Craig v Slater – Day 4 (media roundup)

Photo: Chris McKeen via Stuff

And Mr Craig spent another full day, his third, being questioned by Mr Brian Henry, counsel for Cam Slater and Whaleoil.  One of the topics he was examined on was  his judgement as it pertained to, what has become euphemistically known as the “Sauna Interview”.

Stuff reports:

Colin Craig has defended a controversial “sauna interview” with former TV3 journalist David Farrier, telling a court he thought viewers would find it entertaining.

In the 2015 interview, played in the Auckland High Court on Thursday, the increasingly sweaty duo sat in a hot sauna and discussed a range of topics, including the moon landing and junk food.

Farrier gradually stripped off items of clothing before he and Craig showered together.

The subtext is that Farrier is openly gay, and Colin Craig the leader of a conservative party.

Slater’s lawyer Brian Henry asserted that Farrier’s main motive for the interview was the controversy surrounding the sudden resignation of Craig’s former press secretary, Rachel MacGregor, before the 2014 election.

​Craig had agreed to the interview despite the confidentiality of his and MacGregor’s settlement of a sexual harassment complaint she had laid with the Human Rights Commission.

However, Craig didn’t accept the MacGregor controversy was the sole reason for Farrier approaching him, saying he thought the interview had entertainment value.

“In my opinion this is something people will watch, they’re gonna be interested in people in a hot sauna,” he told the court.

“It was promoted as ‘this is going to be funny, watch this,’ and I think there’s an element of entertainment, people are just going to watch it because it’s fun to watch people get hot and sweat and so on.”

At the time it was aired, the interview drew criticism from members of the Conservative Party Board, who felt it reflected badly on Craig’s public image. He later stepped down as the party’s leader.

Mr Henry put it to Mr Craig that the whole interview was a setup to get to the Rachel MacGregor issue.  That she had quit two days before the election, and that the public still didn’t know why.

Mr Craig doesn’t agree.

In hindsight, that was one of a number of public communications by Mr Craig that eventually led the Human Rights Review Tribunal to awards its highest ever punitive award against Mr Craig for breaching a court-ordered confidentiality commitment.

“Highest ever awarded by a court” should never be associated with your name unless you are the recipient.  In Colin Craig’s case, he’s collecting them as the loser of the legal battles.

Today Colin Craig will take the stand again.  His wife Helen has been asked to be available.  She can’t be in the court room until after she’s been called, so she’ll have to sit outside – possibly all day.  There is a chance Colin will resume again on Monday.

 


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