Payne ordered to pay costs to National

I previously reported on the attempt by Roger Payne to overturn the result of the Selwyn election via electoral petition. He lost on every issue.

Payne has cost the party, and various individuals, a huge amount of money. In his earlier case regarding the Selwyn selection he was ordered to pay costs of around $10,000.

The High has now determined costs for the electoral petition. I quote their decision:

The major issue in the case was the proper interpretation of s 71 of the Electoral 1993. This issue had already been determined against Mr Payne by Panckhurst J. Mr Payne failed to persuade us to any different course. In addition, Mr Payne failed to establish that he had standing to bring the petition; we found that his challenge to the Party’s selection process fell outside the ambit of the Electoral Act; we found that there was no breach of any duty of natural justice in relation to the disapproval of Mr Payne’s application to be the National Party candidate in the Selwyn Electorate; and that there were no other grounds for invalidating the election of the first respondent.

This has power to award costs under s 250(1) Electoral 1993 and under the High Court Rules. In Re Taupö Election Petition [1982] 2 NZLR 244 at 266, the Court held that costs should, in the usual way, follow the event. We see no reason not to follow that course in the present case. There were elements of public interest in this case but, in the main, Mr Payne was pursuing an agenda of his own and for his own benefit.

We therefore order the applicant to pay to the respondents the sum of $23,520 plus disbursements as fixed by the Registrar.

And after gets the cheque, hopefully that will be the last of Mr Payne.

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