David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

Election 2014: Dirty Politics author gives his verdict

Nicky Hager: "What we saw in the results was that National won, Labour was pretty discredited and piles of people didn't vote - that's what my book was about."
Nicky Hager: "What we saw in the results was that National won, Labour was pretty discredited and piles of people didn't vote - that's what my book was about."

The election turned out like it did because the attack politics described in Dirty Politics work. That's the verdict of author Nicky Hager, and it appears to have found agreement with one of the subjects of his book, Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.

At that point the two separate - Hager says the book was never going to reverse the impact dirty tricks already had, while Slater has posted on his blog that there was no impact because New Zealanders simply don't care.

The accusations and issues which emerged during the tumultuous election period will dog National's first year back in power.

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There is an inquiry into the alleged tip-off which saw Slater seek and receive intelligence material through the Official Information Act.

Another inquiry has been launched into allegations former Cabinet minister Judith Collins was involved in a campaign to undermine the Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley.

An inquiry by the Chief Ombudsman into the handling of OIA requests is forecast to focus on a number of ministers' offices.

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Hager said the issues revealed "have to be addressed" and should be seen as "accountability" in a democracy rather than attacks on National. "What we saw in the results was that National won, Labour was pretty discredited and piles of people didn't vote - that's what my book was about.

Nicky Hager CHCH Book Launch

Video

"It shows their tricks and smears and the systematic abuse of power I wrote about has a damaging effect. Writing about it is part of the road towards trying to fix it.

"These issues have begun - they haven't ended - with the election day. The result was always likely to be what it was."

- NZ Herald

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