Horan decision today

December 4th, 2012 at 1:10 pm by David Farrar

Barry Soper at ZB reports:

The political future of New Zealand First MP Brendon Horan is expected to be decided some time today.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has been examining documents relating to Mr Horan’s late mother’s bank account, and is expected to decide whether the MP will stay with his party.

Mr Horan has been accused by his brother of dipping into his mother’s bank account to fund a gambling habit.

This might be trying to read tea-leaves, but the fact they are announcing something so quickly may mean it is bad for Horan. It tends to be quicker to establish wrong-doing than it is to be certain there is no wrong-doing. I have no inside knowledge at all on this, so am just speculating.

Mr Peters last week told him to stay away from Parliament to sort the matter out and he is not expected back at Parliament today.

That also implies maybe not so good for Horan. We’ll find out shortly.

Of course Horan is an MP and can’t be sacked by Peters or his party – even if they decided there were grounds to do so. At most they can remove him from NZ First.

But of course it may be that Horan is cleared entirely. As I have blogged previously many families have disputes over wills and it does not mean there has been wrong-doing.

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42 Responses to “Horan decision today”

  1. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Winston Peters criticizing someone for spending money that wasn’t theirs. That would be rich!…

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  2. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Hey, there is no underclass in NZ.

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  3. Pete George (23,416 comments) says:

    RadioLIVE Newsroom ‏@LIVENewsDesk
    Brendan Horan has issued a media statement saying he “completely denies any suggestion that he has stolen from his mother”

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  4. Rex Widerstrom (5,342 comments) says:

    What’s even richer, as I commented previously, is the comparison between his reaction to this – which is, at it’s worst possible connotation, about private money and possible deceit of family members – and his response when Michael Laws was found to have created a polling company with his then wife as its director, then convinced the council of which he was a member to commission a poll from that company without revealing his links to it.

    Then when the poll results (which showed one M Laws as the most popular councillor ever) were examined, they were found to have been signed off by one Antoinette Beck, who could never be found.

    It was only when Winston repeated in Parliament assertions that there was nothing was untoward – and these were later found untrue and thus he had unwittingly misled the House – that he insisted on a resignation. And then allowed Laws to join his staff, on the public payroll, and take over the party and the Parliamentary office, while denying to the media that any such thing was occurring.

    If speculation is right, and Horan has an addiction that’s led to him acting dishonourably with family money, surely that’s a more forgiveable offence than sheer hubris leading to a carefully planned deceit of a council, the Parliament, the public, the media and Winston himself?

    If he’s sacked today, I hope Horan asks that question, and keeps asking it till Winston explains the double standard.

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  5. tvb (4,307 comments) says:

    I am not so sure a quick decision means wrong doing. .

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  6. lastmanstanding (1,261 comments) says:

    Sadly politicans in New Zealand have generally very low standards or morals and ethics. Now you could say this reflects the general population but I dont buy that.

    I suggest the nature of the beast and most of then are beasts means that good morals and good ethics are caste aside in their clamber up the greasey pole that is politics.

    Best to regard them as a necessary evil and some of out more lowly employees. And yes they are our employees and we must remind them of that every day. They are the servants and we are the masters. Never let any of the bastards forget it.

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  7. David Garrett (6,905 comments) says:

    Rex: A very good post if I may say so…all excellent points. I understand it is now widely accepted that “Antoinette Beck” didn’t exist?

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  8. anonymouse (709 comments) says:

    If speculation is right, and Horan has an addiction that’s led to him acting dishonourably with family money,

    That’s what I am hearing too,

    Winston is trying to kill this story before the media start to ask some really ugly questions, but in doing so he will throw Mr Horan under a bus…… gotta love friends like that….

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  9. Rex Widerstrom (5,342 comments) says:

    @David Garrett:

    Thank you. Laws’ then secretary, with whom he was very close, had the middle name Antoinette. Her stepfather’s surname was Beck. Meanwhile the poll-signer, whom Laws said had returned to a university in Australia (said university never, upon inquiry, having had an enrollee of that name) has never been found.

