Herald on Herald and Slater

August 31st, 2014 at 7:12 am by David Farrar

Jared Savage writes:

Nearly three years ago, I wrote a front page story for the Weekend Herald which detailed how Adam Feeley, the head of the Serious Fraud Office, celebrated the criminal charges laid against Rod Petricevic by hosting a drinks function at which champagne belonging to Bridgecorp was served to SFO staff.

Judith Collins was the Minister in charge of the white collar crime agency and her staff did not return my calls before deadline, but promptly referred the matter to the State Services Commission after publication.

Blogger Cameron Slater wrote a post saying it was a “non story” but later changed his mind. To the best of my memory, I hadn’t ever spoken to “” before but contacted him as the story rolled into the next week.

So the Herald contacted Cameron, not vice-versa.

I knew he was well connected to Collins and was trying to find out what he knew.

At the same time, I received a few emails about what was happening inside the SFO office.

Most of it was flotsam and jetsam, interesting tidbits of unverified information or gossip which I decided against pursuing as angles.

I cut and pasted the content of some of those emails, to remove any possible identifying features, and forwarded them on to Slater. So information was shared, there was a bit of “horse trading”, we talked about developments as the story rolled along.

And in their own words they passed on unverified information and gossip to Whale Oil, for Cameron to run, in exchange for Cameron sharing inofmration with them in return.

This sometimes happens with journalistic sources and it’s naive to think otherwise. In total, I wrote six stories about the Feeley/champagne issue and Slater was not the source for any of them. I didn’t know that our conversations about Feeley were being shared with others, like PR man Carrick Graham – and that was naive of me to think otherwise.

Since then, I’ve kept in touch with Slater on-and-off over the years always armed with the knowledge that he comes with a right-wing agenda. There have also been some robust discussions about Herald stories which upset him, such as Luigi Wewege’s role in the Len Brown affair and Maurice Williamson’s links to Donghua Liu.

Journalists talk to all sorts of people about all sorts of stories, much of which is nothing more than rumour or innuendo. Our job is to sort the wheat from the chaff and publish what is accurate, fair and true.

And pass onto bloggers to publish that which isn’t true!

Now I actually agree with Jared. This is how the media world works. You trade information all the time. When I worked at Parliament I would constantly have discussions with journalists where we swapped information. As a blogger, this is still the case today.  Politics thrives and survives on this stuff. Helen Clark used to personally trade info and gossip with senior members of the press gallery on a regular basis. David Cunliffe’s closest advisor is a blogger at The Standard. His Chief of Staff has blogged at The Daily Blog. Three or four of his staff are former (possibly current) bloggers at The Standard.

And this is the point with the Hager book. He has selectively only shown the sharing of information between people on the “right” with Cameron Slater, to make it look like a conspiracy. It is no surprise that MPs and staffers sometimes talk to bloggers and share info with them, just as media themselves do. This is how it has happened for hundreds of years in politics.

I am not saying that means every individual action with regards to the sharing of information was wise or appropriate. Some clearly was not. But it was not a conspiracy or a concerted effort.  One could have published a breathless book on how the  conspired with agents of Mark Hotchin to attack the Head of the SFO, and demand a Commission of Inquiry into the – if you were to take the least benign interpretation of the e-mails.

Again my point is for some consistency.

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83 Responses to “Herald on Herald and Slater”

  1. Inthisdress (268 comments) says:

    ‘Hagerism’ the act of selectively representing disjointed but politically biased information for
    pecuniary gain or forublic gain partisan popular accolade’

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  2. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    David your loyalty is admirable but this all looks very murky indeed and Slater looks to be in the middle of it at every turn. If it’s a hatchet job on Slater then whoever is orchestrating it is very effective.

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  3. Nukuleka (327 comments) says:

    Many would regard Slater as the ‘n***** in the woodpile’ who may well have caused damage to National’s chances in the election, and certainly contributed to Collins’ downfall. He has repeatedly claimed that he receives information from all sides of the political spectrum and that it is only those emails damaging to National that have been cherry-picked by Hager for publication. It is time now for him to front up and release emails in his possession which verify his claims. It has been said that releasing such documents would compromise his reputation and that he would no longer be trusted by such informants. Frankly, he is such damaged goods that I doubt he has any future career or reputation to be ‘damaged’.

    The left- and the media- deserve to be shown for the duplicitous hypocrites that they are. Slater claims that he has the material that would demonstrate this. He should front up with evidence.

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  4. IGM (392 comments) says:

    This is Hager, McCarten, Slobcom, Bradbury, and don’t leave Cunliffe out . . . he is far from a saint.

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  5. Gravelroad (155 comments) says:

    Whadevver….. Looks like a New Zealand government is about to be brought down by a group of self-appointed, gossip obsessed blog masters. Hope it makes them feel proud and fulfilled.

    Not so great for the ordinary, good faith people out here.

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  6. FeralScrote (217 comments) says:

    Now that all the Harold reporters are offering mea culpas for contacting Slater, will Fisher the Dotcom lickspittle offer another one for being spit roasted by Dotcom and Hager?

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  7. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    This is the main story today – has Cactus Kate turned on Slater? Or is she just trying minimise her culpability.

    The real reason behind Judith Collins’ demise
    Justice Minister Judith Collins’ resignation was sparked by a Sunday Star-Times investigation into a smear campaign by bloggers apparently backed by controversial financier Mark Hotchin.

