Mariya Taylor's costs should be paid by taxpayers - Mark Mitchell

There are calls for the Government to pay the legal costs owed by a woman to her attacker.

Former Air Force servicewoman Mariya Taylor was likely sexually assaulted by her boss, Sgt Robert Roper, in the 1980s, the courts ruled last year.

But her compensation bid was thrown out, the court ruling too much time had passed since the abuse. Ms Taylor was ordered to pay almost $28,000 in court costs to Roper, a serial rapist who is now behind bars.

"I think this is a complete travesty," National MP Mark Mitchell told The AM Show on Friday.

Mr Mitchell, a former policeman and private security contractor in Iraq, said it "goes against everything we believe in when you've got her paying [costs] to the offender".

"If I was the minister now, I'd be going back... and looking how the Government is going to be able to help her with that. I don't think any taxpayer in New Zealand would have any problem with the Government looking at a way to help her."

Labour MP Kris Faafoi, appearing on The AM Show alongside Mr Mitchell, said Justice Minister Andrew Little is on the case. He pointed out Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern already told the Defence Force to drop its bid for costs from Ms Taylor, which it did.

"The reality is the taxpayer didn't ask for her to stump up [for that] as well, which was the right thing to do. But the court has decided [Ms Taylor has to pay costs to Roper], and I know Andrew Little - Minister of Justice - is going to look at that... because he said it was unfortunate, and I agree with that."

Mark Mitchell and Kris Faafoi.
Mark Mitchell and Kris Faafoi. Photo credit: The AM Show

Mr Mitchell says the case didn't come across his desk during his short stint as Minister of Defence.

Other victims of Roper's offending told Newshub earlier this week that Ms Taylor's predicament left them feeling re-victimised.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: