Craig proceeds with defamation suit against Norman

March 4th, 2014 at 10:39 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Conservatives’ leader hopes to fast-track a claim against Greens co-leader so a court hearing can be held before this year’s election.

Mr Craig had given Dr Norman a deadline to apologise over comments he made in a speech at the Big Gay Out, but Dr Norman refused to do so.

The Conservatives’ leader today said his defamation claim against Dr Norman would be split into two stages in the hope of fast-tracking a court hearing.

“After extensive discussion and advice from my legal team, I’ve decided to proceed immediately against [Dr] Norman regarding his claims about the place of women.”

I think this is unwise. In defamation cases both sides tend to lose out. Craig looks thin-skinned by resorting to defamation. Norman i associated with personal attacks that go against the Green principles. It’s a lose lose.

Conservatives’ leader Colin Craig hopes to fast-track a defamation claim against Greens co-leader Russel Norman so a court hearing can be held before this year’s election.

Mr Craig had given Dr Norman a deadline to apologise over comments he made in a speech at the Big Gay Out, but Dr Norman refused to do so.

The Conservatives’ leader today said his defamation claim against Dr Norman would be split into two stages in the hope of fast-tracking a court hearing.

“After extensive discussion and advice from my legal team, I’ve decided to proceed immediately against [Dr] Norman regarding his claims about the place of women.”

By narrowing the claim, the job is harder for Norman. He has to defend it on the basis that Craig has expressed views along the lines of women should be in the kitchen.

As I understand it, Craig is not suing for damages, just a declaration that Norman defamed him (and costs). If Craig wins he will have seriously damaged Norman and the Greens (how do you have a co-leader who has been found to be a liar by a court) but he will also have damaged himself by looking litigious. If he loses, then it is all bad for him.

Mind you Winston has sued several people for defamation, and he still makes 5%!

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114 Responses to “Craig proceeds with defamation suit against Norman”

  1. Andrei (2,499 comments) says:

    It’s why his party will go nowhere – putting on circus sideshows instead of talking issues.

    To tell the truth I haven’t a clue of what he really stands for though the Conservative name implies certain principals though whether or not he actually stands on those principals and what he would do with them if elected remains mysterious

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  2. MT_Tinman (2,985 comments) says:

    I think it’s a good move by Craig.

    A move that keeps Craig in the spotlight while keeping the communist under pressure.

    Whether Craig wins or not this can only damage the Reds.

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  3. Reid (15,917 comments) says:

    He’s going for name recognition, and his potential voter base wants the Gweens to be held to account.

    If he loses, he won’t be seen as litigious by his potential base, he’ll be seen as having been a Kiwi battler giving it a go to insert some long overdue decency into the proceedings.

    If he wins, he’ll be seen as a hero by his potential base.

    He doesn’t care about people who will never consider voting Conservative, he’s not interested in their opinions and why should he be? So from his calculation, looking at his own potential voter base, I don’t think he sees any downside at all.

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  4. RRM (9,428 comments) says:

    Whether Craig wins or not this can only damage the Reds.

    Really?

    Upsetting a defensive, thin-lipped conservative enough to make him sue would be a badge of honour among lefties.

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  5. RRM (9,428 comments) says:

    If he loses, he won’t be seen as litigious by his potential base, he’ll be seen as having been a Kiwi battler giving it a go to insert some long overdue decency into the proceedings.

    If he wins, he’ll be seen as a hero by his potential base.

    :lol: LOL, yes because “kiwi battlers” are a real thing, and suing for defamation is what they do…

    —-> reality is over there somewhere chap! ;-)

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  6. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    There are potential downsides:
    - an increasing chance that Key will distance himself and/or not give Craig an easy electorate
    - a fair chunk of the potential vote between 2% and 5%.

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  7. Colville (2,064 comments) says:

    Its all good for Craig.
    The block of voters that might possibly vote for Craig all loathe the Greens so to damage Wussel is great entertainment.
    Craig has LOTS of money, he will have been advised very very well. He will win.

    Will Wussel use tax payers money to defend this?

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  8. tvb (4,197 comments) says:

    There is no doubt Norman said so the facts are sorted. It is a legal argument about whether it defamatory or fair comment.

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  9. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    Defamation proceedings brought by politicians are bad for democracy. I would prefer a rule like the US one that makes it very hard for any politician to sue for defamation at all.

    But it’s not necessarily bad for Colin Craig given that he wants attention and has much more money than Norman.

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  10. Psycho Milt (2,255 comments) says:

    If Craig wins he will have seriously damaged Norman and the Greens (how do you have a co-leader who has been found to be a liar by a court)…

    I’m picking that potential Green voters aren’t going to be put off Russel Norman if a court finds that Craig never actually said a woman’s place is in the kitchen. I’m also picking that the rest of the country’s politicians can recognise someone ruining political debate for everybody when they see it – young Colin’s going to be as popular with his intended colleagues as the boy who rats on you to the teacher.

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  11. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    Norman has said he will seek donations to help defend himself. No secret trusts I hope. He’s likely to get quite a bit of financial help from devoted Greens – but that is likely to divert from election fundraising. That could be Craig’s cunning plan.

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  12. Reid (15,917 comments) says:

    There are potential downsides:
    - an increasing chance that Key will distance himself and/or not give Craig an easy electorate
    - a fair chunk of the potential vote between 2% and 5%.

    How do you figure those Pete?

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  13. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    Craig is a fool, this makes him look thin skinned and weak – he’s not a private person anymore if he is intending to be involved in politics – he is now a public figure and needs to grow a decent set if he has any chance of surviving.

    and it all sounds rather pussy – nothing worse than men sounding like catty females – time both Craig and Norman quit the name calling and actually worked out how to be a politician.

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  14. Reid (15,917 comments) says:

    Craig is a fool, this makes him look thin skinned and weak

    Not amongst his potential base, who can’t stand Wussel and deplore everything about the Gweens from their tactics to their execrable policies. They would love to see Wussel get what’s coming to him.

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  15. tvb (4,197 comments) says:

    Given the nature of this case it would need to trawl through Craig’s attitude to women. The publicity on that in election year may be quite good for Craig.

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  16. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    Key has rolled his eyes when asked about Craig taking legal action, saying it’s futile.

    So from his calculation, looking at his own potential voter base,

    Craig’s voter base looks to be 1-2% with another 1% of maybe, maybe not (my estimate based on the last election and subsequent polls).

    Getting the extra 2-3% to make 5% may be critical, and some of them may not be impressed with legal sideshows.

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  17. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    The problem for Craig is, there are many people, including myself who have taken his comments to insinuate that ‘a woman’s place is in the kitchen’. Whilst he may never have actually said those specific words, much of what he has said demonstrates that is how his thinking works, by the interpretation of many ‘right thinking members of society’.

