Defamation or Outrageous Breach of Privacy?

Last week as pretty hectic was I continued to tell the truth about the Maritime Union, Garry Parsloe and Helen Kelly. Busting each and every one of their falsehoods that were feeding the gullible and accepting media.

Via my tipline I released the details of a wharfie who maligned the company that had been so generous to him.

Helen Kelly and Garry Parsloe along with all the useful idiots of the leftwing of the blogosphere jumped up and down calling it an outrageous breach of privacy and a “disgraceful breach of trust“. The poor hard done by wharfie even went on television and had a bit of a sook about how outraged he was about the breach of privacy, and one of his mates sent threats via email.

Then after I went on Radio Rhema with Pat Brittenden to talk about the issue Helen Kelly went all septic and threatened legal action for slander and defamation of “her worker”.

Note her words…”slandered one of our members”…and…”got the facts completely wrong”…and…”completely untrue”. Strong and emphatic words, not much room for wriggle there.

Now this is where it gets interesting. In order for there to be a slander or a defamation of her worker then I must have not told truth. If, as I contend, I have told the truth then no defamation or slander has occurred. Neither is there a slander or defamation action possible against Radio Rhema if I told the truth.

Which puts the Maritime Union, Garry Parsloe and Helen Kelly in a difficult position.

Either I told the truth and there was an outrageous breach of privacy, and that is one position they have, after all they have complained to the Privacy Commissioner about it.

Or, it is a slander and defamation because I did not tell the truth and therefore their action with the Privacy Commissioner is about to fail.

The two positions cannot exist together.

I know what the truth is, and I can reasonably be assured that any defamation or slander action by Helen Kelly will fail as spectacularly as their strike action is currently failing.

They can stick with the line that I have slandered their worker, that everything I have said is “completely untrue” and that I got the “facts completely wrong”…and we can visit that and test it in court…or they can admit that their complaint to the Privacy Commissioner is now based entirely on lies. Of course the reverse is possible…that the details I released are in fact correct and Cecil Walker is an ungrateful and disloyal wretch, and that I haven’t slandered him at all.

As I have said above the two positions  cannot possibly exist together. Helen Kelly has some choices to make.


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  • I wonder if Kelly could ever find her way out of a wet paper bag I really do. It seems the “Truth” and her have never met in her life as I caught this the other day with Cllr Northery’s motion was withdrawn.

    I asked a few councillors on the issue and was reassured countless times Northery WITHDREW his motion before a vote was taken on the floor. It was never voted down as Councillors never voted on it. Call me pedantic with Queen’s English here but there is a difference here just as Cam points out with Privacy and Defamation – two very different situations with two very different outcomes. Again Kelly is being very loose with her English which is not very good.

    As for Cllr Casey’s motion – that did get voted down – a rather shame it did but oh well.

    Meanwhile the Ratepayer continues to suffer – and oh I and slightly off topic – the Canterbury Bulldogs lending some support at the picket today? I hope the Warriors run over them and The Courts over MUNZ…

    • That is 13 more men than munz had on the picket yesterday.

      • 14 – that being the Coach (or assistant) who decided to do this in the first place…

    • Scanner

       Good to see the “Toxic Jock” get voted down, no doubt there was a weapons grade tanty and poutathon after that.

    • Bunswalla

      That statement by Helen Kelly was hilarious. First she purports to be a spokeperson for “Ports of Auckland workers” which of course she is not. I’m certain that the dozens of POAL workers not coerced into striking and not members of MUNZ are not disappointed with anything the ACC has done in relation to this dispute.

      Then she has the cheek to suggest that it’s the ACC that’s putting at risk one of Auckland’s most important assets. Actually Helen, it’s you and your union scum hierarchy mates that have deliberately and knowingly put the port at risk – and cost 292 jobs in the process.

      Then, and presumably with a straight face, she suggests that “Ports workers want to finish the bargaining for a collective agreement, return to work, and get this Port running again for Auckland.”  How noble that they want to do all these things “for Auckland” and not for themselves – liars and hypocrites.

      The bargaining is well and truly finished Helen, MUNZ had 9 separate opportunities to agree to an outcome much better than the one they chose so it’s a bit late now. And if they wanted to return to work, they can do that any time they like, simply by ending the strike that they called and have extended twice since they were made redundant.

