26 Sep 2014

Court rules on defamation case appeal

12:04 pm on 26 September 2014

The hosts of a Facebook page have been unsuccessful in their attempt to strike out a defamation claim made against them by the author of a book about the killing of the Kahui twins.

Ian Wishart's book, Breaking Silence, was written with the mother of the Kahui twins, Macsyna King.

A quarter of a million comments were made on a Facebook page which urged people to boycott the book and all other books written by Mr Wishart.

The hosts had attempted to have the claims by Mr Wishart struck out in the High Court.

However, the Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court ruling on four of the five claims. On the fifth claim, the Court of Appeal ruled the hosts were not liable for comments posted on Facebook by third parties unless they actually knew about them and failed to remove them within a reasonable time.

Mr Wishart was given 30 days to file an amended application if he wished to claim over those comments.

Last weekend, Radio New Zealand inadvertently broadcast and published a report the Court of Appeal had described Mr Wishart's defamation claim as untenable. That report was wrong and Radio New Zealand apologises for the error.