Why has this slipped under the radar?

July 31, 2008

Sunday Star Times journalist Tony Wall wrote about the links between New Zealand First and the racing industry on Sunday.

Michael Basset says:

On the face of it, this looks like a scandal that dwarfs the Winebox. It’s time Tony Wall received a bit more encouragement from the mainstream media. He must surely be the best investigative journalist in the country? What he has told us appears to amount to corruption on a grand scale.

I blogged on the story on Sunday and included a summary  from the print edition which isn’t on line but I haven’t seen any other references to the story until today. 

Given the attention on donations to NZ First and its leader I would have thought the story might have got much more attention than it has. Now the blogosphere is on to it, perhaps it will.

Hat tip: No Minister, Keeping Stock,


He helped racing, racing helped him

July 27, 2008

Tony Wall’s Sunday Star Times feature explains how Winston Peters helped the racing industry and how racing people helped him.

You can read the full story here  but this summary is not on line:

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 advertsiements. 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.”

I don’t have a problem with people donating to political parties providing they are decalred as required by electoral law. But New Zealand First has declared few donations while the party and its leader have been staunch critics of the influence of big business and anonymous donors in politics.

The more we learn the more it looks like gross hypocrisy


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