Something fishy here?

Just like clockwork, today’s instalment in the Peters saga comes from the DomPost. And they say that this isn’t an orchestrated campaign…

The DomPost reports that:

“The NZ First leader has publicly stated that the party did not receive money from Simunovich Fisheries, a heavyweight fisheries company. But a well-placed NZ First source has told The Dominion Post that the party banked at least one cheque bearing the Simunovich name.”

The DomPost says that “Peters’ credibility is in further doubt”, but it’s really just more of the same. In any case, Peters has no credibility amongst sentient beings.

Note that the question in 2004 was whether NZ First received any money from Simunovich. Although the unnamed source says that the Party banked at least one Simunovich cheque, it may be yet another case of the cheque going into some secret slush trust fund.

Peters is morally wrong, but he may be correct, strictly speaking. We may be going down the same path as with Owen Glenn and Bob Jones. It seems to be his modus operandi. The DomPost knows this, but chooses not to alert its readers to this possibility, for reasons best known to itself.

Like the Velas case, the latest allegation is important because it smacks of corrupt practice. In 2004, Peters sat on a Select Committee investigation into the scampi fishing industry, where Simunovich Fisheries is a dominant player. There were allegations that he regularly ate at Kermadec Restaurant and charged the meals to co-owner Peter Simunovich. (Hat-tip The Hive.)

Labour is expected to face its final confidence vote today in Parliament when the Appropriations Bill comes up for its Third Reading. (Final Order paper here — pdf 167k). Then we shall see whether Clark is up for sacking Peters, as so many right-wing bloggers are predicting.



7 Responses to “Something fishy here?”

  1. Inventory2 Says:

    JP – I reckon it’s too late for the PM to salvage any honour by sacking Peters after the Appropriation Bill is passed. If he merited sacking then, surely he merited sacking earlier, despite him being critical to the government’s survival on confidence and supply. If she acts against Peters now, she will (justifiably IMHO) leave herself open to allegations of self-interest and hypocrisy.

    I2, You could be right, but I think that kiwis are a pretty pragmatic bunch on the whole, and can see that Clark’s options have been limited throughout. I also don’t think many NZers actually wanted an early election now, regardless of how much the right-wing bloggers wish for it. It’s up for the great court of public opinion, I guess.

  2. Inventory2 Says:

    Au contraire JP – the polls over the last few months would suggest that the majority of New Zealanders would have liked an election yesterday!

    I2, I didn’t see any that asked whether people wanted an election yesterday. I also don’t get the sense that there is widespread anger, as there was in 1990 with the neo-liberal policies of the so-called 4th Labour Government.

  3. AndrewE Says:

    Semantics JP. It’s a fairly easy assumption to make that most people want a change of government so the sooner the better.

    Andrew, First, if you include all those who aren’t decided, then it’s not a majority that would vote National/ACT. Second, you can’t assume that those who would vote that way all want an early election. Those voters vary in the strength of their declared preference, and many may change their minds before polling day. Facile rather than easy, I’d say.

  4. Stephen Says:

    would suggest that the majority of New Zealanders would have liked an election yesterday!

    I would hope not, what with all the policy that we haven’t seen from ALL the parties (except ACT, they did theirs ages ago).

  5. macdoctor01 Says:

    JP: I still think the media are just having a good time milking the story, rather than organising a campaign. It is still generating plenty of interest. After all, we are all still blogging about it aren’t we? 🙂

  6. barnsleybill Says:

    I’m with mac on this one JP. If they are finding new angles they will keep reporting them.
    Two things about this whole saga are annoying me.
    1. The lefty logic trap that keeps talking legalities and claiming the moral angle is unimportant.
    Is their really a difference JP? Morally, Peter’s is filth. A racist populist drunk, and probably a corrupt one too.

    2. The righty dreamers who keep hypothesizing on what the Virgin Queen will do.
    Here’s a clue lads; She aint listening to the right for guidance and she won’t call an early poll just because you really really really want one.

    Sweeping generalisation advisory;

    Kiwis are the worst example I have ever seen of a group displaying selfish greediness as the dominant character trait. Clark knows this and is the master at taking advantage of it. Wait for the big bribe. labour haven’t lost yet. And the longer she leaves it the higher likelihood that she will get back in.

  7. jafapete Says:


    Of course there’s a difference beween morality and legality — that’s what I used to teach undergrads not so long ago. At best the match between the two is imperfect, and this is a good case in point. I could say something about rich bastards and tax avoidance too, but won’t.

    It’s not just the leftie bloggers and Helen Clark who understand the difference. Take a look at Cactus Kate. The problem is that you can only really nail Peters if he broke the rules, lied to Parliament, etc.

    And I’m not trying to let him off the hook. I personally want the DomPost to come up with some solid evidence that shows that Peters lied to Parliament, didn’t pay tax, didn’t declare something he should have, comitted fraud, whatever. It’s just that they haven’t. Yet.

    On Kiwis being the worst example you have ever seen of a group displaying selfish greediness as the dominant character trait… Well, try the USA sometime! (That said, some of the most altruistic people that I know are Americans.)

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