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A Moron asks!! Updated with answers, well partial answers

13/09/2008

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Peters terms voters morons

On June 13, 3 months ago, Adam published a post ‘A Moron asks’ which raised a series of questions in respect of the actions of one Winston Peters. In the light of recent events Adam thought it appropriate to revisit that list and see what has happened.

Shortly before that date Mr Peters had called many voters morons and said he did not want their vote. Adam wonders how the arrogant Mr Peters feels about the wisdom of that statement now.

Not only does he seek to bully the press he shows contempt also for potential voters.

The questions which Adam sought answers to were as follows:-

1 What has happened to the repayment of the $158,000 of taxpayer money rorted from the public purse, by NZ First, at the time of the last election?

    It is claimed that the money has been disbursed to various charities. This article from Stuff refers.

    Leader Winston Peters said in June that the party had donated $158,000 – which it was found to have misspent at the last election – to several charities and informed Speaker Margaret Wilson of their identity.

    He has refused to name the charities publicly and an NZ First spokesman confirmed yesterday that was still the party’s position.

    “We are just not going to do it.”

    Speaker Margaret Wilson will not disclose what NZ First have told her. The Dominion Post noted:-

    Despite a law change validating the spending of parties that misused funds – meaning there was no longer a legal debt – NZ First was the only party not to repay its share to the Parliamentary Service.

    In December 2007, a cheque for $158,000 was handed back to NZ First by the Starship Foundation.

    Then in June this year, the Cystic Fibrosis Association said it would return $10,000 because it was not sure the party had the right to give the money to charity.

    Last month The Dominion Post spoke to nearly 50 major charities and all said they had not been offered money by NZ First.

    Continuing arrogance by NZ First and Mr Peters. An excellent example of something that may be legal, albeit by virtue of retrospective legislation, but which is ethically wrong and an example of poor governance raising concerns in Adam’s mind in respect of trust and integrity.

    On 1 April NZPA reported that in response to media inquiries as to the charity recipients, Mr Peters:-

    attacked the media for its interest in the issue saying “perhaps it is time to review the rules governing overseas ownership of the New Zealand media”.

    Does anyone see a pattern here?

    2 If it has been repaid by way of donations to charities, which Adam considers immoral and unethical, which charities? This is so that Mrs Smith, Adam and like minded morons can take care not to donate to charities which are prepared to accept the proceeds of crime, only legalised through retrospective legislation.

    As noted above apparently only Mr Peters, the Speaker of the House and presumably the NZ First party organisation know. Though Adam might perhaps be forgiven for wondering just what the NZ party organisation actually knows.

    See the update to Question 1 also.

    Adam is still astounded that The Speaker does not see a duty to disclose.

    3 Peters was quoted on April 1st, April Fools Day as saying a list would be provided to the Speaker once disbursement was completed. Where is that list? By what authority is this man giving away taxpayer money?

    See the earlier updates above. It is now clear that April Fools Day was the appropriate day to report this matter.

    Mr Peters contempt for ethics and governance process appears to know no bounds.

    4 Why do the media not challenge Peters more? Yes, Adam knows Peters gets abusive, so why do the MSM not investigate him?

    Well the media have taken Peters on. He has been investigated, yet still he wriggles. Adam has lost count of the number of newspaper editorials on Peters and his shenanigans.

    Despite what has been revealed some people still appear to believe in him. Though a number in Truly Appreciated

    the media have made their views plain .

    5. Dail Jones as quoted in this newspaper article, and in others said:- NZ First president and MP Dail Jones has said a large anonymous donation – nearly $100,000 – went to the party in December and he could not rule out that it came from Mr Glenn.. This was refuted by Peters, but no evidence was produced.

    6 Where did the money to repay the $158,000 come from? Peters supported the EFA, so he must believe in transparency? Yeah, Right!

      Well recently we have all found out a lot more about the sources of money in NZ First, thanks to the media and to Owen Glenn, though it appears that transparency is something of an alien concept to Mr Peters and NZ First. So we have a substantial part of the answers to questions 5 and 6.

      7 Why was Peters First allowed by the Electoral Commission to get away with filing a late financial return recently?

      This question was never really answered satisfactorily back when first raised and given the matters which have come to light since, is still pertinent. See this post on questions the Electoral Commission might ask.

      8 Why was Peters First not referred to the Police for this breach of the law?

      Given the present police and SFO investigations this is now perhaps only of academic interest.

      9 In February, Peters First ran these newspaper adverts, as referenced in this post, Adam raised questions and related issues at that time, which he has yet to see any material in the media effectively dealing with.

      The Electoral Commission decided the adverts in question were admissible. Though Adam still thinks they were examples of Peters populist and anti business stance.

      10 Does anyone know whether this complies with the EFA?

      See answer at 9, though Adam still thinks the ads were marginal.

      11 Has the Electoral Commission ruled on this ad yet

      See answer at 9, though Adam still thinks the ads were marginal.

      12 Given the huge expansion in MFAT staff and cost in recent years and Auditor General concerns over the administration of the aid budget, why is some NZ$600 million being spent over the next few years in more staffing? What benefits have been obtained from the spend in recent years?

      Not yet answered satisfactorily.

      Overall we have some answers. though not a complete and satisfactory set. Indeed, the information which has emerged has tended to raise more questions.

      In respect of issues of Trust, Integrity and Governance as discussed in Adam’s rant today, well Adam thinks we have sufficient information from which to draw some conclusions.

      Conclusions which are that Mr Peters and his party do not meet the criteria which Adam would wish to see a party with aspirations to be in Parliament and in Government.

      Indeed to adapt a phrase used by the Prime Minister in her party political broadcast yesterday:-

      Winston Peters is ambitious for himself, but ambiguous for New Zealand.

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