NZ First paying back the money – but to Star Ship

December 12th, 2007 at 3:03 pm by David Farrar

I hear that NZ First have announced they are paying back the $158,000 – but instead of to the taxpayer – to Starship Hospital.

Assuming this is not a tax dodge (ie someone donating on their behalf who can claim a tax deduction) I can’t say I have huge issues with that – hell it just shows that not even NZ First trust Michael Cullen to spend their money wisely! :-)

But let’s hope we do see proof of this, and that NZ First itself paid – not a donor on their behalf.

This still leaves United Future to pay back $50,000 or so.  Maybe they could take a break from getting misrepresenting the Electoral Finance Bill to pay their remaining $50,000 back.

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124 Responses to “NZ First paying back the money – but to Star Ship”

  1. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    While it is a nice gesture, it still doesn’t resolve the issue.

    The money is owed to the taxpayer, not to a hospital. All it does is show contempt for the taxpayer.

    It was great of NZ First to make a $158k donation to Starship, now when are they going to pay the $158k back to the public?

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  2. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Waffler Woolerton is now claiming the moral high ground that NZF believe that they did not owe it and as a party of “Principle” they have done the right thing.

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  3. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Listening to doug wollerton now. What a tosser. He is basically saying this donation was made because it pays the debt in the eyes of the public but also that there was no wrongdoing in the first instance and to pay back the bedt to the proper authorities is tantamount to admitting guilt.

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  4. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    Penny to a pound they claim it as a charitable donation…

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  5. Tamaki Resident (66 comments) says:

    MikeE – wasn’t it the National Party that tried that trick first? (otherwise DPF would be saying how bad it is to do such a thing!)

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  6. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    At least it means that they can still be taunted to “PAY IT BACK” a phrase that seems to get up Winnies nose somewhat so should be used as often as possible.

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  7. Lindsay Addie (1,588 comments) says:

    If I get a parking or speeding ticket I’m going to use Woolerton’s excuse to get out of paying up.

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  8. sheath (60 comments) says:

    Tamaki – The Nats legally could not pay the money back. They admitted guilt (something Labour and NZ First seem unable to do) wanted to pay it back, could not so did a deal to at least compensate the impacted parties (media) in a timely manner with money to fund ‘public good’ type ads.

    Lets tick off which are the same:

    Admit guilt – nope
    Timely manner – nope
    Impacted party paid – nope
    Troll posting off topic/incorrect reference – yupe

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  9. djm210 (16 comments) says:

    Not a bad idea that — having the option of paying a parking or speeding ticket to a charity instead of the police!

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  10. Reg (539 comments) says:

    Great idea Lindsay, all traffic fines should now be paid to your local School!
    Lets speed for Education!

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  11. Linda Reid (416 comments) says:

    Slippery bastards. I don’t agree with what NZ1st have done. They owe the money to the taxpayer.

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  12. Tane (1,096 comments) says:

    Sheath – an interesting point. One thing that’s been bugging me for a while is whether National ever disclosed which charities it donated the money to. Does anyone know? David?

    [DPF: It wasn’t given direct to charity. The issue was broadcasters provided $112,500 too much advertising to National as the wrong amount was booked. National could not legally pay the bill directly without breaking the law (on top of the original law breach). The solution was that National purchase $112,500 of broadcast time not to settle the “debt” but on behalf of charities. This I understand was deemed acceptable by all the broadcasters who were the ones out of pockets. I understand teh broadcasters chose the charities in that they just put the money towards extra air time for existing charity ads they were already playing. So Charity A got say $20,000 of ads instead of $10,000 etc]

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  13. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    I heard that the EPMU old trolls benevolent fund was not one of the charities selected.

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  14. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    “MikeE – wasn’t it the National Party that tried that trick first? (otherwise DPF would be saying how bad it is to do such a thing!”

    No Idea, I’m not a tory.

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  15. David Farrar (1,901 comments) says:

    Tamaki – National had no choice – it legally was unable to repay the broadcasters directly.

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  16. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    I wonder if I can follow the Peters Principle: I don’t happen to agree with the IRD that I owe then a couple of hundred bucks, so they can go fuck themselves because I’ve given the money to a deserving charity.

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  17. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    “Slippery bastards. I don’t agree with what NZ1st have done. They owe the money to the taxpayer.”

    In fact Micheal Cullen would believe they owe it to him,,

    But extraordinarily he seems to have remained mute on the subject.

    He can’t claim tax avoidance and if Internal affairs or the SFO have no objections it would seem NZ First are well withion their rights to give what they owe to charity. They are being totally obnoxious by denying the public purse and now we know how much they despise the public but I wonder if ultimately, they have set a trend, by sulkily paying the money back to who they want to , not who they’re sposed to.

