Dirty book job ‘intense’
The Nelson publisher of Nicky Hager’s latest book Dirty Politics says he stands by Hager and published the book because it was in the public interest.
Craig Potton Publishing co-owner Robbie Burton said its publication of the book was a ‘‘careful and considered’’ decision.
The book, launched on Wednesday night, was based on thousands of emails revealing the extent of the relationship between blogger Cameron Slater and prominent National Party figures.
The publishers originally printed 4000 copies of the book released yesterday morning, but by midday the office was fielding calls from bookstores all over New Zealand requesting more.
They had another 3000 to dispatch to stores through New Zealand yesterday.
There was a process to getting Hager’s books out due to the controversial information in them.
‘‘We have it well rehearsed to do this very quickly, these books are written fast and we have a very intense period of making sure it happens – we just don’t broadcast we are doing it.’’
Burton said he knew about the possibility of the book for ‘‘ some months’’. It was edited over two days, and then printed six days after that.
‘‘It was incredibly intense, we move very, very fast. Most books take months. He’s a very good writer, very thorough and it has been incredibly, carefully checked.’’
Burton said Hager’s track record made it clear the business wanted to publish his latest. While the publisher had to ‘‘go out on a limb’’ with his books, it was a ‘‘very considered’’ decision.
The business could be liable if action was taken against the book, as it could have breached privacy laws.
‘‘Making that call is scary but we think the value of the book and the public interest defence is enough to justify it,’’ he said.
‘‘He’s a very significant writer in New Zealand, despite many politicians wanting to portray him as the enemy. The track record shows he’s willing to take on both National and Labour if there are issues he thinks needs to be brought out.’’
Burton said Hager’s books were ‘‘enormously significant’’.
He hoped it would inspire people to demand more of their politicians. Fairfax NZ