Mallard and Little defamation suit filed in court

May 17th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Adam Bennett at NZ Herald reports:

Justice Minister has initiated High Court defamation action against and but the two Labour MPs remain defiant, saying the case is unlikely to make it into the courthouse.

They also said they didn’t think she would file in court, so their track record on this is not good. I thought Trevor and Andrew would welcome the chance to prove in court that what they said is true.

Mr Mallard late yesterday confirmed he’d received a letter from Ms Collins’ lawyers Morrison Kent informing him proceedings had been filed and asking him to co-operate in allowing papers to be served on him.

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

Oh dear, this means that Trevor is going to play hide from the lawyers, rather than man up. Expect several weeks of Trevor cowering in Parliament where he can’t be served.

UPDATE: Little is also refusing to accept service. I think both men are idiots. The average Joe Public think the sort of people who avoid court documents being served on them are gang members and criminals. Little rather hysterically says:

Labour MP Andrew Little says ACC Minister Judith Collins will have to hire ”thuggish characters” to serve defamation proceedings against him and fellow Labour MP Trevor Mallard after the pair refused to cooperate with demands from her lawyer.

I’ve got the perfect person for the job. He has had to collect debts off gang members and the like, so this should be easy fodder for him – Whale Oil!

Just give the papers to Cam, and a travel allowance and I’m sure he’ll have them served within a few days.

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67 Responses to “Mallard and Little defamation suit filed in court”

  1. JeffW (323 comments) says:

    “Labour MP Andrew Little says ACC Minister Judith Collins will have to hire ”thuggish characters” to serve defamation proceedings against him and fellow Labour MP Trevor Mallard”

    I suspect this is more a reflection of Little’s character rather than Judith Collins’.

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  2. Nookin (3,138 comments) says:

    Little has character? Gee, I hadn’t noticed.

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  3. J Mex (184 comments) says:

    The very best thing that Collins can do now is to hire a very small woman to serve the documents.

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  4. wreck1080 (3,778 comments) says:

    Little and Mallard are looking like petty pathetic little children.

    I hope this costs them both a bomb in legal fees .

    Why don’t they man up and face their accuser. Thats what real men would do.

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  5. Sam Hill (34 comments) says:

    You failed to comment on the most interesting parts of the Stuff article;
    >
    >
    >

    Papers cannot be served on MPs in Parliament so they would have to be tracked down outside of their workplace.

    The MPs have now rejected demands from Collins, including that they apologise for their comments, in three letters from her lawyer.

    Little said they wouldn’t cooperate because her case was ”so flimsy”.

    ”There’s no point of great principle here. This is a political exercise on her behalf.”

    Collins wouldn’t want the matter to go to trial, he said.

    ”I’m absolutely certain of that. A minister of the Crown standing in the witness box having to give evidence about her reputation and have things that may be contrary to her view of her own reputation, is not a savory experience for her.

    ”She’ll have all the things she has done in her political career that are contradictory to her claim that she is above and beyond reproach.”

    Little said people had come forward to him unsolicited about her conduct as a lawyer in Auckland.

    ”Whether that sort of stuff gets put into a defamation court case, who knows, but she won’t want to go to trial and be under the spotlight.

    ”A defamation proceedings is about her reputation and about what Trevor and I have said, not about our reputation. She has more to lose than any of us if she goes to trial.”

    Collins had dug herself a ”huge hole”, he said.

    ”She won’t stop digging. Her big problem is she announced in a press release back at the end of March that she was issuing proceedings against Trevor and me.

    ”It’s become apparent she took legal advice after she made that statement and she hasn’t found a way out of making that promise to herself so she had to file court proceedings.”

    A spokeswoman for Judith Collins said the minister would not be commenting on the matter.

    >
    >
    >

    I think “average Joe Public” will be interested to see how Collins responds to Little’s taunts.

