Few acts are more cynical than NZ First’s giving $78,000 to The Susan Couch and Crime Victims Charitable Trust (trustee: Brian Henry) instead of repaying the taxpayer the $158,000 of taxpayer money illegally spent by NZ First in the 2005 campaign.
What is even worse, is that the $78,000 isn’t really from the members and grossroots of NZ First. The Vela Family donated $80,000 to NZ First in late 2007, to allow this donation to be made.
So what you actually have is a very wealthy, foreign domiciled, racing industry family has donated $80,000 to NZ First (whose Leader has forced the Government to pur massive funding into the racing industry) so they could give the money to the Susan Couch trust – and claim this is somehow paying the taxpayer back.
I joked at the time that they had probably donated the money to the Spencer Trust. Instead it has gone to a trust partly controlled by Winston’s lawyer. Ms Couch will be Patron of the Tust which suggests she won’t even be a Trustee herself – are there other Trustees?
To be fair to Brian Henry, he has been acting for free for Ms Couch in her fight to sue Corrections, and he is definitely on the side of the angels on this occasion for his actions to help Couch. While critical of Henry’s statements and actions over Owen Glenn, I make no such criticism in regards to this issue.
But that doesn’t change the fact that NZ First should be paying the taxpayer back, not making charitable donations on our behalf, and that having decided to make such donations they are ill-advised to make the major donation to a trust controlled by their lawyer.Tags: Auditor-General, Brian Henry, Susan Couch, Vela Family, Winston First