Winston’s response

NZPA reports on Winston’s response:

Television New Zealand News has shown Mr Peters saying he has no involvement with the , into which Sir Robert Jones paid $25,000 when he believed he was giving a donation to Mr Peters.

Mr Peters also said Sir Robert was wrong when he claimed Mr Peters had asked him for the donation.

Mr Peters told journalists they should ask the Spencer Trust what they did with the money.

“I have been advised by party officials at the time that there is nothing NZ First is required to disclose arising from the Spencer Trust,” Mr Peters said.

The headline is that Peters has suggested Sir Robert’s memory is fading. I suspect that was very unwise of him.

He has issued a press release:

1. The Glenn contribution went to my barrister . As soon as I learned of it I informed the Prime Minister and alerted the media.

But he never thought to ask Brian earlier if the mystery $100,000 donor was .

2. The issue of taxation on this contribution is without merit. Legal experts have said so.

Which legal experts? Opinion is divided as far as I can tell. In the end not that big an issue as the will form its own view.

3. No gift duty is payable. Gift duty is based on the laws of the country where the donor is domiciled.

See earlier post for differing views on this.

4. No declaration of pecuniary interest is required. This was made clear by the official advice given to Nick Smith as he revealed in the House this week.

Not at all. In fact Nick Smith did declare a beneficial interest.

5. The Vela cheque is lawful.

I don’t think anyone has suggested it wasn’t. The issue is the hypocrisy of hiding your large donors when you rail against other parties that do the same.

6. The Robert Jones claim that he gave $25,000 to New Zealand First?

– The cheque was made out to the Spencer Trust.
– The cheque was not made out to New Zealand First.

Here is where he just won’t front up, and just states a truism. Everyone knows who the cheque was made out to. The issue is why NZ First representatives are soliciting money on behalf of NZ First and asking for it to be paid into The Spencer Trust.

Is Peters really saying that Sir Robert Jones decided on his own initiative to donate $25,000 to a trust he has never heard of, and that it is unlinked to NZ First?

And never mind the hypocrisy of his attacks on other trusts.

– I have been advised by party officials at the time that there is nothing New Zealand First is required to disclose arising from the Spencer Trust.

Your own President and Deputy Leader say they have never heard of The Spencer Trust so how could they know anything about what the Spencer Trust may have done on behalf of NZ First?

7. Neither I nor my barrister has any involvement with the Spencer Trust.

Note the careful use of language. He says “involvement”. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t know exactly who has paid money into The Spencer Trust and what that money has been spent on. Knowledge is not involvement.

And what Winston doesn’t matter is that his brother runs the Trust. Are we to believe this is a coincidence? And can Winston explain why members of his parliamentary staff were soliciting money for the Spencer Trust?

8. The claim that the 1997 Cushing case settlement of $125,000 was paid by an anonymous donor is untrue. I paid the costs and have offered to show the reporter in question the details. This offer has not been taken up and no withdrawal of the claim has been published.

However it is a mystery who paid the $40,000 costs to Bob Clarkson in the 2005/6 case?

I can’t wait for Sir Robert’s reaction!

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