End of Winston?

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, November 1st, 2008 - 82 comments
Categories: nz first - Tags:

The Dominion Post has published some pretty damning evidence indicating Winston Peters’ connections with the Vela family. According to the Dom Winston’s right-hand man, Ross Meurant, was telling the Vela’s that their donations to New Zealand First would give them “input” into the party’s policies.

Like many others I’m always hesitant to predict the end of Winston but this may be it.

I’d be interested to know who was behind the leaked box of papers however. The documents are very detailed and few would have had access to them. It could be Meurant but it’s unlikely he’d expose his own role in the dealing without a strong motivation.

I suspect that at the very least National knew this was coming as it would explain John Key’s unusually firm stance of refusing to deal with New Zealand First but I doubt we’ll ever know where the information came from.

Update: I’ve been taking a closer look at the material and I’m now certain National would not have had anything to do with this as some material implicates the last National government in Winston’s dealings:

Mr Peters: “You gotta do better than that, Meurant. Don’t these people know how dangerous I can be [laughs].” Mr Peters then says something to the effect of Vela interests having been saved millions in tax liability by Mr Peters.

That’s from November 1999.

82 comments on “End of Winston?”

  1. “I’d be interested to know who was behind the leaked box of papers however.”

    Slightly more interest than any of you expressed about the idientity of secret tapers or the identity of Batman.

  2. Tim Ellis 2

    As you say, IB, you would have to be pretty brave to predict Winston’s demise.

    I have long suspected that the leak is a former senior, long-serving staffer who left Winston’s office suddenly at the beginning of the year. As for Batman, both the Dom and the Herald appear convinced that he is the Labour Party president.

    Back to Winston. Is this murky enough for Helen to sack him yet?

    I suspected something like this would come out. Phil Kitchin has been working on the story for years.

  3. IrishBill 3

    But also considerably less interest than National and its supporters showed in the identity of those people too, Bill. I’d like to know all of the above because I find political intrigue interesting but I’m certainly not going to claim that the identity of the taper, of batman of the leaked Brash documents or “batman” is more relevant than the information each revealed.

    Will you be calling for the police to investigate who “stole” Winston’s documents or is this different to the hollow men situation? If so, how?

  4. Arguably, the police did not investigate the hollow man emails IB.
    if we see a change I would expect Broad to be “Borised” by xmas.

  5. IrishBill 5

    Bill, you haven’t answered my question. Will you call for an investigation into the “theft” of Winston’s documents?

  6. Spider_Pig 6

    Key’s firm stance in dealing with Peters is bases solely on the fact Peters is a crook and a liar. Pity Labour, who wants us to trust it, cannot see this. Or more importantly, can see this but is overwhelmed by its lust for power.

    And your hypocrisy calling for the leak to be exposed is staggering

  7. Tim Ellis 7

    SpiderPig, the issue that Labour will be trying to bury under the carpet is the fact that Helen Clark actively permitted Winston Peters to keep a donation of $40,000 from the Velas, despite knowing how much Peters had moved heaven and earth to deliver large sums of government money to subsidise the racing industry over the last three years.

    It does make you wonder just what Winston has over Helen to be able to get away with this. Is there anything that Peters could do to put his own job in jeopardy? Why does she tolerate it from him?

  8. IrishBill 8

    Spider_Pig, please explain where I’ve called for the leak to be exposed. Otherwise apologise.

  9. IB, it is my understanding that no documents were stolen. Meurant had the docs and has passed them on.. More to come on Monday and according to my sources it may well be taped phone conversations between bauble Boy and Meurant. The problem now is Clark will get no credit for sacking him. Luckily the police are busy in China chasing down the cash for citizenship scandal so Winnie should avoid more police interest until after the election.
    But keep running that shoot the messenger line, it is working so well for you.

  10. RedLogix 10

    it is my understanding that no documents were stolen. Meurant had the docs and has passed them on..

    So if that is the case then why is Meurant incriminating himself in this manner? I’m not being argumentative, it’s just that it is the obvious question to ask.

    There are several possible answers, but the notion that Meurant has been compelled by a guilty conscience to confess all and seek absolution, is one of the less likely ones.

