Blomfield beats Slater

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, February 16th, 2019 - 26 comments
Categories: articles, Dirty Politics, Media, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, The Standard - Tags: , , ,

The Matthew Blomfield Cameron Slater defamation case has been followed on this blog for some time.

Just check out some of the posts the Standard has published to understand what the interest was.

The basis was that back in the dark days before Nicky Hager published Dirty Politics Cameron Slater published a number of posts attacking Matt Blomfield. They had a major effect on Blomfield and his family.

I said this a while ago:

… [i]n 2010 Matt Blomfield had his office burgled and various emails from a hard drive he believes was stolen appeared on Cameron Slater’s website.  To the best of my knowledge a warrant has not been granted let alone sought to try and find out where the information came from even though Slater clearly had access to information that Blomfield wanted kept private.  And this incident is not a minor thing.  Blomfield has complained that he was recently attacked in his home by someone with a gun and you would think the police would want to investigate matters carefully to see if there was any link between whoever originally obtained the hard drive and the attack.

In a guest post Blomfield himself gave some of the background of how the hard drive disappeared and he then said this:

A number of reasons have been offered up for why Slater has the drive. I’m not sure what is true, but the discovery I seek will answer that question. The fact remains, it was stolen, by friend or foe, and the information was accessed illegally. The law is very clear on that (storage and stored data are defined as a computer system). It doesn’t matter how Slater got it. My associate later left the company I was working for in the face of a very significant dispute with the other main shareholders, of whom I was not one. I certainly believed that I had been let down by him and said so. It was the end of a very close friendship as well.

It was therefore a considerable shock to me to be directed to his blog site and to see the contents of my hard drive published therein. If Mr Slater had stuck to saying what he has in the last few days (with some exceptions), namely that I was a (now former) bankrupt and banned company director (I am now allowed to act as a director of the company I work for BTW) who took $3.5 m of other people’s (all institutions, no individuals) money with him when I went down, I could hardly complain.

Instead, he wrote a series of articles and published attendant comments which accused me of a series of crimes and then made disgusting and denigrating claims against my wife. As recently as Thursday this week she received anonymous text messages stating “Headhunters are waiting”. While the stories were running it was commonplace for her to receive updates of what atrocities were in store for her (all the detail is before the court and Slater knows it). His supporters then amused themselves with online hate speech. He mocked my attempts to reason with him. That is when I decided to sue him. I had no money and legal aid would hardly be appropriate even if it were available so I did it myself. He responded with a high profile law firm.

Looking back it was classic dirty politics.  You get the strong sense that someone paid money and then Cameron went on the attack.

Slater’s treatment of Blomfield is arguably similar to what the right say Nicky Hager did to Slater himself in Dirty Politics. Obtain personal data somehow and then publish snippets of it and offering interpretations of what had happened.  Although Hager’s work has the benefit of being accurate. 

One example was journalism and the other was an unwarranted hatchet job. But the police had things in the wrong order and raided Hager but left Slater alone.

This particular case caused me some personal conflict.  I wondered back in 2013 because of the precedent that was being created if the Whaleoil site should properly be considered a media site, vile as it was.

LPrent and I disagreed on this and he schooled me on the issue.

I am happy to admit when I have been owned.

And so the judicial system is now deciding that Slater should make amends.

There is no police involvement. And there has been a jarring double standard. The police raided Nicky Hager’s home seeking allegedly stolen digital data, yet a pretty well identical situation involving Slater and Blomfield’s data and nothing happens.

I still struggle to understand how he was offered diversion for his part in an attempted hack of this site without lprent and others even being asked what they thought, yet Matt Blomfield gets a gun shot in his direction and his desire for justice waits for so long …

In the decision Justice Davidson gave judgment for Blomfield for technical reasons but was scathing about the merits of the defence. From David Fisher at the Herald:

Davison said the statement of defence Slater had arrived with when the trial was due to start failed to identify the facts which would have been used to prove his blog posts were true.

Instead, large piles of evidence had been pointed to which, in a number of cases, relied on “a third party’s allegations about the plaintiff”.

And instead of providing a defence of honest opinion, Slater’s court filings instead repeated his inadequate defence of truth.

Davison said it wasn’t necessary to rule on the merits of the case because of the legal, technical flaws in Slater’s attempted defence.