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  6. peterwn (3,189 comments) says:

    By playing silly and avoiding service, they merely add to their legal fees if Judith prevails. Moreover as Trevor Mallard has publically stated that he is playing ‘silly’ on service, it is possible that he may need to pay the cost of service even if Judith ultimately loses the case. In a previous case where a MP was ‘served’ it was agreed the MP would step across the road to the ‘Backbencher’ and accept service there, thus minimising service costs and maintaining some element of goodwill.

    I think that Trevor and Andrew are away with the fairies if they are thinking the whole thing will just go away. Judith is not called ‘crusher’ for nothing. Not only has she obviously sought legal advice on this, but she would also have used her own legal training and experience to assess the likelihood of success. Trevor and Andrew should be very afraid.

    There is I think a logical explanation why RNZ has now been dropped from the proceedings. I think they were originally included to help provide Trevor and Andrew provide a conduit for the retraction and apology that Judith hoped for. If they had offered to retract and apologise but RNZ decided not to broadcast it, RNZ would probably have been up for damages itself or have been injuncted to broadcast it – hence the desirability of including RNZ at that stage. As this aspect is obviously no longer in issue, very little would now be served by continuing action against RNZ.

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  7. Grendel (965 comments) says:

    If little wants stories about conduct before becoming an MP, i have been getting unsolicited stories from lots of people for years who have dealt with the weasel first hand.

    i doubt he would want a tit for tat go round on this. as a union weasel he knows he will have done seriously dodgy stuff. if anyone knows about thuggish behaviour ask him about some of the union tactics he has used on workplaces that wanted answers from him, or people who did not tow his line.

    and i agree, get some small solo mum to serve the papers just to stick it to both of them. or one of trevs ex roots or ex wife.

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  8. Ender (105 comments) says:

    Little and Mallard are talking awful tough for a pair of guys who are hiding from court papers

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  9. anonymouse (705 comments) says:

    I am pretty sure that both Mallard and Little either walk or drive home from Parliament, it is reasonably easy to stake out and serve papers when someone steps out of a car at the end of a day…..

    heck, On Google maps Mallard’s bright red advertising van is sitting in his Car port:)

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  10. Trevor Mallard (245 comments) says:

    Me cower you jest – just not co-operate, very different

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  11. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    Ah, the bottom-feeder has spoken!

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  12. hmmokrightitis (1,552 comments) says:

    Sets a wonderful example Mallard. Nice to know you are a representative etc etc. God, do you ever think you might get over yourself?

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  13. slightlyrighty (2,499 comments) says:

    Trevor, if you are in the right, then why not co-operate? Certainly it would clear you from the allegations.

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  14. david (2,545 comments) says:

    And how many angels can dance on the head of your pin Mr Trev. Deliberately avoiding being served looks like running scared to me. Reminds me a bit of Chris Carter dodging the media or Tariana Turia hiding under the blanket in Helen’s car, or Helen being surrounded by thugs to avoid acknowledging Owen Glenn or …….. hmmmmm you got form in the cowering department Trev. Probably just the guy to be advising Andrew Little on the finer points.

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  15. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    When list MP Little say’s ”thuggish characters” does he mean unionized ”thuggish characters”.

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  16. flipper (3,739 comments) says:

    Heh…
    The servers do NOT have to place it their hands. If they (M & L) refuse to take the writs, they can throw them on the ground in front or beside them and they will be deemed (legally, upheld by Courts) to have been served. Silly buggers. To think that idiots like them sit in Parliament on judgement of others.

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  17. Gen (4 comments) says:

    “I thought Trevor and Andrew would welcome the chance to prove in court that what they said is true”

    They don’t need to prove what they said was true. If it gets that far, it’s likely they will argue that their comments were made on an occasion of qualified privilege and are thus immune from defamation proceedings.

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  18. Nookin (3,138 comments) says:

    “Little said people had come forward to him unsolicited about her conduct as a lawyer in Auckland.

    ”Whether that sort of stuff gets put into a defamation court case, who knows, but she won’t want to go to trial and be under the spotlight.”

