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Govt acceptance of Peters donation appalls rival


Media Statement

21.07.08

Government acceptance of Peters donation manipulation appalls his electorate rival

Tauranga Independent Candidate Gray Eatwell has written to the Electoral Commission to seek compliance enforcement in relation to NZ first’s financial disclosure requirements.

In particular Mr Eatwell requires the Electoral Commission to uphold its statutory duty and powers of investigation to verify the New Zealand first financial accounts based on the following known facts.

• Evidence shows that Owen Glenn made a donation to “NZ First”, while there is nothing to indicate that Mr Glenn made a private arrangement with lawyer Brian Henry.

• In February 2008 Dail Jones MP reported that a large, anonymous donation “closer to $100,00 than $10,000 had appeared in the party’s bank account last December.

• Dail Jones MP stated 25th February 2008 that while he was a NZ first official “We had a board meeting on the 17th December before which I paid the cheque to Starship because the money came in in the previous week.”

• Brent Catchpole party treasurer said that the sum Jones had been referring to was an amount transferred between two of the party bank accounts………..none of which was over $10,000. (The level at which a donation must be reported)

Mr Eatwell expects the Electoral Commission to exercise its powers to investigate the facts of the transactions between the “two bank accounts” referred to by Mr Catchpole and demand evidence of bank deposits made directly to Mr Henry (while he was acting as agent for a registered political party).

Such a simple investigation will prove if NZ first has, or has not committed a “corrupt practice” under the Electoral Act.

The penalty for which is a fine of $100,000 and two years imprisonment, but more importantly any person found guilty of a “corrupt practice” under the Act would lose their seat and would never be able to stand for Parliament again.

Mr Eatwell said in Tauranga today, “ if Winston Peters had simply checked his facts instead of going off and getting furious on 25th February and stating Dail Jones was “completely wrong” this whole debacle need not have occurred”.


ENDS

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