So what really happened

September 18th, 2008 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

I blogged yesterday on what Winston claims happen. It is fit only as a bedtime story for five year olds, or the Prime Minister.

Today I am going to blog what I think actually happened, and how Winston created this trouble for himself. This is based on the evidence to date, and some guesswork.

He started off only being hypocritical, but in hiding that hypocrisy he eventually told a lie, and then to cover that lie up, he had to tell many many more. Here is my timeline of events:

  1. In August 2005 Peters asked for a meeting with Glenn. They met, and then his staffer asked for a donation to NZ First which was declined. It is fascinating that NZ First tried to solicit money from Labour’s largest donor prior to the 2005 election. One can speculate on why they thought this would be productive and whether this indicated they had already decided to back Labour, but that is not germane.
  2. In late November 2005 a staffer (probably Roger McClay) approached Glenn again for a donation to the petition. That staffer probably had the discussion with Glenn, that Henry claims he had. They do not want to reveal that it is probably Roger McClay as the thought of Winston not knowing the fundraising details of his own staff is even more unlikely than their other stories.
  3. In December 2005 Peters directly solicited a donation for the Tauranga electoral petition, pretty much the way describes it with a phone call on 5 December, another call after that, and then the 14 December call. All the evidence supports this. The reason Glenn now said yes is because he saw it as helping Labour, and he checked with Mike Williams who said it would not be unhelpful.
  4. Peters obviously took the call from Glenn, and then told Henry to send the bank account details.
  5. The request to Glenn to keep the donation confidential was important. The NZ First brand was built on anti big business donations, and accepting $100,000 for legal expenses would weaken their brand.
  6. If Glenn had said yes to the original request to donate to NZ First, then that would have been paid to the I am sure. It was vital that the public never know of the funding from big business. Peters and Henry had constructed things very carefully so they could avoid disclosure (arguably) legally. At this stage nothing has been done wrong, save the hypocrisy and maybe the failure to disclose on the Register of Interests (the way they structured it gives them an arguable case though).
  7. Then on 15 February 2008, Owen Glenn revealed he had donated to another political party (which is how he saw it). That got some minor interest in the media as to which other party.
  8. Even worse on 19 February 2008 he revealed he was in line to become Honorary Consul to Monaco, that Helen had already approved it, and he was just waiting for Winston to “get off his arse and do the paperwork”.
  9. At this point Peters would have realised it would be a bad look if the public realised Glenn had donated $100,000 to benefit Peters, and he was under consideration for Consul. Plus it undermines their no big donor brand. So he would be worried. But as long as Glenn kept the confidence it was al okay. Only Peters and Henry (and maybe McClay) knew of the donation. The media could guess but could not prove.
  10. But then disaster struck in the form of Dail Jones on 20 February 2008. He revealed to the media that there had been a large mystery donation to NZ First in December 2007 and that it was closer to $100,000 than $10,000. Owen Glenn also refused to rule out donating to NZ First, saying through his PR firm that people should speak to the party. This created huge media interest.
  11. Now people (including me) started adding 2+2 together to get 5, and thought the December 2007 donation was from Owen Glenn. Peters furiously denied it. Peters was right ironically.
  12. Peters was furious as the allegation was wrong. There were two secret donations – not one. And Dail Jones had accidentally come close to exposing both of them. The allegation that the Nov 2007 donation was from Owen Glenn was wrong, but to prove it wrong would have meant revealing the Spencer Trust. No wonder he was furious at Jones (to be fair to Jones he just told the truth and if you run a secret trust without your Party President in the loop, you run the risk he may blunder into it)
  13. Now again at this stage no lies had been told. It was all hypocritical but Peters denials had been correct.
  14. The next day Helen talks to Owen Glenn and he informs her of the donation. She rings Peters and he denies it to her. Now probably in Peters’ mind he did not lie, only deceive. He would have been careful to use language which ruled out a donation to the party or to him, but not to his legal fees.
  15. The fact he doesn’t contact Glenn to ask what this is about, is incidentially proof he obviously knew. If he did not know, he would have asked. Now again at this stage no major lie, just some deception.
  16. On 24 February he does another half lie denying there was any mystery donation at all. In fact there was – from the Spencer Trust. Peters probably justifies this because the Spencer Trust is not a mystery to him, and he knows the $80,000 was made up of individual Vela cheques of $10,000 into the trust, so in his mind there was no big anonymous donation.
  17. On 28 February 2008 we have the infamous “No” press conference. In hindsight this was a fatal mistake. By going so over the top, he cut off his wriggle room for later. He thought he was on safe ground denying Owen Glenn donated to NZ First, but he also said No to Guyon Espiner saying “Can I just clarify with you. Are you saying you have never received one dollar from Owen Glenn or any associate of Owen Glenn” and that was right on the edge of being a lie. The trouble with having a big No prop, is you can’t suddenly stop using it, so he waved the No sign again. A big mistake.
