The Dunedin academic community is in shock today, after respected political scientist Dr Bryce Edwards admitted he was on the payroll of a despicable cabal involving National Party ministers and corrupt public service unionists.
The revelation came after Dr Edwards broke down in tears during a Q&A interview with Paul Holmes.
On the show, Dr Edwards admitted that he owed his extravagant lifestyle to the enormous amounts of cash being funneled into his bank accounts from the National Party, via David Farrar and Matthew Hooton and their PSA allies.
Dr Edwards had been under relentless pressure after Labour MP Trevor Mallard broke the story on Friday.
Mr Mallard disclosed the source of Dr Edwards' funding on the Labour blogsite Red Alert. Further pressure was piled onto Dr Edwards over the weekend on social media sites like Twitter, by Mallard and his colleague and social media guru Clare Curran.
Although the disclosure statement on Dr Edwards's popular NZ Politics Daily email newsletter acknowledges the funding of Curia (David Farrar's company), Exceltium (Matthew Hooton's company) and the Public Service Association, it seems that nobody suspected the scale of the deception.
Mr Edwards told Paul Holmes that the disclosure statement was just part of the ruse.
"We all thought that if we hid the evil in plain sight, nobody would think anything of it. We didn't count on Mallard seeing through it."
Dr Edwards admitted to Paul Holmes that the money for the arrangement arrived every morning from a PSA courier
"The money would come in these brown paper bags, together with a handwritten note with my instructions for the day. It was more money than I'd ever seen in my life," a tearful Dr Edwards admitted.
"I would always a cut to James Meager. The deal was that he would do my dirty work, when I didn't want my name associated with something. In return he got 30% of everything. The rest was my own.
"I spent up bigtime. Fast cars, boats, a chalet in the Swiss Alps, but still I had more money than I knew what to do with.
"I knew I was in over my head, but I couldn't say no. Here was I, just some nerdy politics lecturer, and suddenly I had cash to spend and all the hottest women in Dunedin wanted to be with me."
Dr Edwards told Paul Holmes that he had tried to escape from the arrangement.
"I tried. I told my PSA minders that I'd had enough, and that I was sick of having to write whatever they told me. That was my biggest mistake. The next day David Farrar turned up on my doorstep. I still have nightmares about what he did to me.
"After than I never questioned my orders."
Trevor Mallard said he was delighted to have uncovered such a ruthless and cynical assault on democracy in New Zealand.
"I knew I was onto something as soon as Edwards started to say unkind things about the Labour Party. That was his first mistake. I've always said that as bad as the National Party may be, the real enemy are the traitors on the left.
"I've learned to uncover these conspiracies, having read The Hollow Men back to back at least fifty times. If Bryce Edwards isn't a secret Don Brash supporter, then I know nothing."
It is not clear what the future now holds for Dr Edwards. He told Paul Holmes he was weighing up a lucrative magazine deal with New Idea, but was also considering retiring from academic life.
"I probably can't continue in my current role after this. After what has happened I may even have to look offshore for future employment.
"But I have managed to save some of my earnings, and so I may be finally able to follow my dream of becoming a square dancing caller."