Journalists have right to protect sources

Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says.

“It is crucial in an open democracy that journalists are not forced to reveal their sources so whistle-blowers feel able to come forward with information.

“While we respect the Police’s independence, we are concerned that an arm of the state appears to be being used against Mr Hager while nothing appears to be being done about the wrongdoing he exposed.

“A 10-hour search of their family home would be harrowing for anyone. Nicky Hager was doing what the fourth estate ought to do and Police need to take care to protect his rights, and to avoid the appearance of intimidating the media.

“At the time of the 2011 election media offices including TV3, TVNZ, the Herald on Sunday and Radio New Zealand were raided over the so-called tea-pot tapes. That resulted in a legally questionable ‘deemed guilty’ verdict by the Prime Minister in concert with the Police despite their being no actual prosecution and arguable defences. Other recent undermining of media freedom included the Serious Fraud Office demanding the NBR hand over documents about South Canterbury Finance.

“Nicky Hager’s book revealed serious wrongdoings including inappropriate conduct towards Government regulators the SFO and the Financial Markets Authority. It also showed misuse of power in the Prime Minister’s own office including the orchestrated use of SFO information for political purposes, and accessing of the Labour Party database. The allegations concerning Minister Judith Collins led to her resignation.

“As far as the public is currently aware, the wrongdoing exposed in Nicky Hager’s book is not being investigated with the same vigour as blogger Cameron Slater’s complaint about his emails being hacked.”

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New Zealand should be concerned because this sets a very dangerous precedent for journalists in New Zealand. A journalist must always protect his sources for if he or she does not, others will not approach them for fear of being made public. Nicky Hager released some damning evidence to the public regarding how corrupt the National Party is and how attacking politics and the tactical use of bloggers such as the hated Cameron Slater was all part of the plan to con New Zealand into giving them a third term. New Zealand’s right wing corporate media turned on Hager and painted the messenger as the criminal rather than looking into the revelations in the book and pursuing the real criminals. We already live in a surveillance state under the Five Eyes, now journalists need to be even more vigilant. Our corrupt Government has turned on those bringing the rest of us the truth where our useless mainstream media has failed.

Speak up for freedom of speech without harassment from the state! New Zealand is on a very slippery slope in terms of our human rights being eroded, at what point will you say enough is enough?

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Wake Up NZ is a team of dedicated truth-seekers from all over New Zealand. We are committed to disseminating information that the mainstream media fails to bring to you.

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3 Responses

  1. Bob

    Journalists and others who are trying to get the ‘dirt’ on the dirt that is going down amongst our politicians should not have to poke around and hide their sources etc, they should be able to go straight to the front of the High Court Warrants queue and get law enforcement officers out of bed to be able to hack into computers and offices to find out what the people in power both in politics and big business are really up to. They should be able to demand and get stuff like the contents of the TPPA that our priveledged “Leaders” are hideing from us, and doing for their already powerful mates.

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  2. Trevor Mills

    It seems to me a rat is in our midst, actually, a multiple of rats. The king rat Key himself, and his minions the police, who can’t perform their investigation without harassing Nicky Hager and his family, while turning their back on those that should be investigated. What a cop out.

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