Have been watching the Peters free dinner scandal with some amusement. Never have been and never will be a Peters fan. However I should start off by saying that this is not an issue about corruption – no MPs can be brought for the occassional free dinner – it takes at least a free villa in France (kidding).
The original issue was merely one of judgement with a conflict of interest. Accepting a free dinner (for whatever reason) from someone at the centre of an inquiry you sit on is plain stupid, as it undermines confidence of the other parties involved.
However in politics it is often the explanations that get you in the most crap, and the debate is now about Peters’ claim he never got a free meal except once to make up for a previous over charging, and TVNZ saying it has several affadavits to the contrary.
Personally I can’t see how one can have accounts proving the claims are wrong, because if you did get the meal for free, you won’t have a receipt will you!
The NZ Herald Editorial is a sensible read on the issue.