  18. Now at this stage Peters has not told a fully formed lie – many half lies, but he looks to have got away with his denials as no one asked exactly the right question. Again it is because Peters knew exactly what the donation was about, that he could so carefully deny it.
  19. Then in July 2008 someone leaked to the e-mails between Owen Glenn and Steve Fisher where Glenn says “Steve – are you saying I should deny giving a donation to NZ First?? When I did?”. She published these on 12 July 2008.
  20. Peters responds that Glenn did not donate to NZ First. This is technically true. Glenn referred to NZ First when he should have said Winston’s legal bills. Winston is a great nit picker and puts huge reliance on the difference. At this stage again no outright lie from Peters.
  21. But he again becomes his own worst enemy when on 14 July he attacks the can calls on and Audrey Young to resign. He offers them a look at the party books. He does this because he knew the donation went into ’s account. But he is most unfair in attacking the Herald. He knows that email is from Owen Glenn, and they reported it in good faith. It is not the Herald’s fault that Glenn used loose language around his donation. His attack is over the top and Peters at his worst. It is one thing to deny the accuracy of the e-mail by playing semantic games, but it is another thing to try and take the moral high ground as Peters did.
  22. On the 16th of July he again reassures Clark again there has been no donation to NZ First. Still not lying (but certainly deceiving) as the donation was to his legal fees.
  23. Around this time Peters and Henry would be terrified that Glenn will eventually speak to a journalist and reveal details of his donation.  The Herald also prints a further leaked letter from Glenn to Peters and they must wonder what else is still to emerge. I have little doubt phone records will show them in constant communication that week. So they decide to pre-empt it by announcing it on 18 July 2008.
  24. That day Peters’ mother dies. I do not think so badly of them that they choose to announce it that day because of her death. I think they had already decided on that day (Peters had been overseas and they wanted to do it when he was back in NZ) and decided to carry on, even after she died. That’s still pretty low though. With the NZF conference starting the next day they needed to get it out of the way.
  25. Peters and Henry had a big big choice ahead of them. Do they reveal that Peters knew of the donation? They could argue that he had never denied a donation to his legal fees. Technically he had never lied until then – only deceived. But Peters would know that having waved that no sign around at the press conference and called on the Herald staff to resign and apologise, he would get somewhat crucified if he revealed he was playing at semantics and he did know of a donation – but it was to his legal fees, not him or his party (as he saw it). Ironically in hindsight that would have been the path of less pain.
  26. So they made a fatal mistake. They told a bare faced lie. They both did. On 18 July 2008 they announced that Brian Henry only informed him of this at 5 pm that day. Peters explictly said that up until then he had been “unaware of the source of any of the donations for legal expenses”. That was the start of the end. Up until then they were only half lies, or deceptions (in politics there is a difference).
  27. They had to ten resort to further lies, to back up the big lie. How did Henry get in touch with Owen Glenn?  On 20 July they claimed a tip off from someone whose name Henry could not recall, but was not Peters or Mike Williams. Another deception which turned into a lie. They probably mean McClay, and he probably was involved at first but as the e-mails and phone calls prove Peters was in the loop the whole time. It was not a case of McClay or Peters knowing – they both did.
  28. Incidentially on 21 July the Vela donations came to light, but that is a story for another day.
  29. Peters lied again on 25 July when he said in a written statement “The Glenn contribution went to my barrister Brian Henry. As soon as I learned of it I informed the Prime Minister and alerted the media.” Once you tell one lie, you have to keep lying.
  30. Peters and Henry both lied again to the on 19 August 2008, saying again he never knew of the donation. Note neither of them gave testimony under oath, so they can not be done for perjury.
  31. Henry also claimed on 19 August “I phoned Owen Glenn and he forwarded $100,000 which was paid to me on account of my fees”. This has been proven false. Glenn phoned Peters.
  32. Owen Glenn’s letter was published on 26 August 2008, along with one from Peters’ respomding to it. Peters again lies repeating that he had no knowledge of any donation.
  33. On 28 August reveals she knew back in February 2008 of the donation, from Owen Glenn.
  34. On 4 September another Glenn letter is published. He details the phone call and e-mail. Peter Williams tables a statement claiming Brian Henry spoke to Owen Glenn on two occassions.
  35. On 9 September Glenn testifies and provides proof of the phone call from him to Peters and the e-mail seven minutes later from Brian Henry.
  36. On 10 September, Peters testifies again. Peters admits to conversation with Glenn but denies money discussed.
  37. On 16 September Henry testified again. He admits that the client in the e-mail was Peters but still insists somehow Peters never knew of the donation. Phone records also prove Peters called Henry straight after the Glenn phone call.