    The newspaper was passed hacked emails that appear to show Hotchin secretly paid bloggers Cameron Slater and Cathy Odgers to write attack posts undermining the Serious Fraud Office, its director Adam Feeley, and the Financial Markets Authority, who were probing his collapsed Hanover Finance in 2011 and 2012.

    And…

    All the financier’s men
    Threatened by litigation, his business in tatters, former Hanover Finance boss Mark Hotchin appeared to back a public relations campaign aiming to discredit criminal investigations into his company and attack personal enemies, documents suggest.

    The picture is painted by a cache of emails and documents hacked from Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater and released to Fairfax Media.

    It’s assumed that Odgers is the source of the email that led to Collins resigning yesterday.

    The documents appear to show Graham’s work for Hotchin – for whom he acted as spokesman between 2011 and 2012 – involved payments to Slater and Cathy Odgers, a Hong Kong-based lawyer and blogger under the pen name Cactus Kate, to run attacks on the Hanover boss’s behalf.

    The campaign included attacks on the credibility of the Financial Markets Authority and the Serious Fraud Office, as well as attacks on Hanover critic and then-Shareholder’s Association head Bruce Sheppard. At the time of the campaign, Sheppard was a defendant in a now-settled defamation suit brought by Hotchin.

    This is serious stuff. The old media are stepping up and exposing Whale Oil for the deceitful mercenary blog it appears to have been.

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  8. 2clever4U (20 comments) says:

    Ha ha ha. The Herald reporters swimming against the tide now.

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  9. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    Collins has paid a heavy price for her relationship with Slater, who is a nutcase. That shows very poor judgement for a Minister. You keep your distance from Slater so should have Judith Collins. Instead she found him a useful vehicle to conduct witch-hunts against people she did not like. Other Ministers did not. I considered her an effective Minister, I just wish she had stuck to that instead of trying to resurrect the ghost of Muldoon and his style of politics. John Key has said Collins will not form part of any Government should National be re-elected. That does slam the door shut on her early return to Cabinet. I suspect her career is effectively over, but in politics one can rise from the political dead as several have. Collins would be wise not to seek revenge but if she is vengeful she will well and truly stay out in the cold.

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  10. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Mark (1,426 comments) says:
    August 31st, 2014 at 7:28 am

    A hatchet job it may be. A smear campaign, it may also be, but NONE of it would have been possible if the initial players had not conducted themselves in a manner most unbecoming.

    Generally New Zealanders seem to want MP’s they can trust. They may support left or right, but they also want the truth, and to know that things are ‘fair’. But what they want more than anything is to know they are safe, especially from a government that is meant to protect them. Whilst the fighting between the various parties has been tolerated, just, when private people become targets, when the average joe and josephine blogg are targeted, and attacks are made on them by the very people charged with protecting them, then they start to question, and eventually reject those elected people.

    Whilst everyone is trying desperately to find someone to pin this stuff on, the only people that hold the ultimate responsibility for what has occurred are those who actually initiated the dirt at the primary level. None of this would have occurred if they had acted with the integrity expected of their assigned roles.

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  11. SGA (1,033 comments) says:

    @DPF

    And this is the point with the Hager book. He has selectively only shown the sharing of information between people on the “right” with Cameron Slater, to make it look like a conspiracy.

    Well… surely things like this (Stuff) –

    The newspaper was passed hacked emails that appear to show Hotchin secretly paid bloggers Cameron Slater and Cathy Odgers to write attack posts undermining the Serious Fraud Office, its director Adam Feeley, and the Financial Markets Authority, who were probing his collapsed Hanover Finance in 2011 and 2012.

    and

    Slater wrote: “I spoke at length with the Minister responsible today (Judith Collins). She is gunning for Feeley. Any information that we can provide her on his background is appreciated.”

    do look a bit more like a conspiracy than “sharing information”, don’t you think?

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  12. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    Wow, changing tactics by the minute. First questioning whether the Herald journalist will admit that they exchanged information with Slater and whether they are truthful.

    Now that they have, back focus on Hager.

    Clearly the dealings between Ede and Collins and Slater was more than just “exchanging” bits of gossip and information. They knew exactly what Slater was up to and approved and supported it. Writing OIAs for Slater, passing on private information to Slater, fast tracking OIAs and letting him know in advance what was coming, etc, etc.

    And Slater selling his blog and blog posts to the highest bidder. While I never liked Slater, the most surprising aspect to me was how corrupt and dishonest he actually was.

    And the most important thing you forget that the email released yesterday is neither from Hager nor from his source.

    The consistency is there, and it consistently points to Slater, Collins and Co. being dirty.

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  13. Gravelroad (155 comments) says:

    Whadevver…..it looks like a New Zealand government is about to be brought down by a group of self appointed, gossip obsessed journalists and blog masters. Hope they feel proud and fulfilled.

    Not so great for the ordinary, good faith people out here though.

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  14. Inthisdress (268 comments) says:

    But we all know that David Cunliffe is beyond reproach in this. He has no knowledge of what anyone who works from ‘his office’ might be saying or doing. He’s managed to remain outsideof all these personal attacks, uncovering of private correspondence and has delivered an inspirational exhortation to the public: Vote Positive.

