What Whale Oil isn’t telling their readers

Whale Oil is feeding misinformation to it’s readers about the defamation cases that Cameron Slater is embroiled in, and they are not telling them the facts that would enlighten readers to the grim reality of legal and financial holes dug by Slater himself. Claims that vexatious litigants have dragged out the cases are in some cases at least the opposite of the truth.

Particularly in the six and a half year Blomfield v Slater defamation it is Slater who has opposed, appealed, dragged things out, and failed to file a defence after numerous attempts (which appear to be mostly trying to continue the attacks against Blomfield).

Whale Oil is not being open and honest about the facts of the three cases involving Slater. And I haven’t seen them reveal at all that the company that owns Whale Oil, Social media Consultants, is also included in court actions.

As a result, comments like this are being posted at Whale Oil:

No other journalist in NZ has so many honest people behind him.

Karma will get them in the end, and the continued growth of WOBH will ensure increasing numbers of people get to hear what’s really going on.

You might have been temporary lost in some of the battles, but you will win the war.

Some people are so vindictive they just can’t let go.

I was wondering how many court cases were still pending and how that was going to be handled. I know you would rather fight on and take it to them, but I’m certain that you are getting the right advice, health comes first.

You’ve been brutally fearless and a force of nature on the political landscape.
Stay fearless and apply those traits in your recovery.

It’s too bad that those responsible for this, the vexatious litigants, will never face the costs they should do.

As for the litigants not giving extra time, have they not dragged this on for years already?

That’s more forthright than you normally expect, these days. Our martyr for free speech. Makes one want to join the Whale army, if it exists.

A lot of irony in there. And misconceptions and/or sock puppet misinformation.

Is it possible to tell us without too much detail just who the litigants are on the three outstanding actions?

Whale Oil is keeping the facts from their readers.

Yesterday in An update on Cam’s health ‘Whaleoil staff’ claimed:

This has led Cam to make the very difficult decision to declare bankruptcy, since he is unable to generate enough passive revenue to fund the three extremely expensive and in his opinion, vexatious, defamation actions against him.

They are right that the actions are likely to be extremely expensive. Costs alone are likely to add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars – Slater himself has previously said that’s the likely cost of defamation defences.

But court documents suggest that if anyone has been vexatious, or bringing costs upon himself, it is Slater.

From ( (pre-defamation trial) SELLMAN & ORS v SLATER & ORS NO 5 – COSTS [2018] NZHC 58 [7 February 2018] in which Slater was first defendant, and the plaintiffs were were Sellman, Swinburn and Frederick:

It is a fundamental principle of New Zealand civil law that costs follow the event – a losing party pays a winning party a contribution towards their legal costs. The question of who has won and who has lost is guided by the interests of justice and must be viewed in terms of “who in reality has been the successful party”.

Overall, I consider the plaintiffs  did enjoy substantive success.

The time-bar strike-out applications by all five defendants involved argument about, and determination of, a relatively untested aspect of New Zealand defamation law, based on policy considerations. But the applications all failed. I award costs to the plaintiffs in respect of this aspect of the applications on a 2B basis.

The abuse of process strike-out applications also failed…On a net basis, accordingly, I award costs to the plaintiffs, in respect of this aspect of the applications, of 90 per cent against the first defendant and 80 per cent against the second and third defendants.

Assuming, as I do for this purpose, that each of the three aspects of the strikeout applications of the proceeding by the first, second and third defendants were of equal weight, the result is that I award to costs to the plaintiffs of 93 per cent of the costs for the first defendant’s strike out application…I discount each award by a third. So the first defendant will pay 62 per cent.

The first, and the second and third defendants’ applications to strike out the ss 39 and 41 notices simply failed. They will each pay two thirds of the costs of that to the plaintiffs on a 2B basis.

All defendants will pay the costs of the one-and-a-half-day hearing and the plaintiffs’ disbursements jointly and severally.

So costs were awarded against Slater in failed actions. Slater was represented by two lawyers so presumably would have accrued costs of his own too.

From SELLMAN v SLATER [2018] NZHC 3057 [23 November 2018]:

Should Mr Slater and Mr Graham be examined?

