One criticism of MMP is that the wee parties have a disproportionate influence. Allied to that is that National and Labour sometimes hold back legitimate criticism of their actions just in case they need their support.
We’re seeing that now – has anyone seen or heard any of the other parties react to Winston Peters’ statement that NZ First has donated $158,000 to charities and has given a list of the recipients to Speaker Margaret Wilson?
That just happens to be the amount the Auditor General found NZ First spent illegally before the last election. The party can do whatever its members allow it to do with their money, but donating to charity does not discharge its debt to Parliamentary Services.
While other parties are shying from tackling Peters’ on this, several blogs are not:
Kiwiblog posts on it here noting NZ First is the party of transparancy which receives secret donations that turns out not to be a donation and then makes its own secret donations. Kiwiblog also comments on Peters’ on Agenda here. He notes that the Speaker wants Parliament to be more open so in good faith should make the list available.
The Hive says shame on the charities and asks if they’d accept the proceeds of crime or theft? Queen Bee, prompted by Poneke, points out the speaker’s office is exempt from the OIA but urges National and Act to ask Wilson for the list.
Inquiring Mind ‘s Adam Smith says:
No one seems to be prepared to hold Winston Peters to account.
Why is he being allowed to get away with not repaying the $158,000 of public funds that his party mis-used at the 2005 election?
Why is he keeping secret what he has done with the money?
Where did the party get the $158,000 from?
NO, NO, NO and forever NO is what voters should be saying to this bullying popinjay.
Keeping Stock notes the irony in the noise NZ First made about transparency in political party funding, asks does it practise what it preaches, and points out the hyprocricy because it doesn’t.
The Auditor General found NZ First illegally spent $158,000. That they then helped Labour change the law to make that illegal spending legal and has said they’ve donated that amount to charity does not excuse them from the need to repay the money.
Until they do that every cent the party spends on campaigning is a cent they have yet to repay to the public purse.