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Peters Rejects Unfounded Claims

25 July 2008

Peters Rejects Unfounded Claims

A series of newspaper articles, radio and television items this week about New Zealand First election funding are “unsubstantiated rubbish”.

None of the claims made in any of the items contained evidence that New Zealand First has acted outside the law.

Every donation New Zealand First has ever received has been legal and no individual has ever personally retained any donations.

Any suggestion that we were influenced by donations over our racing industry policy is clearly ridiculous because we wrote the policy many years ago. Other suggestions that we were influenced by donations from the fishing industry are also ridiculous because we have always argued for the New Zealandisation of this industry.

The allegations have been baseless.
1. The Glenn contribution went to my barrister Brian Henry. As soon as I learned of it I informed the Prime Minister and alerted the media.
2. The issue of taxation on this contribution is without merit. Legal experts have said so.
3. No gift duty is payable. Gift duty is based on the laws of the country where the donor is domiciled.
4. No declaration of pecuniary interest is required. This was made clear by the official advice given to Nick Smith as he revealed in the House this week.
5. The Vela cheque is lawful.

6. The Robert Jones claim that he gave $25,000 to New Zealand First?
- The cheque was made out to the Spencer Trust.
- The cheque was not made out to New Zealand First.
- I have been advised by party officials at the time that there is nothing New Zealand First is required to disclose arising from the Spencer Trust.

7. Neither I nor my barrister has any involvement with the Spencer Trust.

8. The claim that the 1997 Cushing case settlement of $125,000 was paid by an anonymous donor is untrue. I paid the costs and have offered to show the reporter in question the details. This offer has not been taken up and no withdrawal of the claim has been published.

What is this controversy based on? Nothing. It is simply aimed at discrediting New Zealand First and its Leader.

New Zealand First is entitled to all the same protections and defences of the law of any legal personality in this country.

Likewise, it has the same obligations, but New Zealand First is not going to subject itself to demands not required of, or demanded of, any other political party or leader.

What are you left with? A campaign of innuendo, misrepresentation and character assassination promoted by some particular interests for their own purposes. These campaigns have been going on since 1991 and they have always failed. They no doubt will continue – they no doubt will fail.

New Zealand First is again caught in the centre of a power struggle for control of the country’s resources in 2008. We are sure that the people will be acutely aware of what will happen to their pensions, wages and strategic assets if their protection is lost.

I intend next week to meet the Prime Minister and advise her of the facts.


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