Hager’s Dirty Politics – response to Canon NZ


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Poor old Canon NZ. They have been so damaged by appointing Cam’s mate as a judge and her awarding him their Best Blogger Award.

I feel for them, I really do. They are amazing supporters of Journalism in NZ when there are so few supports for Journalism. I respect that.

Their reply to my open letter to them is as follows…

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…now I do feel sorry for Canon, this is a difficult position to be in. The one they have chosen is a neutral one by acknowledging that they find the extremes of Slater’s blog distasteful. And that’s fine. If you want to allow your award and your brand to tacitly support Slater by association, that’s your choice.

I’m however asking you to show courage.

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I don’t think that anyone of you at Canon, from the receptionist to the CEO can be be proud of your association with Slater after reading Dirty Politics.  There is nothing in what he does that is positive for NZ, regardless of your ideological convictions.

It is hate mongering. No one should help provide hate mongering sustenance.

Spokesperson for the Award, NPA editorial director Rick Neville has said 

“In the 40-year history of the awards, none has ever been withdrawn and it would be an extreme, highly unusual step.”

And that is true. Completely true. However the Award was given to Cam for the Len Brown story. I challenge Rick and Canon to read Chapter 10 of Nicky’s book detailing Cameron’s role in that story and honestly tell the people of NZ that doesn’t demand an extreme and highly unusual step?

How about I help you a bit. Over the next week I will print bits of Chapter 10 online each day and ask if the tactics and standards he uses in the story you awarded him for doesn’t demand an extreme and highly unusual step?

It comes down to this. Do you really want to be associated with this standard of Journalism forever?

Or do you want to be remembered for standing up for a threshold far higher than his?


  1. I don’t think they are being neutral. They have said they have raised their “serious concerns” with the events organizer – the NPA – who are responsible for judging and awarding. I imagine Canon are putting pressure where they can, they probably don’t want to be associated Slater’s name.

    It’s obviously a process to go through. We should be pushing on NPA here to see results.

  2. Canon New Zealand’s philosophy:

    “We aim to act morally, in accordance with our own code of conduct and our worldwide ethical compliance framework; but more than this, we aim to make a positive difference to all we come into contact with and, through our behaviour, contribute to positive change”

    So their values are basically the opposite of how Cameron Slater operates. He’s all about destruction.

    Canon needs to make a stand on this issue.

    The Mayor of Auckland and the council also need to get a backbone and make a stand for ethics and morality and take some action against the Chairperson of the POA board – Richard Pearson, and the appalling management of POA .

    It is simply not good enough for the top levels of management of a publicly owned company to be behaving in such a devious, nasty and underhand way against its own workforce. The irony is they attacked the intregrity of the workers as part of their strategy. Clearly some of these ‘players’ are devoid of integrity themselves.

    Auckland Council’s silence on this matter is weak. Where is the leadership??

  3. You know I think Canon are actually handling this as best possible. They’re in a sticky situation and they know it – more importantly, it seems from their language that they’ve learnt a lesson and are likely to be far more wary of this kind of sponsorship in the future.

    As for the focus from The Daily Blog – I understand where you’re coming from but I don’t think the focus on Canon helps. This is primarily about dodgy behaviour from senior members of the National party, and a dodgy blogger – continuing to raise a media award from Canon will only distract from the more important issues. And what would be the best possible result from all of it anyway? That Canon rescind the award? You know that won’t go down well, the right wing will be all ‘look at these complaining lefties! Do all awards have to appease them now? Nanny state!’. Any ‘victory’ here will be a pyrrhic one.

    Sure, Canon don’t look good in all of this, and they seem to realize it. But I don’t think continuing to draw attention to it will do any good.

    • Totally disagree…when there is upheaval such as this- it is common enough that in that process….many others get caught up in the snowball effect. This garbage has had plenty of time to come to fruition…

      All these characters are now reaping the very fruits of the seeds they have sown.

      This is not to say Canon should have to hide their face…..but I wonder what lame comments biased neo liberals such as Deborah Hill Cone have to say about things now that the shit has hit the fan?

      More bullshit?

  4. Dear Martyn and Dailyblog,

    I need no introduction on this blog. Just letting you know that I have made formal complain to Rick about the appropriateness of Mr Slater and his Canon Media Award.

    I acknowledged that Canon, who have been supporting New Zealand journalism in good faith and certainly not experts in the journalism in New Zealand.

    However I’ve pointed out two points to Mr Neville:
    1. While withdrawal of the award has not been practiced in the last 40 years, special considerations should be given if situations have changed.

    2. Mr Slater’s method used to obtain the Len Brown story was highly unethical and has been well documented. Even if Mr Neville do not believe that Mr. Hager’s “Dirty Politics” could be used as solid evidence against Mr Slater.

    I am more than happy to submit an affidavit, or direct them to any other witness to prove my concerns.

    I would encourage your readers to write to Mr Neville with your concern; and also Canon for sure they do not want be associated with bad press for their branding sake.

    All the best,

    • Ms Chuang, you’re demonstrating incredible courage by posting your comments and offers of assistance here.

      It seems that you may be the first to open the “flood gates”, and witnesses will start coming forward.

      My best advice to you is to surround yourself with good, supportive people who care for you. I feel you may be needing it in the next few days.

      Evil does not give up easily. But the truth will always out.

      • Thank you Frank. I’ve received a reply from Rick Neville that they will take my concerns into considerations.

        It could be a simple PR message, or he will genuinely take it into considerations, or simply, a polite reflection of going “oh shit, she emailed.”

        Whatever it was, I certainly see no harm writing to NPA. As an other media person agreed, Whaleoil’s tactics would be considered illegal if this was written by a journalist at New Zealand Herald or anything similar publications.

  5. I had written to Canon a couple of times about this award, notably after Cameron Slater implied a woman had entrapped a man into raping her and that others were complicit. They fobbed me off. They have fobbed me off a few times this week when I again asked them to reconsider the award. It seems they only now – once the publicity is getting bigger – have decided to look into it all further. That’s not showing moral fibre – that’s watching their own backs. Canon should be totally ashamed of themselves.

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