This morning Radio NZ reported Colin Craig was launching legal action against his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor – though Craig says he used to want to do that but doesn’t anymore. Hayden Donnell responds to the news with his honest opinion.
Case law in New Zealand is clear: honest opinion is a defence against defamation.
Only a spectacularly litigious person would file a defamation suit over an article like this one, which is clearly labelled “honest opinion” in the headline.
Losers and haters might try to file frivolous legal action, but their cases would be quickly dismissed by any fair judge because this story is opinion. Again, please note: This is opinion. Now to move forward.
It is not clear whether Colin Craig will file defamation action against his former Press Secretary Rachel MacGregor.
No-one has confirmed a report posted by Radio New Zealand this morning, which claims Craig has filed papers against MacGregor.
Craig himself has denied the report to Stuff and the Herald, though he reportedly told Radio New Zealand he couldn’t rule the action out. Some facts are clear though. They are as follows:
Rachel MacGregor resigned her position as Craig’s press secretary two days short of the 2014 General Election, and later laid a sexual harassment complaint against him with the Human Rights Commission. She’s subsequently been compelled to testify in two defamation cases involving Craig. In the first, put forward by Jordan Williams, she said on the stand: “I wish these dudes would stop suing each other so this could all be over for me”. She also testified that Craig had threatened to set aside $1 million dollars to “destroy” her over the harassment allegations. Another defamation trial brought by Cameron Slater aka WhaleOil is currently before the courts.
A lot of people would say these defamation trials are the most deplorable parades of existential horror in the history of New Zealand’s legal system, and compelling anyone – but particularly an unwilling participant like MacGregor – to be involved in them is tantamount to a prosecutable crime of its own. They would go on to say that threatening lawsuits against MacGregor, whether seriously or not, can’t be legal. They would be wrong.
Intimidating and arguably vexatious lawsuits are permissible under current New Zealand law, whether we like it or not.
God will judge us for this.
Shame. Shame. Shame.
Usually I’d launch some kind of ad hominem attack against Craig here. But I won’t do that.
Craig has threatened several major media organisations with defamation action, and is generally believed to be a maddened court beast spewing defamation papers from his oozing legal orifices.
Kowtowing is my only option. But I only have one final thought. I wonder whether maybe, seeing as it is my honest opinion, and that is a legal defence against defamation, I would be able to say that Colin Craig…
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