Karen Ngatai, currently Ruapehu District Councillor and Deputy Mayor has defamed me. This analysis digs into the essence of defamation in New Zealand, comparing what Karen calls, “boarder[ing on] slander” [sic] with real, actual, legal defamation. Let’s learn something today, even if seeing another’s downfall is not actually enjoyable, eh?
I have nothing against lawyers, per se. I’ve shared previously that I love them and love dealing with them. They are so predictable. They are [mostly] like little robots that want to know the rules; apply them and [again mostly] think like lawyers – the law comes first then people are second. Karen Ngatai though is not a lawyer – more on that in a minute.
They ALL have difficulty saying sorry – even admitting that they’ve made a mistake seems to put them into a tailspin, and I love the way that they always think that they are smarter than everyone else. They are usually quite smart but they’re not always so.
One of my own lawyers can’t resist laughing and chuckling (which makes me smile too) the instant that he works out who it is on the phone. I like to I think it’s because my honesty brings a moment of freshness into his day, but it may be that he’s laughing at me. I dunno.
Karen, Fools & Transference
Karen Ngatai isn’t a lawyer (I think you have to be pretty smart to get through law school don’t you?) but she works at the local Community Law Office here in Taumarunui three days a week, “representing” her clients and she provides “legal advice”. I can assure you that she is NOT a lawyer. From what I have seen she doesn’t even have a legal mind! I’ve shared about her foolishness in quoting the law to me then offering me unsolicited and wrong legal advice in fact the totally opposite of the very law that she quoted, in a previous post. I can’t recall exactly now whether I called her “a fool” at the time, but I have been told that she has issues in the integrity department which is why she no longer works for the Police and I really don’t think she’s the smartest kid on the block, especially when she lies to me.
I’ve watched over the years as people with various psychiatric issues feature highly in my investigations and exposes – Autism, Asperger’s, Lysdexia [oops I mean] Dyslexia, Narcissism and more.
Psychiatric issues can have huge ramifications in difficult human interpersonal relationships, but I don’t see that from Karen. To me she is just a politician, out for herself trying to present herself to everybody else as something she isn’t. She’s ‘a trooper’ for sure but she’s rustled up a few feathers around town, and there are a few that cannot stand her. While they may not want to hurt her, it does appear that there are many more that are thinking and saying that they’ve seen enough of her now (she’s had three terms as an RDC Councillor after all). She’s chosen not to stand again so therefore she’s essentially a spent force – a political has-been.
One thing though that many crooks and those who suffer with psychiatric issues do is to transfer their own issues and problems onto others. It can be as simple as an innocent man getting accused of looking at another women askance when his wife is getting shagged by another man (please don’t ask how I know this one!) or in Karen’s case, an accusation of being a liar or a deceiver from a liar or deceiver herself. The thinking here is that while we may be shocked when we find out that there are crooks in this world, people who live in a different world see things differently. For example politicians generally live in a world of make-believe thus use their power and money to get their own way. When they come up against someone like me however, who shoots straight and can’t be bought, they get tripped up.
Like in a river, all that the ‘stone of truth’ has to do is to remain in place and the water must divert around it!
Crooked vs Straight & Narrow
These two ways of living cross swords every now and then. While ‘little people who live in the dark’ may try to duck down another isle in the supermarket to avoid conflict or who slap on a mask to show their outward compliance, those of us who deal in the truth are happy to stand full on in the sunlight.
I was speaking to a Crown Law lawyer earlier today who had confused me yesterday by asking me a question with a wrong reference in the subject line. I’d gone back to the Court of Appeal and they couldn’t work it out either. It’s probably a reference to another case in the High Court and it became a question to this dude, “Is that a mistake by any chance?” Yup, it was a simple mistake and blow me down after a gazillion hours and emails, I got this huge, multi-line detailed explanation followed by a little, “Yes, it was a mistake!”
