Craig versus Slater gets more bizarre

Colin Craig has escalated his legal battle with Cameron Slater with a new court action, seeking 13,000 for Slater publishing a poem written by Craig.

Slater says this legal action is “very sad and very mad”. It’s hard to disagree with that, Craig is drawing attention to something that appears to be very embarrassing for him regardless of whether he succeeds or fails.

But Slater has re-published the poem, which also seems very silly. It may not be helpful to his defence if Craig turns out to have the law on his side.

Stuff reports: Poet, songwriter, and politician: Colin Craig sues Slater for publishing his poem.

Colin Craig has tabled legal papers seeking more than $13,000 from blogger Cameron Slater for publishing the former politician’s romantic poetry on his blog.

Craig, who identifies himself as a secret songwriter, poet and fiction author, says he wants to set the record straight after suffering humiliation when his poem The Two Of Me was published on the Whaleoil site last year.

In a statement of claim provided by Slater, the former Conservative Party leader states only two copies existed of the poem. One Craig kept stored in his “personal literary archive”, the other was owned by his former press secretary, Rachel MacGregor.

Jordan Williams, the executive director of the Taxpayers Union, is named as a second defendant.

“Mr Craig has elected to forego publishing his creative writing for consumption by the public in order to, amongst other reasons, preserve his privacy,” the document states.

The legal claim, lodged with the North Shore District Court last week, went on to say Craig did not intend the poem to be seen by the public.

Slater’s company, Social Media Consultants Ltd, had “flagrantly infringed Mr Craig’s copyright in the poem to garner notoriety and/or derive revenue”.

Bizarre, whether legally justified or not.

Slater has posted in response to this article (not linked for legal reasons).

Yes, Colin Craig is a man who doesn’t want anyone to know just precisely what he gets up to. So he uses his wealth to bully and silence people. This is just another forlorn claim, one that won’t stand up in court, but I still have to waste time defending it, and that is his real angle. Soak up time, money and effort in defending against his vexatious claims.

That’s highly hypocritical of Slater, considering his involvement in legal action just like this (that was vexatious and farcical, and thrown out by the judge).

And it’s fair to point out that (I believe) Slater is taking defamation against Craig.

Colin Craig described himself in the papers as “formerly an aspiring politician”.

Slater is a still aspiring political activist, but his politically credibility has been shot in the foot as much as Craig’s.

This whole ongoing saga is sad and self defeating for both of them.

Craig won’t seek leadership – yet

The newly elected Conservative Party board (some members were in the previous board) is looking for a new party leader. Colin Craig has said he won’t seek re-election – for now.

NZ Herald reports Colin Craig won’t seek re-election:

The Conservative Party’s newly elected board confirmed today it was looking to get back on track after a disastrous year by electing a new leader.

Colin Craig says he will not be seeking re-election as leader of the Conservative Party because it would be wrong to take on the role while he is being investigated by police.

He is facing a police complaint over his party’s spending during the 2014 election, though no charges have been laid.

“My feeling is that it is not right for me to put my name forward until the most serious allegations are cleared,” he said.


If he was cleared before the 2017 election, he would consider returning to the party as a candidate, “if they will have me”.

So he won’t stand for leadership now – which means he won’t be on the board – but “would consider returning to the party as a candidate”.

Who would want to be leader with him hovering in the background considering returning by the next election?

Some one will volunteer to be a placeholder for him.

Slater versus Craig and Mr X…

It’s not surprising to see Cameron Slater making the most of the revelation that Colin Craig was the Mr X in the Dirty Politics booklet attacking Slate that was delivered to letter boxes around the country. Fair enough, Craig makes himself an easy target.

Interesting that the first post on this at Whale Oil was The Nation skewers Colin Craig for his subterfuge over Mr X at 8:30 am this morning, nearly 24 hours after The Nation skewered Craig. Whale Oil has often been slow in reacting to breaking news lately.

