Tim Selwyn will need to update his diagram, as the Herald on Sunday has unearthed another secret trust fund for NZ First.
The documents firstly confirm the existence of the Winston Peters Fighting Fund Trust.
This was established in February 1993 specifically to pay legal costs associated with Peters’ legal battles – such as the high-profile defamation action taken against him by businessman Selwyn Cushing.
This trust, of which Peters is listed in the documents as one of three trustees, is separate to the secretive Spencer Trust, which Peters has said he had no knowledge of.
The story has more information about the bills that were sent to the trust for paying.
So in the last few months we have now learnt of the following ways big business funds NZ First and Winston Peters:
- Directly to NZ First by breaking up their large donations into smaller ones through using different company accounts
- Through Brian Henry by donating money to Brian Henry who then doesn’t charge Peters
- Through the Spencer Trust, which Peters’ staff solicit money for
- Through the Winston Peters Fighting Fund Trust
How many more funding routes are there to be discovered?
The Privileges Committee should be very interested in this latest trust. Based on its name, it would appear that Peters has a beneficial interest in the Trust. Does it still exist? If so, it should have been declared on the Register of MPs Pecuniary interests if Peters is a beneficiary of it.
If it no longer exists, when did it get wound up? Was it just before the Register was established?Tags: Brian Henry, MPs Register of Pecuniary Interests, Privileges Committee, Winston First