Cameron Slater

Why attempts to silence Whaleoil will always have the opposite effect

It is an open secret that Whaleoil’s readership increased substantially when The Dirty Politics Hack was revealed. Not only did it increase our readership at the time the news hit, we also retained most of the people who came to see what the fuss was about. The hack and the book were designed to cause such carnage that Whaleoil would be forced to shut down. Failing to win the contest of ideas on the internet, certain individuals on the left instead conspired to silence the opposing voice by breaking the law.

Now we have three academics who want to do a Colin Craig and try to intimidate us with money and lawyers in order to silence Whaleoil by financially crippling us. These academics chose to enter the robust arena of politics and didn’t like it when the opposition body slammed them into the canvas. Their  intention is to use their defamation case to create a “chilling effect” on political discourse. They don’t want “toxic bloggers” and private businesses to have the freedom to criticise their views and opinions.

Incomprehensibly, these same individuals consider it their right to attack private companies and hurt their businesses while they are being paid by the taxpayer. They are allowed to lobby while paid by the government yet want to deny the exact same right to businesses and individuals wanting to lobby the public themselves. Their actions are a clear attack on free speech that will have serious repercussions for every New Zealand blog and media outlet if they succeed.

Thankfully, in both the case of the hack and the court case started by the three troughkerteers, these actions will have the opposite effect to what they intended. An article written at Harvard explains why.

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Media Statement from Cameron Slater on Benjamin Rachinger and the hack of The Standard that never actually happened

Media Statement from Cameron Slater on Benjamin Rachinger and the hack of The Standard that never actually happened.

A lot of time has passed since the criminal hacker took the bulk of my emails and Facebook chats as part of a planned conspiracy against the Right.  And a significant amount of time has passed since my last public statement about Ben Rachinger and the alleged hacking into The Standard blog.  

A lot has happened. A lot continues to happen. And my approach has been to say almost nothing to stop it getting in the way of several police complaints, active investigations and court cases I am directly or peripherally involved in. Mostly as the complainant, I’d like to add.

All of this is connected to Kim Dotcom, to the NZ Police, to the NZ Herald, TV3, Colin Craig and several people I can still not name due to other court commitments.  But the Ben Rachinger “The Standard hack” issue has now resolved itself to the point where it can be talked about with some degree of isolation without getting in the way of the other issues before the authorities.

Today, with the lifting of the Police-requested and Court-ordered suppression, I am taking the opportunity to do two things. 

I’m going to make a number of factual statements today in this release, and I am going to write a number of articles that will delve into some of the detail of what has developed.  The first will be published on later today. Read more »

OMSA rejects 4 out of 5 complaints from Penny Bright

Penny Bright got upset about my posts about her water meter and instead of contacting me directly went and complained to OMSA. She used every category to complain but OMSA rejected 4 out of 5 of her complaints.

Content: “Can Penny Bright Explain This?”

Publisher: Whale Oil Beef Hooked

Complainant: P. Bright

Click here to view full Decision

The complaint was by and about Penny Bright, a 2016 Auckland City Mayoral candidate and the use of a Watercare water meter at her property in Auckland.

The content was headed “Can Penny Bright Explain This?” and was written by Cameron Slater.  It made statements about Ms Bright and recent Court action about outstanding rates.  It included photographs of Ms Bright’s property and water meter with statements and questions about whether Ms Bright had done something to bypass the property’s water meter.   Read more »

Shock for Andrew Little in latest INCITE|Curia poll


In our latest edition of INCITE: Politics which will be released today there is a catastrophic result for Andrew Little in our monthly INCITE|Curia polling.

Exclusive to us Curia looks again at how New Zealanders think our political leaders are doing. This is the only public poll in New Zealand that reports on approval of party leaders.

We asked 1,000 New Zealanders “Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Key/Andrew Little is handling his job as Prime Minister/Leader of the Opposition?”

And the results are devastating. Andrew Little has slumped 12 points while John Key has increased slightly by 1%.

It is clear that last months results were a ‘dead cat’ bounce and Andrew Little is now back under the pump for his lack of performance.

Full details are only available to subscribers.   Read more »

The ends justifies the means for the left-wing

The left-wing are all over the “Panama Papers”, like white on rice.

They were all over Nicky Hager’s illegal use of my private correspondence.

Both cases involved criminal hackers illegally obtaining private documentation and then shopping that to left-wing activists who laundered the documents, published them and claimed public interest…all as a result of a crime.

But dial back on the personalities and the politics and put what has happened in a different context.

Let’s say a group of criminal defense lawyers kept a database of their confidential conversations with their clients.  That would include clients charged with murder, robbery, DUI, drug abuse, and so on.  In turn, a hacker would break into that database and post the information from those conversations on Wikileaks.  Of course a lot of those conversations would appear to be incriminating because — let’s face it — most of the people who require defense attorneys on criminal charges are in fact guilty.  When asked why the hack was committed, the hacker would say “Most of those people are guilty.  I want to make sure they do not escape punishment.”

How many of us would approve of that behavior?  Keep in mind the hacker is spreading the information not only to prosecutors but to the entire world, and outside of any process sanctioned by the rule of law.  The hacker is not backed by the serving of any criminal charges or judge-served warrants.

