The real issue re Peters car

The media has rightfully focused on DIA trying to cover up the situation around Winston’s non-returned and non-purchased Ministerial car.

But there is a bigger story. And that is around the petrol. Yes I know that sounds trivial, but let me explain.

Being tardy returning your car is not a hanging offence. Many of us are tardy doing various things. It is a bad look, but not a deliberate action.

Being tardy paying for the car is also not a hanging offence. Many individuals and businesses have paid bilsl late. Again not a great look, but not a deliberate action.

But as Whale Oil points out, Winston was using his Ministerial fuel card to pay for petrol well after the election. He used the card on the 19th of November and 29th of November and 10th of December.

Now the election was 8 November and the new Government sworn in on 19 November. That means Winston was morally wrong to use the fuel card after 8 November and legally wrong to use it after 19 November.

Unlike the car not being returned, which can be explained away, using a Ministerial fuel card when you are not a Minister is a very deliberate decision. You go to the petrol station, fill up the car, and get asked to pay. You have a choice. You can pay cash. Or you can pull out the Ministerial fuel card and use that.

This is arguably a criminal offence. I recall a former MP got into some serious trouble some years ago when he used parliamentary taxi chits after he was no longer an MP.

Assuming Peters remains Leader of NZ First, maybe someone can ask him at his next press conference why did he choose to charge petrol to a Ministerial fuel card a month after the election?

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