I am pretty confident that this is close to what happened. It explains everything. Peters at first did not lie but he then realised he had gone too far in playing semantic games with the media to reveal he knew of a donation to his lawyer. So on 18 July he told a lie. And that one lie on 18 July led to dozens and dozens more lies as they tried to concoct a story about how Glenn could have donated without Peters knowing. I suspect they also exchanged conversations with McClay for conversations with Henry.

The moral of the story is the same as for Richard Nixon – it is the cover-up that gets you in the end!

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31 Responses to “So what really happened”

  1. NeillR (351 comments) says:

    3. In December 2005 Peters directly solicited a donation for the Tauranga electoral petition, pretty much the way Owen Glenn describes it with a phone call on 5 December, another call after that, and then the 14 December call. All the evidence supports this. The reason Glenn now said yes is because he saw it as helping Labour, and he checked with Mike Williams who said it would not be unhelpful.

    IMO it’s more fundamental than that. Remember at this time Clark is trying to cobble together a coalition government, with Peters having shunned “the baubles of office”. He was also mightily pissed off with Clarkson having taken Tauranga. I think that Labour approached NZF to see where they were placed regarding support – Peters then said something like ‘i’m taking a petition against Clarkson and i need money to pay for it’. Williams was the ‘other client’ who made the initial contact with Glenn, and got him to ring Peters on the 14th once it was all jacked up.

    It makes sense – and ties Labour to NZF more strongly than anyone has shown so far. That would also go to the heart of why Clark has been so reluctant to ditch Peters, because they all know that Labour had set the whole ball rolling – not NZF.

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  2. Mike S (177 comments) says:

    Dail Jones – yes it was his slip that let the cat out of the bag. What a wonder he has been. Living walking proof that we get utter mediocrities in our parliament who couldn’t hope for a decent job elsewhere. NZ1 should promote him!

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  3. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    Epic post.

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  4. Doc (81 comments) says:

    There’s one thing that bothers me most of all about this, and that’s the defacto acceptance of the spin that this was a donation towards legal fees, not any discharge of personal debt on behalf of Peters.

    Certainly, it has been carefully orchestrated that the actual legal fees were never invoiced, but there is the matter of the ($40,000?) costs explicitly ordered to be paid by Winston in the judgement. This is discharge of a personal debt and almost certainly ought to have been disclosed on the pecuniary interests register.

    How is it that this is no longer the main line of attack? Did Henry et al successfully bat that away while I wasn’t looking?

    EDIT: – further to that, I second Stephen’s comment ;)

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  5. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    didyasee in the other thread..

    ..that hooten is claiming owen will be outed today..

    ..as a secret donor to national..?..(!)

    ..donations that national have conspired to conceal..

    ..gee..was peters’ honey-trapped’ in a long-planned conspiracy to ‘get’ peters..?

    ..it’s sorta starting to look/have hints of that way..

    ..eh..?

    ..(the pious are starting to ‘smell’..eh..?..

    ..first glenns’ increasingly off the planet visit here..

    ..(where i was awaiting claims peters had assasinated j.f.k..such were the surreal nature of some of his allegations..

    ..claims eagerly swallowed by an obsequious/compliant/non-questioning local-media..)

    ..now owen..a supposed’ rich-leftie..is actually a secret donor to national..?

    gee..!..just what is ‘the game’ here..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  6. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    no, no, no.

