Blogger Cameron Slater says he has received death threats
following the publication of Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics.
The book is based on thousands of emails between Slater and
National Party members, including Justice Minister Judith
Slater, who was speaking from Israel, told TV3's The Nation
today that he had received "a torrent" of death threats as a
result of the book.
"People have said 'You suffer a mental illness, you should
throw yourself off a balcony, you should suicide - don't even
write a note, no-one would read it', all those sorts of
He believed Hager would not take responsibility for those
Hager told the programme he was sorry that Slater had
received death threats.
"If people have said rude things, then they should stop it."
Among the book's allegations were that Ms Collins fed
information she gained as a Cabinet minister to Slater to use
in political attacks published on Whale Oil.
That included that she fed the identity of Internal Affairs
official Simon Pleasants, who she believed was responsible
for leaking information to the Labour Party about Finance
Minister Bill English's taxpayer-funded accommodation
allowance in 2009.
Slater went on to identify Mr Pleasants in a series of
disparaging blog posts on his Whale Oil site leading to a
torrent of abuse directed towards him.
Slater told The Nation that he was not sure the information
from Ms Collins could be considered a leak.
"We certainly had a discussion about a name of a person, from
what I understand, around that."
He said he could not remember enough about the incident to
put the email from Ms Collins into context.
"Frankly I can't even remember the details of the post."
Death threats targeted at Mr Pleasants and his family were
posted by readers on Slater's site after the his blog posts
Neither he nor Ms Collins could be tarred by the actions of
"anonymous commenters", Slater said.
'I certainly don't condone death threats - I think that
mostly people that make death threats are gutless cowards and
they certainly would never appear on my website now."
Ms Collins yesterday confirmed she had given Mr Pleasants'
name to Slater. "What I was asked for was the name and the
title of the guy and that's publicly available and I've
simply given him that," she told NewstalkZB
Mr Pleasants, who is still employed by the Department of
Internal Affairs, told the Weekend Herald he did not believe
he had been fingered as a suspect over the leaks before
"I did not leak the information. I have never leaked
anything," he said.
Hager told The Nation the outing of Mr Pleasants' name was
what had most offended him.
"I believe, and she hasn't denied this, that as Minister of
Police she leaked the name of someone she thought could be
blamed and watched him being persecuted in public without a
chance to defend himself."
Labour MP Grant Robertson said Ms Collins' admission that she
had given Mr Pleasants' name to Slater was more than enough
reason for Prime Minister John Key to sack her as a Minister.
"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky
Hager's book was 'false' Judith Collins has now been forced
to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial
Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a
baseless smear campaign," he said.
- Rebecca Quilliam of APNZ