Craig v Slater trial – funkstille

There has been radio silence (no media coverage) of the Craig v Slater defamation trial yesterday for legal reasons that will remain unknown until next week when the trial resumes. However ‘Whaleoil Staff’ couldn’t resist saying something about it – against advice.

Yesterday there were no media reports of the trial, and I couldn’t find anything on it this morning.

Until Whaleoil Staff explained. They claim to be journalists and media, and have reported on court proceedings, so I believe I’m allowed to repeat a media report from Court.

Yesterday, the media published nothing regarding the Colin Craig v Cameron Slater defamation case.

1/ the day finished early for a reason we can’t publish

2/ critical twists and turns are suppressed

3/ something…. happened

Yes, I’m teasing you.  But I wish I could actually tell you.  I just about begged to be allowed to give a broad-brush outline of events in court on Friday, but I got a firm “no”.

‘Whaleoil Staff’ then goes on to give a broad brush outline of events.

The day started off with Cam Slater in the witness stand and Colin Craig continuing his questioning.  It was mostly around the issue where the responsibility lies if one media organisation republishes content from another.

After Cam was stood down from the witness stand, Colin Craig asked the Court for permission to introduce new evidence.  After some debate, the Court has allowed it.

This caused a TV-like plot twist that left everyone reeling.

Sadly, that’s the extent to which I’m allowed to cover the detail.   But it explains why no other media has filed on Friday’s proceedings, and we all will have to wait until 10 am Monday morning for the case to continue to discover what, if anything, will be allowed to be published.

With this end of week cliff hanger perhaps Whale Oil will get the attention and publicity they seem to want when Court resumes on Monday.

UPDATE: ‘Spanish Bride’ (Juana Atkins, WO author and Slater’s wife) posted in what looks like graphical exasperation, and has added in comments:

I wish I could tell you all what was revealed unexpectedly yesterday but I can’t. Suffice to say it threw the court into disarray and we were unable to continue. We finished for the day early and retired to a wine bar to process the revelations.

Edit: The revelation struck Cam speechless and I was so shocked tears came to my eyes.

I can imagine that a court case like this with potentially so much money at stake – and potentially the future of Whale Oil – it will be harrowing and emotionally draining. And to be hit with something totally unexpected will make it even harder. The pressure is showing.

Pete Belt has also posted ‘An Easy Weekend’

You people say “I don’t know how they do it every day, filling that blog”.

Well, I do.  And I’m seriously ground down.

So if some of you want to fire off a guest post, I’ll put them up if you email me.

We’re probably going to have a pretty soft weekend to try and recuperate a bit.  I normally don’t let you people see what it takes but I was still working at 1:30am the night before to get all the stuff sorted.

With “developments” late on Friday, it may be that the court case will run over its three week timetable.  So to ensure those of us that make the smoke and mirrors do what they do are not going to fall apart by the end of next week, we’re going to phone it in this weekend.

It will have been a full on week for them. And the trial may be only half way through, according to a comment from Belt:

But I had paced myself for a 3 week trial. Told my mum I was coming to visit for a bit afterwards. And now it looks like it may be a 4 week trial. So it required a reset in thinking, planning and pacing 🙂

The strain is palpable.

UPDATE: One media article has since come out this morning but it’s in general about the trial only – Craig v Slater: Please make it stop

What to make of the shabby and often excruciating slow-motion train wreck smashing into tiny pieces every day at courtroom 14 in the High Court at Auckland, where former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater are talking about sex while going at each other in a defamation counterclaim?

Craig claims Slater wrote libellous things about his conduct with his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor and “other victims”. Slater claims Craig wrote libellous things in response. Yeah, whatever. It’s all so unseemly. And kind of pathetic. Not even titillating. “Please,” emailed one of our most cherished broadcasters this week, when I mentioned to her how I was spending my days, “make it stop”.

…Forget Slater. He doesn’t give a stuff what Craig says about him, couldn’t care less. He’s heard a lot worse, he’s a tough cookie. The real damage is to MacGregor. She took her boss to the Human Rights Commission on sexual harassment allegations, and this is what happens?

…Slater’s lines are the same: “Politics is the best game in town. There are no rules”, etc. At one point he said, “Most MPs I know use the same cab driver all the time because they know they can trust them.” Everybody’s got something to hide. Yeah, whatever.

