Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Doing over the witness

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  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Danielle,

    It blows my mind just a little how very keen some people are to ascribe just, disinterested motives to the police. Really? On THIS issue?

    I suspect it’s something to do with being traumatised by the discovery that one was deceived over the existence of Santa Claus. Talkback, and increasingly the interwebs, seem to swarm with people who’ve dedicated their adult lives to desperately clinging to a substitute.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4590 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Danielle,

    It blows my mind just a little how very keen some people are to ascribe just, disinterested motives to the police.

    Because the alternative is that we are not living in the open honest society we thought we were.

    If you accept that this was harassment of a journalist to intimidate and dissuade him and other potential whistleblowers - by our police - at the behest of our government - then that is a truly scary proposition.

    I totally get why some people react by trying to find some explanation that doesn't involve total corruption.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to pneumeric,

    I may be reading too much into this but it seems to me as though this may be a reason for why the police raided while Nicky was in Auckland. He may have been able to prevent the search entirely if he or a representative had been present at the time

    Hager had two lawyers present at the search I believe, and from the police thing quoted up thread a little it seems that there was quite a lot of back and forth about it with police and their advisers too?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    If you accept that this was harassment of a journalist to intimidate and dissuade him and other potential whistleblowers – by our police – at the behest of our government – then that is a truly scary proposition.

    I totally get why some people react by trying to find some explanation that doesn’t involve total corruption.

    The point is that suggesting this is political, or at the behest of the SIS or others, has massive implications.

    The police are far from perfect, but I still think they've proven to be fairly independent. In the past they have sometimes taken requests from ministers and others perhaps more seriously than they would if the same claim were made by Joe Bloggs, but I'm not sure that's a matter of politics more than it is a matter of profile.

    It's an extraordinary claim I think - and typically extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, which I really don't think is evident (so far?) in this case.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    It’s an extraordinary claim I think – and typically extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, which I really don’t think is evident (so far?) in this case.

    Oh bullshit. You're simply far too squeamish to even consider the possibility.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4590 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Oh bullshit. You’re simply far too squeamish to even consider the possibility.

    If I'm to consider it I want to see something a lot more damning than one press statement and a shit ton of speculation. There's nothing about what seems to be known about the whole event that doesn't also pretty easily fit into the business as usual explanation of the police investigation.

    Speculation about timing, motives and interested parties is all well and good, but it's not exactly much evidence on which to seriously reframe the role of the police in this country.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    The police are far from perfect, but I still think they’ve proven to be fairly independent.

    I’m as concerned about whether those making the decisions in the Police are competent as I am about whether they’re independent.

    It doesn’t necessarily take a secret meeting and a direct request from the PM or another Minister for police to make a dumb and/or badly biased decision about which avenues are most important to investigate.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Updated 8/10/2014 12:35pm: The MSM score so far (not including those directly responsible for Dirty Politics):

    For Hager:
    * Matt Nippert (FF/NZH)
    * David Fisher (NZH)
    * Dita De Boni (NZH)

    Against Hager:
    * Susan Wood (ZB)
    * Bill Ralston
    * Colin Espiner (ex-FF, now SkyCity)

    Neutral:
    * Marcus Lush
    * Claire Trevett (NZH)
    * Katie Bradford (TV1)
    * Michael Parkin (TV1 deputy pol editor)

    No comment so far:
    * Corin Dann (TV1 pol editor)
    * Guyon Espiner (RNZ)
    * Susie Ferguson (RNZ)
    * Patrick Gower (TV3 pol editor)
    * Duncan Garner (RL)
    * Brook Sabin (TV3)
    * Jared Savage (NZH)
    * Andrea Vance (FF)
    * Tracy Watkins (FF)

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5409 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to izogi,

    I’m as concerned about whether those making the decisions in the Police are competent as I am about whether they’re independent.

    It doesn’t necessarily take a secret meeting and a direct request from the PM or another Minister for police to make a dumb and/or badly biased decision about which avenues are most important to investigate.

    And I also wonder if police speed cameras are less to do with actual road safety, and more to do with gathering revenue to make up for budget cuts. The editor of the Dog & Lemon Guide certainly thinks so.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5409 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to izogi,

    The police are far from perfect, but I still think they’ve proven to be fairly independent.

    I’m as concerned about whether those making the decisions in the Police are competent as I am about whether they’re independent.

    It doesn’t necessarily take a secret meeting and a direct request from the PM or another Minister for police to make a dumb and/or badly biased decision about which avenues are most important to investigate.

