Former All Black and member of parliament Grahame Thorne has written a handwritten apology as part of a court case settlement.

It has been shown to Gibbston residents.

Mr Thorne squared off against his old sparring partner, bankrupt developer Dave Henderson, in Christchurch District Court on Monday.

Mr Henderson and his friend Ian Hyndman took the civil case to slap a restraining order on Mr Thorne, to stop him sending abusive emails.


The case was settled -- which does not mean a legal admission of fault -- with most terms kept confidential.

However a Gibbston resident leaked Mr Thorne's handwritten note to Mountain Scene.

It reads: "I, Grahame Thorne, hereby unreservedly apologise to David Henderson for creating the email address prick.henderson and for sending emails from that address and for any distress caused."

Mr Henderson, who maintains a house in Gibbston and grows grapes there, said: "I don't expect to go to these lengths and I hope that brings an end to it."

Mr Thorne replied to the Scene's request for comment on the apology by cutting and pasting two sentences from a story that appeared in The Press.

Mr Thorne's email says: "[Lawyer Glenn] Jones said Thorne had agreed not to contact Henderson nor Hyndman, other than through lawyers, for three years. Other terms of the settlement were confidential."

According to the Press report, district court judge Raoul Neave cut Monday's hearing short -- after two hours he told both sides to grow up and settle their differences.

"This is really at the level of 13-year-old schoolgirls sending notes around the class," the judge said.

The case was settled that day -- prompting the judge to declare "common sense has broken out". -- Mountain Scene