Fraser House whispers 2: Which media are the “in crowd” with Nicky Hager?


If you have missed yesterday’s intelligence report on the goings on around Labour, Hager and the Panama Papers hit, quickly catch up and then return.

I’ve run the tapes through a noise filter and managed to pick up some more of the conversation.

As I said yesterday, it appears TV3 have been frozen out from Camp Hager.  Which seems a little odd, seeing as TV3 are one of the most Government-hostile media companies, and the likes of Owen and Gower would be chomping at the bit to get a freebie served up.

And then it struck me:  Hager’s loyalty is to John Campbell, not TV3.   So a quick check with the Red Radio Pimpernel, and wouldn’t you know it – Radio New Zealand are part of the embargoed media organisations that have been working on how to best present this story to its audience.

No less than half a dozen staff have been dedicated to the job and nobody has had much time off over the weekend.

Now let’s take a step back for a moment, and have a think about how embargoes work.   They work one of two ways.

  1. The media doesn’t know about the story at all.  They all get a press release with an embargo on it.  This allows media to prep and do a better job.  Come the embargo horizon – they all go with it at the same time.
  2. One media org has been working on the story and has the exclusive.  An agreement exists for that story to break with that media company first.  Some trusted media companies may get some info as well, but it is embargoed to ensure the exclusive goes with the company that did all the hard work.

What we have here however is a couple of cherry picked media organisations:  TVNZ and Radio New Zealand.  And that’s it.

So I had a feel around Fairfax.  Boy are they pissed.  They are out in the cold, just like TV3.  What did they do to deserve that?

And then the logic hit me.  It’s not the company that Hager has loyalties to, it’s the people.  And who used to be at Fairfax and is now at TVNZ?   None other than Mata Hari Vance.  (There is another reason to shun Fairfax, more about that later)

None of this is developing like a normal media story.  Here we have a Hager, again, using hacked information, again, working with the Labour Party, again and using trusted key media people, again, to prepare a coordinated hit against National.


I’ll tell you one thing – the media in New Zealand are seriously broken when they are colluding with political parties to develop and coordinate political hits.   Oh, I don’t mind the actual process.  Hell no.  It’s what I’m doing every day.  The problem is that they are pretending to be above all that.  They are ‘real’ media, and they are beyond reproach.

Dirty Politics.  Dirty Media.

And voters who don’t care.



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  • Keeping Stock

    Chris Trotter’s reaction on Paul Henry this morning:

    Is that all? Meh.

    • Quinton Hogg

      The most sensible thing said by Chris Trotter in a long time.

      • Keeping Stock

        Quite so. If Trotter is underwhelmed, imagine Waitakere Man’s reaction. He’s likely to go on a recruiting drive to get his mates to join him in National!

    • Left Right Out

      I didn’t quite understand his sound bite “Like a good leftist I was salivating at the thought of these papers”……. Like a good leftest??? apart from wanting to bring down a right central govt….. what does he mean any good leftest?

  • Curly1952

    And here I was thinking that the media are supposed to be independent from political goings on. Yeh right. Tuesday is still to come but it has a look and feel about being over already.

    • I think 24 hours isn’t a sufficient political refractory period in this case. (Google it if you must ;)

      • Curly1952

        I needed to Google it – Good one Pete. Do you think they will need to fall back and regroup and look at alternative points of attack to get themselves wound up?

    • Crowgirl

      The CBC in Canada is gearing up for their own version tomorrow but they’re only concentrating on Canadians. They’re not interested in NZ at all; they have wildfires to report on.

  • Jude

    I think voters do care. Not about the panama papers, but about being taken for a ride by Hager and the media!
    If Hager adds insult to injury by writing a book and trying to sell it for profit, I hope it bombs!

    • Not sure there is a book in this.

      • Jude

        Hager might try to flesh it out by connecting a few imaginary dots.
        It is what he does.

      • Crowgirl

        Probably why he’s going with it now and not a year and a bit from now.

    • oldmanNZ

      I think for most people, they were not taken for a ride by Hager. most people dont care what he says. And now, even less.
      I think the Left likes him and buy his book. They will believe anything anti key.

  • Catriona

    Yes, well this story had Hagar’s DNA all over it right from the start.
    No surprises here….

  • meltingpot

    Things must be sad when TV3 are left out of a planned attack on the National Gov’t.

    • Aucky

      All dressed up and nowhere to go.

  • Crowgirl

    This was even more boring and predictable a hit than I thought possible, and my expectations were already super low.

  • Sally

    List of the 7 journalists involved
    Andrea Vance TVNZ Press Gallery accredited
    Patrick O’Meara RNZ Press Gallery accredited
    Jane Patterson RNZ Press Gallery accredited
    Jessica Mutch TVNZ
    Lee Taylor TVNZ
    Gyles Beckford RNZ Press Gallery accredited
    And of course Hager

    So we have a bunch of journalists, majority who work around Parliament lecturing NZers on morals and telling us it is not a political hit. Yeah right.

    • This just in from the tipline: secret footage of them working together and the actual moment they launched the political hit:

  • Keeping Stock

    Those RNZ and TVNZ journalists who colluded with Hager to try and execute a political hit have made a very compelling argument for the sale of TVNZ and RNZ to be a key part of National’s 2017 election manifesto.

    • Aucky

      What’s there to buy? Only the hardware.

  • RoboRob

    Thank you. I watched Paul henry this morning and Paddy Gower (urggh) and Hillary both refered to Hager as ‘Investigative WRITER’. I though oh oh what is going on here, demoted from the lofty title of ‘journalist’. Then all the coverage was ‘storm in a tea cup’. Foolishly I thought, TV3 has upped their standards and were treating it correctly, however now it seems its just petty payback because they didn’t get invited to the party :)

    • Bazza63

      Whereas on TVNZ Breakfast show he was referred to as a investigative journalist.

