The Green Party's lawyer
says co-leader Russel Norman will "vigorously defend" comments
made about Conservatives leader Colin Craig, who is threatening
Mr Craig said Dr Norman had until Friday at 5pm to issue a
public apology and retraction for statements he made at the
Big Gay Out in Auckland.
During his speech, the Greens co-leader said Mr Craig "thinks
a woman's place is in the kitchen and a gay man's place is in
The Greens released a letter this afternoon from barrister
Steven Price - who is representing Dr Norman - to Mr Craig's
Mr Price said Dr Norman's comments were metaphorical and were
not meant to be taken literally.
"They were colourful political rhetoric, delivered to a crowd
with a particular interest in diversity issues."
Mr Craig said the comments were taken to mean that he held
sexist, derogatory and offensive views about women and gay
Mr Price said they should be interpreted as a "colloquial
suggestion" that the Conservative leader's attitudes to women
and gay people were outdated and disrespectful.
The letter cited previous comments by Mr Craig, including his
assertions that gay relationships were "not normal" and that
Prime Minister John Key was "too gay" for his Helensville
The Greens' lawyer said Mr Craig had failed to understand
that the legal threshold was higher for defaming a
He said if Mr Craig wished to pursue the matter further, he
should preserve any evidence of comments made about women or
gay people, including emails, that could be relevant in the
Mr Craig, a millionaire property manager, has sought and
received retractions and apologies from media organisations,
individuals and a satirical news website for comments made
- By Isaac Davison of
the NZ Herald