EXCLUSIVE: My case against a secret NZ Police investigation that breached my privacy and my civil rights

By   /   August 28, 2017  /   57 Comments

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It’s not important to like or dislike my work, but I think we can all agree that allowing the Police to conduct secret investigations into activists and political bloggers that then damage their reputation negatively based on spurious grounds isn’t acceptable in a liberal democracy.

Let me start by categorically stating, I never hacked Cameron Slater’s computer and have no idea who hacked Cameron Slater’s computer for the information that appeared in Nicky Hager’s book, ‘Dirty Politics’.In 2015/2016 I began to get suspicious.

I was applying to extend credit to keep the blog afloat and I kept getting declined.

The extensions of credit weren’t extravagant and the manner in which the declines occurred just seemed odd.

I had followed the Nicky Hager case closely where Police had sent out warrantless requests for information and had obtained that information illegally and had even written a blog myself at the time of how the process of obtaining that information by Police could damage peoples credit rating and had even hypothesised that the Police could abuse this by targeting activists they didn’t like out of spite.

I don’t know why, but I felt suspicious and so wrote to the Banking Ombudsman and asked for access to my banking files to see if there was any 3rd person interaction.

The Banking Ombudsman replied early this year, and to my shock, I found out that the Police had, as part of their 2014 investigation into Nicky Hager, sent every bank in NZ a request for information claiming ‘Computer Fraud’.

The material released showed that before I was declined on my credit applications, each one had been referred in the first instance to the Banks computer fraud unit because the Police request red flagged my account.

Once I had discovered this, I requested information from the NZ Police into why they had secretly included me in the Nicky Hager investigation. They responded that while that had sent the requests, they wouldn’t tell me why.

Let me categorically state again. I never hacked Cameron Slater’s computer and have no idea who hacked Cameron Slater’s computer.

I sent all the material I had from the Banking Ombudsman including the Police request and response to the Privacy Commission and lodged a compliant regarding the Police actions.

The Privacy Commission have just finished their investigation and found that not only did the Police breach my privacy, they also breached my civil rights by effectively conducting an illegal search.

The harm that I have faced by this gross invasion into my privacy by the Police has been significant to me in terms of loss, detriment, damage and injury.

At the age of 18, I had a car accident that left me with a serious brain injury. The legacy of that has been severe depression. Over the last 5 years that depression has become very difficult to manage and the financial stress of not extending  credit all combined in late 2016 in two suicidal episodes.

I’m in a better headspace now and far from those two moments in part because finding out what had actually happened behind the scenes has given me an anger that has fuelled me to demand to know what the bloody hell the Police were up to, and hold someone to account.

I am taking the Privacy Commission Certificate of Investigation to the Human Rights Review Tribunal and they will process my complaint against the Police for breaching my privacy and civil rights through unlawful search.

It’s not important to like or dislike my work, but I think we can all agree that allowing the Police to conduct secret investigations into activists and political bloggers that then damage their reputation negatively based on spurious grounds isn’t acceptable in a liberal democracy.

There has to be a check and balance to this type of Police surveillance and I am prepared to be the one to step up to demand that.


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57 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    “The legacy of that has been severe depression. Over the last 5 years that depression has become very difficult to manage and the financial stress of not extending credit all combined in late 2016 in two suicidal episodes.”

    Thank God you are in a better “headspace now”

    You Martyn are a rock to the rest of us who are in similar headspace since nactional has made all our lives so futile it seemed.

    Even I believe I have been surveilled since way back since I began political blogging in 2014.

    So it appears the police were targeting us all for the express benefit of the ruling political parties but we have no secrets to hide that warrant this insidious intrusion into our private lives.

    I was employed by a major communication company for several years during my former years and was trained to provide the surveillance tools to agencies whom was not confirmed to e after my services was provided.

    There was a large communication centre I was shown that was interfaced with the Government and police at that time and was all located in a foreign country.

    So during the 1990’s i have been aware of this type of loose snooping has been carried out and am disgusted with public being snooped upon at will by those we are not privy to.

