Defamation

ODT has yet to report…

### yahoo.com June 25, 2012, 7:00 pm
Dunedin mayor’s defamation case rolls on
Source: NZ Newswire
Dunedin mayor Dave Cull remains on course for a court date with the defamation case brought against him by former Otago Rugby Union members Wayne Graham and Laurie Mains. Associate High Court Judge Rob Osborne had a teleconference with lawyers representing all parties on Monday. Mr Cull’s solicitor Daniel McLellan said the teleconference was a routine chambers conference and declined to comment further. […] Another teleconference is scheduled for three weeks’ time.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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31 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Sport, Stadiums

31 responses to “Defamation

  1. Elizabeth

    Reusable cup to be trialled at stadium
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/216041/reusable-cup-be-trialled-stadium

    Would you launch your company with the support of someone who has offended the Dunedin public and honest rugby people by suing the mayor for defamation. Zombieland.

  2. Tomo

    Interesting advert in today’s Sunday Star from The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd. Under the heading “Other”, a name that appears twice. Otago Rugby Football Union $39,132.56. Another for $112,639.00. Maybe it is to help pay back their debt to the DCC?

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks Tomo, have forwarded that information to Russell Garbutt and Martin Legge. Naturally, it will be for the amateur code…

  3. Rob Hamlin

    I was unaware that reusable cups were a new technology – A neolithicy sort of thing innit? I certainly have several cups at home that are a good deal older than I am, including at least one plasticy sort of one. I suppose that if you satisfy 100% of your dietary requirements at McDonalds, KFC and Domino’s, the idea of not throwing it away afterwards may be a bit of a novelty.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Remember back in the day when they had reusable bottles? If adults couldn’t be bothered taking them back for the few pence deposit on each, kids as individuals and in scout troops saw them as a nifty source of free money.

  5. Peter

    Talking about McDonalds, there was a comment by the deputy chair of the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board, in the ODT a few days ago, that the proposal by McDonalds to build a store there had been shelved. He felt the decision was a real shame as the store was just what Mosgiel needed. All in the name of ‘economic development’ apparently. Things must be pretty desperate out there when a multi national junk food chain is seen as an economic boost for the town.

  6. Calvin Oaten

    Showing your age, Hypo.

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    True, but it was a good scheme and would fit in well with today’s recognition that wastefulness is dumb, sustainability is the way to go. Collecting glass to ship to goodness knows where (or not, in areas where the cost of shipping it out won’t pay the expense of doing so) is nowhere near as sensible as collecting, washing and re-using glass containers. I note that there is to be a deposit on these “new” reusable cups, an amount that isn’t huge but should be enough to provide an incentive. Hasten the day when one-use bottles are phased out and the bottle-o collect-and-wash businesses start up again.

  8. Peter

    I seem to remember when bottled milk was phased out a number of years ago here in Dunedin they sold the bottling plant to some company in Western Australia that saw the value in having such technology. Sad.

  9. Elizabeth

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/217368/talks-continue-defamation-case

    Talks aimed at reaching a settlement are continuing over defamation allegations levelled against Dunedin Mayor Dave Cul by former Otago Rugby Footbal Union board members Wayne Graham and Laurie Mains. Lawyers for the parties appeared briefly before Associate Judge John Matthews in the High Court at Dunedin yesterday.

  10. Calvin Oaten

    I don’t like this. Why the need for any discussions? Cull should have just told Mains and Graham, back off, or the DCC/ORFU deal is off. We would then soon see where M&G’s loyalties lie. This is just costing the ratepayers more and more. But Hey!! what’s different?

  11. Russell Garbutt

    Nor do I like it. The person effectively being sued is the insurance company and it will be them that have been/are calling the shots.

    BUT, the insurance company role and their lawyers should be told in no uncertain terms that the suit will be defended most vigorously. It doesn’t take a mental giant to see what the game of Mains and Graham actually is. Bullying is a word that springs to mind. Threats of even more ratepayer funds going down the toilet in the name of pro rugby would be believable. It is common practice.

