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Ian makes many good points, one of which: In a sense, the tactics used by the Herald and Hot Topic are little more than a form of bullying, which further intimidates people from joining the debate. illustrates the issue I have with the Herald many times on OpEd pieces. They leave people who take a different point of view as less able to respond and thereby "join the debate". We only have 200 words in a letter, or a 900 word article to respond with (if it's decided to print it in the Herald); meanwhile once we've had our "one say" the Herald can continue to, day after day after day, print the oposing opinion. It becomes kind of fruitless to then participate and that is dangerous in a democracy. The Herald is a widely read mainstream newspaper that many people rely on for their news and opinion. If we do not take up the challenge now to correct them in a manner that will cause the public to really think about the issues then the tide will continue to wash over those who hold a different opinion. So with respect Anna, I disagree with you on this issue, although your point is valid against those who do these sorts of things to Ian but have no real public exposure, unlike Chris Barton and the Herald.

To move slightly off-topic, one area where our news media have a valuable role is in the news business - events/issues that happen around the world. When I was in the hotel last month in Jakarta at the same time when the terrorist attack occured, the first media organisation I thought to contact was the Herald: that is their strength and it is the place that many NZ'ers or Aucklanders will go to to be informed about events. When it comes to opinions however and other facts that the Herald simply refuses to publish, then we need to do our own research or rely on organisation whose worldviews we trust, like Investigate for example.

Go ahead Ian and sue, you have my full (moral) support.


Oh please Ian, anyone with half a brain can see this for what is really is, a desperate grab for publicity.
You have absolutely no show of pinning defamation on Gareth at Hot Topic. For one, your comments in your blog stouch with him were far more derogratory and inflammatory to him than he was to you. Rubbishing your conclusions in a review isn't defamatory, it is merely his honest opinion of your book, arrived at after he read it.
I can't comment on the Herald article because I haven't read it, was it a review of your book, or did he merely refer to it as part of a larger article? If it's the latter Barton is well within his rights to report anothers conclusions as long as he states whose conclusions they are. He can even draw his own conclusions based soley on Gareth's without reading the book if he wishes without it being defamation.
Final point, you would do well to drop the pretensions, why write about yourself on your own blog in the third person? It rather makes you look a bit silly.


Now that Ian has stated his words, yes of course it sounds good, but then Ian is clever at debating.

Matthew says- If we do not take up the challenge now to correct them in a manner that will cause the public to really think about the issues then the tide will continue to wash over those who hold a different opinion.

For a start because of Ian’s line of work he will be continually ridiculed, not because he isn’t right. Anyone that probes too deeply into situations will be ridiculed. Anyone that studies anything of a complicated nature or of a conspiring nature will be ridiculed. They put “think tanks” on to people like Ian to discredit their work.

What Matthew says sounds like a dream but the public won’t change their opinion too much, because Ian has to a degree tackled subjects that have put people off him.

(Absolute Power)- People like the book good (regardless of the “facts” he writes) Ian has to remember if you act in a manner that is too rigid/one sided people will tag you, immediately.

In the past Ian has been too nick-picky and stringent with “certain” subject matters, and it makes him look bad.

When I was teenager I heard Ian Wishart was a brilliant journalist, over the years all I hear now is he has lost the plot, gone all fanatical about gay/lesbian issues and girls in nighties.

People’s perceptions have changed. Ian is rightly entitled to have opinions on these things, but bulldozing Labour (only) on these issues have to a degree tainted Ian’s reputation, especially with the up and coming generation. Regardless of whether Ian is a good journalist or not.

Ian needs to “think tank” the way he does things. It is very important how Ian is seen in the public eye because he is the last of a dying breed and if we don’t have people like Ian dealing with the “bigger” issues who is left in New Zealand to fight the serious problems?

Maybe Ian should sue, I’m not sure, but Ian doesn’t need to do for publicity and he doesn’t need to remind people he is a number one best seller while doing it, we all know Ian’s a genius in the making anyway.

Ian says- This isn't healthy in a democracy and I have no intention of allowing myself to be marginalised.

Until Ian cracks the big time he should get used to it, he’s a person delving into deep issues, he pisses people off and the government underneath don’t like people like him.



You write: "Rubbishing your conclusions in a review isn't defamatory, it is merely his honest opinion of your book, arrived at after he read it."

With respect, you have no appreciation of defamation law.

It is only honest opinion if Gareth has truly stated the facts, not as he sees them but as they actually are. If he misquoted my book, and then attacked me on the basis of the misquotation, he is now legally vulnerable.

