Peters newsflash: Glenn told Clark about donation in February

Helen Clark has revealed that Owen Glenn told her in February that he donated $100,000 to NZ First. (Except he didn’t, as we now know — he donated it to Peters’ fighting fund.)

She recounts that when she put this to Peters at the time, he assured her that his party had not received a donation from Glenn. Technically, he was right; his fighting fund received the money.

But it seems that Glenn also told the PM that Peters had solicited the money from him personally:

“Mr Glenn on that occasion said to me pretty much what he said to the Privileges Committee. As you would expect, the first thing that I did was go away and ring Mr Peters, and Mr Peters has consistently maintained that he never made that phone call to Mr Glenn. So, there’s always been a conflict of evidence.”

Clark said that every time the issue arose she rang Peters and asked for his word. And got it.

“I have not known Mr Peters to lie to me, and I have to take people as I find them. He is utterly convinced that he never made that call.”

Maybe so, but as the Herald says:

“This new information this morning means Helen Clark has known for months of the conflicting sides of the story which were publicly revealed yesterday in letters to Parliament’s privileges committee.”

True. It’s not really sustainable to know something like this and simply accept Peters’ word for it. It needed to be investigated properly, for the sake of the body politic, if nothing else. Peters may indeed never have made the call, or may be utterly mistaken about that (though it’s hard to see how you could be mistaken about asking someone you’d only met a couple of times for a $100,000 donation). But that’s not the point. Cabinet ministers need to be seen to be acting properly.

Update: Steve Pierson at The Standard notes that when Clark asked Peters in February about Glenn’s assertion that he had made a donation to Peters:

“… Peters was at least on notice that a donation may have been made and, given that, he shouldn’t have flatly denied a donation had been made. However, it also shifts the weight of evidence to a conclusion that Peters has been misleading us.”

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6 Responses to “Peters newsflash: Glenn told Clark about donation in February”

  1. Inventory2 Says:

    JP – thank you for your honesty on this. It reflects much more favourably on you than it does on the PM. She knew, and she allowed Peters to represent her government on the world stage, knowing that his credibility had been compromised. That is reprehensible and indefensible.

  2. Thomas the Unbeliever Says:

    From her own mouth ….

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4671265a6160.html

    HC quoted in Stuff (http://www.stuff.co.nz/4671265a6160.html) said she had formed the view In Feb 2008 (after conversation with Glenn) that while there was a conflict of evidence “it’s always seemed to me that somewhere, someplace, there must have been some kind of contribution, but it wasn’t clear where.”

    But if she genuinely believed that there had been some sort of contribution (which was the only reasonable approach) – surely the alternatives were:
    1. $$ paid to NZ First and therefore Peters was wrong
    2. $$ paid to Peters legal fund (or some sort) and therefore Peters was wrong
    3. $$ paid to Peters privately (directly or indirectly)

    2 of these 3 options mean Peters was misleading her, the 3rd option suggests some sort of corrupt (or potentially corrupt) practice. As PM she should have left no stone unturned to confirm what actually happened. Just asking Peters was not good enough – especially as she now confirms she knew that “some contribution” had been made by Glenn as early as February.

    The PM had an obligation to actively find out the truth.

  3. Inventory2 Says:

    Whoops – also meant to say that your candour is in marked contrast to Clinton Smith at The Standard who told me “Inv2. The leader of Labour is not responsible for the funding arrangements of another political party.”. That may be, but it completely ignores the fundamental issue of trust and integrity

  4. Thomas the Unbeliever Says:

    JP, prepared to accept that this is not as simple as some bloggers maintain. But even those who have supported HC in this sorry saga must be surprised by this development.

    HC quoted in Stuff (http://www.stuff.co.nz/4671265a6160.html) said she had formed the view in Feb 2008 (after conversation with Glenn) that while there was a conflict of evidence “it’s always seemed to me that somewhere, someplace, there must have been some kind of contribution, but it wasn’t clear where.”

    But if she genuinely believed that there had been some sort of contribution (which was the only reasonable approach) – surely the alternatives were:
    1. $$ paid to NZ First and therefore Peters was wrong
    2. $$ paid to Peters legal fund (or some sort) and therefore Peters was wrong
    3. $$ paid to Peters privately (directly or indirectly)

    2 of these 3 options mean Peters was misleading her, the 3rd option suggests some sort of corrupt (or potentially corrupt) practice. As PM she should have left no stone unturned to confirm what actually happened. Just asking Peters was not good enough – especially as she now confirms she knew that “some contribution” had been made by Glenn as early as February.

    As PM she had an obligation to actively find out the truth.

  5. showmethetaxcut Says:

    Can’t believe this is all you have to say about this.

    This is disgraceful and confirms what we all knew – who else could have put WP onto OG.

    I am saddened, shocked and disappoited by this entire affair. Labour and WP have made NZ and our politics look very shabby indeed.

    showmethetaxcut

  6. Cannon to the left « Homepaddock Says:

    […] even left-wing commentators like Jafapete are critical of the PM after yesterday’s revelations, questions must be asked of her, and the issue must […]

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