Bryce Edwards, who occasionally comments on this blog, has posted an interesting and detailed account of NZ First’s shadowy financial history, The Finances of New Zealand First (draft), on his own blog. It’s certainly worth a look.
He makes the point that NZ political parties have generally been reluctant to divulge their financial details. NZ First is really an “extreme case” of a general tendency. It is my understanding, though, that the Labour Party has been relatively more forthcoming with financial information in recent times.
Interestingly, the patterns of secrecy, informal arrangments and partitioning that have been revealed in recent times are not news. They’ve been revealed before. For example, Bryce tells how:
“… after losing a defamation case brought against him by businessman Selwyn Cushing, Peters was ordered to pay $135,000 in damages and costs. There was widespread speculation about who paid the bill. Even then Peters maintained he had no knowledge of the donors to his legal fund. The National Business Review reported him as saying, ‘It was all dealt with by lawyers – I have no idea about any of it’ (NBR, 28 Aug 1998).”
Perhaps journalists in the old media have short memories. Many thanks for doing this work, Bryce.
Tags: Winston Peters