    Good boy, Andy. Keep digging. Show that you really are motivated by malice.

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  19. David Garrett (6,639 comments) says:

    Come on boys, man up…go to her office and collect them!

    Take a couple of those poms in nice clean denims with you Andrew, you know the ones…

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  20. Monty (965 comments) says:

    Trev – excellent to see you are reading this. Now I will keep an watch on the news as you are served very publicly with the papers. Hopefully like when (if) you appear on back benchers, or front for an interview. trev – you are acting like the petulant school yard bully that you are. I hope Judith is successful is exposing your lies. It is way past time that you were held to account.

    David Garrett – Trev like all school yard bullies is a coward – expecting him to “man up” is never going to happen.

    Maybe I’ll offer to serve the the papers upon you. I would do so willingly and without charge to Judith Collins. Whoever does it I hope the moment is captured and posted on you tube

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  21. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Me cower you jest – just not co-operate, very different

    Man up ya pussy. As has been said, if you’re in the right you’re day in court will severely embarrass Collins.

    That you are hiding from the court action suggests you know your arse is going to get handed to you.

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  22. hmmokrightitis (1,552 comments) says:

    David, “Take a couple of those poms in nice clean denims with you Andrew, you know the ones…”

    I know you hate my handle, but thank you, I just lol’d so loudly I got stared at.

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  23. Graeme Edgeler (3,272 comments) says:

    MPs can be served in Parliament.

    The restriction is that they cannot be served in Parliament on a day that House sits, or on a day a committee meets.

    However, even on those days, they can still be served with the permission of the Speaker, or of the House.

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  24. davidp (3,550 comments) says:

    One minute you’re the Minister of Education, closing schools and getting involved in angry encounters while you’re out on your bicycle. The next minute you’re hiding at home with the curtains pulled tight, afraid to open the door to callers.

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  25. burt (7,945 comments) says:

    Trevor

    Man up…. big and strong in parliament and weak and pussy outside of it…. what a complete knob you look like hiding behind privelage.

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  26. David Garrett (6,639 comments) says:

    Hmmo…: it’s just too bloody long to write! and I hate spelling things wrong…

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  27. Yvette (2,735 comments) says:

    Sam Hill –
    [Little says –] ”I’m absolutely certain of that. A minister of the Crown standing in the witness box having to give evidence about her reputation and have things that may be contrary to her view of her own reputation, is not a savory experience for her.
    ”She’ll have all the things she has done in her political career that are contradictory to her claim that she is above and beyond reproach.”
    Little said people had come forward to him unsolicited about her conduct as a lawyer in Auckland.
    ”Whether that sort of stuff gets put into a defamation court case, who knows, but she won’t want to go to trial and be under the spotlight.

    This no longer seems to be part of the stuff article
    But if this is true, why are Little and Mallard not accepting the papers and getting on with exposing all this intimated ‘dirt’ – doesn’t quite make sense … again

    “Papers cannot be served on MPs in Parliament”
    It does seem a little odd that legal business can not extend to those in Parliament
    This is definitely Penny Bright stuff – that bloody dopey

    Trevor, is your boss David still advising you what to do?

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  28. Elaycee (4,318 comments) says:

    Jeez – Trevor and Andrew Little both tried to take the high ground when this first broke and now that the Minister has called their bluff and filed in the High Court, they have dropped their lips like little school kids caught stealing lollies at the corner dairy.

    Gutless. Both of them. If they had any gonads between them, they’d face this issue head on and try and prove their point (whatever that may be). But their collective reaction to date, has been pathetic.

    A pair of complete sooks.

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  29. Grendel (965 comments) says:

    No trev. you are a cowering cowardly little weasel.

    Its ok being big tough guy when you are destroying careers under the safety of parliament or trying to bully other mps. but look at you when you were in the dock on your assault charge, your true fork came out and you looked as scared as a little lamb.