    I’m more than happy to stand up in court and say that (actually no I’m not because I think they both need to grow up) but I bet there are quite a few women that would and Craig needs to consider that before he takes on the ‘feminists’.

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  18. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    @ tvb (3,833 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Really? and what if an analysis of his comments show him to be a chauvinist prat? Lets not forget there are more of us girls than boys!! :-) I don’t think any politician heading towards election should expose themselves to a in depth critique of their past comments.

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  19. Harriet (4,502 comments) says:

    “….It’s a lose lose….”

    Hardly.

    Mr Craig will say he defends women.

    And raise any issue he thinks will damage the Left the most in the eyes of women…..like porn…prostitution….abortions……or hardcore women’s lib or……

    Mr Craig is assured to get his 5% now! :cool:

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  20. Reid (15,917 comments) says:

    Key has rolled his eyes when asked about Craig taking legal action, saying it’s futile.

    He’s speaking to his base so you can discount that, it’s what they would expect him to say.

    Key is nothing if not a calculator, and he knows he needs other parties, and he knows Mana and the MP are going to have a bun-fight and he knows UF only gives him one and its chancy given how Dunne imploded himself. His only hope before ACT started its revival was Conservative, but he’ll cover his bets and back both, guarantee it, because those two combined are likely to yield an extra 5-6% of reliable party vote.

    If one wants to analyse politics one needs to look beyond the public statements to the calculations behind it which may be quite different from the bald interpretation of the statement which is only put out there for the public and political hobbyist amateurs who don’t know what they’re doing and take everything on face value combined with a good dose of believing their pet theory not because it’s true but simply because they would desperately like it to be.

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  21. RRM (9,428 comments) says:

    Mr Craig will say he defends women.

    And raise any issue he thinks will damage the Left the most in the eyes of women….

    Mr Craig is assured to get his 5% now! :cool:

    He will be a latter day Pete George, you mean.

    Are you sure you don’t want to re-think that? ;-)

    Dancing on the head of a pin.

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  22. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    @ Reid

    That may be right to a certain extent, but when you start playing the sexist game, it becomes more than simply a choice between a party leaders. And there are other options Craig and Norman aren’t the only choice.

    Craig, by taking this action is opening himself up to have any comments that he may have made that even are the slightest bit harmful of women’s role in the workforce to be heavily criticised. Many a mild man has tried to make light of such comments, and mostly they stay that way, but when they are repeated in the Court, they have a way of taking on a new life – mostly going against the person that said them, because they are repeated out of context.

    Craig needs to think very carefully about every comment he has made that is a matter of record, before he gets into a cock fight that he might win, but will see him negatively labelled and in the long run, lose.

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  23. Reid (15,917 comments) says:

    when you start playing the sexist game, it becomes more than simply a choice between a party leaders

    Only lefties become hysterical at the sexist touchpoint Judith. It’s a leftist issue, just like the racism one is. Conservatives in general whether ACT, National or Conservative all know it when they see it and all deplore it if it exists, but none of them get hysterical at the least whiff of it like lefties in general all do and none of them pretend it exists when it doesn’t, like lefties in general all do as well.

    So it’s a non-issue for Craig, even if lefties in politics and the media get all hysterical about it when the case is reported on, which they almost certainly will. But who cares, lefties are mental anyway, all conservatives know that, let alone that subset who may or may not vote Conservative.

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  24. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    @ Harriet

    Mr Craig can say whatever he likes, but it is how women perceive his comments that is the issue.

    IF Norman can produce evidence in court that women perceive him to be derogatory towards them, then Craig doesn’t stand a chance, and I’m sorry, there are thousands of women that think Craig should be in the kitchen, preferably with his hand stuck down the waste disposal, which might stop him from being the wanker he comes across as.

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  25. Reid (15,917 comments) says:

    I’m sorry, there are thousands of women that think Craig should be in the kitchen, preferably with his hand stuck down the waste disposal, which might stop him from being the wanker he comes across as.

    And % of potential Conservative votes amongst that particular segment of female voters = 0% Judith.

    Either before or after the hysteria commences.

    What about that don’t you understand.

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  26. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    @ Reid (15,042 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 11:22 am

    No it is not a leftist issue Reid, and if you and Craig believe that, then he is in trouble.

    I know many woman, strong independent women that are right supporters that take great insult to comments like that.
    This nonsense that feminist thought is only left is ridiculous, and your battle is lost before it starts if Craig thinks right females will all support him on this. Some might – but others won’t and will simply take their vote elsewhere.

    Apart from all that, this isn’t meant to be an election issue – but a legal matter, if Craig is seen to be doing this solely to manipulate the voting, then that will also work against him.

    Don’t forget there are other choices, it is not just a matter of a vote for Craig or Norman -

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  27. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    @ Reid (15,043 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 11:28 am

    As I said Reid, you know nothing about the way women think and talk among each other.
    There will be some subservient right voting females that may over look the comments and may even believe they belong in the kitchen, that will vote for Craig, and there will be those that smile to their husbands and say they are voting for Craig, but when they are alone in that ballot booth, what they say and what they do are very different things.

    There are many women whose husband’s think they know which way they vote, but women tend to vote for what is best for them … and believe me, they know a chauvinist when the see one.

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  28. Alan Wilkinson (1,815 comments) says:

    @judith, I think you are being simplistic. Craig will have the opportunity to show what he has done and match that up against anything Norman can show he has said. Most women will recognise that actions speak louder than words – and Norman is just a blowhard.

    I also discount the notion that politicians should not be able to sue when their opponents lie. No good is served by deliberate dishonesty in politics.

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  29. Reid (15,917 comments) says:

    I said Reid, you know nothing about the way women think and talk among each other.

    Judith you don’t seem to know anything about how Conservative women operate. I doubt that any of them would accept the sort of treatment you imply given that on average they are much more successful, much more independent, much more tolerant and much more intelligent than their lefty sisters, who by contrast appear as a bunch of screeching hairy-legged harridans. (With one or two comparatively rare exceptions of course. Mustn’t stereotype, must I.)

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  30. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    @ Alan Wilkinson (1,795 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Craig hasn’t done anything that makes up for comments that demean women’s equality.

    I’m sorry, but you and the other males that think women won’t listen to those comments and take insult, are delusional.

    I accept that at the time, most, in fact a very large percentage of NZ women probably didn’t even notice the comments, but now, as Craig is himself highlighting them, (something he has to take responsibility for), they are becoming an issue.