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  18. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    “Great idea Lindsay, all traffic fines should now be paid to your local School”

    Schools and hospitals. Keep politics out of it.

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  19. Tamaki Resident (66 comments) says:

    ok, so they overspent their broadcasting allocation and underpaid the broadcasters – what “public good” ads did they pay for in way of compensation? Sheath / DPF?

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  20. PaulL (6,040 comments) says:

    Legally they can do it. They voted for a law that made their actions legal, so they have no legal obligation to pay the taxpayer. The only need to pay it was for public opinion, and the average joe will probably see Starship as being more deserving than the general public purse (hell, I see them as being more deserving too). Sorry guys, storm in a teacup, not going to get any traction here.

    I would, however, be interested in any tax deduction. I’m pretty sure political parties are already tax exempt, so no reason why you’d donate to Starship instead of NZF, so maybe it isn’t a driver at all. (Graeme or Cactus Kate would know the answer to that one).

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  21. Tane (1,096 comments) says:

    <i>I understand teh broadcasters chose the charities in that they just put the money towards extra air time for existing charity ads they were already playing. So Charity A got say $20,000 of ads instead of $10,000 etc</i>

    Thanks for clearing that up David. You don’t know if one of those charities happened to be Sensible Sentencing Trust do you? Cos I recall them saying a while back that they’d received discounts for radio advertising due to their status as a registered charity.

    [DPF: I have no idea. And it was news to me until that item that SST were a charity]

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  22. david (2,561 comments) says:

    Tane, reading skills not the best today?

    Read DPF’s incredibly polite answer to your question. The answer is quite clear on who chose the charities so take your innuendo and stuff it.

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  23. Roark (76 comments) says:

    Hi David, I see those fucktards at the stupid are stalking you:

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=854#comment-9492

    You should take a camera and out that filth Porton. I would love to know what he looks like.

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  24. Tane (1,096 comments) says:

    take your innuendo and stuff it.

    david, it’s a perfectly valid question and the only person being impolite here is you.

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  25. kehua (225 comments) says:

    I am ashamed that a Party that I supported for years would show such disregard and contempt. Winston you should realise that being a smartarse in this situation does you no credit. Myself and many like me spent untold hours running stalls, raffles, picking and selling watercress and having housie evenings to pay for your successes. In many instances I have seen people who could ill afford it dip into their empty pockets to ensure that democracy had a voice in Parliament, and it was you Winston that they were backing. You have let them down boy and they will not forget, for one who stood for such strong values you have also let yourself down.I know that read this blog so take heed “a man with no self respect, will get no respect from others”.

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  26. James W (271 comments) says:

    Tane,

    DPF said that TV3 chose the charities. What of that do you not understand?

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  27. Adam Smith (890 comments) says:

    If a donor gave the money on behalf of NZF, and there have been rumours that this is the case, would not he/she be able to take a tax deduction?

    In any event it shows up NZF arrogance and disdain for the electorate. It is totally in line with Woolerton’s fatuous comments about the EFB, which appeared to say the elctorate are too dumb to worry about this issue, so we have taken away their rights to save them worrying in the future. AN outrage!!

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  28. Tane (1,096 comments) says:

    James, of course I understand that. My question is whether anyone knows which charities ended up the recipients of the money, regardless of whether National had a role in choosing them or not.

    There may be nothing to it, but it’d certainly be a bad look if it turned out National’s pay it back money went to fund the political campaigns of their close ally the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

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  29. FighterPilott (84 comments) says:

    James W – he didn’t mention TV3 once, and that wasn’t what Tane was asking. Did you not quite understand the question? Does anyone know which charities the networks chose BTW?

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  30. Rocket Boy (163 comments) says:

    DPF: ‘The issue was broadcasters provided $112,500 too much advertising to National as the wrong amount was booked.’

    You really are the king of spin Davey, National neglected to make allowance for GST in the cost of their advertising and that is why they overspent. I would hope that any political party that wanted to be the government knew the difference between GST inclusive and GST exclusive.

    [DPF: No you are spinning. The party knows very well the difference. The problem is the party failed to confirm in writing to the agency that it was GST inclusive and the agency (used to working GST exclusive) assumed it was GST exclusive. National is of course at fault for not putting it in writing, but that is different to now knowing it was GST inclusive.]

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  31. James W (271 comments) says:

    FP,

    TV3 were one of the main media outlets in question. From what I read (please tell me if I am mistaken) Tane was implying that some of this money may have been directed to the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

    Which, by the way Tane, I would rank NZ First as a closer SST ally (at least up until a couple of months ago) than National.