    Working in security i have dealt with your type for years, big and tough and full of bluster with your mates around or if noone challenges you but the moment someone calls your bluff and steps up, you shite it.

    Bully and a thug is all you are. sadly we pay your salary so you can be an overpaid bully and a thug.

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  30. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Even a narcisstic scrote like Mallard seems to be feeling the heat now.

    If that was actually the scrote himself @ 3.56

    Why else would he come on this blog to try and bolster his act ?
    Talk about outsmarting your self, biting off more than you can chew, or even stepping on your own prick.

    If he’s found guilty and it costs him his house, all good.

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  31. NX (603 comments) says:

    I thought Little wanted to be a future leader of the Labour Party.

    I’m not surprised by Mallard’s behaviour because his political career is at its tail end. But Little’s is just beginning.

    Little needs to ignore his namesake & be the bigger man.

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  32. Yvette (2,735 comments) says:

    It will be interesting to see what Labour Leader David Shearer has to say of his Ministers’ performance when journalists ask him on ONE NEWS this evening – just on law and order even, like the simple serving of court documents.

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  33. jaba (2,091 comments) says:

    can we assume David Shearer is backing these two gutless MP’s

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  34. David Garrett (6,639 comments) says:

    bereal: It wont cost him his house…like all MP’s – with the possible exception of the Greens – everything is safely in trusts…which is why the socialists are no keener than the Nats on reforming trust law…

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  35. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    This cowardly act of defiance shows Little has the “credentials” to become leader of the socialists.
    Imagine the possibility of this no-hoper as PM of our country.

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  36. Chuck Bird (4,725 comments) says:

    “MPs can be served in Parliament.”

    That makes things easy. Judith could even serve them herself or ask her colleague Tau Henare to do it for her.

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  37. Steve (North Shore) (4,516 comments) says:

    “Me cower you jest – just not co-operate, very different”

    What a fine upstanding Member of Parliment you are Trevor. NZ is sooo proud of you

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  38. Dick Prebble (60 comments) says:

    Since DPF regularly gives undue praise to crap MPs like Robertson and Little here on his blog for whatever BS reason (usually along the lines of: “Me and [X] don’t often see eye to eye, but I have a lot of respect for him and he’s hardworking blah blah blah”), I was willing to open my mind to the possibility that Little could make a decent future Labour leader. This has pretty much revealed what his true character is like and I will have to throw him into the shitty Labour MPs basket along with Mallard, King, Hodgeson, Clark, etc.

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  39. Nostalgia-NZ (4,981 comments) says:

    If Judith was defamed it hasn’t stuck in the public mind to my knowledge, the most significant thing was her later posturing before she got legal advice. A Minister who appears to have enjoyed the nick name crusher faces a bit of battle, or identity confusion at least, to argue that whatever it is claimed was said overshadows the connotations that her nick name implies. Perhaps the defendants should be concentrating on that.

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  40. burt (7,945 comments) says:

    Steve (North Shore)

    NZ is proud of Trevor, he punches people and doesn’t get the sack…. he (allegedly) breaks laws he voted to pass and doesn’t get prosecuted….. He’s a real man of the people that one…..

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  41. burt (7,945 comments) says:

    Man up Trevor …. put your own money where your mouth is and fight this in court…..

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  42. tom hunter (4,527 comments) says:

    Reminds me a bit of Chris Carter dodging the media …

    Or Darren Hughes ….

    My god there’s a thought. CCTV footage of a naked Trevor Mallard running down a dimly lit street, followed by Mr Slater waving papers and yelling at the top of his lungs.

    YouTube Gold!

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  43. David Garrett (6,639 comments) says:

    tom H: Darren Hughes didn’t need to dodge the media mate…they had no interest in looking for him…unlike the cases of others of us who erred….

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  44. Viking2 (11,215 comments) says:

    Labour MP Andrew Little says ACC Minister Judith Collins will have to hire ”thuggish characters” to serve defamation proceedings against him and fellow Labour MP Trevor Mallard after the pair refused to cooperate with demands from her lawyer.