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  15. markm (114 comments) says:

    Nukuleka

    All you need to do is think why only 8gb of email has been released of 80 gb stolen, to answer your question.
    Or in simple terms , only 10% of the emails remotely look bad for National and presumably the other 90% docent and probably looks bad for the left.

    Im sure Hager will put this into his next book if he’s not to busy making more bombs
    I

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  16. Nukuleka (327 comments) says:

    Key supporters I speak to have no intention whatsoever of having their political allegiances swayed by this left- driven circus. National and John Key will prevail. The alternatives are too horrifying to contemplate.

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  17. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Collins has lived close to Slater’s sword, her political career is dying by his sword.

    There’s a few other MPs and candidates who should be putting as much distance between them and Slater/Lusk as they can.

    As should Key and the National Party.

    And there’s a blogger or two who could learnt too that Slater is a dirty political and business mercenary that is toxic and will continue to taint those who try to divert from the key issues and play down the damage.

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  18. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    Now that Savage has confirmed Slater’s account in the email, does this mean you also accept that Slater’s account of Collins’ actions is accurate? Because wasn’t that the point of your last post?

    And this is the point with the Hager book. He has selectively only shown the sharing of information between people on the “right” with Cameron Slater, to make it look like a conspiracy. It is no surprise that MPs and staffers sometimes talk to bloggers and share info with them, just as media themselves do. This is how it has happened for hundreds of years in politics.

    Agreed that he overeggs some bits (the chapter on you, especially). But, two points. First, some of the stuff he reveals does go beyond simple “information sharing”. Second, it’s a bit odd to be using this email and Collins’ resignation to discuss Hagers’ book … seeing as we now know that it was Cathy Odgers who unwittingly disclosed the email without Hager, the hacker or anyone else possessing it! So whatever the rights and wrongs of Hager’s work, this had nothing to do with it – it was Odgers who told the world what Slater claimed that Collins was doing!!!!

    I am not saying that means every individual action with regards to the sharing of information was wise or appropriate. Some clearly was not.

    So … you’re agreeing that Dirty Politics does show that “bad things” have been done, from which consequences should flow? I then take it that you think John Key’s claim that its content is “dissolving before Hager’s eyes” and has been shown to be wrong is … not accurate?

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  19. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    It’s official, party hacks are regular bloggers, they should be outed. Shameless hacks.
    I’m sure the left have their dirty washing, probably holding their breath in case it comes out, they are next.

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  20. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Gravelroad (28 comments) says:
    August 31st, 2014 at 7:42 am
    Whadevver…..it looks like a New Zealand government is about to be brought down by a group of self appointed, gossip obsessed journalists and blog masters. Hope they feel proud and fulfilled.

    Not so great for the ordinary, good faith people out here though.

    The ordinary people need to be able to have good faith in their elected representatives. When those representatives use tactics that are not open and transparent, and border on dishonesty, then they have a right to know, and to vote accordingly.

    The NZ Government will not be ‘bought down’ – that is hyperbole – The government has served its term, and now an election is to take place to elect a new government. There is NO right of continuance.

    Your rant totally excludes any responsibility for the actions of those who, if they hadn’t conducted themselves in such an appalling manner, and plotted against other people, there would have been nothing to smear. There would not have been a ‘Dirty Politics’ books, there would not have been the information that is starting to come out from individuals, that has not sourced by hacks, and National would still be sitting in a really comfortable place and able to govern alone after the next election.

    If you want someone to blame, then blame those responsible for the actions and stop pretending that if the situation was reversed, that National supporters would have acted any differently to how Hager did.

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  21. SGA (1,033 comments) says:

    I’m also left to wonder if anyone was paying the piper when the tune was “Len Brown”.

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  22. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    If it was Odgers that released the email to Key’s office then this looks like the right wing bloggers turning on each other rather than the left wing doing the damage. If that is the case then this could just be the tip of the iceberg and it could get very murky from here on in.

    I am nowhere near as confident as Nukuleka on this election now. Whilst I agree the left is too scary to contemplate the Collins/Slater and now it seems Hogkin and Cactus affair is going to damage Nationals chances. As much as it makes me cringe at the prospect the winner out of this may well be the conservatives who could end up as the beneficiary of protest votes. It is a better option than the Labour/Green economic tyranny but National cannot escape the damage now.

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  23. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Both Odgers and Slater have, it appears, been paid to try and dish dirt and attempt to ruin careers. Odgers has left her current employer, and thats not hugely surprising. And she showed her naivety by assuming the SST had ‘that email’ when they didnt. It might be old fashioned, but accepting coin to try and ruin someone – Feeley – to my mind is as dirty as it gets. They both deserve everything they get.

    Slater revels in his dirt, good for him. Pity he didnt have the smarts to realise who he was playing against and invest in some weapons grade firewalls.

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  24. m@tt (629 comments) says:

    Only the willfully blind or undyingly loyal could possibly still be excusing Slater, Odgers and friends for the vile and concerted smears they’ve been involved in.

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  25. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    One could have published a breathless book on how the NZ Herald conspired with agents of Mark Hotchin to attack the Head of the SFO

    Depends whether or not Jared Savage knew if Slater and his fellow muck-rakers were in Hotchin’s employ. If so he is part of that conspiracy. If not then he is merely part of the Judith (…gunning for…) Collins conspiracy to undermine Feeley, assuming he received the same email that Fairfax also received – ie the one that led to Collins’demise.

