Will trousers stay up at Belt-less Whale Oil

Without much fanfare late yesterday at Whale Oil: Goodbye Pete

Pete has worked his last day at Whaleoil. It marks the end of five years of what has been a rollercoaster ride for all of us. A lot of what happened was not what Pete had signed up for.

Pete has forever changed Whaleoil for the better with his moderation plan. He assured Cam that the initial pushback would be worth the stress and he was 100% right. His expertise in moderating online forums transformed Whaleoil into a place where everyone felt safe to comment and where comments were as much of an attraction for intelligent content as the posts themselves.

Soon after joining Whale Oil Pete Belt led the commenter purges in 2015. While it cleaned up some aspects of the WO forums it also sanitised them, removing critical voices and protecting the post messages – some of which we now know were paid for. Some criticisms have returned, carefully, but it often looks sycophantic like The Standard or The Daily Blog, with dissent moderated out.

“Comments were as much of an attraction for intelligent content as the posts themselves.” Sadly that is mostly delusion. There are some good comments and occasional good posts (most rely on mainstream media content) Whale Oil is nothing like the ground breaking story breaking force it once was. It is now just another blog, albeit still larger than the others, but operating in a corner of New Zealand discussion now dominated by Facebook and to a lesser extent Twitter, and possibly overshadowed by quite non-blog performers like Reddit.

On a number of occasions, Pete stepped up and took up the slack. When Cam was in court for a week and a half he enabled Whaleoil to keep going when the going was really tough and when Cam needed the occasional weekend off to go hunting having Pete on staff made it possible.

Indications are that Belt held WO together through turbulent times, both financially and operationally. He will leave a big deficit in blog management.

Curiously SB (Spanish Bride) posted the announcement that Belt had left. Nothing from her husband in comments either. Perhaps some public thanks are yet to come from Cameron Slater.

Is SB taking over management of WO?

It will be interesting to see what happens there now. With content being nothing out of the ordinary now, apart from some now old hat colourful (or dirty) trashing of people and parties.

With the Belt gone, will the trousers stay up?


Leave a comment


  1. Ray

     /  25th November 2017

    Nice Headline

  2. Blazer

     /  25th November 2017

    love this…’when Cam needed the occasional weekend off to go hunting having Pete on staff made it possible.’….hunting with Lusk…shooting deer in a fenced yard!Part of the attempt at painting a big girls blouse as some macho man=fail.

  3. Gezza

     /  25th November 2017

    Who cares? That’s a serious question. I don’t, I never visit WO & find anything edifying these days. The few times I have followed a link posted here whatever I read left me unmoved & never provided any insight. Never learned anything worthwhile, so why bother is where I’m at. Who would actually be influenced in any way by what they read there?

    • Missy

       /  25th November 2017

      Agree with you there G. Also much of what they post is out of date, which makes me wonder if that is why they never post links (despite their claims). A few weeks ago he did a post on the most trusted professions and quoted an article from years ago (I think it was 2015), but implied it was recent, it was very misleading.

  4. PDB

     /  25th November 2017

    Whaleoil should thank the MSM (the very same MSM they say are dying out and they would be replacing) for providing most of the site’s content outside of all the ‘filler’, though I do note even then Whaleoil post a good day or so behind the release date of most of these stories so their readers are already commenting on old news.

    • Yes always news you’ve seen elsewhere. Nothing ground breaking.

      I noticed recently Pete not on board with the Winston adoration. He had a dissenting piece a few weeks back very anti WRP.

      He changed Whaleoil for the worse with regards to the community though and I never warmed to him.

  5. Westie Bob

     /  25th November 2017

    Given the amount of begging recently by SB I would suggest Pete’s reason for leaving is likely to be financial.

    • PDB

       /  25th November 2017

      Nothing else to keep him hanging around – the place is as dull as dishwater.

  6. Tipene

     /  25th November 2017

    Belt leaving couldn’t possibly have anything to do with a certain upcoming High Court Judgment due to be released in the future……………….could it?

    Fill in the Blanks:

    V–a—u- L—i–y

    I will come back to this at a later date.

    • Helinks

       /  26th November 2017

      Vicarious liability occurs when the master is responsible for the servants actions.
      Pete was never a master despite what he told himself hunched over the mirror every morning admiring the reflection.

  7. [Not appropriate here. PG]


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