“However, in my view the documents relied on by the defendants do not provide cogent support for the propositions and conclusions they seek to draw from them in relation to the defences of truth and honest opinion, or the bad reputation of the plaintiff.”

The judgment recorded Slater had made claims in a blog post which included saying the “Blomfield files” would expose “drugs, fraud, extortion, bullying, corruption, collusion, compromises, perjury, deception, (and) hydraulic-ing”.

Davison said Slater’s defence “fell well short” of providing facts which supported the accusations printed.

An example highlighted by Davison was a blogpost by Slater claiming Blomfield had “ripped off” the charity KidsCan.

He said Slater’s own lawyer had conceded “the emails (relied on) … did not establish or support the existence of a conspiracy to ‘rip off’ or defraud the KidsCan charity involving the plaintiff”.

And it appears that Slater, a formerly self titled fearless campaigner against suppression was trying to stop the judgment from being made public.

The judgment was initially suppressed but is now public after a successful challenge by Blomfield’s lawyer Felix Geiringer.

Matt Blomfield is feeling justifiably vindicated.

Asked if he had a message for Slater, Blomfield said: “You cannot do this to a person and suffer no consequence. You cannot make up lies about someone and try to destroy them and then simply walk away.

“You were paid to destroy me. You did irreparable damage to my businesses, to my family, to me. But no matter how long you delay things, your day will come.”

It appears that an appeal has been lodged.  But I get the very strong impression that the Justice System thinks this particular case should be finished and Blomfield provided with what is now well overdue justice.

Update:  It appears that the Judge on his own motion suppressed the judgment.  H/t Pete George in comments.

26 comments on “Blomfield beats Slater”

  1. Sacha 1

    I would welcome an inquiry into the police’s favouritism of Slater. Who made those decisions?

    • Anne 1.1

      I suggest we invite US Attorney, Robert Mueller to conduct an investigation into the political machinations of the John Key years. That is, after he’s done with his current investigation. 👿

      Lets not forget that a former SIS Director supplied Cameron Slater with personal information about a former Labour Party leader, Phil Goff (information which was later proven to be wrong) and Slater used it to publicly discredit Goff. I have to conclude that an SIS officer was responsible for filing the ‘wrong’ information in the first place. Yes, the current Director issued an apology to Goff but by then the damage had been done.

      • mosa 1.1.1

        Very good idea Anne with regards to Robert Mueller.
        I would imagine that under Key and his cronies crimes have been committed and covered up by the appropriate authorities , that i have no doubt.
        Maybe if we start a give a little page we could fund his trip and investigation ( sarc )
        It almost seems that when they knight these people it makes them even more untouchable.

        • Anne 1.1.1.1

          NZ is no better than the US. Lies, deceit and patronage among the powerful and wealthy elite (and their backers) are regarded as admirable traits to be supported and protected. The rest of us can go to…. [insert descriptive word of choice].

          But congratulations to Matthew Blomfield for sticking with it through thick and thin and thus exposing some of it to the light of day.

          • Pete George 1.1.1.1.1

            It has been at substantial cost, but good on him for sticking with it. It hasn’t been easy nor cheap.

            And it isn’t over yet. But at least it has helped expose more of what Slater and his associates have done.

            Actually though, what this current judgment reveals is only scathing the surface of the extent of the attacks and harassment and costs that have been inflicted on literally hundreds of people by Slater and those associated with him.

            • Anne 1.1.1.1.1.1

              …what this current judgment reveals is only scathing the surface of the extent of the attacks and harassment and costs that have been inflicted on literally hundreds of people by Slater and those associated with him.

              That’s why I have taken an interest in the case. People like him cause a huge amount of damage. I knew a female version of Cameron Slater years ago. She didn’t operate in a public space like Slater, but she covertly harassed people and made false claims causing them to be treated with suspicion and even hatred. I can’t prove it but I think she was also being paid, at least for part of the time, but that’s another story.

              Thanks for keeping us up with the latest developments.

          • cleangreen 1.1.1.1.2

            Yes Anne 100%

            NZ is a very bad place now.

            Cameron Slater was a party to all the crime and corruption now seeded inside our Government today.

            I was born here 74 yrs ag and after living half way around the world half my life I say NZ is a corrupt country today.