    Surely Win wouldn’t do this after a lifetime of faithful and selfless service to the country. And the nice Mr Henry telling porkies?? Surely not. His only problem the other day in the video conference was that he just happened to have a very itchy nose and his chair, that just happened to have an automated swivel mechanism, went out of control creating the unfortunate impression that he was extremely dodgy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    After further reflection, I’m inclined to the view that Guyon Espiner was onto something. The dog did eat it. Expect Winston to front with the dog at the PC this afternoon. You will recognise the dog; it will be a labrador with a handle strapped to its back.

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  7. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    Great analysis, but should include the (hypothetical) prelude-

    Owen Glenn tells Helen Klark he wants to be NZ’s Honorary Consul in Monaco and have a diplomatic passport. Klark says OK, but it’ll cost you a half a million in the Labour party’s bank account. Glen says OK. Klark puts the paperwork in place.

    The paperwork reaches Winston’s desk. Winston says to himself- “Hullo what’s goin’ on ‘ere then?”, and threatens to stymie the operation unless he gets some of the loot. After consultation, all parties agree that its only fair that NZF should get some of the payoff, and Winston scores the hundred grand from Glenn, leaving Labour with $400,000.

    Public gets wind of the scam, and it all turns to excrement. Glenn is down half a mill and with no Honorary Consulship and no diplomatic passport. Decides to get even for the loss by spilling his guts.

    End of first few episodes.

    Shame is that the political leaders who are behind this tawdry series of events are so arrogantly assured of their political safety by the lameness of the NZ public and the NZ media, that they remain in office, and even more mind boggling, actually have the damn outrageous gall to stand for re-election. The whole bunch should be facing charges.

    If someone ever wrote a fictional play with this ending, it would be rejected as unbelievable.

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  8. bobux (315 comments) says:

    This painstaking attempt to put the pieces together in a logical manner is probably as close to the truth as we are ever likely to get. Nice post.

    The way Peters gradually slips from obfuscating to playing semantic games to outright bare-faced lying in order to protect his position is all too believable.

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  9. Inventory2 (9,373 comments) says:

    Philip Ure – you’re trolling again!

    Did you actually READ Hooten’s post? Labour First (c burt) is trying to allege that the payment of the costs to Clarkson ordered against Peters is a donation. Patently it is not, when it is a Court-imposed sanction.

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  10. Andrew W (882 comments) says:

    Great analysis, but on point 14; I don’t think Peters decieved Clark. Mike Williams had already told her about Glenn’s donation for the petition, so it’s more likely that she was included in the deception at that stage.

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  11. Andrew W (882 comments) says:

    You should have read Hooten’s post when you weren’t stoned Phil, you’ll find it makes more sense that way.

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  12. redbaiter_baiter (108 comments) says:

    phiilu “.that hooten is claiming owen will be outed today..

    ..as a secret donor to national..?..(!)

    ..donations that national have conspired to conceal..”

    Phil I think you are being a little misleading. Matthew is claiming that, that is how Labour will spin it.

    Bryan Spondre aka redbaiter_baiter

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  13. redbaiter_baiter (108 comments) says:

    philU: perhaps you would care to offer your interpretation of Chris Trotter’s latest piece on CTU donations ? I would be interested to see how you present that.

    “National’s heaviest hitter, Gerry Brownlee, is seeking an iron-clad guarantee that Labour will count all forms of union assistance as part of their election spending under the Electoral Finance Act.”

    Bryan Spondre aka redbaiter_baiter

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  14. NeillR (351 comments) says:

    And to add to my interpretation of no. 3, it ties up the loose end regarding why Glenn thought a ‘donation to NZ First’ (sic) would be helping the Labour party.

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  15. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    are national including business roundtable..and other rightwing groups’..ads supporting them..in their returns..?

    bryan..?

    and bryan..why the hysterical levels of censorship/banning on the blogs you ‘uber-moderate’ over..?

    …i don’t bother going there for that very reason..

    ..(same with dpf’s at nbr..where ‘questioning’ comments are never seen/moderated out..bah..!..)

    ..y’know bryan..that really sucks..is anti-free speech/anti-democratic..

    ..i could understand moderation of the the type of ‘p’ cook/user/pusher extreme slanders that dpf never demurs over..(?)

    ..but when you are censoring/banning just because you don’t like what they say/think..

    ..that is fascism/totalitarianism..

