Dirty book job ‘in­tense’

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By STACEY KNOTT

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

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