Tim Murphy reports:
Winston Peters’ allegations in Parliament of who leaked his superannuation overpayment might impact two of the three declarations he is seeking in a Court of Appeal case, Tim Murphy reports
NZ First leader Winston Peters told the Court of Appeal he could not know who leaked details of his long-term superannuation overpayment – but weeks later told Parliament it was a ministerial press secretary and listed names of those who supposedly knew of the leak. …
Peters’ claims on July 22 under parliamentary privilege that a former press secretary for National MPs, Rachel Morton, overheard the ministers talking and leaked it to ACT leader David Seymour – and that it then it made its way to the media via the Taxpayers Union’s Jordan Williams, pollster and blogger David Farrar and the father of a National MP, John Bishop – were universally denied and ridiculed.
He tried to claim the leak was the result of ‘dirty politics’. Seymour told Parliament soon after that the allegation against him was utterly false, Morton (‘categorically untrue’), Williams (‘delusional’) and Farrar (‘insane’) issued denials and Peters’ theory about how this journalist and Newsroom came to learn of the overpayment and secret $18,000 repayment was wrong in every respect. Morton is understood to be applying to the Speaker for her denial to be recorded in Hansard under Parliament’s Standing Orders.
Curiously, Peters had taken an altogether different approach in the document he filed with the Court of Appeal challenging the High Court findings.
In the Notice of Appeal dated May 15, and just released to Newsroom, Peters’ lawyers told the court details of Peters’ payment “leaked from [the Ministry of Social Development] by persons the appellant [Peters] cannot (and cannot be expected to) identify”.
Further, and conflicting with his later parliamentary clam that Morton, a ministerial services staff member, had leaked the information, Peters’ lawyers say: “The leaked information, on the evidence adduced at trial can only have been by a member of the staff of the [Ministry of Social Development].”
Morton did not and does not work for MSD.
This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
WInston gets up in Parliament and names under privilege half a dozen people (including me) that he says leaked his Super details.
At the same time he files in court saying it must have been an MSD staffer.
So which Winston claim do we believe?
The correct answer of course is neither.