Questions for the media to ask Colin Craig

Dear NZ Media,

After my post yesterday about Colin Craig and his booklet being ‘spammed’ across NZ, I’ve noticed talkback lines lighting up today with people asking, “why did we get a Colin Craig pamphlet when we have a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on our letter box?” A question that I answered yesterday in some detail including the possibility that Mr. Craig may face a financial penalty for said pamphlet going into those letterboxes, but to recap for those who missed it.

  1. Colin Craig pamphlet arrived in my letterbox
  2. I questioned on Facebook if anyone else received it, and in the conversation it came up that it was being put into ‘no junk mail’ letterboxes
  3. I wrote a blog piece on this happening to me and passed on information about the Marketing Association‘s Mailbox Help, which is a group set up to investigate this kind of occurrence where I was told they had many complaints the length of the country.
  4. Soon after my post was uploaded, a reader gave me information that explained that Reach Media had given instructions to it’s delivery people to ‘include all no circ letterboxes’
  5. I contacted Reach Media and was informed it was booked as a ‘Government piece’ which can legally be placed in letter boxes with ‘no junk mail’ stickers
  6. Reach Media admitted when they took the booking, categorising it as ‘Government piece’ they didn’t know what the item was
  7. The individual I spoke to at Reach Media acknowledged, knowing the product now, that it wasn’t eligible to be a ‘Government piece’.

I heard an interview with Mr. Craig today with the host asking him why he was sending junk mail to all of New Zealand, an interview that unfortunately didn’t ask the pertinent questions that Mr. Craig should be answering about his pamphlet, so as an…ahem…international award winning producer, writer and broadcaster 😉 I’d like to offer my services as set up producer to member of the media who interviews Mr. Craig about this, by offering you the following questions to ask on behalf of the rest of New Zealand.

  1. Why is your pamphlet being put in letter boxes with ‘no junk mail’ stickers on them?
  2. Who decided to categorise this pamphlet as a ‘Government piece’ at Reach Media giving your pamphlet the ability to get around the ‘no junk mail’ rule?
  3. Do you consider that this pamphlet, that is authorized by you and your wife, is correctly categorised as a ‘Government piece’?
  4. Are you aware that a watchdog group in the Marketing Association is getting complaints from up and down the country about your pamphlet?
  5. Are you aware that you could be in breach of local bylaws by having this pamphlet delivered to letter boxes with ‘no junk mail’ stickers on them, bylaws that in some regions can carry a fine of up to $20,000?
  6. Are you aware that along with a fine, if investigated and found to be in breach, you may need to offer a formal public apology?
  7. Would you like to offer that apology now?

You’re welcome to the questions, you don’t need to credit me, but if Duncan or Larry or Mike or Guyon or Sean or anyone get a chance to ask the questions of Mr. Craig then we, the public of New Zealand, would appreciate it.

Colin Craig, at risk of a $20,000 fine for ‘spamming’ NZ with his ‘Dirty Politics’ booklet

I put on my Facebook page yesterday that I had received a copy of Colin Craig’s ‘Dirty Politics’ booklet in my letterbox and asked people of Dunedin if I was lucky enough to be singled out (a little paranoid I know) or if anyone else received it as well.

Colin Craig FBI was more than a little surprised to find out that not only did I, and others from Dunedin receive it, but also people in Winton, Tauranga, Auckland, Gisborne, Kaitaia, Timaru, Christchurch, Hastings, Napier and Mangawhai get the glossy 12 pager. Since that Facebook post I have had confirmed to me by a source that in fact it’s gone or going to every household in New Zealand. That’s 1.8 million residences.

Someone mentioned in a comment that they had received a copy of the booklet even though they have a ‘no circulars’ sticker on their letterbox, which reminded me that we have a ‘no junk mail’ on ours. So with a little research I found out that it is an offence to deliver unsolicited mail to a letterbox that has a notification on it informing that they don’t want any. The Marketing Association has a sector called  Mailbox Help designed to sort out situations like this, they work alongside groups like NZ Post. If you’re interested you can get hold of Mailbox Help for whatever reason you want on 0800 111 081.