  11. IrishBill 11

    Bill, I don’t consider the documents were “stolen” either and I’m pleased they are in the public sphere as I have no love for Winston. I was also pleased that we got to see what was going on in the background with National through the tapes and the leaked Brash documents.

    Perhaps my subtle dig at the double standards of the right were a little too subtle for you?

  12. Seamonkey Madness 12

    “as it would explain John Key’s unusually firm stance of refusing to deal with New Zealand First”

    Now that is a money quote!

    What else is needed to reject him from a National coalition, besides being a dodgy bastard, who holds the major partner to ransom?

  13. Bill 13

    So yet another instance of a politician acting scurrilously or stupidly. I might be wrong and stand to be corrected, but the various recent shenanigans seem to have one factor in common.

    Neither the Greens nor the Maori Party seem to be able to emulate the behaviour of the other parties or individuals within them.

    How do they ever expect to be taken seriously?

  14. higherstandard 14

    I agree with IB – don’t write the sod off – he could be proven to be the third antichrist and you’d still not bet against him getting over the 5%.

    Have a read of this one as well – it reads like a cheap political comedy

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/vote08/4745987a28477.html

    “Winston Peters repeatedly demanded that the Vela family provide him with a free helicopter to use for campaigning during the 1999 election, documents show.

    He wanted to paint the helicopter in NZ First colours and fly it to rural areas.

    But while the Velas apparently agreed to supply a pilot, they baulked at providing a helicopter, on the grounds that Philip Vela “socialises with people who hate you”.

  15. Robin Grieve 15

    If the documents were stolen of course they should be investigated. It would take a word from Helen into her police lap dog Broad for that to happen though.November the 8th is close, an end to corruption and oppression is in sight. Big farewell party for Helen at the airport soon.
    Do you think Dail Jones might have a motive after supporting Winston throygh the hearings and voting for him against all the evidence(labour did as well of course) and then getting dumped by Winston in the list?

  16. Tim Ellis 17

    I personally found that conversation to be beyond ludicrous, HS.

    WINSTON: “I WANT A HELICOPTER! A BIG BLACK AND WHITE HELICOPTER! GET ME A HELICOPTER!!! GET ME A HELICOPTER NOW!!!”

    MEURANT: “There’s a slight problem, Winston. The person with the helicopter has friends who hate you.”

    “WINSTON: “I DON’T CARE! GET ME MY HELICOPTER NOW!”

  17. Tim Ellis 18

    That conversation from Meurant and Peters must be bogus. It has the hallmarks of a really, really shoddy movie script.

  18. higherstandard 19

    Tim

    It would all be laughable if these people weren’t charged with running the country.

    If it’s even vaguely correct you’d have to think the man’s somewhat unbalanced and add to that that this was some years ago and he’s arguably gone even more potty over recent times.

    To quote Pete Hodgson a little bit “I’m no lawyer” ….. but this looks like Winnie may be perilously close to being in breach of the Crimes Act 1961

    S.102 Corruption and bribery of Minister of the Crown

    (1) Every Minister of the Crown or member of the Executive Council is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years who corruptly accepts or obtains, or agrees or offers to accept or attempts to obtain, any bribe for himself or any other person in respect of any act done or omitted, or to be done or omitted, by him in his capacity as a Minister or member of the Executive Council.

  19. exbrethren 20

    Brash getting helicopter from Talleys?

  20. Tim Ellis 21

    HS, I would think that only applies to sitting Ministers of the Crown. It’s unlikely to apply to people who take money before they are ministers to advance particular policies sometime in the future if they become ministers.

    I don’t doubt what is being alleged is highly corrupt, and almost certainly illegal, but I don’t think that part of the Crimes Act would cover it.

  21. paw prick 22

    ” I suspect that at the very least National knew this was coming ”

    Of course Clark would have knowen nothing of this for the last 9 years????

  22. higherstandard 23

    exbretheren

    I’m sure you’re trying to make a point – please expand on it for us.

  23. Chris G 24

    Winston never dies. Isnt he the last remaining MP from robs mob?

