2 Nov 2017

Court dismisses defamation appeal against Andrew Little

1:42 pm on 2 November 2017

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an attempt by the late hotelier Earl Hagaman's estate to reconsider a defamation case against the new justice minister Andrew Little.

Andrew Lititle speaking at Waitangi, 5 February 2017.

Andrew Little Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

In April a High Court jury found one of Mr Little's statements defamed Mr Hagaman, but could not decide whether Mr Little had qualified privilege at the time. It could not reach majority decisions about four other statements.

His wife Lani Hagaman appealed the decision, but Earl Hagaman died in May of this year prompting an argument over whether the case should be heard.

The Court of Appeal today dismissed the case and the appeal, saying the jury had not reached a conclusive verdict for Mr Hagaman in the first trial.

It awarded Mr Little costs.

Lani Hagaman leaving court

File photo of Lani Hagaman leaving court in April. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King