Grant has won her legal case against two opponents who harassed her for years. She speaks to express about her ordeal.
Jacquie Grant (ONZM) has spoken to express following her long running battle against two individuals who have now been found guilty of harassing her.
Anti-Westland district council campaigners Anthea Keenan and Geoffrey King have been ordered to remove offensive social media posts about Grant following a private prosecution.
The pair have been served harmful digital communication orders.
Speaking to express Jacquie Grant said she was thankful the ordeal was finally over after taking legal action. “I prosecuted my own case and I won.”
Grant says the pair have harassed her for years with the animosity stemming from a decision Grant took while on the council to lead efforts to relocate the Westland Pioneers’ Memorial statue in 2016. Grant and Keenan both served on the council together at the time.
Ruling in Grant’s favour last Friday at the Greymouth District Court, Judge Charles Blackie said Ms Keenan’s grudge was long running.
“It is clear that Ms Keenan has a significant grudge not only against Ms Grant but the Westland District Council in general,” the judge said.
“Ms Keenan clashed repeatedly with the rest of the council while she was a councillor, and she resigned amidst accusations of leaking information to the media in 2014, around the time of the statue dispute.”
Grant says the statue which is worth “about half a million dollars” was damaged and needed to be cleaned up and relocated. “The statue has been relocated, cleaned up and it looks fabulous, but she (Anthea Keenan) always had a problem with it” Grant tells express.
Keenan and King began a harassment campaign involving letters to the local newspaper and online abuse. Grant says the pair also spread malicious rumours around Hokitika about her business.
The online abuse was particularly vicious and included deliberate attempts to mis-gender her.
Grant notes that the name they used to address her online in an attempt to dead-name her was in fact inaccurate. “How they got that name I have no idea, but it wasn’t even correct. They got close, but the name was never one I previously had. In any case, it was 36 years ago that I went by something other than Jacqui. 36 years! It’s 2021, who cares?”
“There was never any reason or context for them to be using any other name than Jacquie.” Grant says.
Grant says the abuse has now been removed in accordance with the court order. Grant told the court the abuse had caused her significant distress, but she was heartened by the community support.
“I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of messages of support from the community. It’s been quote overwhelming.” Grant tells express.
The online abuse has been taken down in accordance with court orders. Any breach of the order incurs a penalty of six months in jail or a fine of $5000.
Both Keenan and King have been ordered to apologise to Grant as well.