            Labour coalition need to clean up the crime here, most of the bureaucrats running all our agencies are corrupt.

            yesterday’s press release should put the records straight as to our experiences we have run into over the last 10 yrs.

            http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1902/S00113/government-is-being-stymied-by-bureaucrats.htm

            Government is being stymied by bureaucrats Friday, 15 February 2019, 12:14 pm Press Release: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre In’c.

            “Government is being stymied by bureaucrats over health care, transport, and trades training”.

            This week we saw salvation army releasing their “state of the nation” report “ that showed that Jacinda’s vision of a “Kinder gentler caring Government is not being nurtured by the bureaucrats who still have an iron grip on government departmental policies. More;-

  2. A statement from Blomfield:

    In 2012, Cameron Slater ran a long series of articles about me on his Whale Oil website. They were vicious. They portrayed me as violent, a criminal, a fraudster, a psychopath, and more. He said anything he could to try to destroy my reputation and to destroy me. There was no truth to any of it.

    I believe he did all of this because he was paid to do so. I had had a falling out with a business partner who tried to get revenge by making false allegations against me. I recognised many of the allegations Slater published as being the same ones that my ex-business partner had made. Slater has always denied it, but I have seen correspondence confirming that my ex-business partner was sending him money. It also appears he gave Slater an overseas holiday. I found out that documents Slater was using to try to legitimise his allegations came from files I had left in the care of my exbusiness partner.

    For almost seven years, I have been seeking to clear my name and to have Slater held responsible for spreading these vicious lies. For almost seven years, Slater has succeeded in delaying, and delaying, and delaying. He claimed that if given a chance he would show the Court that all the allegations he made were true. The Court gave him chance, after chance, after chance, but he was never able to even say what his case was.

    Finally, in October last year, Cameron Slater ran out of chances. He had blown his last chance and the Court refused to let him have yet another one. The Court carefully considered the case that he said he wanted to bring and found that it failed to properly answer my claim in almost every way imaginable. The Court also looked at the documents Slater had and found that they did “not provide cogent support” for the allegations.

    It’s magnificent to have this decision. I think this judgment is a major vindication of everything I have been fighting for, for almost seven years. It shows that there simply was no substance to what Slater said about me on his Whale Oil site.

    Unfortunately, this is not the end. Slater has appealed this decision. He has used that appeal to still further delay the final judgment. Like he did in the High Court, he is now trying to delay the proceeding before the Court of Appeal.

    I am determined to see this case through to its conclusion. I believe, in light of this judgment, it is now clear that there can only be one conclusion; Cameron Slater will be held accountable for his actions.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1902/S00119/high-court-lifts-suppression-on-whale-oil-defence.htm

    Judgments:
    http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1902/CIV20134045218_15022019_JUDG.pdf

    http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1902/CIV20134045218_26102018_JUDG.pdf

    • lprent 2.1

      Cool – I was about to put those up myself. Been reading the judgements.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Ouch. In the conclusion while dismissing the defenses by Slater, the judge wrote

        Conclusion

        [147] The effect of my judgments is to preclude the defendants from adducing any evidence directed at supporting the defences of truth and honest opinion, as well as any evidence directed at showing the plaintiff to be a person of bad reputation. This unusual situation is the direct consequence of the defendants’ failure to plead their case in accordance with the requirements for pleading the defences of truth and honest opinion and the requirements for adducing evidence directed at establishing bad reputation. The defendants have had considerable time and a number of opportunities to get their pleadings in order, leading to the Court giving them a final opportunity to replead their defences in May 2018. Despite this leniency, and the impending trial fixture, the defendants failed to properly plead their defences in the 3ASOD and it was not until the trial was a fortnight or so away that they took steps to apply to file a further amended pleading that significantly recast their case yet still failed to comply with the requirements of pleading. Then, when that application was dismissed and the trial was to commence, they applied again to file a yet further amended pleading which also significantly recast their case and contained numerous deficiencies in pleading.

        [148] Although the effect of my rulings and judgments may appear harsh, this outcome underlines the importance of proper pleading and of compliance with procedural rules and timetable orders. In this case the defendants’ failure to comply with those requirements have resulted in them placing themselves in the situation in which they now find themselves.

        Ouch..

