One down, more Whale Oil sites targeted

Yesterday Matt Blomfield took control of the whaleoil.co.nz website after purchasing it from liquidators. he has it redirecting to his own site which has a postscript to the Margie Thomson book Whale Oil. It concludes:

This site — whaleoil.co.nz — now serves as a perpetual memorial to the injustices inflicted on all those people, and to Matt’s long battle to curtail falsity, bullying and manipulation.

That is a very fine ending.

It is a fine ending to the original Whale Oil blog site, which became too nasty and too toxic, with Cameron Slater and those who supplied, aided and abetted him abusing the power of media while they could get away with it.

But the website had moved onto other sites.

Some of the recent events are traceable within the records of the Companies Register. There, the dry accumulation of company names, name changes, changes in shareholdings and directorships whispers of the sheer human drama and desperate planning that has gone on behind the scenes as Slater and his supporters seemed to do everything they could think of to rescue something from their sinking ship. Social Media Consultants, then-owner of the whaleoil blog, went into liquidation. A new company, Madas 114, was set up and then shortly after became WOBH; whaleoil.co.nz became whaleoil.net.nz before morphing, chameleon-like, into a completely new blogsite. Slater passed all his shareholdings and directorships to his wife, to his accountant, and then back to his wife.

The liquidator quickly took issue with what she identified as the illegal transfer of assets away from creditors and into new entities.

In short, the estimated claims against Slater and his company so far total more than $4.7 million.

‘Fill your boots,’ Slater said a few years ago. ‘When you’ve got nothing to lose, you’re dangerous.’

His problem now is that Blomfield has nothing to lose by finishing his goal of shutting down Whale Oil – all of it.

Blomfield’s lawyer, Felix Geiringer, tweeted yesterday afternoon:

Actually an attempt has been made to distance ownership of whaleoil.net.nz and thebfd.co.nz away from Slater and his wife Juana Atkins.

One is  registered to Regan Cunliffe, a long time associate of Slater (a few years ago they had jointly planned to set up some great new media site but I think funding fell through).

The other is registered to Andrea Parkes (who provides a whaleoil.org.nz contact email address).

Blomfield has proven he has determination and tenacity. He has a very capable lawyer who also seems to have determination to see this through. And they have widespread popular support to bury a dead horse.

Slater may feel he has little more to lose, and Atkins may also be similar.

But I wonder how willing Cunliffe and Parkes may be to be dragged into the legal mire.

And for what? Trying to give life support to a toxic, failed brand? And potentially being parties to attempts to misappropriate assets in a bankruptcy and in a liquidation?


Actually, Atkins may have quite a bit to lose.

Juana Atkins did not reply to the liquidator; neither did she comply with demands to relinquish control of the assets. On August 5, the liquidator who, remember, is an officer of the Court, wrote to the police for assistance, citing six sections of the Crimes Act she believed Atkins may have breached. The police replied briefly, telling Toon she should take her complaint to the front desk of her nearest police station.

Things may be yet to catch up on her.

That same day, a link to a nasty website was circulated, devoted to taunting the liquidator in the most horrible ways.

That is dumb – and I know someone who is trying to do this. They have been a significant contributor to attacks against Blomfield and to the the downfall of Slater. And they seem intent on continuing in their destructive behaviour. That may well catch up on them too.

Leave a comment

17 Comments

  1. Gerrit

     /  11th August 2019

    Minor squabble now reaching the levels of total absurdity and boredom. Does anyone care anymore?

    Reply
    • It’s far from minor, it’;s probably the worst case of online defamation, abuse and harassment in New Zealand, there was a serious home invasion and assault with a firearm, human rights breach, large court costs and damages, precedent setting court judgments, and it has resulted in the crashing of the best known blogger and largest political blog in the country. With more financial and legal issues yet to be resolved.

      I think it’s absurd and perhaps disingenuous to try and pass this off as a minor squabble.

      Going by reactions on Twitter, Kiwiblog and The Standard quite a few people care about it.

      Reply
    • Newshub:

      Blomfield told RNZ on Friday he has spoken to “literally hundreds of people” affected by Slater’s actions and posts on the old Whale Oil site.

      “People from all walks of life who have been damaged by that website,” he said, adding that his primary motivation was to take the stories offline.

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/08/man-defamed-by-cameron-slater-takes-over-whale-oil-site.html

      Thousands of people have been adversely affected by dirty politics, defamation and abusive attack posts on WO over thee years. It has been a major stain on our government, and on our politics – particularly the National Party.

      Reply
    • dupererz

       /  11th August 2019

      Minor. Yes, just like a car crash in the Far North or Deep South. It’s only a few people dying. Who cares? No need to go on about it. The before, the happening, the after, then gone. Anyone would think it was serious for some people or could have any ramifications for anyone outside those directly involved.

