9 Nov 2017

Peters' legal action demands journalists' text messages

From Morning Report, 7:35 am on 9 November 2017

New Zealand First's deputy leader Ron Mark used the first sitting day of the new Parliament to defend his party's decision to go into coalition with Labour.

He insisted the negotiations to form the coalition government were in good faith with both parties. The good faith assertion came as court documents revealed Winston Peters planned legal action against National Government Ministers even before the election was held.

Mr Peters, who is now the deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, served legal papers this week on four National MPs, their staff, a senior public servant, and two journalists.

He is seeking a disclosure of documents from them after details of his superannuation over-payments were leaked to the media in the run-up to the election.

Tim Murphy is the co-editor of Newsroom and one of the people served papers by Winston Peters' lawyers. He tells us the demands for nearly three months' worth of phone correspondence is "preposterous".