Hooton Blogging


We must really welcome Matthew Hooton to the blogosphere.

His first post is very, very good.

Peter, in various interviews, has said that he doesn’t give a damn about the possible breaches of the electoral laws and that his job is to defend his client on the more serious criminal allegations of fraud.  Worryingly for Peters, Peter, for all his vast experience in the criminal law, does not seem even to understand basic elements of electoral law.  For example, when Kathryn Ryan correctly said that the $50,000 donation from the Spencer Trust to New Zealand First should have been declared, he incorrectly corrected her and said the issue was the $25,000 from Sir Robert Jones to the Spencer Trust.

Peters should be worried that his lawyer does not display even a basic understanding or our previous and current electoral law.  Assuming we as taxpayers are paying Peter’s invoices, with Peters as a Minister being entitled to have his legal costs paid by the State, then we are getting poor value too.

The fact is that, under the old electoral law that is relevant here, it was only the donations from the Spencer Trust to New Zealand First that are relevant.  It is they that must have been declared, but which were not.

That is the serious issue – the issue which makes a liar of the New Zealand First Party.

Each year, the National Party has declared that it has received donations from the Waitemata and Ruahine trusts.  When it has been required to do so, the Labour Party has declared donations from entities such as the unions, the Lim Chhour Investment Trust and anonymously.  Each time they have done so, they have attracted criticism in the media.

We now know that New Zealand First – while criticising Labour and National for their funding arrangements – has been using exactly the same arrangements but with the difference that it has not even been prepared to declare, as the law required, that it was doing so.

This is the profound lie at the heart of this scandal – every other party obeyed the law and accepted the public and media criticism that came with funnelling money through secret trusts.  New Zealand First lied about it and broke the law deliberately over many years to maintain the fiction that they were the only pure party in Parliament.  That is the fraud on our democracy and parliamentary system for which Helen Clark, were she to have any integrity, would fire him rather than keeping him in her Government, as a Minister, on $200,000 a year, with a ministerial mansion, a 24/7 limo service, a dozen or so taxpayer-funded staff, access to Cabinet papers, and with the right to have his legal fees paid by us as taxpayers.

I see Rodney Hide has reported them to the police. Good.

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