    I left my employ with this company after knowing of this surveillance activity.

    Perhaps we all should place a class action against the establishment government in collusion with Nicky Hagar’s case????

    • Red Buzzard says:

      +100 CLEANGREEN and Bradbury…keep up the good work…this is to safeguard democracy

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      Back some time ago when Joe Belke Petersen was Premier of Queensland both he and the state police were found to have been acting in collusion / corruption. As a consequence , the Fitzgerald Inquiry was made…

      … ” The Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct (the Fitzgerald Inquiry) (1987–1989) into Queensland Police corruption was a judicial inquiry presided over by Tony Fitzgerald QC. The inquiry resulted in the deposition of a premier, two by-elections, the jailing of three former ministers and a police commissioner who was jailed and lost his knighthood. It also led indirectly to the end of the National Party of Australia’s 32-year run as the governing political party in Queensland ” …

      Fitzgerald Inquiry – Wikipedia
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitzgerald_Inquiry

      Don’t be lulled into thinking quiet little old NZ isn’t immune to corruption , – ESPECIALLY when big $$$$$$$$$$$ are concerned. You would be naive to believe that.

      Now obviously the whole NZ police force is not involved in this , but a few individuals who can be isolated and brought to justice . When you breach the law , – you break it. As we are often reminded continuously. Now someone has broken the law, – not by accident , – but willfully. What is more , … it has been by the very people who are charged to uphold and respect the law.

      Not only is this contemptuous of legal due process, checks and balances designed as civil safeguards to protect Human Rights , and the law itself, – but displays a ruthless opportunistic behavior that calculates the risks of being found out as being minimal , – which is exactly the kind of mental thought processes that the criminal uses.

      It is a dangerous trend we are seeing more, and more , and more of under this government.

      And so much so , – that the sheer volume of all these one sided political incidents are becoming more and more blatantly obvious from where they are originating from.

      What we do as a people this September 23rd will be to determine whether or not we steer back from the brink,… and if a new government is elected, free from the corruption of this current National government , … historians will look back to this last decade 2008 – 2017 as the decade NZ finally lost its innocence.

  2. Shona says:

    Fuck Bomber so sorry to hear this. Probably means a whanau member won’t get his mortgage renewed now due to similar snooping by our scumbag police force. Awesome job getting it into the mainstream media mate.
    Our taxes are spent on watching our lives by small brained thugs while there is no tax money to fund a school lunch program or fully fund our health and education system. What a stupid fucking country!

  3. Spoon says:

    Well Done Martyn on your investigation and subsequent results. SO much for the the police not taking a political stance

  4. Tiger Mountain says:

    well done Bomber–hang in there!

    hopefully many more people will wake up to the state authorities manipulation and undermining of our democratic rights to freedom of thought, association and assembly

  5. Francesca says:

    I wonder where the directive came from and how traceable that is
    Its a bit Kafka, Bomber, with you getting turned down by the banks and not knowing why.
    Enough to do anyone’s head in, and then to discover you have been targeted in that way is very sinister.
    Not the kind of country we want to live in , where dissidents are punished in this gutless way without even the benefit of a mock trial
    I’ll keep up my monthly payment to the Daily Blog

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Iv’e doubled mine with pleasure.

    • Priss says:

      Well done Francesca!

      The Left has warned consistently that mass surveillance and mis-use of State power would lead to harassment of individuals. That is precisely what has happened here.

      We need to wind-back the powers of the state before it becomes impossible to do so.

  6. patricia bremner says:

    Martyn, you have great support for the work you do.

    Living with depression is hard, but you are doing great.

    The police have always been a tool of Government.(strike breaking)

    We need to make sure there are checks and balances.

    The National party was very keen to keep Todd Barclay in place “to get their legislative programme through” (ability to spy on us without a Court order)

    I think more will come out yet, and a change of Government may help.

