Craig’s poem back in court

Colin Craig is back in court this week, appealing a High Court decision that found his copyright claim on publication of a poem he wrote was vexatious.

Most media seem to have had enough of Craig in court but NZ City covers it:  Colin Craig’s poem lawsuit back in court

Judge Mary Beth Sharp threw Mr Craig’s copyright lawsuit out in December, calling it “vexatious”, “improper” and a “deception perpetrated on the court”.

On Wednesday, lawyers for Craig appealed that decision in the High Court at Auckland, saying a literary work didn’t have to reach “Tolstoy’s standards” to be protected and that there were legal arguments that still needed to be heard.

Lawyer Kevin Glover said the case shouldn’t have been thrown out over a procedural error made by Mr Craig – who failed to file a reply to a document – because he had been arguing the case for himself as a “layperson”.

“Mr Craig should have had a bit more slack cut to him,” he said.

There had been no other agenda behind the lawsuit as found by the judge, Mr Glover said, adding the decision had been “coloured” by media coverage of other legal cases Mr Craig was involved in.

“He has a legitimate claim for infringement of copyright.”

But this claim was opposed.

But Mr William’s lawyer, Peter McKnight, told Justice Mark Woolford the case could not be considered independently of Mr Craig’s numerous other legal proceedings, reading out a long list.

“He’s had his day in court. In fact, he’s had seven-and-a-half weeks,” Mr McKnight said.

And counting. But court decisions aren’t based on quotas. Slater’s  days in court must be clocking up too – most not of his choice, but he has certainly stretched out some procedures.

Mr Slater’s lawyer, Brian Henry, said Mr Craig had chosen to run the case himself and could have easily hired lawyers as he had done in past.

That’s an odd point to pick out. The item concludes:

The hearing continues.

But ‘Whaleoil staff’ state:

The judgement was entered in favour of Mr Craig, who now gets to pursue his copyright claim in a separate court case.

I have no idea why Craig continues with all his legal crusades. he seems to think that his honour is at stake but I don’t think he is enhancing his fairly tattered reputation – the wrecking of which seems to have been the aim of Williams and Slater. They have succeeded, but they didn’t help their own reputations in the process.

Whale Oil is again allowing criticisms and comments against Craig in relation to ongoing court proceedings they are involved in. I think this is unwise, and find it highly hypocritical given their accusations and threats here over the last few days. ‘Albert’ posted “The last few months have been a free for all in your comments against Slater “, which is not true, while they allow a virtual free for all against Craig to continue.

Reversing views on refugees

Turned upside down this poem tells a different story.


They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way

(now read from bottom to top)

Williams v Craig – Friday

NZ Herald summarises today in Colin Craig defamation trial: everything you need to know so far:

Cross examination continued for most of the day, with Mills questioning Williams motives for disclosing the letters and poems. He suggested Williams was driven by a want to have Craig removed as party leader. Williams agreed with that, saying he felt Craig was an inappropriate person to lead a Christian movement based on family values given his inappropriate conduct towards MacGregor. He maintains he was acting in her best interests and had a moral obligation to tell the party what he knew.

More details from RNZ in Jordan Williams questioned over Colin Craig love poems (audio):

The man suing Colin Craig for defamation has faced questions in court about why he gave blogger Cameron Slater a copy of a poem the former Conservative Party leader had written to his press secretary.


John Campbell: The man who’s suing Colin Craig for defamation faced questions court about why he gave blogger Cameron Slater a copy of a poem the former leader of the Conservative Party had written to his secretary.

Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says he wasn’t trying to undermine Mr Craig, rather he was trying to set the record straight for Rachel MacGregor’s benefit.

Who would give embarrassing material to Slater for ‘the benefit’ of a woman who had asked for nothing to be passed on?

Sarah Robson: The jury has heard that Jordan Williams emailed Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater a poem that Colin Craig had written for Rachel MacGregor. The poem was published on the same day Mr Craig stepped down from the leadership of the Conservative Party in June last year.

Mr Craig’s lawyer Mr Stephen Mills QC cross examined Mr Williams on his motivation for sending the poem, and whether it was party of a strategy to undermine his client.

Stephen Mills: The objective of that strategy from your perspective was?

