Winston’s horse

May 15th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is rejecting allegations from a former colleague that he misused party money and failed to declare interests in a successful racehorse.

Independent MP , who was elected to Parliament as a New Zealand First member, said Mr Peters should reveal his own spending and interests instead of making “spurious allegations” against Justice Minister Judith Collins.

Mr Peters has been attacking Ms Collins in the House for not fully declaring the details of her trip to Beijing in October, but has failed to land the killer blow.

Yesterday, Mr Horan claimed that his former leader should have declared his part-ownership of a 5-year-old mare named Bellazeel in Parliament’s register of pecuniary interests.

The horse was sired by famous racehorse Zabeel and has itself claimed more than $20,000 in prizemoney in the past year. …

He believed there was no requirement to declare ownership in a horse, let alone a 10 per cent stake in a syndicate lease of a horse.

The lease, which was bought in a charity auction in 2008, has now expired.

MPs must declare all property, directorships, gifts, shares and other interests in the register each year.

Registrar Sir Maarten Wevers said he had not received complaints on the issue, and it was up to each MP to decide whether or not something fell within the terms of the register.

He said the ownership of racehorses by MPs had been raised with his office previously.

Sir Maarten said racehorses that were held by syndicates needed to be declared, but he did not know the full details of the ownership structure of Bellazeel.

“I would think it would certainly be … a business entity undertaking … something for a pecuniary profit. That’s what you race a horse for, I presume.”

Mr Horan and National MP Chris Tremain have previously disclosed part-ownership of a racehorse in the register.

Frankly I don’t care if Winston owns a horse or not. In fact I think the Register of Pecuniary Interests is sometimes too intrusive. What we should know about is if an MP is receiving large gifts from people or companies, and any significant investments they have which could influence their vote. I don’t think we need to know the names of their family trusts, the property they own or if they own a racehorse.

But it is amusing to see Winston hoist on his own petard. I don’t think he has done anything wrong (in this case) but it is a reminder of the old adage about throwing stones in glasshouses. Winston is the last one to lecture on proper disclosures.

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27 Responses to “Winston’s horse”

  1. James Stephenson (2,264 comments) says:

    We should know if an MP has shares in a racehorse, if they’re pushing for pro-Racing Industry policy.

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  2. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    “Winston hoist on his own petard.”

    Winny horsed on his own petard.

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  3. Manolo (14,155 comments) says:

    The venal Peters is corrupt to the core.
    However, this drunk has a number of senile followers who believe he walks on water (more likely to be whisky).

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  4. trout (953 comments) says:

    I would be wanting to know who paid for the share in the horse. Winny made a lot of friends in he racing industry during his term as Minister of racing; much taxpayer funded largess was spread around.

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  5. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    trout – he had influential wealthy friends in the racing industry before he became Minister of Racing, a portfolio he negotiated with Clark’s government.

    “We should know if an MP has shares in a racehorse, if they’re pushing for pro-Racing Industry policy.”

    He is only alleged to be a small time racehorse owner, and it’s been claimed the policies he successfully pushed through Clark’s government benefited only rich racehorse owners. From 2008 – Winston’s one horse race:

    NOT EVERYONE within racing feels that way. Stratford’s Murray Blue, the small club’s representative on the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) board, says he has been “railing against injustices in the industry which Peters has done nothing about”.

    He says the policies have benefited “high-end” breeders at the expense of small, struggling clubs.

    “It’s shafting the little people and giving it all to the top,” he says. “Ultimately, it’s put huge money into the hands of the big breeders. Peters has close links with the big breeders, especially Hogan, who overtly supported him last election and extolls his virtues at every chance.

    “He [Peters] gave all those massive tax breaks to his bloody mates. This utter crap of writing down a yearling colt in two years, writing the whole amount off if you say it’s going to be a [breeding] stallion – I mean …they’re not paying tax.”

    He says Peters makes appointments to the New Zealand Racing Board, which distributes revenue to the different racing codes, and it is dominated by the powerful breeders group.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/feature-archive/549208/Winstons-one-horse-race

    Peters and NZ First got far more from rich racing industry people than from a part share in a one horse.

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  6. markm (117 comments) says:

    Peters has long claimed the $150k he stole from the taxpayer , was donated to a charity.

    This horse was purchased at a charity auction in 2008.
    I assume this is the charity Peters was referring to.

    The taxpayer buys a horse for Peters and the implication from Horan is that the taxpayer is funding the racing costs.

    Lets hope the media start asking serious questions and finally the intellectually challenged can see him for what he is

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  7. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ James Stephenson (1,905 comments) says:
    May 15th, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Would that be similar to promoting milk produced by a company your family financially benefits from?

    Should all dealings with that company therefore be declared?

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  8. NK (1,259 comments) says:

    Winston calls this a “character assassination”. I have said elsewhere that is damn right and well deserved. But that’s not right at all. Because Winston has no character and so it is impossible to assassinate his character, in the same way he is a low-life with no reputation and cannot be defamed.

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  9. Keeping Stock (9,368 comments) says:

    From April 2011, when Peters was not an MP, but was campaigning actively to get NZF back into Parliament:

    He addressed members and supporters of New Zealand First in Invercargill on Saturday morning.
    Mr Peters would not reveal details of his party’s racing policy.
    However, he did say: ”Owners and the punters have to be looked after. Owners are investors and they have to get a better deal (in racing).”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/sport/racing/4922837/Royal-Flight-victorious-in-Francolin-Stakes

    Pushing policies that would be to his own benefit as the part-owner of a race horse; isn’t that a conflict of interest? It certainly would be in Winston’s eyes if Judith Collins was doing it.