    From the point of view of the ratepayer and of being a citizen, we all know exactly what the ORFU have been involved in with all the revelations of pokie funds extractions and of course the long litany of the “fund raising” dinner when they boozed up, fed their faces and didn’t pay the City as well as all their other unpaid debts resulting in a bill of nearly half a million dollars of unpaid debts. I say that every reasonable and dispassionate ratepayer of this town would have very strong views on whether the ORFU have acted in good faith or been competent. The evidence is plain to see, and if there are any doubts ask the ORFU auditors.

    • Elizabeth

      The trouble is I can’t see Dave Cull getting heavy in pressing points with his defence counsel or the insurance company on behalf of Dunedin residents and ratepayers (not when he’s keen to make the stadium work, was it at any cost?). A few letters to the counsel and insurance company (Cc the mayor) would not go amiss – nothing like the direct approach. Let’s see who is working for who. Like we don’t know.

      • Elizabeth

        This defamation number, and the sick-making attempt at negotiated settlement, is potentially (in my view) the ultimate measure of mayoral sleaze. Have never voted for Dave Cull, due to propensity for the s word. Comes with distrust of TV media personalities ?!

  12. Amanda

    Check out page 11 of the ORT with Mains and Key. Cull? he is going down, big time. He will eat humble pie, smile and beg, and the rugby heros will walk off into the sunset with happy bank accounts. Corporate Rugby rules this country, that is the bottom line.

  13. Amanda

    Wrong rugby god, it is Graham Henry. But still we are shown who are the power holders and it ain’t Cull.

  14. Anonymous

    Walk off into the sunset? Unlikely. Move to or buy a third or fourth house in Queenstown? That’s more likely. The rorting of Dunedin provides for the rich to exist on its lakeside.

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    How many $million was too much to keep TV 7 going?
    Intelligent thoughtful programs: unfortunate tendency to foster thinking spurred by information.
    Professional rugby: passive entertainment engaging emotions, ideal opiate of the masses, must be encouraged to keep them from critical thought on topics that the government likes to deal with, without interruption from the peasantry I mean voters.

  16. Rob Hamlin

    There is another way of looking at this. While Mr Cull is defending this defamation case (relating to comments on National Radio made in his capacity as Mayor of Dunedin), his defence, and presumably any funding for settlement, is paid for by ratepayer funded insurance. It could thus be argued that he has a duty to publicly fight this to the finish – otherwise what is the point of the public paying for such insurance? If the small print of the insurance policy gives the insurance company the right to compel the defendant to accept a negotiated out of court settlement that is most advantageous to them, then it’s debatable whether it’s worth spending public money on such a policy.

    Presumably Mr Cull believed at the time that his comments were an accurate reflection of the situation that he was describing, and if this is so he, then he should fight it out in the courts, as the usual reason for not doing so when you believe that you are right – (lack of cash relative to the plaintiffs) is not an issue in this instance. If he did not believe his comments delivered in his capacity as Mayor were justified at the time, then it’s not only Messrs Mains and Graham that require an explanation/apology from the mayoral pen.

    If some private out of court settlement is reached, then the details of this settlement should be fully revealed to those who paid 100% of the costs necessary to generate it – the ratepayers. I have a horrible suspicion that a ‘private settlement acceptable to all parties with confidentiality clauses on all sides’ will be the final outcome of this exercise. Money may well change hands; but to whom, in what form, in what amounts, and under what conditions may never be revealed.

    If this is the end result, then we can expect lots more of the same as ratepayer funded litigation insurance premiums are gleefully converted into cheesy lakeside real estate. A sort of financial perpetual motion – as more money is thus converted, so the ratepayer funded premiums for this ‘essential’ cover will rise and more cash will become available to our increasingly thin-skinned local elite.

    It is said that murder by strangulation has the unique characteristic that is invariably the outcome of a stronger individual taking advantage of a weaker victim. Clubs, knives and guns are great physical levelers in this regard. So often defamation is the financial/civil law equivalent of strangulation. The relatively mighty routinely profit from it mightily if not always rightfully. Rarely if ever is it the other way around – but not in this instance, Mr Cull should have his day in court.

