How to buy ‘Whale Oil’ (the book)

The book ‘Whale Oil’ was launched on Tuesday night, and got significant news coverage yesterday. I think this is an important book, and I think that it is worth reading.

If you want to borrow the book from a library there could be a long wait – someone reported yesterday at The Standard: “I have just ordered a copy from Auckland Library.  21 of 21 holds on one copy.”

Whitcoulls have copies available in most stores – you can check out where on their website, and also order online.

It can also be ordered directly from the publisher potton & burton: (this is an easy and fast process, I ordered other books from them recently):


Margie Thomson
Availability: In Stock

In May 2012 Auckland businessman Matt Blomfield found himself the target of a vicious online attack, the work of Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater. The attack came out of the blue, destroying Blomfield’s reputation and career, stealing his identity, turning him into a social outcast. Two years after the online attack began an armed gunman came to Blomfield’s house and tried to kill him. He only survived because the intruder’s shotgun misfired.

But Matt Blomfield decided to fight back. He spent seven years and many hundreds of thousands of dollars taking a defamation case against Slater, which he ultimately won, establishing that Slater’s vendetta was based entirely on lies.

This book is a remarkable piece of investigative writing, a story of courage and tenacity, which reminds us how important it is to stand up to bullies, and to be reassured that in the end they do not always win.

There is an interesting story around the book cover – Matt’s grandfather was famous New Zealand wrestler Lofty Blomfield:

He is credited for inventing “The Octopus Clamp”, an early version of the Scorpion Deathlock,

Disclosure: I assisted with a little bit of information for the book, but I have no financial interest in the book nor in sales of the book.

I’m promoting it here because I think it is an important book that has wider implications than the Matt Blomfield saga – it shows how easy and bad destructive blogging and online activity can be, and how poorly our laws and our policing practices allow us too deal with it.

NZ Second

Little things can matter a bit, when they are exposed.

But it was blamed on a minion: NZ First T-shirts made in China, Winston Peters denies knowledge

NZ First, as its name suggests, gives “high priority to maintaining and building the manufacturing sector” and wants “a government procurement policy that gives preference for New Zealand firms”.

Mr Peters himself isn’t so hot on the Middle Kingdom, in 2014 telling supporters “two Wongs don’t make a right”.

“I haven’t got a NZ First T-shirt. You say that – I don’t know anything about that,” he told The AM Show on Monday.

“I’m at the front of the aeroplane trying to drive it – I’m not at the back sorting out what goes on the toilets and cleaning up the kitchens, right? If somebody’s selling a product, I’ve got no idea what the product is.”

But he should have an idea about party remits:

Economic populism was evident in the party-wide debate over proposed remits. Among the remits approved:

  • “End the lip service to ‘Buy New Zealand-made’” and ensure central and local governments hire local contractors for work over foreign ones.

Unless it keeps the price of your t-shirts down.

A Green candidate was quick to take the Kiwi-made high ground:

A Slade cartoon rubbed it in a bit more.