From the Driver’s Seat: Cam Slater is no longer with Whaleoil

by Pete, Editor


I used to write columns “from the passenger seat”, providing insight into Whaleoil as a close observer.  From today that changes for a while. No doubt this will come as a shock to many, but Cam’s no longer here after the weekend.

The good news is that it is only for a little while. I’m not allowed to share with you what he’s up to, but the choice had to be made: Was he going to do two things poorly, or one thing well?

So Cam will be back in a month, perhaps two – depending.

The immediate question is: What will become of Whaleoil?

It will be exactly the same and completely new. And yes, I realise that both can’t be true. But let me explain.

I will still continue my role as a “managing editor” of Whaleoil; the same role I’ve performed for a number of years. So the day-to-day features, and fluff that bracket the important content, will continue.

To fill the gap that Cam’s absence leaves, I have arranged for a number of people to step up. Where these people have previously been sources for Cam, they are now going to have a try at writing.

Like you, I have no idea where that will end up, but I suspect it will be a lot of fun. And, like anything new, it will probably take them a few days or weeks to find their feet. I’ll help them along, but you can assist by not expecting these people to be as good on Day One as Cam is after 11 years.

I’m also talking to a person from the left of politics with the aim to challenge your world view a little more.

I hope that I can also encourage some of our irregular contributors to step up their contributions. If I can get seven of you to write one column a week, that would be excellent. These reader-provided columns have been very successful in the past.

Whaleoil hasn’t asked for volunteers for a number of years now, but as I move into Cam’s seat, the opportunity for people to take over some of the regular features to lighten my load will appear. More about that later.



I did sit down with Cam over a very long lunch (the kind that ends after dinner) and got him to understand that if I am going to be running the blog then, for better or for worse, I am going to try some different things. I told him that I may kick some sacred cows. If someone writes a pro-gun control column, then I don’t see why we can’t publish that.

I also plan to cover some things that Cam has not had an interest in. And I’m going to give some other topics a rest.

I believe we’ve all become a little too comfortable with the well laid out views and, with Cam busy elsewhere, we get a chance to take some other ideas for a spin. The ones that work, we’ll keep. The ones that don’t, we’ll chalk up to experience.

One thing I can assure you of: even though we won’t have Cam’s usual menu of topics and catch phrases every day, Whaleoil will continue to deliver stories with information that comes from the same network of people who have been the ‘invisible hand’ behind the blog for some time.

I will miss Cam more than you because, clearly, my job just got a lot more involved. But, as I told him, “It isn’t all about you,” and, just because he’s been the one writing the stories, the content frequently arrived … somehow. This information will now come through with a different voice. At least for a while.

It is my hope that, when Cam comes back, one or two of our new voices will have found a home.

And no, this isn’t a WhExit – Whaleoil is here to stay, and Cam will be back.



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  • Abdullah

    Good luck Pete & best wishes to Cam.

  • Cadwallader

    Can you please run a sweepstake as to how long it will be before the msm (probably our friend Rachael) gives you the title “Hateblogger?” Best of luck with the new regime.

  • Christie

    WhExit. I like that. Best of luck – will watch with interest.

  • Miss McGerkinshaw

    Much as I enjoy WO different voices will be interesting and so I am looking forward to a change in regime for a bit – a change is as good as a rest.
    Wishing you and all the new contributors the best of luck.

  • Nige.

    How can someone be so good and be in all places?

    They can’t.

    Cam is can’t walk on water but he’s bloody close.

  • Cookie Bear

    All the best, hope Cam isnt taking a break to do a Bruce Jenner and come back as Camila lol

  • Seriously?

    Cam might feel more free to engage in the comments section while on sabbatical. You could have a new moderation challenge there!

    Whatever it is that is demanding Cam’s time, I hope it goes well for him.

  • cows4me

    “I told him I may kick some sacred cows”, I’m certainly not sacred but I don’t like this kicking cows bit.

    • NahYeah

      He didn’t really mean that, he was just pulling your teat.

    • WeaselKiss

      No No, you’ve got it wrong, he was meaning the udder one.

      • Steve kay

        I’m cowering myself

    • Mikex

      OK people it’s been milked enough…

      • Mark

        Oh come on it is surely time for a Friesian new look?

  • Huia

    Changes. We get used to them.
    Good luck all who are involved with the new direction, I am pretty sure it will be interesting at times.
    Thankyou to Cam for this wonderful site and your input over the years, you must have paid a huge price at times.
    Onwards and upwards so good luck to Pete and his sidekicks.
    Will watch and read with interest.

  • KatB

    All the best, I’m looking forward to all the cycling articles!??

