Winston Peters is taking a scattergun legal approach to those who he believes were behind the attempts to damage him during the election campaign over the pension overpayment leak.

Lawyers for the Foreign Minister are today serving papers on nine people, including former National Cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and two journalists, seeking discovery of material relating to the leaks.

Papers have been served on editor Tim Murphy and will be on Newshub political reporter Lloyd Burr, who's currently in Australia.

They have also been served on former Prime Minister Bill English, and Ministers Paula Bennett, Steven Joyce and Anne Tolley, the PM's former chief of staff Wayne Eagleson and campaign press secretary Clark Hennessy - and the head of the Social Development Ministry, Brendon Boyle, who was the first to know about the overpayment.


High Court proceedings for a hearing, a precursor to a damages claim, have been set down for December 13.

Bennett confirmed she had now been served through a representative.

"Looks like a worthless fishing expedition. Would have thought (Peters) had actual work to do."

Murphy also labelled the legal action a "fishing expedition".

"Peters is seeking journalist phone records, notes, emails in regard to the stories disclosing his super windfall," Murphy noted.

"And copious documentation, phone records from Paula Bennett, Joyce, Eagleson, Tolley, English and Brendan Boyle.

"It is a real fishing expedition. Even the lawyers recognise [that] of the defendants 'some will have tortious liability, some will not'."

Peters believes his privacy was breached and that was borne out by English, who said the information should never have been made public.

There have been denials all round from the former ministers, even though Paula Bennett said on receiving the information she knew it would be great gossip, but claims she told no one.

It was also claimed that Bill English wasn't told about the pension overpayment.

Peters was told about it in mid July, long before it was leaked during the election campaign, and after meeting with the Social Development Ministry, who accepted responsibility for the mistaken overpayment, he paid the money back.

His lawyers are saying his privacy was breached and they will be seeking damages from those served with the papers today.

Asked if he had been served papers, National leader Bill English said he "hadn't seen anything".

"If he does it will be a legal matter and I won't comment."

Clark Hennessy has left his job with National and has moved overseas.

Newshub reporter Burr is currently in Australia at the Melbourne Cup.