29 Sep 2012

Dunedin council settles defamation suit against mayor

6:07 am on 29 September 2012

Dunedin City Council has paid $29,000 to settle a defamation suit brought against the city's mayor by two former rugby officials.

Former chairman of the Otago Rugby Union, Wayne Graham, and former vice-chair Laurie Mains sued Dunedin mayor Dave Cull for critical comments he made after the union was saved from liquidation in March.

In an interview on Radio New Zealand National, Mr Cull publicly questioned the board members' ability and integrity.

Documents just released by the Dunedin council under an Official Information Act request show it agreed last Monday to settle the matter out of court by paying $29,000 towards the claimants' legal costs.

The mayor also apologised to the two men, saying the comments were not directed at them personally.

The settlement says the apology has been accepted by the claimants, but they were not commenting on Friday evening.

Mr Graham and Mr Mains originally sought at least $1 million in damages.