Winston Peters is caught up in a donations controversy after his New Zealand First party took $3000 from the founder of the new immigrant-focused People’s Party.
Newshub can reveal the money was taken after Mr Peters met with Indian businessman Roshan Nauhria over dinner at Auckland’s India Gate restaurant in the days before the 2014 election.
The donation is politically embarrassing for Mr Peters because he has been attacking the People’s Party as “race-based”, and personally criticising its acting leader Mr Nauhria for trying to donate money to John Key’s National Party.
Newshub has obtained a copy the $3000 cheque Mr Nauhria made out to NZ First.
Mr Nauhria says he handed the cheque to Mr Peters, who put it in his pocket – which Mr Peters refutes.
Pretty easy to decide who to believe. Which of the two lied for six months about his knowledge of the Owen Glenn donation, and was then found by the Privileges Committee to have misled Parliament?
Mr Nauhria recounted the sequence of events to Newshub, saying “I made, roughly in 2014, and I said it was India Gate, we had a function there it was arranged by Mahesh Bindra in connection with Giri Gupta and to arrange it. Giri Gupta first approached me for the donation, he wanted $5000 and I said ‘no I’ll give $3000’ and I gave $3000”.
Asked about Mr Nauhria’s donation, Mr Peters initial response was to say: “Okay well, if that’s the case he’ll show you a receipt won’t he? Has he shown you the receipt? The number one thing you need to do is show me the evidence not just come along and repeat an allegation and think you are going to slide past it like that – that won’t do.”
The more he blusters the more he has been caught out.
Mr Peters refuted Mr Nauhria’s claim he took the cheque personally, saying: “That’s not true, I don’t take cheques and put them in my pocket”.
Even if there was photographic evidence of him having done so, he’d claim he didn’t out the cheque in his pocket, but just put an enveloped in his pocket, of which the cheque happened to be inside.
It is a timely reminder of all of the previous dodgy dealing Peters has had with donations – the incorrect donations returns, the Glenn donations, lobbying for a donor to made Honorary Consul to Monaco, undisclosed donations from the racing industry etc etc.