Jim Peron Interviewed On Peters Parlt. Allegations
Libertarian Jim Peron Interviewed On Parliamentary Allegations
Research Questions And Transcription By Kevin List
IMPORTANT SCOOP EDITOR'S NOTE: The interview that follows was conducted yesterday at around 1pm before Winston Peters made a series of allegations in Parliament concerning Mr Peron and ACT Leader Rodney Hide. A series of follow-up questions were provided by email to Mr Peron at his request, and the answers to these are also included below. Mr Peron has also been interviewed today on the BFM Wire programme (Listen in MP3 format).
For the benefit of context this report begins with a transcript of what Winston Peters said in Parliament yesterday, including Mr Hide's response. Mr Peters has another question (No. 5) on this matter scheduled for today's Ministerial Q&A session.
Scoop would like to make it clear that no inference should drawn be concerning Mr Hide's knowledge of Mr Peron's background at the time that he wrote to the NZIS seeking a clarification of policy on Mr Peron's behalf. Any inference that Mr Hide was aware of any of these facts at this time is not supported by current knowledge of the facts in this controversy, and would be incorrect.
– Scoop Co-Editor Alastair Thompson
Winston Peters In Parliament
6. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Minister of Immigration: What are the requirements for a person to qualify for residency under the employees of relocating businesses category, and is he satisfied that this policy is working in the interests of New Zealanders?
Hon PAUL SWAIN (Minister of Immigration): The main requirements for the employees of relocating businesses category are that the applicant must be a key employee of a business that is relocating to New Zealand, and that the relocation of the business must be supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. The policy intent of this is to work in the interests of New Zealanders.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: What investigations did the New Zealand Immigration Service undertake when it allowed the residency approval of a Mr Jim Peron, the director and establisher of the Institute for Liberal Values, who set up an Auckland porn shop under the guise of a bookshop; and did the investigations reveal Mr Peron’s links with the North American Man/Boy Love Association, known as “NAMBLA”?
Hon PAUL SWAIN: I am not aware of the full extent of the investigations that the Immigration Service would have made. Clearly, investigations would have had to be made as part of any approval process under the immigration system. I would happy to make further investigations on the member’s behalf and get back to him when the information is available.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: Does the Minister agree that allowing people to enter New Zealand under a business category that enables them to use New Zealand as a platform to promote their extreme political propaganda and contaminate minds with explicit pornography is of no benefit to New Zealand whatsoever and, further, puts our children in grave danger of sexual predators; if not, why not?
Hon PAUL SWAIN: If a person wanted to come to New Zealand and was guilty of the things the member said, that would not be acceptable to New Zealand or to New Zealanders.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: Was the Minister aware that this same individual had his work visa cancelled in South Africa, supposedly a Third World country, because of the dubious nature of his business activities; and why would New Zealand, supposedly a First World country, allow this man to run a bookshop and pornography outlet in Auckland, notwithstanding that this paedophile’s sponsorship form was endorsed by a member of this Parliament?
Hon PAUL SWAIN: I am not aware of all those facts as the member has portrayed them. I am keen to make further investigation, but obviously it would be of concern if a member of Parliament knew all that information about someone and continued to promote that person’s gaining access to New Zealand.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: I seek leave to table several documents: firstly, an email linking a member of this Parliament who was actively working on Mr Peron’s application to enter the country; secondly, a website for the Institute of Liberal Values, of which a member of Parliament is a member; thirdly, Mr Peron’s declined application to the Residence Appeal Authority, including the parts where he lied about the true nature of his business activities; and, fourthly, an email linking Mr Peron with the North American Man/Boy Love Association.
Rodney Hide: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. Just so there is no doubt, I think the member is referring to me. I want to make it plain to this House that—
Madam SPEAKER: Mr Hide, are you requesting leave to make a personal explanation?
Rodney Hide: I am seeking your guidance.
Madam SPEAKER: I suggest you seek leave to make a personal explanation.
Rodney Hide: I am raising a point of order to seek your guidance first.
Madam SPEAKER: I need to know whether that is what you are doing before I can rule on the point of order; otherwise, you are out of order.
