Documents allegedly hacked from Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater have been put online showing links to staff answering to the Prime Minister.
Links to the documents came from the Twitter account @Whaledump - an account set up by a person who has told the Herald it was they who hacked Slater's computer.
The information released today aims to support claims made in Nicky Hager's new book, Dirty Politics.
It shows emails between Slater and an email account Hager linked to Jason Ede, the National Party staff member who until recently worked in the Prime Minister's office, and Slater. Mr Ede has been called National's "black ops" man by Mr Hager.
The release of information is limited to just a cluster of emails - a fraction of the information the hacker claims to have taken from Slater's blog.
The emails include one sent in 2008 - some months before John Key became Prime Minister - from his press secretary Kevin Taylor to Slater which Hager claims marked the beginning of a political dirty tricks campaign run by Mr Slater with the help of Mr Key's former senior communications adviser Jason Ede.
Mr Taylor tells Slater: "Our intention is not to engage with any blogs".
However he goes on to state "Jason Ede asked me to mention he will be giving you a call in the next few days".
Mr Hager says a hacker supplied him with vast amounts of Slater's personal email and social media information taken during an assault on the Whaleoil website in January.
The communications were used by Hager to write his book, which aims to paint John Key's National government as one which allows and encourages dirty political tactics.
Nicky Hager's (left) new book includes exchanges by politicians and Cameron Slater. Photos / Getty, Doug Sherring
The Herald has been in communication with the person claiming to be the hacker for a week.
The hacker made contact with the Herald after Hager announced a book would be published but made no comment about its contents until it was released.
The Herald sought additional information from the hacker to prove claims they were the person who had hacked Slater's website.
The information, which was provided yesterday, showed a range of details which could be directly linked to Slater.
The Whaledump Twitter account.
Separate investigations by the Herald had uncovered the identities of people named in Dirty Politics, including the woman who sought to have her ex-partner moved in prison and an ex-prostitute who was asked to find dirt on people Slater wanted to blog about.
The person claiming to be the hacker was able to identify the same people accurately and supply further information which supported claims they had penetrated the website.
Also provided was Slater's contact list, along with information related to a defamation case the blogger is facing.
The information provided through the link is hosted on the encrypted Mega website set up by Kim Dotcom, who has denied any link to the hacking. Dotcom's Mega website - which is open for public use - allows secure encryption for users, giving the hacker a layer of protection.
The Twitter handle carries the address 3 Hans Cres - the address of the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is exiled.
The handle also includes an encryption key which resolves to Winston Peter's email address.
- Additional reporting Adam Bennett