IPCA report into Hager case highlights threats to media independence

Today’s Independent Policy Conduct Authority (IPCA) report into the 2014 raid on Nicky Hager’s home confirms that Police conduct was wrong and overstepped the clear legal protections that journalists have to defend their sources and provide independent critical voices in our democracy, the Green Party said.

“Police have questions to answer about whether journalists from now on can expect to receive better and more lawful treatment than Mr Hager did. Police need to assure all New Zealanders that they are making changes to policy and procedure, to ensure this kind of thing never happens again,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“The report has acknowledged mistakes and unlawful behaviour by Police in relation to the raid of journalist Nicky Hager’s home in 2014, which threaten vital media independence.

“The report is clear that the mistreatment of Mr Hager was the result of systematic failures by the Police, not the actions of any particular Police individual.

“The IPCA has found that Police acted unlawfully. Lessons must be learned and Police need to make sure all their personnel are aware of the important democratic role that journalists play in Aotearoa New Zealand and the legal protections they have,” said James Shaw.

The IPCA report follows a complaint laid by then Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei in 2015, following a High Court judgement that the search warrant used was “fundamentally unlawful.”

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