Nicky Hager was taxpayer-funded for his Panama Papers hit on the government


David Farrar acutally manages to produce a top-notch blog between movie reviews, exercise reports and angsty navel-gazing

A reader has sent me this OIA response from Radio NZ regarding their collaboration with TVNZ and Nicky Hager. It outlines how taxpayer money was spent on paying for an exclusive that turned out to be a fizzer. Remember all this information was being released publicly anyway. They just spent taxpayers money on trying to get an exclusive.

I wouldn’t think they should hold out hope for more funding the next time they make a budget bid!

Key points of interest are:

  1. The idea to pay Hager seems to have come from Guyon Espiner
  2. Despite all the talk of how restricted their funding is, they had their chequebook ready to go from the beginning
  3. They appear to have both paid the ICIJ to become a “partner” and paid Hager as an “independent investigator”
  4. They appear to have offered setting up Gmail addresses for people
  5. They have with-held some info on the basis of it being a trade secret!

UPDATE: Just had a phone call from Guyon Espiner who has clarified that he did not propose paying Hager. His e-mail references are about Radio NZ joining the ICIJ, not hiring Hager. I accept this entirely. The e-mails I got sent are a partial set, and it was not clear what the references were in relation to.

Update2: A fuller set of e-mails has been released to me and can be viewed here.

Radio Nz OIA by David Farrar on Scribd


The irony won’t be lost on Nicky Hager that he was paid by the taxpayer to try to land a terminal blow on John Key. Last time he made money from stolen emails; this time from getting Radio New Zealand and TVNZ to pitch in cash.

It must be remembered that Hager met with Labour and briefed them in advance as to what was to come. This from the same man who says that National and Cam Slater working together is so bad it should be illegal. This from the man who has protected media from public exposure over working with the right as long as they “promise” to mend their ways and no longer work with Whaleoil.

Mr Hager’s time will come but, until then, it is rather upsetting to see him elevated and revered by the Media party.

Readers may also recall the ICIJ (probably Hager himself) wrote an article fingering John Key as “the only statesman to be mentioned”. But the Panama Papers didn’t contain anything about John Key. Or New Zealand, for that matter.

The whole thing was a paid-for hit job.

And you and I paid for it.


– Kiwiblog



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