A High Court judge has ordered independent MP Jami-Lee Ross to do two things with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) documents inadvertently "leaked" to him.
Last Thursday, the Herald and Newstalk ZB broke news of the SFO taking urgent court action against the former National Party member to prevent him from publishing the legally sensitive material.
Ross, who is facing SFO charges over allegations relating to two National Party donations, stood in the House on July 29 and waved in the air documents he claimed came into his possession via a "leak".
"I have before me here, 60,000-odd line items of donations that are from the National Party," he said.
The SFO sought an urgent injunction to prevent the public release of the material it said had been "inadvertently disclosed" to Ross and the three other defendants in the criminal case.
Now a High Court judgment, released todayand obtained by the Herald, shows not only did Justice Pheroze Jagose grant the SFO's without notice injunction but he also instructed Ross to effectively shred or burn the documents he had.
In the August 6 judgment, Justice Jagose ordered Ross to "destroy and delete any and all copies of the documents ... (or any part thereof) in his power, possession, or control".
He also ordered the incumbent in the Botany seat to "refrain from referring to, making any use of, or further disclosing the documents".
Justice Jagose said he granted the without notice injunction because he was "satisfied requiring the SFO to proceed on notice would cause undue delay or prejudice to it".
The judgment further reveals that two SFO documents were sent to the defendants.
In a statement after the Herald's story last week, the SFO welcomed the court's decision which it said confirmed the confidentiality of the material.
"The material was disclosed recently during the course of the agency's compliance with its normal disclosure obligations," the statement read.
In reply, Ross said he was "now having to take legal advice on my rights to free speech".
The Advance New Zealand Party leader said he "remained concerned and convinced" the National Party's donations "do not stack up to scrutiny".
"While I had no intention of breaching people's privacy - I did want to reveal the nature of the issues it revealed as a matter of public interest," Ross said.
When talking in the House on July 29, Ross said the information "given to me in error" was the type "only party secretaries and chief financial officers and auditors tend to see".
Ross also said he "was threatened with injunctive action" if he attempted to table the document in the Parliament, which would have potentially made it available to all MPs.
He declined to do so and said he would "take the high road".
"But I was asked, extremely seriously, not to release this information because it is every single line item of donations for the National Party for the last couple of years.
"In here there's hundreds of thousands of dollars linked to the National Party's Chinese group."
Ross' criminal charges were laid in January, alongside brothers and businessmen Shijia (Colin) Zheng and Hengjia (Joe) Zheng, and New Zealand Order of Merit recipient Yikun Zhang.
All four men have denied the allegations against them over donations of $100,000 in 2017 and $100,050 in 2018. A trial in the High Court at Auckland is due to be held in September next year.
The SFO's investigation over the donations was prompted by Ross going public with allegations against then-National leader Simon Bridges, which Bridges has adamantly denied.
Ross then laid a complaint with police, sparking the SFO inquiry.
"I was the whistleblower. I still consider that I was right to raise the concerns," he told media after his first court appearance earlier this year. "There is no own goal."
Charging documents viewed by the Herald against the defendants allege a "fraudulent device, trick, or stratagem" was used to divide the donations into sums of less than $15,000 and hide the identity of the donor.
Political parties are required by law to report the details of donations, contributions and loans over $15,000.
The SFO is also conducting four other investigations over electoral funding allegations, which include a probe into the New Zealand First Foundation, Labour Party donations from 2017, and separate investigations into Auckland mayor Phil Goff and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel's election expenses.