    Either way, Jared Savage is just trying to cover his flea bitten arse imo.

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  26. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    So in the interests of consistency, when John Key says about contacting Slater…’If I have a particular reason to call him, I will. It’s three or four times a year.’…

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10392956/Jason-Ede-still-has-Beehive-access

    …it’s to discuss swapping information and pointing him in the right direction for some dirt. Bear in mind this is JOHN KEY CALLING Slater, not the other way around. Nor is it his office calling, it is quite clear the inference is Key making personal contact.

    Just looking for some consistency here ?

    Why would the PM exercise the same lack of good judgment that forced Collins to resign, but not offer up his own, considering the lies he’s telling about sanctioning and expediting the fast release of SIS information via a tailored OIA from his own staffer to Slater?

    The man is not fit to hold public office. Talk about hypocrisy in the extreme. Key is as much complicit in running smears using nutjob bloggers as Collins.

    He too should die by the sword he lives by.

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  27. 2clever4U (20 comments) says:

    I don’t see any advantage to Collins to side with Hotchin to undermine Feeley.

    Agree, Savage is paddling hard. Waterfall ahead.

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  28. ross411 (838 comments) says:

    m@tt (609 comments) says:
    August 31st, 2014 at 8:12 am
    Only the willfully blind or undyingly loyal could possibly still be excusing Slater, Odgers and friends for the vile and concerted smears they’ve been involved in.

    Putting that aside, who excuses you for your vile smears you post here? Oh, it doesn’t apply to you.

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  29. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    showed her naivety by assuming the SST had ‘that email’ when they didnt

    Apparently they did:

    The “smoking gun” email detailed how Slater was briefing a number of journalists, including this reporter, about the anti-Feeley campaign

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10443223/The-real-reason-behind-Judith-Collins-demise

    Unfortunately ‘this reporter’ is unnamed as the SST article is anonymous.

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  30. ross411 (838 comments) says:

    Black with a Vengeance (1,659 comments) says:
    August 31st, 2014 at 8:26 am
    The man is not fit to hold public office. Talk about hypocrisy in the extreme. Key is as much complicit in running smears using nutjob bloggers as Collins.

    He too should die by the sword he lives by.

    You haven’t proven anything. You’ve just gone A B C .. ahh ZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!! And you expect us to ignore you can’t build up from A to Z, and have just leaped to overreaching conclusions. Talk about hypocrisy? You don’t make solid points and then go all smear on Key like some kind of nutjob blogger.

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  31. Sublime (295 comments) says:

    It is quite different from that of David “Tainted” Fisher…who must now be concerned that despite his weasel post his emails with me are about to land on the internet.

    Well best they start talking with all their journalists then and get them to fess up…I can help them with the list if they like…its long. Same with TV3, Radio Live and Fairfax.

    Both excerpts from Whale’s post a few minutes ago titled ‘The amazing contortions of the NZ Herald and other journalists’.

    He [Cam] has previously mentioned he won’t release ‘source’ emails purely to spite anyone. But what he’s just written this morning reads suspiciously like a hint that he may consider it, or thinks that somehow the hacker will release them anyway.

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  32. Sidey (250 comments) says:

    I read the WO blog most days, have followed it for years and have commented there on occasion. While not agreeing with WO’s view on everything, it’s a place you can spend some time getting different views on current topics than are presented in the media.

    The thing that’s never quite sat right is the unrelenting spotlight shone on issues that don’t really seem to be of widespread interest or relevance to the overall ‘feel’ of the blog. Topics such the SFO posts 3 years ago, and now a stream of posts about a dam being proposed somewhere (Hawkes Bay I think) – it always felt like there was an agenda behind them that we weren’t aware of. Often the posts attract few comments apart from the usual fan-base, alone indicating a general lack of interest from readers. And the topics just seems to go and on over months, then just stop.

    I’ve always felt there was something else going on, but I just put it down to WO’s single-minded determination. Sadly, it seems we are now finding out that, at least in some instances, there may be something more than sheer bloody-mindedness. Slater has every right to earn a crust using his skills, but given his strident attacks on hypocrisy and dodgy dealings, his credibility is clearly taking a hit. I hope it’s not fatal – he’s achieved some good results and this medium has a place in holding MSM to higher standards and a contrary view.

    But if his readers aren’t able to distinguish a genuinely-held view from a paid one, he’s got a hard road to climb.

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  33. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    Oh fuck off Ross.

    Dont be so naive as to think when Key is talking about himself in the first person, he is actually talking about staff in his office. He’s the fucking head of the SIS. Nothing gets out without his approval despite Tucker wiping his arse for him and taking one for the team.

    What do you think is a good enough reason for Key to personally contact Slater 4 times a year?

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  34. Gravelroad (155 comments) says:

    Gee – fame at last!
    A slap down from Judith!

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  35. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    Sidey.

    Spot on.

    Ruataniwha dam in hawkes bay.
    The Conservatives is another paid hack job.

    It really changes how you think of WO when you wonder if everything he writes is basically an advertorial with no disclosure about who is paying the bill.

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  36. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    @Scott Chris,

    You’ve misunderstood that line from the story. The email shows that Odgers was talking to Matt Nippert (the article author). He specifically states in the article that he didn’t have the email, and the hacker says he didn’t either.

