Nicky Hager is the best exponent of book form investigative journalism. Isn't he currently working on Wikileaks material pertaining to New Zealand? What are the implications for him from this ruling?
That he should destroy his notes after publication if they may become the subject of such a query.
Hence your own initial reaction to the letter surfacing (“Cunliffe is toast”)?
Not really. I saw it as cementing his long-term trend of failure. Whether its toast now or toast after the election doesn't change the outcome.
I questioned Duncan Garner about this when he spoke at the last Wintec Press Club. Quite a few gallery journalists get very excited by the sight of a wounded beast
Politics is a bloodsport, and everyone wants to be in on the kill
This smells rather bad
No shit - its a blatantly political release decision, with embarassing information on government MPs withheld unlawfully to protect the government of the day. And it shames out entire public service to be used as a tool of the government-of-the-day like this.
I am confident the Ombudsman will force release. Though it will probably come far too late.
(Note: none of this excuses Cunliffe or Labour's muppetry; it just shows us that other people are guilty of other things as well)
Sp if the law is widely flouted and never enforced, why is it even on the books?
it seems possible that the Cunliffe letter came up in the course of OIA requests around Liu's interactions with various National Party ministers. (On the other hand, John Key seems to know an unusual amount about Labour's historical business here and if he's bragging that he's had a copy of the letter for weeks, then it would be interesting to know how and why.)
No surprises policy: Ministers get informed (but do not get to make the decision on) anything significant, usually by being given a copy slightly pre-release (see also: Willaimson and the police, where Key was briefed on the request the day before). If Key's had it for months, it may have been released some time ago, and either sat on or just had its significance noted.
And of course, you or anyone else can use the OIA to find out, by OIAing a copy of the request which resulted its release, as well as all correspondence and advice related to that request. If you do, I recommend using FYI, so we can all see the result.
Is the advice behind appointment to the G-G post unavailable as "royal magic", or can it be OIA'd?
Secret due to divine right, sadly. "The counsels of the crown are secret", or else we might realise that they are mere mortals like us.
How on earth does he get away with this stuff?
By abusing the respect too many kiwis have for his office.
Fortunately that respect is eroding, along with deference generally, limiting his ability to pull such stunts in future. And the more he does it, the faster it erodes.
It also seems unusual that the Prime Minister, the minister responsible for the GCSB, would not even have known who Dotcom was until January 19, the day before the raid on the Dotcom mansion. But no one can prove otherwise.
And that's the fundamental problem with secret agencies: the secrecy necessary for them to do their jobs effectively also protects their mistakes and abuses of power.
No, but telling the world stuff that harms the defence of NZ is part of it if it's likely that al Qaeda or some other such group got to see that stuff.
Nope. The closest you can get is "assist[ing] an enemy at war with New Zealand, or any armed forces against which New Zealand forces are engaged in hostilities". Which requires something more than spook paranoia about some vague harm at some undefinable time in the future.