Nicky Hager is known internationally for his investigative writing. US intelligence expert Jeffrey Richelson described his 1996 book Secret Power, on global intelligence systems, a ‘masterpiece of investigative reporting’. That investigation won a US journalism award and led to a year-long European Parliament inquiry. Since then his books, contributions to books and articles have been published in many countries. John Pilger wrote that he is ‘quite simply one of the world’s best investigative journalists.’
His 1999 book Secrets and Lies exposed an unscrupulous public relations campaign and his 2002 book Seeds of Distrust was a study of political management of the controversial genetic engineering issue. His fourth book, The Hollow Men, was a detailed exposé of three years of politics within the conservative New Zealand National Party. This book, which prompted the resignation of the party leader on the day it was released, has since been adapted into a successful stage play and feature-length documentary film. All these books were best sellers and The Hollow Men was, in December 2009, judged one of the top ten New Zealand non-fiction books of the decade by the New Zealand Herald.
His 2011 book Other People’s Wars, which examines New Zealand’s role in the war in Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror, has been acclaimed for its impeccable research and outstanding analysis of the war on terror.
In August 2014 Nicky wrote Dirty Politics, a book that became a major bestseller, and completely changed the course of the General Election campaign. Using leaked emails from the Whale Oil blog, it showed how the National Government had been using this, and other blogs, to launch personal attacks and smear campaigns against its opponents, while appearing to not indulge in negative politics. The publication of this book led to the resignation of the Justice Minister Judith Collins, and has resulted in widespread calls from many quarters for an examination about how politics is undertaken in New Zealand.
Nicky has degrees in physics and philosophy and lives in Wellington.