    It’s time that Winston was put out to pasture as he (falsely) claimed yesterday that Bellazeel had been.

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  10. secondcumming (93 comments) says:

    Winston must be chuffed he allowed the Weatherman on the list.

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  11. Keeping Stock (9,368 comments) says:

    @ markm – Bellazeel was only foaled in November 2008. The horse was sold to a syndicate including Peters at the Karaka sales in January 2010.

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  12. jp_1983 (235 comments) says:

    Winston gives a masterclass on losing the narrative and getting Judith off the front page of the news.

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  13. Colville (2,318 comments) says:

    This is only news (and funny!) because Winston attacks others on possible lack of disclosure.

    Same reason Cun*liffe is such a tool for having secret trusts after attacking the Nats for having trusts…

    Edit. good on Horan and long may he contiue…

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  14. NK (1,259 comments) says:

    This is quite interesting:

    “He [Peters] gave all those massive tax breaks to his bloody mates. This utter crap of writing down a yearling colt in two years, writing the whole amount off if you say it’s going to be a [breeding] stallion – I mean …they’re not paying tax.”

    Because Peters is claiming this:

    I’ve only had an interest for a short time, but it’s been out to pasture for years.

    Out to pasture after two years maybe? Has he written this off by claiming it is now breeding and dodging tax on it?

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  15. Sean (290 comments) says:

    ‘With’, not ‘on’ his ‘own petard’, a petard being a bomb or mine that could explode prematurely. If yours did, you went up ‘with’ it.

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  16. Kea (13,523 comments) says:

    These attacks on Winnie are starting to sound disturbingly like the nasty politics of Labour. The same style that lost them the last two elections.

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  17. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    So how many years until he’s sent off to the knacker’s yard?

    And for that matter, how many years has his horse got left?

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  18. niggly (832 comments) says:

    Check this out. Ol’ Winnie was interviewed on Morning Report just after 8am (apparently Brendan Horan was interviewed earlier, but I missed his interview so have no idea what Brendan was accusing Peters’ of etc), so Winnie starts off by threatening Radio NZ and the interviewer (Guyon) with defamation simply for daring to interview Brendan Horan in the first place! I couldn’t believe it, ol’ Winnie the mudraker likes to throw shit at people for fun and attention (usually with little substance) and when someone does it to him (Brendan) ol’ Winnie squeaks and squawks little a stuffed little piggy and threatens legal action, what a hypocrite!

    Check this out, Winnie’s legal threats have scared off Radio NZ, there is NO Morning Report audio of the interview with Winnie just after the 8am news. Unbelievable but true! On the website (which will change tomorrow) there is a sports item at 8.06am and the next interview audio is at 8.15am (and not sure what Brendan Horan’s earlier interview time was – perhaps it was pulled too). Remember the website will change tomorrow to reflect tomorrow’s interviews – perhaps someone may wish to grab a screenshot before it all disappears!
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport

    So ol’ Winnie eh, there must be some truth in these allegations for Winnie to go all feral against the media and threaten legal action! :-)

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  19. dirtbag (22 comments) says:

    Bumbling old twit should be put out to pasture. Makes for good entertainment though.

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  20. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (899 comments) says:

    The weatherman turns a hit man…Those riding on high horses will fall with a thud. Winnie the Poo deserves this big time. I don’t care whether he is right or wrong. He throws wrong accusations at people. so he had this coming. BTW – I might have bought Huka lodge from broker Key, who knows fellows, who knows….

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  21. Keeping Stock (9,368 comments) says:

    NK said

    Because Peters is claiming this:

    I’ve only had an interest for a short time, but it’s been out to pasture for years.

    Out to pasture after two years maybe? Has he written this off by claiming it is now breeding and dodging tax on it?

    Peters must be dealing in cat or dog years NK, because Bellazeel last raced on New Year’s Day this year; just five months ago.

    http://www.horseracingresults.com.au/horse/bellazeel

    There’s another lie he’s told.

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  22. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    “There’s another lie he’s told.”

    There’s an often quoted saying that it’s not what politicians do but how they react that often gets them into trouble. Winston hasn’t been honest with the people on this.

    It’s a trifling issue, he could have either just said he doesn’t need to declare it as a pecuniary interest or declare it late as is often done.

    Instead he did exactly what he tries to pressure other MPs into doing, try and bullshit their way out of it. Why did he bullshit?

    Peters won’t resign of course, despite a glaring double standard, but this is a big hit on his credibility at a time that he’s struggling to perform.

    What if he gets the flu during the election campaign? Don’t count your horses before they have been put out to pasture. The election is still wide open.

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  23. burt (7,423 comments) says:

    This is the same guy who failed to declare $150,000 in donations from the Vela family…. Of course there is noting to see here – move on….

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  24. backster (2,194 comments) says:

    Peters is still shown as an owner in the official results for the last win 30/11/13. The horse then trained by probably the top NZ Trainer Roger James….Incidentally service of a mare to Zabeel in 2008 would not cost less than $120,000 and even then only to a severely restricted list of mares approved by Sir Patrick.

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  25. burt (7,423 comments) says:

    Has Winston resigned yet ?

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  26. ross411 (902 comments) says:

    James Stephenson (1,905 comments) says:
    May 15th, 2014 at 1:04 pm
    We should know if an MP has shares in a racehorse, if they’re pushing for pro-Racing Industry policy.

    Wasn’t there also something related to his partner, and her working with the pharmaceutical industry, and legislation or favouritism which he pushed through? I seem to recall this was discussed in commentary on previous posts here.

    If so, then it seems he has a history of corrupt sounding activities.

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  27. Jack5 (5,256 comments) says:

    Now it’s Whinnie Peters.

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