Why are the Police raiding Hager’s house and not following up on the other investigations?

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The astounding abuse of Nicky Hager for being a ‘witness’ in the stolen emails that made up his book should send shivers down the spine of all decent NZers.

If Hager was a ‘witness’ and suffered a 10 hour/5 cop search, the NZ Police ‘Witness Protection’ programme could be a contradiction in terms.

There are 2 main questions to ask about all of this, but let’s just clear one thing up that the right wing Trolls are trying to claim, which is the legality of Nicky using stolen emails. The Trolls (and even fellow journalists – shame on you Susan Wood) claim the Police had every right to raid Hager’s home because he had stolen emails. Public Address have done an excellent job of informing us all what the law actually says…

Publishing Dirty Politics

Let’s start with Hager.  He claims that the book is based on thousands of pages of emails between Slater and others which were leaked to him out of the blue by an unnamed person or persons.  He says the emails were obtained during an attack on the Whale Oil site following Slater’s comment “Feral dies in Greymouth, did world a favour.”  There is no suggestion that Hager was himself involved in the hacking of the emails so the question is: was Hager entitled to publish the emails he published?  

The answer is yes, as long as the public interest in the emails outweighs the competing rights of those who wrote them.  So how do we work that out?  There is a pretty good argument that material in Dirty Politics is in the public interest.  The public interest is particularly strong where information relates to the behaviour of elected politicians.  Dirty Politicsis making some serious allegations about that behaviour and it’s arguable that the public should hear them.

People also have no right to keep secret communications which reveal wrongdoing.  This “iniquity” defence could justify many of Hager’s disclosures including, for example, the alleged exchange in which Slater and political commentator, Matthew Hooton, provide details of Hager’s address to lawyer, Cathy Ogders, who wants it made available to “vicious” individuals whom she appears to believe will have it in for him.

…so it was legal for Nicky to publish the stolen emails IF the emails reached the public interest threshold, which is very high. The Courts when ruling on Slater’s attempt to gag the media clearly stated they believed that public interest threshold had been met.

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So let’s just drop all the trolling of that issue. Nicky had every legal right to publish the stolen emails and the police had no right to search his house for 10 bloody hours. I won’t even point out the glaring fact that to date none of the roast buster boys (one of whom was the son of a cop) who admitted on social media to raping women have ever faced a 10 hour search of their homes.

So let’s get to some questions.

1 – Why are the Police pursuing this part of Dirty Politics and not the other allegations in the book? 

How on earth is stealing emails something that demands a 10 hour search and 5 cops when, as David Parker pointed out in his letter to Police, there are allegations concerning Undermining of the Serious Fraud Office, Undermining of the Financial Markets Authority, Undermining of the head of the SFO, Intimidation of witnesses, including Mr Gapes, Use of personal information regarding Simon Pleasants to incite threats, In respect of the Minister, the corrupt use of personal information regarding Simon Pleasants to obtain an advantage (section 105A of the Crimes Act), Use of that information (section 105B of the Crimes Act), Accessing the Labour Party computer system in breach of section 249 and 252 of the Crimes Act, The use of dynamic (ie changing) email and computer addresses to avoid detection and the handing over of SIS info to Cameron Slater that went well outside the normal protocols for such information?

On top of Labour’s complaint, the Greens also laid a complaint. How is it that Labour lodged their complaint on September 1st, the Greens on August 14th and yet it’s Slaters complaint of August 28th that seems to get priority?

How is that possible? That the far right hate speech merchant causing all the damage manages to get the author of his demise a 10 hour search of his house by 5 cops, yet Slater hasn’t undergone the same Police scrutiny? Whose interests are the Police serving in this? The People or the National Party?

While we are contemplating that, let’s move onto our second question

2 – How the bloody hell did the Cops manage to search Hager’s house while he has legal privilege to protect his sources?

This is what is most chilling. When the NZ Police got caught using illegal spying methods in the Urewera Terror case, John Key’s response  was to retrospectively pass legislation that not only legalised that illegal spying but handed vast new search and surveillance powers to the cops. No Right Turn points out what these powers allow…

These allow the police (and a host of other agencies) to apply for a production order for any document for which they could obtain a search warrant (basicly, anything containing evidence of any imprisonable offence). “Document”specifically includes call-data, including telecommunications stored on a network-provider’s network (so text messages and stored voicemail), and the purpose of the provision was specifically to allow police to access such information (as well as banking information and so forth). That is, its all about extracting information from third parties. But the provisions around privilege (including legal professional privilege and journalistic privilege) apply only to the target of such an order. Telecom and Vodafone have no privilege over your communications with your lawyer, so those provisions are basically a dead letter.