Rodney Hide: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. My point of order is a request for your advice on what to do when a homophobic member of Parliament attacks someone simply because that person happens to be a friend of an MP. This man runs a legitimate bookshop—and this has been investigated by journalists—and the allegations against him have been found to be without foundation. Jim Peron has turned up at the National Party conference and sold books and he has turned up at the ACT party conference and sold books. He is an upright New Zealander, and I consider it to be an outrage that people are trying to score cheap political points by attacking someone simply because he is gay.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: That in no way was that a point of order. Worst still, Mr Hide made an allegation about me that should have been stopped at the time he made it. However, it gives me the opportunity to say that the ACT party, which claims to have a paedophile list, has left one of its main friends off it.
Madam SPEAKER: Having listened to the points of order, I say that that was not a point of order.
Jim Peron Scoop Interview
Jim Peron – From An Interview On TVNZ's Queer Nation
Source – TVNZ News 9/3/05
Jim Peron: Somebody has been trying to pass this story around and I know who it is. I believe it is Lindsay Perigo. He gave the story to the a Sunday paper - not quite - I was told he gave the story to Winston Peter's press secretary who then passed it on to the Herald allowing him deniability that he was the source. The Herald on Sunday, which spent a month investigating it and which then pulled the story at the Editor’s request because they had nothing of substance.
[SCOOP EDITOR'S NOTE: Scoop put Mr Peron's allegation concerning Mr Perigo to Mr Perigo, to Winston Peter's Press Sec. Frank Perry and to Herald On Sunday Political Editor Jonathan Milne. Mr Milne was not willing to publicly rule sources in or out, but Mr Perigo and Mr Perry both denied the allegation outright. Mr Perigo told Scoop that Mr Milne told him about the story a couple of days before it was due to run, and that was the first he, Mr Perigo, knew about any investigation. Moreover, until yesterday Scoop had not heard of any involvement of Mr Perigo in the Jim Peron matter.]
Scoop: Was it correct that the bookstore [in San Francisco] sold NAMBLA?
Jim Peron: It was called the Nambla Bulletin and was a newsletter. I bought a bookstore which had sold it [NAMBLA]. The people who had owned it before me, a fellow by the name of Ron Dorsey, said the one requirement he had for the sale, was that it [NAMBLA] remained in stock. What we then did was add about 60 to 80 publications to the publications shelf because they had about two [prior] and that was one.
That [NAMBLA] was carried by most of the gay bookstores. There were two gay bookstores in the area, which carried it but I knew of four in the area that sold it and I was told by the delivery agency that brought it in, that they supplied it to around 14 shops but I had no verification that was true. It was not an illegal publication or an obscene publication and it was put into the bookstore beforehand.
Scoop: Would you have carried it if it had not been a condition of the sale?
Jim Peron: No! I had never even heard of it. Even after I had sold the bookstore Ron Dorsey still lived in the area and insisted that the people who took over the bookstore from me carried it. It was still there until those people finally closed the bookstore some time later.
Scoop: Is it still available in the United States?
Jim Peron: I really don’t know? I had never seen it before that time and have never seen it since.
Scoop: When you initially tried to reside in New Zealand you initially came across some difficulties with a NZIS official who accused you of being “a radical libertarian” Is that correct?
Jim Peron: No, what she said was ‘that no libertarian should be allowed to come and live in the country.’
Scoop: She actually said that?
Jim Peron: Yes, which is why in the appeal the immigration [NZIS] said that it had to be re-considered and this woman was not to go anywhere near this case.
Scoop: Did Rodney Hide write a letter on your behalf?
Jim Peron: What he wrote was a letter asking what was going on with the first situation when this woman made these comments?
Scoop: So he was clarifying the situation?
Jim Peron: I have never seen his actual letter. As I understand it he was asking them [NZIS] what was going on and why was this woman saying this.
Scoop: The magazine you published in South Africa wasn’t pornography as such. What exactly was it as such – adult entertainment?
Jim Peron: No, it was not – it was like Express. And the person who is spreading all these stories knows all of this. We hired a defamation attorney to deal with this issue.
San Francisco Chronicle Article From 1987
Scoop: Regarding the San Francisco Chronicle – it is correct that the book store was raided?
Jim Peron: No a part-time employee was arrested. And when they arrested him and his friend, they went into both of the places where these individuals worked and searched both places of work for each of them to see if these individuals had put any type of evidence there. To my knowledge …I know they never found anything at the bookstore. I know the other person worked at a pawn shop – that’s P. A. W. N.
Scoop: You did talk to the San Francisco Chronicle?
Jim Peron: The San Francisco Chronicle misquoted something I had said.
Scoop: How did they misquote you?