    MMM, well that leaves me wondering which UNION Judith should call. Meat workers well they appear to be good at standing around on the side of the road. Munz they seem to have a pleasant way to piss on other peoples barbeques. Unite, probably not they couldn’t hold a pissup in a bottle store. (couldn’t pay for the piss either). Teachers, well they get a bit noisy and all but due to being beard wearers and pacifists they would take a hundred meetings to decide.
    Oh I know Why not all the Employers. Nah they would run a wank fiest as well
    Seem collins might have to call in a few favours from the Balck Power or whichever nice little bundle of funboys she worked for.
    What a lot of fun.
    But go Judith go.

    As for Trev well all ya need is a bit of rough looking crumpet that can be found hanging about the big girlies sports events (e.g. Net ball, hockey et al) and Trev is a walkover. Can’t keep his pants on so once they’re off he can use the papers to hide behind while the photo shoot goes wild.

    Fuck. No panties! She’d removed them on the way to Trev’s room, determined to pick up where they’d left off before her date. Before the big discovery
    http://www.jessdee.com/Jess_Dee/Full_House.html

    And while you are watching you can update yur self with Trev and Simon. (Lusk that is. N.B. not lust)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/31/trev-and-simon-swing-your-pants_n_1243447.html

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  45. Nostalgia-NZ (4,981 comments) says:

    I thought Trev and Cam had already had an endurance test, with one of them soundly defeated.
    But the real point is what has surpassed the apparent joy of Judith’s in her nickname compared to some defamatory comment that nobody seems to know about?

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  46. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    In fact they don’t even need to be served, all the server has to prove is that every legal measure has been taken to attempt service and the Court can take notice of this and proceedings can start.

    There’s abit of a rigmorol but it can be done. The best thing is the server will make lots as every attempt adds another cha ching to the invoice.

    Try Trev at the Pyernees French Cafe Mt Albert on Saturday mornings .

    Try Little at places like ‘Chow” in Wellington, he the unsmiling git sitting at the bar

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  47. mikenmild (11,158 comments) says:

    Yes Nostalgia – what was the allegedly defamatory comment anyway?

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  48. Steve (North Shore) (4,516 comments) says:

    Trev was soundly defeated – as campaign manager. Such an ego, he won the race but forgot Liarbore

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  49. Nostalgia-NZ (4,981 comments) says:

    We don’t want to assume that crusher has the case she’s yet to prove, or that Trev and Andrew haven’t already made an arrangement about the service of the docs. It would be stupid in the extreme if they hadn’t despite what they’re saying publicly.

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  50. Michael (898 comments) says:

    The normal thing for MPs wanting to get served is to invite the media to Backbenchers and get served in a blaze of publicity. Can’t think why Mr Little and Mr Mallard don’t want to have all that media attention? Or why Mr Little is not talking about defending the action on the basis of truth?

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  51. davidp (3,550 comments) says:

    My strategy for serving Mallard…

    Fire up TradeMe. Find some concert tickets for sale at way over the normal price. Create an account in the name of an 18 year old girl. Bid for the tickets. Winning bid. Meet the seller out the back of his Wainuiomata office. Hand over the money. Ignore the seller telling people on the street that “it isn’t what it looks like”. Slap him with the papers. Then, for good measure, just slap him.

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  52. Nostalgia-NZ (4,981 comments) says:

    milkenmild
    7.57

    I’d like to know the comment, that is after all what it is all about. Lowering the opinion of Judith, a high profile and self admitted contender for a public persona of being ruthless toward boy racers in the public mind. I could understand the position more if she was known, with her similar (as that to her nick name crusher) own approval, as ‘Sweet Mother’ or ‘Saint Judith.’ Perhaps I could even imagine someone shedding a tear about what naughty Trev said – whatever it might have been.

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  53. HB (288 comments) says:

    interesting timing…
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10806470
    “ACC’s new privacy breach: 100 clients’ details emailed”

    you think she would be too busy sorting this out so it doesn’t happen AGAIN!

