Winston owes taxpayers $320,000

NewstalkZB reports:

NZ First leader Winston Peters has been ordered by the High Court to pay nearly $320,000 in costs after his failed court action over details of his superannuation payments being leaked.

In a judgment by Justice Geoffrey Venning last Friday, and obtained by the Herald today, costs of nearly $320,000 were awarded against the Deputy Prime Minister. …

The new judgment orders Peters to pay Bennett and Tolley $101,897.26 – while a total of $215,921.11 was to be paid to the remaining defendants.

That money doesn’t go to Bennett or Tolley. The Government covered their court costs as former Ministers, so all $320,000 will go to the taxpayer.

Winston really got off lightly. I understand total costs for the Crown was around $1 million.

I can almost guarantee that Winston will now announce he is appealing, or doing a private prosecution or some such. These will either fail or never eventuate, but it will allow him to dodge whether or not he has paid the $320,000.

Of course Winston also still owes the taxpayer $165,000 back from 2005, so in total he owes $485,000. People should ask him at public meetings when he will be paying it all back.