Two days after losing the election outgoing Prime Minister Helen Clark is being sued for defamation over comments she made on the Auckland District Health Board laboratories row.
Former Auckland District Health Board member Tony Bierre has launched the defamation suit in relation to comments Miss Clark made in March questioning whether he had broken the law by misleading the DHB over a controversial laboratory contract.
Her comments on March 26 followed the High Court at Auckland overturning the decision by Auckland, Waitemata and Counties-Manukau DHBs to reassign laboratory services from Diagnostic Medlab (DML) to Labtests Ltd on July 1 this year.
Diagnostic Medlab claimed, and the High Court agreed, there was an improper use of insider information by Mr Bierre who at the time was the Labtests' boss.
The High Court also ruled the three Auckland DHBs did not consult widely enough.
But the Court of Appeal overturned all of that in September, saying the health boards did consult properly and Dr Bierre acted appropriately once his conflict of interest arose.
Dr Bierre, who has hired high-profile Wellington barrister Mai Chen to take his claim, today said Miss Clark's "allegations of criminal conduct" were not true and had damaged his reputation.
In his statement of claim he says he lost his $300,000 a year Labtests job the day after the High Court decision and Miss Clark's comments.
Since then he has only been able to earn the equivalent of about $100,000 a year.
Dr Bierre said he was not interested in money and was merely seeking a declaration from the court that Miss Clark's statements were not true.
"Although I have suffered considerable financial, professional and personal loss as a result of the Prime Minister's untrue statements, and have not been able to work in New Zealand as a result, I am not seeking an award of damages from Helen Clark.
"All I want is a finding from the High Court that Helen Clark's statements were not true so that my family and I can get on with our lives."
He said he had issued the proceedings on October 30, but decided not to publicise it until after the election.
He had sought an apology from Miss Clark, but had been refused.
Diagnostic Medlab has said it will appeal the Court of Appeal decision to the Supreme Court.