Whaleleaks – Labour’s dubious email harvesting

WhaleleaksThe fallout continues for Labour off the back of their appalling treatment of member and donor information in its wide open website.  And the damage appears to be spreading to some of its closest allies – not that they’re saying so publicly.

As I said I have obtained more than 18,000 emails, many of which end in .school.nz. I wondered how labour could have so many emails or such a large email support base.

It now appears the NZEI has been feeding the Labour Party personal information for political use – and the Union is now frantically making excuses for how the Party came to be in possession of email addresses for those who signed its petition against Early Childhood Education changes.

Yesterday – the union sent an email to those who signed its ECE petition, attempting to explain why the Labour Party had all of the NZEI’s campaign data.

Some of the people who signed that petition are neither union members nor Labour supporters – and the tipline understands there are very unhappy people questioning why the NZEI shared this information with the Labour Party.  The NZEI is now trying to cover its tracks by pinning the blame on Sue Moroney.

From: NZEI


Sent: Friday, June 17, 2011 xx:xx AM

Subject: ECE Postcards Update

17 June

Early Childhood Education Postcard

Thanks for signing a NZEI Te Riu Roa early childhood postcard last year calling on the government to reverse cuts to early childhood funding. Our campaign is continuing and we encourage you to support events around New Zealand on July 1 – see www.ecetogether.org.nz for more information on events near you.

Tens of thousand of the postcards you signed were presented to Labour’s spokesperson on early childhood education Sue Moroney late last year, for her to present to the Prime Minister as no Government MP was prepared to receive them. Unfortunately despite a number of attempts by Sue Moroney, the Prime Minister has not yet shown a willingness to receive them.

Sue Moroney has since informed NZEI that she planned to email you, as a signatory to the postcards, to let you know of this situation. Some signatories may have been sent this email in April.  Others of you may not have received anything.  However, in the meantime, it appears the list of email addresses she compiled formed part of a Labour Party database that was recently accessed by an unauthorised person(s). You may have already received an email from the Labour Party notifying you of this problem.

NZEI provided the postcards in good faith to Sue Moroney to present to the Prime Minister.  As an independent organisation that is not affiliated to any political party, NZEI did not, and does not approve of any unauthorised use of personal emails.   We never give personal information to political parties or organisations to use.

We have made clear to the Labour Party that we are very concerned about this situation and have requested that any emails obtained from NZEI postcards be deleted from their database.

Yours sincerely

Paul Goulter
National Secretary

The key line in this email is right at the end:

NZEI provided the postcards in good faith to Sue Moroney to present to the Prime Minister …  We have made clear to the Labour Party that we are very concerned about this situation and have requested that any emails obtained from NZEI postcards be deleted from their database.

Those on that database have already received an email from Labour apologist Chris Flatt.  But, unlike the version of the email which I reproduced last week, the version sent to these people was slightly different (relevant sentence here – full email below):

The database stores email addresses and, in some cases, names of supporters and other members of the public, including those who have signed up for email updates from the Labour Party or have signed petitions.

But this situation gets worse for Labour.  Because they’ve been caught wrongly using petition signatures before, and last February Mr Flatt promised it would never happen again.

“A staff member used the database of signatories without Grant’s knowledge or approval. This is highly regrettable and I can assure you and other readers that it will not happen again.”

Labour was obviously lying. So what other names does Labour have that they’re not supposed to?

Below – full (and slightly different) Chris Flatt apology sent to those who signed an NZEI petition not knowing their information would be shared with the Labour Party.

—– Original Message —–

From: Chris Flatt


Sent: Monday, June 13, 2011 X:XX AM

Subject: Important information – Labour database breach

Last night we discovered the possibility of a malicious breach of the private contacts database within the Labour Party website. We began an investigation immediately.

Earlier this morning we isolated a system vulnerability that we believe has been exploited by a prominent right-wing blogger.

The database stores email addresses and, in some cases, names of supporters and other members of the public, including those who have signed up for email updates from the Labour Party or have signed petitions.

If you are receiving this email it is because your email address was stored within the compromised database.

In response to this intrusion:

• we have secured the system to ensure that a similar breach cannot happen again.

• we will commission an independent security review of our databases.

We understand the seriousness of this kind of event, and we apologise unreservedly.


Chris Flatt

Labour Party General Secretary

To unsubscribe, please click here.

Authorised by Chris Flatt, 160 Willis Street

Wellington, WGN 6011

New Zealand

Labour have been caught pantsdown lying again. When will they start telling the truth to the New Zealand voting public. I wonder too whether Blue State Digital is happy that one of their star clients is executing so poorly their strategies for online political discourse.

Harvesting emails without permission is bad enough, but using those emails is actually a breach of several laws.


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  • whafe

    The plot thickens by the day it would seem. And the media keep quiet by the day it seems..

    With the plot thickening without any sign of a roux, shortly the media will have to do some reporting.

    I am still flabbergasted in that Chris Flatt still refers to it as a malicious breach, odd considering the information was sitting there prouder than a honeymooners chopper….