  24. higherstandard 25

    Your probably right Tim – if the Dom post material is kosher it does make you wonder how unbalanced Winston is though.

    I feel a bit sorry for Helen, she must have been aware of some this (or a lot of this) and had to just grin and bear it for the sake of holding government together and passing legislation.

  25. Tim Ellis 26

    HS, if that transcript is true, then we do need a commission of inquiry, and I have no doubt that subsequent to such a commission of inquiry, several politicians will end up in jail, and many more will never be trusted with public office again.

  26. higherstandard 27

    Tim

    You have more faith in politicians holding each other to account than I have.

  27. Pat 28

    New Zealand First are imploding. Labour have shackled themselves to NZF and the Greens have shackled themselves to Labour.

    There is no conceivable way that the Maori Party will prop up this sorry trio.

  28. r0b 29

    I feel a bit sorry for Helen, she must have been aware of some this (or a lot of this)

    Ahh – why? I understand that you’re going for guilt by association there HS, but it’s a bit of a long shot don’t you think!

  29. ak 30

    So…….. a Springbok Tour thug and ex-National MP brokers deals for policy, calls Winnie a “tricky Maori boy”, tapes phone calls and hoards documents in what looks like a massive entrapment sting that Key was aware of weeks ago, then releases it all a week before the election triggering further blood-baying for Winnie from the tory press.

    The Hollow Men toil on behind the “fresh” facade. Probable bounce for Winnie in all this – and watch the Money Trader do a Pilate and leave the dirty work to the scribes and farrarsees. Lots of silver pieces behind all this.

  30. paw prick 31

    No Rob its not a long shot!
    Do you really think HC knew nothing of this? The PM who “always has a finger on the pulse” Why does she not act? why dose she not sack this guy. why did she let Peters keep the 40,000 donation???

    This ones about Trust!

    IrishBill: It seems Winston was up to no good as Treasurer in the last National government. Given how many of National’s front bench were fellow ministers in that government I could well ask if you really think they knew nothing of that.

  31. IrishBill 32

    Looking at the timeline I’d suggest guilt by association might be a bad call for National as it suggests Winnie was up to no good while he was National’s treasurer.

    What a can of worms.

  32. Tim Ellis 33

    r0b, much of the Hollow Men evidence, which you use as your bible, was guilt by association.

    I don’t know what Helen Clark knew, and when. She has certainly known for a long time that Winston has gone in to bat for special interests (Owen Glenn for Monaco Consul, fisheries, racing industry), and she has had reason to believe for a long while that Winston was getting large sums of money from those people.

    Remember Glenn told Clark that he had donated to Peters back in February. Clark says at the time that she had no reason to disbelieve either, yet the issue was sufficiently troubling for her to annul any chances of Glenn getting the Monaco posting. Yet was it troubling enough for Clark to dig further for the truth, and perhaps even ask Glenn to come up with any of the evidence that he was later freely willing to give to the Privileges Committee?

    Likewise it has been known for several months at least, and rumoured for much longer, that the Vela family made large donations to NZ First and/or Winston. Clark even approved the $40,000 donation from the Velas to Peters’ legal costs. She knew that Peters had pushed hard for incentives to the racing industry, which just happened to significantly benefit the Velas. Is that murky? Yes, I think so. Is it corrupt? I believe so.

    The question is, why has Clark tolerated it? Why has she allowed her foreign minister to remain a Minister for the last several months, running distraction for him at every turn?

    I read the DomPost’s articles this morning, and quite truthfully I hope those allegations to be untrue. It really does make my stomach wretch at the thought that any administration in New Zealand could become so currupt.

  33. paw prick 34

    Remind me Bill
    Who has been the goverment (with Winston) for the last NINE years????

  34. Tim Ellis 35

    Irishbill, Winston was sacked by Shipley in August 1998, before Meurant joined him as an adviser. National has pretty much avoided any dealings with Winston since. The timeline doesn’t implicate anybody in the National Party.

    As I see it, Meurant’s a pretty nasty piece of work. God knows what Winston thought he was doing hiring him for five years. Meurant clearly established the Peters-Vela relationship. I don’t see Clark as responsible for that. But she is responsible for appointing him Minister of Racing, and giving Cabinet support to initiatives that benefitted the racing industry, in the full knowledge of Winston’s connection to racing interests like the Velas.

