Williams on Peters

March 10th, 2014 at 7:12 am by David Farrar

wrote yesterday:

Peters was vehemently attacked in the lead-up to the 2008 general election for allegedly accepting a $100,000 contribution from the same Sir Owen two years earlier, then denying it.

Despite a leaked email in which Sir Owen said he’d made a donation to NZ First, when Peters was asked if NZ First had received the money from Sir Owen he held up a sign that read “No”.

He was widely pilloried. NZ First fell short of the 5 per cent threshold by 20,000 votes in the forthcoming general election, disappeared from Parliament and gave John Key’s National Party the election.

As I facilitated the donation in question, I can report – for the first time – that Peters was in fact telling the strict truth.

No he wasn’t. There are two aspects to whether Peters was telling the truth, and Williams focuses on one aspect only – which gives a very misleading impression. I’ll explain.

It was then resolved that a contribution would be made to defray the costs of the court action and a payment was made to the fees account of the lead lawyer, Brian Henry.

The transaction did not involve Peters and no money ever went near him or the NZ First Party. However the privileges committee and media chose to believe the leaked email – and the rest is history.

Peters was asked two things. One was whether Glenn had donated to NZ First and the other was whether he knew in advance about the donation to Brian Henry to cover Peters’ legal fees.

One can argue, like Williams has, that the $100,000 donation was not to NZ First – but to Brian Henry and/or to Peters personally. But that wasn’t the key issue that the Privileges Committee looked into.

Peters claimed that he knew nothing at all about the donation until Henry revealed it. He swore black and blue that he knew nothing at all about it.

The evidence presented to the Privileges Committee (which I attended) was testimony by Glenn and his assistant that it had been discussed. But they had more than their word. The evidence includes

  1. a phone log showing a lengthy call between Glenn and Peters from 1.27 pm to 1.33 pm
  2. a phone log showing Peters called Brian Henry from 1.34 pm to 1.39 pm
  3. a e-mail from Brian Henry at 1.40 pm to asking for the money, providing a bank account number and referring to his recent discussion with his client

If you believe the two phone calls immediately before the e-mail providing the bank account number for the $100,000 were unrelated, then you are either a member of the Labour Party caucus or I have a bridge for sale!

Also Sue Moroney’s brother testified he heard Peters thank Glenn for the donation.

So let there be no mistake. Peters was not telling the truth. He may have been telling the truth in terms of whether it was a donation to NZ First or not – but there is no way he was telling the truth when he denied knowing anything about the donation. The phone logs and e-mail are a smoking gun.

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24 Responses to “Williams on Peters”

  1. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    Why is Mike Williams making shit up to protect Peters ?

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  2. Souvlaki (33 comments) says:

    Shizer….who would have thought of Williams as also ” tricky”??

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  3. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Williams is no better than the fat obese German criminal. Recall he spent megabucks trawling papers and details in Aus trying to get dirt on JK . . . as expected he failed. Once a skunk, always a skunk . . . birds of a feather . . . !

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  4. Elaycee (4,321 comments) says:

    Agree with the sentiments expressed already.

    Mike Williams has always come across to me as someone you wouldn’t want to trust with your wallet and keys whilst you went swimming. But the MSM trot him out regularly and depict him as some ‘guru’ on politics…. go figure.

    His actions in scuttling off to Melbourne in a futile effort to dig up ‘H-Fee’ dirt on John Key, is typical of Labour’s ‘win at all costs’ mentality. The 2014 election will have little debate around policy – the Labour tactic will be a barrage of bullshit and innuendo aimed at the opponent, rather than them presenting alternate policy that may have appeal to the electorate. For Labour, it will be about the person. And they will maintain the stream of bullshit / lies / bluster / innuendo because they have nothing else.

    And long may it continue – it this current lot ever plonked their butts on the Treasury benches, our economy will be buggered.

    And for Williams to now suggest Peters didn’t tell porkies about the Owen Glenn donation, is laughable. A cynic could suggest it’s an attempt by Labour to smooch up to the venal Peters – in the hope NZ First will come in over 5% and support a Labour / Gween economic disaster.

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  5. Lance (2,539 comments) says:

    Still waiting for that Neutron bomb to go off………

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  6. Nookin (3,144 comments) says:

    Is Labour courting NZ First?

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  7. peterwn (3,192 comments) says:

    Do I read this correctly? I had to ask myself which Mike Williams – ‘Fat Tony’ of H-fee and 6 sinecures fame or former Howick Community Board Chairman? Seems to be former – the former Labour Party President. So it seemed that Mike, as Labour Party President was facilitating donations to NZ First/ Winston Peters presumably to try and stop them sinking – what the heck! Or am I all confused on a Monday Morning.

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  8. tvb (4,234 comments) says:

    And did Mike Williams come forward to the select committee and expose himself to questioning. One has to wonder why Williams has come forward at this stage with this explanation. Is it to take the heat off Cunliffe. I suspect so. In the same way Collins is being slammed for her involvement promoting a company who husband is a Director of. However Collins arrogant dismissal of the concern is doing nothing to stop the pressure being applied to her. She needs to eat a little humble pie but then Judith Collins does not do humble pie. Well that makes her a huge risk for even higher office. Look at John Key he eats humble pie all the time to great political advantage.

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  9. Mark Thomson (85 comments) says:

    Obviously we couldn’t possibly expect the Herald to do a basic fact check on claims one of it’s columnists makes.

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  10. NK (1,102 comments) says:

    This is all you need to know about Mike Williams: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/04/mike_williams_caught_lying_-_again.html

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  11. Pete George (23,159 comments) says:

    Is Labour courting NZ First?