    Was she a fictitious entity invented in a clumsy attempt to mask a deliberate fraud upon the public purse? As the saying goes, you may very well think that, I couldn’t possibly comment.

    :-)

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  10. Pete George (23,416 comments) says:

    Horan gets in before Winstons announcement: MP Horan rejects allegations

    “Mr Horan has been the subject of unwarranted and unfair publicity which has implied he is dishonest and has stolen from his mother. There can be no other interpretation of that publicity,” the statement says.

    “Mr Horan completely denies any suggestion that he has stolen from his mother or misappropriated her money or assets. He regrets that a private and personal family matter has been made public, and his only wish is that the issues concerning his mother’s estate are resolved quickly and properly.
    Click here to find out more!

    “He invites any investigation into his mother’s affairs and is confident that any proper investigation will exonerate him entirely.”

    http://www.3news.co.nz/MP-Horan-rejects-allegations/tabid/1607/articleID/279141/Default.aspx

    Meanwhile…
    RadioLIVE Newsroom ‏@LIVENewsDesk
    NZ First leader Winston Peters says a decision on Brendan Horan’s future in the party is due soon

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  11. Raphael (82 comments) says:

    “Of course Horan is an MP and can’t be sacked by Peters or his party – even if they decided there were grounds to do so. At most they can remove him from NZ First.”

    But isn’t he a List MP? If he is sacked by the party surely that means that he is off the list, and out parliament, and whoever is next on the list moves up to become a NZ First MP?

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  12. Nostalgia-NZ (5,079 comments) says:

    I don’t know if Winston should be given credit for ‘investigating’ this alleged fraud himself. The idea of him poring over bank statements I guess is supposed to impress the public that he is taking a firm hand, but a forensic accountant he is not. Any announcement he might make laying any blame on Horan also could come back to bite him. Despite all that, certainly interesting to see a ‘hands on’ approach when most parties shut up shop, plead forgetfulness, order inquiries and dive for cover.

    I’d forgotten about Mr Laws and his mystery friends.

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  13. anonymouse (709 comments) says:

    @Raphael, With Winston’s waka jumping legislation expired, Mr Horan can remain in Parliament as an independent until the next election.

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  14. Pete George (23,416 comments) says:

    RadioLIVE Newsroom ‏@LIVENewsDesk
    Winston Peters says he has no confidence in Brendan Horan and he is to be expelled from NZF

    That’s a big call from Winston, especially as Horan is still denying any wrongdoing. Or in denial.

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  15. Chuck Bird (4,819 comments) says:

    Winston just announced in Parliament that Horan has been expelled from NZF and he has suggested he resign from Parliament.

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  16. Chuck Bird (4,819 comments) says:

    “Horan is still denying any wrongdoing.”

    That would be for the voters to decide. If Winston had done anything else it would have cost Winston and NZF in 2014.

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  17. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    Winston analysing accounts? Is this the same twat that could not read his own phone bill?
    Whatever the result we cna be certain that Winston peters will do the right thing.
    The right thing of course is what ever benefits Winston Peters.

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  18. RF (1,363 comments) says:

    What !!! resign from Parliament and miss out on those perks. He will be hanging on by his finger nails for as long as he can.

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  19. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    I am generally supportive of MMP – butthis is one aspect that I disagree with. If he is removed from NZ First then he should be removed from parliament and a replacement NZ First MP put in his place.
    Voters did not elect Brendan Horan (he was beaten in his electorate by 16,000 votes), they elected the NZ First Party to a certain number of seats based on their policy platform.
    I don’t particularly like or support NZ First but it is their seat and their vote decided by the electorate he should be forced to leave parliament if he leaves NZ first – end of story – same applies to List MP’s in any other party…

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  20. Viking2 (11,334 comments) says:

    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/35810-horan-expelled-from-parliament.html

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  21. Rex Widerstrom (5,342 comments) says:

    Raphael asks:

    But isn’t he a List MP? If he is sacked by the party surely that means that he is off the list, and out parliament

    An interesting question. It never used to be the case – who remembers Alamein Kopu, elected from the Alliance list, defecting and supporting the then government? She was allowed to stay in Parliament until unseated at the next election, when she apparently made off with most of her office furniture.