    IrishBill: you don’t need to give me political history lessons Tim, but what do you make of Peters claiming he’s saved the Velas million in tax? Especially when he’d been treasurer for most of the Nat’s last term?

  35. IrishBill 36

    paw, that would be nobody. NZ First was on the opposition benches for the first three years of the Labour-led government and only a confidence and supply supporter for the second.

  36. higherstandard 37

    r0b

    I think she will have known about the Velas for a while and been highly suspicious of Winnie lobbying for extra cash for racing. She clearly knew about the Owen Glen fiasco and must have felt like head butting him when he went through with his infamous no no placards. Come to think of it if she had delivered the Newcastle kiss to Winnie I would have had no hesitation in voting for her.

    IB agreed it makes you wonder how long he’s been behaving like this and not been held to account by multiple National and Labour governments (with my suspicion of politicians it also makes me wonder if this is just the tip of the iceberg)

    ak – comparing John Key to Ponitus pilate …….OK, that might mean you’ve just edged Mike Williams in the ridiculous buffoon stakes.

  37. r0b 38

    Much as I would like to see the end of Winston, I doubt if this will have much affect. His core support is rock hard, and as many have observed, he simply thrives on the publicity, and the “underdog” angle that it gives him.

    Also, I wonder how much National can afford to front foot this issue, given their own policy for sale scandal:

    Did National receive a $1million plus anonymous donation, through one of their dodgy trusts, from the Insurance Council in recognition of its privatisation policy, as Nicky Hager claims in “The Hollow Men” he was advised by a confidential National Party source?

    Items such as this leaked memo seem awfully suspicious in this context:

    The details of the policy have been deliberately kept out of the announcement after consultation with the Insurance Council.

    And as to the helicopter, that will too easily bring to mind the Talleys and their donation to Don Brash of a million dollars and South Island use of a private helicopter for the 2005 election campaign.

    I don’t know what Helen Clark knew, and when.

    The odds that she knew of these details from 1999 seem vanishingly small, though I don’t expect that will prevent your “guilt by association campaign” from continuing. But as IB has pointed out, association seems more likely to implicate the 1999 National administration than Helen Clark.

    Anyway, toodle pip, off to campaign in the real world.

  38. Tim Ellis 39

    r0b, nice try to distract from the issues. National didn’t have a policy-for-sale scandal. All there was were a few allegations without any evidence, let alone the paper-trail we are seeing with Peters, from a few left-wingers hellbent on smearing the National Party. You also don’t have any evidence that the Talleys gave a million dollars to National, other than rumours and hearsay from “secret sources”.

    Would Nikki Hager’s claims stand up in court? No, because hearsay and rumours don’t count for anything. The Vela paper trail on the other hand…

    Peters and NZ First were sacked from government by Jenny Shipley in August 1998. National hasn’t had any dealings with Winston since.

    Meanwhile, Helen Clark has spent the last three years with Winston in her Cabinet, lobbying hard for favours for the fishing and racing industries, with rumours of where his funding has come from. Despite this, we are to believe that not only did she never have concerns or suspicions about this, but she still believes that Peters’ conduct and behaviour has been acceptable, because she still says she’d be happy to have him in Government.

    Good luck campaigning r0b. The last week of the Labour Government will be very difficult for you.

  39. Tim Ellis 40

    IrishBill: you don’t need to give me political history lessons Tim, but what do you make of Peters claiming he’s saved the Velas million in tax? Especially when he’d been treasurer for most of the Nat’s last term?

    There isn’t any evidence of any policy work to benefit the Velas while Peters was Treasurer, IB. The Peters-Meurant-Vela relationship appears to have emerged subsequent to Peters being sacked by Shipley. Most of Peters’ racing industry advances have been taxation-related. I suspect the claim that he has saved millions in tax for the Velas relate to specific changes Peters has advocated on behalf of tax treatment for the racing and fishing industries, particularly while a minister in this government.

