defamation

Suing bloggers for defamation is now a thing

What did Little expect when he accused a forensic accountant of lying?

Andrew Little should apologise to tax expert John Shewan for treating him with utter contempt and total disrespect.

Mr Little has been caught out big time — and it serves him right.

Mr Little got things wrong about Mr Shewan and has to put them right.

So Mr Little issued a retraction — at 5:17pm on Saturday, June 20 — two hours and 18 minutes before kick-off of the Wellington Test.

This is so cynical it is sad. Everybody knows that is the absolutely dead time in a media cycle when it would get the least attention. It is cunning and awful and rude and Mr Little’s actions show why people distrust politicians.

Now things have bounced back on Mr Little and his own credibility is being called into question — and it serves him right.

A lot of this is arcane and complex but it is important because Mr Little is auditioning to be Prime Minister. His actions and his words are important.

Mr Little yesterday repeatedly said that Mr Shewan did not ask him for an apology about incorrect statements made about him.

So then Mr Shewan pulled out a letter to Mr Little that said: “I now request the statement I sent to you yesterday be issued with the following additions: ‘I apologise to Mr Shewan for any embarrassment I have caused him through my statements’.”

Sadly for Mr Little, it doesn’t get much clearer than that. Contrary to his public claims, Mr Shewan asked for an apology.

It seems Little lies a little too easily and, more surprisingly, he does so when the potential damage far outweighs the benefits.

It is clear that Andrew Little is easily manipulated into taking a position that he will then blindly defend.   Not a “take a backward step” kind of man. That’s a useful trait for a union boss. It is quite a liability for a politician. Read more »

Lying Little busted by John Shewan

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So, it seems Andrew Little simply can’t tell the truth.

In the dead of the night a couple of hours before an All Black test he issued a retraction but not an apology to John Shewan for smearing him.

When pressed on that issue yesterday he said he wasn’t asked for an apology by John Shewan.

That was a lie.

John Shewan quickly busted that by releasing the letter to Andrew Little that specifically requests an apology.

Tax expert John Shewan says that claims by Andrew Little that he did not seek an apology from the Labour leader are misleading.

The statement that I never asked for an apology is completely incorrect,” Mr Shewan told the Herald today.

Mr Little told reporters this morning that he did not apologise to Mr Shewan, a former PwC chairman, over incorrect statements he made about his background in April because he was never asked to.

“I wasn’t asked to provide an apology. I was asked to provide his assurance that the media report I relied on was wrong.”

He added: “[Mr Shewan] explicitly said ‘I don’t need you to apologise, I want a correction of a statement’, and that’s what I’ve done.”

When asked again to confirm that Mr Shewan had not asked for an apology, Mr Little said: “That’s my recollection of the first face-to-face discussion that we had.”

Following the release of the Panama Papers in April, Mr Little questioned the choice of Mr Shewan to lead an inquiry into the disclosure rules for foreign trusts based in New Zealand.

He wrongly claimed that Mr Shewan had once helped advise the Bahamas Government on how to preserve its tax haven status.

Mr Shewan said today that he originally only asked the Labour leader to retract his “defamatory” comments.   Read more »

Sounds like someone might have had another legal letter

Andrew Little has backed down over his outrageous comments over John Shewan.

They were as intemperate as his comments about the Hagamans.

Labour leader Andrew Little has today backed down from comments that the man charged with investigating New Zealand’s offshore trusts industry had advised the Bahamas Government on protecting its financial sector from tax changes.

Former PricewaterhouseCoopers chair John Shewan travelled to the island nation with former National Party leader Don Brash in 2014 to provide advice on GST changes.

The trip was arranged after a meeting between Prime Minister John Key and Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie.

On April 13, Mr Little alleged that Mr Shewan and Dr Brash had effectively advised the Bahamas – a country known for tax haven activity – on how to protect its offshore financial services industry and maintain its haven status.    Read more »

There goes Labour’s war chest in an election year

Labour are going to be in a blind panic now.

They have no money to fight the Mt Roskill by-election and now their idiot leader has gotten himself served for defamation.

Labour leader Andrew Little has now been served with defamation proceedings by National party donors and hoteliers Earl and Lani Hagaman.

The Hagamans confirmed in a statement they had now commenced defamation proceedings against Mr Little in the High Court and they had been served on Mr Little.

The defamation suit relates to comments Mr Little made about a management contract Mr Hagaman’s company, Scenic Hotel, was awarded to manage the Matavai Resort on Niue. That was awarded a few weeks after Mr Hagaman donated $101,000 to the National Party during the 2014 campaign.

The Hagamans gave Mr Little a deadline to retract his comments and apologise last month, but Mr Little refused.