    ..and reflects especially badly on those whose columns you are over-moderating..

    and i mean..how can/will they know the case for them talking crap..

    ..if you censor/ban anyone who dares engage in any level of vigorous questioning..

    ..how does that make you any different to the useless/censoring/one-way-conversation of the m.s.m..?

    ..having tasted the freedom of vigorous/clashing debates..

    (and ‘ups’ to dpf for allowing kiwiblog to be that..(tho’ he could call a halt to the ‘p’ slanders..eh..?..)

    ..who can be bothered going back to that old model..

    ..you are strangling your clients blogs at birth..bryan spondre..

    ..and you would do well to consider the fate/demise of sir humphries..

    ..that was an even more toxic version of kiwiblog..

    ..that was successful..

    ..but the owners/writers killed it by not allowing dissent from commenters..

    ..i mean..who wants to go to a fucken sermon..?

    ..this new media is all about dialigue/questioning of givens..of all stripes..

    ..and that is what makes it a wonderful place/tool for democracy/free speech..

    ..you just don’t seem to ‘get it’..

    ..do you..mr bryan spondre..?

    (and..um..!..you did ask..eh..?..)

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  16. Put it away (2,872 comments) says:

    LOL a donation is something given that is in the public interest to know about in case the donor is expecting favours. What favours does he think Peters could be expecting from Clarkson that we need to worry about ? A nice big mug of “eat shit and die” is all he’ll ever get out of this ‘donation’

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  17. Yvette (2,758 comments) says:

    I have more than twice in past posts condemned – well, at least suggested better behaviour from – the Brethren members who were the Anvil of Evil in Helen’s estimation [she hammered krap out of them] in not reflecting the openness and honesty one would have thought would have been displayed by their mentor, Jesus, as they surely perceive him.

    I now partially apologise to the Brethren involved, considering their rather hollow performance of the real thing.

    We still don’t really have a firm figure on what you spent as a 3rd party, and I myself felt it better not know the message’s sponsor so I evaluated your message at it’s face value.
    But – sorry, guys.

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  18. calendar girl (1,258 comments) says:

    “There’s one thing that bothers me most of all about this, and that’s the defacto acceptance of the spin that this was a donation towards legal fees, not any discharge of personal debt on behalf of Peters.”

    You’re absolutely right, Doc. Beyond the $40k court-imposed Peters’ costs payable to Clarkson, however, I contend that the media and the PC are letting Peters and Henry off way too lightly with absurd, illogical twisting of the common meaning of words. If someone donates money, beneficial ownership of that money must pass to a person (e.g. Peters, or Henry), or to an organised and legally identifiable entity like a party, a company, a trust, a society, a union or a club. It’s impossible to donate money into thin air, such as “on account of legal costs”‘ as Peters and Henry are spinning.

    Even if for the purpose of deliberate obfuscation Henry carefully avoided rendering accounts to Peters for his legal services, he (Henry) continued to believe that Peters owed him money – to meet (allegedly) unquantified fees. That’s why he was (by his own claim) canvassing donations to meet Peters’ monetary obligations, as yet unquantified, and no doubt he was using Peters’ and/or NZ First’s name(s) as props in support of his fundraising effort. Because those two – the party and its leader – were the ultimate beneficiaries of donors’ largesse.

    I’m saddened that opposition parties, the PC and the media are all accepting this spin used by Henry and Peters. There are not three possible ultimate beneficiaries of the relevant donations – NZ First, Peters personally, or “on account of legal costs”. There are only two possibilities – NZ First or Peters. Instead of accepting “on account of legal costs” as the ultimate destination / beneficiary of a donation, why not ask the question “on account of whose legal costs?”

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  19. gd (1,780 comments) says:

    the PC shouldnt be hearing this matter It should be heard by a Council of Citizens made up of 12 persons drawn at random as for a jury.

    the PC is a nonsense made up of party hacks voting on party lines.

    It is a governance disgrace None of its members have an independence of mind on the matter.

    Shame on the NZ Parliament Governance pygmies all of them

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  20. redbaiter_baiter (108 comments) says:

    “What he probably doesn’t realise is that, in fact, the Beehive was involved in it being leaked and becoming public.”

    Matthew is claiming that it was the Beehive who leaked the “Crapper video”.

    The plot gets murky murky.

