Peters claims he now knows who leaked his Super overpayment but is appealing something else

Winston Peters took a number of people to court claiming they may have leaked details about his Superannuation overpayment, but he failed to prove who had actually leaked to media.

He now claims he knows who did it, but unless he can show that the court decision was wrong based on the information it had, I don’t think he can have another crack at it, unless he targets different people.

But Peters has a record of making accusations without fronting up with evidence, so this could be a bit of an attention seeking stunt.

Stuff: Winston Peters pursues court action, claims he knows who leaked pension details

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters claims he knows who leaked his pension details and is pursuing court action “for all people who have had their privacy breached.”

In 2017, weeks before the general election, information showing Peters’ superannuation had been overpaid for seven years was leaked to the media.

Last year, Peters appeared before the High Court in Auckland, suing the Attorney-General on behalf of the Ministry of Social Development, the ministry’s chief executive, the States Services Commissioner and former National Party ministers Anne Tolley and Paula Bennet, alleging his privacy was breached.

The court said ruled it could not pinpoint the source of the leak, and dismissed Peters’ claims for damages and declarations.

When he released his judgement last month, High Court Justice Geoffrey Venning said Peters’ information should not have been disclosed to the media, and Peters had a reasonable expectation that it would be kept quiet.

“This was a deliberate breach of his privacy with the intention of publicly embarrassing him and causing him harm,” the judgment read.

It stated that if Peters identified who disclosed the information, damages in the region of $75,000 to $100,000 in total “might have been appropriate.”

Peters has ruled out Bennett and Tolley.

In November, Peters acknowledged neither Tolley nor Bennett were the source of the leak.

I wonder if this is deliberately timed to coincide with National’s current leadership challenges.

His statement begins oddly, with:

“I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached.

Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future.

We now know who the leak is.

But he doesn’t actually say what he is going to do in his statement.

However news reports say he is appealing the High Court decision. He said that proving who leaked was ‘impossible’ but he now claims to know who it was. He also says he was told be ‘media’.

He says he is appealing the law. He says the identity of the leaker is not being tested in court.

I’m very confused.

“I’m appealing the application of the law”.

Asked about having proof of who leaked but again he says that has no relevance in this situation, but he reiterates he knows who the leaker is but can’t name them.


Leave a comment


  1. NOEL

     /  20th May 2020

    Nothing confusing.
    Just a dumb arse reporfer.

      • Gezza

         /  20th May 2020

        Typical Petersian sophistry.

        • Duker

           /  20th May 2020

          Sophistry ?

          “It has always been known that this case was leaked.[true]
          Leaked with an intent to do harm.[true]
          Leaked for a purpose.[True]
          Within Government and the Civil Service no less than 42 individuals knew about this one case. The matter was resolved before it got the attention of Ministers via the Ministry of Social Development.[true]

          I dont think you know what sophistry is
          Improve your education by finding out

          • Kimbo

             /  20th May 2020

            Leaked with an intent to do harm.[true]

            But to whom? By the extrapolation of “cui bono?” It seems not to have done Peter’s any harm. Indeed the way he spun it, it gave him all the oxygen he needed leading up to the 2017 election to get over the 5% threshold that appeals to his natural Winebox/Selwyn Cushing/Scampi/Tea pot tapes conspiracy theory-loving constituency.

            And here we are three years later, with the initial respondents no longer in the frame, but Winston struggling for oxygen again leading up to the next election, and yet he is still doing legal battle…and issuing press releases implying sinister unnamed forces…and it’s for you and me.

            • Duker

               /  20th May 2020

              How many people have had their Super details wrong . Thousands. How many came into the public debate. One.
              Does IRD go blabbing to the Minister when some juicy details of a politicians tax details come to their attention.
              Yet IRD like MSD is governed by strict confidentiality laws.
              Yet it seems to be Natioonal Ministers who break privacy at their whim
              Paula Bennett about 10 years ago with 2 beneficiaries who she wanted to discredit
              Shipley in the 90s when she was Health Minister and wanted to cut of dialysis for an elderly man as part of the ‘master plan’ to limit expensive treatments for people over 75 , those with handicaps etc.

            • Duker

               /  20th May 2020

              Leaked with an Intent to do Harm ?

              This was a deliberate breach of his
              privacy with the intention of publicly embarrassing him and causing him harm.

              Judges finding in the judgment. For these purposes its TRUE

            • Kimbo

               /  20th May 2020

              I note you choose to ignore that leaking has been done since forever. Often by politicians. Sometimes it is in their interest, sometimes in the public’s interest.