    • NahYeah


  • Will SB still be continuing her columns?

    • Yes, I will just be taking a bit of a sabbatical after 11 years with no break.

      • The sabbatical is well deserved. All the best for it.

      • Miss Phit

        Good in ya.

        Thrash the ute and put a few rds down range while you are off. Funny how shooting can be relaxing.

      • Aucky

        Good luck with that Cam. It’s been a great ride so far.

  • Sticktotheknitting

    Good luck Cam with your new venture. Good luck Pete I am sure you will be able to carry on with the good work. I’ll miss this site like crazy if it wasn’t there but I will keep the faith and hang in there with the rest of the faithful.

  • Carl

    The left blogs will be speculating big time about what is happening it could be fun to see what they come up with.

    • NahYeah

      Maybe this: “Cam Slater finally apologises and gives up, after The Right Venerable Nicky Hager threatens to release the Whale-Oil papers, exposing how Whale Oil was funded directly by Vladimir Putin”

    • NahYeah

      This just in from Rachel Smalley: “Whale Oil blog goes into voluntary liquidation after Brexit Result, which may result in Whales splitting from not only the EU but from the UK”

  • Greg M

    The speculation and vituperative comments in the other blogs are going to be most amusing.. ::-) Best wishes to all, give us a shout if you need anything. G.

  • NahYeah

    The helpers are ready:

  • TM

    Best wishes with whatever you are up to – WO is a genuine alternative to the other offerings and has definitely added a lot to NZ political/economic coverage

  • Canucktoo

    See NBR has just published a story on Cam’s sabbatical and some discussion of Freed!!

    • honeybadger


      • Canucktoo

        National Business Review

  • Ghost

    Not wanting to be speciest, but maybe this era will become know as “Planet of the Apes”

    • My mental image more along the lines of 1 monkey with 100 typewriters.

      • Steve kay

        The mental image is awesome!

  • Isherman

    So the wild cat population is about to suddenly drop then?:)
    All the best for the break, though I get the feeling you are never really in true relax mode, you’ll be up to something, and best wishes for whatever it is.

  • andrewo

    Whatever Cam is up to, I hope it includes a break – he’s had a bruising couple of years and likely needs a rest.
    Best of luck

  • Dave

    Wow. Thanks to Cam for all his work and keeping me informed and entertained over the last 8 or 9 years and I look forward to seeing some guest columns from Cam soon. Good luck to Pete as well and the new direction/s. Fun times !!!

  • Keyser Soze

    I hope this means we’re gonna be a step close to being freed or soon to be reading Dirty Politics – The Other Side.

    • I will neither confirm nor deny both of those.

      • Carl

        You’re running for Auckland Mayor?

        • Too specific a question

          • Carl

            Interesting, just may be a seat around a council table to start with?

          • Nah. Still too specific. Zoom out. LOTS.

          • NahYeah

            Omg, I just got it, zoom out a lot. David Cameron just resigned……..

          • snort… too far!!

          • Keyser Soze

            UN Secretary General?

  • Nessie

    Wow! Exciting times ahead, but steady as she goes, and Go Well.

  • symgardiner

    Best wishes for the break.

  • Melissa

    Good luck cam, with whatever you are doing.

  • socantor

    wot the f??? He is still posting at 4pm!

  • SFB

    Admit it. He’s joining the ‘Elect Andrew Little’ team. May take a lot longer than 2 months!

    Seriously, enjoy the break.

  • WordWeasel

    Love the idea about a left wing contributor Pete. We do need to keep challenging ourselves and sometimes we do look at things the wrong way. No one side of the spectrum has all of the answers.
    Keep up the good work guys – it’s much appreciated

  • Kapow!

    Great stuff Pete, will look forward to the changes. Go easy on the left perspective, we get enough of that on MSM!

  • Keanne Lawrence

    “I’m also talking to a person from the left of politics with the aim to challenge your world view a little more.” As the Zen Mater said “we shall see.”

  • Curly1952

    All the best Cam. Hope what you are working on, or at, is a success.
    Good luck being the “Driver” rather than the “navigator” Pete.

  • TrinityNZ

    How can we offer to help? I’m not the person to write posts, but am a pretty good proof-reader if you need one

  • sarahmw

    We will miss you but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Go well.

  • Dumrse

    A sabbatical can be richly rewarding as one is re-energised for the future. And, don’t worry about Pete, we will look after him for you.

  • spanishbride

    More like MonkeyOil. Just a tune up please Pete.

  • David Kerr

    I am immensely proud of your efforts so far and appreciate your hard work, travel well and enjoy a well earned break. Look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

  • Duchess of Pork

    Au revoir and best wishes for the sabbatical.