The Police should never have been given these unchecked surveillance powers in the first place and ironically at the time they were justified as powers that would stop organised crime. That the NZ Police are using law that was supposedly aimed at gangs against an Investigative Journalist who has embarrassed the Government and exposed their dirty politics campaign should outrage NZ, but seeing as NZers just rewarded these types of political abuses of power  by re-electing Key with an even larger majority, outrage at injustice no longer resides in these empty shores.

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If you are horrified by all of this – there is a Give a Little campaign to raise funds to fight Hager’s legal case against this Police State action. Please donate if you can.

Welcome to the new Nu Zilind.

58 COMMENTS

  1. The police know they’ll find nothing much at Hagers house . They do know however that their very actions will send out a vigorous warning to others .

    I’m the only one who talks/writes about what I call The Great New Zealand Institutionalised Lie . That means that I’m either dubiously brilliant and should be congratulated , or that I’m barking mad , riven with paranoia and , well , wrong to be blunt .
    Having said that ;
    All this conspiratorial hubbub is doing one other thing other than challenging the way we view ourselves and our frankly pathetic involvement in our own politics
    . It’s threatening to expose The Lie . And if that happens ? OMG !

    I think that’s what’s at the core of all this stuff going on .

    When roger douglas comes out of his crypt , you know something’s about to go down .

    More than seventy years of institutionalised , trans-political , incestuous , inter-family , swindling will spill out like shit from a cow .
    I think Bill “ The Double Dipping Dipton Dribbler “ English might know what I’m talking about .

    To use a favourite phrase of an old Aunt . ” Mark my words . Time will tell , the monkey said , as it shit behind the clock . “

  2. Why are the Police raiding Hager’s house and not following up on the other investigations?

    Because they can, because the mates of the ruling classes authorise and champion it.

    • I much prefer CountryBoy’s explanation “They do know however that their very actions will send out a vigorous warning to others.” The fact that they can play this game two weeks after an election should worry everyone.

  3. Could it be that John Key is worried about what else Hager is pursuing?(eg corruption and bankster fraud) and this is an attempt to stop an investigative journalist in his tracks?

    In which case, where are all the other so called New Zealand journalists in support of Hager and free journalism, to look at corruption in a democracy?

  4. RadioNZs Kathryn Ryan will be interviewing Andrew Geddis of Otago Uni, on the legal aspects of the raid on Nicky Hagers house today at 11:30. If anyone misses it and wanted to hear it, radionz provide audio recordings for most of their shows downloadable for free on their website a few hours later usually.

    Even if he errs on the side of press freedom,caution and jurisprudence it won’t make any real difference of course as we seem to have no one with executive power to uphold the law in this country against those who are clearly corrupt. At least one somewhat mainstream media outlet are covering this issue. Bold of them considering the threats to their funding proposed by National a year ago, and the push to make them another public-private-partnership eventually such as TVNZ or Telecom/Spark is now. A pity our television current affairs programs probably won’t be. (eg 3rd degree,60 Mins, Campbell Live, Seven ‘Blunt’).

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon

    • BLEVINS,
      Can we ask your’s and Martyn’s view on when Andrew Geddis said onn the recording at minute 7.30 seconds into the interview he said the case slater brought for privacy and the hagar challenge are different because he said what Slater wrote on his blogsite was not in the public interest!

      What do you reckon?

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon

  5. The Police should never have been given these unchecked surveillance powers

    Are we moving slowly, inexorably towards this:
    Police State – dictionary definitions:
    * a state or country in which a repressive government maintains control through the police – Collins
    * a country where the government controls people’s freedom and uses the police to check that people are obeying its rules – Macmillan
    * a country in which the government uses the police to severely limit people’s freedom – Cambridge
    * a country in which the activities of the people are strictly controlled by the government with the help of a police force – Merriam-Webster
    * A totalitarian state controlled by a political police force that secretly supervises the citizens’ activities. – Oxford
    * a nation in which the police, especially a secret police, summarily suppresses any social, economic, or political act that conflicts with governmental policy. – dictionary.com

    • Brilliant Makuka Rawshark.

      Can Martyn or someone start a avaas petition to send a complaint the Governor General about the Police actions at targeting Hager but not carrying out the complaints laid by Green Party & Labour I the same undiscriminating manner please?

      • Hi CLEANGREEN – I listened to the interview while distracted by other things so don’t recall him saying that, but I will take your word for it.

