Daily Archives: May 25, 2014

Sunday Star-Times: Judge backs blogger’s fight against fraud

The following is reproduced in the public interest. The Grant Norman King website contains other media references and the Court’s full judgement. –Eds

blogging [andertoons.com] 2

Lawyer Madeleine Flannagan said the judge’s decision showed free speech was alive and well. […] The unique nature of the case, setting a new precedent in harassment laws, meant it was already being used by media law professors at Auckland University.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 25/05/2014
Judge backs blogger’s fight against fraud
By Rob Kidd – Sunday Star-Times
A fraudster’s victim who fought back has won a landmark battle to name and shame the man who scammed him and dozens of others.
Nearly two and a half years ago, Steve Taylor contracted Grant Norman King to build a sleepout for his elderly father behind the family home in West Auckland. Taylor paid three-quarters of the price – $23,500 – as a deposit. The sleepout was never built and the money was not returned.

In a bid to get even, Taylor brought civil proceedings against King but when the cost of continuing the case became prohibitive, he took a different tack, setting up the website grantnormanking.com with the intention of warning others who might be drawn in.

Within months other victims were clamouring to tell their stories and it was not long before Taylor built a comprehensive timeline of King’s offending. King then tried to turn the legal tables on Taylor by using the Harassment Act to sue Taylor and demand the website be taken down. Taylor was forced into Auckland District Court to defend himself. However, that was King’s mistake. “What he did was open up the opportunity for every other victim to tell their story, which was the very thing he was advocating against,” Taylor said. Affidavits in support of Taylor’s cause flooded in and he said it was surreal to be standing in court with the public gallery full of people backing him.

Taylor said more than 70 victims had come forward, across a 32-year span, claiming losses of more than $3 million.

In court Judge David Wilson sided with Taylor and said the website, with all its explosive accusations, could remain online. “It would be inappropriate if a man in Mr King’s position could close down postings of essentially factual material on the basis that it interferes with his commercial plans and deprives him of customers,” the judge said.
Full article

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Whaleoil: Rodney Hide on Dunedin’s Luddite Council

Ever since Helen Clark allowed councils general competence we have seen debt burgeon and empire building of armies of council staff increase. It is time to rein in the excesses. The reforms have largely failed. I’m not even sure we need local councils in any case….except to just provide essential services. –Cameron Slater

Whale Oil Beef Hooked logo### whaleoil.co.nz May 24, 2014 at 5:00pm
Rodney Hide on Dunedin’s Luddite Council
By Cameron Slater
Rodney Hide excoriates the Dunedin City Council for their embracing of a buggy culture. [NBR paysite]

“I was taken aback by Dunedin City Council committing to invest ethically. I would have thought it was already beyond reproach. But it turns out it’s not about the council not taking back-handers and the like but rather what it can and can’t invest in. Henceforth, it won’t invest in porn, munitions, tobacco or gambling. Seriously? Was investing in porn ever in prospect? I once took a paper to the cabinet to circumscribe council activity. I wanted to limit them to core services. To buttress my argument, I had examples of the nutty investments that councils had entangled ratepayers in. I remember dairy farms, property development, Lotto shops and cinemas. My concern wasn’t ethical investing but rather local government’s proper role. I wanted councils to stick to basics. I didn’t succeed but would have had a chance with the Dunedin example: a council having to make a rule to stop itself investing in pornographic movies.”
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It matters enormously that city leaders are declaring fossil fuel extraction unethical. –Rodney Hide

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