[60] I have examined Mr Slater’s and Mr Graham’s answers to interrogatories. I am concerned their statements that Whaleoil did not publish blogposts for reward are not consistent with the evidence to which the plaintiffs point, which suggests that was done in specific instances. They are inconsistent with reasonable inferences from the emails obtained by the plaintiffs. And they are inconsistent with Mr Graham belatedly accepting he did do so in respect of blog posts about Mr Clague once evidence of that was adduced. I am also concerned a number of other aspects of the interrogatories may not have been properly responded to, regarding: who was the author of the blog posts; the involvement of each of the defendants in their preparation; downloading of blog posts; authorship of the comments; and payments received. I consider Mr Slater and Mr Graham have made insufficient answer to the interrogatories.

[61] I consider the most efficient means to elicit answers to the plaintiffs’ questions is for Mr Slater and Mr Graham to attend Court for up to one day to be orally examined.

Slater has provided inconsistent insufficient answers and is being called to appear in a court hearing to answer questions.

It looks to me that either through evasiveness or incompetence (or both) Slater is prolonging the action.

Mr Henry advised at the hearing that Mr Slater would have to file a new amended statement of defence to substitute the new public interest defence for qualified privilege.

Similarly, the application to strike out affirmative defences falls away with the filing and impending filing of new affirmative defences. I record that, if the previous sets of pleadings by Mr Slater, Mr Graham and FCL had remained extant, I do not consider they should have been struck out but they would have needed to be amended to provide greater specificity of particulars in relation to the defences.

More insufficient information and changing defences.


Mr Slater, Mr Graham and FCL will provide further particular discovery to the plaintiffs and other defendants, within 15 working days of this judgment


If costs cannot be agreed between the parties they have leave to file written submissions of no more than five pages within 10 working days of the date of the judgment

So Slater appears to be responsible for ongoing delays and further court appearances, and is incurring further costs.

A telephone conference was scheduled for this case in the High Court yesterday, the same day that Whale Oil posted:

The prospect of on-going ill health and potential further strokes means the advice of his medical team, lawyer, accountant, family members and those who, due to his incapacity, would have been appointed his guardians ad litem, is for him to completely withdraw from any activity other than rehabilitation.

It’s understandable that Slater would want to withdraw from any ongoing court actions, but I don’t know if the judge will buy it.

From CRAIG v SLATER [2018] NZHC 2712 [19 October 2018], just prior to Slater having a stroke, claiming media stress (Slater is first defendant, Social Media Consultants is second defendant):


I declare under s 24 of the Defamation Act 1992 that Cameron Slater and Social Media Consultants Limited are liable to Colin Craig in defamation for the untrue statements…

I dismiss Mr Slater’s causes of action in defamation against Mr Craig by way of counterclaim.

So Slater failed in his defence, and he also failed in his counter claim against Craig.


[655] Rule 14.2 of the High Court Rules 2016 provides as a primary principle that a party who fails with respect to a proceeding should pay costs to the party who succeeds.  The rule also provides that an award of costs should reflect the complexity and significance of the proceeding. Bearing in mind that each of the parties has both succeeded and failed in the proceeding in varying degrees, and having regard to the complexity and significance of the proceeding, it will be obvious that the determination of costs will require careful consideration by the parties and by the Court.

Due to his failed counter claim it looks unlikely that Slater will be awarded any costs, and may have substantial costs awarded against him.

From Blomfield v Slater [2018] NZHC 2781 [26 October 2018] (Slater first defendant, Social media Consuktants second defendant):

[139] It is therefore apparent that the defendants took no heed whatsoever of the description provided by Lang J in his judgment of 18 May 2018 as to the pleading requirements for the defences of truth and honest opinion. In the circumstances it is clear that the defendants have chosen to adopt the general and unspecific approach later taken in the 3ASOD pleading those defences.

[140] By adopting this approach, the defendants have entirely failed to plead any facts and circumstances relied on to support their defences of truth and honest opinion.

