Sunlight did what sunlight does: Nicky Hager on Dirty Politics, three years on

Dirty Politics landed like a bombshell in the NZ election campaign of 2014. It may not have affected that outcome, but that was never the ambition. It has, however, made a big impact on our politics, argues Nicky Hager in The Spinoff

ONE News: Special investigation: Inside one of the SIS’s biggest anti-terrorism operations

One of the Security Intelligence Service’s biggest ever anti-terrorism operations – conducted between July and August 2012 – targeted a group of pro-democracy campaigners who it mistakenly thought were planning to overthrow the military government in Fiji.

NZ Herald: US warship visit to New Zealand

Visit would show America, not NZ, has changed stance, writes Nicky Hager

Snowden files: How NZ and US agents plotted to spy on China

Five Eyes allies identified a diplomatic data link between Chinese offices as a target for hacking. Nicky Hager and Ryan Gallagher dissect the plan.

Snowden files: GCSB’s secret Bangladesh spy mission

Secret documents reveal New Zealand has shared intelligence collected through covert surveillance with Bangladesh despite that country’s security forces being implicated in extrajudicial killings, torture and other human rights abuses.

Snowden files: How spy agency homed in on Groser’s rivals

A top secret document reveals New Zealand’s surveillance agency spied on candidates vying to be the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a job sought by National Government minister Tim Groser.

Revealed: The names NZ targeted using NSA’s XKeyscore system

Why did the GCSB intercept emails to and from Solomon Island officials? Nicky Hager and Ryan Gallagher report

Snowden files: Inside Waihopai’s domes

NICKY HAGER AND RYAN GALLAGHER Last updated 07:47, March 8 2015 Sunday Star-Times The Waihopai intelligence base looks oddly alien and out of place: huge white “golf ball” radomes like a moon station and silent buildings within two fences of razor wire, all dropped in the midst of vineyards and dry hills in New Zealand’s [...]

#snowdenNZ : The price of the Five Eyes club: Mass spying on friendly nations

Leaked Snowden files show most of GCSB’s targets are not security threats to New Zealand, as Government suggests…

Digging up dirty deeds, Nicky Hager writing in Walkley Magazine

Political journalists had long suspected
links between the prime minister’s office and these
bloggers, but the activities were well hidden and
denied. The book shows a series of attacks and
manufactured scandals: researched and coordinated
by government staff and then fed to journalists via
the attack bloggers. It is a classic example of where
a leak was crucial for the story getting out

New Zealand elections: dirty tricks helped John Key win another term

An orchestrated attack has painted Key’s political opponents as dodgy, untrustworthy or incompetent. This is not how democracy should work

New Zealand elections: dirty tricks helped John Key win another term

An orchestrated attack has painted Key’s political opponents as dodgy, untrustworthy or incompetent. This is not how democracy should work: Nicky Hager writes in The Guardian

Dirty Politics

Early in 2014 Nicky Hager was leaked a large number of email and online conversations from Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil blog.

Many of these were between Slater and his personal allies on the hard right, revealing an ugly and destructive style of politics. But there were also many communications with the prime minister’s office and other Cabinet ministers in the National Govt.

Cyprus: the home of British/American Internet surveillance in the Middle East by Nicky Hager and Stefania Maurizi

British and US Internet surveillance in the Middle East and surrounding regions occurs from a secret base on the island of Cyprus…..

Book review: Friendly Fire, nuclear politics & the collapse of ANZUS, 1984-1987, Gerald Hensley

Gerald Hensley is an intelligent man, a good researcher and a pleasing and witty writer. Friendly Fire is his third book, about New Zealand’s mid-1980s nuclear politics. But unlike his earlier books, he has written about a subject where he is more bitter than witty.

Electronic Espionage: 15 years of inertia (Le Monde Diplomatique, September 2013)

Edward Snowden is in the midst of one of the most dramatic intelligence leaks in our lifetimes…..
Le Monde Diplomatique, September 2013

Who is really responsible for the GCSB shenanigans?

Kitteridge Report suggests “unclear legislation” allowed for GCSB to illegally spy on New Zealanders. But the real responsibility lies elsewhere

How do you make sense of more than a million leaked documents?

The story behind the massive leak of documents revealing the extent to which the world’s wealthy go to avoid and evade tax and New Zealand’s part in the investigations

Money trail leads home to New Zealand, Sunday Star-Times

Leaked documents reveal one of New Zealand’s richest families was for a time at the heart of a major international tax haven company that hit the news in the United States last week.

The Manipulators, chapter 10 of The Hollow Men

The Australian strategists Crosby/Textor have returned to the news working for the British Conservative Party. We are reproducing a chapter about their operations in a New Zealand campaign, including leaked reports that show clearly how they think and operate…
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Bruce Jesson Lecture, Maidment Theatre, Auckland

The second part of the lecture will be about investigative journalism. But before that, I want to use the opportunity of this lecture to talk much more widely, sharing some thoughts about the state of politics in New Zealand today.

2011 Election analysis: I’ve just been internalising a really complicated situation in my head

The news declared that the National Party had had a ‘historic’ election victory on Saturday but, if that was true, National Party people would be looking happier. The reality is much more complicated.

US free-trade deal suspect

New Zealand’s chief trade negotiator Mark Sinclair privately told a visiting US State Department official that New Zealand had little to gain from a free-trade agreement. This view – recorded in a confidential US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks – differs from the one the public has been given.