Jim Peron: They misquoted one thing. Somebody sent me the article and I said “look the purpose of the book store is to sell controversial books” [In the article]. I would have said that ‘the purpose of a bookstore is to sell books and some books may be controversial.’ But that is what bookstores do – they sell books. [It was] not that the purpose of a bookstore is to sell controversial books.
Scoop: A contention of the article was that the police were harassing you because you wanted to abolish the vice squad - was that correct?
Jim Peron: No, prior to my buying the bookstore there had been a movement in San Francisco to abolish the vice squad and the people who were making that - leading that movement - used the bookstore as the headquarters of that campaign. From that point on the police had kept a very close eye on the bookstore – coming into the bookstore going through things.
By the way I was not informed of this when I bought the store and only discovered that fact afterwards. It may have made me think twice had I known about that.
I don’t know what they were doing. A policeman in plain clothes is a pretty obvious thing in general. When they had this campaign there was a raid then. They were raided for drugs and as I understand it they [the police] found nothing and they had to pay penalties to the bookstore for raiding them without any proper reason to do so. That was before I even moved to the city.
Scoop: So you consider that you were misquoted in parts of the San Francisco article – that is correct?
Jim Peron: I didn’t say the bookstore's purpose is to sell controversial books. I said ‘the bookstore's purpose is to sell books which…and some people may consider books controversial.’ I do not believe it is the function of the bookstore to sell controversial books that is just an absurd position.
Scoop: You came to New Zealand because you were living in South Africa and you and your partner were attacked. Was the reason something to do with New Zealand allowing same sex partners to enter. New Zealand is one of the few countries to do this - isn’t it?
Jim Peron: It is one of the only places where we could both immigrate together. This is because as a gay couple we could not immigrate as a couple to other places. NZ allowed couples to immigrate together.
Scoop: You were feeling unsafe following the attacks in South Africa?
Jim Peron: There were three armed attacks on the premises and two armed attacks on both of us. The first time there was an armed attack they attacked someone who was driving into our driveway. I was in the house and did not see that. The second time they grabbed my partner outside the house and forced him to unlock the door so that they could get in. they tied us up and threatened to kill us if they didn’t give us all the money we had.
The third time they grabbed my partner outside as he was heading to work. When I saw them I basically, out of emotional response, literally put my fist through the glass. I just wanted to bang on the window to let them know that they’d been seen and hope they’d run away thinking I’d called the police at that point. And I put my fist through the window and they turned and shot at me.
Scoop: I haven’t heard any accusations from Lindsay Perigo – what is his beef with you?
Jim Peron: Because he insisted that I join the Libertarian Party when I got here and I said I wouldn’t do it?
Scoop: So this is [a case of ] libertarians falling out?
Jim Peron: I said I wasn’t a member of any political party and I wasn’t going to join any political party. That is not where I am at. And they insisted that I must do it and I said ‘I would not’. Then he started saying that I was trying to get others to quit the libertarians. I said I wasn’t trying to get anybody to quit anything - that was their own business I don’t care. He kept making that accusation and I said to him in an email ‘either present some evidence for this or please stop lying’. At this point he denounced me and said ‘you have no right to call me a liar – how dare you do this – this proves how evil you are.’
Then we announced we were holding a conference last year and he started whining and bitching that we hadn’t invited him to speak. How dare we put together a conference without the greatest libertarian in New Zealand being invited to speak at it!
Scoop: He puts out that “great” libertarian magazine ‘The Free Radical’.
Jim Peron: He then started emailing people saying I had banned him from that conference which was just ludicrous. We hadn’t even finalised the speakers list, and then when he didn’t get the invite he started spreading stories around. At that point I said to him ‘if he even wanted to be considered as a speaker he had to retract and apologise for the stories’ and he refused.
[NOTE: Mr Perigo told Scoop that while it "might have been true some time ago" that he wanted Mr Peron to join the Libertarianz Party. "In the end I was delighted he didn't."]
Click for big version
Aristotle's Bookstore Frontage In Auckland
Scoop: I’m not sure what stories Mr Perigo has been spreading. I understand that you initially had difficulty with the NZIS because the official seemed to disagree with your connection to the libertarian movement and Mr Hide clarified the situation?
Mr Peron: He wrote a letter asking for clarity and as far as I understand they wrote back saying they followed procedure.
Scoop: Did you know Mr Hide before that?
