Williams v Craig defamation retrial ordered

The legal war of attrition looks set to continue in the defamation  battle between Jordan Williams and Colin Craig.

Stuff:  Colin Craig wins latest defamation duel with Jordan Williams, retrial ordered

Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has won a retrial of the case in which he was accused of defaming Jordan Williams.

The bitter and hard-fought case between Craig and Williams, the executive director of the Taxpayers’ Union, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which on Thursday found the High Court jury had been materially misdirected and the case should be run again.

In the first High Court case a jury had found overwhelmingly for Williams and awarded him $1.27 million in damages.

The damages sum was all that Williams had claimed and set a record for defamation awards in New Zealand.

But the High Court judge said it was excessive, set it aside, and ordered a retrial of both the size of the award and whether Williams had been defamed at all.

The Court of Appeal refused to reinstate the damages but said only the part of the case that dealt with damages should be reheard.

Williams was at the Supreme Court in Wellington to hear its 3-2 majority decision delivered. Later he said he would not comment on the decision. Craig could not be contacted.

Neither Williams nor Craig have come out of the initial attacks by Williams via Whale Oil and counter attack via media and mass mail out by Craig, or the 4 week defamation trial, or the subsequent court actions with their reputations enhanced – to the contrary.

And they have added substantially too their loss of reputation by huge and mounting costs.

Decision: https://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/cases/craig-v-williams/@@images/fileDecision?r=564.327631828

Leave a comment


  1. duperez

     /  12th April 2019

    When there are big bouts in boxing or other martial arts the advertising and marketing gurus come out with elaborate labels and tags. This ain’t going to be no ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ or ‘Clash of the Titans,’ we’re not going to see Jordan the Giant Williams v Colin the Crasher Craig but there’s bound to be someone who can come up with a slogan. “Pillocks” would have to be in it somewhere.

  2. Tipene

     /  12th April 2019

    I think for much of the population this will have become a beltway issue, however Craig I think can feel vindicated that his strong belief that something wasn’t right with the outcome of the Williams v Craig trial was correct.

    Williams is now affirmed as being reputationally and financially screwed, Slater is likewise with the addition of a needing a perpetual bib, and John Stringer is financially insolvent, thinking he can achieve what 3 very experienced Lawyers tried and failed to do – take Craig out.

    All of this happened because three useful idiots were desperate to believe the claims of a woman scorned, without any of them first fact-checking her claims.

    And there is more to come.

    Craig v Slater is being appealed; Craig v Stringer is being appealed; Craig v MacGregor is awaiting judgment; and Craig v Williams is underway, as is Stringer v Craig and others.

    Craig has ultimately won in the highest Court in the land – anyone want to bet against him ultimately winning within any other jurisdictions now?

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  12th April 2019

      We don’t have a beltway in NZ, so it won’t be that, but it is a total bore.

  3. Ray

     /  12th April 2019

    Two blind men fighting over a pair of glasses!

  4. Gezza

     /  12th April 2019

    If these two are contending for World’s Greatest Circus, they are never going to match either May’s Brexit or Trump’s America for scale.

  5. Duker

     /  12th April 2019

    Almost as bad as the Eminem case against national , who national seemed to chew up money to fight it to the bitter end. And that now dead hotelier who went after Little and mostly lost and his executor ( wife) tried to continue the battle from the grave.

    I can see some of the things written about Jones being possible for defamation action, as they seem to think anything goes. They make the basic mistake of trying to be strictly correct but leaving open ‘imputations’ that an ordinary reader would make. The Actor in Sydney won big on exactly those sort of situations against Newscorp. The story had lots of his denials ( which they thought were a safe way to go) but the headlines said King Leer.

    • Tipene

       /  12th April 2019

      One thing that has surprised me in all of this is that the media have a protection of qualified privilege in that they can report information shared in a court, whether or not that information being shared is true. They can’t be sued for reporting false information, but they can be challenged to amend a story once it has become public. So the media can write pretty much whatever they like when reporting on a court case.

      • Duker

         /  12th April 2019

        Not write what they like, it must be what is said in court or presented as evidence. Same as for parliament, only report what is said. Doesn’t apply to analysis of what is said


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