That post almost entirely comprises a transcript of of the interview at The Nation. That looks certainly to have been copied and pasted from my Colin Craig’s ‘Mr X’ post from yesterday, incorrect spelling and punctuation included.

It’s interesting to see that Slater follows and reads Your NZ, and not surprising to see he takes content without attribution. That’s not how a journalist should operate.

Later today posted under ‘Cameron Slater’ (as has often been pointed out, it’s never certain who has written these posts) is Analysing Mr X and Colin Craig.

This post hammers Craig’s “well known literary device”.

There’s also som interesting comments from “Cameron Slater’ that are worth pointing out and keeping on record.

These words will haunt Colin Craig now it is revealed that he is Mr X. He is going to have to explain to the court how his own statements here can be true and at the same time claim that he has been defamed…

This is going to lead to an easy claim of malice…

Unfazed people don’t go about causing lawsuits.

His idiocy and foolishness are now going to cost him. He has made stuff up, he has done so out of malice, and the very thing he was complaining about he has now partaken in. But the thing is he got busted. This was all a subterfuge, done in order to garner sympathy, but all based on a  pretence, a lie and falsehoods.

A liar, a flake and a political retard.

Colin Craig likes to quote the bible:

flasewitnessand George Washington:

washingtonWhen it comes to truth he should take heed of those words, and I will quote another famous person..John in Chapter 8:32:

32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

Fair enough for ‘Cameron Slater’ to throw this at Craig, but there could be a certain amount of irony involved.

Craig may not be the only one who has been playing at ‘Mr X’ type subterfuge.

Colin Craig’s ‘Mr X’

This morning The Nation will reveal who the ‘Mr X’ was who featured in the Colin Craig booklet that was delivered to households around the country.

This is on Mr X from Newsworthy and A Page-By-Page Review of Colin Craig’s Dirty Politics Pamphlet in July:

Page 10 and 11

Hayden here. I’ve calmed down now.

These pages are the meat in Craig’s allegation sandwich. They begin with the eye-catching announcement ‘A lot of expletives have been deleted from this dialogue’ and go on to detail an exclusive interview between ‘Interviewer’ and a Dirty Politics Brigade insider known as ‘Mr X’.

Everything that follows is cloaked in secrecy. Who is Interviewer? Who is Mr X? Could they be the same man?

Exhibit A

‘Interviewer’ is very defensive in the face of criticism of Colin Craig. When ‘Mr X’ says Craig’s support is shaky, he or she responds:

“That’s an interesting opinion but Craig says he has been getting pretty positive feedback from supporters”

He or she is high on Craig’s character:

“Craig has always been honest in the past. If he is honest this time it means he has been defamed. What if I were to tell you that Craig is thinking of going public not only with the full story but also that he is planning legal action against Stringer, Slater, and Williams?”

Could Interviewer be Colin Craigterviewer?

Exhibit B

When Mr X is asked whether Craig can recover his political career, he responds:

“No chance … well OK there is a chance but only because he [Colin Craig] is freakish under pressure and he seems to be largely unphased by this whole thing … its weird that. You can never say never …”

On why Craig is being targeted despite not being in Office, he says:

He gets votes and the media love him so that qualifies him to be a target.”

Mr X is very damning of Craig’s political enemies:

“For sure, she swallowed it hook, line, and sinker and then went crazy doing whatever she could to pull Craig down … Stringer could not have done it without Rankin.”

So is Mr X in fact Mr Craig?


No, but this is weird.

It turns out that the verdict was partly wrong, Colin Craig has admitted being Mr X.

But it was certainly weird.

Especially as The Nation points out page 2 of the pamplet includes “Thou shalt not bear false witness”, and in Newsworthy’s words:

Unremarkable at first glance. A headline and a list of four chapters. Standard pamphlet foreplay. Then, at the bottom of the page, a loud foreshadowing of the villainy to come. “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” the text reads, followed by the words, all-caps: ‘THE NINTH COMMANDMENT’.

