Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has dropped his legal action against two journalists in pursuit of the person who passed on details of his overpayment of superannuation to others.

But he is stepping up his action against four National Party MPs and two former staffers.

In November, Peters applied for discovery of material from them relevant to the leak plus from editor Tim Murphy, Newshub political reporter Lloyd Burr and the chief executive of the Ministry of Social Development, Brendan Boyle.

Peters issued a statement this afternoon saying action against the journalists had been amicably resolved "having provided the information required by Mr Peters' legal team".


The discovery application was heavily criticised as an attempt to bully journalists to reveal their sources.

It is understood that while Newsroom and Newshub received a leak about the overpayments, they were not aware of the source. There is no suggestion that either organisation has revealed a source.

Murphy tweeted a short time ago that Peters "got nothing he asked for and walked away tail between legs".

The tweet continued: "Thanks to all those who recognised this misguided and flawed attempt to intimidate media for what is was."

Peters' statement says he will move into the next phase of the case against the National Party "defendants".

The subjects of the discovery applications were leader and former Prime Minster Bill English, deputy leader Paula Bennett, former ministers Steven Joyce and Anne Tolley as well as former chief of staff Wayne Eagleson and the party's campaign press secretary, Clark Hennessy.

All of them deny having leaked it although Tolley said that after Peters had repaid the overpayment, she was informed by Boyle under the no-surprises policy and passed it on to Wayne Eagleson.

Boyle also discussed the issue with State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes and whether it fell into the no-surprises category.


Peters hints in his statement today that National may have given him something by mistake.

"They have unwittingly provided on oath information beyond what I was entitled to receive from the documents, which also provides enough information to formulate proceedings against those involved in the privacy breach."

Peters does mention Boyle in today's statement.