Judge throws out Colin Craig's bid to sue former employee for defamation

Colin Craig has become embroiled in multiple legal disputes since he was ousted as leader of the Conservatives.
DAVID WHITE/STUFF

Colin Craig has become embroiled in multiple legal disputes since he was ousted as leader of the Conservatives.

Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has been dealt another blow at court, with a judge throwing out his attempt to sue a former employee for defamation.

Judge Gary Harrison said at the Auckland District Court it would be a waste of time to let the embattled businessman proceed with his attempted legal action.

"I have serious misgivings that it would be appropriate to keep these proceedings alive," Harrison wrote, in a decision released on Monday.

Craig claimed he had been defamed by Jacky Stiekema, who previously worked as a trust accounts manager for his company Centurion Management Ltd, and he sought $240,000 in damages.

READ MORE:
* Colin Craig employee awarded $3000 payout
Rachel MacGregor counter-sues Colin Craig for defamation
Colin Craig sues Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater
High Court throws out Colin Craig $1.27m damages order

The pair previously had a run-in in 2007, when Stiekema complained to the Employment Relations Tribunal about prayer meetings held by Craig in the workplace.

In that case the tribunal awarded Stiekema $3000 - at the time Craig said it was the only employment dispute he'd had in 21 years, although he later became embroiled in a messy public battle with his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor.

Craig locked horns with Stiekema once again over posts she made on Facebook in 2015, around the time he was ousted as leader of the Conservative Party.

Stiekema was friends with fellow party member John Stringer, and congratulated him on pushing back against Craig's leadership.

"You are one of the very few that stands up against him," she wrote. "Well done! I did it and it caused me lots of pain and I did not even manage to stop him with what he does!"

Ad Feedback

Craig's defamation claim was originally filed at the High Court, but it was transferred to the Auckland District Court in March.

Stiekema admitted she had written the Facebook comments, but denied she had made other remarks in further correspondence as claimed by Craig.

Stringer later provided a sworn affidavit that further comments about Craig's behaviour had not, in fact, been made by Stiekema, and were actually from a different associate.

Judge Harrison concluded it was highly unlikely court proceedings would prove Stiekema wrong in her denials, and said the Facebook comments in themselves did not warrant defamation proceedings.

He wrote that only one other of Stringer's 200 friends responded to the message thread, and Stiekema's remarks would have had little impact.

"I regard the effect they would have on Mr Craig's reputation as minimal," he said.

"The costs associated with a trial that would occupy the order of five days, perhaps more, are simply not justified."

Stiekema was given 10 days to file an application for costs.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Auckland playing catch-up video

Rochelle Payne (left) says Auckland Council talks a great talk but has no policies in place to support builders of ...

With a mere 20 sustainable homes, Auckland is well behind its own targets for warmer, healthier houses.

Cliff collapse swallows back yard video

All that was left was a slab of decking hanging precariously over the cliff edge.

Deck hangs precariously after 10-metre cliff collapses on a coastal property in east Auckland.

Errors undo Auckland

The Counties Manukau defence wrap up Auckland wing Caleb Clarke in their 16-14 win in Pukekohe.

Derby defeat for Auckland and Canterbury get set to bring All Black back to NPC arena.

Power pole crashes cut power

FILE PHOTO: Lines company Vector was called to restore power to Whitford and Mt Albert after cars crashed into power lines.

Two cars have hit power poles in Auckland, causing outages in Whitford and Mt Albert.

Wellington

Highlighting a not-so-sweet subject

Jasmine Togo-Brisby's Bitter Sweet 2013 - 2015 is a sculpture made up of a pile of skulls cast in unrefined sugar.

A sculpture cast from unrefined sugar is a Wellington-based artist's way of telling her family's history in the sugar-slave trade.

Delays after truck rolls

NZTA warned of delays after a truck rolled in Upper Hutt.

Delays after a truck carrying a digger rolled in Upper Hutt

Car vs house in chase

A driver on the run from police ended up crashing into a house (File photo).

A car has ended up in a home after a driver fleeing police failed.

Runway safety in Supreme Court

While the court challenge ostensibly concerns a proposal to extend Wellington Airport's runway to enable long haul ...

Wellington Airport's ambitious plan to attract long-haul services could affect airports across New Zealand.

Canterbury

A river or stormwater drain? video

The Avon River and surrounding wetlands once offered up many delicacies, including eel, flounder, whitebait in season, ...

It once served Maori eel, flounder, herring and whitebait – but few would eat from it now.

Four-lane highway?

Christchurch's motorway project is already part of the Government's Roads of National Significance scheme.

Christchurch to Ashburton route earmarked for upgrade in $10.5b roading investment.

Person trapped after car rolls

A person has serious injuries after a car rollover in suburban Christchurch on Monday morning. (file photo).

A person has serious injuries and is trapped in a rolled car in suburban Christchurch.

Cops' Facebook crackdown

A wanted post, including a photograph of Malo Ioane Luafutu, better known as Scribe, was posted on the Canterbury police ...

Police crack down on Facebook followers after inundation of sexist and racist comments.

Waikato

Sir Colin Meads dies video

Sir Colin Meads has died, aged 81.

All Blacks legend Sir Colin Meads has died following a year-long battle with cancer.

Appeal over lake fight

The fight happened in the carpark near the boat club at Innes Common at Hamilton Lake.

