Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig believes he has come out on top despite a High Court judge ruling he sexually harassed his press secretary.

Speaking to Larry Williams on Newstalk ZB this afternoon, Craig said Cameron Slater came off second best following their counter-sue against each other.

"Obviously, it's a win and that's the most important thing in terms of the big picture. Mr Slater sued me for millions, his claim is dismissed," he said.

"I sued him for a declaration he defamed me, I got that. I wanted a finding that he had, along with others, attacked me, I got that. But I didn't succeed on damages."


Last May, Craig and Whale Oil blogger Slater countersued each other for defamation over allegations involving Craig's press secretary Rachel MacGregor.

The high-profile case played out at a trial at the High Court in Auckland before Justice Kit Toogood, who today publicly released his findings.

Blogger Cameron Slater leaves the Auckland High Courtin 2014. Photo / Doug Sherring
Blogger Cameron Slater leaves the Auckland High Courtin 2014. Photo / Doug Sherring

Craig, who represented himself, claimed allegations written on Slater's blog were irresponsible, inaccurate and very damaging.

Slater claimed Craig sexually harassed MacGregor, had given her a "large sum of hush money", had lied to the Conservative Party and the public about the accusations, and called him a "sexual deviant" who was engaged in politically "devious conduct".

In response to the allegations, Craig published a booklet called Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas which he distributed to 1.6 million Kiwi households and held a press conference.

Slater counter-sued Craig for what he said in the pamphlet and at the press conference.

Justice Toogood delivered his more than 200-page judgment last Friday, but it was only released to the public today.

He found Craig was defamed by Slater in two untrue statements - repeated five times - but declined to award Craig damages.


Craig told Newstalk ZB the decision on damages was not what he had hoped but thought he still came out on top of Slater.

"I sued Mr Slater and I have won on some of the claims, Mr Slater sued me and lost. The question now is, 'Am I happy with the detail?'," he said.

"I'm very disappointed with the detail which is defining sexual harassment, disappointed with that, disappointed that I haven't been awarded damages.

"But there is a couple of things to look at there in terms of whether or not I should appeal."

Craig said while he questions whether or not he will fight the appeal, he told Newstalk ZB he was disappointed on the sexual harassment findings.

"I've got the declaration [Slater] defamed me, I've got a ruling I was attacked by Slater. What I haven't got is damages," he said.

"I've got to look at whether I can live with that or whether I choose to challenge that third point because obviously I haven't been 100 per cent successful and I would have like to have been.

"I'm disappointed on that finding on sexual harassment, it's not what I believe. Certainly, I believe the evidence pointed elsewhere."