    That sort of thing continued until Donna Awatere Huata, elected from the ACT list, became an independent. ACT took the matter to the Supremere Court in 2004, arguing that it was the party, not the List MP, who had been awarded the seat at the election. They won and Awatere-Huata had to leave Parliament.

    With that precedent now established, I would presume Horan would resign his seat. Then again if he felt particularly poorly treated he might opt to litigate the whole matter, assuming he could find sufficient grounds to argue, though I can’t at this point think what they might be.

    Hopefully Graeme Edgeler will drop by and provide a more definitive opinion. I’d also be interested in DPF’s reasons for assuming that NZF can’t follow the Awatere-Huata precedent and demand he relinquish his seat to the next person on the List, since he’s normally very good on these procedural issues.

    edit: Ah, thanks to Viking2 we see that Peters, at least, agrees with my assessment of the position.

    [DPF: The law that Donna was expelled under was a temporary law (to bed in MMP!) and is no longer in force. While it was useful to get rid of a corrupt MP, I opposed it as giving party leaders too much power - they could threaten MPs with expulsion under it]

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  22. Pete George (23,416 comments) says:

    From NZ Herald:

    NZ First leader Winston Peters has expelled MP Brendan Horan from the NZ First caucus, saying he has no confidence in Mr Horan’s ability to continue as a member of Parliament.

    Mr Peters told Parliament about the decision today, saying he had seen evidence relating to allegations Mr Horan had misappropriated money from his late mother and that needed to be treated seriously. Mr Peters said he had conducted as thorough and investigation as possible into those allegations.

    He earlier put Mr Horan on leave and told him to try to clear up allegations about money going missing from his late mother’s bank accounts.

    Earlier today, Mr Horan’s lawyers issued a statement on his behalf, saying he rejected any suggestion he had misappropriated money and was confident a full investigation would exonerate him.

    The suspension does not mean Mr Horan has to leave Parliament. He can stay on as an independent MP. Mr Peters said he believed Mr Horan was honour bound to leave Parliament altogether

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10851889

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  23. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Assuming he doesn’t resign from Parliament, it will be interesting to see which way Horan’s vote will fall. He will be none too happy with Winston First.

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  24. Viking2 (11,334 comments) says:

    So the real men are rebelling after all.

    hahahaha.

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  25. Lazybum (259 comments) says:

    He has been kicked out of NZF.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10851889

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  26. James Stephenson (2,123 comments) says:

    Voters did not elect Brendan Horan (he was beaten in his electorate by 16,000 votes), they elected the NZ First Party to a certain number of seats based on their policy platform.

    OTOH proponents of MMP tell us that List MPs have as much legitimacy as Electorate MPs and that people vote for parties in part because of the people on their list. Can’t have it both ways.

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  27. anonymouse (709 comments) says:

    @Rex, The Awatere-Huata case was under the “waka jumping” section (55) of the Electoral Act,

    these clauses have expired, there is no easy way to force Mr Horan out, unless he chooses to go…..

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  28. Pete George (23,416 comments) says:

    It appears as if Peters has acted quickly and decisively on this. Good on him for that.

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  29. iMP (2,349 comments) says:

    You can’t sack an MP for allegations, they have to be proven. Horan is not employed by NZF but Parliamentary Services. He denies wrongdoing. So, Winston can sack him from NZF as a member for conduct unbecoming, and then just pressure him to resign as a NZF MP by waving documentary ‘evidence’ in his face, but his tenure as an MP is quite a diff. matter. He is entitled to due process. Otherwise we’re in a scenario where leaders decide MPs’ tenure based on unproven accusations. We can’t have that.

    I suspect Horan will stay, depending on how bad the evidence is. Winnie is unlikely to make it public as it reflects badly on his selection process (oxymoron) and NZF. If Horan has the guts, he can stick this out, unless criminality is proven, and that is a year away at least.