    It certainly has appeared that way over the last couple of weeks. Cunliffe suggested NZ First as a viable coalition option on Q+A yesterday.

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  12. justmy opinion (8 comments) says:

    Barristers are not permitted to take fees in advance. They do not hold trust accounts as solicitors do. They can only be paid on invoices for work done.

    If Williams narrative is correct, Henry has some explaining to do.

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  13. Bovver (148 comments) says:

    There are lies, damn lies, and statements of fact that Politicians make ‘No’.

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  14. flash2846 (199 comments) says:

    The last time I heard Mike Williams say anything wholly truthful was……. Hmmm…… No sorry – NEVER!

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  15. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    As much as I dislike Russel Norman and the Green Party on many issues, Norman cut to the chase when the report of the Privileges Committee was debated:

    In terms of the evidence, I can tell members that in my mind it was difficult to try to put the witnesses’ words one against the other. We heard numerous stories. It was very difficult to know which was the right story when one was sitting there listening to them all. So I think one of the key issues for me was the events around 14 December. That was one of the key bits of evidence, because regardless of who rang whom before 14 December, something very important happened on that day. There were two phone calls and an email. The first phone call was from the billionaire to the politician—if we want to take people’s names out of it—and they talked about something. We do not know what they talked about; there are different stories. The politician rang the politician’s lawyer immediately after, and they talked about something. Then the lawyer sent an email back to the billionaire and said: “Further to your conversation with the politician, here are my bank account details.” This series of phone calls and the email were compelling evidence—they were strong evidence. The thing about them is that nobody denied this evidence. Nobody said “Actually, this didn’t happen.” Those three pieces of evidence and the way they are connected together are a central part of why, I think, the majority of the committee came to the conclusion it did. There is a lot else around this, but we know that those three pieces of evidence were extremely strong, and nobody denied those three pieces of evidence.

    The question we got to at the end was around what to do about it. Once we came to the point of view that there was some knowledge of the donation—and I believe that there was some knowledge, and that it was a gift—the question was what we do about it. There were those who were calling for Mr Peters to be suspended from Parliament, for all manner of things. I thought that that went too far. I thought that the report itself is sufficient penalty. It says, basically, that Mr Peters gave a false return. It says he is in contempt, he is censured, and he is required to give an accurate return. I think these are quite severe penalties, and I think that it is a step too far, and too much, to suggest there should be some kind of suspension of privilege, or anything beyond that. So the report, to my mind, was an appropriate response, and an appropriate penalty for what we found out.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/48HansD_20080923_00000825/privilege-%E2%80%94-consideration-of-report-of-privileges-committee

    The Greens voted to censure Peters, and correctly so in my opinion. Labour of course voted against the censure motion, and a reasonable person can only conclude that was the cost of NZ First voting for Labour’s flagship ETS, which Helen Clark was desperate to pass before the 2008 General Election. NZF duly voted in favour, even though NZF deputy Peter Brown spoke against the legislation in the Third Reading debate.

    That Mike Williams is still defending Peters six years on is an indication of just how donkey-deep Labour was in the Owen Glenn donation.

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  16. hj (6,606 comments) says:

    Even if Peter’s was lying I don’t see that as a the major issue; the major issue is he who pays the piper calls the tune. NZ First has stood against immigration and has been attacked by twin pincers (Professor Spoonley – Winston Peters and the problemization of immigration and an army of liberals -including journalists, Green party, Labour) and business interests (on the other). NZ First either has a case or it doesn’t. If it has a case it should get funding for researchers and funding for a voice.

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  17. ShawnLH (4,319 comments) says:

    I get the impression that in Williams’s world “strict truth” is code for bullshit political spin.

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  18. Nostalgia-NZ (4,989 comments) says:

    ‘Nookin (2,854 comments) says:

    March 10th, 2014 at 8:04 am
    Is Labour courting NZ First?’

    Some kind of facilitation at least, not that anyone ‘excitable’ by the mere mention of Peter’s name would notice though.

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  19. BeaB (2,074 comments) says:

    So why didn’t Mike Williams, important member of many boards and authorities as he constanly tells us, tell Helen Clark that he knew Peters was squeaky clean?
    Then she would have been spared those ignominious photos of her being guarded hilariously by Mallard against the evil and contaminating presence of Owen Glenn.
    This does Mike Williams no credit at all and undermines his credibility as any kind of political commentator.

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  20. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    BeaB

    This does Mike Williams no credit at all and undermines his credibility as any kind of political commentator.

    He already has no credibility – he believes socialism works and he supports taking money from low paid workers to fund the advertising of highly paid politicians.

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  21. Ed Snack (1,773 comments) says:

    And people are taking Mike Williams as a person with a shred of integrity and as someone likely to tell the truth because…?

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  22. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    BeaB: Williams has all credentials necessary to become a TVNZ political journalist. He would fit in well with Soper, Bradford, and the other motley lefties.

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  23. peterwn (3,192 comments) says:

    justmy opinion – While barristers cannot apparently be paid in advance, the instructing solicitor is responsible for paying barristers they ‘instruct’ out of the solicitor’s own pocket if need be. So the solicitor could require up front payment or security for payment (eg a charge over the client’s house).

    Since it is now acceptable for barristers to be engaged directly by clients, then there surely must have been some modification to the traditional rules.

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  24. peterwn (3,192 comments) says:

    BeaB – AFAIK one of the first things the John Key government did was st remove him from these boards and in the light of the Melbourne H-fee trip there was no squawking. As far as I could see, his contribution to the work of these organisations would have been virtually zilch. This was a major exception to the new government’s general practice of leaving most boards etc alone at least until members’ terms ended.

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