New Zealand First leader and deputy leader Winston Peters is suing himself for defamation.
He made the decision after realising his claim that publicising details of his superannuation overpayment was defamatory made him realise that his reputation was already low in the opinion of right-thinking people and that was as a direct result his own words and actions.
“After some deep contemplation, on what I’ve said and done and how I’ve said and done it, I have to admit that I have been guilty of that which I accuse others,” he said. “That is, making right-minded people at best think less of me and sadly, too often hold me in contempt.
“Of course it’s the media’s fault and my political opponents have done all they can to aid and abet them.
“If they didn’t stir up matters best left unstirred and uncover things best left covered, the public wouldn’t know anything about those things that make those right-thinking people think less of me.
“A man ought to be left in peace to not read cabinet papers, use taxpayers’ money for electioneering, respond to questions with bluster and equivocation, to accept the baubles of power in contradiction of earlier assertions he was not tempted by them, to do what he said he wouldn’t and not do what he said he would.
“But they would keep digging and stirring and asking questions that paint a picture of me that I have to admit is almost a self-portrait, a picture of me for which I, though my own behaviour, am responsible and therefore I have no option but to sue myself for defaming myself.”
Mr Peters said it was blindingly obvious that a man with a reputation already lowered by himself could not accuse others of lowering it.
“Any fool can see that right-thinking people, amongst whom you will not find the media or my political opponents, already think so little of me it would be an impossibility to go lower in their estimation and the blame for that lies with me.”
When asked if he would attempt to settle with himself out of court, Mr Peters simply held up a sign on which the word no was printed.