Why what the Police are doing to Nicky Hager is so extraordinary

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David Fisher sums up perfectly the reasons why NZers should be so shocked and outraged at what the Police are doing to Nicky Hager, it is the everyday nature of the abuse of power exhibited by the Police action that should demand attention…

The most chilling aspect of the police intrusion into Nicky Hager’s privacy is how ordinary it was.

Detective Inspector Dave Lynch, in an affidavit to the court, said “such enquires are basic steps in many investigations to pursue a variety of legitimate enquiries”.

He was referring to the practice of pointing institutions to the Privacy Act clause 11(e) which allows institutions to disclose people’s personal information if there is a “reasonable belief” it helps with the “maintenance of the law”.

So for police there was nothing unusual about asking airlines, banks, phone companies and TradeMe for personal details without a legal basis. Westpac complied and handed over 10 months of Hager’s banking and credit card records.

…that’s right, the NZ Police – routinely threaten companies in NZ under this farcical privacy act clause, effectively the cops threaten these companies that they might be in trouble with the Police if they don’t hand over information on an individual the Police are investigating. It’s called a shake down, the cops threaten, those corporations with no spine agree and out the window goes the need for search warrants and judicial oversight.

The normalcy of this abuse of power by the Police has been met with a shrug by the mainstream media. The fact that a former Justice Minister is now at Westpac, the fact that the banks use these police checks as a secret mark against your credit rating and the fact that Nicky has already stated that the Police were trying to tap his phone at the IKA Table Talk last month have not surfaced in the news yet so the Police will get away with this harassment and bullying of a journalist and the remainder of the media will cower from the Government.

I think Nicky Hager would need to be an All Black before the news media of NZ cared.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Very good piece by David Fisher, one onf the very few real journalists left working at the NZ Herald.

  2. +100

    Nicky Hager is a hero for justice and transparancy.

    Also he has a lot of public support – yes the MSM do not report the case, but then they do not report any news of worth any more so I am not surprised.

      • But they start whinging when THEY start getting traffic tickets, like Michelle Boag. Then you start to hear grumbling about police being over zealous, etc. As long as it happens only to left wing stirrers, then apparently anything goes according to the right.

    • They must be Act trolls, judging from the Up/Down votes on the “No David Seymour – opening pubs for the RWC still isn’t a ‘win’” blogpost comments. Goosey has rounded up the entire Act membership to rock up and vote – all 20 of them!!

      • They couldn’t possibly be from ACT.

        This is from their Principles page:
        * A free society: free trade, free speech, and personal and religious freedom
        * A nation that values personal responsibility, tolerance, civility and compassion
        * Small government, low taxes, secure property rights, and the law applied equally to all citizens

        With their commitment to civility, compassion and free speech they wouldn’t be trolling on here and definitely not on an issue of free speech and personal freedom.

  3. “the Police were trying to tap his phone at the IKA Table Talk”

    They should have just bought a ticket like everyone else

    • Or they could have just watched it online like rest of us did!!!??!

      The police doing the tapping are either remarkably thick or it’s another attempt at intimidating. Given that Nicky knows it happened it was probably intimidation but surely there’s a headline in here:

      “Police tap phone to eavesdrop on public talk – while it was being broadcast on the internet”

      or “Police still can’t use internet – forced to employ communications expert”

      Surely there’s an editor somewhere who can’t resist one of those?

  4. “We need Kiwis to be thicker!
    Who needs thinkers when we have a kicker!”
    –from JK love poetry, Twitter

    All Blacks are known to get an easy pass from the courts, on DUIs and assault even, and the top ones go onto post pitch makework jobs from the corporate sector, that is the price of their oafish silence

    the old boy network is after Hager alright, and every one of us should do what we can to support him, mind you the Nats and the PM’s office in particular raided the Herald and TV3 as well during the ‘teapot tapes’ affair, but they really seem to like bullying the individuals involved–Catton, Ambrose, Hager, Stephenson, Greenwald etc

    in the next period attend the TPP demos and vote KOF on the first “John and Richie’s flag” referendum

  5. As with any article questioning the saintliness of NZ’s thick blue line, reich wing trolls are all over this post with their downvotes, it’s almost as though orders have gone out somewhere to mount a PR offensive against the exposure of any questionable policing in NZ.