    Odgers shot her own boss, using a bullet that Slater created. That’s the best part of this whole thing.

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  37. Nukuleka (327 comments) says:

    Black With A Vengeance: more delightful posts from a thoughtful, considered and temperate viewpoint. Gosh, such restraint and perception for a Sunday morning. Keep this up, chappie, and the blood pressure will be rocket high before lunch. Maybe time to start popping those pills.

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  38. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    Think i need more popcorn if slater is about to go rabid on the feral mainstream media.

    Last act of a deperate man. Confess your sins and try to drag as many down with you. Or woman, as is the case with the prickly Miss Odgers.

    Does Key still stand by the mantra ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’.

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  39. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    I read the WO blog most days, have followed it for years and have commented there on occasion. While not agreeing with WO’s view on everything, it’s a place you can spend some time getting different sponsored views on current topics than are presented in the media.

    FIFY

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  40. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    I’d be more worried about Slater, Nukuleka, but thanks for your concern.

    Perhaps you might put forth a particularly good reason why Key would want to ring Slater 4 times a year?

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  41. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Whale Oil often quotes “You’ve heard the old saying about never wrestling with pigs…you will get dirty and the pig will enjoy it. ”

    With friends like pigs who needs enemies?

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  42. Sublime (295 comments) says:

    Black with a Vengeance

    Think i need more popcorn if slater is about to go rabid on the feral mainstream media.

    Looks as if he’s priming it that way. If the Fishers, Savages and co. get the right of reply and Cam’s on the receiving end then he’ll react somehow. Please save me a handful of the popped corn goodness.

    Does Key still stand by the mantra ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’.

    I think it’s “Nothing to fear, nothing to hide” but yes, he probably does. Apart from taking a while to shift Collins aside, nothing in this fallout’s turned out to be a direct hit on him yet.

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  43. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    Is this right?
    So Hotchin (who stole about $500 mil from NZers) hires Odgers (a tax mitigation lawyer) to run a hit job on Feely who has the hots for Hotchin and the power of the SFO to go get him.
    Odgers is a mate of Slater (may have been blogging together at the time?) and Odgers bends Slater to her will with juicy titbits, probably coming to Slater from the Herald as well via Odgers. Probably some cash changed hands too.
    Slater feeds Collins some dirt and which hunt ensues.
    Slater runs many many stories about Feely.
    Five Finger Feely gets stood down and investigated and later cleared.
    A while later Collins gets the chop.
    All for a handful of silver.
    Well done Cam.

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  44. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    Early days sublime. The thing with fear is, it forces people to do and say irrational things.

    The case with Key is, he’s fooled all the people some of the time but he cant fool them all the time.

    Someone should ask him what is a good reason to call Slater 4 times a year.

    Fuck i dont even call my family that often but we text all the time. Funnily enough that’s what Key infers he does with Slater also. Must be great having the PM as your txt buddy.

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  45. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    He specifically states in the article that he didn’t have the email

    AG, but he had been sent that email and I’d guess that a professional journalist would firstly keep a record of all correspondence and secondly, in the light of recent events, would have combed his email library using keywords such as “Slater, Collins, Feeley”

    Or maybe you’re right and he’s already (recently) deleted all his correspondence with Slater.

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  46. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    I’d say slater is less of a pig wrestler and more a pigeon, of the stool variety who likes to play chess.

    Like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.

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  47. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    @Scott Chris,

    There’s no evidence that Nippert had been sent that email. It talks about him (and says that Odgers has been feeding him info). But the story makes clear that Odgers herself proactively released it (thinking that the SST had been leaked it … but it hadn’t).

    Nippert has two stories in the SST. One clearly written after Collins’ resignation, which states that the SST hadn’t seen the email that precipitated that event. The other clearly written before it, based on the hacked material given to the SST, which hardly mentions Collins.

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  48. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    There’s no evidence that Nippert had been sent that email.

    Still trying to figure out how I’ve misinterpreted:

    The “smoking gun” email detailed how Slater was briefing a number of journalists, including this reporter, about the anti-Feeley campaign.

    How could he acknowledge being briefed if he didn’t receive the email?

    But it’s a minor point within the context of the whole story so I concede to your greater ability to understand these convoluted matters :)

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  49. Kimbo (934 comments) says:

    Again my point is for some consistency.

    As I posted yesterday, there is consistency. The rule for leaking and swapping information, especially with bloggers is very simple: –

    Don’t get caught!

    Helen Clark did it, and Labour and the Greens obviously continue to do it – despite their breathless demands for inquiries.

    But they haven’t been caught. Slater and Collins, irrespective of the allegedly illegal means of placing their co-operation in the public domain, were.

    And once the public sees the puppet strings, they do not feel betrayed – they already know or suspect that cullusion between politicians and media happens all the time (witness Paddy Gower talking up Winston Peters in the Herald today).

    But it shows a lack of competence to properly manage the propaganda process if and when you are caught…which is why you have to go.

    The purported constitutional and moral reasons are a side show. If you can’t properly manage the massaging of public perception, then you have failed Politics 101.

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  50. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Have National be caught, or have they been served from the inside? Destablize John Key, and the lady in waiting, and who gets to walk through the door and take the crown? There is a Joyce opps, I mean choice.

