Colin Craig

Colin Craig and his charging elephants

Liam Hehir writes about Colin Craig and his Pyrrhic crusades:

In the third century BC, a Greek king named Pyrrhus invaded Italy to assist the city state of Tarentum in a conflict against a rising power known as Rome. King Pyrrhus won the first battle decisively, largely due to the shattering deployment of war elephants against the Roman infantry. Pyrrhus marched northwards.

By the time of the second encounter, however, the Romans had devised tactics and weapons to counter the elephants. The invaders still won the battle, but at the price of devastating casualties. When congratulated by his officers on his victory, Pyrrhus answered: “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.”

Is Colin Craig familiar with this famous chapter from history? Perhaps he sees himself playing the part of Romans – indefatigable, unfazed by short-term defeat and ultimately victorious. To outside observers, however, his Conservative Party adventures have all the hallmarks of a Pyrrhic victory.

I once had a sales manager who often asked “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is one bite at a time…and that is how I approach everything including Colin Craig. The other saying I use is “Bite off more than you can chew…and chew like fuck”.

Craig founded the party, lavished millions upon it and made himself into its public face. What has been the return on that investment? As at the last election, he got a lot of ridicule and contempt from a hostile media and no seats in Parliament. In the year since, he has added to those failures an unwinnable feud with blogger Cameron Slater, severe damage to the cause of political conservatism and a battle for control of the party that seems to have exposed the organisation to be little more than his personal play-thing.

But imagine if the Conservative Party had cracked the 5 per cent threshold last year, won some form of participation in government and managed to keep a lid on internal controversies. In this best-case scenario, what could Craig have achieved?

I don’t think National would have agreed to overturn the smacking ban. Nor would it have agreed to reverse the gay marriage law.  I don’t think it would even have agreed to lessen the power of Parliament through binding citizens-initiated referendums.

National maintains power by remaining  firmly in the centre of New Zealand politics. This does not actually involve doing things that are popular. To a greater extent, it means actively avoiding things that will be socially divisive. It means that National rarely initiates contentious social legislation – and nor does it look to reopen past battles.

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Guest post: Colin Craig – Dirty Politics, why should we care?

Amazing.  Truly amazing.  Colin Craig and the guy who registered twice to vote, helped destroy the Mana Party as well as the Internet Party, and paragon of Christian values, Martin Martyn Bradbury are teaming up against their common foe:  me.

I have to admire both Colin and Martyn for their pragmatism.  Colin is waxing lyrical about Nicky Hager being a true public servant for having outed the way that politics works under the covers (using real crime to do so, but Colin can cope with that), and we all know Wrongly Wrongson is a Hager disciple as long as it means he can be angry about me.

Here is the critical bit of Colin Craig’s blog post on The Daily Blog:

I am fortunate enough to be in a financial position to take legal action against the parties that have defamed me. What they have done is not legal [my emphasis – CS] and so I will be looking to the courts to rule on the matter as a way to restore my public reputation.

Whether I again become the leader of the Conservative Party or run for office in any other capacity is unknown. What I do know is that I am committed to playing a part in fighting for a better kind of political debate in New Zealand.

I remain hopeful that our nation can resist the slide into self-serving and cynical manipulation of mainstream media. I hope instead that we might retain our values of honesty and a fair go.

In our national anthem is the plea “from corruption guard our state”. May that be a reality for our wonderful nation.

Colin Craig
p.s. I wish to acknowledge the importance of Nicky Hagar’s [SIC – my emphasis – CS]  book on Dirty Politics last year. His work in shining light on the practice of attack politics has been an important contribution to improving democracy in New Zealand

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“… Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has become the latest to signal his interest in the mayoral race”

A newspaper on Sunday is trying to blow some controversy into the potential list of Auckland mayoral candidates.

So far, their list contains

  • Michael Barnett
  • Phil Goff
  • Colin Craig
  • Cameron Brewer
  • John Palino
  • Len Brown
  • Penny Hulse
  • John Banks
  • Maurice Williamson
  • Theresa Gattung

Our five potential mayoralty candidates will likely not be alone when nominations close this time next year.

Phil Goff, Cameron Brewer, Michael Barnett, Colin Craig and John Palino have today given a hearty indication they’re seriously interested in leading the Super City…

Colin wants to be Auckland’s new mayor?  Oh my.  What are his plans? Read more »

Caption Contest


Colin likes the exposure, so let’s help him out.  Funny, not nasty.  Definitely not defamatory!   You can do yours here, and then post the results in the comments below.   Read more »

Hide on Craig

I already thought Colin Craig the oddest thing in New Zealand politics but I have just received a pamphlet in my letterbox that makes him appear even odder. On the front is a picture of a haunted, hunted Craig, and it is titled Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas.

I flicked it open to see an image of a man’s hand on a woman’s knee and in bold: “Craig has only ever had one sexual relationship which is with his wife [Helen] of over 23 years.”

There’s no author. Craig is spoken about in the third person and he and his wife have “authorised” the pamphlet but “do not agree with every statement made nor endorse all viewpoints”. I am hoping they do agree on the statement of fidelity.

The pamphlet comments on allegations made by blogger Whaleoil and others, including Conservative Party board members. There is quite a cast of characters and some deep intrigue. I got a little lost in it and am left wondering why I needed to know all this. Or why I should care.

If I may be able to help Rodney, I think the point is that I’m too good at what I do, (I win), and Colin doesn’t like losing.   So that’s a ‘sucks boo’ attempt at getting the huge anti-Dirty Politics public sentiment to align behind Colin.   Nicky and Colin are brothers in arms.   Read more »

Colin Craig talked to Sean Plunket yesterday


There is no love lost between Sean and me ever since I called his Mrs out on wanting to start a public boycott of … well, me really.   But he didn’t let that get in the way when he had Colin Craig on.

