Former deputy prime minister Winston Peters has apologised to Mongrel Mob life member Harry Tam for incorrectly associating him with the Northland Delta outbreak.
On October 9, Peters told Newshub Nation during a live interview that Tam brought the two women at the centre of the Northland outbreak to Northland via Auckland.
Tam sent a legal letter asking for the record to be corrected and for Peters to apologise, which he has now done.
In a statement Peters said he "gave an interview to Newshub on the issue of people who had crossed the Auckland alert level 3 border improperly using essential worker credentials.
"These people were understood to be associated with a member of an organised criminal gang, the Mongrel Mob.
"This had caused Northland to be plunged into alert level 3 for two weeks, with serious economic and social consequences for the region," he said.
"During the interview, based on information that I had obtained from a reliable and credible source, I expressed the view that Mr Harry Tam, a known affiliate of the Mongrel Mob, was one of these people," Peters said.
Peters accepted Tam's version of events.
"Mr Tam has said that he was not the Mongrel Mob member that entered Northland.
"On the basis of what he has said, one aspect of the information that I received, and which informed my view on the matter in the interview, must be wrong.
"I therefore apologise to Mr Tam for naming him as the Mongrel Mob affiliate who entered Northland with others, causing a two-week level 3 lockdown," Peters said.
Tam said he was pleased "Peters has accepted that he was wrong".
However, he disputed Peters' insistence his information was from a reliable and credible source.
"Otherwise it would not have been so hopelessly wrong.
"The simple fact is that I was not involved in any way, and to suggest otherwise was misleading and caused harm.
"But I know it is a big thing for Mr Peters to admit he is wrong and so I am pleased he is able to on this occasion. Sadly, it took the threat of legal action sent to an email provided to me for Mr Peters and that of his usual lawyer, to do so.
"Anyway, my team have enough to do on the ground to get our people vaccinated and I would prefer to return my attention to that. It would be nice to see Mr Peters do that also. We can achieve more together than divided," Tam said.