The defamation nemesis of former blogger Cameron Slater has trumped his courtroom victory by purchasing the Whaleoil website, its content and its branding.
It means Auckland businessman Matt Blomfield can now be "Whaleoil", leaving Slater bereft of the name, logo and website once used to build influence and target opponents.
Blomfield said his intent was to remove all the content, gifting anonymity to victims of Slater's campaigns who may have worried the archive of jibes and slurs built over 15 years of blogging would stay forever online.
"It's just an absolute full stop on everything that has gone on with Whaleoil," said Blomfield, who fought Slater and his publishing company, Social Media Consultants Ltd, in the High Court for seven years.
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"All the stuff about me is gone. It was removed through the court processes years ago.
"Now I'll remove what was written about everybody else. It's had a huge impact on a lot of people's lives. It's the right thing to do."
The old site - and a recent clone - is expected to be pulled down today. It made its final blog post on August 1, referring readers to a new blog intended as a successor.
The content on the Whaleoil site has been replaced by a new chapter of the book Whale Oil, by journalist Margie Thomson, in which she details the latest in the unfolding saga.
It includes details from Slater's bankruptcy, including his estimated personal indebtedness of $4 million. The sum includes an estimated $2.5m of damages claimed by Blomfield.
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The book chronicled Blomfield's defamation battle against Slater, and the ongoing campaign of harassment suffered through the course of it.
The blog's collapse began with the 2014 book Dirty Politics, which exposed Slater's secret links to the Prime Minister's Office in the Beehive and a willingness to accept money to run adverse stories as "hit jobs".
In the past year, its collapse became complete through Slater suffering a debilitating stroke, then personal bankruptcy, followed by the liquidation of Social Media Consultants - which has Slater's wife Juana Atkins listed as sole director - under the burden of $660,000 debt.
Slater has also had the High Court rule he had defamed former Conservative leader Colin Craig, rule he had no valid defence to the claim he defamed Blomfield, and was yet to comply with court orders to testify in another defamation case. The three defamation cases stemmed from content published on the Whaleoil site.
Blomfield said the release of the Whale Oil book had prompted people featured on the site to make contact and share their stories of being targeted.
"It became apparent there were many more people than just me who had been affected by the website."
Blomfield said it was clear the site had "an extreme impact" on many people and "just helping one of those people would be worthwhile".
Blomfield spoke with the liquidator of Social Media Consultants Ltd, Victoria Toon of Corporate Restructuring, and this week signed a contract to buy the blog, its contents and branding.
The purchase agreement shows Blomfield now owns "the Whale Oil website and its associated components including all domain names, logo, imagery, copyrights, goodwill, intellectual property relating to the Whale Oil brand and business and any and all sub-brands of 'Whale Oil'".
Blomfield would not say how much he paid for the site - "more than I can afford but not a ridiculous amount of money".
He said he was looking for ideas as to what to do with the whale branding, and was already considering whether it might be used to promote awareness of climate change or if it would be of benefit to Greenpeace.
Blomfield said the purchase put proof to an ambition which surfaced years ago during the defamation battle.
"When I started this I thought I would take the website off him because it's an awful tool."
Blomfield was also considering legal options to recover the Whaleoil subscriber database. The new blog site launched on August 1 offering to honour paid Whaleoil subscriptions.
It led to the liquidator posting a message on the Whaleoil site saying "the director of Social Media Consultants Limited, Juana Atkins, or someone directed by her, has illegally used the customer database for the benefit of another business entity".
Thomson said the chapter posted to Whaleoil today covered the months since the book had launched, and the $4.7m owed through Slater's bankruptcy and the liquidation of Social Media Consultants Ltd.
"I was completely gobsmacked as to the amounts of money they're talking."
The Herald has spoken to a number of those featured on the Whaleoil website who celebrated the imminent removal of the content on the site.
One person targeted on the site said of Blomfield: "What a hero he is. It's a selfless act. He's done this for everybody, for anyone who has ever been violated by this blog."
Slater did not respond to a request for comment. His wife, Juana Atkins, also did not respond.