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  51. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    And lets not forget John Key himself has been caught but is lying through his teeth to cover it and getting his minions to wipe his arse for him.

    Why else would he ring the useful idiot Slater 4 times a year for if not to leak and foment mischief ?

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  52. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    @Scott Chris,

    (1) Odgers and Slater were running a “hit” on Feeley;
    (2) As a part of that, they were feeding info to various “MSM’ folk (and getting some stuff back from at least some of them);
    (3) One of these people was Matt Nippert;
    (4) The email in question discusses this practice (i.e. it “detailed how Slater was briefing a number of journalists, including this reporter [Nippert], about the anti-Feeley campaign”) – it was sent to “Carrick”, “Mark” and an unnamed 4th Person (likely to be Odgers);
    (5) Thus, it is Slater briefing those involved in the “hit” on where the state of play is (not including the various journalists who are being used as a part of it);
    (6) When Odgers heard the SST was investigating the story, she went back, found this email, assumed that the SST had it, and so sent it to Key’s office so that they could get ahead of what she assumed the paper would print;
    (7) Except the SST didn’t have the email, and hardly mentioned Collins at all in the original story.

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  53. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @AG

    It’s not actually known that Odgers is the person behind the blanked out email address or the person who provided the email to the PM’s office.

    It has only been inferred because the email speaks of “Cathy” as though she’s reading the email.

    You need be careful about claiming something as a fact when it has not been confirmed.

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  54. Skttrbrain (26 comments) says:

    I’m with everyone on here calling for the release of the same from the left – have at it. The sooner bozos like the ones exposed (consistently) by Dirty Politics, or by Odgers’ email release get exposed and excised the better our democracy is for it.

    Also DPF – at yesterday’s presser Key said “I react to the evidence that’s put before me” – or similar – in “dealing” with Collins (which should have been a sacking), where’s the consistency you’re asking of him on the substance revealed in Dirty Politics? So far the only reaction is to mislead, smear and deny.

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  55. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    AG – having read the smoking gun email properly I concede that I misinterpreted the passage in Nippert’s article which referred to ‘this reporter’

    My bad.

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  56. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    @gump,

    You need be careful about claiming something as a fact when it has not been confirmed.

    Sure. When the SST prints its retraction and apology, I’ll do likewise.

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  57. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    Meanwhile Key has been calling Slater 4 times a year for good reasons and texting him on the regular.

    Given what we know Slater does for a living, what constitutes a good reason for the prime minister to regularly contact a toxic mercernary nutjob like Slater ?

    Any Vast Right Wing Conspirators want to have crack at answering that?

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  58. Caleb (479 comments) says:

    Labour must not be able to believe their luck with the ‘vote positive’ campaign… coincidence?

    Which HBRC councilor is feeding Cam info about Fenton Wilson?

    It is safe to assume that there are motives behind the anti Colin Craig postings too.

    How many people, who have leaked and had correspondence with Whaleoil, are concerned?

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  59. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    ^^^Should John Key be concerned that he openly admits to texting Slater and calling him 4 times a year for good reason.

    Nothing to hide, nothing to fear eh ?

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  60. edhunter (547 comments) says:

    So to preserve his ranking as the number 1 blogger in the country (whip de fucking do) can we expect Slater to start dropping some of these emails from the left…after Labour have stolen an unlikely victory of course, much like the Len Brown story. When the public really need the information appears to be of no concern to Slater it’s all about ratings & while his potential publishing of his left wing correspondence would be uncomfortable after the election it ain’t going to be a game changer it’ll just be click bait.

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  61. Nukuleka (327 comments) says:

    You’re clearly overmedicating, Black With A Vengeance- you’re repeating yourself.

    By the by, check the difference in meaning between ‘infer’ and ‘imply’ will you. Entirely different words.

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  62. kiwi in america (2,452 comments) says:

    This thread is an illustration as to why this latest issue will not change the broad trajectory of the campaign. The public were already tired of the Slater, Hager, Kim Dotcom sideshow and here we have an issue where probably the most politically engaged people in the country outside Parliament, the Beehive and the Press Gallery are trying to pick over the minute details of what a certain blogger said to another as they fought over who was going to discredit the former SFO Director some years ago. Claim and counter claim about Slater and Collins are rendered moot by Key doing the one thing he should’ve done weeks ago (sack Collins) and the other thing less expected – closing the door on Collins’ future role in his government.

    Key’s cabinet has other talented front benchers who have achieved as much as Collins with none (or a fraction) of the political headaches (Bennett, Ryall and Finlayson spring to mind). Yes the Oravida controversy was a Labour Party driven faux scandal and yes Hager condoned illegal activity in receiving the hacked emails and has engaged in wilful partisan hackery in his selective reporting. But in the real world, where reporting is dominated by mostly anti centre-right print and broadcast journalists, there comes a point where the distraction from the eminently politically sound tactic of leveraging off the good economic times that the incumbent government have presided over, runs the risk of being subsumed by the past bruising bare knuckle tactics of one Minister.

    Collins departure won’t stop some on the left from continuing to obsess over Slater’s tactics but outside of the blogosphere and the beltway, there is a real campaign of policies, track record and the suitability of a centre left hybrid to sustain prosperity barely getting started. National’s message that Labour cannot govern without a motley crew of lefties with radical demands should be a simple message to get across. Its delivery was interrupted by Key having to defend one minister’s raft of prior tactics and communications.

