Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says a victim of a sexual offending air force sergeant "has been through enough" without the Defence Force seeking court costs against her.
Speaking to reporters today in Kaikoura, Ardern said she has told senior Defence Force (NZDF) officials to drop the force's costs claim against Mariya Taylor after her civil claim against the NZDF and Robert Roper was dismissed due to the statute of limitations expiring.
After Ardern's comments on the case, an NZDF spokesperson said the Crown will no longer be seeking costs.
Ardern said those who have read about the case will know it is "devastating" and it "wouldn't be right to pursue those costs".
"And that's why I've already said that it's my expectation that those costs won't be pursued," Ardern said.
"That's not up for discussion.
"I think Mariya has been through enough."
She called on the NZDF to resolve the end of case outside court.
A Givealittle page has been established to help Taylor with her legal fees as she faces $200,000 in court costs, including an application of more than $50,000 from Roper.
Taylor now wishes to take her case for compensation to the Court of Appeal.
She was just an 18-year-old recruit when she said the man, who would later be known as "groper Roper", bullied, verbally abused, sexually harassed, inappropriately touched and falsely imprisoned her between 1985 and 1988.
Roper's serial offending occurred between 1976 and 1988 when he served with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) at its Whenuapai base in Hobsonville.
Now in his 70s, he was sentenced in 2015 to 13 years' imprisonment after being found guilty of 20 sex charges against five women.
But Roper's crimes only came to light at the end of 2012 - 23 years after he left the military - when his daughter told police her father abused her from the age of 6.
However, earlier this year Taylor, who has waived her statutory right to permanent identity suppression, sued the NZDF and Roper for damages over superior officers allegedly failing to act when informed of the sergeant's crimes.
She was one of nine new complainants or witnesses who came forward after Roper was first charged.
She abandoned her police complaint in favour of a High Court civil proceeding and sought compensation from the Attorney General, on behalf of the NZDF.
She sought $600,000 in compensation, special damages for loss of earnings, medical and other expenses, and interest and legal costs.
At the High Court hearing in March, Taylor said Roper would grope her as she was driving him home late at night, and regularly lock her and leave her in a tyre cage.
Roper would also rub himself against her, try to undo her bra straps, and use an iron bar to prod her in the backside, she said.
There were other sexually intimidating conduct by Roper too, she said, such as bursting into the female changing rooms and the female night-shift bedrooms, and ogling at her during section parades.
At Roper's criminal trial, one victim told the court the sergeant offered her a ride home before driving her to the bombing range where he bound her hands with the seatbelt and raped her.
When giving her evidence, Taylor said: "A lot of us girls just gave up telling our story."
She left the RNZAF in the late 1980s but returned in the 1990s in a civilian role.
Taylor said she complained about Roper to Flight Sergeant Robert McKinney and Flight Lieutenant Bryce Meredith.
However, both officers denied receiving a specific complaint from her.
Despite Justice Rebecca Edwards dismissing Taylor's claim for damages - because it was barred by both the Limitation Act and by the Accident Compensation Act - the judge accepted many of her allegations.
At the hearing, Taylor's counsel Graeme Little also said the insistence of the NZDF to deal with problems in-house had contributed to Roper's offending.
Several NZDF failures were highlighted in an independent report about how the RNZAF handled the sexual predator, including the destruction of complaint and investigation files.
The report, prepared by Frances Joychild QC, into historic sexual abuse allegations involving Roper made 97 recommendations to amend existing policy and to review the military justice system.
Roper continues to deny his offending but lost his appeal against his convictions and sentence in 2016.