the form of guides for OIA and PA requests:
    http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/resources-and-publications/guides

    http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/resources-and-publications/guides/official-information-legislation-guides

    Remember also, the Crown, that is government, has to its avail Crown Law advice, coming from some of the best legal experts in the country, so they know all the ins and outs of the law, and how to use it to refuse so much in the way of information.

    And you, dear reader, as the taxpayer, you PAY them for affording this service that denies YOU the information you may so desire for transparency and accountability reasons.

    Here is by the way some stuff that shows how the Ombudsman works, and how even the OAG does not care about issues there are with the Office of Ombudsmen, and some decisions made:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/the-new-zealand-ombudsman-fairness-for-all-an-empty-slogan-for-some/

    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/the-new-zealand-ombudsman-underfunded-and-compromised-the-auditor-general-sees-no-need-for-action/

    That just about shows you, how we do not really have that much in the way of REAL watchdogs here in NZ Inc..

  9. XRAY says:

    Poor old NewstalkZB, worshiped National and most especially Key and was one of his many media love slaves but then like the cad he always was, dumped them and has run off to somewhere much more international, much more lucrative. What is Hosking going to do now. I mean been the fluffer for Joyce and English is hardly the same now is it?

    So like all good jilted lovers they run off telling tales but they ain’t got none to tell because they are a useless bunch of fuckwits! All they can reveal is that for 3 bloody years they tried to stick to the law, the OIA, and find out what he had to hide. And like a good Key government member he and National told them to fuck off and have got away with it, for now.

    However I say for now because what is stopping a Labour led government putting daylight on what the hell has been going on for the past 8 and half years?

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      “However I say for now because what is stopping a Labour led government putting daylight on what the hell has been going on for the past 8 and half years?”

      Apart from desperately trying to do so on a few selected topics with some potential for political upheaval, Labour has done sweet f*** all in this regard, as they do think, once they are back in government, they can then get away with the same the Nats have been getting away with.

      Would Labour and even Greens and NZ First love OIA requesters to dig into all the details they may be working on? I doubt it, we have the musical chairs in politics and government, there may be some humble changes, but the core of matters will not change much at all.

  10. Mike the Lefty says:

    By NZ MSM standards it was pretty quick work really.
    You can’t expect sleepy hobbits to do things quickly.

  11. saveNZ says:

    Aotearoa has been badly let down by her journalists – totally agree!

    It is even more important to celebrate the journalists and commentators that actually did their job (and often lost their job and were persecuted in the process), aka Nicky Hager and others who spoke out or did what they could to try to get the truth out.

  12. OncewasTim says:

    And to think NuZull’s so called MSM were handed a few clues to begin where to start digging.

    Christ! Even Ken Whitney seems to have had more airtime overseas than here.

  13. Andrea says:

    The Ombudsman’s Office has been starved of resources for years.

    The assorted government departments have allowed the the turnaround time to slip into the range of ‘totally unreasonable’.

    Too much is being labelled ‘commercially sensitive’ or ‘operational and outside the minister’s responsibility’ and variations thereof.

    The OIA has lost its teeth – and it wasn’t the Tooth Fairy. Like-minded cowards and cads hiding their grubby sneakrets.

    Which party might have the tenacity to ‘drain the swamp and turn the alligators into shoes’ on this issue? Reinstate a powerful OIA fit for use in this very changed environment? Who has the will and guts?

    If the public service is now spineless and dishonourable – who now holds up the best measures of transparency and decency for the rest of the country to aspire to and emulate?

  14. I don’t believe that Newstalk ZB are “hard” right – conservative yes. But hard right alludes to something like Breitbart.

  15. interesting because we still have no reason why he left .especially
    we he had said he was looking forward another term.Just what is he hiding?

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      This will probably come out at some time in the coming years, it is indeed highly suspicious, this sudden departure, now even an early exit as MP on the back benches, the man is HIDING SOMETHING, for sure.

      He chooses to move offshore too, is my impression, that will have legal implications, and possibly legal reasons. He is not stupid, so he knows what is looming and what he can get away with.

  16. Martin C says:

    I stopped listening to ZB decades ago.

  17. JR Murphy says:

    I completely agree – they’re censoring my story about violations of Criminal Law by ACC and mental health, plus refusal of justice and health organisations to protect me and get me health care I am entitled to under multiple laws.

    I wrote Journalists are Maggots after a really bad experience with an idiot from Dominion Post, but it is still as relevant today as ever. My poem Lawless Mongrels was inspired by Duncan Garner.

    Anybody wanting to read the poems google and add name JR Murphy poet. Please feel free to share – its a way we can fight these powerful media – corporate propaganda agents.



Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog, 5 Victoria St East/Queen St, CBD, Auckland, New Zealand.