Jordan Williams: Ah well it was, it was to protect Rachel. I think that by particularly by this day I was very angry, um, but I don’t think there was a, from the beginning a strategy to undermine, I mean there definitely wasn’t um a strategy to undermine Mr Craig or specifically use the information against him.

Sarah Robson: Jordan Williams told the court he became aware of a blog post Cameron Slater was planning to publish, that was going to suggest that Ms MacGregor was obsessed with Mt Craig, and that there had been a sexual relationship. Mr Mills questioned him about the agreement he reached with Mr Slater to give him the poem so the other story did not go online.

Stephen Mills: And was the agreement that if you gave him some good raw meat, then he wouldn’t run that story?

Jordan Williams: That is an interpretation yes. Right, yes i accept that. I wouldn’t call it raw meat but…

Sarah Robson: Mr Williams was pressed on whether his actions really were in Ms MacGregor’s interests given the media fire storm that resulted from the publication of the poem.

Jordan Williams: Because the public um and the media picked up on that there was no sexual relationship because they assumed they um Cameron had a very good source because he had the some of the material.

Stephen Mills: So it made this a national issue

Jordan Williams: It already was.You saw it on the, Paul Henry that morning, it was all over the news regardless.

Sarah Robson:  Jordan Williams also faced questions from Mr Mills about why he chose to send the poem to Mr Slater using the name Concerned Conservative rather than his own name.

Jordan Williams: It is something that I didn’t want my organisation to be associated with or to come out in some expose in twelve months time, and so like many of the sources that provide information to the Taxpayers’ Union I created an account so that later on if Mr Slater was hacked or whatever it wouldn’t, it wouldn’t come back to me.

Sarah Robson:  Under cross examination Mr Williams was asked how this was different to Mr Craig using the name Mr X as a literary device in the leaflet at the centre of the defamation case. Mr Williams said Mr Craig was being dishonest.

It will be interesting to see what else comes out. I had heard that other witnesses including MacGregor were expected to be called starting yesterday so it appears as if the cross-examination of Williams is going on longer than originally anticipated.

This is the post on Whale Oil last year (June 19) when the poem was published:


WhaleOil Media can reveal that Colin Craig failed to tell the Conservative Party’s Board that he previously faced serious allegations of sexual harassment from a former staff member in a complaint laid with the Human Rights Commission. It is understood that the claim lead to a confidential payout which until recently the Board were unaware of.

We have been told by members of the Board that they were assured on multiple occasions by Colin Craig that no allegations of a sexual or moral nature were involved and relied on one element of the claim, a series of unpaid invoices or a dispute in relation to the employee’s hourly rate, to hide the more serious allegations.

WhaleOil Media understands that no sexual relationship resulted, but Colin Craig is alleged to have pursued the staffer including sending a large volume of text messages, letters and inappropriate touching.

A source, which was supporting the victim as the events unfolded last year, has provided WhaleOil Media with some of the letters and text messages.

We are still working through the material.

To give you a flavour here is  a poem and the end of one of the letters.

Free political advice for the next Conservative Party leader: When you’re writing letters you might be sued over don’t sign the end of the letter. That way you can at least claim it’s a fake…

Pete Belt’s take on it:


And also he shares a tweet from Williams:


Slater joins in:


There’s a lot of other known information around this and I can think of a number of interesting questions and points but at this stage prefer to wait and see what comes out in court.

From what has already come up in court it appears that Williams and therefore presumably Slater and Whale Oil only had part of the communications between Craig and MacGregor, and nothing from MacGregor to Craig.

This Child

It’s very difficult for parents of chronically sick children. And of course it’s awful for the children.

And it’s very frustrating for them when they see there are possible effective treatments that are being denied them due to anti-cannabis political pig-headedness.

A plea to Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has been put into a poem by one mother.

Here is my poem about my little girl and why she needs medical marijuana

ThisChildThere is a glimmer of hope – see Poll supports medical cannabis, Dunne considering.

Parents need more than glimmers of hope. They need to know one way or another whether medical cannabis can be legally used in New Zealand to help This Child.

Christchurch, laments


Shake September
shocking major
lives, unscathed
by timing favour

February jolts
disaster struck
amassed in grief
suburbs amuck

June strikes again
more damage done
hearts in despair
beneath square one

Christ! The ‘church, resolve and mortar, crumbles again…

(c) 2011 Pete George