Owen Glenn has provided written evidence about his donations to New Zealand First (or was it Winston Peters, or his lawyer?) for the Serious Fraud Office and the privileges committee.
In his statement, Mr Glenn appeared to confirm that his donation to Mr Peters was to “assist with his legal expenses” – a critical issue, in light of an e-mail that surfaced recently in which he appeared to believe it was a donation to the NZ First Party. Such a donation was never declared to electoral authorities by NZ First.
Mr Peters and his lawyer, Brian Henry, say the Glenn donation was paid directly into Mr Henry’s fees account to cover Mr Henry’s fees in the NZ First Tauranga electoral petition.
If he appears, Opposition MPs are also likely to grill Mr Glenn over who put him in touch with Mr Henry, after Mr Henry refused to name the middleman, citing client confidentiality.
This is beginning to resemble the plot of a soap opera, but that shouldn’t divert us from the importance of the issues. It’s not just about Peters and his party. It’s also about our reputation for open democracy and the lack of hidden influences and corruption which ironically are the things on which Peters has built his career.