Cameron Slater

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Cameron Slater
Occupation Blogger
Website
www.whaleoil.co.nz

Cameron Slater is a controversial New Zealand-based Internet blogger who is best known for publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog.[1] Slater is the son of former National Party President John Slater.[1] In October 2012 he was appointed the editor of now-defunct tabloid newspaper The New Zealand Truth.[2]

Slater maintains that the name suppression laws in New Zealand need to be reformed.[3] In late 2009, he gained notoriety for naming two high profile sex offenders and consequently became the first blogger in New Zealand to be charged with breaching a name suppression order. In January 2010 he named a third person accused of sex offences, and in February 2010 named another person convicted on child pornography charges.

Blogging career[edit]

Challenges to name suppression laws[edit]

On 23 December 2009, Slater was charged with five counts of breaching name suppression orders. The charges relate to two blog posts that contained pictures which revealed the identities of a prominent New Zealand entertainer and a former New Zealand Olympian who were each charged with sexual offences.[3]

On 11 January 2010, Slater published a blog post that used binary and hexadecimal code to allege the identity of a former Member of Parliament charged with indecent assault on a 13-year-old girl. The Nelson Bays police announced that they would investigate this further breach of New Zealand's name suppression laws.[4]

He pleaded not guilty to the five name suppression charges on 9 February 2010, and the same day revealed the identity of a prominent Palmerston North resident whose name was suppressed after being found guilty of possessing thousands of pornographic images of children.[5] In August 2010 he went on trial, now facing ten charges of breaching suppression orders.[6] In September he was convicted of nine of the charges, eight of breaching suppression orders for offenders and one of naming a victim in a sexual abuse case. He was fined $750 and ordered to pay court costs of $130 for each of the nine cases.[7]

In May 2010, Slater published the name of a public servant who had permanent name suppression, after a Wellington District Court jury found him not guilty of assaulting his teenage son. The matter reignited the national debate over the internet and name suppression and the public servant's lawyer Mike Antunovic publicly labelled Cameron a "renegade."[8]

Feral controversy[edit]

On 27 January 2014, Slater published a brief post with the headline,"Feral dies in Greymouth, did world a favour". At the time of the headline all that the media had reported was that one person had been killed, assumed by many to be the driver who was responsible for crashing at high speed into the bedroom of a house in Greymouth after ignoring Police. The article Slater wrote was about how the media had handled the coverage and had blamed the Police. The identity of the dead man was not known at that time.[9]

The post led to objections from the general public as well as death threats and suspected hacking attempts on his blog site.[10] Some people called on Slater for an apology to the young man's family at least.[11] Slater moved his family in response to the threats, but refused to apologise.[12]

Visits to Kim Dotcom mansion controversy[edit]

In February 2014, Prime Minister John Key said in the media that Winston Peters had visited the Kim Dotcom mansion three times. This information turned out to be correct, and Peters publicly challenged Key to release the source of the information, suggesting that the Prime Minister had used spying agencies to track his movements. Key denied that spy agencies had been involved, and hinted that the source of the information was Cameron Slater. Key said that while he did not agree with everything Slater posted, he talked to the blogger "every so often" and had talked to him about Kim Dotcom and other things that week.[13]

Awards[edit]

The New Zealand Truth[edit]

At the end of October 2012, Slater was announced as the editor for tabloid newspaper the New Zealand Truth. He said in his new role he would be "kicking arse and sticking up for the little guy". His first issue was published in November 2012.[2] The Truth ceased production in July 2013.

Personal life[edit]

On the weekend of 29–30 May 2010, Slater and his wife lost their home after their income insurance provider, Fidelity Insurance, stopped payments for depression. His wife said that Slater has been living with clinical depression following the failure of a business he part-owned,[16][17] and has "...no thought of the consequences for himself or others or indeed his family".[18]

Slater is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Internet warrior". Sunday Star Times. 12 July 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Cameron Slater takes helm of Truth". 3 News NZ. 31 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Blogger to defend suppression breach charges". The New Zealand Herald. 26 December 2009. 
  4. ^ Adams, Christopher (12 January 2010). "Blogger in trouble again for naming ex-MP in teen sex case". The New Zealand Herald. 
  5. ^ "Blogger in suppression case outs child porn offender". The New Zealand Herald. 9 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "Blogger on trial for breaching suppressions". The New Zealand Herald. 25 August 2010. Retrieved 2011. 
  7. ^ "Whale Oil may appeal convictions". The New Zealand Herald. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 2011. 
  8. ^ "Blogger breaks suppression order – again". Stuff.co.nz. 25 May 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Blogger's harsh words rile grieving parents". Stuff.co.nz. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Cameron Slater victim of 'cyber bullying'". 3 News NZ. 29 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Cameron just say sorry". January 2014. 
  12. ^ Backhouse, Matthew (29 January 2014). "Blogger moves family after death threats". NZHerald.co.nz. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Trevett , Claire. "PM hints tip-off came from Cameron Slater". New Zealand Herald. APN. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "NetGuide Awards 2013". 
  15. ^ "Canon media awards 2014". 
  16. ^ Tim Hume (25 October 2009). "Blogger takes on insurance firm". Fairfax NZ News. 
  17. ^ Tim Hume (12 July 2009). "Internet warrior". Sunday Star Times. 
  18. ^ Fisher, David (29 May 2010). "'Hurtful' blogger loses house". The New Zealand Herald. 
  19. ^ Michele Hewitson (28 August 2010). "Michele Hewitson Interview: Cameron Slater". New Zealand Herald. 

External links[edit]