The front page lead for the Sunday Star-Times yesterday was:
Forensic accountants are investigating the estate of New Zealand First MP Brendan Horan’s mother, amid allegations that large sums of money were misappropriated from her bank accounts over several years.
I read the full story, and couldn’t see the public interest in it – let alone making it a front page.
It is a sad reality that families have disputes over estates.
A source familiar with the accounts said: “There is a lot of strange activity going on, a lot of TAB withdrawals.”
The implication is that Horan may be responsible – but as far as I can see there is no proof of this – and it would be fairly easy to track down who was gambling at a TAB at the time of withdrawals etc.
In today’s Stuff it is further reported:
NZ First MP and former weatherman Brendan Horan is welcoming forensic accountants investigating the estate of his mother, saying he wants to clear up allegations large sums were misappropriated from her bank account.
The Tauranga-based list MP said the matter was a family dispute and he was “disgusted” it had been dragged before the public. …
There have also been allegations of many TAB withdrawals.
It is understood the allegations have come from Mr Horan’s brother, Mark Ormsby, also known as Mana and Te Karera, who is a long-term sickness beneficiary.
I think it is regrettable that the allegations were given oxygen and prominence without any proof of any wrong-doing by Horan. If there is going to be an examination by an accountant, then why not wait for the results of that before running a front page article insinuating wrong-doing?