Nicky Hager: New Zealand's renown investigative journalist. Can NZ become a truthful, transparent country?

Interviewed by

Tim Lynch

Nicky Hager: New Zealand's renown investigative journalist. Can NZ become a truthful, transparent country?

In this interview, we hear first hand that Nicky is far more even-handed and mindful than what pundits may think. Especially for someone who 'blew the whistle' on the Echelon - Five Eyes global 'listening and recording' system that is the secret USA, UK, Australia, Canada & New Zealand spy apparatus.

Author of seven books Nicky is NZ's foremost investigative journalist - covering - intelligence networks, environmental matters, politics and other issues.

His books have both illuminated and shocked readers across the country as well as globally - as we as a nation find out to our consternation - that behind the news, the bureaucratic systems and the political world - truth is hidden from the masses on a grand and vast scale.

He is the only New Zealand member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Their website https://www.icij.org/

A World First?

To people reading this from overseas it was Nicky who in 1996, essentially 'revealed to the world community' that there was a huge secretive global listening system in place that was ‘hoovering up’ all global electronic communications.

Be it telephone calls, emails, faxes, web pages, Google searches, etc and now including texts, Facebook, postings, Twitter feeds etc, etc - all are being recorded to gigantic overseas data bases.

This includes this posting you are reading - at this moment - (hi guys :) 2019 is going to be a very good year for us!)

Echelon = Five Eyes

This listening system was called 'Echelon’ but now dubbed 'Five Eyes' and these ‘bases’ were and still are in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The Anglo American speaking world.

Though Nicky was basically ignored in NZ, when the European Parliament heard about this they were initially very upset, especially the French and the Germans. So Nicky was invited to come to the European Parliament to report on his findings. However, to this day, this listening system remains in place as an integral part of the 'deep state’, to the degree that Angela Merkel the German leader, to her consternation, up until relatively recently, had her mobile phone tapped and all her private information recorded.

The interview:

The Police Raid

I asked Nicky if he feels safe in his home after the police raid in 2014 and the confiscation of his computers and files. His answer was that it was emotional disturbing - (listen).

Yet, as a result, he received an 'extraordinary apology' from the NZ police afterwards - stating they should not have done it and that they won't do it again.

Then in mid-June 2018, he accepted the apology and compensation for "substantial damages" from the New Zealand Police for the raid as part of their investigation into the hacking that led to the Dirty Politics book. The Police also acknowledged accessing his financial records as part of the apology settlement.

I asked, when the police have to pay up in instances like this, where does the money come from, us the NZ public? Which he agreed that basically it is us, the police are part of the Government that taxpayers finance.

Fortunately, Nicky had three top quality lawyers - who gave of their time to have the police, (who after 4 years) finally give an apology to him as well as make 'a declaration that they had acted unlawfully.'

He said he was very fortunate in getting the police to apologise. Because this might now stop them doing it to others who are far less resourced than him and his three lawyer friends.

In asking about society in general, Nicky states:

Most people believe in social services, pay their taxes and want to work for a better world for other people - and that it is only a relatively small number of people that muck it up on massive scale - by doing things secretly, unaccountably that no one knows what they are doing.

If journalists let the world know that they can do good quality journalism - this helps curtail people in strong financial and powerful situations from doing corrupt business and banking deals etc.

Investigative journalistic ideals work always towards a better world and how things can be right for a better future for children of today and tomorrow and he says there are more of us than them - and by persistence and focus we can definitely change things for the better. Because there illegal practices are essentially ‘mucking' it up for all of us.

When asked the question, about the lack of top quality journalists across NZ - and did he want to comment on this?

He said that there are a good number of very good journalists in NZ, however how the system is run, that it is very difficult to be published. (Listen)

To the question about the lack of quality news media - MSM? He states that when scrutinised MSN are not fulfilling its function in a democratic society.

When asked about Wikipedia -do you find that everything on it is factual and true? Especially about you, Nicky Hager - on your Wiki entry?

Nicky says he will never use Wiki, because if the topic is disputed - this is hugely problematic - especially if there are different sides and interests based around money etc - then Wiki becomes less and less reliable.

Some Wiki pages have people with glowing information - they may be important in someone’s estimate - because so much attention has been given to them. But we need to be very wary.

Do you get any feedback that certain entities go on to Wiki and change and edit the narrative? Yes, this too is problematic.

Is there a secretive war going on Wiki? (Listen)

You have written 7 books of these:

1 Secret Power (See above)

This also covered the GCSB the NZ Government Communications Security Bureau that can and does listen to all NZ communications within NZ.

  • Tim mentions Oliver Stone the US film director and his movie - ‘Snowden' - where it implicates the US Deep State, clearly interfering with the Government of Syria - when in fact MSM and the US media tells us that there is a civil war happening - which is clearly not true - Listen or watch the movie.

