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11 Years Later… Blomfield v Slater Is Underway in the High Court

One Of The More Bizarre Defamation Cases Finally Got Going Yesterday
If you thought anything Colin Craig was strange, then this case is a close second. 
 
For the last two days in the Auckland High Court the defamation case of Blomfield V Slater finally saw the light of court room 9.
 
It was a rather quiet affair, no media, as they have clearly lost interest. Perhaps thats because the NZ Herald announced the case win for Blomfield prematurely back in 2019, when in fact the case was far from over. 
 
Back in 2012 Blomfield took a claim of defamation against blogger Cam Slater, and his company Social Media Consultants.
 
And finally this week, some 11 years later, it’s finally being heard.
 
Spring says he was present for the first day and a half listening in to the opening submissions, the various legal arguments along the way before His Honour, and then the cross examination of Mr Blomfield himself. 
 
It’s hard to fathom in our opinion a more odd and bizarre case. 
 
Why you ask? 
 
Defamation cases by nature are there to obtain definitive judgements, apologies and damages, and prove you are innocent of the allegations made against you, so you would naturally think that getting to court as fast as possible would be the name of the game. 
 
But not this case, it’s wound its way through so many hearings, appeals, cross appeals, interlocutory applications, revised statement of claims, revised statement of defences, and so many Judges minutes and judgements we have lost count. 
 
Over the last two days there was a certain amount of whinging from the Plaintiff  – blaming various parties for their conduct, but make no mistake, this case was always about the Plaintiff making out his case, and driving it through the court process. Defendants  by nature will always be as difficult as possible. 
 
As we have previously reported Marc Spring has been successful in winning substantial damages in two defamation cases – as he says “it’s actually really quite straight forward, you prepare the court documents with the causes of action, and get on with it, as who honestly would want to have this taking over a decade if you genuinely wanted to clear your name and retake your reputation”
 
Spring says “sadly as usual Blomfield made some deliberate false allegations against me to mislead the Judge, so we will address these in the coming days, but I note he did not want to call me as witness to put these allegations to me, accompanied by any evidence he claims to have… the answer is simple, as the allegations are false, the evidence does not exist, and he would not want a Judge to know the truth” 
 
We will address some of these allegations Blomfield made in the coming days once our Privacy Act requests are returned by the various agencies. The same strategy Spring used when he proved the Whale Oil book by Margie Thomson was false. 
 
Lawyer William Akel, a revered expert in NZ defamation law was appointed as Amicus Curiae to assist the court, and he was certainly well versed in this case, but also has a extensive knowledge having been involved in some of NZ’s most high profile defamation cases.
 
The blog posts Blomfield claims were defamatory were removed from the internet over a decade ago, so it will be fascinating to see where this all lands, as Blomfield, via his Whale Oil book launched in 2019 brought all the allegations back to light once again for the public to mull over. At the time intense media attention Blomfield sought for his own self promotion spread the alleged defamatory statements far and wide, despite a decade of silence. 
 
A novel approach for Blomfield is to actually sue the author and publisher of his own book, as they have in fact repeated the alleged defamatory statements, but he was happy to discuss those in his book, Whale Oil, so it’s hard to see how it’s not Blomfield keeping all the stories about him in the media a decade later! 
 
Blomfield’s expectation in the past has been for several million in damages – anything less will be a huge loss. 
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