“As we said earlier, the reasons we’re taking defamation action have been widely reported in the media and I won’t be repeating his allegations that Earl and I find hurtful, highly offensive and totally false.

We will now clear our names in court”, Lani Hagaman said.   Read more »

Little decides to play chicken with the people he defamed

via One News

via One News

It was revealed last month that Earl Hagaman, chairman of Scenic Hotels, made a $100,000 donation a month before his company was awarded a contract to run Niue’s Matavai luxury resort.

The resort is heavily funded by New Zealand government aid and is owned by a trust on behalf of Niue’s government.

At the time, Mr Little questioned the timing of Mr Hagaman’s donation and the awarding of the contract, and called on the auditor-general to investigate.

Read more »

Colin Craig loses email trawling bid

Colin Craig has been taking diabolical liberties in his various court cases, but one in particular should send a shiver down the spine of anyone involved in politics.

His bid to silence three people who told the truth about him had a turn for the worse for him with the court rejecting his attempt to go trawling through emails after he tried to execute third-party discovery on Vodafone.

An application by former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig to have Vodafone New Zealand release correspondence between former Conservative Party Board members has been rejected by a court.

Colin Craig made the application in March as part of an ongoing discovery process in one of a string of defamation cases.

In this particular case he’s suing former Conservative Party board member John Stringer for defamation after the party fell to pieces during the Dirty Politics saga.    Read more »

Andrew Little facing defamation action from Hagamans

Another of Andrew Little’s smears looks to have backfired with the aggrieved parties notifying him he needs to withdraw the smears or face a long and debilitating defamation action.

Labour leader Andrew Little has been threatened with defamation action by the owners of a hotel chain.

Earl Hagaman, the founder of the Scenic Hotel Group, said Mr Little had a week to retract and apologise for comments he made last month about the management of a resort owned by Matavai Niue Limited.

If Mr Little did not do so, he would face defamation proceedings, Mr Hagaman said in a statement.

Mr Little made the comments outside Parliament’s debating chamber, and was therefore not covered by legal privilege.

Mr Little said he had received a letter from the Hagaman’s lawyer this morning. He was now “considering the issue and taking advice”.

He added: “I will not be restrained from undertaking my constitutional role of calling the government of the day to account.”

On April 18, Labour called for the Auditor General to look into Scenic Hotels Group’s contract to manage the Matavai resort after it was discovered that Mr Hagaman, gave a $101,000 donation to National the month before the contract was announced in 2014.

Mr Little said at that time that the close timing of the donation to the awarding of the contract “stinks to high heaven”.   Read more »

Little smears, defames and lies and then blames it on relying on a media report

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John Shewan, the tax expert appointed to review New Zealand’s foreign trust laws, has flatly rejected a claim that he advised the Bahamas government on ways to protect that country’s tax haven status.

The claim was made by Labour leader Andrew Little, who is attacking Prime Minister John Key for appointing Mr Shewan.

In parliament on Wednesday, Mr Little asked Mr Key: “Does he not see that there is a fundamental problem with appointing a person to review our foreign trust laws who has advised a government on how to protect its tax haven status?”

Mr Little said Mr Shewan, and former Reserve Bank governor Don Brash, were asked to go to the Bahamas by Mr Key.

At least he got Mr Shewan’s name right.   The truth however, is a totally different matter.   Read more »

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Police overwhelmed by online crime

[UK} Police are being ‘swamped’ by a massive increase in online crime and require new legislation to tackle the problem, a top chief constable has warned.

Stephen Kavanagh, Chief Constable of Essex Police is also the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on Digital Intelligence and Investigation. He has warned the current legislation is hampering the investigation of online crime.

He said: ‘Often victims don’t know how to articulate what happened to them, they aren’t clear what the offence is if there is one. When they then get an ambiguous response from the police, it undermines their confidence about what has happened. It is not just about officers and staff being confident, it is about victims being confident that what has taken place is a crime. So the law needs to be pulled together and the powers consolidated into a single place.’

The Crown Prosecution Service is currently updating its guidelines on tackling cyber crime and abuse over social media.

The CPS has launched a ten-week public consultation on proposals to update Social Media Guidelines.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: ‘Online communication is developing at such a fast pace, new ways of targeting and abusing individuals online are constantly emerging. We are seeing more and more cases where social media is being used as a method to facilitate both existing and new offences.

‘It is vital that prosecutors consider the bigger picture when looking at evidence and examine both the online and offline behaviour pattern of the defendant. Online abuse is cowardly and can be deeply upsetting to the victim.

It’s pretty much open season online.  The authorities are having difficulty coping.  The to- and fro- nature of the exchanges also means that evidence continues to pile up even after the first complaint has been laid.  Read more »

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