“Oh, OK that explains it then!” Let’s move on, but it must have been VERY hard for that lawyer to fess up to an error! Poor dude. You gotta let him go, and get on with life. No big deal. But then you’ve got the other sort . . . the Karens of this world. Yeah yeah I know, an unfortunate choice of name a few decades ago given what it means now but our Karen has made a string of errors. If you’re going to pretend to be a lawyer, at least get your facts right! Better still don’t offer dodgy legal advice in the first place. Then ‘park your passion’ and learn to deal with facts. Karen really, really wanted 1.5 million dollars from Lotto, so she backed the conspiracy and the Taumarunui Museum Trust horse, not me. Unfortunately I deal with facts whereas Weston Kirton and his lot were happy to kick Cookie out of The Memory Bank in order to sell it up and use the proceeds as seed capital for RDC’s dodgy Lotto application.
So Karen, please, let me try to explain how a straight person will think – when a community [in this case the King Country community] supports a given cause [in this case the purchase of The Memory Bank] to help a given individual [in this case Cookie & his son Bevan] then thirty years later it is IMMORAL to boot him out on the street and sell the building off for your pet project.
Please let me put this into legal terms as you claim to represent people legally, it is a BREACH OF TRUST. Putting it into political terms – you would have been able to con the world into thinking that you and RDC did the honourable thing by the community by trashing the old man and doing something cool down at the Railway EXCEPT for yours truly – a dude who actually listened to the old man and what he actually wanted; who had the b*lls to stand up to people like you and stop your dishonesty – dead. I know that you hate this exposure .Karen, I also know that you have a few relatives, friends and acquaintances who may love you but I don’t, especially when your BS tracks you down to Wellington and back, potentially at my expense …
P1. Karen’s understanding has come from Naomi Bray. I have nothing to hide but there is such a thing as commercial sensitivity and the Privacy Act. This knowledge being imparted to Karen by Naomi on or about 23 December 2021 means that Colliers has breached the Act. Colliers manages commercial properties for LINZ who owns them on behalf of the Railways Corporation. Yawn! I know, I know . . .
P2. Big deal. The Fencing Act sets the basics out quite clearly that in NZ unless there is agreement otherwise, fence ownership and costs are shared 50/50. There is a simple procedure to go through. We all did it properly . . . so?
P3. Heresay and no big deal. Is Karen claiming that I am a bad neighbour or is she hinting at something along those lines? You see the truth is that It was three years before I ever went on that little old ladies land and when I did it was by invitation and it was only when she did something wrong that she got fearful. Funny that eh? And what do the other neighbours say about her? A fruitloop and to keep away from her because she used to work for the cops and calls them at will over anything ridiculous?
P4. A huge misrepresentation here, omits the other side of the story totally and forgets that I did everything right and kept a written record of it all. Thank God that I do everything in writing and by the book eh? That way the DT can determine any dispute based on facts.
P5. Compel not at all. Legal authority is called “standing”. Her clients have every right to challenge this. They have and in due course the DT will rule.
P6. No Karen, it is not a personal attack on Karen for supporting her clients, it’s a personal attack on her bum legal advice which she issued in December 2021 which she (and now everybody knows) was wrong. My blog was written in December 2021. It was not “boader[ing] on slander”. First it is “border[ing]” not “boarder[ing]” – when I was at school a boarder was someone who stays with another and border is an edge, or close to something else. Well it used to be anyway, when I was taught this. Secondly slander relates to the spoken word, unlike a blog post which is written. Libel is what I think she means here (which relates to the written word that is read with our eyes) but this is a communication style typical of Karen – ESL, except it isn’t. And of course this woman is “seeking legal advice” which is what, ummm, it’s neither slander nor libel thus also isn’t defamation?
P7. Yup, Karen’s got it in one here! There is no end to exposing BS when it keeps coming up out of the ground eh?
P8. Not sure what this coertion thing is all about but how does Karen know this and what have those “several other neighbouring properties” said or done? Umm, one installed his own fence at his own expense on his own land and the other sat down and reached an amicable agreement to rebuild and to share the costs? Umm that’s kinda radical from two others isn’t it?
P10. LINZ did indeed provide this confirmation to Karen which has also been released under the OIA. It is true but omits important facts which will all be considered by the DT in due course.
P11. Cor blimey one gotta be real careful of me eh? And what is this “full lies” thing anyway? She obviously means “full OF lies”.
“Almost Slander” vs Defamation
This post is all about truth and lies.
Karen, despite her intentions to retire from politics is currently still a political figure whereas I am a political nobody, just a guy with a brain, an attitude and an opinion.