        My response? Well I’m no legal expert, but I think it goes without saying that Slater does not write in the public interest, even though he tries to create the perception that he does in order to defend/promote his blatantly unethical opinion peices. Quite simply, if he has ethics as he might maintain then why does he accept money from Tobacco Companies to write PR? There’s plenty of other examples in the book which I read only about 75% of before getting too depressed and outraged to stomach any more of.

        I really like your idea for an Avaaz petition and was thinking the same myself earlier, although I think in order to make sure that the initial surge of signees is not wasted it needs to be thought out very carefully! One thing that comes to mind for starters, is to whom it should be addressed. Should it be the Auditor General? The Independant Police Authority? The Solicitor General Or perhaps the Comptroller? (Yes that last one is a real term.) I hope someone with knowledge of constitutional law can let us know here, and provide references for their reasoning and maybe some case law.

        • Hi Blevins

          The last avaas petition on election rigging fraud charges went to Hon Sir Hugh Williams, KNZM, Q.C., LLM.

          And perhaps it could go there to or the Governor General.

          No one will trust the police investigating themselves so best keep distance there, considering their partiality shown here over Nicky Hagar being grilled but no one else.

          Andrew Geddis said it at beginning right on the 7 minute 30 seconds when e was saying there was a difference between the Slater case and the Hagar case.

          http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon#sthash.sE6MCwCg.dpuf

  6. Shocked by what’s happening.Surely the issues raised by ‘Dirty Politics’ should be addressed, not the author of the book.Like one of the above post’s said is it we are not seeing something and are paranoid or is the population of NZ apathetic and just not seeing or caring what is going on around them. What can we do about this in terms o writing to people, to newspapers etc? But the frightening thing about that is that does one then become labelled as an agitator?

    • Depends what you personally believe your motivations to be. If you can’t tell the difference, you’re in a bit of bind, but not alone. A large chunk of NZders don’t know either so they voted for National. Far as I know, the shift in perspective doesn’t happen with a single act or overnight. If you think being labelled an agitator is shameful, then making enquiries about what happens out in the world probably isn’t for you.

  7. If rawshark surrendered then the problem would be solved.

    Amazing that someone so certain that their actions are in the public interest is in hiding.

    Come out into the sunlight and take credit for what you have done.

    It will never happen because they have no class.

  8. Only the Police aren’t building a case against Hager, what they were doing was searching for evidence to build a case against Rawshark, searching Hagers house for evidence was simply a by product of that.

    So I would imagine they were entirely within their legal rights to do it. And remember they were in a rock and a hard place, not chasing it up would look equally as partisan.

    • Bullshit, could you explain why the other complaints haven’t been acted upon, can you explain why Matthew Blomfield, the businessmen who had his computer stolen and handed to Slater who then published those details, why his case never resulted in a 10 hour search using 5 cops?

    • Yo Sansa! I do believe that is the justification used by every police-militia-secret police from ever dictatorship since time immemorial.

      After all, if you have nothing to hide, why should you be worried about the KGB/Gestapo/Stasi/Revolutionary Guard ransacking your house?

      If this was done during a Labour led government you’d be up in arms over “nanny statism gone mad”!

    • Sansa,
      Pity you didn’t have that “Do justice” morality when the news broke on the Friday that illegal activities were being conducted out of Jason Ede’s office in collusion with the PM’s office?

      What did you say then, did you yell for police search & seizure?

      And that was when we were told Ede was seen entering the Bee Hive Friday and never left all weekend while the 9th Floor was lit up all weekend while the police turned a blind eye?

      Best get your loyalties right unless your are among those who need to keep secret the Government involvement in Dirty politics else your own freedoms will disappear also.

      You will be ushering in a totalitarian state!

    • Sansa & Neilo, you guys would love living in a dictatorship. The secret police crack down on journos every day. Soviet prisons were filled with samizdat writers. Yes indeed, paradise for you both.

      The rest of us meanwhile will struggle to stop NZ becoming a police state where no one trusts anyone anymore.

    • “So I would imagine they were entirely within their legal rights to do it.”

      Yes…. that’s the whole point.

      No matter what the Police do- they are now “entirely within their legal rights”.

      It’s called a Police state- that’s a place where you pass laws to protect individual freedoms, but enforce them to strip those freedoms away.

      It’s a place where no matter who you are or how you behave- there is a law that you are breaking which can result in arrest.
      It’s a place where it doesn’t matter if you actually did something wrong or not- you can be arrested and detained and bubjected to fear and even violence- and then released- and you never even get the option of explaining yourself to a judge.

