Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A win for the Crusher

There will be no trial in the defamation action by Judith Collins against Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little; the Herald reports:

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.

And the story goes on to quote the joint settlement statement:

In a statement today following their meeting, the three parliamentarians said they agreed "the leak of the email Ms Boag sent to the minister and forwarded on her instructions as the responsible minister to the chairman and chief executive of ACC raised an issue of serious public concern, and that Messrs Mallard and Little were entitled to question who was responsible for that leak".
"The parties continue to differ over whether the comments made by Messrs Mallard and Little respectively on Radio NZ implied the minister falsely assured the House that neither she nor her office was responsible for the leak.
"Messrs Mallard and Little have confirmed to Ms Collins that was not their intention and wish to make that clear publicly that in the event such meaning was taken they regret it."
In the statement, the three politicians said they would make no further comment.

So; it's a lukewarm and conditional expression of regret for Messrs Mallard and Little. But it is a back-down for them nonetheless. Just a matter of weeks ago, Trevor Mallard was full of bluster about going to trial and calling John Key as a witness. Today, he and Mr Little have accepted that their comments had the potential to damage Judith Collins' reputation, and like the honourable gentlemen that they as Members of Parliament are, they have settled out of court.

This case was never about damages. On that basis, it is a points victory to Judith Collins' whose integrity has been restored. And it is conversely a loss on points for the two Labour MP's who have admitted that their choice of words was poor, and that they may have implied that Miss Collins had leaked information into the public domain.

This case was never likely to go to trial. Nevertheless we commend Judith Collins for standing upo for herself, and bringing an action against Messrs Mallard and Little out of her own pocket when she could have, as a Minister used public funds. Reputations are worth taking a stand for, as Judith Collins has demonstrated.

23 comments:

Robert Winter said...

I read that the Spiky One takes the opposite view. Have a look. Her interpretation makes sense to me...but then, I'm not a lawyer.

Keeping Stock said...

Cactus presented two options Robert; one being a win to Collins, and one a win to Mallard and Little. I'm a mere bush lawyer, but I reckon that the former is the correct one.

Wee Duck Win said...

Give me a break Keeping Stock!
You crowed that Collins was going to crush Mallard and Little but all we get is this mush from Crusher!
Failure! Absolute failure! Is that all she's got, a great big NOTHING!
All mouth, no trousers Collins.
What do you say now? It's a win for Collins?
Ha bloody ha ha!
Let's go back and read what you were posting then, shall we?

Anonymous said...

"vexatious, politically motivated and lacking principle" Little & Mallard on Collins' legal action.

Ummmm they've now settled - that's a long way from their initial position. You generally would only settle from that original position if your original position was wrong. That reads like a victory to Collins to me.

Its a pity she didnt go for the jugular, perhaps showed them mercy?

Anonymous said...

" all I can conclude is that the victors are Mallard and Little because despite being a pair of halfwits they still have not issued an apology "

Correct, Cactus Kate.

Mallard and Little, 1

Collins, 0

Cautious Kevin said...

" all I can conclude is that the victors are Mallard and Little because despite being a pair of halfwits they still have not issued an apology "

Correct, Cactus Kate.

Mallard and Little, 1

Collins, 0

Pussy Galore said...

Yep, a girl stood up to the bully boys and made them eat their words, but they didn't apologise.
Labour men are winners. Bet their women are proud of them, too.

Conference Delegate said...

Any port in a storm, Robert?
Keep safe.

Viking said...

Typical Nat. Nats never have the guts or balls to nail things down when they should.
Mallard & Little will do this again.
Just like the unions continue to rub salt into everyone's eyes cause they can and the bloody lazy Nats. won't change the law to stop them.
Oh well somethings ain't never gunna change. (sigh)

Kevlar Keith said...

A girl, Pussy?

Crusher caved. She's a pussy.

Edward the Confessor said...

"I reckon that the former is the correct one."

Of course you do. In other news, dog bites man!

