Dirty Politics: How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment is a book by Nicky Hager published in August 2014.
The book is based on emails hacked from Cameron Slater’s Gmail account and on Facebook chats. These communications occurred around the same time that a denial-of-service (DOS) attack took down Slater’s website – the right-wing blog Whale Oil Beef Hooked – and feature hundreds of items of correspondence in which prominent New Zealanders are criticised and vilified. Hager’s book describes a lengthy history of correspondence between Slater and Justice Minister Judith Collins that eventually contributed to her resignation as a Minister. In response to the allegations in the book, Prime Minister John Key said that he talked to Slater on a regular basis. Hager claimed that using bloggers rather than journalists allowed Key to maintain a friendly public persona, while using right-wing blogs as a vehicle to attack opponents. Other bloggers mentioned in the book include Matthew Hooten, Cathy Odgers ( who goes by the name of Cactus Kate) and David Farrar. However, Hager reserves his strongest criticism for Cameron Slater, who he says received payment to write attack articles on public figures who opposed or criticised National Party policy – and Dirty Politics identifies those who paid him.