Government’s teacup costs claim is “abuse of power and illegal,” says Winston Peters

News release from New Zealand First
New Zealand First says the Attorney General cannot claim court costs from an Auckland freelance cameraman over the teacup tape court case – because the case does not involve the government, just the National and Act parties.

Winston Peters says legal wires have been crossed by the case because it was mistakenly taken up by the government’s own legal system when it should have simply involved lawyers for John Key and John Banks.

“This case happened during an election campaign when the National Party leader met an Act party candidate to stitch up a deal for the Epsom electorate. It had nothing to do with an affair of state or anything related to the office of prime minister.

“What has happened is that the National Party, acting for political purposes, is using taxpayer resources to have a fight with a private citizen.

“This is abuse of power and it is also illegal.

“Our advice to the cameraman is to ignore the Attorney General’s demand for court costs and to make a claim himself against John Key and John Banks, who in this matter are simply private citizens.” says Mr. Peters.

Earlier statement from NZ First
“This whole affair … bungled, and since mishandled … is being conducted like some affair of state when in point of fact it occurred around the events of a shonky election deal between two political parties, National and Act.

“That being the case why is there tax money involved here when it is a party political, not a taxpayer, matter. In fact most taxpayers think the whole event was disgraceful.

“Why are government lawyers involved or can we now take it as read that lawyers acting for the government are now moonlighting for the National Party on the taxpayer’s pocket?” asked Mr Peters

“I am calling upon Mr Key and Mr Banks to stop abusing taxpayer’s time and money on a case which has nothing to do with the taxpayer and everything to do with their venal political interests.

“Mr Key and Mr Banks should pay for this circus yourselves” said Mr Peters.