Listen to the interview here [8:45].   Read more »

Face of the day


Sean Plunket

Today’s face of the day is Sean Plunket.

[ Ed – Why?  07:30 follows on ]


by Pete

Whaleoil has been under sustained and increasing attack since about 11:30 am today.   Here’s the graph of the attacks today.


When I took the screenshot, the volume of attacks had risen to a modest 32,400 per hour.  That may seem a lot, but it isn’t … yet.

Question is… what on earth happened between 11 and noon today that might have precipitated this?


To computer buffs, 32,400 per hour will immediately appear as an interesting number.  In fact, if you divide it by 60 (minutes), you come down to … 540, with no remainder.  And divide that by 60 (seconds) again, and you get 9.   9 attacks per second.

As you can see it’s ramping up.

Anyway.  Coincidence?   Just a random sort of thing?    Are Whaleoil’s own “bots” out of countrol? You decide.


It appears the left have come in behind Colin Craig and there is a planned set of actions unfolding.  We’ve also seen the same phrases appearing in writing by different people in different media and blogs that can not possibly be explained unless these people are working together.

It seems Dirty Politics Phase III is underway…


Please, if you haven’t yet donated, any amount helps.  And if you are facing hard times, then please keep your money in your pocket.   We’re hoping for you to perhaps just to drink a slab less this month, or cancel your newspaper sub, or forego a couple of takeaways – it’s better for you that way :)

The account details for your contributions are

C J Slater

This account is specifically set up for donations to support Cameron Slater’s legal bills. It was created back in the day when he was challenging the courts on name suppression and is not an active operating account. It is completely separate from the Whaleoil account, and never the twain shall meet.


UPDATE:  The attack peaked at about 140,000 requests an hour, or about 38-40 per second.   It’s been tapering off since then.


Confused why Colin Craig’s Dirty Politics booklet made it past your “no circulars” sign?

Pat Brittenden has done the leg work

Someone mentioned … that they had received a copy of the booklet even though they have a ‘no circulars’ sticker on their letterbox, which reminded me that we have a ‘no junk mail’ on ours. So with a little research I found out that it is an offence to deliver unsolicited mail to a letterbox that has a notification on it informing that they don’t want any. [my emphasis] NZ Post even has a division called Mailbox Help designed to sort out situations like this. If you’re interested you can get hold of Mailbox Help for whatever reason you want on 0800 111 081.

I spoke with Mailbox Help and they informed me that they have had complaints about Colin Craig’s booklet from Kaitaia to Dunedin. [my emphasis] I asked what happens next and they said that it was likely that they would be undertaking a ‘severe investigation’ as there had been so many complaints. If after the investigation it’s decided that Mr. Craig has committed an offence he could be fined up to $20,000 and made to either retract his deliveries or stop them all together. In layman’s terms if this timeline was to happen it’s likely that Colin Craig may face a financial penalty then have to issue a public apology to, what can only be described as, spamming the whole of New Zealand.

The money won’t worry Colin, but it is another spectacular fail for him and his crusade to prove that those that bear false witness, *ahem*, will be judged.    Read more »

Craig can’t see the forest for the trees – a secondary school student’s response

I love feedback from my readership and none is better than from a previous Craig Supporter that has given me significant insight into what Colin Craig is up to, and how he has likely destroyed his ability to maintain that he has been defamed, and that he can proceed to trial given that he has conspired with others to breach my right to a fair trial before a panel of my peers.

Here is what I received from a Year 13 student:

Dear Sir

Having previously been a supporter of the Conservative Party, its leader, and its stated values, I must report that I have, once been in receipt of the pamphlet titled “Dirty Politics and Hidden Agenda’s – Colin Craig VS Dirty Politics Brigade ….And their campaign of Lies” formed the view that Mr Craig has been in receipt of some egregiously incompetent legal advice.

I say this for the following reasons.  I am a year 13 student who attends Baradene Catholic Girls College in Victoria Ave Auckland and have an interest in the “justice system”, wanting to study law somewhere else other than New Zealand.

Colin Craig was subject to what he terms as a strategised defamatory “attack” from persons within his party and from the Internet media.  He has called press conferences wherein he has made serious allegations against Cameron Slater, Jordan Williams, and John Stringer of effectively “criminal slander” under the Crimes Act 1961 [repealed in 1992 when the Defamation Act was updated].

I wish to refer the allegedly aggrieved Mr Craig and his allegedly erudite counsel to the defamation cases of Lange v Australian Broadcasting Corporation [1997] 189 CLR 520, Lange v Atkinson [1997] 2 NZLR 22 [HC], [1998] 3 NZLR 424 [CA] , [2000] 1 NZLR 257 [PC], [2000] 3 NZLR 385 – defamations in tort.

The other cogent cases to be considered are numerous but include inter alia;  Horrocks v Lowe [1975] AC 135, 150, Invercargill City Council v Hamlin [1996] 1 NZLR 513, and the Law Commission Report, preliminary paper 33 DEFAMING POLITICIANS – A RESPONSE TO LANGE V ATKINSON – a discussion paper.  In the Court of Appeal decision [unreported, 25 May 1998, CA, 52/97, Richardson P, Henry, Keith, Blanchard and Tipping J held in Lange;

We hold that the defence of qualified privilege applies to generally published statements made about the actions and qualities of those currently or formerly elected to Parliament and those with immediate aspirations to be Members, so far as those actions and qualities directly affect or affected their capacity (including their personal ability and willingness) to meet their public responsibilities. The determination of the matters that bear on that capacity will depend on a consideration of what is properly a matter of public concern rather than private concern. (para 1)    

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