High Court ruling begins the end of Cameron Slater & Dirty Politics and when can we start investigating their climate change denial?


This is an incredibly important ruling…

Hacked emails allowed in Cameron Slater cash for comment defamation case – judge
Blogger Cameron Slater, lobbyist Carrick Graham and former MP Katherine Rich have failed in their bid to have hacked emails excluded from a defamation case.

The High Court has also ruled that Slater and Graham will have to take the stand to be “orally examined” during trial, as their written answers so far have been “inconsistent”.

And all three defendants have been ordered to provide more paperwork to the plaintiffs – a trio of health experts – particularly around what payment agreements were made between them.

The case – in which health academics Douglas Sellman, Boyd Swinburn and Shane Bradbrook have sued for defamation – arises from a series of blog posts between 2009 and last year, and was prompted by revelations in the 2014 book Dirty Politics.

…let’s just remind ourselves what this is all about.

The allegations made in Dirty Politics is that Slater was secretly taking money from spin doctors connected to big sugar and the food industry to denigrate and attack public health scientists who were advocating for needed sugar taxes and fast food advertising restrictions.

The attacks were vicious, personal and amounted to hate speech as opposed to a difference of opinion.

What this new ruling says is that Slater, the spin drs and the industry that paid them do have a case to answer in terms of defamation, but the issue is far more important and larger than the personal character assassination of public health academics.

Do we want secretly funded fake news campaigns to be able to derail serious public health issues in favour of commercial interests? Is that the kind of public policy debate we want?

What Slater, the spin drs and the processed food industry attempted here was nothing short of reprehensible tactics of sleaze and viciousness to undermine basic public health science.

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Shouldn’t those attempting to warp the debate so big sugar can continue to make billions in profit be punished not just for the damage they do to the individuals they smear, but to the wider community as well?

It’s not just big sugar or right wing political interests Slater was smearing for, it was also climate change denial as Gareth Renowned pointed out in 2014 on TDB

Has climate denial in New Zealand been bought and paid for by corporate interests? We already know that the ACT Party’s routine denial is closely linked to the financial support the party receivesfrom wealthy free market fundamentalist Alan Gibbs, but revelations of potential PR “hits” by Cameron Slater’s right wing attack blog against youth climate activists Generation Zero suggest that corporate lobbying has stooped to new lows.

In the Sunday Star Times this weekend, Matt Nippert dug into some of the Dirty Politics emailsobtained by hacker Rawshark that did not see the light of day in Nicky Hager’s book. One exchange in January of this year has Katherine Rich — the former National front bench spokesperson, now chief executive of the Food and Grocery Council and a key figure in directing Slater and PR man Carrick Graham to conduct smear campaigns against commercial targets.

…the damage Slater and his Dirty Politics advocates caused is still reverberating throughout the NZ political spectrum. The manner in which he was empowered by the NZ mainstream media has never been examined and no one has ever been held to account.


  1. Taking a keen interest in this case I am tickled by the poetic and dramatic irony of Mathew Palmer( Geoffrey’s boy) being the presiding judge. Justice maybe slow but it sometimes delivers. This story would make great theatre or TV drama …as if that would ever happen in NZ these days.Vindication for Nicky may be a longtime coming but it’s happening at last!

  2. Get a grip!

    They didn’t “amount to hate speech”.

    Hate speech is clearly defined in law as promoting or making threats of violence a person.

    • It is hate speech Andrew when you denigrate people and cause others to pile on them. The dangerous thing about the internet is how easy it is to create a mob mentality and go after someone.

      Which I’m guessing is why you don’t put your full name to your comments.

  3. Yes. Very good then. But beware of the fake fur inquiries of yore. winston peters was one of those. He went off, barking up the wrong forest, giving the impression that things would get bitten, trees would be felled and wrongs righted.
    The up shot of all that puff and blather was nothing. Sure, we could all see the inquiries. We were all aghast. Yet nothing came of anything. When there was a collage of crooks doing crooked things and even involved a murder and its cover up? Nothing.
    You know how far I trust High Courts and their rulings? Not to mention ‘oral examining’s ‘? ( The mind boggles ) This far. I’m holding my finger and thumb to show a gap about as wide as winston peters’ dick is long.
    In a country with the riches we can boast, with the minute population compared to land area that we’re still able to roam about on until the Zionists get here. With record breaking societal dysfunction, poverty, suicide, depression, imprisonment rates, homelessness, allowing foreign banksters to snare us up in domestic debt and bizarrely outrageous house prices while making off with world record profits compared to per capita income? Then surely? It’s as clear as a bright sunny day? That our legal system and the cadre of political and Big Business swine it thus protects must be as bent as a dogs hind leg. There’s no other explanation.
    Advice? Suspect everyone. Expect nothing.
    Slater and his little fuck buddies will walk from this. I guarantee it. That greasy, evil, little shit will slither like his name sake back under his rock and when national get re elected in 2020? Out he’ll come. With a fresh coat of hypno-paint and a high court ruling on his side which will, of course, make him ( it) and his cohorts virtually untouchable.
    One final word, re mathew palmer. Son of Sir Geoffrey Palmer.
    Admitted to the Bar in 1987!
    Ba! Ahahaha! Ahahahaha! Ba ahahahahahaha aha ha aa a!
    Or should I cry?

    • Oh FFS! CB! Grow up.


      Check the wiki entry for Justice Palmer and be fucking grateful we still have Judges of this caliber in our Justice system.
      If you bother to research his influential decisions even regarding drug cases you will be impressed with his ability to cut through the dross and make sound clear rational judgements. Or is that too much thinking for yah mate????

  4. What Slater and his fellow bugs didn’t count on is that NZ is a small country. Dirty secrets don’t stay secret for long. Just look at Jamie Lee Ross’s revelations.

    It’s ironic that right wing activists are being held to account in a court if law. After all, it’s the right that wank on about Law and Order. In this case, the Law has come to bite their plump arses.

  5. Wikipedia – ‘Career after Parliament

    Rich took up the position of Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council in March 2009, following appointment in November 2008.[3][12] The Council represents grocery manufacturers and suppliers.[13][14]

    She was appointed to the board of the Health Promotion Agency in June 2012.

    Prime Minister John Key of the National Party said she would be able to manage conflicts of interest with her role with the Food & Grocery Council.[14] ‘ oh ha ha ha ha, he he he.

    Is there a symbol for ‘vomit’

  6. ‘when can we start investigating their climate change denial?’

    Individuals and groups can investigate climate change denial and comment on it but we cannot expect any official inquiry into such matters because the continued functioning of present living arrangements in New Zealand (and all other industrialised nations) is dependent on institutionalised denial of reality and institutionalised inaction.

    More people using more stuff, generating more waste and messing up the Earth to an ever-greater extent is what is the system requires. So that’s what we get.

    You can point out the long term impossibility of such a system but in this consumeristic society you must expect to be ignored until it all caves in.

  7. Be interesting to see if Slater can tell the truth this time or whether he’ll stick to his old habit of lying at every turn.
    Example: coming on TV and stating to the nation “I never break the law” then subsequently being hauled up in court on eight charges of breaching court name suppression and identifying a victim in a sex case by publishing this information on his (waste of space) blog.
    Found guilty on all charges, he then had the audacity to appeal twice – finally being (rightly) thrown out by the Court of Appeal.
    The penalty for this? A paltry $6750.
    Had I been the judge I would have had his blog shut down as well, and a ban from using the internet for ten years.

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