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  32. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    So lets get this straight. Winston sought leave in Parliament to table a photo of himself donating 150 k to starship?

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  33. Tane (1,096 comments) says:

    James, they may well be, but we know where NZ First’s money has gone. I’d like to know where National’s ended up.

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  34. James W (271 comments) says:

    “we know where NZ First’s money has gone”

    We just don’t know where it’s come from! :)

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  35. PaulL (6,040 comments) says:

    Tane, you are right, your question is quite polite and legit. But for someone who is so awfully fond of seeing dog whistling or deliberate incitement in so much of what DPF writes, I am surprised that you are doing exactly that yourself. The H word perhaps?

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  36. cubit9f (357 comments) says:

    While we are at it. Labour knew where the pledge card money came from. They knew it was illegal so they just wrote a law later to cover it. Then rather slowly they paid it back and will use it again next year when they railroad their latest little legal plaything through.

    No chance of knowing where their own money comes from. They don’t have any. They just use ours and suggest we just move on and forget it.

    My God we are an ungrateful lot.

    Winston doesn’t even worry about the law. He is a law unto himself.

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  37. The Double Standard (69 comments) says:

    If we’re discussing where it came from, it’d also be interesting if Tane would disclose where Labour’s $800,000 to pay back what they stole from the taxpayer came from. In the interests of transparency you understand.

    As far as Winston’s Gambit goes, I guess its a fair enough approach. Better than donating it to paying for another Labour apparatchik comms advisor at the Environment Ministry.

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  38. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    ‘hunt’?

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  39. GerryandthePM (328 comments) says:

    I have always understood that any price not stated to be exclusive of GST was deemed to include GST.

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  40. PaulL (6,040 comments) says:

    National have stated a number of times that they screwed it up. Remember that the people who run the campaigns are largely volunteers, not the parliamentary party. Most political operations in NZ are run on a shoestring, it isn’t a surprise that things like this happen. Of course, the Labour pledge card was authorised by the parliamentary arm (H2).

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  41. virtualmark (1,536 comments) says:

    I don’t think it really matters now what Winston does … this sort of action just confirms to us all what an arrogant cynical tosser the guy is. His actions since the infamous “baubles of office” commitment in the last election campaign have been his deathknell – I just don’t believe he will either (i) win a general electorate seat or (ii) get over 5% of the party vote.

    Frankly, if it costs the taxpayer $158,000 of stolen money to eventually get Winnie the Pooh run out of town then that might well turn out to be a very good deal for us taxpayers.

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  42. Tane (1,096 comments) says:

    TDS, you’ve already been answered over here:
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=856#comment-9522

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  43. tim barclay (886 comments) says:

    Ths is taxpayers’ money that he took so he makes reparation to some charity deemed worthy by him. Just how typical is that. That man who left NZ with a caretaker Government for 6 weeks so he could decide who governs. Not the electorate – Winston R Peters.

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  44. first time caller (384 comments) says:

    Outrageous! Can’t blame them for trying to make a good story out of debt so seriously overdue.

    I can’t see how this lets them off paying the outstanding debt they owe to the taxpayer…

    You can’t pay your telecom debt with the power company

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  45. helmet (807 comments) says:

    FFS guys, Tane “the hollow head” would still be whingeing if the money the Nat’s gave to charity went to anything other than the NZ Labour party itself. ‘What!?…a right winger got some of that money?…. waaaaaah!’

    You have to remember, this twit’s idea of a conspiracy is Bell Gully paying clients money to the National party through its trust account. The guy has no feckin’ idea.

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  46. casual watcher (289 comments) says:

    This is garbage – more arrogance from NZ1 and another nail in the coffin. They have all gone mad down in Wgtn – completely pissed on the Power. The hangover is going to be a beauty !!

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  47. Brownie () says:

    Baubles of office anyone?

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  48. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    Tutae says at the subhumanstandard: “seeing as I’m not involved in Labour’s fundraising I wouldn’t know, but I hear they had some kind of ‘big whip around'”

    In other words, the unions wrote a cheque and out the union dues up.

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  49. Tane (1,096 comments) says:

    Helmet, get a grip brother. You’re sounding like a crazy person.

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  50. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    Sorry, out should have read put. Out is something that will apply to Labour in November next year. And NZ First

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  51. Tane (1,096 comments) says:

    In other words, the unions wrote a cheque and out the union dues up.

    Um, no, unions said explicitly they wouldn’t be contributing. You just made that up. So dishonest Buggerlugs.

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  52. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    You know all about dishonesty, Tutae.

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  53. toby1845 (194 comments) says:

    Tane: “You don’t know if one of those charities happened to be Sensible Sentencing Trust do you?”