    Can I add my name to the list of those who have had their home searched by the NZ Police?

    Seems to be a significant number of us here.

    I will also add my name to the list of those who found the NZ Police had made dumb or badly biased decisions about which avenues are most important to investigate.

    (Are they stupid or corrupt????)

    Once on the receiving end of such attention, when the smoke has cleared and the actual facts float to the top, one's attitude towards the NZ Police changes forever.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1333 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    a lot more damning than one press statement and a shit ton of speculation.

    I believe what Hager is telling the public because this is in the public interest of which has been Hagers claim all along. Whilst I have had decent treatment from the Police when my Mum died and we waited for the Coroner etc, I normally am treated as a second rate citizen. I put that down to them thinking I'm a Maori, (even Maori think I can pass for ""1 of them" of which I feel privileged). So together ,we have Hager telling us what happened. We have the Police being basically honest in their explanation of events but as for motivations, I'd blame hierarchy, whether it be top Brass or from atop the Hive, is anyone's guess. Police are massaging data in this Country. That is only to please the Government. Police can act in an untoward manner. That's a fact ,I've experienced it. You seem to be speculating more than the speculators. This spectator thinks. Like KDC and the fiasco caused there, I suspect the Police are trying to cross their t's and dot their i's so as to not have a similar situation in court. Go back to John (Hancock) Banks, the Police couldn't find enough evidence to bother, the public did and a Judge did. Take, David Bain, Collins efforts there were remarkable with regard to process, the Police didn't help there . I'd sugest have a look at Police doing anything for Louise Nichols when she first complained. The Police were quick smart to protect their own.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    There were several journalists at Nicky's talk to the Wellington medical school last Friday. Some identified themselves when they asked questions. One was Ben Heather who has written some good stuff on disability (always a positive for me) and he and his colleague wrote this neutral piece for the DomPost yesterday. At least it is something.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3181 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I also wonder if police speed cameras are less to do with actual road safety, and more to do with gathering revenue to make up for budget cuts.

    My understanding has always been that Police don’t get to keep revenue from speed cameras and that it all goes into the government’s consolidated fund. That’s also what Police claim, but I can’t find the legislative reference (if any) right now.

    Not to say that it couldn’t be used to collect revenue for the government generally and maybe there could be some nudge nudge wink wink stuff going on when it comes to allocating budgets, or Cabinet influencing Police priorities, but the direct incentive doesn’t seem to be there.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    The point is that suggesting this is political, or at the behest of the SIS or others, has massive implications.
    The police are far from perfect, but I still think they've proven to be fairly independent.

    "John Banks" - The police do a raid as part of the Teapot Tapes saga and Banks is only prosecuted after a private prosecution is taken.

    More to consider - They raid Nicky Hager’s home taking computers and devices etc, yet with the Roastbusters "thing" there is no investigation, search warrant or otherwise. The police search on Hager’s home comes after the election and not during.

    We have 29 miners die at Pike River and no one gets prosecuted; a deal is done with an insurance company.

    The application and the enforcement of law in NZ is a variable commodity when dealing with issues that lean heavily on the political sphere. John Key's and National's "perceived" interest seem to me to be one of the dominating variables - people may differ - but this is what I see. .

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1223 posts Report Reply

  • AndrewH, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I get where you're coming from Chris, but I don't entirely agree with it. Just because the GFC didn't leave Western countries with the economies of Ethiopia doesn't mean it wasn't a cataclysmic financial event for them. And while you're right, the truly authoritarian states are worlds apart from where we are, they didn't start out as functional western democracies (well, OK maybe East Germany did..).
    My point is that at an emotional level I think the threat to Western democracy is much greater than is typically reflected in coldly logical arguments. I intuit and attach significance to events in that way. It's a massive problem trying to articulate that sense in almost completely rational forum like this one. And of course i might be wrong - I can't present an argument that would stand up in court to defend it.

    I think that's part of the issue with Dylan's demands for "more proof". We're all amphibians (for the sake of a metaphor) and the temperature just went up a couple of degrees. Everyone's entitled to come to their own conclusions in their own time, based on the amount and standard of rational argument that each demands.

