Checkmate in 1 move – how could Slater have known what was in OIA request before he got it?



And now we get down to the final few moves before checkmate. If the following investigation is right, how could Slater and Collins have known what was in the Secret Intelligence Service Official Information Act request that hadn’t been released yet?

Former Cabinet minister Judith Collins faces being pulled into the high-level inquiry into intelligence information being sent to blogger Cameron Slater after new information from the hacker known as Rawshark.

The Herald now has information purporting to be social media conversations and emails between Ms Collins and the blogger Cameron Slater.

Among the information, which was said to be hacked from Slater’s computer, is an apparent discussion about the political demise of former Labour leader Phil Goff.

The conversation appears to show Slater and Collins discussing Mr Goff’s departure from Parliament in the context of an expected Official Information Act response just days before the unusually swift release of an intelligence briefing to the blogger from the SIS.

The Official Information Act release, made just days after it was requested, showed SIS director Dr Warren Tucker had briefed Mr Goff on Israeli backpackers the SIS had initially suspected were spies – information the Labour politican had claimed not to have been told.

Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics book raised questions as to whether Slater was tipped off about what to ask for and when the information would be coming as part of a politically motivated attack.

The Herald is currently analysing the new information but has matched the dates of an apparent conversation between Ms Collins and Slater with the days leading up to the release of the SIS information.

In discussing Labour’s prospects for the 2011 election, Ms Collins is said to have sent a message to Slater on July 31 2011 at 8.27am saying: “Can’t imagine that they can find someone to take the fall for Phil. When Phil fails, will he then resign from Parliament so we can have a by-election so soon after the election? perhaps he should just go now and then we can save money on a by-election?”

Slater is shown responding: “Well hopefully I will get my reply to my OIA on monday. then we will see what happens.”

Collins: “Oh dear. All this open government thingy.”

Slater: “twewwible.”

The conversation – if accurate – shows the blogger discussing the expected release of intelligence information with Ms Collins, a Cabinet minister, before the SIS had released it.

The blogger had made the request for the SIS information on July 26. On August 2, he is said to have sent a message to a friend saying: “OIA’d the briefing minutes and notes for Goff’s SIS briefing… it has been expedited, in the public interest. It is devastating for Goff I am told.” The information arrived on August 4.

…explaining how they seemed to know what was happening before it happened doesn’t help their claims that this is a left wing conspiracy. The more you look at it, it looks more like a right wing conspiracy.

Using the state spy agency to embarrass a political opponent by releasing information to someone who has all the ethical boundaries of a brain hungry zombie in a kindergarden demands more than a shurg and a smirk from our Prime Minister.

Key must appear at the inquiry and it must be open to the public and he must be under oath.

This Government is rapidly running out of wriggle room.



  1. Granny needs to take a page out of WikiLeaks play book and release the source document, or at the very least a redacted version thereof.

    Without seeing the source how can the “punters out in punter land” separate the facts from the spin?

    Or has Rawshark put it up online somewhere public?

  2. My head is dizzy after all the spin that is going on at the moment. Yes we’ll have an enquiry… But no, we’ll choose who will judge our actions, oh yes, and it will just be the scope of what cactus/whooton used to throw Collins under the bus…. Oh, and it will take two years so don’t expect anything soon….

    But everything else is still a left wing conspiracy….

    Wonder who’s paying for this spin?

  3. Winston Peters’s correct answer to any question about visiting Kim Dotcom – as John Banks’s should have been: “Sure I visited Kim Dotcom. Why do you ask?” One of the most striking things about politicians, especially those loudest in lauding their own integrity and courage, is their complete moral pusillanimity, and their utter want of rectitude.

    “I want an Inquiry so that I can clear my name,” quoth the Honourable Judith Collins. She must be bally confident there won’t be one, or, if there is, its purview will be too narrow to examine too closely her practises as Minister of the Crown.

  4. Yes….it all still seems rather convieniently ‘in house ‘…..all this huff and puff about inquiries and investigations….just who is afraid to step on who’s shoes , here?

    And what of our Governer General? Whats he being payed per annum to do precisely what?

    Is this tardy? cautious? approach symptomatic of inadequate checks and balances in our political systems …?

    Or is it downplaying the whole thing to suit someone else…and if so….who?

    With lesser affairs all concerned parties are collared to give evidence…..why the special treatment for this lot?

    And why the secrecy?….is there one set of rules for politicians…and another for us lesser ‘plebs’?

    Alot of little niggling questions arise with all this….

  5. I think one has to see things from a bigger perspective. Potentially it is possible that John Key is going to have been found to have broken the law, as it appears he actually has. This is a serious situation for government in New Zealand, unlike anything that has ever happened before in this country. I don’t think in the past 100 years there has been any New Zealand Prime Minister that has come close to being prosecuted and then being sacked for breaking the law as would inevitably happen. The powers that be will be extremely tardy in pursuing an inquiry that leads to this happening because of has extremely serious ramifications. The police won’t act in a hurry, and the legal system will be slow to act. The Governor General will do nothing. It will require the evidence of a crime being committed being so clear that the police (or Graham McCready) will have to file a case and the wheels of the legal system will inevitably start to turn. If the legal system refuses to do so it would undermine both democracy and the legal system in New Zealand turning both into a farce. Key won’t be brought down by the weight of public opinion because there are too many conservative New Zealanders who want him in power at any price, but he will be brought down by the weight of the law if that piece of evidence is presented that damns him beyond all doubt.

  6. Much that I like the chess analogy, this is increasingly looking like a very high stakes game of poker – those stakes keep increasing and Key is hoping he can win the game without having to show his hand (or those of his staff).

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