The Herald reports:
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters insists that there is a “massive” difference between his party getting funding from corporate donors via secret trusts and other parties getting it.
He won’t say what, but is promising to spell it out in Parliament today. …
Outside the House, Mr Peters was asked what the difference was between his party getting large donations from corporate donors via secret trusts and other parties getting it.
Mr Peters said the difference was “massive”, but that the reporters were not capable of understanding it. He said he would explain it today.
I agree with Winston the differences are massive. To help Winston explain, let us look at some of the differences:
- NZ First has railed against such trusts for 15 years
- The NZ First Leader personally benefits from some or all of the trust donations, not the party (payment of legal fees)
- The NZ First Leader personally solicits money for such trusts (Sir Robert Jones and Professor Wright testifying)
- The NZ First Leader’s parliamentary staff collect money for such trusts (Meurant and McClay)
- The NZ First Board have no idea the trust even exists (President says he has never heard of it in eight years on the board, nor has the Deputy Leader)
- Donors think by donating to the trusts they are donating to NZ First (Owen Glenn and Sir Robert)
- The trusts are so secret that no-one even knows they exist until the media expose them (for which they are told they should apologise and resign)
- The trusts do not declare any donations to NZ First
- The trusts are run by the personal lawyer and the brother of the NZ First Leader
- The trusts are not declared on the Register of Pecuniary Interests
So that is massive differences indeed between other parties and NZ First. Sadly for Winston his funding arrangements are less transparent and more covert in almost every aspect possible.