  40. IrishBill 41

    “I suspect the claim that he has saved millions in tax for the Velas relate to specific changes Peters has advocated on behalf of tax treatment for the racing and fishing industries, particularly while a minister in this government.”

    Tim, are you telling me that Winston was talking about policies he was six years away from creating? That’s some astounding political foresight he must have.

  41. “IrishBill

    Bill, you haven’t answered my question. Will you call for an investigation into the “theft’ of Winston’s documents?”

    The difference of course being the a rumor that a reward has been put up for information leading to peters demise, which makes it fairly different from the Hager situation where the information was volunteered too him

    “barnsleybill

    Arguably, the police did not investigate the hollow man emails IB.
    if we see a change I would expect Broad to be “Borised’ by xmas.”

    No, the computer network was thoroughly forensically examined, they information did not get out of the building electronically.

    “paw prick
    Remind me Bill
    Who has been the goverment (with Winston) for the last NINE years????”

    National has had 9 years also to do something about it. And lets just forget that they have only been in government with winston for 3 of those years huh?

    But anyway, we shall see, democracy will run its course, I can’t see him coming back next time, and won’t miss him one bit..

  42. Tim Ellis 43

    IB, look at the timeline at http://www.stuff.co.nz/4746800a23917.html

    Meurant began discussions with the Velas in July 1998. Peters was sacked from the government in August 1998. On July 22, 1998, Meurant warned the Velas that Peters may just have been looking for a “play for funding”.

    The timeline says to me that Peters agreed to Meurant’s salary being subsidised by the Velas as Peters’ Research Director so that he could craft the party into a special interest party.

    There does appear to be a reference in the timeline to Peters claiming to have saved millions in tax liability for the Velas, from as early as November 1999. I struggle to reconcile that statement with the dates, or how Peters may have achieved that. It does appear very alarming.

    Like I say, I really do find the whole thing pretty sickening, to think that anybody could engage in the kind of corruption that these documents suggest of Peters. I don’t see how Clark could possibly contemplate forming another government with him. I think until she sacks him, she will continue to pay a political price for it.

  43. ak 44

    Tim: It really does make my stomach wretch at the thought that any administration in New Zealand could become so currupt.

    Oh for gawds sake, spare us the nit-picking misspelt sanctimony Tim. Kiwis know full well that your beloved party has long accepted tens of millions from business interests via trusts and brown-paper bags in return for it “business-friendly” policies – and that it continues to do so.

    And they won’t be fooled by this continuing, hysterical crusade against Peters: since the EFA stymied the use of “third-party” propaganda, it has been patently obvious that the Big Money has flowed into media influence and the relentless multi-headed smear campaign against Helen Clark. You can be sure that certain key players in this election will be quietly patting their very full pockets.

    The irony, of course, is that all this desperate effort and focus on “winning” from the Hollow Men will result in the entrenchment and augmentation of seminal Labour policy: and with any luck, major advances for Maori – the biggest victims of the “eat the poor” policies of your brothers in greed. Keep fighting for socialism, Tim – (oh, and a couple more dead rats might help that “wretching” tummy).

  44. Re your update.. Would that be the same national govt that sacked peters and his party? You are reaching, frankly I am surprised that you posted on this subject at all. i would have thought studiously ignoring the avalanche of sleaze surrounding the junior partner in this coalition of the damned would be more conducive to staunching the arterial bleed of support for a labour NZ first return to the treasury benches.

  45. Felix 46

    This has, in the bizarre “through the looking glass” world of NZ First, probably secured Winnie the necessary 5%.

    Oh and foaming righties? You might want to stop trying to peg all of Winnie’s dirty laundry on Labour’s clothesline line now or risk looking a wee bit silly.

  46. Tim Ellis 47

    Felix, if this did secure Winnie the necessary 5%, do you think Helen Clark would decline inviting him into a government with her after the election?

    In my view, far bigger than what Helen knew, and when, of Winston’s lobbying on behalf of his big-donor sector interests (and that on its own is very serious), is whether Clark believes that behaviour is acceptable, whether she will continue to protect him, and whether she will reappoint him if he’s still in Parliament.

