John Key: Suspension of Whaledump Twitter account nothing to do with us

By David Fisher, Derek Cheng

Hacked emails from blogger Cameron Slater (right) featured prominently in the book Dirty Politics and via the Twitter account @whaledump which has been suspended. Photo / NZ Herald
Hacked emails from blogger Cameron Slater (right) featured prominently in the book Dirty Politics and via the Twitter account @whaledump which has been suspended. Photo / NZ Herald

Prime Minister John Key said the National Party had nothing to do with the shutting down of the @Whaledump Twitter account.

The Twitter account was used to drip-feed information taken from the computer of the Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater.

Mr Key said: "We've had no involvement. It's really nothing to do with us. We don't know anything about it."

He also said the party had no involvement with any police action against @WhaleDump.

"In the end ... if people want to take action, that's their call. But we just roll with the punches."

He said he had had to change his mobile phone number because there was a clue to his number in one of @WhaleDump's releases.

"It's a little bit frustrating, because when I ring people, they don't know who I am, even though I tell them, and when I text them to tell them I've changed my number, they don't believe me."

Asked what he thought about the account being shut down, he said: "Don't care."

The account has been used over recent weeks, apparently by the hacker "Rawshark", to drip feed information aimed at backing up claims in Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics.

Slater, who has laid a complaint with police about the hacking of his emails, tweeted: "And @whaledump is dead...good job."


What you'll see if you search for the @whaledump account on Twitter.

However, the hacker known as Rawshark, popped up with a new Twitter account, just hours after having his original outlet suspended.

Rawshark contacted the Herald to say he has set up the @whaledump2 account - and backed up the claim by releasing information he says was taken from the hack attack on the Whaleoil blog.


Mr Key said he not had any briefings on the latest @WhaleDump releases about National MP Simon Bridges and the changing of Government contract arrangements for cleaning companies.

He also had no advice on releases about former National MP Katherine Rich, who now heads the Food and Grocery Council and also sits on the Health Promotion Agency board.

Mr Key did want to say whether it was appropriate for her to receive public money through the HPA.

"I wouldn't want to offer a view on it, unless I could see all the facts," Mr Key said.

He said his meeting earlier this week with spy heads Rebecca Kitteridge and Ian Fletcher had nothing to do with @whaledump, or the investigation into the release of SIS information to Whale OIl blogger Cameron Slater.

This week the @Whaledump account began releasing information which purported to be social media conversations between former Cabinet minister Judith Collins and Slater. The pair had called the transcripts "forgeries", which Rawshark denied.

The account, at the time it was suspended, had more than 9000 followers, overtaking Whaleoil's 7700 in just a few weeks.

- NZ Herald

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