Wikileaks: the first cables released in New Zealand

These are the first US embassy cables released in New Zealand, in full except for one name being redacted.

Wikileaks: Leaked US cables spill the beans on NZ ties

NEW ZEALAND’S collaboration with United States intelligence agencies was “fully restored” in August 2009 but both governments decided to keep the decision secret.

Wikileaks: US tried to change nukes stand in 2005

THE WIKILEAKS cables reveal American ambassador Charles Swindell worked ahead of the 2005 election to pressure New Zealand into changing its nuclear-free policy.

Israel’s omniscient ears

Israel’s Urim base in the Negev desert is among the most important and powerful intelligence gathering sites in the world. Yet, until now, its eavesdropping has gone entirely unmentioned

Spies target animal rights campaigners

An Auckland private investigation firm has been caught out after it attached a sophisticated tracking device to a political campaigner’s car – but left the device visible from outside the vehicle. It is the third time in three years the Sunday Star-Times has caught Thompson & Clark Investigations doing covert surveillance on political groups for corporate clients.

Dying for an invitation to Washington

John Key and his colleagues are going to send the Special Air Service to Afghanistan. The current talk about whether National should do so is, unfortunately, academic. The decision is already made.

Leaked: National plans reveal the government’s continued reluctance to spend

Leaked Cabinet plans list the government’s infrastructure projects and show that even facing the worst economic crisis in half a century, the government intends to restrain its spending….

Police anti-terror squad spies on protest groups

Police teams set up to identify terrorism threats and risks to national security are spying on protest and community groups, including Greenpeace, animal rights and climate change campaigners, and Iraq war protesters.

Private hospitals will ‘cream off’ easiest work under Nat scheme

Investigative journalist Nicky Hager says National’s health policies have gone publicly unnoticed, but involve a shift back to 1990s free-market reforms….

Hooton’s hollow complaints, comment, Pundit website

Nicky Hager was invited by the Pundit website to reply to a column by Matthew Hooton.

Interview with Nicky Hager 2008

Nicky Hager is interviewed about lessons for the public from his book and the film The Hollow Men

Key’s election-advice invoices undermine attacks on Labour

National Party leader John Key appears to be using taxpayers’ money to pay for his controversial Australian strategy advisers, Crosby/Textor. Inside information strongly points to the firm being paid through Key’s parliamentary office rather than by the National Party, even though the Australians are primarily assisting the party’s election campaign strategy….

Return of the Hollow Men

National leader John Key’s campaign is being overseen by the same highly controversial manipulators who directed Don Brash’s ill-fated tilt at power….

Why John Key wants to change the electoral system, Otago Daily Times, June 2008

National Party leader John Key is talking about changing New Zealand’s electoral system. Nicky Hager writes about Key’s plans and the lobby groups that are pushing for the change.

How to decide who is a terrorist

The Solicitor-General will shortly make a decision whether to approve terrorism charges against the Maori, peace and environmental activists arrested last month. Nicky Hager describes how the decision will be made and the factors the Solicitor-General needs to take into account….

Election funding: What’s National up to?

The great weakness of much journalism is a process-worker approach to assembling quotation-based stories….

Donor cash stays in shadows

MPs have stepped back from proposals that would have lifted secrecy
surrounding party donations….

“Propaganda then and now”, notes of a lecture at Auckland Museum on Wednesday, 2 May 2007

I will be talking tonight about the history and characteristics of propaganda, starting with the WWII versions as seen in the “Towards the Precipice” poster exhibition here at the museum and moving on to contemporary examples that together help us to understand the world we live in.

The Baubles of Office, The New Zealand General Election of 2005

The Baubles of Office, The New Zealand General Election of 2005, edited by Stephen Levine and Nigel S. Roberts, Victoria University Press, March 2007, 600pp, $49.95.

reviewed by Nicky Hager

Beyond the spin-doctoring, democracy is at work

I would like to propose a New Year’s resolution for news organisations: sorting out the difference between genuine media commentators and giving regular media space to political party spin doctors….

Coming a cropper, why Helen Clark has only herself to blame

Helen Clark has tried again to present herself as the victim in the contaminated corn crop issue. But, this time, she is partly correct….

Meridian Energy and public relations

It is not surprising if you haven’t heard of Project Aqua. It is the largest power scheme planned in New Zealand since the Clyde Dam 20 years ago and already it is controversial in the local area around Oamaru. But a lot of state resources are going into trying to silence the opponents and avoid the inconvenience of genuine public debate….

Labour: the new House of Lords

Now that three years of Labour Government have passed, it is becoming clear what we can expect during the next three or six years of this government….

Denials and diversions, but deeds remain

Frantic Government damage control followed the release last week of my book Seeds of Distrust. We were told the book was completely untrue and that I was a conspiracy theorist taking part in a Green Party dirty trick.

Seeds of Distrust: Foreword and Chapter 1

Seeds of Distrust, the story of a GE cover-up Foreword In 1999 I co-authored a book about the relationship between government, business and public relations companies. Our conclusion was that secrecy allowed the then National Government to abuse power as it allowed state agencies to mislead the public and play politics in pursuit of their [...]

Defence offensive

The conflict between Helen Clark and officials over the future shape of the defence forces has heated up again….