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  63. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    I remember reading the endless posts on Cactus Kate about how hard Hotchin was being done by, and at the time thinking how tiresome it was getting.

    All this exposure of media/political cosiness will be a good thing in the long run, as long as everyone’s dirty laundry gets a turn in the sunlight (and not just National’s undies, per the weasel Hager).

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  64. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    AG

    ” – it was Odgers who told the world what Slater claimed that Collins was doing!!!! ” Is this fact ? I may have missed something but I haven’t seen anything saying it was sent by Odgers to the PM’s office.

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  65. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    Cheers for the heads up Nukuleka. I stand corrected.

    I inferred Key to be in regular contact with Slater as per his admission.

    Any idea what might be good reason to initiate and maintain that contact at least four times a year through phone calls and more via txt messaging ?

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  66. Redbaiter (8,882 comments) says:

    “I may have missed something but I haven’t seen anything saying it was sent by Odgers to the PM’s office.”

    The MSM are claiming good grounds for believing she did so inadvertently.

    She’s always been a prog fuckwit IMHO, so I’m not unwilling to believe it.

    Her blog posts on sperm doubling as froth in coffee and other similar tasteless episodes were enough (for me anyway) to write her off as a complete prog dromgool.

    The Nats don’t need that kind of crass vulgar dross, but the problem is they’re full of it at the moment, and so are the Young Nats. Completely lost in false reveries of economic liberalism and blind to the factors that really built the society they have benefited so well from.

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  67. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    KIA I really want you to be right I think this issue is doing damage to national. I am concerned that Key has acted too late and certainly among some will be perceived as being part of the grubbiness and underhand crap that has cost Collins her warrant. I was with a few national people this morning and there is a fair level of concern that this has the potential to derail the election, the confident air of a couple of weeks ago has certainly gone.

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  68. Sofia (857 comments) says:

    Knowing Fairfax was investigating the hacked emails, it is believed Odgers (known by the blog name Cactus Kate) went through her own emails and found some that could be seen as implicating Collins. This correspondence then found its way to a Beehive staffer on Friday.
    “I take it you found the smoking gun,” Odgers said in an email to Fairfax shortly before Collins resigned. She declined to comment further yesterday.
    In fact, Fairfax did not have that particular incriminating email, and the hacker known as Rawshark said yesterday he did not have it either. “That email wasn’t leaked by me, I had nothing to do with it,” said Rawshark, who was also the source for Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10443223/The-real-reason-behind-Judith-Collins-demise

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  69. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    Redbaiter

    “The MSM are claiming good grounds for believing she did so inadvertently.”

    So it is just another MSM rumour !!

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  70. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Slater is threatening to retaliate against John Key for dealing to Judith Collins.

    Selfish revenge runs a big risk of handing the election to Dotcom.

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  71. lurcher1948 (151 comments) says:

    IGM (91 comments) says:
    August 31st, 2014 at 7:32 am
    This is Hager, McCarten, Slobcom, Bradbury, and don’t leave Cunliffe out . . . he is far from a saint.
    You sound like you are struggling IGM wait for the the next corruption bombshell coming soon

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  72. Chuck Bird (4,883 comments) says:

    “Slater is threatening to retaliate against John Key for dealing to Judith Collins.”

    John Key should tell every MP not to communicate with Slater. He has done more damage to National than Dotcrim.

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  73. dad4justice (8,222 comments) says:

    Slater is a huge liability for New Zealand. Can’t someone instruct the Whale to swim offshore for good.

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  74. kiwi in america (2,452 comments) says:

    Mark
    You underestimate the weariness of the public with the media’s obsession with these emails. They show that politics is grubby and messy and that Collins going too far has now been revealed and she’s rightly paid the price. These are not matters that governments rise and fall on believe it or not. The media hit Key hard for 3 weeks over the Hager emails effectively hijacking the normal discussion of policy and whether Cunliffe or Key should run the country. Centre right activists are battered and bruised by the constant muckraking that all seems to be going one way so it’s easy for activists on both sides to lose perspective both giving more persuasive power to this sideshow than it really has. The TV3 poll was an outlier and both Fairfax and Herald had National on the artificial sugar high in their previous polls due to the various Cunliffe meltdowns and all had the Nats back at about 50%. Strip off the decline that had already happened pre Hager and the Hager effect is still maybe a net +1% to the centre left because remember Labour has been shedding support through all this. Yes the media still spin it as National falling but for crying out loud around 50% in an MMP environment after all the shite being thrown around is nothing short of miraculous. I’m sure the One News poll tonight will give Labour a small bump due to Cunliffe’s better than expected debate performance but we still have three weeks and another debate where Key will not make the same mistake twice.

    Key’s sacking of Collins has lanced a boil because its not just that Collins has gone because no matter how much fussing and picking over the minute bones of what she said, did and emailed, Key can just say she’s gone and won’t be coming back and, like the obsessing over Williamson’s call to the police, once he was gone the opposition and media tut tutting could only be sustained for a few more days. Barring some new startling revelation, this will be over in the minds of middle NZ by Wednesday. Yes media tragics will still talk about it – I’m sure some more Hager emails will come out but the left have shot their load on this issue and unengaged voter land are in Collins/Slater/Hager overload mode right now. The left can all sit around and pray Dotcom has something more than the same old 5 Eyes GCSB conspiracy stuff.

