The decision to publish today the story about an apparent hack of Phil Goff's emails has not been made lightly.
The NZ Herald received last month an anonymous email, from a person claiming to be in possession of more than 15,000 emails purportedly sent to and from Auckland Mayor Phil Goff's personal email address between 2007 and 2019.
Senior investigative reporter David Fisher set about to confirm the veracity of the claims.
The NZ Herald does not engage in chequebook journalism. We do not pay sources - let alone a possible criminal - for information.
So while the anonymous emailer sought $20,000 as a "fair price" for the emails, at no stage did we entertain, or partake in, any negotiation. From the outset, our journalist engaged the tipster so he could seek the truth.
As part of that, we received a small selection of the purported emails. Today's story does not go into specific details from them.
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Any of Mr Goff's emails clearly of a personal nature are, of course, his own business. But some of the emails appear to feature Mr Goff's work as a publicly elected and paid official.
Mr Goff has been a public figure for many years - as an MP, a Minister and now as Auckland Mayor.
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Voters - the public - deserve to know that he appears to have been engaging in political and public work through a personal email address.
Mr Goff himself said in 2011, after then-Foreign Minister Murray McCully's private email was hacked: "Anything (of) an official nature should be going through protected channels."
We approached the police more than a week ago as we investigated the matter. We are co-operating with the police to the best extent possible and will continue to do so.
We have no idea who the tipster is, their whereabouts, or how they came to be in possession of the emails.
The story raises important issues around the safety of email networks - and serious questions as to why a private email address appears to have been used for public matters.
If Mr Goff, a politician of considerable standing and seniority, is doing it, are there others?