If you read no other post today, read what Kiwiblog has to say about the SFO’s report.
NZ First’s failure to obey the electoral laws of New Zealand is what made the investigation occur. Because the public facts were that Bob Jones had stated he had made a $25,000 donation intended for NZ First, through the Spencer Trust, and the NZ First Party had filed a donations return saying it had not received any donations in 2005 of over $10,000. To quote the SFO:
There were two competing explanations for how this could be.
- The Spencer Trust never passed the money onto NZ First, which would be possibly fraudalant
- The Spencer Trust did pass the money onto NZ First, and NZ First filed a false electoral donations return
No 2 was always far more likely. And thanks to the SFO investigation we now know this is true. In fact we know that NZ First has filed a series of false returns, as has Winston Peters personally, and Peters has lied on multiple occassions about these returns, including giving false information to the Privileges Committee.
This is no case of an accidential omission on a return, due to Mrs Muggins the branch secretary. This was a strategy signed off by the Leader….
If you can find a clearer explanation that than, I’d love to see it.
As I said last night, Winston has only himself to blame for all this, because of his efforts to hide how his party was actually funded, his own donors realised that their donations may have gone astray and so complained.
In other words, his lies caught up with him.
There is no way that he should be going around claiming that he is exonorated. He is absolutely not, in the same way that David Parker was not. But like Parker, because one possibility has been proven false, few are looking too hard at the other possibility, which thanks to that proof has become a certainty.
Heh, gotta love what Hooton has to say though:
On this finding, the Prime Minister should re-instate Mr Peters as Foreign Minister and Minister for Racing. She has said before that it was only the SFO investigation that led to his suspension, not any of the other matters. This makes sense because of course her own Labour Party is a regular offender against the Electoral Act so she can hardly say Mr Peters cannot be part of her Government on those grounds alone.