[142] Accordingly, in the absence of any proper particulars that would enable the trial to proceed in a focused and orderly manner, I ruled that the defendants may not adduce any evidence directed at advancing the defences of truth and honest opinion…

[144] The proposed evidence clearly contains opinions and conclusions that the first defendant cannot offer as admissible evidence…


[147] The effect of my judgments is to preclude the defendants from adducing any evidence directed at supporting the defences of truth and honest opinion, as well as any evidence directed at showing the plaintiff to be a person of bad reputation. This unusual situation is the direct consequence of the defendants’ failure to plead their case in accordance with the requirements for pleading the defences of truth and honest opinion and the requirements for adducing evidence directed at establishing bad reputation. The defendants have had considerable time and a number of opportunities to get their pleadings in order, leading to the Court giving them a final opportunity to replead their defences in May 2018. Despite this leniency, and the impending trial
fixture, the defendants failed to properly plead their defences in the 3ASOD and it was not until the trial was a fortnight or so away that they took steps to apply to file a further amended pleading that significantly recast their case yet still failed to comply with the requirements of pleading. Then, when that application was dismissed and the trial was to commence, they applied again to file a yet further amended pleading which also significantly recast their case and contained numerous deficiencies in pleading.

After six and a half years Slater could not put up a credible defence. This played out in court mid October last year, with the judgment being given just prior to Slater having a stroke claimed to be due to stress from media.

[148] Although the effect of my rulings and judgments may appear harsh, this outcome underlines the importance of proper pleading and of compliance with procedural rules and timetable orders. In this case the defendants’ failure to comply with those requirements have resulted in them placing themselves in the situation in which they now find themselves.

“defendants’ failure to comply with those requirements have resulted in them placing themselves in the situation in which they now find themselves” – not due to vexatious litigants, due to hopeless defendants.

Both an award of damages and awards of costs are yet to be determined.

From Blomfield v Slater [2018] NZHC 171 [15 February 2019]:

[20] Here there is no concern that the reasons judgment contains any confidential information of the defendants, nor any information that would be likely to adversely affect the defendants’ fair trial interests if released for publication. While it is likely that publication of the results judgment may be unwelcome and somewhat embarrassing for the defendants, those consequence arise from the manner in which they themselves, particularly the first defendant, have conducted these proceedings during the past six-and-a-half years.

Again the responsibility for his predicament is Slater’s.

[24] I decline to determine the costs on the interlocutory applications brought by the defendants at this time.

Deferred pending an appeal.

[25] I direct that the Registrar recover $12,800 of the balance owing for Court fees from the defendants. The remaining $1,600 (unless it has already been paid by the time of this judgment) is to be recovered from the plaintiff.

Yesterday following the post on Whale Oil, Blomfield responded via NZ Herald:  Cameron Slater’s stroke – what defamation victim Matt Blomfield says the evidence shows about the blogger’s health

The businessman who successfully battled Whale Oil’s Cameron Slater over defamation claims the blogger’s claim ill-health drove him to bankruptcy is contrary to evidence and should be treated with suspicion.

Matt Blomfield told the Herald he was basing his view on evidence which had emerged during the final stages of the seven-year defamation battle.

He said he was making the details public over concern Slater was attempting to gain sympathy from the public and seek donations from readers, as he has done over the course of the prolonged court case.

Blomfield said the High Court ruling was followed by Slater filing with the Court of Appeal then seeking to delay the subsequent hearing on the basis of ill-health.

He said Slater was then obliged by the court to provide evidence supporting his claims around his health and “that evidence simply didn’t support his application”.

“He has told the public he had two strokes, but the evidence showed he had only had one. He keeps repeating the fact that the stroke was caused by stress and that he must now avoid stress.

“However, the medical evidence is that his particular stroke has nothing to do with stress and he is in no more danger of another stroke due to stress than any other person.

“He claimed to have cognitive and language impairment because of his stroke, but the evidence showed he had none.

“He claimed to be too incapacitated to communicate with his lawyers, but he was simultaneously engaging in political discussions in the comments section of the Whale Oil website.”

Slater was commenting on Whale Oil soon after he had his stroke, and continued for months until recently.

Blomfield said the Court of Appeal gave Slater until February 22 to provide evidence supporting his claims of ill-health.

“He filed no response at all. Instead, he applied for bankruptcy. He is now saying his proceedings need to be halted for that reason.