This is no ordinary dispute. No petty airing of grievances. Here we see that Craig’s persecutors have not just broken the laws of man, but of God. The Bible says those who bear false witness must sacrifice a female lamb or goat, or two turtledoves or two pigeons, or a tenth of an ephah of fine flour at the Temple. Only that will redeem the evildoers, who we are about to meet in…

Craig has to be history as far as politics goes.

For the record, this is the interview transcript:

Lisa Owen: Now Colin Craig’s pamphlet on Dirty Politics went out nationwide. It claimed to expose the liars out to get him, and featured an interview with a Mr X, someone who knew the dirty secrets.

But who was Mr X? On Friday I spoke to Colin Craig and well, hear for yourself.

Lisa Owen: Are you Mr X Colin?

Colin Craig: I am, that’s right, it’s a nom de plume.

Lisa Owen: Why did you conduct an interview in a pamphlet about truth using a false identity?

Colin Craig: Well nom de plumes are a well known literary device. Obviously it’s to make it more interesting, I mean if the whole thing is just text and you know dialogue it’s nowhere near as interesting as if you put something in the form of .an interview.

Lisa Owen: Can you understand why some people might look at that and think that you’ve been deceptive and dishonest?

Colin Craig: Ohhh…possibly.

Lisa Owen: In hindsgith do you think it’s a mistake to pretend to be Mr X?

Colin Craig: No I don’t, I think it made the booklet far more interesting.

Lisa Owen: This is a pamphlet about deception, and also the front cover uses the words “their campaign of lies”. Haven’t you lied too Colin?

Colin Craig: No I haven’t. I have never said that Mr X was anyone um other than myself and I’m the person that said I was Mr X, no one else has said that, I’m the one who’s volunteered that information.

Lisa Own: But you’re not Mr X are you, you’re Colin Craig. So why not just say you’re Colin Craig?

Colin Craig: Well I guess I could have done that.

Lisa Own: Hey Colin what’s the 9th commandment?

Colin Craig: Uuummm, oh it’s in the pamphlet. Thou shalt not bear false witness.

Video: Colin Craig unveiled as ‘Mr X’

Conservative Party AGM?

There’s been at least two notifications of Conservative Party AGMs and announcement of a new Board of Management, but no sign of anything happening.


Colin Craig’s Conservative Party scheduled its Annual Conference this weekend.  It started on Friday evening, yesterday was the AGM, followed by a public meeting in the evening, and Colin and his closest friends are having a good conflab at the Centurion castle in Albany this morning.


As I arrived, the Concierge of the Novotel Ellerslie was very helpful and keen to assist me find the conference.   He wondered if I was there for the 50th birthday party?

“No”, I said, “I’m looking for the Conservative Party Annual Conference”.   Not missing a beat, the Concierge suggested I might be at the wrong hotel.

A political party that advertises its Annual Conference, including the all important AGM, and then doesn’t actually have it – is it still a political party?   Party insiders tell me that some members have been nominated for board positions, and (incongruously) ex-member and ex board chair Brian Dodds has agreed to vet them.   The constitution requires an appointment committee.

And a month later (mid-October) on Facebook:


I’ve searched for news and have found nothing.

The Conservative Party website says nothing about the September non-conference nor the October mystery conference.

The ‘Latest Update’ on the website is Colin Craig Statement of 19 June. Nothing since then, although the website has been updated and no longer shows Colin Craig as Party Leader (my last record of him stated as leader there was on July 28 – see Craig still acting as Conservative leader.

But Craig continues to show as leader on his Twitter account…


…but there hasn’t been any activity there since early August.

Back to Twitter this is his current home page which has also been inactive for three months.

ColinCraigFacebookThe Vote Colin Craig website that links to has also been inactive.

Is there still a Conservative Party?

Stringer versus Craig continues

It’s now over a month since Colin Craig announced via a media conference that he would be taking defamation action against Cameron Slater, Jordan Williams and John Stringer. Since then Williams has countered by filing legal action against Craig, but Craig’s legal threats are yet to eventuate.