    I have not heard one woman come out in support for Craig’s comments – I’ve heard many be unflattering towards Norman, but the test here is the comments, not the political parties – and Craig has not made any actions that undo those comments.
    He has nothing that shows him to believe women are just as entitled to a career as men, and its too late for him to come up with something now.

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  31. goldnkiwi (985 comments) says:

    Bet Craig doesn’t rely on boxes of tissues like some other complainants I can think of when claiming that they have been defamed. Sensitive wee flowers one and all? ;)

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  32. iMP (2,231 comments) says:

    I’m pretty surprised at Norman handing this gift-horse on a plate to the Conservatives in election year. It was completely unprovoked. John Moore/Bryce Edwards say this is actually a cynical Greens re-positioning move. See here.

    http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2014/03/john-moore-the-demonisation-of-colin-craig.html#comment-6a00d83451d75d69e201a73d868abd970d

    I’m sure Colin Craig has thought this through very carefully. At best, Norman’s “closet” comment was mild and a matter of opinion. Opinion is a valid defense in Defamation. Having been drawn into a lengthy and controversial maelstrom over “gay equality” and marriage in 2013, arguing the “closet” thing would draw the Conservatives back into the ‘anti-gay’ arena in 2014, surely something they wish to avoid. The disclosure and documents mentioned in CC’s press release today, would mire them down in gay rhetoric and nothing would be won.

    But nailing Russell Normon over his sexist “kitchen” comments is another matter. Colin Craig has appointed several intelligent women to high posts, including as CEO of his party. Championing this cause as a Defamation case puts Norman in a very bad place, with brownie points abounding for Craig. He has a right to defend himself against an unprovoked slur he is a sexist 1950s stick-in-the-mud.

    Norman actually looks a bit rattled by this. I can only see win/win for Colin Craig:

    a) Craig looks strong to his constituency (only needs 5%).
    b) Puts him and Norman center stage in election campaign (juicy media copy).
    c) Greens get distracted in election year and may have to pay.
    d) Big sympathy-upps for Consv.s in National camp for taking the Greens to court.
    e) CC has established the legal context as “honesty in political claims” which puts Norman on the back foot.
    f) Not seeking damages removes the ‘overly litigious’ accusation.

    Craig is protecting his brand in the early phase of establishment. He needs to rigorously defend his party from meme-defining slurs and misnomers, especially by other enemy poli leaders like Norman. This upends a key Green tenent (love and not attacking).

    Note last polls: Greens down a lot, Consv.s holding (as they have since 2011). Edwards and Moore are probably right.

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  33. freemark (431 comments) says:

    Which comments has he made “that demean women’s equality.” Judith? I think perhaps you are being as sensitive as you accuse Craig of being.

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  34. Mark (1,360 comments) says:

    This doesn’t damage Norman in any way at all. It simply makes Craig look like a twat. Craig should be attacking Normans policies, good god there is enough amunition in that. Norman will revel in this as it simply highlights Craig’s arcane social and religious views.

    Norman is an economic terrorist who should be exposed as such. Craig has chosen to take him on in perhaps his weakest area, the place of women in society. A tactical disaster in the making. If he atttacked Normans economic pollices Craig is going to not only win the argument but perhaps gain some support along the way.

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  35. Psycho Milt (2,255 comments) says:

    Mr Craig will say he defends women.

    And raise any issue he thinks will damage the Left the most in the eyes of women…..like porn…prostitution….abortions……or hardcore women’s lib or……

    Believe me, I really, really would love to see Craig try to prove Norman wrong by spouting wingnut gibberish about porn, prostitution, abortion and the machinations of the evil feminists, but I’m likely to be denied that pleasure by: a) Craig not being a drooling imbecile; and b) his having lawyers to tell him which approaches would be suicidally counterproductive.

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  36. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    Reid (15,044 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Judith you don’t seem to know anything about how Conservative women operate. I doubt that any of them would accept the sort of treatment you imply given that on average they are much more successful, much more independent, much more tolerant and much more intelligent than their lefty sisters, who by contrast appear as a bunch of screeching hairy-legged harridans. (With one or two comparatively rare exceptions of course. Mustn’t stereotype, must I.)

    You seriously underestimate the ‘conservative women’ you know if you think you can make a comment like that, and they don’t take issue with it.

    As I said, as a conservative male, you and Craig might think you know what your women are doing and who they vote for, but believe me sunshine, and I have many ‘conservative’ women friends who are professionals, when it comes to their ability to be independent being challenged, they vote for the person/team/party that will be best for them…

    What they tell you to keep you happy is another story – they are successful because they know how to play the game. :-)

    I hope you don’t mind, I am forwarding that comment on, I do think the ‘independent women’ need to know what Craig supporters think.

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  37. lolitasbrother (469 comments) says:

    Good show Norman did defame Craig, and the moron also promised Kim Dotcom , We Greens will suck here and we will disentangle you from extradition proceedings. I really think the Dotcom bribe was enough to completely reverse Green fortunes.

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  38. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    Neither the Greens or the Conservatives would ever get my vote but I’m going to love watching Colin Craig get his beans in court.

    Go Wussell! :)

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  39. RRM (9,428 comments) says:

    you don’t seem to know anything about how Conservative women operate. I doubt that any of them would accept the sort of treatment you imply given that on average they are much more successful, much more independent, much more tolerant and much more intelligent than their lefty sisters, who by contrast appear as a bunch of screeching hairy-legged harridans. (With one or two comparatively rare exceptions of course. Mustn’t stereotype, must I.)

    :lol: LOL

    Go home Weid, you’re dwunk.

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  40. eszett (2,332 comments) says:

    In defamation cases both sides tend to lose out.

    In a normal, private defamation case, yes.

    In a political case like this only one side is set out to lose and that is Craig.

    Only those with politically-biased, wishful-thinking, objective-analysis-bypass, rose-tinted-glasses could possibly see this as something good for Craig.

    Just ask yourselves, what would your reaction be if it were the other way around, if Norman would sue Craig for defamation? Would anyone see it as a potential win for Norman?

    There would be howls of outrage and “lefties trying to stamp on free speech through the courts”.

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  41. radvad (661 comments) says:

    The Aussie ginga is on the record saying homosexuality is normal. Surely this means that he believes heterosexuality is abnormal.
    Nice one Wussel.
    Having said that I think Craig is stupid suing. He should just call Norman an unrepentent liar and use some mocking humour to belittle Norman.

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  42. Reid (15,917 comments) says:

    I hope you don’t mind, I am forwarding that comment on, I do think the ‘independent women’ need to know what Craig supporters think.

    So long as you don’t imply I am a Conservative voter or a Conservative supporter Judith because I’m neither of those. As I’ve said here several times, I haven’t yet made my mind up about Craig, I simply don’t have a reflex reaction against him like hysterical lefties do.

