Dirty Politics Chapter 9: Simon Lusk’s plan

By popular request and in light of his announcement to run as the leader of the National Party, the book chapter about Mark Mitchell can be read for free here.

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Latest news: April 2016

Hager files next case against police – NZ Herald

Hager adds new claim in action against police – National Business Review

Nicky Hager takes cops to court again – RadioLive

Hager accuses police of snooping on travel – RNZ

Nicky Hager files against police again for obtaining his travel information – Newstalk ZB

Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager takes further legal action against police – Stuff.co.nz

Nicky Hager opens new case against police – The Standard

Why John Key’s backdown on the teapot tapes is a bigger deal than you think – Stuff.co.nz

Nicky Hager files further proceedings against the Police

Nicky Hager has filed further proceedings in the High Court against the New Zealand Police.

On 29 February 2016, the Police released further documents to Mr Hager under a Privacy Act request that he had made back in 2014. The newly released documents reveal that the Police obtained Mr Hager’s travel information from airlines. The Police wanted to know who Mr Hager was travelling with, where he was travelling, when he was travelling, who was funding the travel, and whether Mr Hager was funding anyone else’s travel. The purpose was to try to identify Mr Hager’s confidential informants. All of this was done without Mr Hager’s knowledge.

To get this information, the Police applied for and received production orders using applications essentially the same as the one used to obtain a warrant to raid Mr Hager’s home. That warrant has been found by the Court to have been “fundamentally unlawful”. That was because the Police failed to inform the judge issuing the warrant of the potential impact of the warrant on journalistic source protection.

Mr Hager is asking the Court to hear this new claim together with the second stage of the proceedings already before the Court. Those proceedings are still to resolve issues relating to the Police accessing his bank information and a determination of damages for the Police’s unlawful raid on his house.

Mr Hager’s barrister, Felix Geiringer, said, “What the Police have done with Mr Hager’s travel information has all of the same problems that existed with the raid on his home. The Police were seeking to bypass Mr Hager’s rights to protect his sources by obtaining Mr Hager’s private information from third parties. But they did not tell the people issuing the production orders that that was what they were doing.”

“What the Police were trying to do here could do enormous damage to the ability of the

New Zealand public to receive information. Journalists need to be able to travel to meet sources, they need to talk to some sources on the phone, to exchange emails with them. If the Police can do what they were trying to do here then it will be very difficult for journalists in this country to promise to keep sources confidential. The public’s source of information on such things as public corruption could dry up” said Mr Geiringer.

The Police only released the documents after receiving a preliminary view from the Privacy Commissioner on a complaint made by Mr Hager. The Police have also admitted that there are yet further documents that have not been disclosed.

Mr Geiringer added, “In some ways what the Police did in this case was worse than the raid on Mr Hager’s home. They tried to obtain the information in secret so that Mr Hager couldn’t claim privilege over it. Shortly after the raid on his home, Mr Hager’s lawyers sent a letter to the Police. In that letter they told the Police the efforts to obtain Mr Hager’s information were unlawful and that Mr Hager’s information held by third parties would also be privileged. But, the Police did not tell that to the people issuing the travel data production orders. Then the Police unlawfully hid the facts of these searches from Mr Hager for well over a year.”

Latest news: February-March 2016

David Fisher: Contender brings colourful characters for the ride – NZ Herald

National Portrait: Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn – Stuff.co.nz

Goff warns Palino against dirty politics – Radio NZ

John Palino: ‘No dirty politics in my campaign‘ – Radio NZ

John Palino: ‘I don’t play dirty’ – Newshub

John Palino joins Super City mayoralty race – NZ Herald

John Palino: why it’s time to forget about Len Brown’s sex scandal -Stuff.co.nz

cartoon

Challenging ‘big food’ can mean attacks – Otago Daily Times

Judith Collins a sop to National’s base – Stuff.co.nz

Blogs become new channel for marketers – NZ Herald

Visual bias in image selection of party leaders – Voxy

The Government’s problem with transparency – NZ Herald

Govt agencies made thousands of information requests to just 10 companies – Stuff.co.nz

Coverage of cloned data destruction

A measure of justice for Nicky Hager – The Standard

Nicky Hager: An ‘incredibly good’ day for journalism – Te Waha Nui

Seized Hager material destroyed, attention turns to Westpac – NBR

Emotional Nicky Hager emerges with destroyed hard drive and reveals ‘huge relief’ – TVNZ

No more ‘Rambo’ raids: Hager – Radio NZ

Hager’s files ‘untouched, in our hands, safe forever’– Newshub

Nicky Hager displays Police destroyed evidence – but the stain still remains – The Daily Blog

Nicky Hager’s cloned data destroyed by police – NZ Herald

Hager hard drives to be destroyed – Newshub

Hager raid evidence to be destroyed – Radio NZ

Hager gets a victory – Newstalk ZB

Police to destroy Nicky Hager data clones – NZ Herald

Hager to watch as police destroy files – NZ Newswire

Clones made of journalist Nicky Hager’s data to be destroyed by police – TVNZ

Hager to get ringside seat as police destroy copied hard drive – NBR

Hager’s files to be returned – Newstalk ZB

Police to destroy Hager hard drive copies – Newshub