Readers will recall that after the illegal spending by most parliamentary parties in 2005, all parties repaid the taxpayer except NZ First who did not repay the $158,000 identified by the Auditor-General as illegal.
NZ First said they would donate the $158,000 to charity, but almost every charity turned their donations down on the grounds it was money owed to the taxpayers.
Finally Winston said most of it had been donated to the Susan Couch Trust. Couch was the poor woman almost killed at the Mt Wellington-Panmure RSA by William Bell.
The curious thing with the trust is that two of the four trustees were Winston’s lawyers, and the trust deed didn’t say it was specifically for Susan Couch – it was just named after her.
So what has happened to the trust. Well the charity register gives us some details.
The transactions have been:
- $86,593 donated in 2009
- $53 donated in 2010
- $1,151 given to Susan Couch in 2010
- $2,859 donated in 2011
- $907 given to Susan Couch in 2011 and $710 to a L Stephenson
- $600 donated in 2012
- $968 donated to Susan Couch in 2012
So good to see some money is going to Susan Couch, but still several questions.
- Where did NZ First donate the other $72,000 – if anywhere
- Why does the Trust not earn any interest on the principal?
- Why is it paying out only 1% or so of capital?
- Why have the accounts for 31 March 2013 not been filed, as required to by law