2 Feb 2018

Peters drops superannuation suit against journos

6:00 pm on 2 February 2018

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has dropped planned legal action against two journalists as part of a wider case about a superannuation overpayment.

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Winston Peters released a statement saying the application for a disclosure of documents against the two journalists had been amicably resolved. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

It was revealed during the election campaign last year that Mr Peters had been mistakenly overpaid superannuation for seven years.

When the error was discovered, he paid the money back.

Mr Peters then sought disclosure of documents from several former National government ministers, their staff and two journalists.

RNZ understands Mr Peters wanted the phone records of a Newsroom and a Newshub journalist over a period of 10 weeks.

He also wanted their emails, meeting notes, draft stories and internal memos.

He today released a statement saying the application against the two journalists had been amicably resolved, but action would continue against six National Party figures.

Newsroom journalist Tim Murphy told RNZ he did not provide the phone records, nor any of the documents that Mr Peters wanted.

He said he understood the Newshub journalist had also not provided any of that information either.

The National Party figures who are still the focus of Winston Peters' legal action include the former Prime Minster and National Party leader, Bill English, his deputy Paula Bennett and the senior ministers Steven Joyce and Anne Tolley, as well as Mr English's former chief of staff Wayne Eagleson and National's campaign press secretary Clark Hennessy.

A hearing date for the discovery application has been set for next month.

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