Cabinet to discuss funding Collins' defamation case
Mon, 02 Apr 2012 9:29a.m.
Cabinet ministers will meet today, and they are expected to approve seeking a legal opinion on the merits of the case, before a decision is made on whether to fund it.
Ms Collins on Thursday served letters on Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little, as well as Radio New Zealand, over allegations she leaked a confidential email to the media, amidst the ongoing scandal over a major privacy breach by ACC.
The email contained information about ACC claimant Bronwyn Pullar, the woman at the centre of the row that led to the resignation of cabinet minister Nick Smith last month.
Only four people had access to the email - Ms Collins, a member of her staff, ACC board chairman John Judge and chief executive Ralph Stewart.
Prime Minister John Key has backed Ms Collins' legal action, and says she is within her rights to ask for crown funding for the case.
"The cabinet manual's quite clear that a minister can ask cabinet to consider that matter so let's see how it goes," he told TVNZ's Breakfast.
Mr Key said he was not sure whether a decision would be made by cabinet on today.
While there have been previous instances of ministers using crown funding to defend defamation cases, it was not clear whether such funding had ever been used in a case where a minister was the plaintiff.
The next steps:
* Attorney-General Chris Finlayson will ask cabinet to agree that either Solicitor-General David Collins or private counsel will investigate Ms Collins' claim, and provide an opinion on its merits.
* Mr Finlayson may seek cabinet's authorisation for Ms Collins to pursue the claim at the Crown's expense.
* If Ms Collins wins a court case, any costs or damages awarded will be paid to the Crown.
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3/04/2012 8:24:49 a.m.
An ex- Police Commissioner should not export any secrecy from her passed or she should sue anyone and or she allowed to act in any manner's unless it's life and death on her behalf.. She can report the presents and what afront of her.. Judith was Police knows all records the in and out of the law and not allowed to exposed them, the example lays within the TEAPOT TAPE..
The taxpayer can only fund the sources if Judith's complains are of appropriates..
2/04/2012 3:40:02 p.m.
Dave Smith wrote:
In the USA no public figure can sue for defamation except in very rare circumstances. It is high time that that rule was introduced here. Politics is a rough and tumble business and taxpayers should not have to fund it any more than they do.
2/04/2012 12:31:29 p.m.
Pay for it yourself woman, public money is not your personal piggy bank! Hands off taxpayer money!
2/04/2012 10:59:53 a.m.
Te Rina wrote:
Why in the hell should us taxpayers fund a witch hunt care of Bruiser Collins. For goodness sake the government are cutting public servants jobs left right and centre in a time when the government is "tightening its belt" why should us tax payers fund an extravagant witch hunt. If Collins is so upset by it pay for it herself. Such an extravagant use of money.
2/04/2012 10:54:53 a.m.
....more wasted taxs dollars. just like the TEAPOT all over again
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