“Bankruptcy is a joke” – Slater

Cameron Slater filed for bankruptcy in February in response to mounting legal debts in multiple defamation proceedings against him. He (via his lawyer Brian Henry) has also tried to use that bankruptcy to try to avoid complying with Court orders in one ongoing defamation case, but Palmer J didn’t agree:

On 20 March 2019, I ordered this proceeding to continue against Mr Slater despite his bankruptcy, under a wide discretion in s 76(2) of the Insolvency Act 2006 (the Act).

I now make it explicit under that discretion and/or under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court to supervise proceedings before it. That means Mr Slater must comply with the court orders irrespective of Mr Henry’s argument about the effect of his bankruptcy. Further argument is not required.

I regard Mr Henry’s submission about the different legal personalities of a bankrupt and a bankrupt estate as a nice academic issue.

I would expect a bankrupt continues to be personally responsible for the discharge of duties in legal
proceedings which are purely personal in nature and unrelated to any property interest of the bankrupt.

The issue here is whether Mr Slater’s bankruptcy necessarily negates the need to comply with the Court’s orders to date. Irrespective of the default legal effect created by Mr Slater’s bankruptcy, I consider it need not and that it does not.

– see judgment CIV-2016-404-1312 [2019] NZHC 1666

In May 2014 Slater posted Bankruptcy is just a joke, really

Bankruptcy is like a toothless tiger that benefits the bankrupt more than the victims.

The number of times bankrupts hide assets and continue to operate companies by using a puppet on the paperwork is so frequent as to make the process of being in bankruptcy pretty much meaningless.

Use of trusts, partners or girlfriends to “own” things and plain hiding of assets from the Official Assignee are very common.

What isn’t common is for bankrupts to be prosecuted for this behaviour.

It is good to see this may be changing.

See (Stuff):  Whale Oil company previously owned by Cameron Slater goes into liquidation

And: Whale Oil company put into liquidation after rearrangements

In June 2014 Slater (Whale Oil) followed up with An insiders view of bankruptcy and insolvency in NZ

I read your blog from time to time and also tend to pick up pieces you run on insolvency type issues such as the one you ran recently titled “Bankruptcy is a Joke.”

I am in my 50s and have pretty well been part of the insolvency industry in NZ since the day I walked out of Uni all those years ago. I thought I would post a few pieces to you on insolvency to explain how it works and why we have so many issues in this area

By far the bulk of liquidations in NZ are voluntary appointments by shareholders. 75% of shareholders can vote to put a company into liquidation and appoint a named liquidator. If the liquidator consents to appointment then they are appointed.

There are two ways to get work as a liquidator, get clients who liquidate companies and get them seeking your consent to be liquidator or offer a service whereby shareholders can put their companies into liquidation (voluntary liquidation), or a mixture of both. Voluntary liquidations are by far the easier option.

But how do you sell yourself? – “Appoint me as liquidator and I will come after your company’s assets, the current account you owe and I will turn over those transactions where your mates got paid but others didn’t.” Not a great way to promote business.

On the other hand – “appoint me and I will just sit back and do bugger all. I will turn a blind eye to the transactions that have occurred and I will accept your weak ass explanations about how your current account had been paid back.” That is the dilemma facing a lot of liquidators who rely on voluntary appointments to make a living. Do I kick ass and lose business or do I go easy and get more business.

Some liquidators seem to do a good job some of the time but turn a blind eye at other times. Other liquidators are extremely active in providing a service to defeat creditors. They achieve this by simply doing nothing. They dismiss creditor enquiry and bury the company.

How can you deal with this? They are currently looking to regulate the industry and to have accountability back to an umbrella organisation. Will this work. I am sceptical, we already have chartered accountants doing liquidations who are under the supervision of NZICA with little in the way of holding errant liquidators to account. I actually don’t disagree with the powers liquidators have. They can get nearly any information they want, they can compel people to attend upon them and they don’t need to answer to anyone outside of reporting obligations.

The last thing a liquidator needs is people holding up a process of selling assets that wont cover everyone’s debt in full or even any of the debt. They need the freedom to do the job. But, and I think this is where the problem lies, the power granted to liquidators assumes that they are professionals with high integrity who will do the job properly, unfortunately I don’t think that is the case in all instances.

In the case of the liquidation of Social Media Consultants I expect the liquidator will do a professional job, although they may be constrained by the amount of funds available to pay for their services unless there are sufficient assets.