Stringer has posted at coNZervative on this: 67. Colin Craig’s Panties in a Knot Filed. Behind the Scenes of the Colin Craig Catastrophe (03 Sept 2015)

It is more than 5 weeks on and Colin Craig has still not filed his melodramatic press conference threats to sue me and set the world right. The falsehoods continue. It appalls me, that, knowing what he’s covering up, he continues to allow people to support him, offer him donations, and comment on his various websites when he knows he’s a sinking wreck. What is he going to say to these people when the facts come out in court? As Dylan so rightly opines, “Be nice to the people on the way up, cos you’re gonna meet ’em all comin’ down.”

Stringer complains that Craig has been the one who has defamed through the New Zealand wide distribution of his Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas booklet.

Defamation is the publication of a statement about someone that lowers him or her in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally, where no defence (usually truth, opinion, or qualified privilege) is available. Legal minds confirm to me, that Colin has definitely done this to me in spades. His defamation of me exceeds to the power of 100, the very weak case (still not filed in court) he claims against me, where – the worst example being – I possibly hurt his feelings. Probably why he still hasn’t filed and likely won’t.

He also complains that Craig has actively prevented any response from Stringer within the Conservative Party.

I have been blocked from replying to untrue comments on Party and Colin Craig websites and FB pages (does Colin not like balance and free debate?). Critics of Colin are also banned and blocked. Party officials allow he and his wife special rights to formal communication but actively deny my wife and I, the same rights (“One Law For All” and all that?).

Duplicity and hypocrisy.  So, if anything, that aggravates his defamation because it has actively denied me any balancing defence, “no defence is available.”

To that end, after repeated formal requests to three ‘party officials slash Centurion employees’ (now all being sued) for the same rights accorded Colin and Helen more than twice (to communicate their narrative to members) but denied that same right myself, I eventually built my own personal contacts email list, with support from other party members who see through Colin Craig. I began emailing them with a factual summary update on all the issues. Just to set the record straight; get some balance; seek George Washington’s Truth; and obey the Ninth Commandment (Colin).  Maybe I’ll post that Personal Update to Members here some time so readers can be appraised.

Stringer goes on to strongly hint at the nature of some of the ‘inappropriate behaviour’ that Craig has admitted to in general.

Bingo. That Update has generated some interesting correspondence. I am in possession of original documents and copies of documents, perhaps Magically Handed me by concerned people.

He then as good as details actions that, if accurate and unwelcome, don’t reflect well on Craig at all, and in any case would be inappriopriate in a politician/employee relationship. I haven’t seen evidence so I won’t repeat the details here.

If Craig doesn’t follow through with his defamatiion threats then his reputation and the Conservative Party look to be in tatters.

Williams versus Craig

Jordan Williams has beaten Colin Craig to the draw, filing defamation proceedings against Craig. This story broke this afternon via Twitter:

The Conservatives party saga continues.Jordan Williams has filed defamation proceedings against Colin Craig over his Dirty Politics brochure

Defamation proceedings also against Conservative office holders Nathaniel Heslop, Kevin Stitt and Angela Storr.

Williams: “Untrue and defamatory statements have been made about me and my conduct in relation to disturbing material I received” re Craig

Media reports followed (NZH 2:22 pm): Legal action taken against Colin Craig:

Lawyers for Jordan Williams have filed a statement of claim under the Defamation Act in the Auckland High Court against Mr Craig and Nathaniel Heslop, Kevin Stitt and Angela Storr, all officers of the Conservative Party.

In a statement, Mr Williams, an executive director of the lobby group the Taxpayers’ Union, said the action related to statements made by Mr Craig at a media conference on July 29, and a leaflet subsequently distributed to households across the country.

The claim seeks general damages of $250,000 and punitive damages of $50,000 in relation to Mr Craig’s statements at the media conference.

It also seeks general damages of $500,000 and punitive damages of $100,000 in relation to the leaflet.

While Craig threatened Williams did. Craig says that his action is still on it’s way.

Mr Craig said he expected to lodge his own legal action imminently, and was still committed to it and the reasons he had given for it.

