Radio NZ reports:
Tens of thousands in donors’ funds given to the New Zealand First Foundation were spent paying expenses, wages and bills for people closely associated with the New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.
The foundation, which has bankrolled NZ First using secret donations from rich business people, spent more than $130,000 on a company run by Brian Henry – the personal lawyer and close friend of Peters.
So $130,000 is paid to a company run by Winston’s lawyer – Brian Henry. The same Brian Henry who is a trustee of the Foundation.
Jamie Henry, Brian Henry’s daughter, received $64,500 in wages and expenses, which included seven identical amounts, totalling $3010, referenced as “rent”. All those costs were paid by the foundation.
An amazing coincidence.
Peters’ partner Jan Trotman also received a payment from the foundation, according to records seen by RNZ.
On July 29 last year, the foundation paid Trotman $3450. The transaction is recorded as “Reimburse-Flt” in what appears to be a reimbursing payment for a flight.
RNZ asked Trotman why the foundation would pay for her air travel but she declined to comment.
She does not appear to have any official role with New Zealand First but has been involved in a business venture with Brian Henry and his son David.
Very strange as she is also eligible for free airfare as an MP’s spouse – unless the travel is for business.
Trotman is a director of New Zealand Future Forest Products (NZFFP), which applied unsuccessfully for a $15 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).
Brian Henry was also a director of NZFFP at the time of the PGF application but Company Office records show he resigned that position on February 19 this year.
Definitely nothing at all to see here.
The SFO will decide whether or not they think any laws have been broken. The other issue is why does NZ First have such a structure where non elected officials control the money from donations, the campaign spending and even the party’s database?