Judith Collins defamation fail | The Jackal

14 Nov 2012

Judith Collins defamation fail

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

ACC Minister Judith Collins' defamation action against Labour MPs Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little has been settled following a hearing in the High Court at Auckland today.

Ms Collins initiated the defamation case against the pair after comments they made on Radio New Zealand linking her to the leak of an email from former National Party President Michelle Boag.

The email identified Bronwyn Pullar as the woman at the centre of a massive privacy breach at ACC.

In New Zealand the plaintiff, in this case Judith Collins, would have started court proceeding for defamation by filing a statement of claim with the court registrar.

In order to withdraw from this action, the plaintiff usually needs to write a request that the statement of claim be terminated. They're also required to give reasons to be considered by a judge. Here's what that letter might have looked like:

Auckland High Court
Cnr Waterloo Quadrant & Parliament Street

May it please your Honour,

I write to formally request a termination of defamation proceedings against Labour MPs Andrew Little and Trevor Mallard.

It has been brought to my attention that to determine whether there is a case to answer the court would need to initiate an investigation into the Michelle Boag letter that was leaked to the media by me, from my office or by ACC.

Under the law the evidence unearthed by an investigation that specifically looked into this leak would be shared with the defendants who would likely make it public. This could be highly humiliating and I might even be made to resign from my cushy job, which cannot be allowed to happen.

It is written into our constitution that a National minister should never be made to resign for leaking the private information of New Zealand citizens to the media in order to try and shut them up. Therefore I request that you just forget about my statement of claim in the high court. I mean who really cares if I made all those media statements about defamation and what not? I certainly don't.

Please keep in mind that we control funding for the courts and so you had better consider this letter in my favour and in the strictest confidence. The leaking of private information is only allowed to happen when it's in our best interests and if you want to remain a high court judge, you had better do as I say and not as I do.

Yours insincerely,
[Dis]Hon Judith Collins

Minister of Injustice
Minister for ACC leaks
Private Bag 18041, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160, New Zealand. Telephone 64 4 817 6806