Peters vs The Listener

Winston Peters has penned a letter to the editor of The Listener in response to David Fisher’s story about New Zealand First Incorporated on which I blogged a couple of weeks ago.

In relation to the “curiouser & curiouser story (August 16), the name New Zealand First is held by an incorporated society set up 15 years ago to hold and protect the name. This society had no other purpose and could not possibly generate the intrigue Fisher mistakenly infers. He sent my office a list of questions, none of which referred to this matter.

Fisher responded:

Peters has previously confirmed that party officials handle comments on party matters and party structure. Peters says NZ First Incorporated was set up 15 years ago “to hold and portect the name” and has no other purpose. Following the story’s publication, Peters sent a press release asserting that “New Zealand First Incorporated was set up well before the political party”.

According to documents bearing his signature, filed with the Companies Office, he is not correct. those documents, dated August 1993, are the rules of incoproration for the society and state that NZ First Inc was set up “to assist and promote the objects of the political party known as NZ First launched on 18 July 1993”.

Also, the documents with the Companies Office make no reference to the society’s existance being purely for the preservation of the name. Instead, NZ First Inc’s filings with the Companies Office include the party’s rules and procedures for selecting the party list, for dealing with the electorate candidates, for electing officers of the party and for putting remits before its annual party convention.”

This is typical Peters, leaving more questions than answers and among those questions is: if NZ First Inc hasn’t received income and made payments, how has the party been operating and who was paying for it?

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