      As you say to a kid who gets home after being bullied every day, “Get over it, does anyone care?”

      Reply
  2. martyc312016

     /  12th August 2019

    “Bragging is not an attractive trait, but let’s be honest. A man who catches a big fish doesn’t go home through an alley.”

    – Ann Landers

    He might think he has earned this, but his commercial partners in the real world will be looking at him thinking “its ok to be right, but why be a prick about it”.

    Reply
    • How many people will think he’s being a prick about it? I think he is likely to gain more through publicity on this showing that the attacks were a dirty hit job that made many false and misleading and defamatory claims. I suspect that some of those at least who don’t like what he’s doing now bought into or were fooled by the campaign against him anyway.

      What about the big prick here, Slater? Should he be able to walk away from his responsibilities and liabilities and give the finger to his creditors?

      And what about those aiding Slater in what appears to be an attempt to transfer assets from under the noses of the OA, liquidator and creditors?

      It’s not ok to be wrong and then break rules to try to avoid being held accountable.

      Reply
  3. martyc312016

     /  13th August 2019

    Not in my assessment. He won, so win gracefully. This “best served cold” response buying the site and placing “karma content” as some sort of lesson is simply showboating. He no longer gets to take the high road from where I sit. He may not be guilty of the things Slater pinned on him, but, as Solomon wisely states that we should “let another praise [us], and not [our] own mouth; a stranger, and not [our] own lips” (Prov. 27:2). All he is achieving is to agitate fans of the WO blog. Why bother. He won?

    Reply
  4. I wouldn’t say he has won.

    Sure what’s happening now will annoy a few fans of WO/BFD.

    I think there’s a lot more annoyed at how they have seemed to get away with moving assets away from the reach of the bankruptcy and liquidation. Isn’t that a much bigger issue than taking over a redundant site?

    And I know there’s been a lot of support for holding Slater to account. Hundreds if not thousands have been victims of his dirty, defamatory and mercenary attacks. I’m curious as to why you’re ignoring all of that and seem more concerned about annoying a handful of WO supporters.

    And there’s been a lot of praise and support for taking over the old WO site.

    Reply
    • martyc312016

       /  13th August 2019

      Well, I would immediately shy away from having the same interaction as you had with All_On_Red on that point. I simply wont agree that a subscriber list to a defunct website is an asset that could be sold to generate monies for the creditors.

      And to that point, why did the receivers not put the domain name up for auction? That would have generated significant funds I would have thought. Clearly they were on board with this Karma Chameleon crap. Very professional….not. Grant Thornton they are not.

      And to answer your question. I agreed with approx 60% of the opinion that went up on whaleoil. Yes, there were faults in his business processes, but that happens, go check the NZ bankruptcy numbers from the last 2 years. Should we put a couple of property developers each side of him up on Calvery? And he was incapacitated to fight on and trade through, so whose to say he would not have navigated through that and resolved some debt.

      I agreed with around 60% of the content on WO. It taught me a lot, made me think about politics, strengthened my opinion on climate change (where WO was constantly misinformed and wrong) but ultimately entertained me in a way no other website has…period. I happily consumed that content for years.

      You might need to review your numbers around ‘victims’. Id say there was a few who didn’t deserve the attention, but most were either public figures, criminals or those with dirt under the nails, so the spotlight was already on them. Slater just changed the light bulb so some of us could see a little clearer.

      Reply
      • JeevesPonzi

         /  13th August 2019

        Yep, and Trump’s a lovely family man…..

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  13th August 2019

        Getting hit with multiple damages awards and gratuitously incurred court costs was never something that was going to be “traded through” as though it was an ordinary business debt. Nor would most business people find it at all odd that the source of these costs and damages be forcibly shut down and public explanations provided to anyone who visits them. The attendant publicity is an essential part of the restoration of Blomfield’s reputation.

        That Stater was sometimes right is no justification. Murderers and robbers get no credit for those they didn’t kill or rob.

        Reply
        • martyc312016

           /  13th August 2019

          A little dramatic that last sentence don’t you think? But i’ll go with it. You seem to forget there were 300,000 + normal kiwi’s signing into watch those murders and robberies on a monthly bases with hundreds of top NZ and international brands sponsoring them.