    • Aloese Lefono says:

      Exactly Patricia. If the National comes back to government these scandals like Todd Barclays, Bennettes, and maybe John Key etc will still be kept as secret.
      Martyn, sad to hear about the impact of those absurd actions by the police. The truth will soon be revealed and may you have true peace. God bless

  7. countryboy says:

    Well, that’s a double Jesus Christ!
    Isn’t it truly bizarre that NZ/Aotearoa and us,it’s citizens, are mired in this truly horrible stuff?
    ” What the fuck’s going on? ” might be a question some might ask.
    A corrupt old guard pack of swindlers with huge $-resources using the police out of desperation to hide their , specifically historic, activities might be an answer.
    Really sad to hear of your health issues @ Martyn Bradbury. But don’t let the bastards grind you down. We’re all out here for you. Remember that. I could send you potatoes, a sheep and some dog hairs?

  8. Siobhan says:

    ………#@*!#@!*@!%??*!!

    Take care of yourself Martyn.

    And know that all right minded citizens are standing with you.

  9. esoteric pineapples says:

    A friend of mine went into serious depression after a car accident too.

  10. Richard Christie says:

    If you require funds to sue, I’ll contribute.

  11. roy cartland says:

    Good work. The truth of this corruption will out.

  12. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    Un-fuckin’-believable!

    But I certainly believe it Bomber.

    Back in the 60s, when we came to NZ, my dad got a job in his retirement as an office clerk with the police in Wellington. He was utterly appalled at the degree of corruption and cover-ups he encountered. These were the subject of many conversations over dinner back then.

    Since that time I have observed our police living up to that image time and time again.

    There really is only one solution and that is a wide ranging Parliamentary investigation with suitably enhanced powers. We may get the truth and scale of this depravity and it really needs heads to roll as well.

    This is the problem with following US practice…

    • Danyl Strype says:

      The book ‘Coverups and Copouts’ by former NZ policeman Tom Lewis is a fascinating glimpse into the normalized corruption in the NZ Police force, particular with regard to their cozy relationships with the alcohol industries and the daily tabloids (“newspapers”). I believe this gruesome threesome explains a lot about why there’s been such an effective campaign against legalizing, regulating, and taxing the supply of cannabis, and other less dangerous drugs that could take customers from the alcohol pushers.

  13. Adrian Thornton says:

    Thank you Martyn for your honesty around this outrageous episode in your life.
    Standing up to the man has always comes with a cost, John Key took collecting that cost from anyone brave enough to show their head above the parapet to new extremes in New Zealand.
    It really does show quite clearly the low level that the neo liberalists will sink to defend their squalid ideology, which is of course bereft of any moral or ethical compass.
    Stay strong comrade and keep up this important work, which it really is.

  14. Solidarity, brother. I’m looking forward to reading the Police apology to you and the others they have unlawfully and silently attacked.

  15. Priss says:

    Unbelievable!! This is Gestapo-Stasi stuff and potentially can ruin people’s reputations.

    This is why the State should not be allowed to acquire more surveillance powers!!

    • Samwise says:

      With you all the way, Priss and Martin! There have been consistent warnings that extending state surveillance powers was a dangerous road to go down. But the Right have ignore those warnings and won’t be trouble until those same powers are misUsed against them. Then we will see them shrieking wit fury a being spied on.

      first they came for the beneficiaries…

      Then they came for the bloggers…

  16. Dave says:

    Hi Martyn

    Awesome result from your investigations.

    Is there any chance that you could put up on TDB, for other similarly affected persons, a template based on your original request to the Banking Ombudsman that resulted in in you receiving successfully back information that confirmed your suspicions and formed the basis of your request for investigation to the Privacy Commission.

    This would help other persons, not so legally or professionally trained in journalism a means to more easily seek further clarification from the Banking Ombudsman as to whether they have also been subjected to unwarranted and thus intrusive measures from 3rd parties that may have adversely affected their banking relationship.

    I look forward to your response and will keep an eye out on the daily blog.

    Thanks,
    ST

  17. Sam Sam says:

    Enemies to the east. Enemies to the west, and enemies with in. How shall we proceed?