    But here's my take - Western democracy is heading well down the path the path of fascism. In another 5 or 10 years it'll be absolutely blindingly incontrovertibly obvious in the same way global warming is. And there will still be deniers, even as the process speeds up. As for the idea we need to "nip it in the bud", that's insane. Since 9/11 the process has been entirely one-way and there are zero signs of it reversing.
    For myself, I've hardly been able to read a paper since the election, since it became crystal clear that THE FACTS DON'T MATTER. At all. What matters is power and control of mind share, and for all the pain this causes the left, no-one (that I've seen) has offered an effective counter-program.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I also wonder if police speed cameras are less to do with actual road safety, and more to do with gathering revenue

    Oh, bollocks. Speed cameras have been around for ages and the entire time they've attracted whinging about revenue gathering. We all know the speed limits and why we have speed limits and that we are required to obey the speed limits. Now can we get back to the real issues? There seems to be a campaign to intimidate journalists and their sources to not go sticking their necks out. Harmoniously stay in line and don't question the authorities. That's what we should be worrying about.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    The point is that suggesting this is political, or at the behest of the SIS or others, has massive implications.

    That is precisely my point. You are arguing black and blue that there is nothing serious here at all, and I disagree with you.

    Which is all fine and dandy.

    But what you seem to be missing is the consequences, if you are right then no harm done to our freedoms, if I am right then our freedom is under serious threat.

    If we do nothing and you are right then nothing happens.
    If we do nothing and I am right then bad things* happen.
    If we question the actions of the police and you are right no harm done
    If we question the actions of the police and I am right we expose corruption and have the opportunity to prevent further damage to our society.

    For me it's a fairly simple scenario, the only safe option is to treat this as a potentially serious threat to our society and question, investigate and challenge the police actions.


    *for varying values of bad

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to DexterX,

    The application and the enforcement of law in NZ is a variable commodity when dealing with issues that lean heavily on the political sphere. John Key’s and National’s “perceived” interest seem to me to be one of the dominating variables – people may differ – but this is what I see.

    In Britain, the bobbies have been compromised due to their role in Hackgate, which extended to some pretty senior levels of the London Met.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5409 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    My understanding has always been that Police don’t get to keep revenue from speed cameras and that it all goes into the government’s consolidated fund. That’s also what Police claim, but I can’t find the legislative reference (if any) right now.

    Police don't keep revenue gathered from speeding tickets, it all goes to the consolidated fund. Increased enforcement of speeding and other traffic works just costs them money and takes resources away from other 'real' crimes.

    Despite this police have massively increased their commitment to attacking speed over the past couple of decades. They know that speed contributes to a significant number of crashes, injuries and deaths.

    But what you seem to be missing is the consequences, if you are right then no harm done to our freedoms, if I am right then our freedom is under serious threat.

    I could construct this same 2x2 box for "aliens are invading earth!", and come up with the same answers, so by that logic we should be trying to prevent aliens invading the earth.

    If you don't think Bart being right is at all likely, it doesn't make sense to do anything, so again it really comes down to how much you think the police are likely to be corrupt.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Elshaw,

    There has been some great discussion in this thread, but there has been little discussion concerning the timing of the execution of the warrant. Not only does it seem suspicious concerning the amount of time that has passed since the publication of the Dirty Politics book, but it's also worth noting that the material contained within the book has not received any attention from the Police in New Zealand. At all.

    It's also worth considering the weight of the crimes recorded in the book compared to the weight of what Rawshark has been accused of. Anyone who has read the book is cognizant of the very material legal and moral breaches of Ede, Slater, Bhatnagar, Collins, Odgers, Graham and co. It appears that the New Zealand Police very obviously believe the publication of a book, that has already reached the threshold of meeting 'the public good' is of greater prosecutorial value than the catalogue of breaches contained within it.

    If this was not about intimidation, i would suggest the Police would have executed simultaneous warrants on David Fisher and anyone else who has publicly acknowledged working with Rawshark.

    Apia, Samoa • Since Mar 2011 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    The Police were quick smart to protect their own.

    Worth noting that the only person to suffer any fallout from the revelations in Dirty Politics so far is Judith Collins, and the police adore her.

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    The cops don't need to be corrupt for this to be a bad thing. They don't need to be intentionally chilling speech for them to be chilling speech.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    The cops don’t need to be corrupt for this to be a bad thing. They don’t need to be intentionally chilling speech for them to be chilling speech.

    Quite.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22695 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to st ephen,

    Worth noting that the only person to suffer any fallout from the revelations in Dirty Politics so far is Judith Collins, and the police adore her.

    Maybe Ross Meurant had a point about the force he used to serve in.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5409 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I AM...
    Perhaps it would help if we were all Rawshark...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7818 posts Report Reply

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