I look forward to Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little calling Paula Bennett as a witness in their defamation suit with Judith Collins. Bennett openly admits doing what Collins has sued Mallard and Little for accusing her of doing: using ministerial powers to leak the private details of a political opponent. Bennett even says she’ll do it again. She obviously doesn’t see doing it as hurting her reputation.
Defamation is publishing a statement that hurts someone’s reputation in the eyes of the public (and the statement isn’t true, honest opinion, or privileged). So, if Bennett’s case proves that it doesn’t hurt the reputation of a minister to be known to have abused her ministerial powers to leak the private details of a political opponent, it can’t be defamatory to accuse Collins of doing exactly the same thing.
It will be hilarious to see Bennett insisting that she was right to do what Collins says it is defamatory to be accused of, that she would do it again, that’s shes proud of her actions and the public support her.
(of course, Collins suit will fail on honest opinion and Lange v Atkinson privilege anyway)