Labour accusations of political pressure on police

Labour MPs have suggested that the police may have acted under political pressure in raiding Nicky Hager’s house. The police deny this.

Acting leader Annette King and Labour’s shadow Attorney-General David Parker have both speculated on Government interference.

Stuff reported Nicky Hager case ‘raises questions’ about political pressure on police – MPs

The illegal police search of journalist Nicky Hager’s home has raised questions about whether police were under pressure from the Government to act, opposition politicians say.

Acting Labour leader Annette King said she was concerned about whether the police’s illegal search was the result of Prime Minister John Key criticising Dirty Politics in the media after the book’s release.

It was very much a political hothouse…the police don’t have cloth ears: they hear what’s being said and they hear what’s happening in the community.

“My concern is that huge political pressure comes on them to do something about it when they hear the Government making derogatory comments and the Government saying it’s all a jack-up…it puts huge pressure on the police for action.”

King said another example was the “teapot tapes” case, in which freelance cameraman Bradley Ambrose was investigated but not charged by police after he claimed to have accidentally recorded a conversation between Key and ACT MP John Banks on the campaign trail in 2011.

Because it involved the Prime Minister, the speed at which the police reacted, when you get reports on a regular basis at your electorate office that serious issues like having your house burgled or your car stolen can hardly raise a response…it’s in that environment that I’m concerned.”

Police needed to be “totally even-handed” when looking at all cases regardless of political pressure, while Key also needed to refrain from putting pressure on the police.

“I think it’s up to a Prime Minister to act in a prime ministerial way as well – at that time, he acted more like a gutter politician.”

Serious speculation and accusations.

However, police have rebuffed the claims, saying they are “without foundation”.

In a press release Parker goes further, claiming “unlawful action by police during two elections in a row”.

That’s an even more serious accusation. Except that the police actions were not during elections.

Landmark ruling finds Police acted illegally – Parker

Today’s landmark ruling from Justice Clifford that a raid on the home of journalist Nicky Hager was illegal means there was unlawful action by police during two elections in a row, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says.

“For the past two elections complaints in the media from the Prime Minister have led to inappropriate and excessive action by the police against journalists.

“In 2011 it was the tea tapes following a media stunt gone wrong between John Key and John Banks.

“Last year the disreputable antics of the National Party involving Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Jason Ede in the Prime Minister’s office, Judith Collins, and the Prime Minister himself were outed in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics.

“He was painted as a villain by the Government after the release of his book and today’s finding vindicates him.

“Instead of the police attention being on the perpetrators, John Key kept asserting Nicky Hager based his book on hacked emails. The police in turn reacted on the public complaints by the Prime Minister and the formal complaint by Cameron Slater, and again turned on the media.

“We should be grateful that in New Zealand we have a brave and independent judiciary that can make today’s ruling.

“Now the police and the Prime Minister need to publicly accept the politicisation of the police was serious and wrong,” David Parker says.

Or are Parker’s politicisation and accusations of the police here serious and wrong?

The police are damned when they do and damned when the don’t take any action on politically related issues.

There are risks that police actions could influence political outcomes.

But there is a greater risk that by avoiding doing anything with possible political connotations important and potentially serious acts are not properly examined by our judiciary. And to put things before our judiciary the police have to first investigate.

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8 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  20th December 2015

    Sunday tabloid fodder for the Ponsonby chardonnay socialist chattering set. Police political? Of course they are. And the best funded lobbyists in NZ.

    Reply
  2. Patzcuaro

     /  20th December 2015

    The police seem a bit sluggish when investigating politicians over allegations of electoral law breaches but eager to investigate over the “teapot” saga and “dirty politics”.

    Reply
  3. I for one am sick of the political denigration of the police by politicians and others who are hoping to strengthen their plans to subvert our next general election by raising barriers to any future Police action on illegal schemes to subvert the electoral process. I look forward to seeing Hager in a Court in New Zealand being questioned on oath about the extent of his association with Politicians and journalists, and the reason why he was deliberately selective about the people mentioned in the stolen emails which he has used for pecuniary benefit in an attempt to steal the last general election from New Zealanders. If that was not his motive, why was the book published at the optimum time for maximum influence on the election? Fortunately his plan was neutralised by Joe and Jill Public recognising the real purpose of his scheme. His claims about the illegal Police action are a mere smoke screen. He needs to be charged in Court, so the truth can be revealed.

    Reply
  4. Oh dear are the police getting to close to who and why behind the hack and book? Someone nervous and sending out smokescreens?

    The Police had no choice but to act – a complaint was laid and it was very high profile.

    And yes I have been burgled and also had a car broken into multiple times and stolen a couple of times. Police are pretty hit and miss in response.

    But this is a major high profile case.

    Just a bit the Police and their Legal team BOTCHED the warrant application for the search of Hagers premises. Almost like they deliberately tried to fail…

    Cue Jeeves – Nicky is a Saint time…

    Reply
  5. kiwi guy

     /  20th December 2015

    The police already hate Leftie muppets they don’t need any directing to give them a hard time, lol.

    Reply
  6. Balanced

     /  20th December 2015

    [I don’t have details on that so am not prepared to take the risk here. PG]

    Reply
  7. FarmerPete

     /  21st December 2015

    I really would like someone to explain how the Police acted illegally. Arguably, they acted on the basis of a warrant, that now a court of appeal judge thinks should not have been issued in the first place. Fair enough. But the warrant was approved by a judge, who if the Police information was inadequate had the opportunity to request further information. These sorts of things happen in the legal system all the time, and that is why we have a court of appeal. Applicants, lawyers and judges make mistakes all the time. No one is infallible. Shit happens.

    Reply

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