Police raid on Hager’s house illegal – High Court

Judgment "very good news for New Zealand journalism," says Nicky Hager.

Wellington High Court judge Justice Clifford has found the police search of investigative journalist Nicky Hager's home on October 2 was illegal.

The judge declared that the warrant for the search – conducted in the aftermath of the 2014 election and the release of Mr Hager’s Dirty Politics book – was “fundamentally unlawful” because police failed to disclose relevant information to the judge who issued it.

On that basis, Justice Clifford also found the search itself illegal.

In a media release issued by his lawyer, Felix Geiringer, Mr Hager says he’s happy about the decision because of the important principles it upholds.

"The heart of the case is the public's right to receive information about the actions of people in positions of authority,” he says.  

“This decision acknowledges that confidential sources used in investigative journalism, in this case, my book Dirty Politics, deserve legal protection ... [it’s] very good news for New Zealand journalism."

The police have issued their own, terse response to the judgement.

It consists entirely of assistant commissioner Malcolm Burgess being quoted as saying, “Police received Justice Clifford’s decision this afternoon. We will take time to study the decision and consider further legal options with Crown Law.”

Read the judgment here

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