      All the remedies needed to end this in a way that gives your members dignity, certainty and above all a paying job, have been in your hands for months now. You let them all slip through your fingers and it’s a bit late to be crying about it now. You made your bed, now lie in it.

  • Owl

    Defamation is hard to prove in court. Especially if someone has expressed an opinion. You are on solid ground. The real test is going to be when the courts decide if POAL did not act in good faith. If the did then MUNZ have to a very good reason why they went on strike. They also have to show they acted in good faith.

    What has this got to do with your post?

    When MUNZ left the table to take the POAL offer and had a private meeting with their members all this is confidential discussions. It’s about employment contracts which are private matters.

    So when they decided to strike and go to the media and write placards saying ABC then they opened the floodgates. POAL played Cool Hand Luke.

    I have said many times on here…this will go down as the worst union PR disaster of all times…not because MUNZ had a point to prove rightly or wrongly…they just got the whole process incredibly wrong from start to finish. Rule no. One…..get the people on side…..dont start off attacking individuals….attack the issues.

    I like many can’t wait for the judges decisions over the next few weeks. I will be the first to eat humble pie…the OWL is a descent person…

    • Scanner

       We all still wait for the secret ballot, or were the results a secret.

      • EpochNZ

         To roughly quote a Tom Scott cartoon about the Russian elections, “I have the election results Mr Putin, do you want to see them now or after the ballot?”

    • Blokeintakapuna

      Exceptionally well said Wise one! 

  • Berrygirl

    As someone else has already posted “when found out, thieves squeal the loudest”. They have no one else they can blame for the mess they are it’s the product of their own strategies.

  • George

    It’s going to get really quiet after the ‘unionists’ run their claims past a real lawyer ..
    Keep them honest. It may well be a new experience for them having to answer for their claims

    • Tramper

      Just remember their lawyer is Simon Mitchell. His approach to this will be just as curly as they are. It will certainly be interesting to see whose spin he puts on it.

  • Tevisiteur

    Your thesis isn’t quite correct, Whale.  Defamation and truth can coexist.

    Defamation occurs when somebody’s reputation has been damaged in the eyes of right-thinking members of society.

    Truth is an defence to a claim of defamation.  But the onus is on the defendant to prove that the defamatory statement is true.

    • Bunswalla

      Pardon? Since Truth is one of the defences to defamation, how can they co-exist? If WO can prove his statements were correct (relatively simple since payroll records have to be kept for at least 7 years), then there is no defamation. If he can’t, then the defence of Truth fails.

      The other relevant defence to a charge of defamation (Privilege doesn’t count in this case for obvious reasons) is Honest Opinion. WP will not be liable if he proves that the statement in question was a
      statement of his genuine opinion on a matter of public interest. Since Cecil brought his family into the discussion, and the strike is a matter of public interest, he won’t be liable.

      Which is why no action will be taken.

      • Hagues

         I think what Tevisiteur is trying to say, is that a person can be by a strict definition of the word defamed (their reputation is damaged) by the truth. But since it was a truthful statement its their own fault and so no damages are paid.

    •  Love your use of the term right-thinking – you don’t mean than surely especially on this blog site!!

  • Kosh103

    I cant remembre Cam, did you ever tell us who slipped you the info? Was it someone within the PoA?

    • Vij

      No, as he said previously, he does not reveal his sources.  Are you again trying to change the discussion from defamation and breach of privacy to something else?

    • Balanced View

      Haha, nice Kosh

  • Euan Rt

    Can someone remind me again why Kelly has hitched her horse to the MUNZ wagon? Is she being employed by MUNZ to spin this dispute, or is she a believer in the cause and thinks that her understanding of injustice needs to be defended? Or is that she is looking for personal exposure to further her career?

  • Travdog

    Forget it Pat, I’ll give her a “ring” instead. Promise I’ll drop her back off at the picket line after.

    PS: could you supply a bottle of gin, or a paper bag?

  • This whole piece wa s stupid action by Kelly and co. Especially as the TV3 item I saw the “wounded” person accepted what had been said was true and that he had nothing but gratitude for the way POA had treated him at the time. However I believe he also said that didn’t have to mean he liked what they were doing now.  In that only I agree with him…