2 Secrets and Lies

Is about Timberlands West Coast Limited an exposé - in order to cunningly win public support for logging of native forests (old growth) on the West Coast of New Zealand. (Not mentioned)

3 Seeds of Distrust

  • GE & GMO
  • The book tells the story of how the New Zealand Government handled the unwelcome news of contamination of corn crops with genetically engineered seeds imported from overseas. NZ Officials succumbed to industry lobbying, quietly changed the regulations to “allow” contaminated crops and ‘managed’ the risk of politicians and the public objecting, by keeping the whole incident secret. The book is not about the corn but about the political management.

In this interview Tim mentions that contaminated seeds are still coming into the country especially over 168,000 tons of GE Soybeans, fed to pigs and chickens. Whilst the NZ Government / biosecurity are looking the other way. There is a lot more in the interview about other GE contaminants entering the Port Of Tauranga, having been rejected by China.

Nicky understandably (due to all his other many commitments) was not aware of this.

Tim asked Nicky about whole paddocks in NZ being sprayed with Monsanto’s glyphosate, that they look orange - causing untold hidden affects to the soil microflora and that when this information becomes known overseas - that NZ’s clean green image has been sabotaged by their own farmers - what are the consequences for NZ exports? Nicky was not aware of this as this is only just now becoming known.

4 The Hollow Men

  • In November 2006 Hager's book The Hollow Men: A Study in the Politics of Deception was published. The book details a wide range of NZ National Party internal party documents including emails which were leaked by six National Party insiders. The documents were written by the party leader Don Brash and a wide range of people associated with him.
  • The origin of the book was the exposing of the Exclusive Brethren and their secret funding of the National Party election advertising during the 2005 general election. (This subject was not mentioned either).

5 Other People's Wars

The war on terror in Afghanistan and beyond has been the longest foreign war in New Zealand history, yet most New Zealanders know almost nothing about their country's part in it. For ten years, nearly everything controversial or potentially unpopular was kept secret, and obscured by a steady flow of military public relations stories.

  • Based on thousands of leaked New Zealand military and intelligence documents, extensive interviews with military and intelligence officers and eye-witness accounts from the soldiers on the ground, Nicky Hager tells the story of these years. New Zealand was was far more involved than the public realised in this crucial period of world history, He tells how the military and bureaucracy used the war on terror to pursue private agendas, even when this meant misleading and ignoring the decisions of the elected government.
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  • "Nicky Hager has more knowledge and understanding of the American intelligence world in Afghanistan both its good and it’s very bad points than any reporter I know." Seymour Hersh, 2013
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour_Hersh

6 Dirty Politics

In August 2014, Hager published Dirty Politics: How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand's political environment, featuring leaked emails between National Party figures and right-wing bloggers. According to Hager the book aims to tell the story of "how attack politics is poisoning NZ's political environment". We did no mention this book either.

7 Hit & Run - with Jon Stephenson

  • In March 2017, Hager and fellow journalist Jon Stephenson published Hit & Run: The New Zealand SAS in Afghanistan and the meaning of honour. The book explored the New Zealand Special Air Services involvement in Operation Burnham, a retaliatory military raid on two Afghan villages, Naik and Khak Khuday Dad, in Afghanistan's Tirgiran Valley in August 2010. The NZ SAS soldiers had attacked a village while pursuing Taliban fighters following the death of a New Zealand soldier in a roadside bomb. According to Hager and Stephenson, none of the fighters were found but 15 civilians were wounded and six killed. The authors asserted that the NZ SAS actions could be considered war crimes and alleged a cover up by the New Zealand Defence Force.
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  • Tim: Why is it that our elite NZ SAS special air service forces are used in Afghanistan? Is it because they are better than the US SEALs or because the US military is so over stretched in their world wide network of bases etc?
  • No, because certain elements within the NZ Defence Forces have expressly asked the US to utilise our highly skilled armed soldiers.
  • Listen
  • Following the formation of a new Labour-New Zealand First-Greens coalition government after the 2017 general election, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced in early November that they would hold an inquiry into the allegations raised by Hit and Run
  • On 13 March 2018, the New Zealand Defence Force confirmed that the location of an Afghan village mentioned in the book Hit & Run was the same place where the NZSAS raid Operation Burnham took place but maintained that claims of civilian casualties were "unfounded.”
  • On 19 March, the NZDF confirmed that the photos published in Hit & Run were taken in the same location where Operation Burnham had taken place.
  • On 9 April 2018, the Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier ruled in favour of the New Zealand Defense Force's decision to withhold most of the information relating to Operation Burnham.
  • On 11 April, Attorney-General David Parker announced that the Government would be holding an inquiry into Operation Burnham and the allegations in Hit & Run.
  • 9 IGIS Reference GroupInternational Consortium of Investigative Journalists
  • https://www.icij.org/
  • Read up on the Panama papers as well as the Paradise Files and you will see just how pervasive corruption is in much of the financial world.
  • On 16 April 2018, Nicky Hager was appointed as a member of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Securities Reference Group, an advisory group of journalists, lawyers, academics, and advocates that would scrutinise the legality of the actions of New Zealand's intelligence agencies, the NZSIS and GCSB.
  • Hager's appointment was criticised by the National Party's GCSB and NZSIS spokesperson Gerry Brownlee, who pointed to his previous criticism of the NZSIS.
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  • Other questions:
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  • Anything on who pay donations secretly to political parties? This to Nicky is a big deal. He states that NZ has to clean up its act regarding donations to Political Parties. This to him is an imperative. Listen
  • NZs foreign policy? Trade with China, and defence with the USA. Is this a incongruent foreign policy?
  • Especially as Paul Buchanan the NZ security analyst and researcher intimated that it was actually a schizophrenic foreign policy. Listen

New Zealand giving away its more neutral foreign policy to acquiesce to the US once again.

