Michael Smyth <>

To:‘David Wright’

Cc:‘Peter Jackson’

‎3‎ ‎Apr at ‎11‎:‎40‎ ‎AM

Dear Mr Wright,

Thank you for your email.

There are two matters that I shall address with you:

  1. The allegation that the sentence which you have cherry picked from my letter to the Human Rights Commission is of a racist character.
  2. The unlawful publication of that sentence on your website over the weekend.


“No interest” comment

You have deliberately cherry picked a sentence from my letter and then imparted to that sentence a meaning which simply does not exist by placing it out of context. The meaning which you have given to that sentence is designed to suit your personal narrative and fuel a personal vendetta against my client – a strategy which seems to be the modus operandi of your website.

The purpose of my letter to the Human Rights Commission was to convey to the Commission that my client is not involved in the assessment of applications to the Olympic Solidarity programme. In New Zealand, those applications are handled by the NZOC. Both my letter and the letter from the NZOC made that perfectly clear to you.

The comment that my client has “no interest” in the programme or the application made by you on behalf of your swimmer, was to reinforce that my client is not involved in the running or management of the programme. The word “interest” has several meanings within the English language. One such meaning is “legal right or involvement”. It should not be unsurprising to you that a lawyer should use the word in this way. Following receipt of my letter the Human Rights Commission closed its file on your complaint.

Unlawful publication

I am aware that you have published part of my letter to the Human Right’s Commission and your email to me on your website to the world at large. That publication is accompanied by a narrative which seeks to convey to the reader that I am a racist. Such comments were extremely hurtful and were designed to harm my reputation in the community. It is particularly damaging given recent events in this country.

Your publication:

  1. Breaches the duty of confidence which you owed to me and the Commission as part of the Human Rights Commission’s dispute resolution process. I understand that the Commission will be writing to you separately in this regard.
  2. Is defamatory of my character.

I note that you chose to prevent any person commenting on posts on your website so as not to allow any person to express a view contrary to your chosen narrative. Therefore, to remedy your breaches I require that within 7 days you remove your post about me and post this reply in full to your website without any accompanying narrative except to express your apology to me for your previous post.

I reserve my right to take legal action against you if you fail to comply with my request or post other defamatory comment about me.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Smyth
Barrister & Solicitor

Suite 204A,
Achilles House,
8 Commerce Street,
New Zealand
P: +64 9 358 2725
F: +64 9 358 2715
M: +64 21 320 171

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