The State Services Commissioner says he absolutely rejects claims he acted politically by briefing his minister about Winston Peters' superannuation payment - and not even his family knows what his politics are.
The Deputy Prime Minister is taking legal action against Peter Hughes, former Ministry of Social Development boss Brendan Boyle, and two former National ministers for allegedly breaching his privacy.
In the heat of the 2017 election campaign, the Ministers were briefed that Mr Peters had been overpaid his pension by nearly $18,000 over seven years due to an error on his application.
Mr Peters says the use of the 'no surprises' policy for briefing ministers was a "sham" - something Mr Hughes completely denied at the High Court in Auckland on Monday.
RNZ political reporter Yvette McCullough was there and filed this report.