I won’t be able to cover this in more detail until this afternoon, but from the media reports to date of the Privileges Committee, it is obvious that Peters has broken the rules of the Register,just not in the way thought.
It was revealed that Brian Henry personally (according to Henry) paid the $40,000 damages/costs to Bob Clarkson. Now one can argue about whether or not the work Henry does for Peters is or is not a debt whether invoiced or not, but there can be no argument that a court judgement directing Winston Peters to pay $40,000 to Bob Clarkson is a debt from Peters to Clarkson. It was not an order for Brian Henry to pay Bob Clarkson or Winston’s solictors to pay Bob Clarkson. It was an order for Peters.
And Brian Henry says he paid that debt on behalf of Winston Peters. Now regardless of whether or not he did so using the money from Owen Glenn (which I will come back to), Brian Henry should have been declared as someone who discharged a debt on behalf of Peters. His 2005 or 2006 returns were incorrect as Henry was not listed as having paid the $40,000 debt.
Now Peters may claim he did not know Henry paid it. Well even if that is true, the issue is should he have known? Surely a man who was Treasurer would know whether or not he made out a $40,000 cheque to settle the costs – a debt which was in his name. You can’t just say I never realised someone else paid my $40,000 debt.
Section 19(1) states:
It is the responsibility of each member to ensure that he or she fulfils the obligations imposed on the member by this Appendix.
There is a lot more analysis to be done of the testimony, including whether Owen Glenn should have been listed also, but there seems little doubt Brian Henry should have been, and Peters breached the rules of the Register in not doing so.Tags: Brian Henry, MPs Register of Pecuniary Interests, Owen Glenn, Privileges Committee, Winston First