NZPA reports on Winston’s comments at the airport:
Today Mr Peters again said there was no donation.
“I don’t know whether there are any emails at all, whether they’ve been doctored whether they’re in part. I’ve never seen them,” he told reporters.
“The editor of the New Zealand Herald and the Herald journalist Audrey Young can see NZ First’s accounts and talk to our independent auditors, but when they find nothing I want them to both apologise to the public and then resign…
“Don’t you guys get it one of your colleagues is a liar and if she doesn’t like that tell her to sue me.”
In a statement to NZPA, Herald editor Tim Murphy said the paper stood by the story and Young.
“The issue here is simple: Owen Glenn says he donated to New Zealand First. Winston Peters has said and continues to say that Glenn didn’t. The story, based on explicit emails, highlights that gap,” he said.
“The responses by Mr Peters, while strident, do not explain that gap and continue to leave open to interpretation all kinds of possibilities for funding assistance for his party and its interests.
“In the circumstances, we see no value in the offer of examining New Zealand First’s `annual accounts’.”
This is an extraordinary attack on Audrey Young. He seems to be basically accusing her of fabricating or doctoring the e-mails. Now the problem with this theory is what Steve Fisher and Owen Glenn have said:
The Dom Post has comment from Steve Fisher:
Mr Fisher confirmed to The Dominion Post yesterday that he had been in email contact with Mr Glenn in February, though he no longer had copies of those emails.
Advice quoted in the emails was in line with what he been advising Mr Glenn at the time, though he could not recall “the exact wording” and did not know if Mr Glenn had given money to NZ First. He did not know how the e-mails had entered the public arena.
So Fisher is saying the e-mails are in line with his recollection.
And what some have overlooked is Audrey Young actually managed to talk to Owen Glenn on Friday about the e-mails and here is what he said:
Last night, Mr Glenn was in Monaco, and when asked why he had not said in February that he gave money, he said: “I made a decision not to say anything to anybody because there was so much controversy about everything. I was just there to open the business school so I just didn’t want to get caught up in anything … I elected not to say anything.”
So Glenn didn’t use that opportunity to deny the e-mail is authentic or that he donated.
The stakes are very high. Peters has called for the Herald Editor (Tim Murphy) and Political Editor (Audrey Young) to be sacked. But quite what for, I am not sure.