        The ‘situation’ is that neither Cameron Slater nor the Whaleoil blog has a permissible defense against Matthew Blomfield’s defamation case. The only thing that remains is that

        1. Cameron Slater has to show the Court of Appeal that this decision was unsound. From what I have heard he is mostly pleading that he is incapable of instructing a lawyer – which seems a bit daft considering that he has been writing politically coherent (albeit rather ill-founded) opinions in comments on Whaleoil. Which would send it back to the High Court again. I feel this is highly unlikely.

        OR

        2. The courts will only hear argument on the level of the costs and awards owed to Matthew Blomfield. Which are likely to be substantive.

        • Pete George 2.1.1.1

          And remember that Slater is not alone in the financial firing line. Second defendant is Social media Consultants Ltd.

          Slater is one of two directors of this company along with his wife Juana Atkins (she seems to be largely managing and running Whale Oil since Slater had a stroke in October).

          They are also the shareholders, Atkins holding 99% of the shares, Slater 1%, but this has changed over the time of the Blomfield litigation.

          – Harold Paul Honnor was sole shareholder when the company was incorporated on 19 August 2009.
          – Honnor ceased as director on 1 July 2012.
          – Slater signed a consent to become a director on 1 July 2012.

          Note that this was just after the publications targeting Blomfield.

          – By 24 June 2013 Slater was listed as a shareholder (an unavailable document leaves it unclear when he became a shareholder).
          – On 20 July 2015 9900 shares were transferred from Slater to Atkins, with Slater retaining 100.
          – On 20 July 2015 Atkins became a new director.

          I don’t know how these directorship and shareholding changes affect financial liability.

          • lprent 2.1.1.1.1

            An interesting question. I suspect that it doesn’t particularly.

            Everything that I have seen so far indicates that Cameron Slater has been pursuing the defense himself as first defendant, with occasional lawyers, and with the obvious background ‘help’ from Dermot Nottingham and his band of legally incompetents. However that is irrelevant. The company was added by a judge as a liable defendant way back.

            If the outcome is bad for Cameron, then it is for “Social Media Consultants” as well. Directors don’t matter much in a privately held company like this. And their asset and presumably their main source of income – the whaleoil blog goes down.

            I can’t see how it could escape liability unless the current owners decided to claim that Cameron was acting on his own as an employee. Also the current shareholder(s) could look at Honnor for a breach of the sale conditions if they could show that he concealed this potential liability (but the spanish bride should have done due diligence). But I suspect that wouldn’t go anywhere.

            Slightly different responsibility, but I’d say that the company will lose its asset(s) and fold.

            What will be interesting is the delving into the internals of the SMC – like financials and ability to pay.

            //————

            Incidentally, it is classic Dermot ‘legal’ style – see [11] – [17] of the october judgement. We’ve both seen this ‘legal’ flimflam before (and so have the judges). Wanting to file 1200 pages of a affidavit full of inadmissible guff that wasn’t particular to addressing the two legal defences he was relying on? Yeah right..

            Looks to me like the same character flaw as why Dermot lost the private prosecution about breaching court orders against me and APN. He failed to introduce the required evidence that I had anything to do with the Standard or that APN had anything to do with the NZ Herald (they’d actually sold it months before the article was published).

    • mickysavage 2.2

      Thanks Pete

      The court’s website does not have them up yet …

  3. NZ would be a better place without a political smear site as a gathering place for the emotionally disenfranchised to moan in chorus. And the perpetrator of the smear site should be held accountable for his actions – it’s pretty clear his power buddies won’t be, sadly. Perhaps he’ll feel it was worth it for the photo ops with Key, etc?

  4. lprent 4

    Micky: The suppression order was from the judge when he issued his judgement. He explains it in the judgement yesterday

    [14] The reasons decision, released on 26 October 2018, (and the results judgment released on 16 October 2018) was subject to an interim suppression order on the Court’s own motion following the defendants’ filing an appeal so that an application, by either of the parties, seeking suppression pending the hearing of the appeal would not be rendered nugatory.

    [15] On 21 November 2018, I issued a Minute in response to an application by the New Zealand Herald to search, inspect and copy documents on the Court file for this proceeding. I declined that application on the basis that while the appeal remains pending it is in the interests of justice that the judgment and any relating documents be suppressed.