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  43. bringbackdemocracy (392 comments) says:

    Smart move by Mr Craig.

    http://mediatrainingnz.co.nz/could-colin-craigs-defamation-action-be-a-cunning-publicity-stunt/

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  44. eszett (2,332 comments) says:

    radvad (600 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 11:56 am
    The Aussie ginga is on the record saying homosexuality is normal. Surely this means that he believes heterosexuality is abnormal.

    radvad, do you think that being lefthanded or having blue eyes is normal? And if you do, does that surely mean that being righthanded or having brown eyes is abnormal?

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  45. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    The Aussie ginga is on the record saying homosexuality is normal. Surely this means that he believes heterosexuality is abnormal.

    Surely this means you don’t understand what normal is. It’s normal for some people to be male, it’s normal for some to be female. It’s normal for most people to be hetero and it’s normal for some people to be homosexual. It’s abnormal if society pressures people into hiding their normal sexuality.

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  46. Psycho Milt (2,255 comments) says:

    The Aussie ginga is on the record saying homosexuality is normal. Surely this means that he believes heterosexuality is abnormal.

    You might want to look up the meaning of non sequitur. In short, no it doesn’t mean that, surely or otherwise.

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  47. Harriet (4,502 comments) says:

    “…….Mr Craig will say he defends women…..And raise any issue he thinks will damage the Left the most in the eyes of women….Mr Craig is assured to get his 5% now!

    He will be a latter day Pete George, you mean. Are you sure you don’t want to re-think that?……”

    Of course not!

    Do you really think that single/partnered women are not victims when their ‘boyfriend’ simply says ‘it’s YOUR choice if you abort or not – as I don’t legally have to indicate anything at all about that matter.”?

    Just look at the victims of the roastbusters………….also victims of male porn watchers.

    Female, and also male siblings, are victims of abortion when they find out that their brother or sister has been aborted – because they too – feel a loss.

    Do you really think the ‘defenders of women’ at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, tell women/politicians/media the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about women’s affairs? Women are surely victims if they are lied to about mental health matters arn’t they RRM?

    The disgusting left is going to look pathetic when women wake up to the fact that Labour and the Greens have never been concerned about women’s welfare – but just their rights!

    NZ women are looking like lossers RRM – and Mr Craig is going to mildly point that out to them! :cool:

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  48. freemark (431 comments) says:

    When I say “women should be in the kitchen” it’s only because I think they are often better at cooking than me – does that me me sexist or foodist..or just not a very good cook.

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  49. RRM (9,428 comments) says:

    Harriet –

    And when PG says all those same things, you slam him for being PC, and tell us all about how sheilas like a real man.

    But now you say it’d be great if Kolun Cwaig did it.

    You really believe your own BS don’t you?

    Dancing on the head of a pin. :-)

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  50. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    “The reason for the privilege is that those who represent the local government electors should be able to speak freely and frankly, boldly and bluntly, on any matter which they believe affects the interests or welfare of the inhabitants. They may be swayed by strong political prejudice, they may be obstinate and pig-headed, stupid and obtuse; but they were chosen by the electors to speak their minds on matters of local concern and so long as they do so honestly they run no risk of liability for defamation of those who are the subjects of their criticism.”

    - Lord Diplock

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  51. RRM (9,428 comments) says:

    radvad (600 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 11:56 am

    The Aussie ginga is on the record saying homosexuality is normal. Surely this means that he believes heterosexuality is abnormal.

    Driving a Ford is normal. Surely this means driving a Toyota is abnormal. ;-)

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  52. MT_Tinman (2,985 comments) says:

    RRM (8,805 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Upsetting a defensive, thin-lipped conservative enough to make him sue would be a badge of honour among lefties.

    I don’t disagree but the lefties are already committed voters for the Reds or socialists.

    What red Russel and his cohorts need to do is fool the undecided, the gullible and the idiots.

    Craig’s action will not help that cause at all.

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  53. MT_Tinman (2,985 comments) says:

    freemark (286 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 12:13 pm
    When I say “women should be in the kitchen” it’s only because I think they are often better at cooking than me – does that me me sexist or foodist..or just not a very good cook.

    Sexist – with poor grammar.

    Most bloody women can’t cook for shit.

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  54. Harriet (4,502 comments) says:

    The simple truth is this:

    Government has to balance individual rights against the good of society.

    And educating children that the homosexual lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle option is completly false.

    The homosexualising of children is not good for the individual nor the wider good of community.

    The balance that Putin has put in place in Russia is about right.

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  55. Harriet (4,502 comments) says:

    “…And when PG says all those same things, you slam him for being PC, and tell us all about how sheilas like a real man….You really believe your own BS don’t you?……..”

    fucken bullshit. And besides, are you really going to get PG to say he said that?

    He’s pro-abortion idiot!

    Your’re a big time loser again today RRM. :cool:

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  56. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    @felixmarwick

    fair to say the only way @ColinCraigNZ will get the seat of East Coast Bays is by prying it out of Murray McCully’s cold dead hands

    Has anyone in National suggested East Coast Bays could be a goer for Craig? Or has it just been Craig’s dream once Paula Benefit chopped off his chances in the new Upper Harbour electorate?

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  57. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    I’m not pro-abortion. I’m pro-women’s choice what they do with their own bodies. My preference is for minimising abortions but it’s not my call.

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  58. Than (425 comments) says:

    I’m pretty surprised at Norman handing this gift-horse on a plate to the Conservatives in election year.

    Russell Norman will be thinking the same about Colin Craig. Deliberately putting every statement Craig has ever said about women under a microscope, to be twisted, taken out of context, and misinterpreted as the Green party wishes? That just can’t end well for him.

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  59. RRM (9,428 comments) says:

    :oops: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :oops:
    :cool: :oops: :cool: :cool: :cool: :oops: :cool:
    :cool: :cool: :oops: :cool: :oops: :cool: :cool:
    :cool: :cool: :cool: :mrgreen: :cool: :cool: :cool:
    :cool: :cool: :oops: :cool: :oops: :cool: :cool:
    :cool: :oops: :cool: :cool: :cool: :oops: :cool:
    :oops: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :oops:

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  60. Psycho Milt (2,255 comments) says:

    NZ women are looking like lossers RRM – and Mr Craig is going to mildly point that out to them!

