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Police Investigations Clear Wellington Mayor

Police Investigations Clear Wellington Mayor

New Zealand Police Wellington News Release
11:50am 18 November 2008
http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release.html?id=4487

Two separate police investigations have found Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast complied with requirements of the Local Electoral Act 2001.

"Police have examined the facts and established in both cases that Mayor Prendergast complied with the law," said Detective Inspector Mike Arnerich, Wellington Police District Crime Manager.

The first investigation, conducted by Detective Inspector Arnerich, followed a complaint made in June in which it was alleged the Mayor had failed to detail the identity of anonymous donors when she actually knew their true identity.

"The investigation established that this was not the case. The Mayor had as in previous campaigns specifically utilised a 'blind trust' run by a legal firm so that anonymous donors could make campaign donations anonymously to the trust," Detective Inspector Arnerich said. "This process complies with the Local Electoral Act 2001"

The second investigation, carried out by Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Miller, arose in August when it was alleged that the Mayor filed a false return on her 2007 election expenses.

This investigation established that the allegations made in the complaint were unsubstantiated, and that the Mayor had fully complied with the Electoral Act requirements.

Detective Senior Sergeant Miller said that as a general overview, Mayor Prendergast's return was more comprehensive that some other returns.

"It would appear that some of the extra information provided has led to the allegation," he said. "Some of the allegations made outside of the electoral expense return were simply business as usual for a person in the Mayoral position and were in no way restricted to the Mayor."

There will be no further investigation into the complaints.

Ends

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