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NZ: NZ First Foundation trustee threatens lawsuit against National leader and MP – Will government fall?

22/11/2019

RNZ Website

This affair just became a major stoush.

Brian Henry is a longtime confidant of Winston Peters so the idea that Peters acted on his on account is, in my opinion, ludicrous.

Will it bring the government down?

The trustee of the New Zealand First Foundation and Winston Peters’ personal lawyer has threatened a $30 million lawsuit against a National MP, in the latest twist of the donations scandal.

The Electoral Commission is considering a complaint about the use of the New Zealand First Foundation for donations, and whether the party has met disclosure obligations.

Brian Henry, who acts as a lawyer for Mr Peters, is one of the trustees of the foundation; former MP and party president Doug Woolerton is the other trustee.

National has been pursuing New Zealand First and the prime minister over allegations about the handling of party donations.

Yesterday, National’s Nick Smith made a comment in Parliament about the donations.

This afternoon he tabled an email that he and National Party leader Simon Bridges received today from Mr Henry.

It said media reports had been “false and malicious”, adding that the loan activities to the party were lawful.

Mr Henry said in his email there was one loan from the foundation of $73,000, which was repaid in full over two years.

However, in a statement the Electoral Commission told RNZ that according to NZ First’s returns, there was one loan of $73,000 entered into in Dec 2017, another separate loan of $76,622 was disclosed in May 2018. The Commission said it understood that loan was to replace the first loan. Then there was a further loan of $44,923 disclosed in April 2019. MORE AT LINK

See also Oh dear, some negative press for NZ and Ardern in the Guardian

See also NZ: Political donation laws under scrutiny

See also NZ: Fresh New Zealand First Foundation revelations

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