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  54. Steve (North Shore) (4,516 comments) says:

    I notice that ‘Red Blert’ is hammering the shit out of this. With Trev being kingpin and Clear sucking up.

    Sorry, just woke up

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  55. Cactus Kate (549 comments) says:

    Pretty easy to find the Wainui rugby club on a Saturday surely? Problem is all the local process servers are likely to be on the field but they’d be used to serving their mates so a local MP would add to the variety of their work. Be funny to have him live tweet the serving.

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  56. Bogusnews (449 comments) says:

    This is great.

    I remember when National first came to power things went so smoothly that it was a bit boring. Can always rely on Labour to stir the pot and end up with mud on their face. All I can say is it makes great reading and go Judith!

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  57. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Collins is a moron.

    She accuses RNZ of defaming her but now she has dropped her action against RNZ. Obviously there wasn’t the mileage going after a broadcaster that there is in pursuing 2 MPs. I wonder if Collins will resign from Parliament when she loses? If she is an honourable possible, she will presumably have no hesitation in doing so.

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  58. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    If she is an honourable *person*, she will presumably have no hesitation in doing so.

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  59. Pete George (23,123 comments) says:

    ross69 – do you think it would be honourable for Mallard and Little to resign if they lose? Or if they are shown to have been blatantly wrong?

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  60. RF (1,318 comments) says:

    Those 2 plonkers are thick. Obviously no legal background. A sure fire method of serving documents on those 2 would be by substituted service. If reasonable attempts to serve fails and there is evidence that the defendant is actively avoiding Service, you can file an affidavit stating your attempts. The Judge can then order that the documents can be placed in the Public Notices of the local rag or attached to the front door of the defendants residence or both.

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  61. smttc (708 comments) says:

    ross69, you are the moron. RNZ was a mere conduit for publication. Okay, it makes RNZ potentially liable as an incidental publisher although no intention of mallice towards Collins. But Mallard and Little are a different story and were the original publishers.

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  62. rrr (1 comment) says:

    So Slater is a thug then

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  63. Paulus (2,535 comments) says:

    It is up to the two cowardly Labour MP’s to prove their case in court with evidence, not necessarily for Collins to even appear – she is not on trial.

    Shearer/Robertson – this is doing your party serious damage. Tell them to grow up or shut up.
    The ex unionist is no longer working the union methods of intimidation – it will not work.
    Trev – well Trev.

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  64. alex Masterley (1,494 comments) says:

    Paulus,

    You have it the wrong way around.

    It is for Ms Collins to prove her case to the civil standard, the balance of probabilities.

    What she will have to prove amongst other things is:

    1. Mr Mallard and Mr Little made the statements complained of.
    2. That those statements refered to her,
    3. That those statements were defamatory of her and how.

    Mr Little and Mr Mallard don’t have to do anything other than rebut the allegations against them. If they want to give evidence of bad character then the Defamation Act requires them to say they propose to do that in their statements of defence. They will then have to proove that “Bad Character” with their own evidence.

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  65. Nookin (3,138 comments) says:

    Alex

    Once Ms Collins has established 1, 2 & 3, Mallard & Little will have to establish defences of “honest opinion” or “truth” if they rely on those defences, won’t they? Collins does not need to rebut the truth of her allegations in advance of the defence case.

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  66. alex Masterley (1,494 comments) says:

    Nookin.

    Yes,

    I was looking at what Ms Collins had to prove.

    Both Mr Little and Mr Mallard will have to give evidence should they raise truth and honest opinion as defenses.

    I think from my reading of the defamation act that you have to set out particulars of those defences in a statement of defence. The court would frown on an attempt by either of Mr Mallard or Mr Little to use ambush tactics in their defence were they so minded.

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  67. Gen (4 comments) says:

    Suggest you all familarise yourselves with Lange v Atkinson before debating the merits of the truth and honest opinion defences.

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