Cameron Slater and ‘Whale Oil Media’ have made a futile point of not naming the victim of Colin Craig’s alleged sexual harassment in EXCLUSIVE: THE POEM COLIN CRAIG DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SEE.
Editor’s note: comments on this article will be moderated carefully. Remember that we are dealing with an innocent victim which WhaleOil Media will not be naming.
This was also attempted in the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story but is just as futile.
It was very clear who the story refers to, and other media have inevitably named the victim.
The Whale Oil article refers to:
“a former staff member”
“relied on one element of the claim, a series of unpaid invoices or a dispute in relation to the employee’s hourly rate”
I’m not aware of there being more than one former employee or staffer of the Conservative Party. And the staffer I know of left in sudden and controversial circumstances:
Conservative Party Press Secretary Resignation
The Conservative Party is given to understand that this morning Press Secretary, Miss Rachel Macgregor resigned althought no formal advice of this has yet been received.
The Party expresses its gratitude for all the hard work and effort that she has put in to the campaign. “The campaign puts stress on everyone and Miss Macgregor has been party of a wonderful team that have given 110%” says Colin Craig.
That was two days before last year’s election. Craig was apparently advised of the resignation by media.
NZ Herald reported Colin Craig’s press secretary quits, reportedly calls him a ‘manipulative man’.
When questioned by media this morning Mr Craig said he did not know Rachel MacGregor had left her job, Newstalk ZB reported.
He told reporters he thought she was having a day off when she failed to turn up for work this morning and said he would talk to her this afternoon.
Ms MacGregor told Newstalk ZB she had left the party as of this morning. Newstalk ZB’s political editor Barry Soper, who broke the news, said she was very upset and had described Mr Craig as a “manipulative man”.
LISTEN TO THE AUDIO HERE
“Colin Craig does campaign on being this wholesome, out-there sort of a bloke, that’s all encompassing, that really is the sort of person we should be looking up to,” Soper said this morning.
“Now if he can’t get his own house in order in terms of staff in the Conservative Party then you’ve got to ask questions.
“It’s really difficult to read too much into it given that there’s simply a very upset press secretary without giving any reasons why she resigned, so it’s really out there. She’s taking public relations advice now, and I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this story.”
He admitted news of her resignation had come as a surprise to him. “This morning she said she wasn’t going to go with me to the interviews, I haven’t had a conversation with her yet [about her resignation] so I’ll find out.”
He continued to insist she was simply taking the day off, saying: “I’ve had a number of staff who’ve had rest days in this last week”.
But pushed on her resignation, said: “I hope that she’ll un-resign, of course, because of the great work that’s gone on, but until I have a conversation with her I’m not going to pre-judge what the concerns that she might have are.”
They also reported on a Q & A held that same day.
While he didn’t directly respond to questions about why Rachel MacGregor quit as his press secretary this morning, he did answer one which asked: “Do the ethics you profess extend to your own behaviour with your own staff?”
Mr Craig responded: “Indeed.”
Another asked him: “How the hell don’t you know a staff member quit? Colin please.”
Mr Craig replied: “I was in media interviews for about 2 hours straight. The resignation occurred during that time. Haven’t developed mind reading skills yet.”
However, he avoided such questions as, “What part of your manipulative behaviour was your secretary referring to?”
Barry Soper broke that story and was one of the first journalists after Slater to discuss yesterday’s revelations, saying:
um you know like Cameron said they’re pretty well known to those of us who are involved in politics.So ah it came as no surprise really.
And this morning NZ Herald makes it clear who the likely victim is.
Press aide’s resignation one of issues facing Craig
The circumstances surrounding former Conservative Party press secretary Rachel MacGregor’s resignation are a factor behind Colin Craig’s decision to stand down as leader, board member Christine Rankin says.
Mrs Rankin said there were a range of issues behind Mr Craig’s decision, and Mr Craig’s and Ms MacGregor’s falling-out was one of them.
“Of course it’s an issue for the party,” Mrs Rankin told the Weekend Herald.
Ms MacGregor made a surprise resignation from the party two days before the September election, accusing Mr Craig of being manipulative. At the time, Mr Craig denied any mistreatment of his press secretary.
Both Mr Craig and Ms MacGregor said they could not comment. The pair are thought to have reached an agreement over their dispute.
It would appear that that agreement may have been broken wide open by these revelations. Slater has referred to a l$100,000 or more settlement:
Slater: …he has settled with a former staff member a large sum of money, I’m told it runs into six figures, and this is for allegations of sexual harassment and the complaint was actually laid with the Human Rights Commission.
Williams: What do you know about this settlement? I take it it was a confidentiality agreement?
Slater: Well i don’t know the exact number and a number of other people who are my sources can’t disclose the exact number but everybody says it’s six figures. Now you don’t do six figure sums for settlement of employment matters which is what Colin Craig told the board, and he also told the board a substantially lower amount of money as well.
I think it would be unusual to have a settlement of that size without a confidentiality agreement, something Slater didn’t rule out.
Slater must have been aware that revealing what he has risked a backlash if an agreement had been broken. And it would almost certainly have attracted significant media interest.
And in this case it is so obvious who the victim must be that “an innocent victim which WhaleOil Media will not be naming” is a futile attempt – almost certainly a knowingly futile attempt – to make it appear as if they value the protection of the victim’s identity.