    • Cemetery Jones says:

      Neither Washington nor Moscow, but Constantinople.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      … ” How shall we proceed? ” …

      Take Sun Tzus advice !
      ……………………………….

      1) A leader leads by example, not by force.

      2) You have to believe in yourself.

      3) Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.

      4) If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

      5) The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

      6) Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

      7) If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.

      8) Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

      9) To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.

      10) Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

      11) Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

      12) Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.

      13) Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.

      14) If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

      15) Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:

      a) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.

      b) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.

      c) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.

      d) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.

      e) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.

      16) Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.

      17) Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

      18) There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.There are not more than five primary colors, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.

      19) Opportunities multiply as they are seized.

      20) When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move.

      21) Know yourself and you will win all battles.

      22) Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.

      23) Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.

      24) When strong, avoid them. If of high morale, depress them. Seem humble to fill them with conceit. If at ease, exhaust them. If united, separate them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.

      25) All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

      26) There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.

      27) The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.

      28) Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.

      29) Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.

      30) All warfare is based on deception.

      31) When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.

  18. Donna Miles says:

    Amazing work Martyn!! There is no point in having democratic institutions if we are not prepared to use them to uphold our rights. This should have never happened in the first place. The harm you have suffered is totally unacceptable. I was held at San Francisco Airport for over two hours this year because they said there was a red flag on my file!! Feeling that we are being spied on interferes with our right as citizens to practice free speech.

  19. Red Buzzard says:

    Yeah i wonder who is on the list?…the 88?…any guesses?….

    (I bet Winston Peters is one and he has consistently opposed the Spying on New Zealanders Bill)

    the signs are ….anyone who is set up…anyone who has trouble/obstacles not of their making especially with social welfare, banks and careers…anyone who is likely to upset the political applecart

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NLV24qTnlg&list=PLCCBC3CB9C63A23FD&index=4

    All New Zealand political parties should have oversight of the spying agencies and spies otherwise they are likely to fall victim

  20. mary_a says:

    Considering you have had a few medical issues to contend with Martyn, you have done a superb job keeping us Kiwis informed through keeping alternative news coming through TDB. That on its own can’t have been an easy task, given your circumstances and now having had to endure the extra pressure of state surveillance under this filthy, corrupt government, you have proven you are indeed a genuine trooper, ready and willing to keep the news and information going, despite your own personal problems. Thank you Martyn.

    I suffered a moderate brain injury earlier this year through a fall and still suffering the consequences from the trauma, mainly cognitive problems and overwhelming fatigue. Although I am receiving supportive therapy, it’s still nevertheless a very difficult and slow process all the same. So for you to carry on Martyn, you are one of the best.

    Keep your chin up there mate. Us TDB readers’ unwavering support for you and your work and what you are trying to achieve, will not change.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      1000% MARYA my thoughts completely.

      We are there for you Martyn.

      I just found that our twice monthly donation was only a single because they cancelled the second one after a year so today we started the twice monthly again for TDB.

      Many thanks from our family, and we look forward to the government changing next month with your support.

  21. Louis says:

    Absolutely floored and gobsmacked when I read your article Martyn how you kept it together to fight this while running this site, never even hinting during those horrendously testing times of what you and your family must of been going through is testimony to your utter strength of mind and character. And what of your bank? why didn’t they give you the courtesy of letting you, their customer, know? Shocking, just shocking. You deserve far far more than an apology.

  22. Louis says:

    If any of us can, we need to put our hands in our pockets, even if its just a few bucks to help Martyn by donating to TDB..

  23. Louis says:

    Damn the police for doing the dirty work for the dirty National party., they along with the complicit media have a hell of a lot to answer for.

  24. roy cartland says:

    Heavy discussion of this on the panel today. I didn’t realise it was such and ordeal, kia kaha mate. The world is much better with your fight in it.