    • Ironic isn’t it, Richard? Act and National supporters bail up Labour for being Nanny Statist and demand government get out of our lives, but think nothing of the State’s security apparatus harassing a journalist.

      Hopefully that is something New Zealanders will come to understand, eventually…….

  6. It seems that we have our very own KGB network in New Zealand. This is the kind of thing that the cold war era conservatives told us would happen if the “commies” (their idea of anyone connected with socialist values) came to power.
    I’m sure that most of you (except the usual troll network) will see the irony here.

  7. Financial white collar bankster fraud is why we need investigative journalists and investigative journalism…but the USA is doing its best to shut this investigative journalism down overseas

    (…and just as Dotcom was persecuted by the NZ police at the behest of the USA corporates …is it the same case with Nicky Hager?)

    https://www.rt.com/shows/keiser-report/320022-episode-max-keiser-829/

    “Every week Max Keiser looks at all the scandals behind the financial news headlines.

    In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the financial sector ‘black material’, where all light is absorbed so that all manner of fraud escapes basic understanding. In the second half, Max interviews former fraud squad detective, Rowan Bosworth-Davies, about the money laundering business in London.”

  8. Intellectual challenges are frowned upon by the majority of New Zealanders, I noticed long ago. It is again a bit of the tall poppy syndrome at work. People like Nicky Hager simply have a bit more grey matter in use, to do what they are doing, and that is what others who do not know how to do the same despise.

    And being detailed, analysing information and situations, well doing investigative journalism, oh gosh, how horrible, has he no fun in life, many may think.

    Instead a successful rugby player is held in highest esteem, as the ideal of a human being, and the All Blacks are of course the best, so when a nations does not even have an air force, a lack of ships to effectively patrol its shores and fish stocks, and depends on white liquid from millions of udders, that Chinese and others pay money for, such deficits in sophisticated culture need a compensation.

    That is what people desire, an easy to look up ideal, a culture of sports, of physical vigor and superiority, rather than something too complicated. And the MSM, made up of well to do average journo grads, who know only so much, it is easier to base “news” and reporting on that, than to actually read and present something “complicated”.

    Keep it simple, that is what Key does, and it appeals, as simple is what most desire, in many respects.

    Hager is just not that “simple”, that is his “trouble”, I suppose.

    • +100…”the MSM, made up of well to do average journo grads, who know only so much, it is easier to base “news” and reporting on that, than to actually read and present something “complicated”. ”

      investigative journalists are a threatened species…investigative journalism is not encouraged

  9. Judges, out to lunch, and some should be put out to pasture. Some making very stupid decisions and handing out ridiculous and unfair sentences.
    Some few NZ cops , out to lunch , and tampering with evidence and not protecting all the people nor caring for how their mis – behaviour
    negatively impacts communities and individuals. Didn’t they learn much from their Tuhoe mishap or the cruelty and prejudice displayed to darker skinned folks and the poor and the homeless. I know that all cops are not like this but many are.

    Nicky Hager deserves a huge compensation settlement and sincere apologies, after the truths come out, for what he has had to go through over clear abuse of power and down right stupidity and political manipulations.
    We know you are an honest man of ethics. And, unfortunately, playing in an unhealthy and
    mostly rude and insane legal world. The sheer stupidity of most of our politicians and greedy solicitors who use and abuse others and situations for their gain and personal gratuities and we deserve better in the world of law and politics.

    Many ! stand by and support ! you Nicky – and that’s for sure ! ! You never deserved any of this.
    Thanks for your book DIRTY POLITICS. It is a major contribution and enlightenment of much that needs exposing.

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