    How would you feel about that? It’s one thing for Labour Party supporters to say they hope he doesn’t make it back, but if he DOES make it back, will you argue against him being in government again?

  47. John 48

    This is why any left leaning voter who believes in integrity has to go with the Greens.
    Labour swallowed a dead rat when they backed Peters re the Privileges Committee finding. They know he is as guilty as sin.
    Russel Norman was incredibly eloquent when he rationalised the Greens’ stance in voting with the majority. The sooner he is a cabinet minister the better.
    Poisoned rivers, poisoned lakes, fishing stocks raped.. all this has happened under a Labour led govt in the last 9 years.
    Search your conscience.. you know that the Greens have far more integrity.

  48. Chris G 49

    “The Hollow Men toil on behind the “fresh’ facade. Probable bounce for Winnie in all this – and watch the Money Trader do a Pilate and leave the dirty work to the scribes and farrarsees. Lots of silver pieces behind all this”

    Fantastic.

    John, you are a confusing chap.

  49. lprent 50

    TE: Politics is the art of the possible. If it turns out that no coalition could be formed without Winston, do you advocate having another election?

  50. Felix 51

    Don’t know Tim, I’m not a Labour Party supporter.

    I suspect that Helen wouldn’t want to be in bed with Winston after the election any more than Key does.

    I also suspect that if Key needs him to govern he’ll go back on all his highly principled statements, lube up and hit the sheets.

    For the record though, I’ve never wanted Winston out of parliament. I very much enjoy his performances in question time and would not like to see him go.

  51. Anita 52

    Having seen the DomPost today I had two questions

    1) Who’s behind this? IrishBill I don’t entirely agree with your logic re in not being National, even tho there is a taint for them in this they seem safe from media scrutiny.

    2) Will this turn off NZF’s core voters? It may bother those of us who already weren’t going to vote NZF, but does it bother people who were?

  52. higherstandard 53

    Felix if you agree never to mention Helen or John in bed with Winston again I promise not to use acronyms anymore.

  53. Felix 54

    Sorry hs, that wasn’t a pretty picture was it?

    I think it was Anita who called Peter Dunne an “aging swinger” the other day. I can’t look his billboards in the eye since that. 🙂

  54. higherstandard 55

    Just keeping it real

  55. Anita 56

    Felix,

    *lol* I wish I had the wit for that, but no it wasn’t me 🙂

    [lprent: Janet. Its the hair – straight out of what – the 80’s]

  56. randal 57

    Is the dompost going to do an analysis and comparison of the 4 flagship Natoinal policies.
    i.e. privatising ACC, gutting Kiwisaver, reducing workrights, weakening the RMA and the ETS.
    NO
    all they can do is go on (and on and on and on) about winnie and helicopter rides
    wow look at da helicopter up dere in da sky
    why dont some of those people at the dimpost grow up?

  57. bill brown 58

    Blah, blah, blah – some other stuff about Winston

    5+% of population – “Poor Winston”
    94.99% of population – yawn
    .01% of population – You guys + press

  58. Ianmac 59

    This all happened a long time ago. John Key shares tranzrail were a long time ago.???
    It seemed to me that Muerant was acting as a go-between. So must have all of the parties eg Williams for Labour.
    The dodgy person here seems to be Meurant, if anyone.
    There does not seem to be much so far that directly incriminates Winston as an MP. And reflects on National too up till 1998.
    I believe that every Party is lobbied for a deal to suit themselves eg Business Round Table, Insurance, (See Rob at 12:01) Forestry, Rail etc. Damn it why else would Key be pandering to the SST or the churches, or the Family First, etc. Votes or money what the hell. Lobby groups do provide money for favours or why bother giving money to a Party like, it is said, Millions to Act.
    The helicopter is an interesting one and does pre-date Don’s use of one. So what. Bad Winston to want to do that. Initiative good for Don.
    The answer to me is that so far this is not a smoking gun but I can understand why Muerant is staying overseas.

  59. burt 60

    Felix

    Oh and foaming righties? You might want to stop trying to peg all of Winnie’s dirty laundry on Labour’s clothesline line now or risk looking a wee bit silly.

