Taxpayer paid for Winston’s winebox costs

Another Phil Kitchin story in the Dom Post:

Remember this exchange in May:

Mr Peters answered questions in Parliament on May 10, 2006, about Winebox legal fees.

National MP Tau Henare, a former NZ First MP and caucus colleague of Mr Peters, asked the NZ First leader: “Who paid the legal fees for the Winebox?”

Mr Peters replied: “Who paid for the Winebox inquiry? Yours truly … I would never have thought Tau Henare would have the temerity to raise that question. Shame on the member. I had to carry the whole can by myself.”

Sounds very clear. Peters carried the whole can by himself. Except …

However, four bills obtained by The Dominion Post, all dated June 2, 1995, and from Mr Henry to former NZ First staff member Terry Heffernan, suggest Mr Peters appears to have misled Parliament. The bills total nearly $24,000 and were coded as being paid by Parliamentary Service.

Misleading Parliament is very serious. That should send him to the Privileges Committee. Oh wait, he is already there!

But who else may have been economical with their answers?

Mr Henry told the committee last week that he eventually received legal aid for his Winebox legal advice under an arrangement with the solicitor-general.

But till he received that legal aid, Mr Henry said his fees were either paid by Mr Peters or through fundraising he did himself.


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