David Fisher

David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

New leak claim hits Judith Collins

But MP says material showing she discussed Urewera video with blogger is forged

A new claim has been made against Judith Collins in relation to the Urewera raids. Photo / NZ Herald
A new claim has been made against Judith Collins in relation to the Urewera raids. Photo / NZ Herald

Former police minister Judith Collins is depicted in alleged social media conversations discussing the leak of evidence in a high profile case to blogger Cameron Slater, according to new information from the hacker Rawshark.

The alleged evidence was a video connected to the controversial Urewera raids that showed those arrested in an unfavourable light after charges against them were dropped, according to comments attributed to Slater.

The emergence of conversations between Ms Collins and Slater has sparked claims from both parties that the hacker has given the Herald manufactured forgeries.

Ms Collins said she had "no record" of "Facebook conversations" after the Herald sent her material supplied by Rawshark. "I believe you have forged documents. You are likely to have been taken in by a criminal. I am now considering lodging a complaint to police regarding what I believe to be forgeries."

When asked why she referred to Facebook when the Herald never said where the transcripts came from, she said it was the only social media outlet she used other than Twitter.

Slater also said the transcripts were fake, tweeting: "Latest smear is false, I have never had FB conversations with @judithcollinsmp."

Watch: Key announces Judith Collins' resignation

Video

The Rawshark files have Ms Collins contacting Slater late at night in September 2011 to complain about a TVNZ interview subject's views on the Urewera raids. Charges against 13 of the 17 people charged had just been dropped creating a contentious issue for Ms Collins to manage as police minister.

Slater is quoted telling Ms Collins he had an "interesting chat with [Police Association president] Greg O'Connor" on the subject. "There might be a stray video arrive in my PO Box this week," he is said to have told her.

Ms Collins is quoted replying: "Oh gosh, what a shock. The sort of thing that people who are no longer before the courts would want seen."

Slater is said to have responded: "Terrible, not the kind of thing they would want seen since they are portraying themselves as nice people."

Mr O'Connor said yesterday he recalled having the conversation with Slater at the time. However, he said he did not offer to supply the material, did not have it to supply and would not have done so. "That's all chain of evidence stuff. All I know is the conversation I had - anything like that was never going to happen. It would be totally inappropriate for it to be leaked."

A spokesman for Police National Headquarters said: "The video evidence in the Operation Eight case remained under the control of NZ Police."

Minister of Police Anne Tolley would not comment on the claims attributed to Slater.

The purported Collins-Slater conversations alleged to have been faked were sent to the Herald with many other Facebook conversations between the blogger and friends or contacts spanning from 2008 to January this year. Some of those people confirmed to the Herald the content of the conversations was accurate and genuine and that the discussions took place on Facebook.

Rawshark also provided emails between Ms Collins and Slater on a range of other topics that include embedded source code linking them directly to the blogger.

Nicky Hager, who included excerpts of the conversations in Dirty Politics, said: "I totally trust my source would not have made up anything."

Read more of the Herald's coverage:
Hacker releases new Collins conversations
John Armstrong - Crisis calls on Key to use all his skills
Key: National campaign still on track
The money men and how they toppled Collins
Gallery: Collins in cartoons
I'm the victim of a smear campaign: Judith Collins resigns
The email that brought down Judith Collins
Collins resigns: Jared Savage and Fran O'Sullivan respond

Alleged Facebook conversation between Collins and Slater

September 11, 2011
Judith Collins, 12:23am: Cam, did you see Jon Johanson on Q&A this morning? Complete tosser as usual. His idea, re Valerie Morse and co, Police should send local copper up to camp in Ureweras and say the Cops in Wellington think you're up to something so would you mind stopping. So what was Valerie and co training for and why firearms and incendary devices. Were they expecting to be raided by warring deer? Imagine if Police had sent country cop up to warn these people and someone - possibly the country cop - ended up dead. How come people who trade under names like Global Peace and Justice quite happy to support people who allegedly train with firearms and incendary devices? One other question, why has msm person asked Valerie Morse - was she using a firearm? Does she have a licence? Since she is no longer being prosecuted, she should be free to answer.
Cameron Slater, 12:24am: had an interesting chat with Greg O'Connor on Thursday night about this
Collins, 12:24am: Yes?
Slater, 12:25am: There might be a stray video arrive in my po box this week
Collins, 12:26am: Oh, gosh, what a shock. The sort of thing that people who are no longer before the courts would want seen
Slater, 12:26am: Terrible ... not the kind of thing they would want seen since they are portraying themselves as nice people

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 21 Dec 2014 10:17:26 Processing Time: 581ms