An incidence of friendly fire, an inadvertent firing toward one's own or otherwise friendly forces. Also, this song.

From today's Sunday Star-Times story on the events that precipitated Judith Collins' resignation:

Knowing Fairfax was investigating the hacked emails, it is believed Odgers (known by the blog name Cactus Kate) went through her own emails and found some that could be seen as implicating Collins. This correspondence then found its way to a Beehive staffer on Friday.

"I take it you found the smoking gun," Odgers said in an email to Fairfax shortly before Collins resigned. She declined to comment further yesterday.

In fact, Fairfax did not have that particular incriminating email, and the hacker known as Rawshark said yesterday he did not have it either. "That email wasn't leaked by me, I had nothing to do with it," said Rawshark, who was also the source for Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics.

Just so we're absloutely clear about this: Judith Collins didn't resign because of anything Nicky Hager did. Rather, she resigned because Cathy Odgers gave the PM's office an email that neither Nicky Hager nor the hacker who stole a bunch of other information had seen, in which a certain blogger whom we don't name said some stuff about Judith Collins that she claims is absolutely false.

Is this is the best political scandal ever, or what?

[Addendum: For a musical summary of the above, see here.]

Comments (16)

by Lee Churchman on August 31, 2014
Lee Churchman

We need to rescue Jason Ede from the wilderness shack in which he's being held prisoner.

by Eszett on August 31, 2014

More firendly fire.

Cameron Slater lays complaint with privacy commissioner against PM

Only it isn't that friendly any more.



by Nick Gibbs on August 31, 2014
Nick Gibbs

I'm glad to see Judith gone. And, yes the idea that Whale and Judith  will have to re-pay Cactus double is amusing.


by Katharine Moody on August 31, 2014
Katharine Moody

What I'm wondering is whether the NZ Law Society are likely to begin proceedings to disbar her? 

by Pete Sime on August 31, 2014
Pete Sime

@Katharine Collins' conduct has not taken place in her capacity as a legal practitioner, so most of the rules of professional misconduct don't apply. However, if she is convicted of an offence - even while not acting as a lawyer - she could be sanctioned and some quarters (Matthew Hooton in particular) are calling for a criminal investigation into this affair.

The Law Society has to act with procedural and substantive fairness, so it is not going to go off half cocked on this. Which is fair enough. 


by Robert Eddes on August 31, 2014
Robert Eddes

"Is this is the best political scandal ever, or what?"

It is missing some group sex but yes I have to agree and it is making this into one hell of an exciting election. 

by Cushla McKinney on August 31, 2014
Cushla McKinney

@Peter But she will be owed big time by John Key for finally giving him an excuse to cut her free.  The National elves are busy trying to spin it as a positive.\; I was surprised by the number of pro Key/National e-mails on Wallace Chapman's show on Radio NZ show this morning given the usually more left-of-politics responses he usually gets.

by Katharine Moody on August 31, 2014
Katharine Moody

@Pete - my question was referring to Cathy Odgers. Sorry 'bout the confusion. This article in particular is very disturbing;

 And I note it has been reported today in the Herald that;

Odgers was a figure in the Dirty Politics book and last week her Hong Kong-based employer Jeeves Group confirmed she was no longer a consultant for them "by mutual consent".

What's curious  is that she had been a director (see archive link in above article). Wonder what happened there that saw her lose the directorship - only to be brought back in as a consultant? 

by Cam Slater on August 31, 2014
Cam Slater

Of course that narrative all depends on whether or not Matt Nippert is telling the truth, which he isn't.

Cathy did not give Key that email...or anyone else.

by Andrew Geddis on August 31, 2014
Andrew Geddis

As an unreliable narrator who is prone to "embellishments", you'll understand why your version of the truth is questionable. Plus, my story (based on Nippert's) is funnier. So let's go with that.

by Ian MacKay on August 31, 2014
Ian MacKay

It has been said that the email arrived Parliament on Wednesday and before Cathy posted. Someone then must have held it back till after the Leaders debate. Wonder who?

If it is Blue on Blue what happened to the cosy united forum? I wondered weeks ago what the reasonable honest National MPs were thinking. And I wonder again now.

by Kat on August 31, 2014

Oh the irony of it all, ... [ed: Sorry Kat - too personal.]

The factions in the National party are now being publically exposed and contrary to the PR well oiled machine image, show not just division on idealogy or policy but the stark reality of good versus bad. If the rot can be cut out in time National will survive but on current observation there won't be a whole lot of the apple left. 


by Andin on August 31, 2014

"Cathy did not give Key that email...or anyone else."

It must have come from the Void (the mysterious shapeless formless mass which surrounds us) then?? haha

by Kat on August 31, 2014

Ok ed, fair enough, your show. How about this as something not so “personal” but very relevant to the blogger whom must not be mentioned and his friend the recent EX National justice minister.

 Section 116 Crimes Act. Conspiring to defeat justice: Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who conspires to obstruct, prevent, pervert, or defeat the course of justice in New Zealand or the course of justice in an overseas jurisdiction.

Let the inquiry begin.

by Richard on September 01, 2014

@Andin "It must have come from the Void..."

Or it came from GCSB/SIS/National Party survelliance of Collins' computer.

Now, that would be hilarious. 




by Anne Salmond on September 01, 2014
Anne Salmond

Black and blue.

Great interview yesterday, Andrew.  

A few questions.

Do you think there has been some kind of 'black list' operating in Government, with other ministers also gunning for targets, and their efforts being systematically amplified by Whale Oil and his network?

Will it be possible to get a wide-ranging, independent inquiry into the network of Ministers and others linked up with Whale Oil, and how far that network has reached into government?

Can any of this fairly happen before the election? Don't New Zealanders need some facts that they can trust about this before they cast their votes this time around?

Given the gravity of the constitutional issues (and the number of lawyers) involved, shouldn't the Law Society and other similar bodies be exerting themselves to make sure that a robust inquiry is set up - ie. one that can't be rigged? 

Who is going to trust any inquiry set up by government, under the circumstances?

Sorry to be serious, but its hard to laugh while you're throwing up.

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