    I expect his lawyer would advise strongly against it. But please, stop it with this teasing – every time I see stuff like

    The disgusting left is going to look pathetic when women wake up to the fact that Labour and the Greens have never been concerned about women’s welfare – but just their rights!

    or

    The homosexualising of children is not good for the individual nor the wider good of community.

    it makes me think “Fuck yeah, how I’d love to see him telling a court that and then asking them to find that Norman was lying about him.” But he won’t, because as mentioned above, he’s not a retard. It’s so disappointing…

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  61. iMP (2,231 comments) says:

    I think we’re off track here. CC is bringing the action, so he defines the parameters, an he’s made that clear. It’s about what was said is untrue, ie HONESTY and TRUTHFULNESS (read the press release). So, this will be about LIES and defaming with UNTRUTHS. Norman will be forced to prove what he said was true, which it isn’t. The context will be Norman SAYING, or explaining, not Craig, about women being in the kitchen, because Craig never said it.

    So, the whole court case will be about Norman justifying his slur, not Craig defending anything.

    Greens: LOSE LOSE LOSE.

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  62. Harriet (4,502 comments) says:

    “…..I’m pro-women’s choice what they do with their own bodies….”

    Science settled is it Pete?

    The homosapien is not created at conception. Only a NEW homosapien is created.

    Biologists all agree that life is passed on by the parents as all things needed to create a homosapien are already living within them. Nothing new is ADDED AFTERWARDS.[water and nutrients simply sustain them in WHAT nature has provided, the WOMB. The ‘mother’ does not PROVIDE the womb.

    Therefor, the NEW homosapien has rights to life at CONCEPTION!

    Is a 20 second ride down the birth canal the differance between nothing and a baby Pete? If not, then how far back in the pregnancy is it where a ‘baby’ EXISTS.

    “…..My preference is for minimising abortions but it’s not my call….”

    You are a white male that lives in a democracy Pete…….like all the ‘men-only’ ‘judges’ in Roe vs Wade – who decided THEY NEW BEST about a women’s body – and BEFORE ultra sounds were invented?

    Abortion is for women who are simply lazy with contraception – or don’t want to take any responsability if they do get pregnant. They then use abortion as a form of contraception.

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  63. Nick R (497 comments) says:

    Craig probably won’t be able to limit the scope of proceeding to everything he has ever said about women. If Norman pleads truth he can argue that his statements about Craig were true when taken as a whole. At that point he can still try to use everything Craig has ever said about gays as evidence that the statement, taken as a whole was true or not materially different from the truth.

    Another option is to argue that Craig already has such a bad reputation that he suffered no damage from anything Norman said. This is a dangerous defence but if he uses it, potentially anything stupid or offensive Criag has ever said could be used as evidence.

    I’m sure Craig’s lawyers have explained this to him. But he probably reckons it won’t get to trial. Most defamation cases don’t. Whatever happened to the case Judith Collins brought against (I think) Trevor Mallard?

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  64. Than (425 comments) says:

    CC is bringing the action, so he defines the parameters, an he’s made that clear. It’s about what was said is untrue,

    iMP, you don’t seem to understand how defamation law (or confrontational legal systems in general) work.

    Colin Craig doesn’t get to “define the parameters” of Russell Norman’s defense. And Norman doesn’t have to prove his statement is true – honestly held opinion is also a defense against defamation. Norman is quite entitled to pick apart anything Colin Craig has ever said about women and argue how these statements could make a reasonable person believe Craig thinks women belong in the kitchen.

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  65. Harriet (4,502 comments) says:

    “…..NZ women are looking like lossers RRM – and Mr Craig is going to mildly point that out to them!

    I expect his lawyer would advise strongly against it. But please, stop it with this teasing – every time I see stuff like…….”

    Well they are losing.

    Feminists say so! Remember?

    Mr Craig and the feminists simply DIFFER on what women are loseing ON!

    Why the fuck do you think he’s entering parliment – to fucken hurt women further? Lower their dignity further by lying to them in the way that lefty feminsts do?

    BTW. It’s election year Milt. :cool:

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  66. Mark (1,360 comments) says:

    I desperately want to see a debate on the rightful place of women between Craig and Judith Collins. It would end in tears

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  67. Mark (1,360 comments) says:

    Harriet WTF is a losser ??

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  68. Mark (1,360 comments) says:

    Craigs assertion was that NZ women were looser

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  69. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    OK – I’m not a Craig supporter but this is the way I see the equation for him:

    Downsides

    - Loses a lot of money;
    - Incurs the ire of Pete George, Psycho Milt, Chardonnay Guy and others who would never vote for him anyway.

    Upsides

    - Stays in the news;
    - Incurs the ire of Pete George, Psycho Milt, Chardonnay Guy and others who would never vote for him anyway;
    - Appeals to the minority of New Zealanders who resent having their common decency impugned because they don’t celebrate gay marriage or the permissive society.

    To me – it seems like it’s a simple question of whether the money is worth the quantity (not quality) of the publicity.

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  70. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    According to Craig, NZ women are the most promiscuous in the world. I’m not sure how he knows this.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Kiwi-women-most-promiscuous—Colin-Craig/tabid/1607/articleID/253590/Default.aspx

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  71. Harriet (4,502 comments) says:

    “……The homosexualising of children is not good for the individual nor the wider good of community….”

    Go read up on homosexual health. And death.

    So a shortened lifespan is what you suggest children in schools should achieve from state education?

    Are you ok today milt……….you just don’t seem to be your bright self today? :cool:

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  72. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    Using legal action to try and get publicity in order to score political points could be seen as “common decency impugned”.

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  73. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Norman is quite entitled to pick apart anything Colin Craig has ever said about women and argue how these statements could make a reasonable person believe Craig thinks women belong in the kitchen.

    Certainly, and it appears that Craig doesn’t think their place is in the bedroom. :)

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  74. Harriet (4,502 comments) says:

    ‘……According to Craig, NZ women are the most promiscuous in the world. I’m not sure how he knows this….”

    LOL Ross69. Well pointed out.

    Mr Craig is then going to submit every source of the comments he is alledged to have said.

    Most of it being from the NZ MSM. :cool:

    The left are fucked now.

    A ‘selfie’ fuck. :cool:

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  75. RightNow (6,646 comments) says:

    According to Craig, NZ women are the most promiscuous in the world. I’m not sure how he knows this.

    Maybe he reads the news:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/22444/Kiwi-women-most-promiscuous-in-the-world

    Or Wikipedia

    A non-scientific survey conducted in 2007 by condom-maker Durex measured promiscuity by a total number of sexual partners. The survey found that Austrian men had the highest number of sex partners of males globally with 29.3 sexual partners on average. New Zealand women had the highest number of sex partners for females in the world with an average of 20.4 sexual partners. In all of the countries surveyed, except New Zealand, men reported more sexual partners than women

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promiscuity

    If you feel like you haven’t been getting your fair share it’s probably because dime got yours.

