The $158,000 question

The $158,000 question still hasn’t been answered: when is Winston Peters going to repay the money he owes us?

Credo Quia Absurdum Est has tried to find out:

I have asked him – in person (never seen an about turn so fast), via email (several emails, no answers) and during a phone-in interview on the radio where they activated the kill switch, the pinkos.

Someone might also want to ask how he’s funding this campaign since he can’t do it at the taxpayers’ expense.

Would there be any link between that funding and all the advertisements on Trackside?

There were certainly links between funding and racing when Peters was last in a position to dispense largesse.

I blogged on that three years ago and included this which was in the print edition of the Sunday Star Times but not online:

What Racing Has Done For Winston:

* Vela family, with interests in NZ Bloodstock at Karaka and Pencarrow Stud in the Waikato, reportedly donated at least $150,000 in amounts under $10,000 between 1999 and 2003 to NZ First.

* Wealthy breeder Sir Patrick Hogan, of Cambridge Stud, launched his own campaign to get NZ First back into parliament, spending thousands of his own money on newspaper advertisements. The racing industry also backed the party through its Fair Tax campaign.

* Billionaire expat Owen Glenn, a racehorse owner, donated $100,000 to NZ First’s electoral challenge of the 2005 result in Tauranga.

What Winston Has Done For Racing:

* Reduced totalisator duty to 4% from a headline rate of 20%, pumping around $32 million a year into the industry.

* Decreased the tax write-down period for stallions and broodmares, encouraging more people to buy racehorses for tax advantages and potentially benefitting breeders by millions.

*This year’s Budget allocated a further $19m for a co-sponsorship scheme over a three-year period to enable “substantially higher prize money offered by the creme de la creme of New Zealand races.”

It is most unlikely that Owen Glenn will be donating to Peters this time round but others in the racing industry might not yet have had their fingers burned. If they were thought they were likely to make money from more of this sort of policy helping his campaign wouldn’t be so much a donation as an investment.

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