    Who cares, Tane. Unless, of course, Labour filth like yourself now feel they have right to censor the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

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  54. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    If the money owed by Liarsparty, Winniefirst, Petersparty was due after 2005 election what about the interest owing? I never managed to borrow cash at zero intrest in my life or are all these scum above the law?

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  55. toby1845 (194 comments) says:

    Bill English and Rodney Hide made reference to the source of the money paid back by NZF. Can anyone shed any light on this?

    I hear gossip that Owen Glenn may have paid it – perhaps in return for NZF’s support for the EFB. It would be good question for National to ask – again and again and again…..

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  56. toby1845 (194 comments) says:

    slightlyrighty: “So lets get this straight. Winston sought leave in Parliament to table a photo of himself donating 150 k to starship?”

    I’ll bet David Benson-Pope is livid about that. Just imagine….a chance to visit a childrens’ ward, and he wasn’t invited.

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  57. peteremcc (344 comments) says:

    They didn’t have a debt to the taxpayer – they changed the law remember.

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  58. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Perhaps Owen Glenn is tied up with David Benson-Popes group of friends in Dunedin?

    [DPF: Please leave Mr Glenn out of such insinuations]

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  59. john (478 comments) says:

    WOW starship, i was thinking of Ronald Mcdonald house or the children ward in Wgtn, but then winston aims big,to get the monkey of his back,but then fuck the kids outside auckland ,its only our taxes hes donated to look good

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  60. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    We may be being unfair to Winston here. Since he realised that he has lost all his support from the older demographic with his sad golden oldies bauble card and his rabid support of the EFB he is going for the future supporters of the Winstonfirst Party by buying votes at the childrens hospital.

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  61. WebWrat (516 comments) says:

    TV3 are saying Winnie has paid back the outstanding debt in the form of a donation to Starship.

    He made a donation to Starship.

    He still owes $158,000 to the tax payers.

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  62. g_ (28 comments) says:

    Can NZ First claim tax credits for that donation?

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  63. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Making up the rules as they go along…. so Winston, so Labour, so ‘f**k you all’….

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  64. Tamaki Resident (66 comments) says:

    John (6:33pm) – Starship treats kids from all over NZ, not just those in the ADHB area.

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  65. The Double Standard (69 comments) says:

    Would this be caught under the EFB if it was done after Jan 1st? I can’t help wondering that it might be seen as an NZF ‘promotion’ and therefore subject to the spending cap.

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  66. Adam Smith (890 comments) says:

    TV1 News seem to think Winnie had doen a smart thing, no criticism or reference really, other than he did not accept the Auditor General’s vierw and he, WTP, had done something different.

    Also TV1 do not appear to regard UF as not having paid up, somone should tell them

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  67. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    I did not accept the camera vans view that I did 56k past a school but I still had to pay my 30 bucks to the police not a charity of my choice (local bottlestore). Seems like a real double standard here.

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  68. big bruv (14,132 comments) says:

    I listened to Paul Henry interview that slime Peters tonight, Henry had a good crack at Peters but he missed one vital point.

    Winnie kept banging on about there being no legal obligation to pay the money back and Henry kept insisting that the AG had stated that NZ first must indeed refund the money.

    The point that Henry should have made is that the only reason Winnie was able to hide behind that point of law is because the bastards retrospectively changed the law to get them off.

    As fas as I am concerned the bastard owes ME money, I want it back.

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  69. Lindsay Addie (1,588 comments) says:

    I fear there are enough sheeple in NZ to fall for this silly ruse of Peters so he will get away with it.

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  70. big bruv (14,132 comments) says:

    Here is a point…..if Kullen has 9 Billion more than he needs from us suckers who pay tax then why the hell does starship need money from anybody?

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  71. Steve (4,587 comments) says:

    Winston using the children as a lever????
    How sad, I did once vote NZ1, never again

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  72. Lindsay Addie (1,588 comments) says:

    Unless the oldies in Grey Power stop voting for these NZF tossers they’ll keep getting back into Parliament.

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  73. GNZ (228 comments) says:

    This is just insulting really.
    It is like I steal your money and then tell you that I’m going to give it to my favourite charity because I’m too smart and you can’t make me give it back to you.

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  74. Steve (4,587 comments) says:

    GNZ,
    They did not steal, just overspent the advertising budget
    Labour stole from the taxpayer some $800,000 then passed law to make it legal

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  75. radvad (772 comments) says:

    This “donation” was not done out of benevalence. It was done for political gain, hence the media publicity and the holier than thou attitude. Consequently it was self serving and therefore could not be charitable.