“He is doing everything he can to avoid the consequences of his own nefarious actions.”

Blomfield said “this will not work” and a full Court of Appeal hearing next month would rule based on the evidence.

So Slater failed to file evidence of ill health to the Court of Appeal, but instead unsubstantiated claims were made on Whale Oil yesterday, with most of the facts of the cases again omitted.

As well as the misinformation and misleading, Whale Oil seems to be in denial of reality. Comments from yesterday’s post:

He really sees that as a good thing? ‘Nige’ is one of the site managers. I wonder how much information  he has been given – I mean facts rather than fiction and fantasy.

The second last word from ‘Whaleoil staff’:

Contrary to many naysayers’ opinions, the Whaleoilsite is continuing to grow and expand. This is very similar to the way Breitbart survived its founder Andrew Breitbart’s death. Whaleoil has become very much bigger than just Cam. Unlike Breitbart, when and if Cam’s health allows, he will return to the site, subject entirely to his medical team’s clearance.


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  1. Blazer

     /  27th February 2019

    Tactical miscue by Slater.

    He should have run the mental health line…feeling suicidal…that is en vogue these days,and is a lot harder to disprove.

    • Traveller

       /  28th February 2019

      Do not lament the loss of this duffer. His mojo has been MIA for years
      There is some cause for my rejoicing this day as the right has an old friend back. Her story is so convoluted I cannot do justice with any form of paraphrase. Suffice to say we finally have somebody of intellect and truly and wonderfully flawed to offer fresh political and social commentary.

      I offer up these nuggets for your appraisal.

      “I am enjoying Winston Peters term as Prime Minister, graciously assisting Jacinda Ardern in her role as NZ’s ambassador for Plunket worldwide. And I actually like watching Clarkee Gayford return to work after the shortest time in the history of man being a stay at home father. Proving once and for all how mind numbingly boring women of a greater intellect than Clarkee must find looking after children. “Man would rather hang out on boat with line in water waiting for fish they find by GPS deep sea finder than be with child”.

      And ….

      “The final sign from someone else’s God to my return was when I was handed a red, white and blue JT for Mayor card on Friday evening at the best bar in Auckland, Headquarters in the presence of Wild Willie, JT and Matt McCarten. It was like JT was running for the reverse of the French Presidency that card, with the oldest band of rogues in town back together. I question his use of running mate in Chris Fletcher. Fletcher is possibly Auckland’s largest pseudo-Socialist and should every year be charged under the Fair Trading Act for misuse of the good Fletcher name. At least Sian Elias practiced her socialism and therefore often misuse of her very high position in life under her maiden name. I don’t know precisely what is going on in Auckland currently but when you see Michelle Boag hanging out with the Tamaki’s, Donna Awatere-Huata put in charge of the biggest fraud there is, Maori Climate Change with Jevan Goulter lurking predatorily on the fringes sipping slowly on one warm glass of champagne claiming to be some sort of entrepreneurial social denizen – you know nothing good can possibly be going on here.

      When in receipt of JT’s Mayoralty card my thinking went like this…..

      If John Tamihere can have according to the NBR 3 drink driving convictions, insult New Zealand’s most competent (if not misguided) PM in Helen Clark, Senior Labour MP’s, homosexuals, women as front bums, say how sick and tired he was hearing that Jews were gassed, stood down as a Minister as allegations circled of financial impropriety of his fiefdom, be involved in the Roastbusters disgrace, be cautioned by the SPCA when he left two cats behind, and STILL consider himself capable of running New Zealand’s largest city let alone electable as Mayor.

      I can re-start a fucking blog.”

      Out with the old and in with the new

      Welcome back CACTUS KATE


      PS @PeteGeorge. You get an honourable mention in this piece.

      • Blazer

         /  28th February 2019

        good to see the Cactus back.

        Managed to expunge most of her cyber embarrassements and miscues…hope she didn’t contract any STD’s in her exile.

        HQ the Viaduct…home of the ‘poison dwarf’…

  2. FarmerPete

     /  27th February 2019

    To be very clear, I don’t wish ill health on anyone. However, I find it very hard to feel sympathy for the position Slater has put himself in. Although he claims to be a journalist, I found many of his posts to be more rabid than factual, and his support for free speech doesn’t extend to the commenters on his own blog. This is a stew of his own making.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  27th February 2019

      Ditto. I wouldn’t wish a stroke on anyone; it’s bad kharma.

