International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

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Journalist Profile

Nicky Hager

Nicky Hager, New Zealand, is an independent investigative reporter and writer.

He has specialized in investigating military and intelligence agencies and the political activities of public relations companies and corporations. Hager has focused on issues of secrecy and democratic accountability and has written ground-breaking articles on New Zealand’s special forces, intelligence agencies and surveillance laws.

His book Secret Power (1996) revealed and described the Western intelligence system known as Echelon. Based on interviews with intelligence officers and fieldwork in several countries, the book led to a year-long European Parliament investigation into Echelon.

His book Secrets and Lies, The Anatomy of an Anti-Environmental PR Campaign (1999) was based on hundreds of leaked internal PR papers and documented the techniques used by PR companies to manufacture political influence and undermine their clients’ opponents.

His book Seeds of Distrust, the Story of a GE Cover-Up (2002) uncovered the activities of multinational companies putting pressure on New Zealand over genetic engineering; and the 2006 book The Hollow Men, a study in the politics of deception was a detailed expose of three years of politics within the New Zealand’s conservative party, the National Party. The book revealed the activities of the unseen actors in politics—political advisers, media spin doctors, contract strategists and pollsters and industry lobbyists—and led to the resignation of the party leader on the day the book was released.

His latest book, Other People's Wars (2011), describes ten years of New Zealand and its allies in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Based on thousands of leaked New Zealand military and intelligence reports, and interviews with special forces officers and officials, it reveals important information about the wars that had never before been published.

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