“We are in the process of compiling our claims. I mean we have such a vast amount of material that we have got to go through, particularly from Mr Slater and Mr Stringer.

“We haven’t got an actual date by which we will file. Although I would expect it to be in the next week or two.”

And at about the same time (2:21 pm) Whale Oil also posted an announcement: BREAKING: Colin Craig defamation filed [UPDATED]

Mr Williams says, “Untrue and defamatory statements have been made about me and my conduct in relation to disturbing material I received relating to Mr Craig.”

“Reputation is important to me so I take very seriously any accusations that I have acted improperly or dishonestly. Ongoing public smears left unchallenged can gain currency even if they have low credibility.”

“I have made it extremely clear to Mr Craig that I have not made up any allegations or fabricated material, nor conspired to do the same with Messrs Slater and Stringer.”

“Though this is not a course I take lightly, I am confident in my position and look forward to due process in Court.”

I have instructed defamation specialists Peter McKnight and Ali Romanos to act for me in these proceedings and do not wish to make any further comment at this time.

And I posted this at 9:09 pm – been a busy day doing other things.

Craig denies electoral errors

In response to accusations of “serious offences, illegal practices and corrupt practices” from his electorate campaign manager Colin Craig has claimed it is just more ‘Dirty Politics’ and untrue.

NZ Herald reports Craig denies election law wrongdoing.

Mr Stringer, who was the campaign manager in East Coast Bays, alleges that Mr Craig committed a number of “serious offences, illegal practices and corrupt practices” under the Electoral Act.

He alleged Mr Craig deliberately omitted invoices and under-reported the costs of publicity material.

Mr Stringer also accused Mr Craig of spending more than the electoral cap in several electorates – in one case by $2000 – and then shuffling the spending into other electorates in his election returns to conceal it.

“He has taken greater amounts from electorates which pushed them over the electoral cap of $25,700 … and allocated lesser costs to other electorates, thereby misleading the Electoral Commission.”

These claims seem minor at the most. Stringer seems to have oversold and scandal and under-delivered.

And unsurprisingly:

Mr Craig dismissed the allegations yesterday, saying it was a continuation of a smear campaign by Mr Stringer, blogger Cameron Slater and lawyer Jordan Williams.

“The claims are not true, and I’d be very happy to talk to the Electoral Commission and answer any questions they have.”

Notably, while Cameron Slater has continued Craig attacks in posts at Whale Oil – an hour before yesterday’s Stringer press conference he posted GUEST POST: COLIN CRAIG – DIRTY POLITICS, WHY SHOULD WE CARE? in which he said:

It shows that even now, after getting it wrong in his booklet, and being told so, Colin Craig still isn’t a details man.  He gets the most basic things wrong.  Even in a small blog post he still manages to make it a dog’s breakfast.

Colin just can’t cope playing politics with the big boys, and now wants to lash out with his money.

I am on record as saying politics is a dirty, despicable game, played by dirty despicable people.

(Only some who play politics are dirty despicable people Cam).

And I love every minute of it.  Colin is a strategist who plays the game himself.  What he can’t cope with is that he was outplayed, and instead of retiring hurt and going back to making money in business, he’s gone all surly and wants to damage me and others.

Colin, by all means, let’s go to court and discuss, item by item, in beautiful detail, what is and what isn’t a lie.   But even then, defamation is a civil action, not a criminal one.   So you might want to stop adding fuel to your own fire by claiming I have acted criminally.   Sounds defamatory to me, just quietly.

Despite strong words like this yesterday, after Slater and Whale Oil being a significant and sometimes breaking source of Stringer claims and cartoons over the past month, Whale Oil has no coverage of Stringer’s claims from yesterday (to date).

This attempt by Stringer looks minor at the most, and most likely a fizzer.

Stringer fighting back – press conference today

Ex Conservative Party board member John Stringer has announced a press conference today. He claims there are “documented new accusations against Colin Craig that now involve a Police investigation” and “serious offences”.

