New Zealand Solicitor General David Collins is currently defending at least three unrelated complaints to the New Zealand Law Society for alleged legal misconduct. One is by kiwisfirst editor Vince Siemer, in relation to representations by Mr Collins to the Auckland High Court in January 2008.
In brief, that complaint alleges Collins knowingly made false claims to initiate a contempt action that the www.kiwisfirst.com website was in breach of an interim injunction, despite his office conceding that the content was “fully compliant” with the injunction terms. The complaint also alleges that he deliberately misled Parliament by misrepresenting to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee in August 2007 that the matter was before the Courts – and thereby off limits from a Parliamentary inquiry.
Mr Collins has responded by letter dated 3 September 2009 to Secretary of National Standards Committee Mary Ollivier that he considers he is the victim of a conspiracy by Mr Siemer and the other complainants. Presumably, on this basis, he refused to address the substance of the complaint and supporting evidence in the form of a 6 September 2007 email indicating his office agreed months before that the website was not in breach the injunction. Ironically Mr Collins used his response to threaten the Law Society with prosecution for contempt of Parliament if he considered the Law Society was “to collaterally challenge” the Select Committee’s decision founded on what Speaker of the House Lockwood Smith had subsequently determined “may not have been correct”. Dr Smith’s conclusion was reached before he became aware of the documentary evidence that David Collins was personally involved in the deception of the Committee.
Collins elected to take a global position in his reply. He appended a copy of the resultant High Court Judgment ordering Siemer to six months prison for failing to “unconditionally close down” this website as defence that his actions in seeking Mr Siemer’s imprison were appropriate.