Some of the emails to and from Whaleoil blogger Cameron
Slater which investigative writer Nicky Hager based his Dirty
Politics book on have been posted online by an individual who
claims they were hacked from Mr Slater's computer.
The emails include one sent in 2008 some months before John
Key became prime minister from his press secretary Kevin
Taylor to Mr Slater, which Mr Hager claims marked the
beginning of a political dirty tricks campaign run by Mr
Slater with the help of Mr Key's former senior communications
advisor Jason Ede.
Mr Taylor tells Slater "Our intention is not to engage with
However he goes on to state: "Jason Ede asked me to mention
he will be giving you a call in the next few days".
Facebook messages released by the hacker show he forwarded
details of Green Party activists accused of vandalising
National Party billboards to Mr Ede.
Mr Slater ran several blogs in 2011 trying to find those
responsible for the vandalism, which consisted of putting
stickers across National billboards.
He claimed one tipster gave him the registration numbers of
two motorbikes seen at a billboard in Christchurch. He also
received the names and addresses of two activists from
somebody who appears to work in the motor industry. Mr Slater
then forwarded them to Mr Ede.
Soon after that, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman
apologised to Mr Key and announced his assistant had been
stood down because one of the accused activists was her
partner and she had not informed him of the campaign.
The released emails contain the names of at least two people
who passed tips on to Mr Slater through his blog, names which
were not used by Mr Hager in his book.
There are also messages relating to the Botany by-election
selection in 2011 for National, in which Mr Slater was
championing the successful candidate, Jami-Lee Ross.
Mr Slater took umbrage at being locked out of the selection
meeting and wrote of National Party President Peter
Goodfellow and another National official: "They will keep.
For now I need to get my mate elected, but I won't be
forgetting anytime soon the actions of tonight."
Mr Ede responded: "I don't know what's going on in their
heads except to say I have never understood why the Auckland
National Party is so frigging dysfunctional. We are on the
same team (mostly)."
He also advised against Jami-Lee Ross doing too many media
appearances after Mr Slater told him Mr Ross was on a radio
show with Willie Jackson and John Tamihere the next day.
Mr Ede said it was "all risk with small reward".
"He will win if he shuts up and runs the messages."
He then said Mr Ross would have time with the PM on the next
"No imperative to gain media coverage."
Mr Slater replied: "he will do as he is told."
The emails also show Mr Ede passing on the wording for an
Official Information Act request that Mr Slater was planning
around the restructuring of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
'Spooky' way to release information - PM
The fact that emails linking Prime Minister John Key's office
to attack blogger Cameron Slater have been posted online
using Kim Dotcom's Mega file sharing service is "interesting"
and could be seen as "very spooky" Mr Key said this
Some of the emails exchanged between Mr Key's former adviser
Jason Ede and Slater which investigative writer Nicky Hager's
Dirty Politics book is based on were posted online by an
individual claiming to have hacked them from Slater's
The emails were posted on Dotcom's Mega service.
Speaking to reporters this afternoon Mr Key avoided directly
addressing questions about whether Mr Ede's behaviour as
depicted in the book and the emails was appropriate.
"There's nothing new today," he said.
"As I've said all along no one's contested that the emails
were stolen. What we have always said is that the assumptions
that are drawn and the conclusions that are drawn in our view
aren't always accurate or it was old information.
"I do think it's vaguely interesting anyway that the dump of
these has now been put up as I understand it on a site linked
to the established one by Kim Dotcom - but that could just be
Mr Key's comment comes after Slater yesterday accused Dotcom
of being responsible for hacking the messages for his
Dotcom has denied the claim.