Thank you from Nicky Hager 20 December 2015
On 2 October last year the police raided our home and I had the hugely encouraging experience of watching hundreds of you coming to my aid on Givealittle: giving money and, just as important, sending kind messages and giving moral support. The financial support made it easy for us to decide to launch legal action, asking the court to declare the police search unlawful and have my computers and files returned without the police getting access to them.
I hope you saw the news last week, where my lawyers Julian Miles, Felix Geiringer and Steven Price resoundingly won the first stage of the legal action. The High Court judge, Denis Clifford, declared that the police search had been "fundamentally unlawful". It is a very important decision for New Zealand.
The court costs and other expenses for this stage (not including lawyers fees) were about $30,000. The police may yet appeal the decision (if they do I think their appeal will fail) but even without that we have two more court hearings coming on different parts of the case. Your combined Givealittle support has taken all the financial stress out of taking legal action, thank you, because we knew we had money to get us through.
There's more of the case coming, including at some stage getting my gear back, but the most important decision is that one that happened last week. It firmly establishes a precedent that if investigative journalism produces work with a high public interest, then it deserves legal protection to ensure that the public can continue to receive important information about the actions of the powerful.
It takes many hands to win a case like this. Meg de Ronde and Rochelle Rees organised the Givealittle campaign. Adam Bolleau, Bryce Edwards, David Fisher, Gavin Ellis, Seymour Hersh and Wayne Stringer provided expert evidence. Many others gave advice and practical assistance. And you all helped the ship to float by your encouragement and by ensuring we could pay the bills. I am very grateful for you joining us in this fight.
Nicky Hager, 20 December 2015