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Rachel MacGregor Welcomes Today’s Court Decision

Rachel MacGregor welcomes the decision released today by Justice Hinton. The key issue on which all the various litigation has been based is the question, did Colin Craig sexually harass Rachel. That question has been answered – he did. Justice Hinton has found that Colin Craig sexually harassed her from 2012 onwards for a period of 2.5 years. The judgment found the harassment was unwelcome, and not encouraged or reciprocated. The court found that Mr. Craig’s sexual conduct had a detrimental effect on Ms. MacGregor. A decision on damages will follow.

“This decision is the third to find that Mr Craig sexually harassed me. It’s a relief to have the courts confirm that when I filed my complaint I did so truthfully. It’s my strong wish that Justice Hinton’s ruling is not appealed by Mr Craig and that he finally leaves me alone to get on with my life.”

“After all this time, and all this litigation, I just want this awful ordeal to be finally over,” Ms MacGregor said today."

“I’ve found that filing a sexual harassment complaint is a very difficult thing to do. At the very least, I hope that NZ can eventually progress to being a place where any victim can know that if they do raise an alarm, good systems are in place so that they can be listened to in confidence, and that they won’t be re-traumatised by the experience.”

"What started as a traumatic experience in itself, with sexual harassment, has been very much magnified by the years of legal actions. It’s turned into a new form of harassment that has lasted longer and been more painful than I could have ever imagined."

"I feel so fortunate that after hearing Mr Craig had lodged a claim against me, a small group of incredible New Zealanders joined together to create a Trust to support the legal battle."

"I want to send a deep thank you to everyone who has made a contribution so far to the Givealittle page set up by the Trust to help pay the legal costs. There is still the opportunity to contribute to that via the Trust’s website justiceforher.org

“Seeing how generous Kiwis decided to be is really humbling,” she said. “It’s given me a great deal of strength knowing that there are some people out there who can really see the injustice of the situation and are willing o do something to try to stop it. I can only hope that this case prevents other cases like it in the future.

"I also want to thank my tireless legal team Hayden Wilson and Linda Clark from Kensington Swan. Linda saw what I was going through by reading about it in the paper and decided to reach out to offer to help. I’m so very grateful she did. I simply could not have done this on my own.

Colin Craig v Rachel MacGregor Decision – Key Findings

1. Mr Craig’s letters to Ms MacGregor were ‘highly inappropriate’ for an employer to send to an employee and had clear sexual content (paragraphs [21], [31], [45], and [53]).

2. Ms MacGregor’s responses to Mr Craig were ‘markedly more restrained’ and contained no sexual references or innuendo (paragraphs [37] and [48]). The affectionate and appreciative language of Ms MacGregor’s texts to Mr Craig were really responding to his effusive flattery of her, both personally, and in terms of her work. She did not encourage or reciprocate his sexual comments and overtones (paragraph [179]).

3. Mr Craig sexually harassed Ms MacGregor from 2012 onwards. Mr Craig’s letters, texts, and comments were unwelcome to Ms MacGregor from early 2012 onwards. It does not matter that she did not specifically object to them. An employee in her position often would not (paragraph [176]). The sexual harassment covered a period of approximately two and a half years (paragraph 182]).

4. Mr Craig’s sexual conduct had a detrimental effect on Ms MacGregor (paragraph [180]).

5. Ms MacGregor ought not to have told Mr Williams that Mr Craig was a bad employer who failed to negotiate and agree pay rates and pay her invoices when they were due. She also ought not to have told Mr Williams that Mr Craig had harassed, abused or been nasty towards two or more women.

6. The loan which Mr Craig gave to Ms MacGregor was ‘somewhat paternalistic’ (paragraph[61]) and would have been ‘usurious’ if Ms MacGregor had had to pay the interest following her default (paragraph [212]).

7. Mr Craig’s press statements, letter to the Conservative Party, and the Dirty Politics booklet went too far in asserting that Ms MacGregor’s allegations of sexual harassment were false. The statements went beyond what was necessary to respond to the attacks on him (paragraphs [215], [244], 254]) and were not responsible (paragraphs [216], [244], [255])

8. Ms MacGregor was entitled to share her tweet on 22 June 2015 as it was a responsible and proportionate response to Mr Craig’s irresponsible and unfair attack on her (paragraph [233]).

9. Overall, Ms MacGregor was successful in most of her claims against Mr Craig as the court found that she was sexually harassed by Mr Craig. The only claim which she did not succeed on was Mr Craig’s comments about her finances. Mr Craig was partially successful in his claim about some of the things Ms MacGregor said to Mr Williams but was otherwise unsuccessful.

10. The parties now need to provide written submissions on damages and costs. Ms MacGregor’s submissions are due on 4 October 2019 and Mr Craig’s are due on 25 October 2019. A decision on damages will follow some time after that.


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