Mr Peron: No I did not. Somebody had written to him and told him about it
Scoop: So did Mr Hide know Vince Miller? He [Mr Hide] has also forwarded Vince Miller’s letter of support to the Department of Labour. Isn’t he the President of…?
Mr Peron Of ISIL [International Society For Individual Liberty], yes. We had gone to immigration and asked to apply, we said we number one wanted to run a bookstore, and number two run the institute. We had been informed by a local attorney here that applying under the institute was the best way to go and that was also what immigration had told us. We filed that and then they [NZIS] said no you can’t file that because the institute is a not for profit and we don’t have any category for that.
They told us that you apply for it under the business category and I rang myself and was told that, as did the attorney. They said no – you can’t file it under that category because it is not a business – it has to be for profit. I then put in the appeal because number one this is what we were told to do by immigration and number two would the Red Cross be told they can’t set up an office in New Zealand – what category does this go under!? I also contested this woman saying that nobody who was a libertarian should be allowed into the country. Basically - what they ruled was number one there is no definition of business…
Scoop: Had the official looked at your own writings, or had she looked at general libertarian writings?
Jim Peron: No she hadn’t looked at anything I wrote. As far as I remember she said ‘these are people who believe in a Bill of Rights, oppose censorship and gun control. And that is basically what she commented on. That is a very narrow definition of what it means to be a libertarian. In the appeal the immigration board said she couldn’t deal with the case in the future. Number two – there is actually no definition under business visa for what qualifies as a business, and number three they said ‘that it probably should have been filed under another category.’
They implied it could possibly be turned down unless we applied for it under another category. At which point we put in a completely different application using the bookstore as the primary applicant instead of the institution.
Scoop: Was the Institute for Liberal Values ever going to be a company?
Jim Peron: No it was never meant to be a company and immigration never said it had to be. That is one of the stories that he gave to the Herald. And the Herald also found that was false.
Scoop: I have got the decision here from Patricia Fisher [NZIS review board member] and it seems to me that your agent was implying the Institute for Liberal Values would be a company. Was that supposed to be the bookstore?
Jim Peron: No that was the first application which was withdrawn. There were two applications. The first one we filed under the business application with the institute. They said, at that point they don’t know how it fits into this category. They don’t have a business definition at all but they don’t think it should be under this category. They said it had to be reconsidered and the woman who had originally done the ruling couldn’t reconsider it. They seemed to imply that it could still possibly be turned down because they didn’t know how to handle a not for profit organisation. So instead we withdrew that application and we filed a new application with a new immigration consultant. The attorney we had originally hired didn’t know what he was doing, he was originally going to send our application to London.
Scoop: So this isn’t someone with a beef against Mr Hide but rather a beef at you?
Jim Peron: Yes. What (I believe is that) Mr Perigo is doing is passing this around using Rodney as the hook.
Scoop: Rodney is quite a high profile a member of Parliament
Jim Peron: He (Perigo -not Hide) gave this to the twit from New Zealand First, Winston Peters press secretary and it was then passed on to the political reporter from the Sunday Herald. That guy [Jonathan Milne] spent weeks on it trying to get all of this information and in the end they said that they had nothing. The accusations didn’t pan out -there was no story there and even to try and print any of this material would put them under New Zealand’s defamation laws.
Scoop: What accusations were there. I haven’t got any accusations here. All I’ve got is that Rodney Hide supported or clarified the position of someone described as a “radical libertarian.” That is not particularly defamatory?
Jim Peron: Well as I said they came in and arrested the part time employee and Mr Perigo spread the story that it was me who was arrested.
[NOTE: Mr Perigo says that an item that was posted on a website associated with him, and tabled in Parliament yesterday by Mr Peters, mistakenly made this allegation. Mr Perigo is aware that this item is incorrect and says he has not spread the story to the contrary.]
Scoop: But the San Francisco Chronicle doesn’t say that anywhere.
Jim Peron: No, I know it doesn’t say that. In fact I consider other than that misquote that [the San Francisco Chronicle] backs up [the fact] that it wasn’t me who was arrested.
Interview follow Up Questions For Jim Peron
Scoop: Who was the friend who asked Rodney Hide to write to the NZIS seeking clarification about the remarks by the NZIS official about Libertarians in general not being welcome in NZ?