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  76. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    honestly held opinion is also a defense against defamation

    Not that I want to ask a silly question (especially that everyone here seems like experts on defamation law) but isn’t it relevant that Russel Norman does not honestly hold the opinion claimed.

    Russel Norman said that Mr Craig thinks a woman’s place is in the kitchen and a gay man’s place is in the closet. Clearly defamatory if taken literally. When this all erupted, Russel then said that it was a metaphor – which means that he does not believe they were literally true. But, unless I am wrong, defamation is a strict liability tort – which means that what’s relevant is whether someone who heard the statement would believe it to be intended literally.

    In a way, I hope it does go trial – because it could be an interesting case.

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  77. RRM (9,428 comments) says:

    “Why should, say, a 70-year-old who’s had one partner all their life be paying for a young woman to sleep around? We are the country with the most promiscuous young women in the world. This does nothing to help us at all.”

    - Colin Craig, 9/5/2012

    I don’t think the “there was no loss of reputation, he was already a joke in the public eye” defense would be too risky at all… ;-)

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  78. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    The fact that New Zealand women have the highest numbers of sex partners in the world is not a reflection on them.

    They can’t be blamed for having to ‘kiss a lot of frogs, before they find a prince’ among the herd (plod, gaggle) of Kiwi Males … :-) :-) :-)

    or

    Is it their fault many Kiwi Males are so damn useless in bed ?
    :-)

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  79. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    ….”Is it their fault many Kiwi Males are so damn useless in bed ?”….

    You should have spent more time in the Wairarapa Judith. :)

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  80. Nostalgia-NZ (4,899 comments) says:

    Weihana 12.17. He’s up against isn’t he. He’s also talking about a ‘perception’ of what a reasonable person might conclude, and he’s claiming counsel on the way ‘he thinks’ as compared to the way others believe he may think. Goo gaa land in short.

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  81. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    Russel Norman said that Mr Craig thinks a woman’s place is in the kitchen and a gay man’s place is in the closet. Clearly defamatory if taken literally.

    It’s obvious that “in the closet” has never been used literally. That adds weight to the metaphor claim for “a woman’s place is in the kitchen”.

    And even being accused of suggesting someone thinks a woman’s place is in the kitchen is hardly a devastating put-down. Craig has often been referred to as Crazy Colin, surely that’s worse.

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  82. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    @ nasska (9,070 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    LOL. I’m sorry, I was always of the opinion there were too many sheep in the Wairarapa for a girl to have a decent chance!

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  83. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    Craig has often been referred to as Crazy Colin, surely that’s worse.

    Only if its not true.

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  84. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    ….”Craig has often been referred to as Crazy Colin, surely that’s worse”…..

    Compared to the addled who cling to his trouser cuffs seeking delivery from compulsory gay marriage & abortion he is totally sane.

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  85. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    Judith

    It just means that sometimes you might have a short wait before your needs can be catered for. :)

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  86. Psycho Milt (2,255 comments) says:

    Are you ok today milt……….you just don’t seem to be your bright self today?

    I just think it’s very cruel of you to dangle the prospect of this comedic spectacle before me when we both know it won’t happen.

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  87. Harriet (4,502 comments) says:

    “Why should, say, a 70-year-old who’s had one partner all their life be paying for a young woman to sleep around? We are the country with the most promiscuous young women in the world. This does nothing to help us at all.”

    - Colin Craig, 9/5/2012

    I don’t think the “there was no loss of reputation, he was already a joke in the public eye” defense would be too risky at all…
    ———————————

    He’ll get ACT voters agreeing with that……..and NZ First voters……..’Pension affordability’ is what Winston will say to get the voters back……..and THAT Catholic…..what’s his name…..Bill English will say…..and

    It’s election year as Paula Bennet will say RRM.

    To the victors goes the spoils! :cool:

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  88. SGA (804 comments) says:

    Pete George at 1:38 pm

    It’s obvious that “in the closet” has never been used literally. That adds weight to the metaphor claim for “a woman’s place is in the kitchen”.

    My reaction too. Likewise I’ve never thought the expression “barefoot and pregnant” actually demanded shoelessness.

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  89. Psycho Milt (2,255 comments) says:

    Why should, say, a 70-year-old who’s had one partner all their life be paying for a young woman to sleep around?

    Wait, what – you can get paid for that now? Anyone who informs my daughter of this is going to end up with lumps.

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  90. iMP (2,231 comments) says:

    Russell Norman has just upped the ante again, by putting out an ad on the Greens website asking for donations. It says “Russell Norman stood up for women and gay men. Now Colin Craig is taking him to court.”

    He;s taking him to court because Norman said Craig thinks women should stay in the kitchen, which he doesn’t. So, its obvious Norman is turning this into a US-style attack political game. So Moore and Edwards are right picking this as political spin. Norman is spinning and distorting for political ends.

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  91. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    Norman is spinning and distorting for political ends.

    And Craig’s action has nothing to do with political ends?

    $70k is a lot to raise for a trivial legal action. It’s hard to see it as money well raised/spent by either side of this.

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  92. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    @ iMP (2,051 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    If Craig doesn’t think that, why does he imply it with the statements he makes?

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  93. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    ….”Norman is spinning and distorting for political ends”….

    Which he would not have had the opportunity to do had a small minded, litigious crybaby not run to his lawyers trying to create free publicity for political ends.

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  94. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    PG

    ….”$70k is a lot to raise for a trivial legal action. It’s hard to see it as money well raised/spent by either side of this.”….

    Disagree totally. Wasting funds that could be used to garner votes is as good as it gets for most of us…..just not so wonderful for the Conservowhacks or the Tree Huggers.

    A pox on both their houses. :)

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  95. iMP (2,231 comments) says:

    “The Spin Doctors are in. Norman can’t even tell New Zealanders the truth about why he’s going to court.”

    It’s because he’s a champion of gay men and women. Bizzzzt FALSE. Lose 5 points.

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  96. iMP (2,231 comments) says:

    OH DEAR, comments are not all running Russell Norman’s way, even on the Greens own website. Seems you can’t use gay men and women as pawns in a spin-campaign and get away with it Russ…

    “He didn’t stand up for women and gay men, he twisted Colin Craig’s words to gain political support.”

    “He insulted another professional person. If I was at the receiving end of Russell’s insults, I’d be going to court as well. If this sort of talk is not acceptable in the wider community, why should it be ok in politics. Bad move Russell. You’d be better off saying sorry.”

    Dang.

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  97. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    @ iMP (2,053 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    So some of your mates are posting on the Green website, just like some of the Green supporters post here … it’s hardly a new revelation or new behaviour.