Now launching into investigation by media?

UPDATE: It seems to boil down to this:

New allegations from John Stringer against Colin Craig – lots of them, but basically boils down to filing false info for electoral return.

.@ColinCraigNZ falsified info in at least five electorates and falsified his own return, John Stringer alleges Electoral Act breaches

Craig on underarm politics

Colin Craig has a guest post at (curiously) The Daily Blog – Colin Craig – Dirty Politics, why should we care?

He likens the alleged attacks on him to the infamous underarm cricket incident that New Zealanders have kept reminding Australians about since 1981.

I don’t think the two are similar at all. Australia played within the rules of cricket but their underarm bowl was deemed by many to be outside the spirit if cricket.

Both Craig and his current opponents claim breaches of the rules/laws of defamation.

And I don’t think the New Zealand public will be reminiscing about ‘the underCraig incident’ in 2049.

It is my view that politics matters, just as much, if not more than, sport.

I think more people care about sport than about politics. But the quality of our politics does matter.

Those in politics have a much greater ability to influence, for better or worse, the lives of others. We won’t always agree on the right mix of policies and sometimes when the debate gets heated it might well feel like a finals contest in the World Series. Despite all this, however, we should never stoop to the underarm ball.  We should be better people than that.

Underarm politics is common. It’s always been an integral part of the political game. But Craig’s problem is not about Government or about Parliament. It’s about an internal spat in a party that isn’t in Parliament.

Craig is claiming that the involvement of political blogger Cameron Slater and political activist Jordan Williams with an aim to keep the Conservative Party out of Parliament is dirty.

If he’s correct in his claims, if it was a political hit job to destroy a party then yes, it looks dirty, but that’s yet to be determined.

Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas

My wife and I have just published a booklet “Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas” in which we exposed the actions of 3 individuals in a recent defamatory attack against me. I am not the first to be attacked in this way but if possible I would hope to be the last.

There doesn’t seem to have been much hidden in the Slater/Stringer versus Craig conflict, apart from actual evidence from both sides.

Whether it was defamatory or not is yet to be determined. So far both sides have claimed defamation and legal threats have been made but nothing seems to have happened yet apart from public posturing.

What Happens Next?

I am fortunate enough to be in a financial position to take legal action against the parties that have defamed me. What they have done is not legal and so I will be looking to the courts to rule on the matter as a way to restore my public reputation.

Or not.

One aspect of this is power – in this case Craig’s financial power. Most people couldn’t fund defamation action so don’t attempt to legally threaten them.

Craig is fortunate to be able to finance a court ruling on what is not legal if anything.

It could be argued (and is being argued) that Craig’s actions in trying to deal with this are not helping his public reputation.

What I do know is that I am committed to playing a part in fighting for a better kind of political debate in New Zealand.

Laudable. I’ve been fighting for better political debate for years.

I remain hopeful that our nation can resist the slide into self-serving and cynical manipulation of mainstream media.  I hope instead that we might retain our values of honesty and a fair go.

I agree with those ideals – but it’s fair to point out that Craig has been working the mainstream media since this story broke, including having two controlled media conferences and numerous mainstream media interviews.

And Craig’s nationwide delivery of booklets is an unprecedented media move.

p.s. I wish to acknowledge the importance of Nicky Hagar’s book on Dirty Politics last year. His work in shining light on the practice of attack politics has been an important contribution to improving democracy in New Zealand.

I don’t recall Craig being a big supporter of Hager’s book when it was launched last year.

‘Dirty Politics’ may or may not have made “an important contribution to improving democracy’ – using illegally obtained data to inject a politically targeted book into an election campaign is not an ideal way to do democracy.

Craig appears to be trying to attach his cause to whatever populist thing he can think of. This post works on trying to liken his predicament to cricket and Hager.

But so far Craig doesn’t seem to have got the sporting and political public on his side.

He may be forced into using the courts and taking his chances there.

Oh, and Cameron Slater doesn’t usually resort to tame stuff like dribbling underarmers.


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