  25. HC says:

    “At the age of 18, I had a car accident that left me with a serious brain injury. The legacy of that has been severe depression. Over the last 5 years that depression has become very difficult to manage and the financial stress of not extending credit all combined in late 2016 in two suicidal episodes.

    I’m in a better headspace now and far from those two moments in part because finding out what had actually happened behind the scenes has given me an anger that has fuelled me to demand to know what the bloody hell the Police were up to, and hold someone to account.”

    Sorry to hear this, I now understand why you are so passionate when it comes to mental health, suicide and welfare issues, and matters of justice of course.

    Good on for taking them on, the police and all others that may be involved! Best wishes with all your endeavours to get justice.

    One has to worry though, what else they may be up to, our cops and agents.

  26. David says:

    Some members of the Police have a power complex and they abused your rights. It’s crap, that they affected your credit rating.
    Someone at the police should be held accountable.

  27. mosa says:

    Martyn always remember this…

    Success is not final ,failure is not fatal , it is the courage to continue that counts.

    Without your guts , intelligence and tenacity we would be even more ignorant of the real issues that are happening in our country that don’t get reported or examined.

    You have my total support and you are in the right here and are backed by the law in this country against an appalling illegal action taken against you by the henchman of the National party.

    You deserve compensation and a public apology for the criminal action taken against you.

    You make me proud to be a New Zealander!!!

    Kia Kaha

  28. Observer Tokoroa says:

    The present Government has a bad thing going between themselves and the Police and Banks.

    Just as they have a bad thing going with Washington. Day and Night surveillance of NZ babies from birth to grave.

    Our Government also has made bad contracts with very dodgy firms such as Cerco. Ongoing contracts for decades into the future. I wonder how much funding National got as a free gift from that ?

    We need to get back a lawful Parliament. Defrock National – Key, English, Bennett, Collins.

  29. Anon says:

    Hundreds of New Zealanders have successfully gained political asylum in Europe over the past few years. Still more in other countries. Many more are living in limbo overseas. The public are not even aware. It is a very frightening situation. The true nature of what has been happening and what is still happening is hard to believe for anyone who has not suffered the intimidation tactics allowed by this government. Sadly, it has been going on since the Clark era, too. It’s been going on for a long time. Many suffer in silence. Many have committed suicide or died in strange circumstances. Discredited, isolated, and disappeared. And now I fear it is simply too late. It will now be done openly.

  30. Danyl Strype says:

    He mihi tautokoo ki a koe Bomber. I’ve also struggled with depression for many years, including a major depression episode last year that I’ve written about on my own blog, and from which I’m not yet fully recovered. To learn that you suffer the same ailment, yet still manage to get on with the work you do, is nothing short of inspiring. Kia kaha e hoa!

    My depression issues go back to my earliest memories of childhood, and I suspect they’re at least partly inherited. But it hasn’t helped that since the NatACTs came to power, my whānau and I have been in constant battles against school closures, WINZ, CYF power-tripping, inadequate physical and mental health services, and archaic “justice” processes. We’re a left-leaning and fairly activist bunch, but dealing with all this has pushed us into a fortress mentality, and severely limited our capacity to engage in bigger picture political struggles. I have wondered, in my more paranoid moments, whether or not this is all coincidence.

    Now that I think about it, I’ve also been refused credit (my parter and I tried to buy a house bus), despite the fact that we had a clear financial plan for making the payments, and neither of us have ever had a bad debt to anyone. I too would be interested in more information about how to make a complaint to the banking ombudsmen as you did.

  31. […] revelations that blogger and activist, Martyn Bradbury, has had his private bank details scrutinised by Police shows how little National and its state agencies respect the privacy of […]

  32. Michelle says:

    Our police are bad and organizations like them and others need a good broom it needs to be a big hard bristled yard broom as too many are rotten like there political masters. New broom new policies never mind Martyn there days are numbered.

  33. Samwise says:

    “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear”, except when police intrusion into our private lives damages our reputations and our livelihoods.

    Keep up the good fight, Martin. There are more in the Deep State worried about the slow creeping rise of fascism than you think.