I've shown some of those misquotations previously. Gareth knows it, readers of this blog know it.

Rather than your bush-blog legal reasoning, there is good case precedent on what's genuine opinion and what's defamation, and I wouldn't be taking this line without good legal advice.

Likewise, your lack of real knowledge on defamation is illustrated in your claim that Barton can repeat someone else's opinion safely. No he can't. That's a fundamental point of defamation and it shows me and other readers here that you are talking through a hole in your head on this aspect.

I'm unsure why it bugs you. Surely what takes place in legal discussion between myself, the Herald and Hot Topic has no impact on your daily life? What do you care if I lose?

Or are you really worried about the possibility I might win, and how that might hit Hot Topic's credibility?

No, it's not a publicity bid. The book has sold nigh on 20,000 copies so far, and we actually don't have much stock left in NZ. We're not planning another local print run.

This is purely about principle and correcting some of the misinformation. Gareth's entitled to say anything he likes, within the law. So's the Herald. So am I.

Where does the line get drawn? Let's find out in due course.


Rereading what I wrote I was unclear.
Barton can absolutely repeat someone elses opinion as long as he doesn't misrepresent it, and as long as the opinion isn't defamatory in a legal sense. That was the point I was making, that Gareth on Hot Topic's review wasn't defamatory to start with, so Barton isn't defaming you by repeating it. I would agree it does smack of some shoddy journalism, but no worse than the pish in your book.
Also, if Gareth's review was so defamatory then why didn't you take action when he wrote it (~3 months ago?)?
It is abundantly clear that it is you who have no clear knowledge of the relevant law otherwise you wouldn't be deluding yourself and others that Hot Topic in any way defamed you in a legal sense. I will grant you that Gareth was scathing, but he did not: A) misrepresent your opinion, B)personally attack you (just your work), or C)deliberatly mislead people about you.
Having followed the exchanges on both his blog and yours since the first review it is you Ian who got personal, you Ian who is misrepresenting, and no amount of self important hypocritical bluster can convince any impartial mind otherwise.

I congratulate you on your 20,000 sales, it's clear that there is always a market for a good conspiricay tale.

You know full well that you won't get any sort of legal resolution, the win you speak of won't be a legal one but you might 'win' some publicity. I'm sure your legal advice would have told you that by waving your stick you might hope to bully the Herald and Hot Topic into a retraction, which I grant you is a good personal play (I love the feigned self righteous morality- from you Ian really?), but should they as they no doubt will, refuse then what, your going to spend a small fortune trying to get an argument into court? Laughable.

You are correct that your arguments with the Herald and HT have no impact on me at all, but since you decided to make it public, and post it on your blog inviting comment, I obliged.

Shane Ponting

All the best Ian, hope you crush em!

And on a lighter note I've really enjoyed the Air Con book myself - it's really built the fortress for me in terms of evidence against AGW. Also I've given a copy to a relative and they have thoroughly enjoyed the read too!

Russell Brown

Ah, Ian ...

I'm sure the irony is lost on you, but it is grimly amusing that your bleating about the chilling of free speech is so often accompanied by bellicose and poorly-founded legal threats against others.


Wussell, so good to see you here, seeing as your Public Address reference to Gareth's alleged "disembowelling" of me forms part of the evidence.

I'm simply applying the standards others hold me to, like yourself.

The question of whether this action is poorly founded will be determined in due course. I've given Gareth a private email with a hint of where he's in trouble. I don't plan to litigate it here.

It is precisely because I haven't gone for the jugular in the past that this situation has arisen, so instead of bemoaning it you should be appreciating that I'll be giving the court a chance to decide.

Relax, have a coffee and worry about something less procedural.


You can tell Gareth at Hot Topic doesn’t like Wishart. I wouldn’t bother getting my knickers in a twist over this if I were Wishart, why?

Law is Law, that’s Ian’s excuse. Basically these two are just scrapping and Wishart is all worried no one will take him seriously. Regardless Ian can’t change the government’s stance on this currant situation via the NZ Government alone, it won’t happen. The government is too “programmed” on course to accept any new innovative revelations from anyone.


...yet it's interesting Smith hints that the government might leave it open that the ETS might be 'amended' or something similar, in the future should the consensus of scientific opinion change away from AGW.

Or at least I think that's what I read somewhere. I hope so.

I suspect many government ministers have a nagging doubt over AGW but either don't have the guts to stand up and say it - or are aware of repercussions to NZ exports should we buck the mass hysteria trend.

We might be stuck with a CES for a time.