Jim Peron: I do not know who sent Mr. Hide the email. Someone in New Zealand who heard about the initial application emailed him and he then contacted me asking about it. I did not ask anyone here to contact Mr.Hide as I did not even know Mr. Hide. He told me that a "constituent" emailed him. That is all I know. I do not think he even remembers who it was who emailed him either. I know I was quite surprised at the contact as I did not expect it.
Scoop: Did anyone other than Vincent Miller and Rodney Hide write to the NZIS on your behalf? If so who?
Numerous people did and I do not have the full list as that was years ago
This is also an open-ended question where my answer can be used in a false way. You do not explain what you mean by "write to theNZIS on [my] behalf". As I understand it, having never seen the letter, Mr. Hide asked NZIS if standard procedure was followed and they responded and said it was. Clearly the appeal board did not think it had been. But that application was withdrawn because it was filed with bad advice and a different application went in. So the first application, which you are referring to, became a dead issue and irrelevant.
Scoop: It is alleged that the "Express" like publication you published in South Africa contained pornography. What exactly did it contain? Soft porn or the like, or no pictures at all?
Jim Peron: I have some copies of it which are available for inspection and you can draw your own conclusions. But I do not believe it was pornographic unless you think any publication for the gay community is pornographic.
Scoop: The second application for Immigration was under the Business Immigration programme. I understand that this would require some substantial personal wealth. What was the source of that money? How much money was required to be shown in order for the application to proceed?
Jim Peron: You misunderstand the situation completely. A business immigration visa is not an entrepreneurs visa (which did require some wealth) but based on skills in the field under which one applied. I've run bookstores my entire life and applied as a book store owner. You should check your facts with an immigration expert beforehand. I do not have substantial wealth so there is no source of such wealth. No amount was required except to show a business plan that was feasible in the eyes of NZIS appraisers. That the shop still exists three years later is proof it was feasible and I still don't have substantial wealth.
Scoop: What is the relationship between the bookshop and the Institute for Liberal Values?
Jim Peron: The bookstore is a private business, which I own. It is separate from the Institute. I do not have cheque signing powers for the Institute either. The Institute is run by a board and I work as a volunteer. The bookstore is owned by me.
Scoop: What is the relationship between Rodney Hide, the bookshop and > the ILV?
Jim Peron: Mr. Hide has been on the board of the Institute. That is all. He has no relationship to the bookstore which is wholly owned by myself (and I suspect under New Zealand law) by my life partner.
Scoop: Mr Hide has described you on his weblog as a good friend. How would you describe your relationship with Mr Hide since coming to NZ?
Jim Peron: Mr. Hide is a good man. We may not agree on all issues but I think he is a good man. I believe everyone is a "good friend" in his eyes because that is the type of person he is. I suspect you can fault him for being too friendly. I speak to him maybe every couple of months or so. I read his blog and infrequently exchange emails. We share some common views and I'm glad he was there to support civil unions which was an issue dear to me.
Scoop [Wellington]: What is presently sold in Aristotle’s bookshop in Auckland? Specifically do you sell pornography of any kind? And if so what kind?
Instead of asking why don't you come in and see for yourself. We are a bookstore. We mainly have books on economics and political science and philosophy. We stock thousands of titles in total.
We have a large section marketed to the gay community which is mainly literature, fiction, non-fiction, etc. There are some novels with gay themes and some gay publications. What can be construed as "adult" in the gay material is perfectly legal in New Zealand and only a small section of the gay section (maybe 2% of total inventory).
We have several hundred videos which we purchased in Kiwi shops at reduced prices in a rental section for the public like any other video rental outlet (except smaller). Out of the several hundred videos again a minority of them would be adult titles.
These are not a substantial portion of inventory. I suspect if one wanted to distort facts for sentationalistic purposes one could do that based on the minority of inventory. Of course you could do the same to any video outlet in Auckland that I've rented from since all of the ones I visited have a small adult section even though that is not their primary selection. Your concentration on a tiny of minority of inventory is indicative of a desire to sensationalise and not find the facts.
My bookstore is building three speciality book shops in one. One was on economics from a classical liberal perspective. Second, was a gay section marketed to the gay community and we have just begun building that section up and only had our first stall at Big Gay Out. The third is books on rationalism and humanism which is in the beginning stages.
I find it odd that you are trying to get a verbal description when we easily could have arranged a personal visit so you could see with your own eyes.
In my mind this is starting to sound like it might be an anti-gay angle assuming that gay novels are pornographic. I suspect you hope to smear Mr Hide and I guess the gay angle is one way of doing that.