    Craig will drop the action, (if he has any sense) and preferably take a nice long holiday and realise he isn’t the man for the job, or he’ll continue with his pointless campaign, trying to say the right thing to please everybody (which you can’t do) and end up insulting everyone in the process.

    The man is no doubt a lovely guy, too lovely to be a politician – this example proves that – he is going to be made mince meat of, (not by Norman or the Greens) but by people who aren’t stupid enough to think his comments mean anything other than what they did – that he thinks ‘women should be in the kitchen’. I have visions of him in the house – crying into his pink spotted handkerchief because they are ‘all so mean’.

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  98. goldnkiwi (985 comments) says:

    There you go ‘Judith’ as a woman I have no problem with what Colin Craig says at all, and as for you behaving as if you speak for all ‘women’ wherever they are on the political spectrum that is as much tosh as other assertions you spout.

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  99. Judith (7,497 comments) says:

    @ goldnkiwi (610 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    ROLFAO!!! Read the whole thread did you and that was the best you can come up with !!!! LOL, oh dear !

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  100. All_on_Red (1,336 comments) says:

    Judith
    It would be helpful if you could list those statements. So far , it looks more like peoples perceptions based on him being in the “conservative” party.

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  101. goldnkiwi (985 comments) says:

    At least I am not a self proclaimed ‘mouthpiece’ of all. Shouldn’t that be ROLMFAO? Surely your ROLFAO doesn’t make any sense, but then you don’t often, do you?

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  102. Than (425 comments) says:

    Which he would not have had the opportunity to do had [Colin Craig] not run to his lawyers

    Exactly.

    Of course Norman is spinning this. He’ll keep spinning and distorting this for as long as he can drag it out, and it’ll only get worse if this goes to trial. Colin Craig is gifting him a public platform on which to criticise Craig’s views, and the public perception of Craig is such that most people (not just Green voters) will believe him.

    Even if Colin Craig wins this in court it would be very much a Pyrrhic victory.

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  103. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    Norman’s letter:

    I am proud of the comments I made, and I stand by them.

    I am proud of the record my party has advancing the rights of women and gay people.

    And I believe it is vital to democracy that political leaders are able to challenge and scrutinise each others views – this robust debate is vital to a healthy democracy.

    Donate to our legal fund to defend a healthy democracy – a democracy that allows the Greens and other political parties to champion the rights of all New Zealanders..

    Don’t allow Mr Craig, a millionaire, to silence the Green Party and anyone else who speaks up against his party’s 1950s mind-set.

    It’s not the first time Mr Craig has taken legal action to silence those that speak up against his party’s views. Our democracy is threatened by this litigious approach to silencing dissent and debate.

    We need to raise $70,000. Please make a donation today.

    If you want us to keep speaking up for a fairer and more compassionate New Zealand then any donation you can make will help.

    By making a donation to our legal fund you’ll be part of something big – fighting for our freedom of speech.

    I hope you’ll stand with me to ensure that we are not silenced by those with deep pockets and divisive agendas.

    For every dollar you give, you are helping us to take an important stand.

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  104. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    Turei’s promotion:

    Standing up for the rights of women and the right to free speech is essential for a genuinely progressive country. If you agree, please add your name and some dollars to this defence fund.

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  105. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    But not all Greens are happy:

    Totally misguided and somewhat deceitful. Nothing to do with free speech. Russel could well have spoken about Green policy without referring to Craig.

    Does the Green party so underestimate our intelligence as to infer we are unable to evaluate Craig for ourselves? Do the Greens plan to repeal the Defamation Act? Will the Greens introduce policy that means access to the courts is available to all rather than only the wealthy? Russel made his bed and should lie in it – his political stunt backfired.

    As a paid up member of the Green party I expect my representatives to stand up for the rights of all NZers including women and homosexuals and respect my ability to gauge for myself the policies of other parties. Craig has a right to defend himself against defamation – I despise the man and hope his case falls over.

    But I also think positing this as a defence of free speech and LGBT and womens’ rights is a load of bollocks and a stain on the integrity of the party.

    MPs are are on far more than “middle income” (as Cunliffe should know) so you lot can pay for it.

    Fundraising for defamation case – Green on Green

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  106. goldnkiwi (985 comments) says:

    I think they should have like a big thermometer fundraising arrangement so that we can all see how much money is contributed and I assume any monies over $500.00 will be noted as pecuniary interests.

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  107. iMP (2,231 comments) says:

    Will the Greens research unit (ie the taxpayers) be funding any time and people on this private civil claim? Some OIRs might throw up some blips a bit later on.

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  108. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    As in PG’s comment above the Tree Huggers are asking for donations totalling $70,000 so their co leader can defend his statement about what the CCCP party chief does or doesn’t think.

    According to the TVNZ website you would expect to pay over $6000 for a 30 second commercial during the six o’clock news. The cost of Norman’s defence would only buy sixty minutes of prime time TV advertising.

    Instead Mr Craig’s thin skin is going to keep their brand in the news (& ergo in people’s minds) for weeks if not months as the defamation case inches its way through our glacially slow court system. What a bargain.

    Mr Craig should just write the Greens out a cheque for $100,000 as a donation & retire quietly from politics.

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  109. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    Edit my 6.56pm

    Should read six minutes…..not sixty.

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  110. bringbackdemocracy (392 comments) says:

    Why doesn’t Wussel apologise and use the $70,000 on child poverty?
    Maybe he doesn’t really care about those starving kids in south Auckland.

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  111. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    It’s obvious that “in the closet” has never been used literally. That adds weight to the metaphor claim for “a woman’s place is in the kitchen

    Classic Pete George bad reading comprehension. How typical that you would read that and think the reference to ‘literal’ referred to the idioms of ‘in the closet’ and ‘in the kitchen’.

    The ‘literally’ refers to whether Colin Craig ‘literally’ has the beliefs that those idioms convey – i.e. that gay men should not openly identify as such and that women should not have careers. Does Russel Norman really believe that Colin Craig think that? On what evidence?

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  112. Mark (1,360 comments) says:

    goldnkiwi (612 comments) says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Goldie lighten up. Craig is a twat and Judith is having some laughs at his expense on a right wing political blog no less. Where is the harm in that?

    How anyone could take Colin Craig seriously is beyond comprehension

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  113. Pete George (22,768 comments) says:

    Classic Pete George bad reading comprehension. How typical that you would read that and think the reference to ‘literal’ referred to the idioms of ‘in the closet’ and ‘in the kitchen’.

    The ‘literally’ refers to whether Colin Craig ‘literally’ has the beliefs that those idioms convey…

    ‘Literally’ and ‘has the beliefs’ don’t make sense together.