    [16] At the time, the plaintiff did not oppose the application brought by the New Zealand Herald, but nor did he file any submissions in support of it. Subsequently counsel for the plaintiff has filed a memorandum expressing the plaintiff’s opposition to continuation of the interim suppression, and asking the Court to review the suppression issue with the benefit of submissions.

  5. greywarshark 5

    I am trying to reach thinking lefties. If there are any of the ts community who want to help me by giving me their opinions please would you. I’ve tried on Open Mike but I have to go to each post I think, begging for crumbs.

    Who in the Labour-Greens-NZF is practically interested in advancing NZ by applying green solutions to farming and the environment to advance our enterprises and our land resources so we bring new ways to protect against climate extremes?

    I see Eugenie Sage has just stopped land tenure rorts on high country.
    Now what about day to day practical things with vision, on low-country, farming and horticulture relating to water – irrigation and droughts, fire prevention. Who are the stand out MPs in thinking plus doing here? What has he achieved as example?

    Damien O’Connor? Min of Agriculture
    David Parker? Min of Economic Development and Min. of Environment and Min of
    Trade as well. He should be good value but is he a talk person mainly.
    James Shaw? Min of Climate Change – He is new to executive status.
    ? Anyone else.

    I’d like to know you views soon so would appreciate a quick setting down of them.

    • ropata 5.1

      Nobody in government. The leading spokespersons for water quality and improved farm practices are Russell Norman (@russelnorman), Mike Joy, Rachel Stewart (@rfstew), Fish & Game Council, John Hart (@farmgeek)

  6. cleangreen 6

    How can we get rid of Slater now LPrent?
    Maybe a legal fund can be started to finally rid him for good.

    Lots of folks have been severely harmed by him.

    • lprent 6.1

      At present I think that Cameron Slater has more than enough issues on his plate to keep him occupied.

      He has this case which will get substantial costs and probably substantive awards without ever going to trial (after more than 6 years). Since I suspect that he won’t be able to pay them back, he will probably have them hanging over him hampering him in the other current cases.

      The Sellman defamation case which I suspect he, Carrick Graham, and probably the Food and Grocery council are at fault.

      And of course there is still the appeal against the decision in another defamation case by Colin Craig.

      And of course he has had a stroke, which I understand, has resulted in some motor damage and no obvious cognitive damage based on his recent comments online.

      All of that is going to slow him down in his destructive traits.

      It will also provide a great example for any other putative keyboard vigilantes that our legal system does finally work, albeit at a lot of wasted time and effort. It doesn’t reward arrogant dimwits being irresponsible dickheads.

  7. Muttonbird 7

    Happy to be proved wrong but I suspect Slater’s “stroke” is fake.

    😁

    • lprent 7.1

      I don’t think that it is. But there are marked differences in severity.

      You can get them where the only significiant effect is some form of muscle control issue, typically on a side. Which is what the initial stroke that my mother had did.

      Through to where it causes progressive decay or disintegration in the memory engrams. Which is what happened in the final strokes that my mother had before she went into a coma after repeated strokes.

      Medication and healing can stop the progressive strokes. For motor strokes, many people will recover most of the motor mobility they lost. The brain is moderately plastic and other parts of the brain take over the task.

      Congnative or memory strokes are a whole other story. But I don’t see any signs of that in the comments that Cameron has been doing on Whaleoil.

  8. cleangreen 8

    Yes LPrent,

    I had a stoke after a very frustrating meeting between our committee and an obstinate Russel Fairbrother a Napier MP in 2004 that finished my working life.

    That night I felt a hotspot at the left back of my head which still did not affect my balance yet.

    But it did appear sometime after on the next day when I drove some tourists to Lake Waikaramoana North of Wairoa, and that night I was completely paralysed with no ability to lift a glass and put it down again nor walk straight as my whole right side went limp.

    Now my right side has more ability but my left has had to work twice as hard to cope and ‘compensate for taking over from my right side abilities lost.

    Cameron has suffered from ‘excessive stress’ as I had done fighting bureaucrats that we all face every day.

    I hate bureaucrats, as they are our new common enemies of ‘the people’ today.

  9. Bureaucrats have stymied and hindered progress and development here in NZ for a long time, as most people do not have the time, finance or the wear with all to fight their way around or against the State ?

    We used to a country of workers with No 8 Wire Mentality, now it has just become too hard and people can not be bothered as the State has made life too hard for the average KIWI.

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