Steve Joyce threatens to sue Hooton and NBR?

Over the weekend came the news that NBR had dropped Matthew Hooton as a columnist.

There was much sophistry from Todd Scott, the owner/editor of NBR, but the bottom line is that Hooton’s columns will no longer be published there.

This despite him being the most popular columnist and hot on the heels of the removal of Sir Bob Jones and now also Rob Hosking from NBR’s line up.  

But word has filtered in via several sources that it was in fact a sacking and it seems on the basis of legal letters flying around from Steve Joyce.

My understanding from those sources is that Steve Joyce took umbrage at Hooton’s latest column and in particular the assertion that only 4 people, other than himself, voted for him at the second ballot in the leadership selection.

It seems rather petulant and churlish to take issue with Hooton’s column, brutal though it was. It was simply telling the truth as Hooton saw it from his wide range of sources.

But Joyce it seems, if he is truly threatening legal action, has taken a leaf from Winston Peters’s own playbook and thinks bullying media and columnists is a winning strategy.

If this is true then Simon Bridges now has all the ammunition he needs to cut Joyce loose and give him nothing. He is a liability to the party now. With this apparent case plus Winston Peters’s looming case Joyce looks like spending some time in the witness box this year, along with every caucus member who will be questioned as to who they voted for. It will be a media frenzy.

Let’s wait until 5pm this evening which is the reputed deadline for NBR and Hooton to do something.

If it turns out that the sources are telling the truth, then it proves my point made over the weekend of the lengths the National party will go to to silence vocal and effective opponents, who more often than not actually support the party.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.