      But I would be glad if Whale Oil folded up. I don’t know how many people regard it as factual (I was abused by Corky for doubting something on WO, on the grounds that a fact is a fact wherever it’s printed and then for pointing out that this presupposed that whatever it was WAS a fact) but I hope that these are a small number,

  3. Lynn Prentice has also posted on this at The Standard.

    Cameron Slater slithers into bankruptcy

    In the private prosecution against lprent and I by Dermot Nottinngham, Slater was named as an informant and an expert witness (he was witness in the APN/Prentice trial in which charges were dismissed).

    In the application to file charges I was accused of conspiring with Prentice, less than two weeks after he banned me from The Standard for a year, immediately following a 1 month ban.

    During a court hearing on costs Nottingham filed a memoranndum (he frequently filed late but this was the latest) a number of preposterous accusations about Blomfield and I. The judge ruled them irrelant to the heasring.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  27th February 2019

      Don’t be so shy about saying me instead of I, PG. You are torturing English grammar. Prepositions govern the accusative.

      • Gezza

         /  27th February 2019

        Never mind that. You need to tell him when to use “its” and when to use “it’s”. God knows I’ve tried. He doesn’t listen. 😐

      • Gezza

         /  27th February 2019

        Anyway, whatever, I’ll have a read of Prentice’s effort.

        • Gezza

           /  27th February 2019

          Not a lot of sympathy for Cam there either. Well, none really.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  27th February 2019

            ‘It’s’ for ‘its’ is not as bad as confusing I and me. I never hear ‘Me went to town’ or ‘ He gave I a present’, so why do people say ‘ Me and Jack went to town,’ or ‘He gave Jack and I a present.’ ???

            • Gezza

               /  27th February 2019

              Oh no, I disagree. The rule is extremely simple. “It’s” is normally only ever a contraction of “it is” or sometimes “it has” (as in “it’s been a frequent grammatical error”).

              So its consistently incorrect use is painful to the brain of those who know better, unless it’s just the odd rare typo.

              Whereas me and I errors when written are more excusable, because they are so frequently made in vernacular speech.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  27th February 2019

              I find them both irritating. Me/I is grating because it’s said and one has to hear it, but if someone thinks that ‘it’s’ is right and says it, one doesn’t have HEAR it.

              It’s a pretty colour, that’s part of its charm.

              It’s a pretty colour; that’s part of it’s charm. OUCH.

              The greengrocer’s apostrophe is maddening. Why do people assume that a plural needs it, and why don’t the fools notice that it isn’t in use in books and other print ? There’s no logic in it.

              Me/I is inexcusable.

              It’s obvious that one wouldn’t say that ‘Me went to town.’ so why say that ‘ Me and Jack went to town.’ ?

            • Gezza

               /  27th February 2019

              Jesus, Wilkinson. Look at the trouble you’ve caused, now. Should’ve just let that go.

            • MaureenW

               /  27th February 2019

              Agree entirely 🙂

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  27th February 2019

              It’s really jarring !!!

            • Corky

               /  27th February 2019

              .Millennials ask Siri.. what hits has Greengrocer had.🤔

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  27th February 2019

              Do you know what a greengrocer’s apostrophe is ?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  27th February 2019

              A greengrocer’s apostrophe is the generic term for an ‘ used pointlessly and wrongly in a plural.

              Cabbage’s and onion’s.

            • Gezza

               /  27th February 2019

              “Why say that ‘ Me and Jack went to town’.?

              Because if Jack went to town with me, then Jack and me went to town. It actually seems to make more sense to say that. It sounds dreadful to say that Jack went to town with I.

              Possibly might work ok for Zedd but he has I&I to go to town with, in which case, he could probably get away with saying that “me & I went to town”?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  27th February 2019

              Jack and I went to town, then I came back.