On Whale Oil on 6 June 2016: Rodney Hide on insolvency and the wild west of the industry

Rodney Hide writes in the NBR of the gobsmacking arrogance of the Official Assignee, the lack of accountability and the general parlous state of insolvency.

I have also been investigating several liquidators and I know of one who has recovered millions from debtors and also banked millions in fees leaving a few cents in the dollar for aggrieved creditors.

The whole industry appears peppered with former bankrupts, banned directors and convicted criminals.

The Official Assignee office is frankly tits at their work.

The whole industry is filled with ratbags and run like the wild west.

As I said the whole industry is filled from top to bottom with people who are little better than mafia stand over merchants.

On Whale Oil on 20 June 2016: Alarming incompetence at the Insolvency Service

One thing I admire about Rodney Hide, is that he sticks by his mates. But this story highlights some dreadful incompetence at the Insolvency Service. This is not an isolated case. I am sitting on files of equally alarming incompetence in the Auckland office of the Official Assignee.

It is so bad in some instances it might well be considered corruption, such is the inaction on several bankruptcies and the carry-on of the bankrupts.

It?s not that one officer with one decision screwed up. The very guidelines for their staff are based on the wrong law.

The minister should by rights have an independent inquiry into the Insolvency Service?s failure to stick within its own statute. I could help him. Indeed, I have enough in my own file to make his eyes water. I stand ready to serve.

As will I.

Slater has shown more interest in trying to serve his own interests.

But that didn’t work out for him in the current defamation case. I doubt he will be seeing bankruptcy as such a joke now.

Time will tell how his bankruptcy, his liquidation, and his blog will fare.

Leave a comment


  1. Paul C

     /  19th July 2019

    In your pathological pursuit of your blind hatred towards Slater

    [I’m not blind and I don’t hate. I hold to account someone who had a very public profile and has a well known record of his pursuit of many people, causing a lot of damage.]

    why is it you willfully ignore the true nature of [deleted]

    [What you think of someone else is not my issue.]

    The Court of Appeal has finally passed judgment and it shows that Slater got it right. Read it and wonder about your wilful blindness to the truth about [deleted]

    [I’m not going to check to see if Slater got something right – he has of course got some things right, but has got many things wrong, as a growing number of court judgments show. You have a record of getting things badly wrong.

    Private disputes and vendettas (and perhaps your pathological pursuit and blind hatred?) are not of public interest, and I’m not prepared to let you of all people use this place to continue to pursue personal grudges and agendas. Perhaps you could consider letting go of the past and getting on with your life.]

    Those are but two recent decisions that you best apprise yourself of as you continue to back [deleted] unwisely.

    [You still apparently don’t get it. I don’t back him or anyone in any business dealings. You dragged me into this fight in trying to pursue your personal attacks here (in breach of the law), and despite what has happened over the past four years you’re still trying to do it. Keep away from here and don’t send me any other information. I don’t want to be a party to your personal disagreements. Please cease your harassment. PG]

  2. Loki

     /  19th July 2019

    Nothing will change, he will continue in the same way he has for years.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  19th July 2019

      I would like to see the loopholes whereby assets can be shuffled over to a partner closed. I remember a case where the paterfamilias was bankrupt (wrongdoing was involved) but they went on living in the huge house, still drove expensive new cars and, in the children’s case, went to expensive private schools. Everyone knew that the husband had put everything in his wife’s name and raised the middle finger to the people he’d ruined and he was despised and vilified as a result.

      Alan Bond represented himself as being reduced to living in a bach. Some bach. It was more like a luxury resort.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  20th July 2019

        The PDTs can’t have been on the receiving end of this kind of thefr; someone swindling them and then handing assets over so that they can’t be forced to repay the victims. Or do they think that this is acceptable ? I don’t.

  3. Paul C

     /  19th July 2019

    I don’t think you know who you are talking to, I have never commented here before, the case I first highlighted is MY case. I don’t know why you are accusing me of things I haven’t done. However thank you for at least acknowledging how bias you are by removing links to public documents that out the illegal and criminal actions of your friend. Nice to know that you won’t fact check, nice to know you are willfully blind to facts. You speak of harassment when I have done nothing of the sort, but perhaps you should look in the mirror and your unhealthy per-occupation with getting Slater will excusing others by refusing to be fair and balanced which you always claim you are doing. The fact you refuse to look any further says, sadly, more about you, than it does about anyone else. Perhaps you should really give up blogging instead of maintaining a personal hate-fest against people.

