Colin Craig's bid to sue an ex-Conservative Party board member is back on the cards in what will be yet another defamation trial after the party's "implosion" five years ago.
And the multi-millionaire's former press secretary, Rachel MacGregor, may be required to testify again about being sexually harassed by her old boss, says John Stringer.
The Court of Appeal today reversed a High Court ruling that stayed Craig's proceeding against Stringer - labelled by Justice Matthew Palmer as "oppressive" and an "abuse" of the judicial process.
"Enough is enough," the judge said.
Stringer told the Herald this afternoon: "The entire world is pretty sick of Colin Craig.
"I'm very surprised that he's won the appeal, but that means we now have to relitigate the sexual harassment case."
Two High Court judges have ruled Craig, the former leader of the Conservative Party, sexually harassed MacGregor from 2012 to 2014.
"Colin wants to argue all that again and that's only going to ruin his reputation even more - as if it couldn't be ruined any further.
"He just seems to be adamant, he seems to be in complete denial that he sexually harassed somebody."
Stringer told the Herald he may be "forced" to call MacGregor to again testify, which would open her up to being cross-examined by Craig for a fourth time in similar proceedings.
"There may be other issues I may want to traverse in my defence and Rachel MacGregor is the only person that can provide that evidence.
"I think it's highly likely that I will be forced to, as hard as I've tried to avoid that, I'm being sued for a substantial sum for saying that he sexually harassed her - which we know he did."
Stringer's comments were in contrast to the Court of Appeal's decision today, given by Justice Murray Gilbert, which noted neither Craig nor Stringer intended to call MacGregor as a witness.
"The possibility that the proceedings were an abuse of the process of the court because their true purpose was to harass or embarrass Ms MacGregor can be ruled out," the decision reads.
"However, to address [Justice Palmer's] concern that Mr Stringer would be disadvantaged unless he called Ms MacGregor, Mr Craig formally advised following the hearing of the appeal that he would agree to her evidence in the [Jordan] Williams, [Cameron] Slater and MacGregor proceedings being admitted into evidence in the Stringer proceeding. This concession removes any potential for prejudice to Ms MacGregor, or unfairness to Mr Stringer."
Craig, who has denied he sexually harassed MacGregor, told the Herald the ball was in Stringer's court over whether she would be asked to testify yet again.
"It's up to Mr Stringer to decide the witnesses that he wants, but that is unnecessary, she has given evidence before," he said.
"I'm certainly willing to let that evidence be entered into the court without her needing to attend."
MacGregor did not immediately reply to the Herald's request for comment.
Craig said today's decision made him "very, very happy" and was "keen to get my day in court against Mr Stringer and finally resolve matters".
"That's good news before a weekend isn't it," he said.
Craig said he would once again be representing himself with the help of supporting legal advice.
"I've got the hang of it now," Craig laughed. "And it also, of course, makes it a lot cheaper."
He said he was seeking damages worth several hundred thousand dollars, but could not name an exact figure.
"It's not outrageous, I'm not like Mr Williams wanting a million bucks."
After a four-week trial against Craig in 2016, a jury awarded New Zealand Taxpayers' Union founder Jordan Williams $1.27m, the highest amount for defamation damages in New Zealand's legal history.
After a series of appeals, the Supreme Court later ordered a retrial in the case before Williams admitted making false allegations and unreservedly apologised to Craig and his family last December. He also made an undisclosed payment - ending his proceedings with Craig.
Craig, who founded the Conservative Party in 2011, told the Herald he had offered a similar settlement proposal to Stringer.
"I've offered the opportunity for the parties to settle and obviously people like Mr Williams have done that, they've retracted and apologised and paid me something.
"Mr Stringer is determined to push on."
Stringer, however, told the Herald no such olive branch has been extended his way.
"If Mr Craig insists on dragging me into court, yet again, well then I'm forced to defend myself," he said.
Stringer will also represent himself and said his case against Craig will be "savage".
"I have no choice, I am the defendant, so I have to proceed. But I would appeal to Colin Craig, as I have many, many times why are you putting your family through this again?
"Even if he won, he would lose, because his reputation would be completely trashed all over again."
Craig's wife, Helen, former Conservative Party candidate Stephen Taylor and Conservative Party officials Angela Storr and Kevin Stitt are also appellant's in the case against Stringer.
A protracted history of litigation
In 2015, Stringer made several public allegations against Craig, including that the property developer had sexually harassed MacGregor.
Craig responded by holding a now-infamous press conference with his wife and published a booklet titled Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas.
The booklet was then distributed to 1.6 million Kiwi households.
In the pamphlets, which cost Craig more than $250,000, a so-called trio of "schemers" were targeted, whom Craig believed had plotted against him in a calculated and ruthless character assassination.
The three men were Stringer, Williams and former Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.
Justice Palmer described it as the "implosion" of the Conservative Party, now renamed as the New Conservative Party.
In the years since, Craig has been involved in defamation proceedings with them all, largely over the same allegations involving MacGregor.
After a trial last year, the High Court dismissed all of Stringer's claims in April.
The Craig and Slater case, meanwhile, is now awaiting a Court of Appeal ruling after the now retired Justice Kit Toogood decided the blogger defamed the former politician but declined to award damages.
Justice Toogood was also the first to rule that Craig had sexually harassed MacGregor "on multiple occasions from early 2012 to 2014".
At a 2018 trial, Craig and MacGregor also counter-sued each other and Justice Anne Hinton again found Craig sexually harassed his former press secretary.
The judge also said the pair defamed each other.
Craig, who during that trial, withdrew his claim for damages, has previously said he will appeal the decision.
A confidential settlement between Craig and MacGregor had been reached in May 2015 but Craig was later ordered to pay MacGregor more than $120,000 by the Human Rights Review Tribunal after it ruled he breached the agreement in media interviews.