The whale that swallowed New Zealand's election campaign

And now the rest of the world is watching the unravelling of our filthy government. A spectacular exposé alleging prime minister John Key and his National party colleagues were involved in dirty tricks campaigns has created the most significant political maelstrom in nearly six years in office and blown the government’s re-election strategy dramatically off course, writes Toby Manhire

What a difference a book makes. Investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics: How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment” has blown the National party strategy dramatically off course, propelling the campaign into uncharted territory. Its allegations have dominated news bulletins for the 10 days since its publication, as accusations of dirty tricks, smear campaigns and conspiracy sally in every direction.