Before we get started on this article I need to post this portion of the directive from Judge Blackie of Â 1 October 2012.
I have to post this because Matthew Blomfield is vexatious and runs off to court at the drop of a hat. The reason I have not written about Blomfield for months despite building evidence against him flooding into my tipline is because Judge Blackie essentially forbade me speaking of him unless he was otherwise reported in “old” media.
This morning that happened. Therefore I am able to comment on him and since the story manufactured by Bevan Hurley is about the case I can talk about that too.
Unlike the Herald on Sunday I’ll tell the whole story not just the bits that suit Matthew Blomfield.
You may ask why I said ‘to suit Matthew Blomfield’…well because Bevan Hurley never spoke to me or even called me prior to publishing this story. He also didn’t disclose that he met Matthew Blomfield and sat having a coffee with him at the concession stand at the Manukau District Court on Monday for 20 minutes prior to the case being heard. He also didn’t disclose that he left with Matthew Blomfield as well and never spoke with me after court. We can be assured that Bevan Hurley wrote this story on behalf of Matthew Blomfield as he always does. I have email correspondence that proves that Matthew Blomfield and Bevan Hurley have worked on stories before. I will present that in my defence against Blomfield’s spurious claims of defamation.
Right now to fisk the article (No link because they don’t deserve one)
A blogger who broke the Len Brown sex scandal story has been ordered to reveal confidential sources after a judge ruled his site was not a “news medium”.
The landmark ruling was made in a defamation case against Cameron Slater, founder of the Whale Oil site, who is being sued by Auckland businessman Matthew Blomfield. Â
Bevan Hurley makes it sound like it is recent, it is not. Judge Blackie made this ruling on 26 September 2013. In the interests of transparency, which the Herald on Sunday lacks, here is the text of his ruling.
The portion of the Evidence Act Judge Blackie stipulates is s68(5):
(5)In this section,â
informantÂ means a person who gives information to a journalist in the normal course of the journalistâs work in the expectation that the information may be published in a news medium
journalistÂ means a person who in the normal course of that personâs work may be given information by an informant in the expectation that the information may be published in a news medium
news mediumÂ means a medium for the dissemination to the public or a section of the public of news and observations on news
public interest in the disclosure of evidenceÂ includes, in a criminal proceeding, the defendantâs right to present an effective defence.
That’s it. And on this basis the judge ruled that Whale Oil Beef Hooked is not a “news medium”.
Bevan Hurley describes Matthew Blomfield as a “businessman”, when his current status would be better described as a “former bankrupt and still banned director”. After going personally bankrupt for over $3.5 million and collapsing numerous companies, he is no more a businessman than Rod Petrecivic.
In October, days after Brown was re-elected mayor of Auckland, Slater revealed the married father-of-three had a two-year affair with political wannabe Bevan Chuang.
Yes like a journalist breaking stories. There are many more as the numerous and regular reader know.
In a ruling made on September 26, Blackie said Slater’s blog was “not a news medium within the definition of … the Evidence Act.
“It is not a means for the dissemination to the public or a section of the public of news and observation on news”.
Blackie cited the Law Commission’s report News Media Meets ‘New Media’ which described blog sites as often “highly partisan” and “highly offensive and personally abusive”.
As discussed above there is no requirement for a news medium to be impartial or non-offensive in law. If this was the case the the Herald on Sunday and Campbell Live could easily be challenged on that basis as many, many people find them offensive.
The ruling could open the floodgates for others to sue the right-wing blogger for defamation to find out who has given him information.
Actually it is scarier than that. It actually opens the floodgates for anyone who writes or says anything in any format other than radio, television or many of the outdated newspapers in NZ. It affect Russell Brown, Martyn Bradbury, David Farrar or any other person writing online. People should be very worried about the implications of this ruling. Keith Ng should be worried…he may get summonsed to provide details of his hacker informants for the story he broke on Public Address. Any freelance journalist is now covered by this ruling by Judge Blackie.
At a hearing in the Manukau District Court last week, Slater said he intended to appeal against the decision, and was given 28 days to file proceedings with the High Court.
This was the hearing that Bevan Hurley doesn’t mention was because Matthew Blomfield tried to have me thrown in jail over Christmas for contempt of court. I won the case…Bevan Hurley forgot to mention that.
Not only that he failed to mention that Matthew Blomfield mentioned in court that he had interfered with court processes. I submitted an application for the leave of the court to appeal 2 days before his contempt proceeding was filed. Blomfield told the judge that he discussed that application with the court staff and they had decided it was best that they proceed with the contempt proceedings. I was never notified of anything regarding my application for leave to appeal and yet found myself in court on contempt charges.
Judge Phil Gittos ordered Slater to present the identity of his sources in the Blomfield defamation case to the court, to be sealed in a file pending the outcome of the appeal.