Tim says that as NZ is now in the US Alliance again, playing with the most expensive and lethal of weapons, it was a different story when the NZ Government democratically announced its Nuclear Free policy, back in 1987. Once this happened NZ Army service men - on bases in the US were instantly shunned through no fault of their own. Many cases of being ignored by US service people made life very difficult for the NZers as they disengaged under NZ Government orders.

Example cited: whilst walking along corridors in bases in the US, as soon as any US servicemen saw the NZ counterpart walking towards them, they immediately opened up any door to their left or right and went inside closing the door waiting for the NZer to pass and then coming out ‘after the kiwi had moved on.’ This was very un ‘warrior like.’ A true warrior respects another warrior from all side and vice versa. “True warriors do have codes of ethics, which they follow.” The US armed services personnel could easily have come up to the NZers and put our their hand and said, thank you, it was good working alongside you. We understand that this was not a military decision, and so we wish you well as we have been fighting in the same side for as long as we can remember. This would have been the honourable thing to do.

The NZ Frigate Te Kaha being birthed in Honolulu July 08 2012

The frigate HMNZS Te Kaha and tanker HMNZS Endeavour were taking part in Rimpac, the world's biggest military operation, but while old enemies *Japan and even a Russian ship were are allowed into Pearl Harbour, the New Zealand ships were sent to Aloha Tower - deep in the commercial heart of Honolulu. This was seen as being unfriendly, possibly spiteful, all as a result of NZ’s 1987, democratic process of not allowing nuclear armed or powered naval ships into NZ ports or waters.

*That Japan in a so called sneak attack against Pearl Harbour in 1941 killing many US servicemen were allowed to moor their ships there and NZ not able to, shows a decided immaturity. Nicky speaks on this episode - Listen

Tim asked Nicky about the John Campbell Live - James Clapper episode - here in NZ. Where in March 15th 2011 – Top NSA Spy chief, James Clapper, flies to NZ to meet with John Key and this was so secret it was not mentioned at all by the NZ Government.

This country owes John Campbell and the Campbell Live team for explaining how this was exposed - that an aviation photographer at Wellington airport saw a US Air Force Transport plane on the tarmac and photographed it and then enlarged the photo to be able to actually see who was getting back on board - that it was James Clapper on his way back home. He had been quietly here in relation to security and Five Eyes and NZers knew zero about it. Note the Campbell Live show critique went along political lines. The left said something is fishy and the right blew it off as a conspiracy.

https://www.ourplanet.org/.../sprung-sneaking-into-nz-james-clapper-head-of-the-nsa

Note as Clapper is 'deep state’ he has been accused of perjury back in the US.

March 12, 2013, during a United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, Senator Ron Wyden quoted NSA director Keith B. Alexander's keynote speech at the 2012 DEF CON. Alexander had stated that "Our job is foreign intelligence" and that "those who would want to weave the story that we have millions or hundreds of millions of dossiers on people, is absolutely false…. from my perspective, this is absolute nonsense.” Senator Wyden of the Select intelligence Committee asked Clapper, "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" He responded, "No, sir." Wyden asked "It does not?" and Clapper said, "Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly."

This opens the question, does the spying facility in NZ spy on Australia and the Australians spy on the Canadians and the Canadians spy on the Americans - the US on the UK etc etc and on it goes, every country vacuuming up the other countries communications so that under oath, the intelligence officials can say they are not spying on ‘their own’ country?

What one comes away with is that Nicky is straight down the line, and quite conservative and that my questioning could not sway him in any direction other than he told the truth from what he knew.

Nicky Hager - nickyhager.info

So this was more than a very engaging interview.

Though this was a serious interview there were a few little parts that made one laugh, mainly at the ludicrousness of it all. In that what is happening globally by such a few incongruent entities can cause so much harm to so many, especially the children of today and tomorrow.

In ending, I wish to apologise for this poor write up of someone who deserves something substantially better as an elegant summary. But, after 15 years running a voluntary radio program, first doing the research, then the interview - then the edit and finally writing up the summary - it takes quite a bit out of you. Especially energy and time wise. So please, I apologise - Tim

The most important learning I get from interviewing Nicky is that we must never give up.

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Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch, is a New Zealander, who is fortunate in that he has whakapapa, or a bloodline that connects him to the Aotearoan Maori. He has been involved as an activist for over 40 years - within the ecological, educational, holistic, metaphysical, spiritual & nuclear free movements. He sees the urgency of the full spectrum challenges that are coming to meet us, and is putting his whole life into being an advocate for todays and tomorrows children. 'To Mobilise Consciousness.'

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