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  75. kiwi in america (2,452 comments) says:

    Peter
    Your normally even handed perspective seems to be slipping. Complaining to the Privacy Commissioner over the PM releasing the Feely email is not “threatening to retaliate”. It’s creating wise and prudent distance between him and Key. Slater of all people knows an intra centre right fight just hands the election to Labour/Greens/Mana/IMP and he’s railed against that more than anything else. Yeah he’s hurting because Key gave his mate her marching orders but he’ll get over it. If she’s as innocent as he and she claim, she can try her luck after the election. Whale understands the realpolitik here.

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  76. flipper (4,065 comments) says:

    KiA…

    TWO EXCELLENT POSTS, THAT I COULD NEVER HAVE EXPRESSED SO CONVINCINGLY.
    Have a happy Saturday. :-)

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  77. idbkiwi (5 comments) says:

    One of these is quite a story; which is it?

    a) Stolen email and messages record a private conversation; a blogger quips “(National party MP) is gunning for (Senior civil servant)”

    or

    b) Stolen email and messages record a private conversation; a blogger quips “the kid was pissed and fell asleeo
    he woke up to a naked (Labour party MP) fondling his (xxxx)……..the kid was mortified…ran out of the house…to the police station followed by (Labour party MP) pleading him to stop……20 people already ahve been interviewed by police”

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  78. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    idbkiwi.

    Both.

    But I have already been spanked by our good Host for talking about (b) !

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  79. Gravelroad (155 comments) says:

    Agree, Kiwi in America.

    The National Party election strategists (assuming there are some) should now focus their undivided attention on the large majority of voters who have barely heard of C. Slater/whale oil and don’t care about Hager.
    There are constituents outside Wellington and Auckland, however, with big fears about the likes of Dotcom and others with extremist agendas.
    Time for some leaders who will treat the voters with respect rather than just as bystanders at a sideshow over which we have no influence.

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  80. Gulag1917 (917 comments) says:

    The media spotlight must be addictive.

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  81. SW (240 comments) says:

    KIA – would you agree that your assessment will only prove correct if Key doesn’t get dragged down by the involvement of his office?

    I would also note Mathew Hooten’s observation that you can knock 5% off National’s poll numbers (based on previous election pre-polling).

    5% off National as at today would probably see a change of government.

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  82. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    SW

    Hooten has been undermining the Govt. for several months. Something tells me he doesn’t want the Govt. to win because he knows Labour/Greens would do a whitewash enquiry. That is , Hooten has something serious to lose if transparency reigns.
    If 5% was lost I think most would go to the Conservatives or ACT. The change would be within the “Right ” Vote block.

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  83. SW (240 comments) says:

    Ross – look perhaps, I don’t have any special knowledge on this.

    You raise a good point though, and that is that under MMP it is the right bloc v left bloc that matters (not National’s popularity).

    Despite Labour being in a mess for the last year things have still remained close between the right bloc and left bloc. This is a major scandal, certainly unprecedented in NZ. Any damage at all that it does to the right bloc could mean a change in government.

    In a couple of weeks we will see!

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  84. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    SW

    I don’t have any more knowledge than most average voters. I just try to keep up with what is going on and as you say in a couple of weeks we’ll. I hope it is case of common sense prevailing over all the rumours and speculation.

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  85. kiwi in america (2,452 comments) says:

    SW and Ross12
    National’s loss of 5% from the pre-election campaign period in 2011 versus their actual polling was down to two things: complacency from soft National supporters who believed the media mantra that National could govern alone and thus Key was safe and they didn’t need to vote and the proximity of the tea pot tape saga to the election skimming off older Nats to NZ First. That matter was a direct Key comment that could not be spun out of (his mocking of elderly NZ 1st supporters) and the way he and Banks tried to change the subject led to a media witch hunt that went on for weeks. The difference this time is that there has been less of the ‘govern alone’ talk, the issues at the heart of the furore are indirectly attached to Key being more political figures close to him and the Hager emails has knocked complacency for six. The other thing is that the polls have shown National taking a hit but mostly off the sugar highs it was on courtesy of Cunliffe’s pratfalls. Those issues artificially inflated the gap between the major parties. Right now the net increase in the centre left block after almost a month of this frenzy of negative reporting is max +2%.

    Middle NZ don’t obsess about minute details of what Judith Collins did but accept that if she was sacked, it must be for a good reason. National has easily survived a number of ministerial sackings (as did Labour before them). Underlying positive economic fundamentals are underpinning National’s bedrock support and those have not changed.

    As for Mathew Hooten I’ve often wondered what his angle is. Partly he’s been ‘institutionalised’ inside the beltway and sometimes is too close to the political vortex to see how middle NZ unengaged voters see things. There have been a number of occasions when the government have been in the throes of taking a media and opposition pounding over a beltway issue (e.g. the attacks on John Key over the selection of Ian Fletcher to head the GCSB) that Hooten has adopted a ‘sky is falling’ slant on the issue only to be disproven by subsequent events and polling. Some of it maybe to scare National supporters to not be complacent like they were in 2011. Some of it maybe self interest in presenting himself as a right leaning commentator who defies his own party and speaks his mind to ensure the renewal of his not infrequent media commentating roles.

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