    PAY IT BACK WINSTON

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  76. Steve (4,587 comments) says:

    NZF will not pay it back.
    Some will see this donation as supporting children and see it as PAYED BACK.
    radvav is correct, it is self serving

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  77. helmet (807 comments) says:

    I’m glad the money went to starship, personally, but I also agree, making a donation to starship ain’t the same as paying it back.

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  78. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Why am I not surprised? DPF I’m surprised you’re blase about this – the appropriate thing (and the better thing, in terms of publicity mileage) would have been to hold a large cheque made out to Cullen while standing outside Starship and reeling off what $158,000 could buy – and challenging Cullen to turn round and donate it. Unless you had such a wanker’s grip on your baubles that you were afraid of having them whipped off you by the PM of course.

    Much as this insults the intelligence of the public and the integrity of the political system, there’s a more important point here as Adam Smith and James W have already alluded to, and that’s where the money came from to begin with.

    Is there an investigative jounro left in NZ up to looking into this?! NZF doesn’t have $158,000 in its own right so there’s only twoplaces this could have come from – some sort of rort of Parliamentary allowances or a 3rd party source.

    $158,000 buys a lot of influence. Who’s it been sold to and what have they bought?

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  79. Michaels (1,318 comments) says:

    Winnie is nothing more than a political grandstanding piece of shit! Roll on the election so he can be gone!!

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  80. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    The posionous little gnome has to get shafted in Tauranga again where the wise voters saw through his crap that should be the end of his sad little bauble party. Bob Clarkson has to stand again CAN HE DO IT–YES HE CAN!!

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  81. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Come on people, we have a bunch of Nat supporting types here who are upset that Cullen does not get his mitts on the dosh.

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  82. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Hey grumpy at least if Cullen gets it back I may get an extra pack of chewing gum next budget. Cant blame a filthy capitalist running dogs tool for thinking of himself from time to time!

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  83. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    trust destroyed takes years to rebuild.

    winston has been at the forefront of removing ethics from nz politics… so i have no trust that is situation is what is seems.

    no, there will be something dirty just below the surface, and sadly a lack of commitment from anyone to dig.

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  84. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    “Is there an investigative jounro left in NZ up to looking into this?! NZF doesn’t have $158,000 in its own right so there’s only twoplaces this could have come from – some sort of rort of Parliamentary allowances or a 3rd party source.

    $158,000 buys a lot of influence. Who’s it been sold to and what have they bought?”

    Nicky Hager to the rescue?!:

    “Nicky hager is quite simply one of the world’s best investigative journalists. We need him. I salute him.” (John Pilger)

    Yeah right.

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  85. jono (14 comments) says:

    I agree with MikeE. Nice gesture, great cause, but when are they going to pay back the $158k of taxpayers money they usurped?

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  86. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Unless you had such a wanker’s grip on your baubles that you were afraid of having them whipped off you by the PM of course.

    Rex: If you can distill that repulsive image into a pill, you’ve created a 100% effective unisex oral contraceptive…

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  87. Yvette (2,845 comments) says:

    Misappropriate $ 158,000 to use on self-publicity
    wait until a term deposit matures – more self ‘interest’
    then pay the money to a children’s hospital – more self-publicity.

    Three sucks of the sav – that must be some sort of record.

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  88. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Again Winston shows that he should never be underestimated.

    A brilliant political move. OK -maybe its not quite the correct way to repay the money, but firstly is anyone really going to take action over it? – no.

    second I actually dont think there is any legal case to pay the money – didnt the govt retrospectively change the law to make the expenditure legal.
    Thirdly it was stated on TV that there was a gift tax payable if it went to the consolidated fund.
    and finally all the other party hacks will be really pissed off because they didnt think of it.

    Oh – I do enjoy it when something left field happens in politics. All the other politicos immediately say that is wrong, but what they are really saying is that its unfair because they didnt think of it.

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  89. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    Tane: I’d like to know where National’s ended up.

    DPF told you, it went to the various broadcasters. National’s involvement in it ends there. So whichever dog whistle you’re blowing today, it is not related to National anymore.

    I’d like to know in which part of the election campaign the cheques the government writes for the unions will be spent. Now that is an interesting question.

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  90. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    All the other politicos immediately say that is wrong, but what they are really saying is that its unfair because they didnt think of it.

    No, Barry, it’s wrong because it’s just wrong. As I said up-thread, just try telling the relevant authority that you think they’re fricking idiots and the law’s an ass, therefore you’re not actually going to be paying your rates, tax bill, child support or those pesky fines but donating the money to charity instead.

    I don’t think any corporate CEO who pulled that crap would be getting any sympathy from Winebox Winnie.