The defamation case arose from stories Slater wrote last year which Blomfield claimed were defamatory.
Slater told the court a source gave him a hard drive belonging to Blomfield, which he used to write much of the material.
Perhaps the only piece of Hurley’s article that was correct.
Blomfield said that by accessing Slater’s emails he would be able to determine whether they were written with malice, a key consideration in determining defamation.
And he argued Slater had “none of the checks and balances” of a news organisation.
“He sits at his computer and hits send.”
I wonder how stories are filed at The Herald on Sunday…plus in 30 odd years of using a computer i have never ever seen a “send” key on any of my computers. Quite apart from the fact that the evidence Act nor any other act requires checks and balances as a qualifier of what is a “news medium”. As for “checks and balances”…well has he ver heard of the law…I was convicted on 9 charges of breaching name suppression, and in Judge Harvey’s decision, which Judge Blackie ignored he said:
 … Many journalists and news commentators maintain blogs where they may expand upon stories that they have written or interact with others who wish to comment upon them.
… the blog facilitates a conversation between the journalist or reporter and other individuals.
Judge Harvey also went on to say in his judgement:
 …Â Mr.Thwaite has fastened uponÂ report or account as being limited to traditional news media, presumably because inÂ 1985 it was to the media that the provisions of s.140were addressed. Thus, accordingÂ to Mr Thwaite, those words must be limited to the factual reporting of events that newsÂ media undertakes. However, in the age of mass communication and the internet,Â where everyone may be a publisher, that approach cannot be sustained.
 …Â Conceptually a blog is no different from any other form of mass mediaÂ communication especially since it involves the internet which anyone who hasÂ an internet connection is able to access. It fulfils the concept of publishing andÂ publication. It makes information available to a wider audience. That is why peopleÂ blog.
Either Judge Blackie didn’t read Police v Slater or disagrees with Judge Harvey. Even though Judge Harvey convicted me he is actually better qualified and has made a better judgement that Judge Blackie. This will of course be explored in my Appeal to the High Court.
Blomfield applied to have Slater jailed for contempt of court for refusing to comply with the earlier order of Judge Blackie.
Judge Gittos said this would not be appropriate.
Yeah, he even said that they barely incarcerate people charged with serious assaults.
Slater said his resources had been “expired” fighting the charges, and he could no longer afford legal representation after spending tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees.
Yep, Blomfield has only pursued this action because he knew it was costing me money. I have had to dismiss my lawyer and act on my own behalf…Monday was my first win. The next win will be my appeal.
“There is little doubt that I am part of the media. I will strenuously defend my right to protect my sources.”
Got that…for anyone sending me information. I will not give you up.
Wellington media lawyer Steven Price said the thrust of the Law Commission’s report was that bloggers who were serving the functions of free speech and a free press should be treated as media and be entitled to media privileges.
“Still, it is concerned that the reporting be dispassionate and reliable. It can be argued that Whale Oil doesn’t measure up on that criterion.”
Steven Price is a respected lawyer, I think he let his personal feelings here cloud his judgement. There is nothing in the law that requires reporting to be dispassionate, good grief look every day at the manufactured and fitted up stories pushed by the Herald and Campbell Live. If Steven Price’s statement would hold true then every piece of news and investigative story would read like you were listening to Radio New Zealand or the BBC.
As far as being reliable you can hardly be more reliable than printing the plaintiff’s own emails as evidence, of which I have more than 15,000, which will all be submitted as evidence.
Here is one I submitted in court as evidence of Matthew Blomfield’s own words when asked to provide a bio for Celebrity Speakers
As readers expect from me I have told the full story, not the half baked manufactured ones that the Herald and Herald on Sunday prefers.
I would have thought with a story like the so-called journalist would have at least called. Given he was invited to court by the plaintiff and hasn’t provided full context he would run the risk of being called biased…in fact he may even cross the threshold that Steven Price suggests.
The next step is the High Court appeal. Where I will outline all the stories broken by me, present every edition of the newspaper I edited and every news story that resulted from my own braking os stories.
One thing that remains strange is why would a man who has laid a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner invite a journalist to court to report on matters that he wants private. Very strange behaviour if you ask me. Almost as strange as a reporter not calling the subject of his story for comment. And as strange as a man who wants things to remain private suing someone for defamation where their defence will be to present that which he seeks to remain private.
One thing is for sure, I will continue to out ratbags and hold dodgy businessmen to account, just as I hold dodgy ratbag politicians to account.
PLEASE NOTE:Â Comments will be tightly moderated. Please keep comments on this post to the details of the story and the details of the post. Also to avoid moderation, since Matthew Blomfield considers any comments about him to be breach of the orders by Judge Blackie and will likely enter another contempt proceeding against me.