  • Bryan

    labour is worried about trusts and tax evasion while they though their taxing of power companies and demanding 17% returns while they were in office pushed the power prices in this country up 76% in 5 years. And then there is meridan who wrote to us about 9 years ago to say that our power prices would have to rise 15% as they were planning a new Dam on a south Island river, and then 12 months later they cancelled the Dam plans, but have still continued to collect the 15% for a dam that will never be built. so if that is not fraud what is I think all meridan customers are owed a years free power at least

  • sandalwood789

    So where is Fisher in all this? He’s usually in there somewhere……

    • Answer at 9:00

      • sandalwood789

        Ahh, ok. Thanks for that, Pete. :)

  • Looks like Labour are still setting course for the rocks tomorrow… (pic)

    • Keeping Stock

      And why should Key dignify what is a clear attack on his leadership and the Government by going on air with Espiner?

  • RogerB

    What is apparent for all to see is that the MSM (but several “journalists” in particular)together with the “smart set” who inhabit twitter i.e. the same people have an utterly irrational hatred of John Key . That TVNZ and Radio New Zealand have allowed themselves to become involved with a reprobate like Hager is appalling . Hager’s sole focus is to bring down John Key and the National government as was clearly shown to be the case leading up to the last election.
    The only people / organisations who are going to suffer reputational damage from all of this is TVNZ and Radio New Zealand for their utter stupidity in getting involved with Hager . As for Mata Hari Vance , Nicky Hager would have located far more scandalous information if he had hacked the email exchange that took place between Andrea Vance and Peter Dunne ( prior to Vance throwing Dunne under the bus) regarding the GCSB , Kitteridge report etc. Apparently Peter sang like a canary to Mata Hari – I wonder why ?
    I bet those emails would make very interesting reading !! But then Mata Hari was most indignant when she thought she might of been “spied on” by parliamentary services – but then again the rules don’t apply to her and her ilk !

    • Toby

      I don’t think its quite as sinister.
      I think it’s more of a competition to see who can take him down. That would be some serious bragging rights to take down a prime minister that mud won’t stick to.

      I think they are bored.

  • cows4me

    My sources at TVI and RNZ say they have been placed on a war footing and all broadcasters have been ordered to don armor least a nasty accident occur. These have been handed out to all those in trenches.

  • Toby

    as soon as I heard Nicky Hagar on the radio this morning I thought… Here we go again.
    Instantly any credibility to the allegations was washed away in the breeze.
    The PM’s best defence would just be to come straight out and say that Hagar is a twit.

    • Keeping Stock

      He more or less did when talking to Paul Henry. Key described Hager as something like a “wild conspiracy theorist”.

  • Cadwallader

    A humble prediction: In a very few hours The Media Party will have established its credentials as the most far left Party this country has ever endured.They have flicked past the remnants of Labour, detoured around the Greenies, forgotten about KDC’s absurd gaggle and now occupy their own spot on the spectrum. This spot is distant from logic, conscience, accountability and the majority of the electorate. They’re on their own, without purpose and policy just a severe dose of Key hatred. Let them rot!

  • Wheninrome

    We could think that this is a dirty TVNZ hit on TV 3, they could find that all the so called Reporters (Rats) on TV3 leave the sinking ship.
    or, to put it another way, the job Weldon started is finished with the aid of TVNZ,
    Maybe a better TV station will rise from the ashes with some decent unbiased reporters who have no agenda apart from presenting the facts in a clear and concise manner. AND actually do some real digging on stories, not create stories from nothing. Maybe all this is doing us a favour.
    (Wishful thinking perhaps)

  • Bombastic

    A trust funded leftie complaining about trust funds is too ironic. Perhaps Hager felt limited to compliant media, least someone were to point that out to him.

  • Richard

    I understand Hager has been working on this for the past 15 months or so?

    Given his propensity for releasing attack literature on the National Government just prior to General Elections, what has been the factor in the mid election cycle release of this campaign?.

    For my money, it seems to line up nicely with what I believe to be the poorest period of popularity a Labour leader has ever enjoyed (endured).


    A multifaceted election campaign attack brought forward?

    A Little last ditch effort?

  • Big_Al

    Can someone tell me just what the fuss is all about in regard to these trusts that are registered here in NZ. From what i gather there is nothing illegal about it and it brings some money into out tax pot. This carry on by Labour and the Media is just pathetic and has become personal against John Key. It does’nt appear to have any relevance to the day to day running of the country and is just a continual distraction to John Key who is going about his normal business, and doing a very good job under difficult circumstances, caused by these irrelevant morons.

  • Karma

    I’m sure I’m not the only who hopes that Nicky Hagar has overstepped the mark on this one, and legal action will be forthcoming from the Auckland accountant/lawyer who’s in effect been named and shamed for legitimately doing his job.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    The upside might be a fractionating of the Media party ending in some sort of implosion. It will be like uncontrollable gang wars with the safest approach is to ignore them and let them kill each other off. Aligning with the majority opinion that they would eventually be the masters of their own demise. Funnier with Hager as the catalyst.

  • Whitey

    We talked about the Panama papers circus over lunch today at work. The general consensus, even among my more left-wing colleagues, is that Hager is a thieving, hypocritical fruit loop and nothing he says is reliable. Nobody was actually interested in the Panama “revelations”, because they aren’t exactly newsworthy. We quickly turned to more interesting topics of conversation.

  • Oh Please

    What has an IQ of 150? The NZ Media.