Conservative Party founder Colin Craig has gone to the Court of Appeal against a High Court finding that he sexually harassed his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor.

The appeal is the latest in a string of defamation cases stemming from when the pair worked together in the 2014 election campaign.

In the latest case, High Court Justice Anne Hinton said in her September 19 judgment that Craig and MacGregor sued each other.

"Broadly, Ms MacGregor sues Mr Craig for suggesting she made false claims he sexually harassed her, that she was a liar, that she had acted inappropriately, and that she had no capability to manage her finances," the judge said.


"Mr Craig sues Ms MacGregor for suggesting he sexually harassed her, that he was a bad employer, that he had lied, and that he had been abusive to other women.

"Broadly put, the Court holds that Mr Craig did sexually harass Ms MacGregor, that he did suggest she was a liar, and that he lied when he suggested the claims were false.

"But the Court also finds that Mr Craig was not a bad employer, at least in the ways suggested, and that he had not been abusive to other women in he ways suggested.

Rachel MacGregor at the Auckland High Court in the first round of defamation cases in 2016. Photo / File
Rachel MacGregor at the Auckland High Court in the first round of defamation cases in 2016. Photo / File

"The Court finds it was at least substantially true that Ms MacGregor had no capability to manage her finances at the relevant time. In the result, both parties have succeeded in some of their claims, but failed in others."

High Court judge says Colin Craig 'self-absorbed, hypocritical', clung to idea of 'special relationship' with Rachel MacGregor
'Oppressive': Judge blocks Colin Craig efforts to question former press secretary Rachel MacGregor
Colin Craig back for new dog-fight in court
Colin Craig did sexually harass Rachel MacGregor, High Court rules

Craig said he was appealing to the Court of Appeal, and if necessary the Supreme Court, because the Supreme Court had already found in his favour on "exactly the same issue" in his previous defamation case involving Taxpayers Union founder Jordan Williams.

"My view is that the Supreme Court got it right. It's the same issue, the right to reply to an attack, and what that means in legal terms," he said.

He said the appeal would be expensive, but he believed it was "a matter of principle".


"The first court case cost me a lot of money," he said.

"But the last three cases I have done myself so I don't have to pay lawyers very much when I do that.

"The Court of Appeal does cost money. You have to pay for lawyers. But this particular one is not one that I wanted to go to court, it's one that Ms MacGregor wanted to go to court.

"At the end of the day I've probably spent, I don't know, maybe on this one I've spent $30,000 or something. That, in terms of court cases if you ask anyone who understands the legal system, that's pretty cheap."

The Herald is trying to reach MacGregor for comment.