Yet somehow many of us approve when the victims are wealthy and higher status, as is the case with the Panama Papers.  Furthermore most of those individuals probably did nothing illegal, but rather they were trying to minimize their tax burden through (mostly) legal shell corporations.  Admittedly, very often the underlying tax laws should be changed, just as we should repeal the deduction for mortgage interest too.  But in the meantime we are not justified in stealing information about those people, even if some of them are evil and powerful, as is indeed the case for homeowners too.

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Crazy Colin rides again


Colin Craig really doesn’t like having the truth told about him. He has decided to sue me for publishing an excerpt of his poemThe Two of Me” that he sent to Rachel MacGregor.

Colin Craig has tabled legal papers seeking more than $13,000 from blogger Cameron Slater for publishing the former politician’s romantic poetry on his blog.

Craig, who identifies himself as a secret songwriter, poet and fiction author, says he wants to set the record straight after suffering humiliation when his poem The Two Of Me was published on the Whaleoil site last year.

In a statement of claim provided by Slater, the former Conservative Party leader states only two copies existed of the poem. One Craig kept stored in his “personal literary archive”, the other was owned by his former press secretary, Rachel MacGregor.

Jordan Williams, the executive director of the Taxpayers Union, is named as a second defendant.

“Mr Craig has elected to forego publishing his creative writing for consumption by the public in order to, amongst other reasons, preserve his privacy,” the document states.

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Mediaworks partners with Whaleoil to create a new, independent news organisation


MediaWorks Holdings Limited (“MWL”) and Whaleoil have announced the formation of a joint venture to launch a new media brand providing a fresh perspective on news and views. Following on from secret meetings in December 2014 this joint venture has been more than a year in the making.

MediaWorks|Whaleoil will establish a standalone newsroom to deliver fresh and innovative news-casting using all digital formats. Initially focused on news, politics, analysis and commentary, the organisation will benefit from the combined capabilities of two of New Zealand’s leading media brands.

Mediaworks access to unique global content and expertise in news gathering will be complemented by Whaleoil’s unique media presence as New Zealand’s hardest hitting political journalist with an in-depth understanding of New Zealand news audience preferences. The new company will also extend the current MWL news brands including Scout, building a deeper connection between brands, advertisers and audiences.

MediaWorks|Whaleoil will leverage the unmatched promotional platform of MWL’s TV, Radio and Digital assets, which include many of the most well-known and most effective news commentary in New Zealand, and have a combined reach of 3.8 million people (97% of the population).   Read more »

Addressing Media party spin and lies

Some commenters have mentioned the hatchet job done last night on John Palino.

Reports I’ve had from the press conference say that Rebecca Wright and David Fisher were an absolute disgrace, playing up, shouting down John Palino and generally being disruptive. Video exists of these performances. Someone wondered whether the both of them had done some dirty lines of coke just prior because of the way they acted.

Commenters have also echoed the calls of media for John Palino to come clean on his “involvement” in Len Brown’s affair, which is just plain silly…they are attacking a man who had nothing to do with anything and expecting him to “come clean” and stop denying. They are actually asking him to lie, because you can’t come clean about something you had no knowledge of.

Some weeks before the election I was aware of something untoward regarding Bevan Chuang and Len Brown. Over a few weeks I managed to establish with Bevan Chuang that it involved some lewd text messages. I was shown a couple, but I thought they were nothing.

Prior to the election I had a speaking engagement at a conference in Singapore and used that trip to also visit my brother in Dubai. I was sitting on the tarmac at Auckland airport when I received a flurry of text messages from Bevan Chuang. She wanted to know if I was going to do anything with her story. Stephen Cook had been talking to her and his assessment to me was that there was no story. I agreed. A couple of dirty text messages were nothing. And, as Bevan Chuang wasn’t prepared to say anything else, I basically told her to piss off as there was no story and I was going overseas in any case.

That was the last I heard about it until a couple of days before the election was due to close when Bevan suddenly wanted to talk some more. There was more, but it wasn’t until the Sunday after the election that Stephen Cook sat down with her and got the full story of the sordid affair…and the affidavit.

At no time did I discuss the story with my father…anyone who knows us knows that we aren’t that close…and don’t actually talk that often. I’ve always considered that Dad was too gentlemanly to really get into politics. I had argued with him my entire life about matching nasty Labour Party tactics with the same venom. He, in fact, has been used to send messages to me from gutless politicians to tell me to pull my head in. They were always met with the same answer…if they’ve got something to say then they can call me directly.    Read more »

February INCITE: Politics due shortly


Final edits are underway and our bumper February edition  of INCITE: Politics will shortly be on its way to your inbox.

This month we have some new contributors, plus the first INCITE/Curia poll of the year. Who is up? Who is down? And what are the implications of their numbers for their parties?

We also continue to look at potential leadership candidates across the parties and ask our 10 questions of David Seymour.

Following on from Lynton Crosby’s lecture about political truisms we look at how that applies to Labour, especially with regard to leadership and economic competence.   Read more »

Turns out the car wash story is real

It turns out the car wash story is real and because of Andrew Little’s telling it a former union man is made to look a fool.

An embarrassed former union organiser has come forward to verify Andrew Little’s yarn about a man who opened his car door in a carwash to lower his aerial – and got himself and the vehicle drenched.

The Labour leader used the tale in his State of the Nation speech on Sunday to make a point about the future of the economy – “the machine’s started, there’s nothing we can do to stop it, it’s coming towards us and we’ve got to decide what to do about it.”

He made a point of saying it was all true, and that as a union boss he had received “an incredible insurance claim form to sign off”.   Read more »