The last time I looked was about a year ago but I’ve probably got three dozen people on my newsletter, that’s totally NOTHING in the whole scheme of things but I update them religiously and have done for years, actually way more than a decade. I know that I am strong in the Search Engines, being indexed every hour by the Google bot, and much of my new traffic coming from what they call the long-tail of search. I think I used to get a 75-80% click through rate (CTR) when the average is 1-3 percent although my conversion rate is nil because I don’t sell anything.
While I don’t worry about numbers, this is all interesting to me because it means that the people who listen to me actually do listen. A mate of mine gave me a massive compliment recently when he said, “I like reading your posts because you write them just like you speak!” Another says, “I always read your posts” and still others from across the globe swing by and get a shock at what a smart, honest thinking guy can get up to! Yup, it takes a lot of work to do that I can tell you but 2.5m words, 36 (or is it 37?) books later and I’m still on topic and going strong.
Defamation is notoriously hard to litigate in New Zealand so let’s try to get clear what it actually is within the New Zealand jurisdiction. Defamation is not actually defined properly in the short Act but it does say that defamation contains both libel and slander. The usual blurb about this is visible on legal sites like Turner Hopkins and Steindle Williams.
Specialist defamation lawyer Chris Patterson puts it like this:
A defamatory statement is any words spoken or written which tends to lower the opinion held by ordinary people about you, has the effect of having others avoid you, is false to your discredit or is made without justification with the intent to injure you by exposing you to hatred, contempt or ridicule or which tends to make others with to shun and avoid you.https://www.patterson.co.nz/services/defamation/
He explains that statements can range from “those made to one person only” to worldwide exposure and as the Defamation Act 1992 was written before Internet technologies came of age, the courts have had to address this modern development. IMHO, they have done this reasonably well.
The Act gives clear grounds for defence, basically stating that if what you say is factual or actually believed then whatever is said is NOT defamation. There are also technicalities around proving things and different types of privilege but the most important thing is your intent – is it one’s intent to harm and to what extent does one exercise care in getting things right. I’ve blogged about this many times over the years. Being opinionated and fearless to take on the crooks, crims & crazies of the world, I dance on the edge a little bit but have never been sued for defamation and there’s very good reason why not too – I don’t defame. The truth speaks louder.
Karen Ngatai is a perfect example of this. It is no secret that I consider her to be a crook. I don’t like liars, cheats or thieves and I don’t like Karen. I find her deceptive, sneaky and a typical politician, and as dodgy as they come. I’ve already explained how I first met her and how she misrepresented reality about Cookie and his eviction from The Memory Bank. I’ve also shared that anyone wanting to know her ethics should be asking why she left the NZ Police and I’ve alluded to her lack of legal capacity and status. Note that none of this is defamation. I’ve worded this all VERY carefully – “it is no secret that I consider …”; “I don’t like …”; “I find her …”; referring to historical facts adverse to her ‘story-making’; asking or suggesting that people look in a certain direction that she doesn’t want people to enquire about are all perfectly legal and morally sound words. Embarrassing, unwelcome, even repugnant to somebody out to gain your vote – sure, but defamation they are not.
A recent blog post though engendered a response from Karen which is a mixture of emotion, opinion and . . . wait for it . . . defamation, the details of which follow. I have been around long enough to know that people get pissed off when I ping them. Exposure to cockroaches causes them to flee and they really, really hate the person that turns on the light, I can tell you! Lawyers especially hate it when you share their errors (or stupidity) and provide adverse commentary. I have learned to take the knocks when the BS comes back, but ‘getting your tits in a tangle’ and sharing emotion is very different to issuing actual defamatory statements. It’s also unwise to stick your head in the sand and pretend. Karen (and her employer CLAW) have yet to learn this, but learn they will, I promise you!
On or about 23 December 2021, Karen Ngatai phoned Colliers and spoke to Naomi Bray about me and my lease. She did this under the auspices of her employer CLAW (the Taumarunui branch of a Whanganui-based Charitable Trust) although I am sure that Naomi either knew of her as an RDC councillor and probably the Deputy Mayor at the time. For the moment this fact is immaterial – the important point is that Karen did this under the name of CLAW.
