Will NZ First break their own rules?

December 9th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reported:

Independent MP ’s last links with New Zealand First – the party which took him into Parliament – are likely to be severed following a board meeting on Monday evening.

The NZ First party rules clearly state that a member can be expelled only after a hearing, and that Horan must be sent by registered mail notice of the hearing and details of the nature of the complaint, the date, time and place of the hearing. Has this been done?

NZ First president Kevin Gardener yesterday confirmed Mr Horan’s membership was on the agenda for the board’s Monday meeting where Leader Winston Peters was expected to give his reasons for expelling him from the NZ First Caucus this week.

Mr Peters yesterday said he was relaxed that his decision to expel Mr Horan following allegations the MP had taken money from his dying mother’s bank accounts was the right one.

Mr Gardener said he had confidence in Mr Peters’ judgement, “and all the board will”.

Good God – not a big believer in natural justice or hearing both sides are they? This confirms that the party is a personality cult rather than a democratic organisation.

On the basis of what is known, I actually think Peters was right to take action against Horan. But the way they have taken action has been appalling in terms of process. They need to write to him and put the complaints to him, and have a hearing where he can put a defence. I also suspect (based on the precedent Peters himself created with National in the 1990s) that any board member (such as the President) who has pre-judged the matter can’t be part of the hearing. If they do not follow their own rules, they can face judicial review.

Tony Wall in the SST reports:

 MP Brendan Horan offered to pay $25,000 to his mother’s estate after he was accused of taking money from her bank accounts, but the deal collapsed, the Sunday Star-Times has learnt. …

Sources close to the family say they offered to settle the dispute by allowing Horan to take a $40,000 reduction in his share of his mother’s estate. …

The Star-Times yesterday saw a spreadsheet of 28 questionable cheques, totalling $180,000, going back to 2000. The largest, in February 2007, was for $50,000, and there were others for $35,000, $10,000, and several for around $5000. Investigators are still looking into who they were made out to.

If this is correct, I think its is fast becoming a criminal matter. I’m not saying any crimes have been committed. I’m saying that allegations of $180,000 of presumably unauthorised cheques are extremely serious.

If NZ First follow the process laid down in their rules, they can make a decision to expel Horan (if justified) before Christmas. Once there has been a process which has some natural justice attached to it, then he should resign from Parliament having lost the support of his party.

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15 Responses to “Will NZ First break their own rules?”

  1. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    Just seen this on Stuff. That’s not the actions of an innocent man, is it?

    However, don’t expect Winston First to follow any rules or process.

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  2. Viking2 (10,734 comments) says:

    They can change the rules of course or IF Horan WANTS he can contest them. Given he seems to be broke without having OP money I guess that will rule out a high priced QC.

    Boot the useless turkey out and stop paying him a salary, Indeed if he had any ethics at all he would quit and stop living off the largess of the Taxpayer who has no choice in the matter of paying him.

    Justice is clearly in favour of the fraudster.

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  3. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    Whose dragging this out?

    If the forsenic accountant thats doing this got school cert maths its should have taken 2 hours to have it sorted.

    Its not Bernie Madoff FFS

    and being the shy conservative type that rarely has an opinion that I am I do believe that I posted something along the lines after the election -”Brendan Horan in Parliament FFS the mans too stupid to tie his own shoe laces”:

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  4. Elaycee (4,081 comments) says:

    MP Brendan Horan offered to pay $25,000 to his mother’s estate after he was accused of taking money from her bank accounts, but the deal collapsed, the Sunday Star-Times has learnt. …

    The fact that Horan has offered to pay back $25,000 is surely a game changer. If he had been placing bets on behalf of his Mum (as he had claimed), he would have no reason to ‘repay’ anything at all.

    And it now begs the question: If his Mum had added a codicil to her will seeking repayment of monies from Brendan and his sister, what was the sister’s role (if anything) in this matter? Does she also have a ‘case’ to answer?

    Not good.

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  5. Warren Murray (239 comments) says:

    If $180,000 has gone missing over a certain period, why would Horan and his kin be discussing a much smaller debt of between $25 – $40,000? It suggests someone else helped themselves to much more. A private agreement (albeit unresolved) between the family implies he acted improperly but not illegally.

    How much would a judicial review cost, if Brendan wanted to take NZF on? If he has no money, it seems his legal options are very limited.

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  6. Warren Murray (239 comments) says:

    If he could have patched things up with his family for only $15,000 and didnt, he is a fool.

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  7. David Garrett (5,150 comments) says:

    Re DPF’s original post…if Brendon has learned from Uncle Winnie, he is perhaps staying on to collect his holiday pay over the loooong summer break…and after backing a few winners with said holiday pay, THEN he will perhaps decide his position is untenable?

    Having lost the support of my leader I came to that conclusion fairly quickly….but then if PEB is right, the man may not be the sharpest tool, so perhaps we should be forgiving…

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  8. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    You would think that WPF would do due diligence on their prospective MP’s.

    If you have a piss, gambling or whore problem there is always someone who knows, always.

    Once again confirms that unworldly fuckwits populate our political spectrum, no idea at all, at all

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  9. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    And perhaps that is why due diligence is not done. We know Winston is a drinker, he’s around town all the time. We know he likes the ponies, and was Racing Minister (whatever that means) so probably gambling is part of his lifestyle as well. For the last, well I don’t know…

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  10. wreck1080 (3,527 comments) says:

    Hmm, but you can lose 500 million dollars of investors money and be A-OK.

    Theres a huge double standard in this country. The more you ‘steal’, the more likely you are to escape justice.

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  11. bringbackdemocracy (350 comments) says:

    He should pay his debts like Winston does.

    Where’s the $158,000 Winston?

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  12. David Garrett (5,150 comments) says:

    PEB: somwhat off topic here… but apropos of your last comment…I am aware that policemen used to told to beware “the three P’s”: Piss, Property, and Prosititutes..the first two are self explanatory, but how does that work now, when prostitution is legal, and I believe at least one policewoman has been caught moolighting as one?

    I realise you are no longer “in the job”, but I am interested in your view..

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  13. Nick K (918 comments) says:

    David, I think the reference to prostitutes was more to the shady underworld they are inherently involved in, and their predisposition to “gossiping”. They are useful as informants, but need to be kept at arms length.

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  14. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    I couldn’t possibly be that some of the funds Horan allegedly misappropriated were used for someone in NZ First to campaign with now could it.. It’s not like we can rely on electoral returns filled before a privileges committee has forced a refilling so who knows what to believe from NZ First… Just putting it out there….

    But hey, I hear that if you use money you are not entitled to for that you don’t need to pay it back – Good luck Brendan ….

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  15. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    Unless Horan has forged signatures on any of the cheques, he has done nothing illegal. I repeat, he has done nothing illegal!

    This is a civil matter. It may be embarrassing for Horan and for NZ First, but at most, it should be a suspension from caucus while the matter is sorted out. I don’t understand why so much has been made of what is largely a family matter.

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