MacGregor granted restraining order

The cross examination of Colin Craig resumed and completed today, with more embarrassing and disputed details getting raked over – Colin Craig on kiss with press secretary: ‘I did not take my pants off’.

Craig’s wife Helen began giving her evidence – Helen Craig on husband’s ’emotional affair’: I have forgiven him.

Something else emerged from court today that looks like a side issue, but raises some concerns.

NZH: Colin Craig trial: Former press secretary granted restraining order against counsellor:

Details have emerged in court about a restraining order granted to Colin Craig’s former press secretary against a counsellor she alleges posted confidential information about her in a blog post.

The Herald can reveal that Rachel MacGregor was granted a restraining order in the Waitakere District Court against Steve Taylor in May this year.

Taylor is an associate of Craig and a former Conservative Party candidate.

He was the moderator for his allegedly defamatory pamphlet “Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas”.

He is also a counsellor and the director of 24-7 Limited which, according to the company’s website, offers counselling and mediation to individuals, couples and families.

Sometime after MacGregor quit and following the speculation that followed about her shock departure a blog post appeared on the internet containing extremely personal information about her, including information she alleges she disclosed to Taylor.

Williams’ lawyer Peter McKnight asked Craig about Taylor and the blog, which has been removed from the internet. Craig indicated that he knew about it and Taylor’s alleged connection to it.

Craig claimed MacGregor and Taylor were “close friends” but had a “falling out”, which he believed was about money.

Craig said he knew about the restraining order but did not know the details.

McKnight asked Craig if Taylor had posted the blog and if he had disclosed information MacGregor had divulged during a counselling session.

“I think that is what she says, I’m not sure if that is what he says. He is a counsellor,” Craig said. “They were close friends.”

Craig said he had seen the blog post and it contained “quite a bit of factual information” but “it was a terrible thing to do”.

He said there was a lot of personal information about MacGregor that he could have made public himself but had always chosen not to, including in court.

“This sort of stuff could be hugely damaging and I didn’t think it was appropriate to talk about this sort of thing,” Craig explained.

McKnight asked Craig who had written the post and if he thought it was Taylor.

“I asked him whether he did it or not and he didn’t give me a particularly straight answer, which is why I say it was possibly him,” Craig responded.

An ex-friend getting a restraining order against someone who is also a counsellor sounds serious.

If today’s information is anything near accurate I think that Taylor’s actions are in no way justified. I’m critical in general terms, and I also feel  very strongly about anonymous blogs being used to attack or harass people. It’s a stinking misuse of the Internet.

Steve Taylor was placed at 8 on the Conservative Party list last election.  They would have had to have got around 7% for him to have got a seat. He would presumably have been very disappointed when MacGregor resigned two days before the election, effectively destroying any chance of him or the party getting into Parliament.

But being disappointed by an election result is no excuse for anything like this.

Taylor has commented here in the past, at times on issues related to the current defamation case. In light of today’s information from the Court it is not appropriate for him to comment on anything to do with the case or with MacGregor here. If he has any dispute with any of this it should be dealt with through the Court.

UPDATE: Steve Taylor has contacted me and strongly disputes some of the statements made in court in relation to him. He cannot defend himself publicly due to matters still before the Court.

UPDATE2: Taylor has issued a press statement today.

Press Release: Counsellor seeking legal advice regarding defamation claim

The director of Counselling service 24-7 Ltd is currently seeking legal advice regarding what he says are “outrageous and malicious” defamatory claims made against him by the NZ Herald during the Defamation trial of Jordan Williams and Colin Craig being held in Auckland.

“I have today advised a NZ Herald Editorial representative and reporter  of my intention to seek legal advice on the grounds of defamation regarding the claims made in an article published by the NZ Herald” said Mr Taylor.

“A number of false and inaccurate statements were made about me in the article, statements that I believe meet the threshold for defamation, and I am currently seeking legal advice on this matter”.

“No reporter from any media organisation has contacted me to fact-check this article, or any subsequent articles”.

“I am informed today by a representative of the NZ Herald editorial team that media publications are permitted to publish anything they choose to, whether or not what they are publishing is true or not – my legal advice on this matter is markedly different, and this position by the NZ Herald needs to be tested in this matter” said Mr Taylor.

– Two sentences have been edited out.

Conservatives: “Call us crazy…”

The latest Conservative Party website promotion begins:

Call us crazy, but the way we see it a politician’s job 
is to follow the instructions voters give them.

I’m not sure who has given instructions here:

Cunliffe must really, REALLY hate research
Press Release: Steve Taylor

David “Tricky Dicky” Cunliffe must really, REALLY hate research, given his recent foray into Education.

David “Tricky Dicky” Cunliffe

“Smaller class sizes” whines Mr Cunliffe.

“2000 extra teachers” bleats Mr Cunliffe.

“$350 million to fund it” gasps Mr Cunliffe.

What an intellectual lightweight Mr Cunliffe must be , says me.

If I could show you a summary of 50,000 individual research studies, and over 800 meta-analytic (a study of studies) studies, that concluded that “smaller class sizes” don’t make any difference at all to teaching outcomes, and that teacher quality, reinforced by regular real-time supervision and incremental skills and performance progress via regular evaluation was the key to teaching success, what would your response be?

Incredulity? Surprise? Disbelief?

Unfortunately for “Tricky Dicky” Cunliffe, one of my academic roles is as an Outcomes Researcher, so every time Cunliffe makes a populist, vacuous, absent-of-evidence claim about………..well…………anything, then I can simply smash his claims down with valid, reliable, and consistent evidence to the contrary.

