Winston Peters has said the answer is No, with his comical NO sign as a prop yesterday. I did enjoy Guyon Espiner’s wit in stealing said sign after the press conference and holding it up on One News when asked if Peters had really answered all the questions satisfactorily.
Let us look at what Winston did and did not say. Please note I am not suggesting in any way that Peters has said anything which is not literally true. But it comes down to what one has not said.
First of all Peters insisted he would not provide any more information than required to by electoral laws. Now this “donation” was made prior to the passing of the Electoral Finance Ac, so will be governed by the provisions of the 1993 Electoral Act.
Now I suspect (for example) National has a similar policy – they will only release the information required to by electoral law. So what is the difference. Two things:
- Peters’ own party president has suggested there was a large anonymous donation
- Peters spent much of 2007 railing against such donations, and the need to change the law to prevent them. It would be sheer hypocrisy to rail against them, and also pocket one just a few hours before the law changes
Now the Herald reports:
Asked if he was saying he had never received one dollar from Owen Glenn or any associate of Mr Glenn, he hauls a sign out from under his table.
“NO”, it read.
Now again on face value, one accepts what Peters has said. However does this rule out Glenn having donated to say a local Tauranga trust, and that trust having donated to NZ First? This could be sorted out by having NZ First release their donations return to the Electoral Commission (due 30 April) early, so people can see if the auditors have signed off that there were *no* donations over $10K. If they were over $10K, then those who donated them can be asked if they were acting as an agent for anyone else.
Because you still have the statement from Owen Glenn that he has donated to parties in NZ other than Labour. And combine that with his refusal to deny a donation to NZ First, but his quick denial of offering a donation to the Maori Party, and the puzzle grows. Owen Glenn could solve all this speculation by just confirming on the record that he has never donated directly or indirectly to NZ First.
I also found it interesting that when asked if NZ First had ever asked Owen Glenn for money, he did not say no, but instead said “Oh, get lost Barry”. Possibly a more specific question could have been asked – did he ever meet with Owen Glenn in Sydney, and did they discuss donations at that meeting? Peters later says they never ask anyone for donations – now this can be true but doesn’t mean donations were not discussed.
But the part I find most amusing, is the denial that there was any large donations at all, let alone a large anonymous one in December. It seems Dail Jones is so stupid (according to Peters) that he could not tell the difference between money being transferred into their account from other party accounts, and an anonymous deposit. How very strange though that the bank could not trace the deposit, because if it is a transfer from another NZ First account – that should be simple to verify.
So if there was no large close to $100,000 donation as Dail Jones has said, where did all the money come from:
Where the $158,000 came from to “repay” NZ First’s unlawful spend at the last election:
“We’ve had anonymous donations at $10, and $20, and $50 for a long, long time because some people used to think – and it’s an attitude that still permeates New Zealand as a democracy – that one day the communists might take over and they will be all in the firing line.”
Oh I see. It’s all just a series of $20 and $50 donations from people worried about the communists. Hell I never knew Trevor Loudon donated to NZ First