Winston’s $158,000 and the Susan Couch trust

June 15th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

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 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:

  1. $86,593 donated in 2009
  2. $53 donated in 2010
  3. $1,151 given to Susan Couch in 2010
  4. $2,859 donated in 2011
  5. $907 given to Susan Couch in 2011 and $710 to a L Stephenson
  6. $600 donated in 2012
  7. $968 donated to Susan Couch in 2012

So good to see some money is going to Susan Couch, but still several questions.

  1. Where did NZ First donate the other $72,000 – if anywhere
  2. Why does the Trust not earn any interest on the principal?
  3. Why is it paying out only 1% or so of capital?
  4. Why have the accounts for 31 March 2013 not been filed, as required to by law
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25 Responses to “Winston’s $158,000 and the Susan Couch trust”

  1. burt (8,238 comments) says:

    Let me guess – it bought a race horse ?

    Nothing to see here. Move on !

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  2. Brian Smaller (4,013 comments) says:

    Probably because someone is telling a huge porky.

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  3. backster (2,152 comments) says:

    Wasn’t one of Winston’s lawyers his brother?

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  4. burt (8,238 comments) says:

    Unless I’m mistaken Winston Peters would have been involved in passing the CPR. ( Compliance and penalties regime – 1998 ?) which stipulates how unpaid tax debt is to be punished. Yes punished. Late payment penalties, initial and monthly incremental plus use of money interest. He helped make sure that people owing the government money are punished at circa 26% for reneging on their responsibilities under the law to pay money to the government on time.

    That legislation also has provisions for extra penalties ( up to 150% of assed liability ) for taking an unreasonable tax position. Outside of the heady world if NZ politics where politicians can’t seem to understand the laws they pass for themselves and others, and the ‘others did it too’ and ‘it’s how we have always done it’ are the measuring stick – this $158,000 owed to the government and still unpaid would have bankrupted most people by now !

    Hey Winston …
    Thanks for helping to pass that law and then ignoring it yourself. There is no cure for being a c##t !

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  5. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    What a bloody disgrace. How I wish I could say more…Unfortunately I don’t need any more trouble from the Law Society.

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  6. Johnboy (16,077 comments) says:

    Brendan might be able to give us all a heads up?

    I’ll vote for him if he can! :)

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  7. Kieran_B (76 comments) says:

    Where did the Green Party stand on the rort? I can’t remember. Did they take some money too, and did they also vote to pass the bill to legalise the action? Anybody have links to articles/info?

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  8. kiwigunner (230 comments) says:

    And whilst we are on this topic I’d like to know about John Banks electoral returns and some more on the suspected government connection with Orivida. Maybe too a bit more on donations for access to Ministers of the Crown. How about a insight into paying donations to political parties for a quick game of golf?

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  9. careym (7 comments) says:

    As interesting as this digging is, has anyone thought seriously about the political oxygen this sort of exposure gives Winston, the coverage the media interest, in an election year. Come on people think the thing through!

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  10. Johnboy (16,077 comments) says:

    Your wasting your time here kiwigunner. Socialist bastards never get invited to play golf with anyone that matters! :)

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  11. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (876 comments) says:

    More to come.

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  12. Johnboy (16,077 comments) says:

    Are you still allowed to be a Lawyer DG? :)

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  13. Johnboy (16,077 comments) says:

    Just I was thinking of getting my will done again! :)

    And Lord Birkenhead seems to be awol! :)

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  14. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    jb: Yes, I had a year of penance…in the sin bin…Had the practising cert back for a couple of years now…Course that doesn’t mean I have got any work…so they have pretty well succeeded in what they set out to do…Should never have made such a fool of the “expert” on 3S who presented their submission to the Law and Order Select Committee…

    I’m not fussy! I’ll do your will for you at a special KB hourly rate…

    Kiwigunner: Your hero would probably have difficulty walking a golf course let alone hitting a ball while he did it…specially with all the “Mulligans” he’d give himself…

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  15. Johnboy (16,077 comments) says:

    I was thinking of cutting the sprogs out of the inheritance and leaving it all to my sheep.

    Can you see any legal problem there? :)

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  16. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    Well now we are getting into advice territory…and I couldn’t do that on here…some anonymous weasel might run off to the Law Society and tell on me…

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  17. peterwn (3,243 comments) says:

    Johnboy – Yes there are legal problems with trying to cut your sprogs out of a will. See:
    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2014/06/will-will/

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  18. Right of way is Way of Right (1,121 comments) says:

    This is something that needs to be trumpeted from the heights. So, let’s see the MSM give it a damn good ignoring!

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  19. polemic (460 comments) says:

    Oh ho – the old Trust issue for Winston again , is it trust or Trust or TRUST or tryst even or just plain NO

    Why dont the MSM go and get the facts out of Winston and don’t accept all his bluster and obfuscation.

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  20. goldnkiwi (1,280 comments) says:

    Sprogs and grandsprogs too

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  21. goldnkiwi (1,280 comments) says:

    So has anyone found out who the L. Stephenson who benefitted is?

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  22. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    goldn: doesn’t ring any bells with me…but that doesn’t mean very much

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  23. Boris Piscina (51 comments) says:

    DPF, the continued reference to Winnie’s mythical 158K is becoming rather tedious. They were investigated three times and no wrongdoing was found, no one went to court let alone jail, and their eventual equivalency payment to whatever charities were voluntary. Having heard the story about how the Parliamentary Service approved the spending and then changed their minds after it had been spent and wanted a refund, I think I would have told them to pay it themselves.

    We as in National never paid the IRD the 100,000 owed being the GST on the spend from the same campaign because that would have meant going over the spending cap. It went to some charity or another as well, which I call a draw.

    Can we all just move on from this please? Some of your more dense readers have come to believe that Winston did actually nick $158K, and since we are probably going to need him after September 20 they really should be being told the whole story.

    Just saying.

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  24. kaykaybee (152 comments) says:

    Boris Piscina – Winston’s $158,000 misuse of Parliamentary expenses was deemed illegal by the Auditor General until he and his Labour/Greens cohorts retrospectively legislated to legalize it. The Greens and Labour did pay the money back but as I understand Winston felt it shouldn’t go to the taxpayer it had been misappropriated from. He chose to give if to a charity and we now see that the charity is looking quite shonky.
    As for the Nats and their GST it was paid fgs, simply not included in expenditure.

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  25. goldnkiwi (1,280 comments) says:

    David Garrett (5,797 comments) says:

    June 15th, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Logic (silly me) would suggest that they were or had been a victim of violence? Otherwise it seems farcical. I wonder if Susan Couch is happy that her name is being used so emotively, she doesn’t seem to have benefitted much. Perhaps she should be on the board as well, to have an opinion regarding dispersal.
    Just read some of the 2008 related comments, she should ask for her name to be removed from the trust, I find it misleading.

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