    Bryan Spondre aka redbaiter_baiter

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  21. PinkGina (90 comments) says:

    One of the reasons I visit Kiwiblog each day is because you very rarely get political background views like this in the MSM

    Well done David a wonderful account of events

    I sometimes wonder if you ever sleep:)

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  22. freedom101 (513 comments) says:

    You say that “it’s the cover up that gets you in the end”. Unlike Nixon, Peters may well survive this.
    1/ Clark will not sack him.
    2/ Clark, Williams, Cullen, Mallard etc will lie and obfuscate in unison to cloud the issues.
    3/ Unlike for Watergate, the MSM are not going for the jugular – if they were they would have published a similar chronology and analysis to yours DPF.
    4/ We have MMP, so the 5% of the population who are mystics, conspiracy theorists and generally misguided may still vote for the persecuted Winnie.

    Welcome to NZ circa 2008, aka South Sea Banana Republic and laughing stock of the world.

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  23. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    Probably substantially correct, DPF. An impressive piece of work – you really ought to see if some part(s) of the MSM want to publish it, since they’re now so sadly under-resourced that they can’t get time to do this sort of thing themselves any more.

    Let us not forget, though, that this relates only to the Glenn donation. It doesn’t cover the hypocrisy, vacillation and outright lies told over donations from Vela, Jones and goodness knows who else.

    And that it is not only Glenn who has been treated shabbily but a lot of other people as well, including Jones who also had his character questioned and senility implied. Amazing how people become incredibly wealthy yet they all seem to be forgetful, silly old duffers. Or perhaps Winston for once believes as the rest of NZ does – that giving him so much as a dollar is irrefutable evidence of mental defect.

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  24. Yvette (2,758 comments) says:

    “It doesn’t cover the hypocrisy, vacillation and outright lies told over donations from Vela, Jones and goodness knows who else.” – nor to whom else. There’s still $ 158,000 that none of the top 50 charities in the country will confess to having received any portion of.

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  25. baxter (753 comments) says:

    I also congratulate David on a very plausible and convincing chronicle of events. The only aspects that are not covered are the involvement of Clark and why she has so passionately defended Peters and also the lies involving Peters with respect to attendance at the Karaka yearling sales.

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  26. Dr Robotnik (533 comments) says:

    What exactly is cottaging?

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  27. s.russell (1,649 comments) says:

    Thank you David for this great piece of analysis – and also your lists of what you have to believe for Peters to be innocent. They are a great help in sorting out this morass.

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  28. jocko (110 comments) says:

    Dr R.: Guards’ slang in the UK for being caught performing homo acts in public loos.
    But join up the dots….What is the connection with WP & cottaging in this chronicle of events – Do tell!

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  29. Tim Ellis (251 comments) says:

    This is a point that journalists haven’t picked up on, which relates to this issue.

    Peters has claimed that the SFO has acted outside its powers under Section 39 of the SFO Act by making a submission to the Privileges Committee. Section 39 protects the secrecy of information obtained through the SFO using its statutory powers to demand information from witnesses. It would be unlawful for the SFO to disclose information obtained through its statutory powers, to any individual, unless it was in order to progress investigation or resolution of complex or serious fraud. The Privileges Committee is not looking at complex or serious fraud.

    However, this secrecy provision only applies to information obtained under its statutory powers. Peters appears not to have read Section 36(2) of the SFO Act, which reads:

    Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, the Director may disclose such information, or authorise any other member of the Serious Fraud Office to disclose such information,—
    (a) If the person who disclosed the information to the Serious Fraud Office consents to that disclosure; or
    (b) To the extent that the information is available to the public under any Act; or
    (c) For the purposes of this Act or in connection with the exercise of powers under this Act; or
    (d) For the purposes of any prosecution anywhere; or
    (e) To any person who the Director is satisfied has a proper interest in receiving such information.

    What this means is that if somebody willingly provides the SFO information, as Rodney Hide has, the SFO can advance this to the Privileges Committee, if the Director believes it is relevant to the PC’s inquiries.

    Further, it seems clear that the SFO did not even have to use its statutory powers to investigate the Spencer Trust. Here, Peter Williams seems to say that statuory powers weren’t used:

    Mr Peters’ lawyer Peter Williams told Newstalk ZB the documents were not “seized” by the SFO. He said the documents were requested and were then handed over.

    Winston Peters should go back and read the law.

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