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  91. Yvette (2,845 comments) says:

    Peters’ party group rebels over bill
    NZ Herald Thursday December 13, 2007

    New Zealand First’s Tauranga branch asked the party’s seven MPs to vote against the Electoral Finance Bill, a move that would kill the bill.

    A man of any real integrity should be paying attention to his own party in the area where he hopes to stand next year

    [DPF: Is there a url for this?]

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  92. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Hi Craig (Ranapia) – Slow down bro. If you keep saying things like that youll blow a fu-fu valve.

    The fact is that legally I am sure there is no reason other than political pressure to pay back the money to the taxpayer. And as they say in the PR industry – there is no such thing as bad publicity. Winny has simply out-politicked them all (I’m not saying Id be voting for him, but you have to hand it to him – hes made them all look dimwits)

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  93. Sofia (862 comments) says:

    PRIME MINISTER HELEN CLARK IS APPALLED AND DISGUSTED AGAIN.

    Reliable sources report Prime Minister Helen Clark is livid that non-Governmental Foreign Minister Winston Peters has grandstanded in ‘donating’ tax payer money, designated by the Auditor general as being misappropriated spending last Election, to Starship Children’s Hospital.
    “This is taxpayers money and we are supposed to be in control of that and who we dish it out to in order to effect a favourable outcome of next year’s Election!”
    Miss Clark is reported to be particularly pissed off with Finance Minister Michael Cullen for being slow off the mark in this area. “Instead of yelling ‘Rich prick’ across the House, Michael should realise that in terms of tax funding in his control he is probably the richest prick in the country, but one of the dumbest for allowing Winnie to get in before him in the stakes of using taxpayer money to sway voter opinion. We have poured millions into hospitals and all we get is criticism, but Winston gives Starship a piddling $ 158,000 and looks great, as well as it acting as a smokescreen to cloud the fact his Electorate Committee in Tauranga has told him and the rest of New Zealand First to not vote for the EFB. Shit, Michael Cullen, needs to pull himself together – cut the lame wisecracks and instead start cutting taxes – and find a children’s hospital we can give at least $160,000 to – back-dated.”

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  94. Inventory2 (10,406 comments) says:

    Great one-liner from Paula Bennet on Breakfast this morning “Winston’s so cunning you could pin a tail on him and call him a weasel” – and so say all of us!

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  95. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Sofia – great story. I did bang my head against the desk leg as I rolled around the floor laughing – but it was worth it.

    Keep up the good work.

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  96. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    James, they may well be, but we know where NZ First’s money has gone. I’d like to know where National’s ended up.

    I wish you were this interested in tracking where government money is ending up, god forbid any of that gfoes to nefarious sources…..

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  97. KevOB (267 comments) says:

    The validation law may have prevented it and that’s what Winnie-in-poo is counting on. The Controller has the duty to collect improperly spent public monies and can issue surcharge notices and proceed to collect. Their obligation was to to repay to the Public Account. Not having done so they still owe the money.

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  98. Grant McKenna (1,160 comments) says:

    Now that a rebellion in NZ First ranks is under way, will the bill pass?

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  99. Sofia (862 comments) says:

    Will Labour’s Minister of Health allow a hospital under his control to receive money that we all know has been stolen? In fact what does the Crimes Act say about receiving money known to be stolen?

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  100. Adam Smith (890 comments) says:

    Winston is getting solid media coverage on this. On 9 to Noon I heard him say NZF did not owe any money the Audior General had said they did not and neither did UF. All amounts had been signed off by Parliamentary Services and Electoral Commission. They had thought of making alegal stand on principle, but in order to avoid an issue in election year they were making a public spirited gesture. YEAH RIGHT

    yet the media seem to let hin get away with it.

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  101. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Hi Craig (Ranapia) – Slow down bro. If you keep saying things like that youll blow a fu-fu valve

    So, you didn’t make the cut at medical school after flunking first year law (especially that pesky Ethics for Dummies paper)? I asked a pretty simple question, and would like an answer: Do you think Winston would have any sympathy for a corporate CEO who applied the Peters Principle to paying their taxes? After all, at any given moment there are people — from corporates to students trying to make sense of their Kafkaesque loan statements – disputing demands for money from the IRD. I don’t think “You’re an idiot, the law’s an ass, and I’ve donated the money to charity so fuck off” would be considered any kind of defense in a court of law. Nor do I think you’d get any more joy if you took a similar attitude to paying your rates, fines, benefit over-payments or child support arrears.

    Then again, I guess there’s one set of rules for Winston, and quite another for the rest of us peasants. Which may be smart-alec politics, but not anything worthy of praise.