              Personally, I think it was in my interest to know that a politician who was once Treasurer, and who held the balance of power and determined the government after the last election (which makes him different from every other National Superannuitant) was so useless and incompetent (those are kinder descriptions than the alternatives, “corrupt”, “greedy” and “dishonest”) that he could not fill in a simple form that nearly all others (including my mum, (who, God bless her, is starting to lose her marbles) fills in accurately.

              But, hey, if you want to blather on piously about the supposedly sacrosanct privacy of a politician whose career was built in no small part violating and exploiting the privacy of others, knock yourself out.

            • Duker

               /  20th May 2020

              Refer back to my previous comment on the strict confidentiality of MSD,
              Health and IRD customer/client information. Then notice the party which observes the rules that apply by their breaching them
              Wasnt there one as well for ACC …..oh dear . Am I the only one who deals with a foundation of facts around here. Its so easy to find as well.


            • Kimbo

               /  20th May 2020

              And in the historic examples of Shipley and Bennett that in both cases the individuals concerned had first criticised public policy using their own circumstances as examples…yet chose to omit important material facts. Such as one had an inoperable terminal illness that meant any operation would only delay the inevitable by a few months., and the others received benefits and other allowances that put the claimed hardship caused by the cutting of a study benefit in a different light,

              But again, if you want to piously bang on about privacy being supposedly inviolable both legally…and morally, even when it relates to those who, when it suited them divulged, ostensibly in the public interest, the less-than-complete-and-relevant facts of their personal plight, please continue to knock yourself out.

            • Kimbo

               /  20th May 2020

              Indeed, D, it is a “fact” that the law was broken.

              It is also a fact that, given human nature, absolute protections of purported privacy is impossible.

              Nonetheless It is also a fact that individual privacy, including legal protections is, as a general rule and especially when it relates to government, a desirable and useful state of affairs

              However, it is my opinion that in the examples you have given, including Winston Peters, it was in the public’s interest to know.

              It is also a fact that leaking, has, does and as long as there are attempts to maintain privacy, will always occur.

              It is also a fact that leaking is sometimes in the public interest.

              It is also a fact that “whistle-blowing” protections have begun to be introduced for leakers, thus reinforcing that leaking is sometimes in the public interest.

              It is my opinion that prosecution or civil action in the cases you have mentioned, while legally permissible, is morally deficient.

              In my opinion that makes Winston Peters decision to litigate, first three years ago, and still now, morally deficient.

              Hence in my opinion that your unyielding casuistry is a morally deficient argument.

              Hope that balances the facts and opinions, if not to your satisfaction then at least with correct differentiation of the two.

  2. Ray

     /  20th May 2020

    Just more wind bagging by a master of a subject.
    Just how many people now has he claimed he “knows” leaked his private details?

    As a side note no one has asked if his position as leader is under review with the latest poll disaster 🤣.

    • duperez

       /  20th May 2020

      Funny thing is that though the poll is a disaster, Peters could salvage some position by winning Northland. Winning there though might merely be achieving a seat in the opposition.

      The worst thing for Peters is the change of National’s leadership. That will galvanise voters in his electorate.

    • Duker

       /  20th May 2020

      How many ?
      “Just how many people now has he claimed he “knows” leaked his private details

      Click to access Peters-v-Bennett.pdf

      The court case showed it was 42 ( including at winz)

      Read it and see how many times ‘people are told’

  3. NOEL

     /  20th May 2020

    Geez PG in Vennings decision Peter’s has conceded Tolly and Bennet were not responsible.
    Hence costs.
    So…he knows who it was….how is that now applicable?

    • He said it isn’t applicable to his appeal, but chose to say he knew who it was anyway. Seems like he’s playing games.

      • Duker

         /  20th May 2020

        We dont know yet but Im pretty sure Peters appeal will be that the Judge made an error of law in finding the ‘No surprises rule ‘ on sharing of private MSD information with Ministers was a proper purpose.
        Watch this space

  4. NOEL

     /  20th May 2020

    Oooooh here’s a thought maybe he has a mole in he SFO and it’s looking bad.

    • Gezza

       /  20th May 2020

      His party looks piss poor in the polls. Jacinda has been getting all the attention & international kudos for going early going hard & saving the nation from a fate worse than Bridges.

      Peters has found out pissing off the Chinese govt could be a bit … well … risky.

      Now all the media attention is going to be reporters/ repeaters gathering to report every rumour & move by Bridges & National; they’re like sharks – the smell of blood in the water is as exhilarating to them as it is to bloggies & big chunks of the populati.

      Winnie : What to do? How to stay visible? I know … make a vague allegation …


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