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Peters Challened To Start Defamation Proceedings

Seafood Businessman Challenges Peters To Instigate Defamation Proceedings

Media Statement
13/02/04


Wanaka based Seafood businessman Joe Cave said today that he stands by his statement that he was the instigator of the media campaign about the relationship between New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters and Peter Simunovich and Vaughan Wilkinson of Simunovich Fisheries.

“I am challenging Peters to instigate defamation proceedings. It’s really a question of “Put up or Shut up.” If he really wants to see the affidavits and has nothing to hide, then what better forum is there than the High Court to adjudicate on the allegations. A Judge will not be intimidated or diverted by his customary bluster, as were his Parliamentary colleagues, instead the truth will carry the day. After the allegations have been tested in court, I am confident Parliament will see the need for a Privileges Committee hearing.”

“Peters has stretched credibility beyond breaking point if he thinks that the public can be hoodwinked into thinking that he knew nothing about the relationship his advisor Mr Meurant had with Simunovich, or his assertion that he didn’t know who owned the Kermadec restaurant.”

“So to that end I challenge Peters to stop talking and start defamation proceedings.”

“As for the Select Committee, I feel they failed dismally in their duties. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, they took the soft options. Secondly they allowed Mr Peters to take a pro Simunovich stance throughout the hearings, something even the Prime Minister Helen Clark acknowledged, and finally they failed to censure one of the submitters for deliberately misleading them. It became a whitewash simply because their task was too enormous and complex to all them to tease out the issues in the time they made available, Mr Cave said.


For further information contact
Tina Nixon
Public Affairs Counsel
CQR Communications Ltd


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