    As long as Labour keep offering Winston space on their clothesline Winston is pegging it there himself. I know it’s a crazy idea but Helen could sack him if she isn’t wanting to be tainted by his association heading into the election. It’s her call.

  60. Felix 61

    Yes burt, it is a crazy idea. What would that achieve apart from giving you something to beat off to?

    No-one puts any stock whatsoever in the “tainted by association” nonsense you’ve been parroting for the past few months. No-one at all has taken it even the slightest bit seriously apart from:

    1. Demented Nats like Hooten (who no-one will take seriously anymore)

    2. Demented ACT-ups like yourself (who no-one has ever taken seriously)

    Do you really think you don’t look like a complete fool for trying to attach Winnie to Labour or are you beyond caring? Not that I care – election next week and you can all piss off to Aussie anyway.

  61. KiwiGirl 62

    “So if that is the case then why is Meurant incriminating himself in this manner?”

    Perhaps he’s comfortably ensconced in a country with no extradition treaty with NZ.

  62. Stack 63

    burt

    Helen could sack Winston? To what purpose? Parliament censured him. That’s good, but Helen Clark has given him the only real sanction he has suffered so far, in cutting him off from any active role in government by suspending him from his ministerial post- knowing that the suspension is about to become permanent. It will be very difficult for him ever to resume an important role in government, no matter which party is in power.

  63. Carol 64

    Hmmmm. I’ve been at work today, but as far as I can see, no other of the main news organisations seems to have picked up on this Peters story. Usually they’re all over it.

    So, does this look to old? Or is it because it might implicate the Nats in some way?

  64. Carol – I was thinking exactly the same thing…

  65. bluewattle 66

    I;m bloody fed up with Peters and I guess the networks are too
    Someone do some in-depth policy analysis ffs
    I despair

  66. Carol 67

    Well, so much for those who claimed this was the end of Labour – seems it’s just not that interesting to most peole.

  67. randal 68

    hey Felix…haven’t seen hooton sliming around lately. I guess they figure he stinks the joint up too much when they trying to promote the other stinker

  68. rave 69

    I think that the media are focused on the wholesale guarantee. Justifiably.
    I was opposed to it as a potential bailout for Aussie banks. I agree with Winston’s position that instead of insuring private banks against bankruptcy, the Government should extend the Reserve Bank borrowings and take assets in exchange. I somehow think that nationalising banks would not go down well with the Velas and their mates.

    Labour has judged it necessary to give the wholesale guarantee to keep the NZ banks functioning in the crisis. They seem to have made it expensive in the hope of forcing the NZ banks to borrow from their Aussie parents which already have a wholesale guarantee. All that means is that we the poor depositors and worker taxpayers will pay in higher fees! Nor do I hold out much hope that the government can enforce their agreement with the banks talking up the guarantee to give people time to pay their mortgages.

    The preferable way to go – which of course Labour wouldn’t do for fear of causing a collapse of business confidence – was to force the banks to write off mortgages above the real value of housing set by the market. This would leave people in their houses and paying what they were worth, rescued of course by temporary top-ups. This would also stop those banks who drove up housing values to create a speculative boom out of the mortgage industry and let the Kiwi Bank take over.

    But Labour won’t do that, and what it has done has got the backing of JK.
    How re-assuring is that from a failed banker?

  69. Ianmac 70

    Hooten says he is shopping with (for a ?) wife in Hong Kong.
    I wondered too why the networks haven’t touched Winston. Maybe because it is a Dom story , Hitchens again. But since the media is into drawing inferences, maybe some of the story points to the NATS of the 90’s. SO better not run in case it hurts John. There will be more to come no doubt.
    But wait TV did run the story of the Nat candidate, Immigration scam dishonesty $20,000 allegation, but never fear, John is here defending the man. (“I will not have anyone in my team that I can’t trust?”) Yeah right!

  70. Rex Widerstrom 71

    IrishBill points out (in his response to paw paw’s comment above):

    It seems Winston was up to no good as Treasurer in the last National government. Given how many of National’s front bench were fellow ministers in that government I could well ask if you really think they knew nothing of that.