          Your understanding of a public explanation might need revising if the current home page of WO is the example. It’s plain and simple showboating. Clearly you and others believe he deserves that satisfaction. Maybe he does. But to actually go there tells me 2 things about the man: 1) He’s about as humble as Floyd Mayweather after a winning bout. 2) He ticks around 3 of the 8/9 ‘character traits’ Slater presented.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  13th August 2019

            I don’t think it’s showboating. Partly it’s an attempt to reward his biographer for her long effort to tell his story with more sales and partly it is to spread that story more widely. There are a couple of sentences celebrating the culmination of the long fight to take down Slater’s false accusations and attacks which most if not all readers of the book will find well deserved.

            Reply
          • Duker

             /  13th August 2019

            Puffery.
            Hundreds of top brands sponsoring ……. WTF….it was low grade Google ads fare…I haven’t looked for a while and was Ukrainian brides back then.
            The page views wasn’t as good as that, someone did an analysis at it’s peak and suspiciously high numbers of page views came from Indian technical colleges…which means ‘bought for’

            Reply
      • “You might need to review your numbers around ‘victims’. Id say there was a few who didn’t deserve the attention, but most were either public figures”

        Slater made a big deal about being nasty to non-public figures. The West Coast feral attack was just one example, and that alone impacted on a number of people.

        He often made dirty insinuations about politicians knowing that if they tried to defend themselves it would just draw attention to his dirt – he and his accomplices played on that. He did the same with a number of aspiring politicians, trying to swing candidate selections towards paying customers of his. Again, a number of people impacted each time. Also democracy was a victim, as was the National Party.

        The Len Brown story was based on a politician having an affair, which from what a number of people say is a common occurrence. Except in this case it was used as a dirty attack, with a lot of dirty insinuations added, that was a blatant attempt to overthrow a democratic election. So that was an attack on democracy and Auckland City, and impacted on Brown and his family, his staff, on Bevan Chuang and her family etc etc.

        The sustained attack on Matt Blomfield impacted severely on him and his family, his wider family, on business associates. It was widened also included legal and online attacks on myself (and my family and on this blog and users of this blog), and on a number of others. My lawyer was even threatened, as were other lawyers acting for others dragged into the debacle.

        A very nasty attack on a North Shore school principal who felt the need too leave the country as a result. As well as the principal this affected family and the school. I believe that was a paid for hit job in a matrimonial dispute, and it wasn’t the only dirty attack on a relationship issue.

        The journalist who received many nasty messages including rape threats when her contact details were published in an attack post?

        And there’s many more. I stand by my suggested numbers.

        You could also include self inflicted problems for Slater and his family, Jordan Williams, Marc Spring, Carrick Graham, Dermot Nottingham and many more who have all been adversely affected (albeit their own responsibility) by what Whale Oil allowed, fostered and festered.

        You’re saying that 60% of good or passable content (I won’t argue with that estimate, it may be something like that) excuses the large number of attack posts affecting at least hundreds of people, some of that quite seriously?

        Would you make similar ‘he was ok some of the time’ excuses for murderers and rapists and fraudsters and drug pushers because they don’t always commit crimes?

        Reply
      • I think that if there had been a retraction and apology from Slater then Blomfield would have happily dropped everything and moved on with his own life.

        Add to that zero acceptance of any responsibility, no sign of remorse, no apologies, just claiming to be the victim, blaming everyone else, and trying to run away from legal and financial repercussions.

        It doesn’t help that Spring is still trying to continue a decade long grudge attack.

        Reply
        • martyc312016

           /  14th August 2019

          So you forgot Colin Craig, Aaron Gilmore, and I cannot remember the derogatory name he attached to people of Christchurch (but it never bothered me). Do they count?However, I’ll acknowledge some of the embarrassment and unpleasantness that MUST have effected families and friends from your above examples.

          Yet did people deserve Michael Laws nasty opinion about them whist on radio? Maybe. Should Sean Plunkett aim never to generalise about the ‘libral left’ lest he offends someone and their spouse. Maybe? Did Bill O’Reilly upset everyone who lived in the US who was not white, upper class and catholic. Yes he did. Popular through polarizing rhetoric and exposing anything marginal to our sensibilities. Is it Right? (no pun)

          Honestly, Zero f*cks given to Len Brown or Colin Craig from me, even after reflecting on what your write above. Have some restraint gentleman. But did I really need to know about MB’s bankruptcy, his business practices leading to that and his falling out with other associates? No. Did it effect me? No. Was it interesting reading? Yes. Did I log back on to see what happened next? Yes. Did I think/care about the effect that might be having on his family. Not even once.

          You create content to be consumed as well Pete. How is it you can have it both ways? Do you have a moral filter that sets you apart never to offend/upset, directly or indirectly? Always? I’m not comparing you to Slater and his “Fiji/Politics slam face into ground” style, but you get my point. I’m now reading/enjoying your posts. Not offended in the least as of yet.

          Reply

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