After fighting at the Hamilton Lake both men made their way to the hospital's ED.

The great Pinetree falls gallery video

All Blacks legend Colin Meads.

OBITUARY: All Blacks legend leaves one of the great rugby legacies.

Pulled from river after crash

Rescuers work to free the couple from the ute shortly after it plunged 10 metres down the bank into the Waikato River at ...

Bystanders in Cambridge, including an off-duty police officer, saved two from submerged car.

Taranaki

Loved teaching for 27 years

Sue Gunn says the most important part of teaching is connecting with the kids.

Out of 'girl's jobs' Sue Gunn chose teaching – and 27 years on, she's now inspiring a new generation of teachers.

Land wars memorial wanted

Rex Ward, 75, wants a memorial to the land wars erected in New Plymouth.

New Plymouth man Rex Ward wants New Plymouth to have a memorial to commemorate the Taranaki land wars.

Early changes almost prove costly

19082017 News Photo ANDY JACKSON/STUFF.  Mitre 10 cup rugby, Taranaki V Waikato at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth.  Seta ...

Plenty to work on for Taranaki ahead of next match.

McLeod ready to bolt

New Plymouth District Councillor John McLeod has decided he will retire from the council at the end of this term.

New Plymouth District councillor John 'Horse' McLeod says he will step down in 2019.

Manawatu

$10.5b roading plan

Manawatu Gorge work being done May 2017

Major upgrade to stricken Manawatu Gorge part of ambitious vision to improve New Zealand's roads.

Hidden history of war

Two New Zealanders and four Afghans died in the 2012 Battle of Baghak.

Documentary reveals secret details about operations involving our soldiers.

Ditch 102-year-old school ball rule

Zain Collins, 16, was denied going to the Palmerston North Boys' High ball unless he had a partner.

Palmy teen who struggled to find a date for the ball says boys should be allowed to go on their own.

More support needed

The MidCentral District Health Board's mental health crisis service is under pressure.

Manawatu's mental health crisis service under pressure as demand increases.

Nelson

Elite trimmed for nationals

It was a sea of colour and contrasting styles at the competition.

Hairdressers clip to make the cut at Nelson Marlborough regional hairstylist competition.

Tailwind for Tineli

Ali Kimber,left, Sandy Vincent, Tim Vincent and Jono Kalma are part of the Tineli team that have just received a $35,000 ...

Nelson-based firm Tineli is looking to break away from the peloton thanks to a $35,000 business award.

Bylaw divides opinion

The bylaw was created to deal with Lewis Stanton and the issue of freedom campers in the city.

The bylaw to ban rough sleeping, and regulate protests, is put under the legal microscope.

Indoor market planned

Tony Vining and Gill Ireland inside the former Mill building on New St, now destined to house a microbrewery.

A new indoor market could soon set up shop in the Nelson CBD.

Marlborough

Unfair to 'single out' jet skis

Seamonkeez Jetski Hire owner Mike Stewart supports registration but says it is unfair to single out jet skis.

It's not just Ferraris and Lamborghinis that have to be registered on the road, so why single out jet skis on the water?

Back in the race

Marlborough Racing Club president Eric Bowers has previously opposed the sale of Waterlea Racecourse land. (File photo)

Hold your horses! All bets back on after ministry U-turn on campus site.

Hospital considers layoffs

The facilities services team at Wairau Hospital, in Blenheim, is being reviewed by Nelson Marlborough Health. (File photo)

Four maintenance workers could lose their jobs if outsourcing plans go ahead.

New heights for sauvignon

Brothers Ben and Luc Cowley, Auntsfield Estate's viticulturist and winemaker, with a bottle of their 'exceptional' ...

Marlborough wineries break new ground as the first in the world to gain 'exceptional' ratings from UK drinks magazine Decanter.

South Canterbury

TBHS First XV knock over Christ's

TBHS wing Tevita Eukaliti has too much pace for the defence on his way to scoring in the corner.

Timaru Boys' High School First XV show too much class in victory over Christ's College.

ESOL numbers rise

Waimataitai School ESOL students, from left, Bogdan Stoiljkovic, 8, Lusiana Isaako Tuala, 7, and Pratistha Naicker, 7.

Dairy industry and affordability linked to increase in number of ESOL students.

Offering support for fathers

Jason Brokenshire looks at a recent photo of him with his three children.  He hopes to set up a support group for fellow ...

Timaru man wants to create awareness and support for other fathers after separation.

Hospital services key 

Timaru Hospital.

Services key to Timaru Hospital rebuild, observers and sector groups say.

Southland

South's top cop defends officers

Southern district commander Superintendent Paul Basham says "some things can go wrong sometimes".

Alleged murder, stalking and sexting cases involving police may harm reputation of hard-working officers, top cop says.

Car hits cop, dog

The scene on Dee St, Invercargill, where a police officer and dog were hurt as a spiked car came to a halt.

A policeman and dog went under a car as officers tried to subdue a driver in Invercargill.

Milestones for accountants

Mervyn Gillick , 95,was the oldest member in attendance at the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Southland ...

There was no shortage of experience on hand at a chartered accountants members lunch.

Dunedin Hospital plans welcomed video

Prime Minister Bill English flanked by ministers, Michael Woodhouse, left, and Dr Jonathan Coleman while in Dunedin on ...

Dunedin civic leaders are backing plans for a new hospital to be built in the central city.

Ad Feedback