4 Mar 2014

Craig taking limited defamation action

5:22 pm on 4 March 2014

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has decided to proceed with defamation action against the Green Party co-leader, but is limiting it to comments on Mr Craig's beliefs about women.

Colin Craig.


Russel Norman said at the Big Gay Out in Auckland in February this year that Mr Craig thinks a woman's place is in the kitchen and a gay man's place is in the closet.

Mr Craig said he would not pursue Dr Norman over the reference to gay people because legal action would cover hundreds, if not thousands, of emails and other correspondence relating to the recent debate on gay marriage and this would result in prohibitive costs and delays.

The Conservative Party leader said it had nothing to do with being worried about those communications becoming public.

"I'm very confident that what I say in correspondence stacks up in terms of those documents, those conversations, being made public. In fact I always assume that that will be."

The defamation claim would be split into two stages in the hope of fast tracking a court hearing, he said.

The Greens will launch a public appeal, to help raise money to fund the defence for Dr Norman, who reiterated on Tuesday that he stands by his original comments. "From my point of view what's important is to stand for a tolerant inclusive New Zealand."

Prime Minister John Key said on Tuesday that Colin Craig will have to toughen up a bit if he intends to have a career in Parliament and half a defamation claim is no better than a full claim.