  17. Amanda

    Have these councillors come forward and supported Cull’s assertion that some of his councillors ‘cannot stomach’ dealing with the ORFU? I think not. A deafening silence from them. This is why Cull will bend over for the Rugby thugs, he has not a single person on council backing him up; between a gutless Greater Dunedin and psychopathic Stadium councillors he is on his own.

    {Ask Cr Lee Vandervis. -Eds}

  18. Amanda

    The really neat thing is that we can observe how the local media spin this interesting little debacle, or try to down play it, so that their beloved Rugby gods get away with gross incompetence.

  19. Amanda

    Not that the powers that be give a toss about rugby, they don’t. Not one jot. It is money they want; and Cull and Stadium councillors are very happy to give it to them.

  20. Calvin Oaten

    I put a post on the Cull defamation article in yesterday’s ODT. Neither posted nor acknowledged. Neither any other posts. None, zilch. Looks like we can see where the ODT is on this one. When standing up to your chins in urine the quiet call is: “don’t make waves”.

    • Elizabeth

      A great new tome of hitherto unpublished or unabridged letters and comments would provide all the drama and essential reading that ODT and ODT Online so obviously lack. For example, Part I – Malcolm Farry’s Greatly Undeserved New Year’s Honour.

      • Elizabeth

        Topical

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10818927
        5:30 AM Thursday Jul 12, 2012
        Twelve Questions with Anita McNaught by Sarah Daniell
        Anita McNaught is a former TVNZ journalist, now working for Al Jazeera

        [Excerpts]
        Knowing what you know now about the media, would you still want to be a journalist if you were starting out in 2012?
        It has changed, but with a few reservations I love the way it has evolved. I value the expansion of input sources, citizen journalism, blogging and Twitter. I am so excited by what technology can offer as tools to tell stories and verify claims – satellites; smaller, simpler cameras; smart phones; Wi-Fi. But journalism is still too much a corporate commodity. And it’s hard now for journalists to openly question – let alone oppose – those who ultimately pay their salaries. Climate change is a much bigger story than Al Qaeda. The world economic crisis is the greatest unfolding investigative story ever still to be completely told. People are living in a criminal system masquerading as “free market economics”. But is the corporate media equipped to tackle this?

        Who do you despise?
        The mafia working in the finance industry. All the greedy, selfish bastards.

  21. Amanda

    Calvin, that is how I predicted the Otago Rugby Times would play it. Nice and quiet, down play it all, not remind the plebs that corporate rugby are sucking more funds out of the city via suing Cull for ‘defamation’. The media given a choice between the cash cow corporate rugby or poor, weak Cull? Cull will be thrown under the bus; Dunedin people with him of course.

  22. Elizabeth

    Further to the post (msn.co.nz) at the top of this thread:

    ### 3news.co.nz Mon, 25 Jun 2012 8:13p.m.
    Otago mayor may go to court over defamation
    Dunedin mayor Dave Cull remains on course for a court date with the defamation case brought against him by former Otago Rugby Union members Wayne Graham and Laurie Mains. Associate High Court Judge Rob Osborne had a teleconference with lawyers representing all parties on Monday. Mr Cull’s solicitor Daniel McLellan said the teleconference was a routine chambers conference and declined to comment further. Mr Graham, a former chair of the Otago Rugby Union and Mr Mains, a former All Blacks coach, are suing Mr Cull for defamation after he questioned the performance of the Otago Rugby Union board during an interview with Radio New Zealand. The interview was straight after the Dunedin City Council meeting where it agreed to wipe $480,000 of debt that the union owed the council and Dunedin Venues Management. Another teleconference is scheduled for three weeks’ time. NZN
    Read more

    Profile: Daniel McLellan, Barrister
    http://www.shortlandchambers.co.nz/barristers/details/daniel-mclellan.html

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