              Jack and me went to town, then me came back…the idiots who use me as the active person should say that to be logical in their stupid way,

            • Gezza

               /  27th February 2019

              I feel we should probably let this go now because it’s getting rather long and ever more tedious & it has very little to do with the actual topic of PG’s post. I blame Sir Alan for this entire diversion. I’m not necessarily saying it’s all his fault. I’m just saying I blame him.

  4. Corky

     /  27th February 2019

    Only the most ardent WO sycophants would believe the bs being spun at the moment.

    Many of those blowing smoke up Whaleoil’s blowhole at the moment are trolls rolling on the floor piddling themselves at Cams predicament. Even some commentators avatars take the piss.

    • Griff.

       /  27th February 2019

      I dont think that word means what you think it means Corky.
      In fact as this blog is actually owned by someone who was at the receiving end of cams nest of fuckwittery you are the troll on here .
      Wipe that blubber from your mouth ……..

      • Corky

         /  27th February 2019

        Yep, still can’t read I see, Griff. In fact a better template for a troll I have yet to see.
        You can’t even get your script straight…and that avatar shows no class. Whip across to the Whaler and see how the pros do it.🤐

      • Mother

         /  27th February 2019

        Is that why Corky said I’m not a Christian? I tried to suggest some sense to Mr Slater, for Jesus’ sake, around October. I had only just discovered the WO site and I enjoyed the articles at first. Then I sensed the extremism and I was worried for them. I also briefly wanted them to post my testimony. They never replied. My messages to Mr Slater were designed to encourage him. I liked his fervour in ‘right thinking’ but I could also detect hate. I tried once to comment there but it wasn’t taken. All my other messages were via texts.

        Why oh why do blogs have to be so hard to understand? Are you a Whaler as well as a strange Catholic priest Corky?

        Trolling is hurtful. Corky telling me that I’m not a Christian (after the PCANZ throwing me out as though Jesus has no place for me) was hurtful. Corky, why are you hurting people?

        • Mother

           /  27th February 2019

          Imagination goes on now – perhaps Corky is a SDA. That church is proving itself, as time goes on (they’re relatively young), as anti Christian and cult like.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  27th February 2019

            To Corky, anyone who disagrees with him is a troll, Mother, as in anyone who proves that he’s, well, let’s say inventing things like being in the UK and going to France by train (he couldn’t say that he’d used the Channel ferry because he knew that I have done this many times). He once began ranting about my belief in God and vaccinations totally irrelevantly to the topic as if these were insults.

            He seems to think it clever to be abusive and offensive and has been barred for this. Don’t let the silly little man hurt you, that’s what he wants ! He has to make himself feel good by trying to put other people down.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  27th February 2019

              I also think that he doesn’t know what a sycophant is.

  5. Tipene

     /  27th February 2019

    Turn him – he’s done.

  6. unitedtribes2

     /  27th February 2019

    I guess CS is trying to get in first before the plaintiffs do. Regardless the only likely asset would be the blog itself and I cant see that that could escape the process.
    It is interesting that Spanish Bride predicted CS ill health the week before it happened in a post declaring the Cam will be out of action due to the court cases coming up which causes him lots of stress and health risks. I guess she has a crystal ball.

  7. David

     /  27th February 2019

    If I was in a sticky situation would I string everything out right up until the end costing my opponents colossal legal fees then go bankrupt at the last moment possible, probably not.

    If I had a widely read and popular blog would I try and get my legal costs covered for favorable coverage by a politicians secret backer in an election year, probably a vengeful politician so I could dish out some hurt on other MPs I thought had disrespected me, probably not.

    I think Nicky Hagars book was only half done and slanted, I think there could be a better yarn in there.

  8. duperez

     /  27th February 2019

    Not to enter the religious realm, but sometimes things happen which have people saying, “There is a God!”

    Then again when you read some of the garbage from some of the deluded commenters on their site you wonder.

    ” … the continued growth of WOBH will ensure increasing numbers of people get to hear what’s really going on” … “It’s too bad that those responsible for this, the vexatious litigants, will never face the costs they should do.” 🥥🥥🥥🥥

  9. Zedd

     /  27th February 2019

    Is this currently before the courts ?

    …NO Comment…. :/

  1. Slater officially bankrupt, Whale Oil, Whale Meat ownership changes | Your NZ

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