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Times Up for NZ First?




Donations made to NZ First Foundation referred to police for investigation

Radio NZ Reports

Police have decided to refer inquiries into New Zealand First Foundation donations to the Serious Fraud Office.

No caption

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

It follows a complaint to the Electoral Commission late last year about whether the party and the New Zealand First Foundation were complying with requirements for donations and loans.

Earlier this afternoon, the Electoral Commission said based on the information available, it had formed the view that the New Zealand First Foundation had received donations that should have been treated as party donations.

It said it had referred the matter to police.

“The Commission does not have the investigative powers to form a view about whether this failure to transmit and the non-disclosure means offences have been committed,” the statement said.

“These matters have therefore been referred to the New Zealand Police, which have the necessary powers to investigate the knowledge and intent of those involved in fundraising, donating, and reporting donations.”

A police spokesperson said the Electoral Commission had handed its file over this morning.

“We have assessed the file and will be referring the matter to the Serious Fraud Office,” a statement said.

“As this matter is ongoing we are not in a position to comment further.”

NZ First reacts

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters said the party would review its arrangements for party donations in light of the Electoral Commission’s decision.

Peters said that the party’s model for collecting donations had been the same as other political parties.

Ratana Fri 24th January 2020.  Political parties are welcomed on to the marae.  Winston Peters outside the Temple at Ratana, waiting to be welcomed on to the marae.

Winston Peters. Photo: RNZ / Patrice Allen

However, he said the decision to refer the matter to the police, “underscores the importance of reviewing the donations regime”.

“I had already advised the party last week to take this course of action and itself refer the matter to the police, which the party had agreed to do.

“This does not imply any impropriety but is intended to ensure the party, as with all parties, have robust arrangements.

“If the review deems it necessary for New Zealand First and all parties to develop new arrangements to receive donations the party will consult with the Electoral Commission”, he said.

Peters said the party believed it had followed the law implicitly.

“I am advised that in all its dealings the Foundation sought outside legal advice and does not believe it has breached the Electoral Act.

“At this stage the SFO will consider if an offence has been committed, or otherwise, and it is not appropriate to make any comment on specific detail that prejudges their investigation”, Peters said.

The background

RNZ revealed in November that New Zealand First had disclosed three loans from the mysterious foundation.

In 2017, it received $73,000. Then in 2018, it received a separate loan of $76,622, in what the Electoral Commission says was a loan executed to “replace the first loan”. In 2019, it received another loan for $44,923.

Those giving money to the foundation are able to remain anonymous because under electoral law, loans are not subject to the same disclosure requirements as donations.

Last week, RNZ also reported on documents showing a series of donations to the New Zealand First Foundation from entities linked to some of the country’s wealthiest people.

Many were a fraction below the threshold at which they would have to be publicly disclosed.

RNZ was not alleging that any of the donors broke any laws or were trying to keep their donations secret.

The Electoral Commission’s decision came a day after New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said his party was lodging a police complaint over what he said was a “massive breach of the party’s information”.

“Ongoing media stories using as their source stolen information are designed to skew an even political playing field.

“New Zealand First has so far been sensitive to the circumstances surrounding the theft of party information but can no longer tolerate the mendacious attacks against the party and its supporters”, he said yesterday.

Peters has repeatedly said that his party has done nothing wrong and has complied completely with electoral law.

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  1. Simon’s timing is spot on of ruling the prick out. Guess he knew there was something going down when he said that Winston could not be trusted.
    Lets all hope that the SLG defends the prick to the hilt on trying to save the COL..? //
    Btw just ordered in a truckload of popcorn !~



    • Simon’s timing was spot on.
      Will Whinestone collapse the COL now and call an early election.
      That would set the cat amongst the pigeons, with his fellow members, will they rat on their mates?
      Shiney bums on seats have no mates!
      I think there will be an early election. Just as well the comrade said no wedding, this year.
      Because I think she will be too busy electioneering!
      May 30 is my pick in the sweepstakes!



      • The BFD did post a few articles attempting to discredit Mr Bridges but many commenters, myself included, poured scorn on this and maintained that destroying Winston First would be so rewarding that losing the election in 2020 would be tolerable.



    • He waited for something for a week , all party leaders were probably told of the EC’s findings and the police and SFO complaints , he hit the go button , Peters must have known at Wiatangi , because the performance of Peters not wanting to stand by Bridges was pathetic and childish , he knew what was coming this morning saying he is going to the police , over a whistleblower



  2. Just saw Cindy on One news. “I am going to allow them to do their investigation” She said.
    FFS since when does she control what the SFO does?
    Is this a slip of the tongue, or does she control the police.
    Now that’s a stupid question I know, but is she arrogant or stupid.



  3. Nobody in NZ politics deserves to suffer humiliation and ridicule more than Winston “Luigi” Peters,he has perverted our political system for 4 decades,he’s lied,back stabbed,side stepped,passed the buck,ridiculed anybody who speaks up about his corrupt party etc etc.
    It will actually bring me great joy to see the smirking little shit go down.



  4. Given this cunt’s history of lying, embezzlement, corruption and dishonesty over the past 40 years, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he survives this.

    I’m not joking. It’s almost impossible to imagine anyone who has behaved as abominably in any democratic system and consistently got away with it…. but here he is, the cockroch, still infecting our parliament with his vile machinations. He’s even got as far as deputy PM, FFS!



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