Professor John Hattie is a name known by most in the International Education field, and he is one of our own.

Here is a study presentation that Professor John Hattie has compiled that illustrates the factor effect size of “what works” in delivering quality teaching.

Class size ranked 105th out of 138.

Seriously, if David “Tricky Dicky” Cunliffe is the supposed IQ and debating giant of the Labour Party, then I literally cannot wait until we cross paths in the public arena.

Because for me, it is going to be a case of Barrel, meet fish, with me doing the shooting.

Not mentioned, but Taylor is apparently the Conservative opponent of Cunliffe in the New Lynn electorate. It follows another media release: Conservative Party Candidate not going to apologise:

“Waitakere Man” Conservative Party Candidate not going to apologise for “being a man”.

A West Auckland private social service provider, academic, consumer advocate, media commentator and local West Auckland resident says that it is time for the electorate of New Lynn to have a parliamentary representative who actually lives in the area representing the Electorate, and not one in David Cunliffe who is so willing to emasculate his own gender whilst being perpetually absent from his electorate.

After 51 years of the Labour Party flying in outsiders into the New Lynn electorate, I’m now standing up under the banner of the Conservative Party of New Zealand and as a local resident of West Auckland, and saying “Vote for a Local –Vote for Steve Taylor – & Party Vote Conservative”.

Well, we have had an invitation to call them crazy.

Youth counsellor – self esteem versus respect

Youth counsellor Steve Taylor talked to Larry Williams on Newstalk ZB about sexual behaviour relating to the ‘Roast Busters’ case. KIA commented on it at Kiwiblog:

The link to Larry Williams’ Newstalk ZB interview with Steve Taylor (the West Auckland youth councilor) was a breath of fresh air and loaded with common sense wisdom.

The interview: Steve Taylor: Roast Busters behaviour

This is a crisis of parenting and a decline in what could loosely be called societal collective morals. Things that were less widespread are now commonplace. A case in point is pornography. 20 years ago it was rare for teenage boys to have access to porn movies that portrayed predatory group sex as ok – now it is easy to access all kinds of porn.

It also used to be rarer for teen girls to get blind drunk – whereas teen male heavy drinking was commonplace.

Yes, that was my experience when I was a partying teen.

A generation ago there was less concern about self esteem and more concern about boundaries. My mother used to say semi – jokingly that our home was not a democracy but a benign dictatorship! Too many modern parents of teens are afraid to lay down boundaries with consequences. All these trends erode norms and make it harder for parents to find an appropriate boundary and enforce it.

The antics of these young men are outside even the modern norm of casual teen sex. Its one thing to get drunk and shag a girl you meet at a party – that is commonplace. These boys have systematically targeted younger teen girls to find ways to have group sex with them and using alcohol and drugs where possible to assist in their goal. That is predatory behaviour that, was an under aged victim able to lay a sufficiently robust complaint that would stand up in court, could result in rape charges.

This case will have prompted many parents to ponder.

Conservative warning to media

A Steve Taylor has posting comments on multiple posts here and also at Whale Oil. These appear to be warnings to media (and presumably to bloggers) to be careful how they report and comment on Colin Craig.

Going by this and previous comments by Steve at Whale Oil it’s a good bet he is connected to and acting for Craig and the Conservative Party.

Warning One:

Satire site or not – Craig seems to be sending a none-too-subtle message to the MSM regarding accuracy, which I suppose is fair enough – goodness me, how often have the MSM helped themselves to material and legwork from this website, not attributed any of it to the author, or simply mis-quoted context in the “material lift”?

If I was a Journalist who was anti-Conservatives, I might make fun of Craig publically, but in a professional and private capacity, I would be more mindful that if I was to mis-quote Craig in the media, then I’m most likely up for a meaningful act of correction.

One letter from a Lawyer equals this publicity – cheaper than an ad I guess: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10879437

Warning Two:

A useful reference on media law: http://www.medialawjournal.co.nz/?page_id=273

From the website: Can humour be defamatory?

“Yes. Humour, satire, sarcasm, cartoons and spoofs that make fun of people can be defamatory, by holding people up to ridicule unfairly. But it can be difficult to predict whether a court will say “although dressed up as a joke, the barb is defamatory and damaging” or “no-one would take this seriously, it’s obviously just a bit of fun”. Decisions have gone both ways”.

That sounds like warnings to the media (and bloggers) – don’t mess with Colin Craig quotes!

I commented at Whale Oil on Warning One:

But Craig didn’t send a message to the MSM, this was a quiet letter to a relatively small website. Their reaction and the reaction on social media has blown it up into an MSM story. I’m not sure that this is what Craig intended, I very much doubt it.

No media takes kindly to being slapped with legal letters. It’s possible MSM may take note and take more care reporting Craig, but it’s also likely that they will just be more careful but with increased scathingness at any opportunity.

There are easy ways of ridiculing someone without satirical made up quotes – for example by using Craigs actual quotes.

And Steve responded:

“No media takes kindly to being slapped with legal letters. It’s possible MSM may take note and take more care reporting Craig” – yes, I suspect so.

So he has taken half a quote  that was not represeenting the whole point I made.

He has said “simply mis-quoted context”, and “in a professional and private capacity, I would be more mindful that if I was to mis-quote Craig in the media, then I’m most likely up for a meaningful act of correction.”

But here he has taken half of one of my sentences and quoted it (using quotation marks) which misquotes me out of context.

Perhaps he should practice what he preaches.