    • funkdup

      “the plot thick­en­ing with­out any sign of a roux” – it’s a reduction

      • whafe

        Thank you for the detail, it was needed…. Yes indeed a roux is a reduction, but am sure you gathered my train of thought…

        Do hope you pick up the bath mat and always put the lid on the toothpaste ;)

    • gazzaw

      I can’t believe that TV1 regardless of Ch’ch has managed to keep this out of the news. Presumably Mold is still running the show.

  • putitaway

    We must apply the leftards’ own standard of proof here – any two people who have touched the same data MUST be conspiring together.

  • titanuranus

    mali­cious breach

    Calling it anything else would require a level of honesty ,never before shown, by Labour Party personnel.

  • thor42

    Good stuff! The Labour Party is suffering “death by a thousand cuts”.

    • whafe

      Some high quality rock salt needs to be applied to the thousand cuts….

      • thor42

        WO – have you lodged a complaint with the powers-that-be to get a formal investigation underway on this stuff?

        • He’s off being filmed for ‘ The Nation ‘ right now. Two high profile people were asked one after the other to appear with him to give the opposite view but the funny thing is that they were too scared to appear beside him LOL

  • reid

    As an inde­pen­dent organ­i­sa­tion that is not affil­i­ated to any polit­i­cal party,

    I’m afraid it’s past time to require the unions to provide evidence to establish their independence or otherwise simply come out and admit it. One of the two. If that requires new legislation to make it happen then so be it.

    • thor42

      I agree.
      Pffft…. a union claiming to be “not affiliated to any political party”?
      Come on now – anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that the unions and Labour shag each other.
      The word “union” is synonymous with Labour, FFS.

      • reid

        The one I find most objectionable is the PSA since it’s funded by the very institution we elect and fund. Now why should OUR dollars be allowed to be specifically directed to activities specifically to influence voters choice of party? They are spending our dollars on only promoting one side, their side. Sorry, not allowed. Too bad. The PSA is NOT allowed to participate AT ALL in the political process for that belongs to ALL of us and – newsflash – is funded by ALL of us therefore ALL spending must be done in a politically neutral manner for benefit of all without fear nor favour. Isn’t that a shame. Awwwwww. What a twagedy that would be. A calamity, a travesty of humanity. Wouldn’t that be good.

        • pwebb

          It is not your money. It belongs to the worker who earns it and then decides to join the PSA. And given what is happening now it is money well spent by them.

          • reid

            Yes it is my money pwebb since I give it to the govt who gives it to the workers the govt employs on my behalf to do my bidding.

            That’s how democracy works.

            Didn’t you know that?

            Anyway, the fact it is my money that makes the whole cycle possible in the first place gives me an equal right alongside every other taxpayer, to expect it is spent 100% on politically neutral activities. If not, there has to be a fucking good reason and regardless, it always has to be totally transparent. Every cent accounted for and visible. Every cent.

            Again pwebb, this is how democracy and the Westminster system works.

            Nothing less is expected or tolerated.

          • Actually the worker doesn’t decide to give it to the PSA. It is taken as a salary deduction. I think a law change where union dues are not able to be salary deducted is long overdue.

            That way the union actually has to go cap in hand to the worker (can’t quite consider government employees as workers). Let’s see how they get on then with their funding.

  • peterwn

    Actually it is getting worser and worser.

    If Labour added these petition, etc email addresses to their insecure databases, then some of the various bots that roamed through the databases probably harvested these email addresses for spamlist compilation. So the poor people in question are going to receive more spam from Nigerian gentlemen, penis enlargement pill peddlers and bank phishers.

    If these people were so gullible as to sign these union and leftie petitions, then they are probably gullible enough to fall for these scams.

    • reid

      Oh dear. Wouldn’t that be twagic if all the long-standing respectable Liarbore brethren including people like Hulun’s family suddenly started weceiving all manner of unwanted filth and rubbish.

      Oh dear, how vewy vewy dweadful that would be.

      I wonder what’s going to happen next? It’s quite exciting isn’t it.

  • royaloaks

    This is all so funny. Its all National fault! You are so malicious Whale. Blame, Blame and more blame. Poor Liarbour. Flatt and Goofy should go to the Wharehouse and buy a mirror and have a long hard look at themselves. Fools!

  • whafe

    Funny to, that blogger r0b over at the Standard is even writing that National gave Whale the tip to move ahead with what is playing out in front of us….

    These Pinko’s are amazing critters.

    • thor42

      Agreed. I mean – even **IF** the Nats did do that (and I’m sure they didn’t) – that STILL doesn’t get Labour off the hook. They are still guilty as sin of running an insecure website, and NZEI are as guilty as sin of passing information to the Labour Party.

      • whafe

        So so true, however it would seem that the old deny deny deny is being played by Labour.

        I doubt they are even ashamed of themselves.

        Trevor, if you are reading this. You have been scary quiet on the old Twitter…. A message here ?????

        • gazzaw

          Trev has been quiet everywhere of late. As a Liabore communicator he’d make a great asparagus picker.

  • kevin

    From now on it is labour with a lower case ‘l’