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  30. Rex Widerstrom (5,342 comments) says:

    @anonymouse:

    You’re correct… I had forgotten the sunset clause on that piece of legislation.

    @iMP:

    You can’t sack an MP for allegations, they have to be proven.

    Leaders can do as they like in terms of internal party matters such as membership of a caucus. Of course in NZF the leader is meant by the Constitution and Founding Principles to be first among equals, so I’m sure his fellow MPs have been consulted on this momentous decision, and their views given full weight.

    it reflects badly on his selection process (oxymoron)

    They “oxy” is redundant in this instance :-D

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  31. backster (2,135 comments) says:

    I think the questions asked by HORAN mainly to do with Rail Transport showed considerable empathy with the GREENS. Maybe Russell could be interested in harvesting his support, one door closes another opens., Anyway didn’T CARTER (the queer) just stay away from the house and forfeit about $10 a day but still retain the rest of his salary and perks./

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  32. Nostalgia-NZ (5,079 comments) says:

    Peters has given himself plenty of ammo as to how an allegedly errant MP should be dealt with. I can hear the speeches now about accountability, self-protecting parties pulling the wool over the public’s eyes and so on.

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  33. Colville (2,235 comments) says:

    RF (486) Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 3:12 pm
    What !!! resign from Parliament and miss out on those perks. He will be hanging on by his finger nails for as long as he can.

    why would he quit his job IF he has done nothing wrong?

    Pete George (15,457) Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 3:23 pm
    It appears as if Peters has acted quickly and decisively on this. Good on him for that.

    Utter bullshit. Winny has only acted in the way that he think serves him best in the public eye.

    Winston is a proven liar and thief, a thougher with no way to exist in the real world.

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  34. burt (8,169 comments) says:

    Breaking news: Winston has expelled himself from the party.

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  35. burt (8,169 comments) says:

    Brendon clearly didn’t see the example of how to bluster his way out of this with a “NO” sign… I hear it works for NZ First crooks.

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  36. Rex Widerstrom (5,342 comments) says:

    This has to be ripe for a caption contest, surely DPF?

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  37. iMP (2,349 comments) says:

    More Gore on Hor(an). http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/horan-debacle-nzf-mmp/

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  38. Reid (16,174 comments) says:

    If Horan does decide to stay around and why not, he has a lot of ammunition to play with over Peters’ past actions in various quarters. If I were him I’d be contacting Owen Glenn to see if he has anything he wants to get off his chest which Brendon could throw into the ring.

    After all, it comes down to a question of general credibility and Peters has just cast him to the wolves based on what appears to be one side of a family allegation, which is often not where the actual truth rests. As well as Glenn with his vast PR resources, I’d imagine there are also quite a few MPs both present and recently retired as well, who’d be ready and willing to give him some coaching on just how to smear Peters good and proper, as this thing plays itself out over the next year.

    Goody.

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  39. RF (1,363 comments) says:

    Colville. 3.59pm

    I agree. I had my fingers crossed when I was typing my post. The leader is a nasty individual in a pin stripe suit.

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  40. mara (759 comments) says:

    We all know that Pollies noses are never clean but the stench of someone seen to be ripping off an old dying mum ‘s cash is especially bad and political poison. I think Winnie did the right political thing in ejecting Horan. It will sit well with his constituants; even if the truth is never revealed.

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  41. sparky (235 comments) says:

    Mara, there is no proof that Brendon Horan is guilty of anything. Brendon’s Lawyer wants to know what Peters is basing his allegations on. Where are you getting your evidence from? Purely Winston Peters, by the sounds of things. Peters hasn’t always told the truth.

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  42. Nookin (3,245 comments) says:

    “It will sit well with his constituants; even if the truth is never revealed.”
    Which really confirms my suspicion that far too many people are driven too much by blind prejudice and do not seem to have any inclination to wait for the facts and make a reasoned decision. That, regretfully, is why people like Winston Peters remain in power.

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