I spoke with Mailbox Help and they informed me that they have had complaints about Colin Craig’s booklet from Kaitaia to Dunedin. I asked what happens next and they said that it was likely that they would be undertaking a ‘severe investigation’ as there had been so many complaints. If after the investigation it’s decided that Mr. Craig has committed an offence he could be fined up to $20,000 and made to either retract his deliveries or stop them all together. In layman’s terms if this timeline was to happen it’s likely that Colin Craig may face a financial penalty then have to issue a public apology to, what can only be described as, spamming the whole of New Zealand.

The above may make people smirk, but there is also a much more serious element to the delivery of these booklets and it’s two fold. The first is that Mr. Craig is claiming defamation against Cameron Slater, John Stringer and Jordan Williams. Defamation is a jury trial but with sending out this booklet to, what would appear to be, the whole of New Zealand Mr. Craig has made it impossible for a jury to be formed that has not been influenced by himself for his own gain. Secondly, there has been counter-claims by the three accused that this booklet is defamatory and that they potentially, as a group or individually, may take legal action against Mr. Craig themselves. If indeed this 12 page booklet contains inaccuracies attributed to anyone of the three then surely Colin Craig has now opened himself up to a significant legal action. I also note that the Conservative Party and Newstalk ZB have taken down links to the booklet, so maybe one can assert that they are asking the same questions about it as well?

Finally I just want to touch on a post I wrote a couple of days ago asking if Colin Craig was an innocent victim here, or maybe had narcissistic tendencies. I don’t know, and am not qualified to make that conclusion definitively however i just want you to think now about what has happened over the last few days.

A man who has never won a political position but spent (if you include the booklet) several million dollars trying to do so, who is always 100% assured of his success and who believes that what is happening to him personally is of vital importance to all of NZ as shown in his press conference of July 29th…

Either the dirty politics brigade is telling the truth or I am. The New Zealand public need certainty about the truth of these claims. This is about who is honest. Is Colin Craig telling the truth or is it the Dirty Politics Brigade. Let the courts judge this matter so we know whom to trust.

…has made accusations that he has been personally wronged.

So what is a narcissistic? According to PsychCentral.com some of the characteristics of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are…

  • a grandiose sense of self-importance
  • an overwhelming need for admiration
  • belief they are of primary importance in everybody’s life

I’ve stated that I don’t have the qualifications, nor the desire, to diagnose anybody with any disorder, but seeing as Colin Craig is such a believer in binding referendum lets let the public decide.

UPDATE 1.30pm

To the original point of this post, that Mr. Craig has sent his booklet to letter boxes that have ‘no junk mail’ stickers on them. I have just received a copy of the delivery instructions by Reach Media to its workers who actually put the booklets into the letterboxes.

CCRaig distribution

As you can see clearly it states that for the COLIN CRAIG VS DIRTY POLITICS delivery the deliverer is to ‘include‘ the ‘no circs‘ letterboxes.

Speaking with Reach Media they claim that the reason they have delivered it to ‘no circ‘ letter boxes was that it was booked in as a “government piece” although they also concede they didn’t know what the delivery was when it was booked. When asked if they thought in hindsight if it was a ‘government piece’ the gentleman on the phone, who claimed he took the original booking, agreed it was not.

UPDATE 2.45pm

NZ Post have been in touch to make clear they are not responsible for fining people who breach the rules around junk mail so I want to retract a former heading of this post which claimed that NZ Post was potentially going to fine Colin Craig,  however the fine is still very much a possibility. For example, as stated in the North Shore City Bylaw, Section 5 Offence to Deposit Unaddressed Unsolicited Material, 4.95 Depositing unaddressed, unsolicited material “Every person who breaches this bylaw may be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000.” There are similar bylaws for different parts of the country with fines of various amounts.

Colin Craig…innocent victim or narcissistic manipulator?

So it all came out yesterday that, after several threats of legal action against numerous figures during his short public career, Colin Craig will finally be taking someone to court…or so he says.

Yesterday Mr. Craig released a booklet which claims to expose the ‘dirty politics’ and ‘hidden agenda’ of what appears to be the world against Colin and I, for one, am excited to see this get to a courtroom because it will answer once and for all if Mr. Craig is a innocent victim, or a narcissist of the highest order.

