It is nearly impossible to steal emails, because to be stealing you have to take something so that the owner no longer has it (not only blindingly obvious but also in the Crimes Act).
So if we go with the common rumour that Brash’s emails were printed out, and imagine someone with legitimate access to them made copies then it’s notÂ theft, in fact I can’t see how it would even be criminal. Another scenario, someone forwards the emails on to someone else, again notÂ theft, and I can’t see how it’s criminal.
The Nats know this, they know it won’t have been theft and is really unlikely to have even been criminal but they keep saying “stolen emails” over and over. They say it because it’s spin – the exact same kind of spin documented in The Hollow Men – they say it because it smears Nicky Hager and it distracts from what the emails show about their behaviour. That makes sense, that’s politics: dirtier than I’d like it to be but no more dirty that we expect from the Nats.
So the question becomes, why do the media keep repeating that National spin?