A high profile court case (if it even gets a mention in the duped media) would be a nice shake up, don't you think?

Scott Yorke


Before you sue, best take a look at section 8 of the Defamation Act. Might save you some money on lawyers.


Ian, I am not about to argue that the Herald standards and yours are about the same at times.

Nevertheless, what will you gain from suing Granny Herald other than publicity.

Your problem will be demonstrating that you have suffered any measurable loss - and if the court thinks you are up to a publicity stunt, then will they hold that view?

Russell Brown

Ian, I cheerfully acknowledge that the reason I initially didn't see my comment was because of the way the comments were paginated, although I'm sure it'll be enough to keep you fizzing with whatever it is that keeps you going in the face of all reason.

My opinion does, however, remain that you're a vile little man and a bully to boot.

Ian Wishart

You see Russell, you have a fundamentally shallow understanding of the principle of free speech.

In constitutional terms, it is the right of a citizen to speak out against his or her government - a fundamental human right.

Free speech between citizens does not exist constitutionally, because the concept is not relevant.

You have the right to say anything you like. The subject of your verbiage has the right to sue you if there are grounds.

This is a fundamental right as well, replacing the older practice of pistols at dawn.

You seem to be whingeing about me exercising the same rights open to anyone I've ever written about.

Get sanguine, man! It really is a very simple proposition: either Gareth Renowden's review was entirely factually correct and his opinions were fair based on true facts, or alternatively Gareth was so busy trying to score some cheap laughs at my expense (cheered on by you), that he forgot to dot the i's and cross the t's, and left himself and his company open to a lawsuit.

It's one or t'other, and I can't help feeling that the mad panic on the Left with blog posts everywhere is indicative that secretly you're very concerned Gareth could be in serious trouble over this.

You'd be right, in that case. He is. I've been looking at the precedent in detail over the weekend and am quite confident the case can be properly framed for a definitive outcome.

But I do find it rich that on the one hand the wussy Left continually try to claim I don't have my facts right, and then when I finally rise up to defend and assert those facts you all run around like headless chickens, accusing me of being a bully.

Tough. It's in play now. Let's see where it goes.


Ian, do keep us all up to date with developments.

It may be worth a pilgrimage up north to witness your day in court.

Again I challenge you to divulge what material loss you can point to in suing as you expect to.

If I was defending Barton, I would argue that I was simply providing you with more publicity and hence better sales of your publications!!!!

Ian Wishart

Peter, good to see you back on form (ha ha ha). However, as usual you've demonstrated a woeful lack of knowledge about the requirements to establish defamation.

Save your "challenge" for a duelling range. The information you seek is here:

Shunda barunda

Sock it to em Ian.
This is a necessary step to take and you should do it with clinical precision. This whole AGW issue has its strength in a lack of basic integrity among its advocates, they need to be made accountable whenever the chance arises.
I have witnessed first hand the incredible reluctance the AGW faithful have in picking up this book,and their unfair criticism is based on nothing but ignorance and arrogance.
The fact that certain personalities have emerged from the woodwork on this thread is telling enough, these people don't like being challenged by someone unwilling to play by the unwritten rules of the MSM.
Journalism is a joke in this country, it has become nothing but the weakest most shallow reflection of a failing society. Even Paul Henry gets a strong following for, well, basically talking crap, but people like it because it is honest crap.
Air con is written well enough to be taken seriously, it is far more admissible to the debate on climate change than the work of some of its critics, it is right to defend it.



Your selective referencing extend to legislation I can see! Par for the course!

Look at the next two pages on your link:

I've discussed the issue with my lawyer a long time ago, and I am reporting to this forum the practicalities of taking action on libel/defamation.

Did it ever occur to you that very few libel cases get heard these days?

The reason is that the complainant has been unable to prove disadvantage to themselves.

In the case of Chris Barton, he has provided you with publicity. Why not encourage him to do more and engage in a media war with him. You say yourself that you have the truth, and he does not? It all seems like fair debate to me.


Hi Ian,

Just wondering if you deal with the likes of James Lovelock in your book?

Personally I am a bit of Lovelock fan... I thoroughly enjoyed the ideas in the Revenge of Gaia and an earlier book for which the title escapes me. He strikes me a highly rational personality and perhaps the antithesis of view (?).


Ian Wishart

I liked this from Lovelock in Air Con:

"Most of the 'Green' stuff is verging on a gigantic scam. Carbon trading, with its huge government subsidies, is just what finance and industry wanted. It's not going to do a damn thing about climate change, but it will make a lot of money for a lot of people"

page 229 of Air Con.

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