They run the risk of the whole issue backfiring on them. Messrs Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little may well regret their childish attempts to prevent defamation papers being served upon them. The Southland Times sums up the matter pretty well. You can read it here at http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/opinion/6955461/Editorial-Not-so-artful-dodgers
Defamation action is never taken lightly. The person issuing proceedings needs to be very sure of his/her grounds. Word has it that Collins has received high level quality advice that her action will succeed. It is important to note that at this stage all she is seeking from the Court is a Declaratory Judgement and (perhaps) costs. One expects that at some stage both Mallard and Little will back off and seek to retract their comments because unless they can prove their comments were true then that is the only course of action open to them. That might be seen as too little too late.
Clearly Collins values her reputation and will act to protect it .... Mallard probably doesn’t need to worry about losing something he doesn’t have while Little might well regret playing Russian roulette with all six chambers loaded.
Disclosure Statement ... I (and every Vietnam Veteran) owe a debt of gratitude to Judith Collins. In 2004, as a newbie MP, Judith Collins worked assiduously with the late Lieutenant Colonel John Masters to correct the lie that New Zealand Vietnam veterans were not exposed to Agent Orange. She forced Parliament’s Health Select Committee to investigate the matter against the wishes of the then Minister of Veterans’ Affairs (George Hawkins) who derided the Master’s Map as ‘a piece of worthless junk downloaded from the internet’. Without her championing the cause of Vietnam veterans there would have been no Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government and the Ex-Vietnam Services Association and RNZRSA which at least goes part way to addressing our concerns.