  9. How do we know the Police executed the search warrant in response to Slaters complaint?

    The Police could have been trying to gather evidence in response to the Labour/Greens complaints.

    • TR Matthew,
      Fine but was the Police as undiscrimating with any search of other players in this case of dirty politics such as Ede’s office or the PM’s office for example?

      They were witness’s also weren’t they?

      If we find the police acted against Hagar with “Adverse and Differential treatment” where it can be demonstrated the police did not use a 10hr search and seizure of the Ede/PM offices or any others involved, we have at least for beginners a clear Human rights claim and violation made against Hager when it can be demonstrated that others were treated differently.

      Police do have a history of making these mistakes before so we need to find out what police actions were taken in similar manner against other “witness’s? and targeted persons to complaints made by other parties Greens/labour for starters.

    • “Real Matthew”, that make no sense. (No surprise for you right wingers, I guess) If the StasiPolice were acting on the behest of the Labour/Greens, it would be in response to Ede and Slater hacking into and downloading info from Labour’s parliamentary computer.

      In which case they’d be searching Slater and Ede’s house, and not Hagers. I trust that’s sufficiently clear for you?

  10. if ‘some one’ in a political position of power gets another some one like the minister of police to tell the person in charge of police to prioritize a case of a friend or a case that is in their personal interest such as an attempt to bury incriminating evidence, that is highly illegal, abuses of power, they make an oath against such behaviors specifically.

  11. Hey Martyn,

    I know this is not on the subject entirely, but I ask if you can pickup on how come Police have not done any search of other “Witnesses please, surely someone has to answer why Police were not on the case already?

    Is there some way we have a legal beagle to request OIA from police involvement so far as Labour & Greens are deathly quiet about their complaints made to the police, surely this is wrong?

    Also we have long said the Political process is corrupted now since Dirty politics came out in a Book, and we believe the election was rigged alright so cant we get Labour to request a recount of the election as Hone has?

    Here’s how it can be done apparently.

    I got this of the NZ Herald site today.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/harawira-gets-electorate-vote-recount-2014100714

    How did Mana & Hone get a recount?

    The judge doesn’t really have a choice. The party secretary of any party contesting an election (general elections, by-elections, local-body elections) in New Zealand can apply for a recount – even the winner can, if they want to. They have to get a district court judge to approve the recount (and pay $1500), but they don’t need a reason.

    The judge hasn’t approved the recount because there’s dodgy doings in the North. They’ve approved the recount because Mana asked them to and paid the fee.

    • “Mana asked them to and paid the fee”

      Can someone ask for a recount of the party votes?

      I for one would like to see a check on the numbers. It would seem an easy place to make a “counting error”.

  12. QUOTE FROM STUFF:

    In a statement, police confirmed they had “removed computers and related items under search warrant from a Wellington address as part of [an] ongoing investigation into alleged hacking of Mr [Cameron] Slater’s emails”.

    The evening they defended the 10 hours it took to carry out the search, saying it was because they respected his claim to journalistic privilege.

    Police said the time taken to search Hager’s home was due to police respecting his claim of privilege.

    “This necessitated a process where all items had to be catalogued, secured, sealed and countersigned by both police and Mr Hager’s lawyer prior to them being removed from the address.

    “The exhibits were delivered into the custody of the Auckland High Court pending determination of the privilege claim. As the matter is now before the courts Police is unable to comment further.”

  13. Hi,

    Personally I’m not too worried about Hager. Speaking as a NZ author, I’d give anything to get the PR his book is getting, and this will simply feed into that.

    I have no problem with the police raiding his home in response to a complaint of a crime either. Like it or not there has been a complaint and they have every right and the responsibility to do that.

    My concern is with what appears to the unequal enforcement of the law, where some more minor complaints seem to get priority over others. And that should not happen.

    If you want to do something about that, the way to expose it is through OIA requests. And not about the case details because you won’t get them. As they say – follow the money. I kid you not!

    Look the police are a bureaucracy. Not a police officer gets assigned to a case, an hour worked or a paper stapled without someone writing it down for posterity. So send in your OIA’s. Ask in each of these investigations exactly how many officers have been assigned to it, how long they’ve spent, how many resources have been committed.

    Then put those answers against the potential charges for each allegation, and you have an answer as to whether the police are being unequal in their enforcement of the law. Moreover, you have something which if it goes as I fear it might, will make national news.

    Cheers, Greg.

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