    What Cato said:

    Russel Norman said that Mr Craig thinks a woman’s place is in the kitchen and a gay man’s place is in the closet. Clearly defamatory if taken literally. When this all erupted, Russel then said that it was a metaphor – which means that he does not believe they were literally true.

    I doubt that just about anyone would think they were literally true, except that’s what Cato implied with “Clearly defamatory if taken literally”.

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  114. ChardonnayGuy (1,131 comments) says:

    Here’s a brief summary of how defamation law and case law might apply to this case…

    http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/31/article_14696.php

    What is one to make of Colin Craig’s litigation against Greens Co-Leader Russel Norman, over claimed statements that Craig wanted women back in the kitchen and LGBT community members back in the closet?

    Defamation is a tort, or civil wrong. In New Zealand, it is governed by the clauses of the Defamation Act 1992, although the law of defamation was first spelt out within the British Commonwealth in Parminter v Coupland (1840). This defined defamation as “a publication without justification or lawful excuse [that]..is calculated to injure the reputation of another and exposing him [or her]..to hatred, contempt or public ridicule.”

    At present, a Court of Appeal case, New Zealand Magazines versus Hadlee (1996) provides the best case law summary of the interpretation of the law within New Zealand. In this case, the Court of Appeal noted down elements of a test whose requirements that should be met if an aggrieved party wants to establish that a defendant is liable for defamatory publications.

    Bearing in mind the element of injury to the reputation of another, and exposure to contempt or public ridicule, it establishes the principal element of the test as what a reasonable, ordinary person would understand. Let it be added that this person should possess ordinary intelligence, general knowledge about the surrounding world, and should be sufficiently worldly in their social life. Finally, the test also relies on what an ordinary reasonable person would discern from reading the publication, given the words used. Context is particularly important, and strict liability can result from these interpretations of meaning.

    An Australian case, Rivkin versus Amalgamated Television Services Pty Ltd (2001), held that allegations of homosexuality might no longer expose one to hatred, or contempt, Rivkin also held that associated defamatory allegations about hypocrisy or infidelity might also be actionable.

    What are the defences? If a defendant can establish that the content of their statement is true, then the plaintiff will lose the case. This is related to Section 8 of the Defamation Act 1992, which established these grounds for truth, or matters not markedly different from it. If a plaintiff sues on particular meanings, then the defendant is required to prove that the allegations are true in substance. There is a defence of honest opinion, but the defendant must prove that they actually hold such an opinion. As for rumours and hearsay, they are treated as if they were a direct statement, and are similarly actionable- see Truth New Zealand versus Holloway (1961).

    In the case of journalists, there is also a qualified defence of “honest opinion” in the context of the media and free speech. This arose when former New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange sued political scientist Joe Atkinson after Atkinson published a North and South article that referred to the former Prime Minister as a “lazy” occupant of that office. The courts found for Atkinson, the defendant in that context. Not to have done so would have been to erode freedom of expression and speech, cornerstones of human rights and civil liberties within democratic societies. Lange v Atkinson (2000) is still New Zealand law when it comes to Section 19 of the Defamation Act 1992.

    So, if it is a defence that content is valid, then how does this pertain to any hypothetical case related to the Norman/Craig conflict of statement and interpretation? Certainly, no-one is arguing that Colin Craig may not enjoy convivial friendships with LGBT individuals in this context, as he very well might. However, according to his own Conservative Party’s “Ask Colin” questions page, he wants to restrict abortion access for competent minors under sixteen and query the decisions of Child Youth and Family in cases of claimed child abuse. His party also made a submission to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee on the Manukau City Council (Regulating Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill, supporting the passage of that bill, which has been condemned by medical and social service professional groups in that same context because it will endanger the lives and health of street sex workers. [It may also intend to abolish the Ministry of Womens Affairs on the basis of "limited government." The Childrens Commissioner and Families Commission might be similar targets on the pretext of 'limited government' and 'fiscal responsibility' and Child Youth and Family might find its staff sharply reduced.]

    There is a stark gender imbalance in terms of his Conservative Party list, notwithstanding the fact that Christine Rankin, former WINZ Chief Executive and Families Commissioner, is Conservative Chief Executive. Individual exceptions, however capable and professional, are just that, one might argue. The above are clearly anti-feminist objectives, regardless of internal feminist dissension over the morality of sex work.

    What about heterosexism? Granted, Craig is enough of a political realist to acknowledge that the decriminalisation of male homosexuality, the passage of LGB-inclusive anti-discrimination laws and civil union legislation are faits accompli and irrevocable now. He has claimed that lesbian/gay sexual orientation is a “choice,” despite scientific evidence to the contrary from many medical, psychological and other scientific associations that it is either genetic or the product of indelible early infant developmental cues. He campaigned against marriage equality and inclusive adoption reform contained within that legislative change, although his activism was intermittent and he later acknowledged after the event that it would be futile to hold an anti-marriage referendum, although he has also stated that straight parents are “superior” to lesbian/gay parents, despite evidence-based research findings to the contrary from mainstream pediatrics and developmental psychology.

    Craig has acknowledged that he is a conservative evangelical/fundamentalist Protestant Christian. He has said that while he was brought up within the Baptist denomination, he does not currently attend church (although this sidesteps any questions about parachurch organisational membership within conservative evangelical support networks). Women are not ordained within fundamentalist churches because of their belief in “male headship”, polarised gender roles and hierarchy. This is called “gender complementarity.” Similarly, the same premise of gender complementarity rules out same-sex relationships or sexual orientation as durable, constructive, nurturant and supportive.

    Russell Norman could conceivably argue that while Colin Craig might well have strong friendships with feminist women or LGBT individuals, this should be seen as immaterial, for that is not under debate. His own recorded and verifiable personal beliefs would lead to discriminatory and harmful policies if given the validation of law. It is those effects, not whatever his personal attitudes might be, that should be at stake here.

    Please note that I am not a qualified solicitor or barrister, so there should be no absolute reliance on this material in the context of any forthcoming publications. Nor are they intended to refer specifically to any particular current media article about the ongoing case. This is intended as fair comment on a hypothetical course of action, in the public interest.

    Recommended:

    John Burrows and Bill Wilson: Media Law: Wellington: New Zealand Law Society: 2003.

    Michael Giloolly: The Law of Defamation in Australia and New Zealand: Sydney: Federation Press: 1998.

    Steve Price: “Defamation” Media Law Journal: http://www.medialawjournal.co.nz/?page_id=273

    Defamation 1: Full Overview:15.05.2012 http://www.journalismtraining.co.nz/NZJTO/E-Learning/Defamation-1-full-overview
    John v Guardian News and Media Ltd [2008] EWHC 3066 (QB)

    Lange v Atkinson [2000] 3 New Zealand Law Reports 385

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