The week that was: Hager and Collins win; Key joke loses

EDITORIAL

A judgement against the New Zealand Police, another false step by Prime Minister John Key and a deepening tragedy for the family of Jonah Lomu were highlights of the last full working week of the year.

The High Court has ruled that a police search of investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s house and the way they obtained a search warrant was illegal. Police were seeking information on the identity of Rawshark, the hacker who provided information obtained from the computer of blogger Cameron (Whale Oil) Slater which formed a large part of Hager’s book Dirty Politics.

In his judgement Justice Denis Clifford rapped police over the knuckles and said the warrant was sought with little more than a hope of finding useful information.

For Hager it was something of a win to balance having to see his bete noir Judith Collins restored to Cabinet. It was also a win of sorts for journalism with the ruling meaning a journalist has the right to protect sources.

Back in Cabinet Collins says she feels “pretty damned vindicated” after being cleared of the misconduct suggested in Hager’s book. She will be well advised to keep a distance from Slater as she works to rehabilitate herself as a potential party leader.

John Key admirers, still a majority in the polls, will be a little disappointed to see him featuring in overseas news bulletins again because of a prison rape joke during a radio appearance.

While a hard core like the way Key behaves in a “blokey” way, he risks getting a reputation for going too far at times. It is something for him to ponder as he takes his annual Christmas break in Hawaii.

But the sad bookend to the week was the news that Jonah Lomu was virtually broke when he died and his widow and two children will struggle unless they get help.

This is clearly one to which the whole rugby community should respond from the NZ union down. While Lomu earned millions during his career he was evidently generous to a fault, and his family should not suffer because of his big heartedness.

A judgement against the New Zealand Police, another false step by Prime Minister John Key and a deepening tragedy for the family of Jonah Lomu were highlights of the last full working week of the year.

The High Court has ruled that a police search of investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s house and the way they obtained a search warrant was illegal. Police were seeking information on the identity of Rawshark, the hacker who provided information obtained from the computer of blogger Cameron (Whale Oil) Slater which formed a large part of Hager’s book Dirty Politics.

In his judgement Justice Denis Clifford rapped police over the knuckles and said the warrant was sought with little more than a hope of finding useful information.

For Hager it was something of a win to balance having to see his bete noir Judith Collins restored to Cabinet. It was also a win of sorts for journalism with the ruling meaning a journalist has the right to protect sources.

Back in Cabinet Collins says she feels “pretty damned vindicated” after being cleared of the misconduct suggested in Hager’s book. She will be well advised to keep a distance from Slater as she works to rehabilitate herself as a potential party leader.

John Key admirers, still a majority in the polls, will be a little disappointed to see him featuring in overseas news bulletins again because of a prison rape joke during a radio appearance.

While a hard core like the way Key behaves in a “blokey” way, he risks getting a reputation for going too far at times. It is something for him to ponder as he takes his annual Christmas break in Hawaii.

But the sad bookend to the week was the news that Jonah Lomu was virtually broke when he died and his widow and two children will struggle unless they get help.

This is clearly one to which the whole rugby community should respond from the NZ union down. While Lomu earned millions during his career he was evidently generous to a fault, and his family should not suffer because of his big heartedness.

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Winston Moreton - 3 years ago
"Back in Cabinet Collins says she feels 'pretty damned vindicated' after being cleared of the misconduct suggested in Hager's book."
Oh no. It seems the writer has not read the book called Dirty Politics because the misconduct revealed by the journalist Hager has never been investigated. As I read it the PM dropped her from Cabinet for allegations she participated in a subversive attack on the Serious Fraud Office which is not mentioned in Hager's book.
And yes, in my opinion, journalists with integrity will take comfort at Hager defending his right to keep the sources of information confidential from an increasingly meretricious Police Department.

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