In this conversation Naomi apparently told her three things out of school, i) the tenant’s name, ii) that I did not have a ‘valid’ lease and iii) that the land owner wanted me out. From there, the whole world has come to know and believes this story. Through Karen (and by employment CLAWs), then through Naomi (from Colliers), back to LINZ (the landowner for the Railways Corporation) the Privacy Act was breached. It doesn’t matter for the moment whether this shared information was private or not (it was) the point is that when it got out there – it wasn’t the full story. Thus anybody repeating it as fact, when it isn’t or wasn’t true potentially commits defamation.
So a defense of defamation is that you BELIEVED that what you said was true. A court can declare you to have defamed someone ( this is called a declaration) but what makes defamation really bad though and what will cost you in court awards is the failure to correct the error when challenged. In the old days you would typically see a hit piece on the front page of a newspaper one day and then a couple of days later a retraction (usually on page 3) saying something like, “Oops! Sorry, we got this or that wrong!” which then means that while they have defamed you they can’t realistically be sued for [usually] monetary damages.
So as if sharing this secret information wasn’t enough, in my case madam here felt it in her clients’ best interest to get back at me and continued the ‘secret’ conversation with Colliers, in the process referring them to my blog post, complaining that it wasn’t fair, that she was feeling harrassed by yours truly and trying to desperately demean me . . . or whatever. That’s fine, she can do whatever she wants except she claimed, in writing to Colliers, that the blog post contained lies. Oops! Calling me a liar doesn’t wash, I can tell ya! That’s NOT good and so last week I asked her to explain what the lies were that she was referring to. I copied in her boss Sandra Terewi located down in Whanganui too, because Karen did the communication under the auspices of her employer.
The deadline expired 5.00pm yesterday and nothing, no response from either of them. Head in sand stuff. So today in the absence of any clarification of what I’ve got wrong, I’ve just sent them a claim of defamation and request for correction, retraction or constructive resolution. Knowing the way these kind of people think and the consequences of this kind of thing within the legal community, I fully expect litigation to occur, but that’s up to them how they want to take it.
Warning of Defamation
Everybody makes mistakes. We’re all human after all, but there are things that you can do to minimise the damage if or when you do make a mistake. In my game it is crucial for me to make claims of fact and opinion totally and emphatically clear. There is a HUGE difference between saying that Bartercard or BBX or Karen or whoever are crooks and saying that you’ve found them to be so as a result of xyz. One can be defamatory, the other not. I can legitimately say that I think this or that about a person and if I give reasons then I can defend myself from defamation at any stage in the future as long as I do this. Also, letting the client or victim or other party know before hand what I am about to say about them also proves good faith on my part. If my ‘intent’ can be shown simply to expose and to provide thoughtful commentary then again this is not defamatory. I also publish a massive, detailed “disclosure statement” and even a “code of ethics” that an Auckland High Court judge complimented, all designed to help the public see my credibility. Most please only give a cursory look at a website like this, even reading one post is a mission for many, let alone hundreds, but those who are interested will read extensively. Lawyers and others seeking to find dirt, for example will pour over my terms, words, businesses and whatever they can find until they usually realise that they are or could be up against it.
So Karen and CLAW (her employer) have been given notice that their ignoring of my request of last week is a sign of bad faith. Defamation has occurred and unless they act to rectify the damage within the next week, litigation is assured and unless they engage urgently and meaningfully it will likely cost them. No presentation of innocence to a judge should be believed after this level of exposure and opportunity to resolve the matters.
Here’s the text of the warning sent to Karen Ngatai & CLAWs today.
Hi Karen & Sandra
Last week I asked you to advise me of the errors in the blog post that you claimed was “full [of] lies” and which you supplied to Colliers on 20 January 2022. I asked you to respond by close of business yesterday, but neither of you have done this so I now warn you formally of my intention to take the matters further.
I note that:
1. The claim that my aforementioned post is “full [of] lies” was supplied to LINZ by Karen Ngatai under the auspices of CLAWs;
2. That I have given you ample opportunity to establish clarity, or validation of your claim and that you haven’t;
2. That this statement is factually incorrect – there are no lies contained; and that
3. This statement is clearly designed to cause me loss or damage in the eyes of the recipient.
Defamation therefore has occurred.