    And they were aware of something else, too, because I personally took great pains to make them so, as I did Labour’s senior people – that NZ First was selling list places. When David Stevenson and myself tried to expose that in the Hgh Court we received no support, moral or otherwise, from any other politician.

    Now it turns out Meurant was busy buying himself a list position with the same ease as we’d buy a seat at the movies. When that failed, he bought a job in Parliament at our expense.

    From 1996 onwards it was clear that people like Deborah Morris, Anne Batten, Neil Kirton and Robyn McDonald had not won their list placings on merit – because they had none. Indeed no one in the party had ever heard of any of these people until their rankings were announced, and people like Ron Mark were unknown outside of a small number of members in their own regions – certainly not enough to win a high ranking on a nationally-ranked list. Yet people well known and highly popular in the party, like Rana Waitai, were ranked in unwinnable positions.

    If you’re prepared to sell list placings you’re prepared to sell anything – including policies at the cost of the greater good of the nation.

    Senior National and Labour figures have known Winston had a price for over a decade. Until Key, no one had the integrity to rule out working with NZ First and Clark still won’t. The Greens – despite a principled stand in the Select Committee – have not made the absence of any involvement with NZF a condition of their supporting a Labour-led government.

    Isn’t it time the left parties in NZ confirmed there are some stenches too strong even for the cesspit that politics has become? Or do they not see it that way?

  71. r0b 72

    Isn’t it time the left parties in NZ confirmed there are some stenches too strong even for the cesspit that politics has become? Or do they not see it that way?

    Nothing that Winston has done looks any worse than what National got up to at the last election, and yet we seem to be dangerously flirting with the idea of a National government. Clearly strong stenches do not rule a party out of politics (though I agree that it should!).

  72. Pascal's bookie 73

    Until Key, no one had the integrity to rule out working with NZ First and Clark still won’t.

    That integrity would be why he was hunky dory 4 square a.ok to be Brash’s Finance spokesman, even switched his support to Brash from English in the leadership challenge.

    What was that phrase again “No Bra_ _ _, No C_ _ _ “, what was that all about? Not selling list spots I grant you, just the party leadership out to tender. no wurries chicken curries.

    I’ve zero regard for Winston Peters, but the Nat’s want him gone because he betrayed them, and it serves their electoral purpose to have him get more than 3 percent but not 5. I’ll believe John Key on this matter when he actually turns him down when it counts.

  73. Rex Widerstrom 74

    Pascal’s bookie: My praise for Key’s integrity was confined purely to his stance on Winston.

    Though challenging for the leadership – even if it’s by pointing out that you can bring in more money than the incumbent – isn’t even close to selling yourself as the Messiah of Democracy, then cynically tearing up the votes of your ordinary hard-working worshippers members and effectively appointing MPs based on their willingness to swallow dead rats and/or write you cheques.

    I’ll believe John Key on this matter when he actually turns him down when it counts.

    If expediency makes him think he can get away with it and people will have forgotten and/or forgiven in another three years, then rest assured I for one will be shouting it from the rooftops.

  74. appleboy 75

    one thing many people missed in Key’s stance on Winston…earlier in that week when he made the “we won’t work with winston” statement, he actually said 2 days earlier that he wouldn’t work withhim “unles he is cleared”. So he actually changed his view within 48 hours. Why? The rumours of the SFO investigation leaked between these two statements. You be the judge… I know we are used to key’s changing views but within days…..hmmmm

  75. exbrethren 76

    The Peter Dunne links with this coming out now would paint a different light on the issue.

    His defence seems to be that “its not true. Why? Because I’m Peter Dunne.” I’d say either this whole thing is a beat up or they’re both guilty.

  76. Felix 77

    exbrethren,

    Can you clue me in on the Peter Dunne links?

  77. Anita 78

    Felix,

    From Stuff

  78. higherstandard 79

    I’d go for both guilty – is it something in the hair ?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/vote08/4747607a28435.html

  79. HS – I doubt it because it appears to involve ACT as well. Unless Rodney is getting plugs…

  80. Felix 81

    Thanks.

    hs, I think you could be onto something.

  81. Felix 82

    ‘sod, does Hide have a fruity wig as part of his brothel creeping “disguise”?

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