    • You’re not listening to what I said. I don’t want to get dragged into personal and business spats.

      If you claim to be a particular person promoting your story it is odd you have used an anonymising identity.

      I don’t claim to be always ‘fair and balanced’. But in this case I’m being balanced, I’m not promoting either sides’s view on this, and that’s how I want it to remain. It isn’t of interest to me, and I don’t think it’s of public interest. I don’t see any other media reporting on it so they seem to see it the same way. There’s a lot of court judgments that aren’t reported on because they are not of public interest.

      • Paul C

         /  19th July 2019

        I have used my own first name and not hidden anything. Why do you seek to mislead in attempting to explain away your own actions of willful blindness. I was just pointing out that Slater wrote about my situation in 2012 and the published story of the missing money has always been true and now a court has proved it. You write endlessly about what a court finds about Slater, but when some new facts emerge that show things in a different light from those claimed by your mate and yourself, you simply throw your hands in the air and say you aren’t interested. That’s an interesting position you place yourself in, and from my perspective shows you are motivated by malice towards Slater.

        • Your content, style and methods seem very similar to someone with a dirty history here.

          “that show things in a different light from those claimed by your mate and yourself”

          I haven’t claimed anything ever about that case, and have had nothing to do with it. I don’t know why you persist in trying to associate me with it. Ironic that you assert “your own actions of willful blindness”.

          It has nothing to do with me, and it has nothing to do with Slater’s current legal situations, which are what this post is about.

          You seem to ignore the fact that Slater has been the one showing malice towards many people, and now he appears to be trying to avoid facing up to some of it in the courts. Why don’t you focus on that?

          • Paul C

             /  19th July 2019

            What do you mean it has nothing to do with his current legal situations? Of relates to Selman v Slater]. He wrote about it in 2012, [deleted repeated assertion] , and now it turns out that [deleted assertion]. You can’t delve into the minute details of Slater’s case [deleted assertion], and then ignore the other side when it’s shown that [deleted assertions].

            You went into great detail over the book recently published [some aspects of it only] and yet here is my case which has taken ten years of effort to fight showing the book was a fantasy [I’m sure there are parts of the book that will be open to dispute, but many facts in the book are indisputable, as are a number of court judgments].

            But that’s ok Pete, you delude yourself that you are acting with integrity. An honest man would at least look at what was said not delete links because it doesn’t suit your narrative.

            [The business dispute you raise goes back over ten years, and I have no involvement nor interest in it. It is not relevant to this post. You persistence in trying to pursue it here is futile. Your persistence in trying to falsely associate me with a long running personal/business dispute is getting tiresome. PG]

            • Paul C

               /  19th July 2019

              You claim to hold people to account, yet you only hold one half of the story to account. If it was public interest to go after Slater then its public interest when facts show Slater was right. Now you are showing you are just as dishonest as Slater. That’s just sad.

            • Of course Slater got some things right over the years. There’s no dispute about that. But what you raise is nothing like half of the current story, if it’s relevant at all.

              What is of ongoing public interest (going by multiple media reports) is things that Slater got wrong, or may have got wrong, and for which he faces legal actions.

  4. lurcher1948

     /  19th July 2019

    “I don’t think you know who you are talking to” tell PG who you are and us as you sound entitled

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  20th July 2019

      He must think that he’s so famous that we will know.

    • Corky

       /  21st July 2019

      Who am I talking to, Lurchy? 🤔 I know that dude..I think he is a fast-food technician.

  5. duperez

     /  19th July 2019

    The latest musings won’t sway me from thinking that though Mr Slater is a most esteemed fellow in the eyes of a few, I could not support his nomination as New Zealander of the Year.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  19th July 2019

      No, really ? Why not ?

      • pickled possum

         /  19th July 2019

        cause nothing else matters… to some.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  20th July 2019

          Well, he has four fans here, it would appear, astonishing as that seems.

        • Van helsing

           /  23rd July 2019

          Just remember everybody ‘money is power’ money gives you choice everything else falls below, no matter how many rocks you have in your backpack

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  20th July 2019

    Paul C should front with his real name if he wants attention.

  7. Van helsing

     /  23rd July 2019

    Yes [deleted name], why don’t you just grow up? If the ptd’s didn’t constantly under cut customers to a point that they felt like they were being ripped off then there would be no need to bypass the ptd’s that were getting a bad name for themselves


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