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Statement From Rt. Hon. Winston Peters – New Zealand First Leader

Winston Peters has acknowledged the ruling by Chief High Court Judge Geoffrey Venning.

“Every New Zealand citizen is entitled to their privacy. This case has caused considerable stress. “It is seriously welcome to see that Justice Venning confirmed that this was a deliberate and malicious breach of privacy done with the intent to damage my reputation and cause harm.

“This was always going to be a difficult case because as the decision points out despite evidence of malicious behaviour we had to prove who did it. Our values, human rights and democracy have privacy as their foundation stone. On this matter the decision of the court was very encouraging.

“While we are disappointed we could not prove who deliberately leaked that data, the ruling makes clear MSD contributed to the error. We hope that MSD reflect on their role in this matter. As the holder of extraordinary amounts of individuals data, it is paramount they take appropriate steps to safeguard New Zealanders’ privacy.

Justice Venning ruled:

  • This was a deliberate breach of his privacy with the intention of publicly embarrassing him and causing him harm.”
  • “the person(s) who provided the information to the media did so deliberately and it seems, at least in relation to dealing with Newshub, did so maliciously and with intent to damage Mr Peters’ reputation by referring to him as “lying” when he applied for NZS as single.”
  • Mr Peters had a reasonable expectation that the details of the payment irregularity would be kept private and not disclosed to parties who did not have a genuine need to know about it or a proper interest in knowing about it. In particular, he had a reasonable expectation that the details of the payment irregularity would not be disclosed to the media.

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