The New Zealand Shareholders Association says it has been named as second defendant in a defamation suit brought by former Hanover Finance supremos Mark Hotchin and Eric Watson.

The claim relates to media interviews conducted in 2009, John Hawkins, the NZSA chairman, said in a statement.

"The association does not intend to make further comment on the claim itself as the matter is before the courts," he said. "The Association however will vigorously defend the claim which it sees as completely without merit."

The association was chaired by Bruce Sheppard in 2009 and awarded its 2010 Golden Glob to the two businessmen in 2010.