Unless you engage with me urgently and meaningfully and no later than 5.00pm Friday 10 June 2022, with the express intention to correct the error and damage you have caused as a result of this defamation I will commence litigation under the Defamation Act 1992. In this event I will be undertaking action against both Karen Ngatai personally and Community Legal Advice Whanganui Trust forthwith claiming defamation as above.
I note that time is of the essence.
Don’t hold your breath awaiting a meaningful response team. The reason why these goons have done nothing is because their ‘legal advice’ if they have even bothered to get it has either told them that there is no defamation or that I am bluffing. UPDATE: 10:23 & June 2022 – sure enough, Sandra has now replied – essentially saying, “Your two emails received, but no comment!”
I address now the ethical issues of taking a defamation case against somebody else and explain how important this kind of thing is – to those of us who speak, seek and live in the world of reality. Most people are quite pragmatic; they use what we call “situational [or sliding] ethics“. “If you want to get ahead in life you’ve got to get along with everyone,” is their motto. Opposed to that are the likes of me, and others, who live by principle. We’re black and white dudes and dudesses and it doesn’t matter who you are – you can be the Queen Bee for all we care – if you said that you’ll do something for example then we’ll hold you to it and insist that you do.
In a legal sense we say that “a verbal agreement is legally binding”. In a moral sense we say that “Our word is our bond”, so if we say we’ll do something, you can be dead sure that we’ll do it.
We can be a pain in the arse to live with, I know that, but at least you know where you stand with us.
Politicians, liars and manipulators hate us with a passion. Karen is one of those, as are most ‘darkies’ as my Maori ex-wife and mother of my children used to call them. I’m [hopefully] a little more subtle and nuanced when I describe others (suggesting that Samoans for example “value relationships above abstracts”) but the feeling of contempt for the other kind is usually mutual!
When faced with someone who doesn’t like you, for whatever reason it doesn’t matter, one has to determine how far and at what point you step in and say, “Stop!” No further, you’ve gone far enough. Karen and I crossed swords way back when. She wanted the money from the sale of The Memory Bank for her pet project the Railway Museum and was prepared to deceive to get it. I said, “No! No you don’t!” and stopped it all. I helped Cookie get out of his pickle and stood up to the bullies, but left her alone. My two neighbours who didn’t want to contribute to the cost of any fencing can say or do whatever they want as a result of working with her – the courts can or will determine those issues. Karen can think or say or do whatever she wants, but the instant she claims I am a liar, she’s out of order and I’ll stop her.
This approach is akin to a parent telling a child that they can play on their property as much as they like but the moment that they go outside of their gate, then they will get disciplined. A good parent will ‘sort them out’ when or if they do. A parent that does this will always gain the respect from the kids and right-minded observers. Karen Ngatai might not like being held to account for her defamation but if she’s smart, she and her boss will learn to show respect for me, job or no job at CLAW.
The other thing that rings loud in my ears are the words of the little people of Samoa. I can’t tell you how many have said this in their various ways, but as I stood up for truth and justice in a sea of cultural corruption, so many of them would come to me, often secretively, often hinting rather than saying it, most with an attitude of fear, some brave and astute ones often saying things like, “Nisi (my Samoan name) you are a national treasure. Please, never give up what you are doing. We need this from you because we can’t do or say what you can!”
Sure, I know that this deep desire for justice is universal but if I let the likes of Karen cause me any unredressed loss, just because I show her up for who she really is, then the next dude who does this stupidity will do it more, and society will go down, down, down and things will get a worse for it.
It only takes one dude to stand up for the next one to say, yeah, you’re right – I’m with you, and then all the politicians, liars and thieves will run to the hills and beyond. People come back to me, sometimes years later and say things like, “Nisi, I’ll never forget what you taught me way back when!” and then they will often add that many others never had the balls to say what I did, but that they never forgot what I said. A foster son, did this recently and while he’s been in and out of the gangs and jail he can’t undo the words he heard and knew was the truth when I raised him.
Likewise Karen and her employer CLAWs. I’ve showed them up for the people they really are. Hopefully the world will be a better place for this.
They say that nobody wins a war, so don’t start one. I say that a ship that is not moving creates no wake but goes nowhere.
Let’s keep creating that wake eh?