By Barry Soper and Aaron Dahmen of Newstalk ZB

Winston Peters is heading back to court, claiming to now know who leaked his pension details.

A judgement released last month found Peters' privacy was deliberately breached ahead of the 2017 general election to publicly embarrass him and cause harm.

However, his claim against former Government ministers Paula Bennett, Anne Tolley and others failed because he couldn't establish they were responsible.


Now, Newstalk ZB can exclusively reveal Peters is appealing the decision, saying the judgement is wrong, and the High Court didn't draw the right inferences from the facts it found.

In a statement, Peters said he is persisting with the case not just for himself but for all people who've had their privacy breached.

He said it's always been known this case was leaked, with intent to do harm and for a purpose, and he knows who the leak is.

Around 51,000 people had made a mistake on their pension application, but Peters was the only one to be made a public example of this, he said.

The original case was against the two ministers and their respective chief executives, State Services Commissioner Peters Hughes, and former Ministry of Social Development chief executive Brendan Boyle.

The appeal cites only the chief executives as respondents, not Bennett or Tolley, because Peters withdrew allegations of leaking against the ministers during the case.

The Crown has not yet decided whether to pursue costs against Peters for the defence of the ministers and senior public servants which would likely to to over $1 million.

Bennett was not impressed by Peters' decision to appeal.


"I think Winston Peters has wasted enough of taxpayers' money on court cases where he has no proven evidence and he should move on."

She believes the Crown should pursue costs against Peters. "They need to otherwise anyone could take a case against public servants and their ministers and even though they have got no proven evidence, there is no repercussions for them spending well over $1 million of taxpayers' money."

Peters said that privacy of information was a cornerstone of New Zealand's democracy.

"Without it our society truly faces a bleak future."

"We now know who the leak is."

He said keeping the system honest had been the cornerstone of his parliamentary career that began in 1978.


Despite there having been about 51,000 people who had made a mistake on their superannuation application since 1976, only a single case surrounding an individual had ever made the headlines.

"It has always been known that this case was leaked, leaked with an intent to do harm, leaked for a purpose. "

Within Government and the public service, no fewer than 42 individuals had known about his case, said Peters.

The matter was resolved before it was brought to the attention of ministers so he questioned why they needed to be told.

Hughes and Boyle made their disclosures about the fact that Peters had been investigated by MSD under the no-surprises policy.

The court heard that it was also disclosed because another Member of Parliament, Metiria Turei, had received a large amount of publicity about historic welfare payments.


Justice Venning found that, while Peters had a reasonable expectation his details would be kept private, the disclosure by the public servants to their ministers were, "in the particular circumstances of this case, for a proper purpose and the ministers had a genuine interest in knowing the details of the payment irregularity."

He said Boyle and Hughes -had until this Friday to seek costs from Peters.