Sir Bob Jones to pay legal costs to Renae Maihi

Renae Maihi.
Renae Maihi. Photo credit: RNZ / Meriana Johnsen

Filmmaker Renae Maihi - who was sued by Sir Robert Jones for defamation - says he has agreed to pay her legal costs after dropping his case against her.

Sir Bob Jones withdrew his defamation case against Maihi five days into a trial.

Maihi was sued for defamation after calling Sir Robert racist and demanding that his knighthood be revoked.

In a 2018 NBR column, Sir Robert said Waitangi Day should be replaced with Māori Gratitude day.

Sir Robert has since told the media that due to a confidential agreement he cannot say why he dropped the case.

Maihi said no agreement of that nature was made.

"On Sunday March 8, TVNZ aired an interview with Robert Jones in which he said he did not want to stop his defamation claim against me.

"He claimed there was a confidential agreement between the parties that meant he could not talk about his reasons for discontinuing the proceeding," she said.

"There was no such agreement. Mr Jones unilaterally abandoned his claim halfway through a 10-day trial.

"He took that step following two days of cross-examination in which he continued to express views about Māori that many New Zealanders would regard as racist and offensive."

She said Sir Robert had agreed to pay for her legal costs.

"By discontinuing the proceeding, Mr Jones became liable to pay my legal costs. We have now agreed his costs liability, the amount of which is confidential to the parties. That agreement on costs was reached last week and is the only agreement between us."

Sir Robert has been approached for comment.