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  102. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Oh, and something else to consider, Barry: If Winston really thought the Auditor-General was wrong on the facts he had any number of legal and Parliamentary avenues (after all, the A-G is an officer of Parliament) he could have followed. He certainly spent long enough threatening to do so.

    Wonder why he didn’t? Too scared of being humiliated in an open court, because he didn’t have a leg to stand on?

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  103. Colonel Masters (409 comments) says:

    Will Labour’s Minister of Health allow a hospital under his control to receive money that we all know has been stolen?

    If he had any balls he would cut Starship’s state funding next year by exactly $158,000 (plus interest). Might look a bit mean-spirited though…

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  104. gee90 (90 comments) says:

    The party leaders speak

    (leading from the front)

    ‘ACT leader Rodney Hide said Mr Peters was grandstanding and the stunt was calculated to win public sympathy.

    It was “unethical” that rather than just pay up the debt, Mr Peters was trying to gain “political capital” out of it.’

    (and from the back)

    National leader John Key said he would leave it for the public to judge whether Mr Peters had taken the right course of action (nzpa).

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  105. Michaels (1,318 comments) says:

    Link to NZF in Tauranga wanting to kill the bill.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10482049

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  106. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    If he had any balls he would cut Starship’s state funding next year by exactly $158,000 (plus interest). Might look a bit mean-spirited though…

    Certainly would, especially considering the Starship Foundation was set up as a separate entity “to provide additional equipment, support and help to patients, their families and staff – as an extra to state funding.” [Source: http://www.starship.org.nz/index.php/pi_pageid/1373 ]

    Just because Peters will pimp anything to serve his ego and political agenda, I don’t see why an entirely worthy charity or the only hospital in New Zealand dedicated to paediatric services should be punished.

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  107. Michaels (1,318 comments) says:

    If Winnie cares so much for the elderly, why didn’t he donate the money to a rest home or something similiar?? Is it something to do with Starship having the profile??

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  108. Lindsay Addie (1,588 comments) says:

    Too scared of being humiliated in an open court, because he didn’t have a leg to stand on?

    That by chance wouldn’t be because of Peters’ previous experiences in court?

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  109. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    And much as I hate to admit it, Genetic FitzSimpleton also made a very good point on Morning Report today: If the Greens, or any other party, wanted to get together and donate $158,000 to the Starship Foundation – or any other equally worthy charity – directly from their Parliamentary budgets they’d be breaking the law.

    She said it was really quite simple: The money came from the public purse and should be returned to the public purse, or not at all. She also reminded people that the Greens didn’t totally agree with the A-G’s report either, but they made a commitment to pay the money back and not be cute about it.

    Gee, Winnie, you’ve really screwed the pooch when you’ve got me agreeing with the Greens.

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  110. Sofia (862 comments) says:

    Dear Frank,

    Thank you for your e-mail, but I must immediately point out that while my recent stunt over the refund of stolen tax funding may indicate to you that I see myself as above the law, it does not in anyway vindicate your actions, because you show a total absence of imagination and flair and that you have tried only to fit a square peg in a round hole instead of thinking outside the square altogether. Your talks with Helen and I just before you returned home and pulled your coup still rankle as amateurish in comparison to my misleading of the entire population of New Zealand with my promise to stay on the cross benches and then accepting this bloody cushy job where I get all the perks I can handle and also have the opportunity to point out what a crude third world operator you are. Admittedly your delaying the coup until your army rugby team had played the police was a nice beginning but you should have rigged the game so the army didn’t loose. Learn from a Master: just watch how the drama that will continue over my donation to Starship will smoke screen the Oldies’ Gold Card which is useless, my demand for a 1000 extra police, which is drastically lowering the IQ level of the force in the scramble to fill numbers, and my support for the EFB which will give me access as much taxpayer funds as I may need, if I ever finish milking this last $158,000 for all it was worth . . .

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  111. catwoman (123 comments) says:

    As a taxpayer I reserve the right to decide what charities I will donate to. I object to Winston making that decision for me. Pay the money back to the taxpayers you stole it from Winston.

    Talk about short male syndrome, the arrogant little arse!

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  112. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Couldn’t believe he stated NZF never owed the money.

    He’s usually a man of principle and fights for his rights

    Not this time

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  113. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    That by chance wouldn’t be because of Peters’ previous experiences in court?

    Didn’t you get the memo, Lindsay? Anyone who doesn’t agree with Winnie at all times is an ignorant fuckwit in the pocket of foreign corporate interests or his political enemies – just ask the three High Court judges who didn’t uphold his attempt to get the result in Tauranga overturned. His bloated ego and sense of entitlement would be funny if didn’t have a more sinister edge – and I’ve seen first-hand what he’s like when he doesn’t get his own way. A spoiled toddler with a very grown-up ability to nurse a grudge is the only way I can describe it.

