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Still no law suit from Collins

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, May 7th, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: Judith Collins - Tags: ,

For all her bluster, Judith Collins still hasn’t sued Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little for supposedly defaming her by saying she was behind the leak of the Boag email identifying Bronwyn Pullar as the leaker of 6,500 ACC clients’ details. I’m not sure how you can argue its defamatory for a minister to be accused of leaking private information when Paula Bennett did it openly and received the praise of the PM and much of the public.

Then, there’s the defences: Lange v Atkinson qualified privilege, honest opinion, even truth.

Any court would have to consider that MPs are regularly accused of far worse things than leaking confidential information – just tune in for a few minutes of talkback – as well as the, clearly intended, chilling effect on political debate if a defamation suit taken by a minister could succeed on such weak grounds.

And Collins doesn’t exactly come at this with clean hands. She called Little a liar for stating what he honestly thought on the basis of the information he had. Little pointed out that could have triggered a defamation suit from him, were he so inclined, but he just got it because it’s all part of politics.

Collins’ lawyers will have been telling her all that and inviting her consider what sensitive information she holds may come to light during the discovery process.

Maybe she’s not intending to sue at all. Maybe it was just a ploy to intimidate the media (as a matter of course, media won’t repeat an allegation that is subject to defamation proceedings). It seems to have worked, too.



16 comments on “Still no law suit from Collins”

  1. lprent 1

    She really is a blowhard bullshit artist. Must have been taking lessons from Whaleoil.


  2. Gruntie 2

    Her other motive of course is to show outrage at such malicious accusations – … She who doth protest too much …?

  3. This story will simmer away butsome OIAs should be in the process of being answered right now and the response will be interesting …

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    Excuse my ignorance but hasnt she got her solictors sending letters and a barrister lined up for the actual court case ?

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      as far as I recall the last lot of letters were that she was instructing her lawyers to proceed, at least a week ago now. I assume that actually filing a case would be visible to the various journos checking every morning.

  5. Sarah 5


    Collins is buying time for the Privacy Commissioner investigations hoping that someone else printed the email off and not just her – otherwise Collins is screwed!

    Lawyers being hired and writing letters means nothing.

    Collins will know she will get in the crap big time if she files for defamation on a frivolous basis with no intention of following through. That’s defamation 101. She is treading a fine line and has an impossible case with lots of pitfalls with huge costs and no gain. Julian Miles will have made that perfectly clear to her – you can be rest assured of that.

    Do you really think Collins wants herself, or her staff, or Judge or Ralph Stewart questioned under oath about who she instructed to do what with the Boag memo?

    Nope never.

    Mallard and Little will never see the courtroom.

    This is all just a bullshit and bluster smokescreen from Collins to try and take the pressure of herself from any scrutiny by the media.

    If I was Mallard and Little I would sit back and do nothing.

  6. felix 6

    How long has it been since she said she was definitely filing? Three weeks?

    How long does it usually take to file a suit?

    • It can take a while to prepare the claim.  It is quite a complex document that sets out the facts relied on, the alleged defamation and the cause of action.

      I am not sure how determined Crusher is about this suit.  But I bet she would be really keen to find out who is leaking …

  7. Sarah 7

    The first step is not that hard for Collins. It’s harder for those responding.

    Come on Collins …..are you for real or full of bullshit and hot air?

    Sounds like spin to me.

    Go on Collins – do it! Let’s see what you are made of.

  8. AnnaLiviaPluraBella 8

    Collins, who was gonna do over the head of the Prison Servive: but didn’t.
    Collins, who was gonna do over Police Boss Broad: but didn’t.
    Collins is just noise. Just noise.

  9. Hillary 9

    Pullar did not leak 6500 names.

    It was ACC who made a mass privacy blunder of 6500 names.

    I understood Pullar merely exposed that this mass breach had occurred to the media, but she has repeatedly confirmed she did not disclose names to the dominion post.

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    When the less excitable parts of the media report somberly that there is no news about something, it always makes me laugh:


    • deuto 10.1

      The Herald also had a more detailed article yesterday on the fact that Radio NZ did not get the second letter two weeks ago when Little and Mallard did.


      Mallard also posted a short teaser at Red Alert yesterday

      Posted by Trevor Mallard on May 8th, 2012

      If you think today’s National Board minutes leak was interesting – just wait until documents are tabled in the case Collins plans to take.


      Watch this space ……….

  11. Treetop 11

    Does anyone know who Collin’s lawyer is?

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