Media Statement By Renae Maihi
On Sunday 8 March TVNZ aired an interview with Robert Jones in which he said he did not want to stop his defamation claim against me. He claimed there was a confidential agreement between the parties that meant he could not talk about his reasons for discontinuing the proceeding.
There was no such agreement.
Mr Jones unilaterally abandoned his claim halfway through a ten-day trial. He took that step following two days of cross-examination in which he continued to express views about Māori that many New Zealanders would regard as racist and offensive.
By that stage it was apparent to those who were watching the trial that Mr Jones’s claim of defamation would fail.
I was wholly successful in defending the claim. My right to start the petition and to use the words I did was vindicated. I continue to stand by what I said in the petition.
By discontinuing the proceeding, Mr Jones became liable to pay my legal costs. We have now agreed his costs liability, the amount of which is confidential to the parties. That agreement on costs was reached last week and is the only agreement between us.