…And so there’s Craig, the politician manque (everybody’s got something to hide, including a manque), with his soft-faced McKenzie friend Tom Cleary beside him, much of the time going it alone, bashing through the jungles of his personal life. As a skilled defamation lawyer performing the art of cross-examination, he makes a good accountant. “You can’t ask questions he can’t answer,” Justice Kit Toogood admonished him, during his lengthy cross-exam of Slater. On another occasion, he said: “This is not appropriate, Mr Craig.”

So much inappropriate behaviour.

Craig’s argument with Slater is all mano a mano but the people who have to suffer it the most are two women. MacGregor is due to appear in court on Monday or Tuesday. This week, it was Helen Craig’s turn.

“Horrible…Deeply upsetting…Stressful…Horrible….A nightmare….Horrible,” she said in court. She was describing the trauma of reading Slater’s blog posts on Whaleoil. What about her husband’s long, secret history of “inappropriate” poems and all the rest of it? “I was not happy with Colin…I was hurt and annoyed.” Annoyed? Is that all? Improper to ask and even to wonder.

Private lives, private distresses.

All exposed in court – two people trying to prove points against each other, and the rest are collateral damage.


  1. MaureenW

     /  May 20, 2017
    • Yes I saw that just after I posted. It’s about the trial in general and not about what happened yesterday.

  2. Pickled Possum

     /  May 20, 2017

    Jez kids are committing suicide and
    drugs are rolling into our border from you know where,
    the new drug now is porn, which is 50% of internet traffic
    cancer is running riot in our society
    alcohol is killing every day
    tobacco is killing every day
    children abused and starving
    hospitals killing innocent patients (albeit by mistake)
    police are sloow to answer 111 calls
    bullies in the schools can now (accidentally) kill and have name suppression
    Rugby injuries costing taxpayers millions a year
    Gov workers stealing $$$$$$ and getting away with it
    all unabated

    and we now have these 2 clowns wasting more and more of our hard earned dollars.
    Scotty not answering my calls for a beam up today.

    This reminds me of that other narcissistic buffoon who did his own court case
    Clayton Robert Weatherston
    NZ Justice is becoming a Joke
    Poor Judge Kit.

  3. Bill Brown

     /  May 20, 2017

    This trial is so pathetic – Craig should just STFU and move on

    Slater was always going to counter sue, and who wouldn’t

    The crap from Craig’s wife who’s in denial is such an embarrassment

    • Just about everyone else wouldn’t have run the campaign against Craig like WO, wouldn’t have had defamation action against them, so wouldn’t have been in a position to need to consider counter action.

      Craig is legal trigger happy but Slater could easily have avoided it.

  4. Loki

     /  May 20, 2017

    There was no media coverage because?
    A dog ate my homework!
    Or one of the reasons faleoil claims!
    Everybody with a pencil was at the canon media awards yesterday.
    Free champagne trumps Slater every time.

  5. The “spirits are high in our camp” in article conclusion suggests Craig’s witness might have been more in WO’s favour. The wives. There are two prime doormats there – fobbing off affairs, deception, fiscal imprudence and lies.

    We’re a loyal lot us girls.

    • They are trying to sound staunch – except both Belt and SB reveal stresses in their individual posts – but it’s hard to see why Craig would get the court to accept new evidence that is detrimental to his case.

    • Revel

       /  May 20, 2017

      Traveller there are three women being used in this case. McGregor, Mrs Craig and Spanish Bride. Only one being McGregor has grasped this.

      • Revel

         /  May 20, 2017

        It brings me to another thought, [Please don’t speculate on what another person might or might do like that. PG]

  6. Tipene

     /  May 20, 2017

    When one has to state that spirits are high – they ain’t.

  7. duperez

     /  May 20, 2017

    The circus brings to mind the unanswerable question: Would the tent have even been pitched if Craig had agreed to give Rachel MacGregor that raise in pay?

    • Also, would any of this have happened if MacGregor hadn’t had a relationship with Williams? That’s not an attempt to blame her, she had no way of knowing what would transpire out of her control.

      • Loki

         /  May 21, 2017

        Because Bevan Chuang being DESTROYED by the Slater axis of stupid was an obscure easy to miss 100 metre high neon sign!!!!

      • Sally

         /  May 21, 2017

        I hazard a guess she might be having a nice life by now moved on from this toxic lot.