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Press Release on Winston Peters inquiry

7 August 2008

Media release - Privileges Committee

Inquiry into a question of privilege relating to compliance with a member's obligations under the Standing Orders dealing with pecuniary interests

The Privileges Committee met this morning to decide how to proceed with its examination of the question of privilege that stands referred to it concerning complaints that the Rt Hon Winston Peters failed to disclose a gift and failed to disclose a debt and the name of the person who discharged it.

The committee will consider the following matters in its inquiry:

1. The meaning of "debt" and "debtor" in the context of the Register of Pecuniary Interests
2. The meaning of "gift" in the context of the Register of Pecuniary Interests, including how to determine who is the beneficiary of a gift
3. Whether or not a debt existed in this case that should have been disclosed on a return of pecuniary interests
4. Whether, if a debt did not exist, a gift was received from a person whose name was known or would be reasonably discernable or a donation was made that covered expenses in an election campaign
5. Whether, if a debt or gift existed, Mr Peters knowingly provided a return that was inaccurate in a material way
6. Whether the rules for the disclosure of pecuniary interests require clarification or amendment
7. Any other relevant matters.

The committee has resolved to hear evidence from the Rt Hon Winston Peters and Mr Brian Henry initially.

The committee intends to meet next on Monday 18 August 2008, at 7.00pm.

As this matter is still before the committee, the chairperson is not able to make any further statement regarding the committee's consideration.


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