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  114. swannsong (5 comments) says:

    Anyone who say Winnie is a man of principle is probably a bit unhealthy – voting for the EFB says otherwise.
    And if NZF are so innocent, why pay back the money? You’d be a fool, and unprincipled to do so.

    I’m with MikeE, that money is owed to the taxpayer. If we decide it can go to the starship, that’s fine. Winnie actually has no say, and the ‘donation’ shouldn’t count. Absolute contempt for authority (us).

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  115. Adam Smith (890 comments) says:

    hinamanu Says:

    December 13th, 2007 at 11:01 am
    Couldn’t believe he stated NZF never owed the money.

    He’s usually a man of principle and fights for his rights

    Not this time

    Sorry, hinemanu I must beg to differ with you here. I do not think that Winston has ever demonstrated that he is a man of principle, unless that principle is Winston first, last and always.

    He panders to the lowest common denominator with his xenophobic rants and his attacks on any one who has the temerity to hold a differing view. He is the master of obfuscation and never answers any question other than with another or by attacking the questioner. Once I found it mildy amusing, now I find it chilling and am dismayed that this man is our Foreign Minister.

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  116. thehawkreturns (162 comments) says:

    This brings the Starship Foundation into disrepute. I have no doubt they recognised the donor and the dollar figure as coming from (previously) illegal activities. They should have politely and publicly refused the money which would have brought far greater benfit to them in the long term. Now they look like co-conspirators.

    Will the Foundation start running numbers and illegal booze dens in the near future?

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  117. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Using ethics and morals in the same sentence as politcians is an oxymoron with emphasis on the moron .Who does Luigi think hes kidding . Yet another example of the arrognace and contempt that ALL politicans treat the citizens with.

    Thats why those of who have self respect threat them like the dog turd on the soles of our feet.

    You cant reason with them They say blacks white and for these sad souls it is. Laugh at them They hate it. Deflate their over stuffed egos. They hate it.

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  118. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Grant McKenna asks:

    Now that a rebellion in NZ First ranks is under way, will the bill pass?

    This is a party which makes its hardworking electorate chairpeople travel (at their own expense) to regional centres to spend the night carefully ranking its list, expecting them to have consulted widely (again at their own expense) amongst the electorate.

    It then allows Peters, his secretary and Michael Laws to shred those votes (I’d have said wipe their arses on them, but we all know Michael won’t use anything less than 4 ply) and rank the list according to their own personal likes, dislikes, grudges and even romantic attachments (said secretary had broken up with an otherwise well regarded list candidate, so he was toast).

    Yet the members of the party – even after Laws finally admitted his part in the process, telling how the little cabal scoffed at party members’ democratic choices – accepted their treatment without a murmer of dissent and continued nodding to everything Winston says.

    In short: don’t be holding your breath, Grant. You’re too valued a contributor to lose you due to asphyxiation ;-)

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  119. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    “Anyone who say Winnie is a man of principle is probably a bit unhealthy”

    I should have said he would have us believe he is a man of principle.

    when he walked away from NZF his integrity was left in tatters

    Fortunately in the next election his crying daughters won’t hold any sway.

    He won’t win his seat back and his diplomatic post will be gone.

    Best he can hope for is on the list. I can’t see him surviving the entire tenure after 2008. This nation does not need these dinosaurs and can’t afford them.

    All Black tenures have been shortened considerably and so should politicians.

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  120. baxter (893 comments) says:

    It seems to me that this has been a brilliant diversionary tactic worked out between Liabore and their coalition partner Winston to divert attention from the EFB/ HOLMES this morning implied it was funded by Owen Glenn.

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  121. Castafiore (262 comments) says:

    The show pony at its best is seen in this cynical move by Winnie the Pooh!

    But a major miscalculation Winston old chap !!

    Unless mothers and children are you main voting base you have just passed by a “Golden” opportunity to win back some of your lost greypower vote by giving the money for research or help for senior citizens or has Winston already got “Alzheimer’s”

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  122. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    It would be a waste of money to dedicate it to those with Alzheimers. I mean who would still remember the favour by breakfast tomorrow, let alone at the next election?

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  123. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Unless mothers and children are you main voting base you have just passed by a “Golden” opportunity to win back some of your lost greypower vote by giving the money for research or help for senior citizens or has Winston already got “Alzheimer’s”

    Castafiore, I think you might be onto something. Have you seen Winston in the house recently?

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  124. 3-coil (1,222 comments) says:

    Gift duty?

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