Do you know what dodgy means?

Rachel MacGregor was devastating in court yesterday and is still under cross-examination today.

Her evidence was damning and we have now found out that despite Colin Craig’s repeated denials of anything untoward and then his back pedal to suggest that it was only inappropriate, that Rachel MacGregor alleged he had actually sexually harassed her repeatedly over a long period of time.

Colin Craig’s former press secretary Rachel MacGregor has labelled the former Conservative Party leader a “dodgy” liar who lacked integrity.

She says she resigned from her job because Craig allegedly sexually harassed her and “repeatedly refused” to discuss her pay rate.

MacGregor was speaking in the High Court at Auckland on Tuesday, where she is the final witness to give evidence in the defamation case Taxpayers Union founder Jordan Williams has taken against Craig.

MacGregor was being cross-examined by Craig’s lawyer Stephen Mills QC, who asked her if she was surprised that Williams felt Craig wasn’t fit to be a leader of the party.

“(Craig) was dodgy.”

Asked what she meant by that, she continued: “Well, I mean, dodgy to be fair. He was sexually harassing me. Do you want me to use another word other than dodgy? Do you know what dodgy means?”

Her evidence prompted laughs from people sitting in the public gallery.

It was quite prolonged laughter.

“He was disgusting towards me,” MacGregor continued.

“He keeps going on about how (the party wasn’t about) moral values (but) it clearly was. He just sort of surreptitiously and sneakilyhe was just dodgy, and I see why Jordan thought that.

“He was a liar. He was dodgy in that he wasn’t trustworthy. He lacked integrity. When I say dodgy, I don’t just mean how he sexually harassed me, I just mean how he treated others. It was just becoming clearer, and clearer, and clearer – he’s lying to all sorts of other people and trying to manipulate the truth. 

I didn’t want to stand by this man who was not who he purported to be.”

Earlier she rejected suggestions that they had a consensual sexual or romantic relationship and said she “couldn’t stand” Craig.

“The thought (of an affair) disgusts me,” she said.

It was strong evidence. So was the evidence of a recorded phone call between MacGregor and Christine Rankin.

MacGregor said after she resigned Rankin called her to try and convince her to come back to the party.

“She was like, ‘Rachel, you know, don’t resign, come back,’ and I was like, well no I’m not going back, I’ve resigned, (Craig) is dodgy as hell,” MacGregor said.

Afterward, Rankin didn’t realise she hadn’t hung up properly and MacGregor heard her complaining to others, “We’re f—-, we’re f—–.”

The courtroom broke into laughter, as did MacGregor.

She then started crying, after describing Rankin as a “really good lady” who had been “completely stuffed over by this dude (Craig).”

MacGregor also disclosed that she resigned in Craig’s car on the way to a morning interview, the same day that he claimed he had no idea that she had resigned, or what the reasons were.

On Tuesday morning MacGregor told the court that she and Craig had agreed that he would pay her a higher rate during the election period due to the work load and number of hours she was doing.

However the pair failed to agree on what that rate was, or what period it would cover.

As a result she stopped billing Craig and began falling into debt, she said.

He “repeatedly refused” to discuss the pay rate, and instead gave her two advances worth $10,000 each instead of paying her, she said.

“I tried to bring the matter up with Mr Craig on a number of occasions but Mr Craig repeatedly refused to talk about my pay rate,” she told the court.

The matter came to a head on September 18, 2014, two days before the election, when he picked her up to take her to a radio interview.

She had become “increasingly anxious” about the pay issue, aware that the election would be over in two days.

“I feared that if the election result was not as good as Mr Craig had hoped for he may use this as a reason why he should pay me less.”

After he allegedly told her he had slept well because he had dreamed of her, she decided she would bring up the pay rate again.

“He told me, now is not the time to discuss my pay,” she said.

She told him she would resign, and left the car.

That is a direct contradiction of his public statements to media about the resignation.

Craig has an interesting sleep technique as well.

She agreed with Craig that after the alleged 2011 election night incident they had put into place “boundaries” but she said she was the instigator of those boundaries, and she had it written into her contract that while away on business they would sleep in different hotels.

For a while, she said, their relationship improved but prior to the 2014 election she said Craig’s behaviour changed and he began asking her to do “menial tasks”.

“He also would discuss things with me that I thought were inappropriate,” she said.

That included another incident prior to the 2014 election when they were travelling to the airport.

Craig had described to her his new “sleeping technique”, she said.

“He explained to me that his technique was to imagine himself falling asleep while lying on my legs. This greatly annoyed me.

“I said words to the effect of, ‘Colin, what do you think your wife would think if she knew you were saying this to me?'”

Things came to a head before court finished for the day when MacGregor called Colin Craig a “douchebag”.

The case continues tomorrow.


– Fairfax

  • shykiwibloke

    I read the full report in the Herald earlier, and can’t help but feel for Rachel – the whole transcription reads more like grooming and manipulation than mistletoe at the office party. Understand she is a witness in someone else’s trial, but seems to tick all the boxes as the prime victim IMHO.

    • Nige.

      Now that we are able to know what exactly has been going on I have a huge respect for her. She is obviously the epitome of professionalism and is clearly a person with great perseverance. She stuck it out for everyone for as long as she could and suffered silently for the good of the party until it reached a point where she could take no more. And then made a stand in the most impactful way possible.

  • Kevin

    So much for any suggestion that the relationship was consensual.

    And it’s not just the harassment that gets me but the fact (based on the media reports) that he never paid her apart from some “loans.” In my honestly held opinion based on her testimony I don’t think he ever intended to pay her.

    • Junior

      Sounds to me that the holding back of pay and only giving “advances” was a manipulation tactic more than anything. Sounds like a ply to make her feel like she couldn’t just leave because she would never see the money that was owed and to stop her coming out about the story as an implied threat. Just one mans opinion though (don’t sue me)…

  • Martin

    Capill, Craig . . . as the old American saying goes: “when the neighbours start waving the bible it time to get the steers in for branding.”

  • Boondecker

    This trail evidence is turning out exactly as predicted. The Conservative Party leadership must be besides themselves. This is a modern day example of ‘death by a thousand cuts’ for any public figure, and probably a lot worse for a wannabe politician.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    It has certainly shone some bright light to hear this unfortunate tail and the deprivation inflicted on her. Few would doubt the claimed impact it has had on her whole being just by the simple comparison of the then and now pictures of her.
    As an experienced press secretary her earlier anxiety about her private life being publicly totally shattered if the Media party got wind of this at the time.
    Doubles it would be easy for an observer to see other ways of handling such a situation but it has been a costly experience for this woman. Even saying like it really was is no mean feat and good to see her helping provide definition of her evidence when needed for clarity.

  • spanishbride

    I think Colin Craig is on Gab…..

  • Michelle

    Can she take him to the employment court or some such place to get her pay sorted?
    Sounds like she has been through the wringer so hope she gets some closure from telling her side of the story, even if it is hard for her