Mr Craig seems utterly sure that this legal action is an open-and-shut case. One thing I can say for sure is that Mr. Craig often claims certainty when speaking publicly but it’s not always the case.

Have a listen to this audio from The Slightly Correct Political Show in 2011 and hear his absolute confidence in how he knows he will win Rodney.

Mr. Craig cites expert advice in the form of polling, and explains that his win is a slam dunk. On election night 2011 Mr Craig lost to Mark Mitchell (National) by more than 12,200 votes. Mr. Craig always claims absolute knowledge of how things are going to turn out…but the truth is often far different. I have to say that it is my honest held belief that the way he is speaking now about this latest legal case sounds eerily similar to how he was speaking about his upcoming win in 2011, and that raises alarm bells for me.

I have knowledge of some of the texts that some are claiming Mr. Craig sent to his former Press Secretary, Rachel MacGregor, and if this goes to trial, then phone records will need to be presented in courts and if the texts are traceable to Mr. Craig (or indeed any of the ‘evidence’ that the accused say they have) it will be the shortest trial in history. The other question is if Mr. Craig has a case and the accusations made against him are malicious and false…then what?

“Defamation in New Zealand is governed by the Defamation Act 1992 and an established body of case law. It is an area of law that is designed to protect a person’s reputation against unjustifiable attack. Providing such protection requires a fine balance between the protection of reputation and the freedom of expression as contained in Section 14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.” What that basically means is that is a person’s reputation is damaged by lies, then defamation may well have happened but I guess my question would be what reputation is Colin Craig trying to protect? Is it the reputation for questioning the moon landing? Is it the reputation for stating on Radiolive that the current political figure he most admires is Vladimir Putin? Is it the litigious reputation that Colin Craig has threatened to pull out on more than one occasion? What reputation is he protecting and what reputation has been besmirched should these accusations prove false?

It is my honest held belief that this will not see the inside of the courtroom, it seems unlikely to me, that Mr. Craig will put himself and his marriage through the potential of not getting the win in the courtroom which will justify everything that the three accused have said about him. He has too much to lose should he not get a resounding win. Also Mr. Craig has published an interview with Mr. X in his booklet, if this goes to court Mr. Craig will be forced to reveal who Mr. X is as there as claims in that interview that some of the accused have already called slander and Mr. Craig does not have the same protection in court to keep a source anonymous as a journalist has. No matter if he is innocent of these claims or not, his life will be turned upside down by court proceedings and, although many of us question his decisions sometimes, even he would be smart enough to see that this is a no-win outcome for him.

It’s about much more than just policy

Since the Nicky Hager book Dirty Politics came out seven days ago we have heard the catch cry “let’s talk about policy.”

Whilst the idea of talking important is extremely important, I’ll move away from the pack a bit and offer the suggestion that it’s about a lot more than just policy.

Let me explain.

I believe that policy is incredibly important, but likewise the calibre of those implementing that policy is equally important and that’s why the revelations in Dirty Politics are incredibly valuable to the voters of New Zealand.

I have talked about this before with the Len Brown debacle and challenged Don Brash in 2011 as to how important it was to understand what happens ‘behind closed doors’ where we asked him acknowledging his two affairs and asked how could the people of NZ trust him when his closest relationships couldn’t? He responded that it was a fair enough question. It matters.

If you disagree with me let me ask you these questions. Would you vote for a known tax avoider? Would you vote for a wife beater? Would you vote for a paedophile? Whilst I acknowledge that the last example there is extreme, what it demonstrates is that we all have our lines within the calibre of a person, that we find important enough to influence our vote. The question here is not that Nicky Hager’s book is irrelevant to the election and we should be talking about policy, the question is if the accusations and issues in the book cross that line of importance for you to influence you vote as it’s shows the calibre of the person/people.

I do hope we don’t only hear about Dirty Politics from now until September 20th, but I have to be honest with you, if you think that it doesn’t matter at all when we talk about the calibre of the person making decisions that effect us all, then I believe you are either being disingenuous or naive.

PS – We have a chance to speak with Nicky Harger for 20 minutes of this weeks Slightly Correct which you can check out here