ABC Updates

13 November 2021

Disappointment with Waihopai Article on "Stuff" Today



See below for response to Thomas Manch's article, from ABC's Warren Thomson


Murray Horton



Anti-Bases Campaign

Box 2258, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand



From: warren thomson
Sent: Saturday, 13 November 2021 2:40 PM
Subject: Disappointment with Waihopai article




I usually find your articles well-written and informative, but your recent piece on the disestablishment of the Waihopai dishes is extremely disappointing.


  1. The difference in using Hampton’s dismissive ‘subject to a global surveillance system’ [a grossly generalised attack on his critics] and the actual reality of GCSB being ‘part of a global surveillance system’ is immense.
  2. Regarding Five Eyes spying, the appalling nature of it  was not taken from what ‘Snowden said’ but from the thousands of actual NSA documents that he released.
  3. While Hampton says there is no mass surveillance, former GCSB boss Bruce Ferguson actually said on TV that there was [refuting comments by John Key]. I agree the term ‘mass surveillance’ can be bent to almost any cause, but the fact remains that the Waihopai dishes collected massive amounts of data which were then sifted through for particular purposes. [Note that throughout the Five Eyes agencies the legal/ethical usage and disposal of data collected ‘unintentionally’ is a constant theme of critical oversight reports.]
  4. You report Hampton as dismissing the idea that ‘we were somehow tasked by the US and others’; this is the same man who not long ago pleaded the GCSB were blindsided prior to the Chch mass shooting event because they were too preoccupied with following the priorities of their Five eyes partners.
  5. It would be good to see more investigation into how the GCSB will now carry out its spying tasks; including whether the planned new pacific cable will have a lead through a Five eyes base like all the other cables are reputed to do.


I understand you are extremely busy and under constant work pressure. But can I ask that your next article related to NZ’s spook be given a little more time and investigation. We need our most respected journos to keep on the ball.




Warren Thomson

Member of the Anti Bases Campaign with keen interest in NZ spy history.