What a waste of time. Surely Collins has more important things to do than trying unsuccessfully to bully people into silence. Perhaps not though.

Andrew M. said...

" Reputations are worth taking a stand for, as Judith Collins has demonstrated."

Could have fooled me. She won nothing. Her bravado resulted in...what?

Lefty said...

Others see it differently

Judith Collins pledged to take Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little to court for defamation after they suggested she was involved in leaking Bronwyn Pullar’s name via Slater-Lusk.

Today she dropped the suit after a letter from Mallard and Little in which a) don’t concede defaming her and b) deny intent to do so.

A huge back down from Crushless. She has failed to back up get bluster with a win and desperately taken a letter that concedes nothing instead. That can only mean she thought she had too much to lose in a case that would have seen fellow ministers in the witness box and crippled her leadership bid.

Lofty said...

I have to say, that while Ms Collins got a statement of regret from those two bully boys, I am disappointed that she never pressed on...to call it a victory sounds just a modicum hollow.
While the 2 ratbags will crow about this without a basis to be able to do so, they most certainly will..

Colin J. said...

"Justice Minister Judith Collins is not seeking damages, but wants the court to declare she was defamed and to award her costs in her case against two Labour MPs.

She has accused Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard and list MP Andrew Little of defaming her in relation to a leaked email from former National Party president Michelle Boag.

Boag emailed Collins about a case involving claimant Bronwyn Pullar, who blew the whistle on ACC releasing confidential details of claimants.

Canterbury University law Professor Ursula Cheer said it was unusual not to seek damages.

"The most common remedies sought are an apology and damages."

Hilda said...

Scott tells it straight: "Some are calling it a victory for Collins, others for Little and Mallard. Eddie and Anthony Robins at The Standard call it for the Labour MPs, while David Farrar calls it for Collins.

It might be tempting to call the whole thing a messy draw, and I would have been tempted to call it that way, had I not seen footage on TV3 tonight of Judith Collins defiantly telling journos outside the High Court this morning that she was seeking an acknowledgement that she had been defamed, an apology, and costs.

Instead she got this:
The parties continue to differ over whether the remarks made by Messrs Mallard and Little respectively on Radio New Zealand implied the minister falsely assured the House that neither she nor her office was responsible for the leak. Messrs Mallard and Little have confirmed to Ms Collins that was not their intention and wish to make that clear publicly and in the event such meaning was taken, they regret it.
If that's an apology, then I'm Paul Henry."

Keeping Stock said...

From the Herald of 17 May 2012:

An email from Mr Little to Ms Collins' lawyer alleged the action against him was motivated by "political animus".

"I have no intention of assisting your client in this pernicious enterprise. It is my intention to cause her the utmost inconvenience and embarrassment in her prosecution of this matter."

Mr Mallard late yesterday confirmed he was also refusing to cooperate with Ms Collins' court action.

"I see no reason to co-operate in what is clearly a vexatious action."


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10806430

I can only conclude that it wasn't such a vexatious action after all.

Edward the Confessor said...

"I can only conclude that it wasn't such a vexatious action after all."

Why's that? She backed down after all. Turns out she's a gutless bully.

Keeping Stock said...

Oh bollocks Edward; the only backing down has been from Mallard and Little. Mallard is a bully from way back; just ask Erin Leigh.

Lofty said...

Oh Edward you are such a poseur.

It really does not impress many, only the children of married brother and sisters.

You know the ones, Cleatus, Bobby Joe, Billy Bob and company.

Edward the Confessor said...

Hey, face the facts. She had her bluff called and backed down, like all bullies when they realise they're outgunned. Not much of a cwusher after all.

Bunk said...

Edward the gutless bullies here are your 'boys' little and mallard who, when eyeballed, backed down and settled. Also, they are now expressing regret?? Clearly their position has changed (or been made to change)

Edward the Confessor said...

No defamation, no apology. Cwusher got cwushed. Sowwy, the bully lost. Good to see. Now she can get on and try and do her job.