According to media reports, Judith Collins is suing Trevor Mallard and Radio New Zealand on the basis that this interview is defamatory. But if you listen to it, Mallard is pretty careful. Will Collins claim that the interview implies that he stands by the much more direct statements he made about her in the House under Parliamentary Privilege? I’ll be interested to see what our various law-bloggers say about this.
There’s also a (high) chance that this is never intended to see the inside of a court-room – that the threat of a lawsuit is merely political theater designed to shift the focus away from the civil war currently underway inside the National Party, and onto an adversarial, Labour vs National framework, while also allowing Collins to get some breathing space by refusing to answer questions pending the outcome of the enquiry, court-case etc. It’s exactly the same tactic they used over the teapot tapes, which didn’t play out too well.