ALI MAU: I won't stand by if Colin Craig drags Rachel MacGregor to court again


You might have heard that Colin Craig has been umming and ahhing about whether he'll launch yet another defamation case, this time against his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor.

Yesterday he was keen and today he's pulled back a bit but won't rule it out. It depends, he reckons, on whether he wins the current case he's fighting against blogger Cameron Slater.

This is probably a load of bluster and I suspect Craig has seen the outpouring of public disgust in the past 24 hours since he first revealed he'd lodged papers for a case against Rachel in the High Court.

He's also probably realised this isn't going to help his reputation. In fact, if he has any left, in my view he's put it firmly in the toilet now.

And that's what it's all about for Craig isn't it. Reputation. You could argue - pretty successfully I reckon - that he's the one who's done the best possible job of ruining his reputation.

But he has the money to just keep going - the kind of money someone like Rachel couldn't hope to raise in her defence. Let's remember Craig's alleged to have withheld salary payments from her so you could argue that he's well versed in using his wealth to control the people around him.

And Rachel has had to testify, over and over and over in each of the defamation cases which have already taken place.

It is time for Colin Craig to step back and leave her alone. He cannot, even with another defamation case, stitch back together the regard of the New Zealand populace.

We see him for what he is - a vainglorious man, with no real aptitude for politics and given to political gaffes, who had a romantic notion about a colleague and has been mortified to find that it wasn't returned.

What he thought was a romance turned out to be the result of the kind of power imbalance that a lot of women have to negotiate in the course of their work, and which some bosses seek to exploit.

Those are the facts of working life for many women. It's happened to me… To keep your job, the source of your income, the means of paying your rent, you jolly along with people you don't necessarily respect, and you don't complain sometimes about things you know you should complain about. Because what happens then? You're out on your ear.

But I have a warning for Colin Craig. If he changes his mind yet again and does decide to sue Rachel MacGregor, she will not be at the kind of disadvantage she's been at in the past.

He will not be able to push his rich man's advantage against a woman without the means to defend herself. We have crowdfunding these days, and Colin Craig will see the women - and men - of NZ rise up to make sure Rachel has the money to match him head to head in court.

I'll make it my personal mission to make sure she does.

Ali Mau hosts RadioLIVE Drive from 3-6pm weekdays.