November 20, 2019
Peters rejects slush fund account
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says an attack on the party over its use of loans is a repeat of charges made more than a decade ago, and he expects it will again be cleared of any wrongdoing.
Media reports have described the New Zealand First Foundation as a slush fund which was used to hide almost half a million dollars in donations from wealthy donors.
But Mr Peters says he's confident New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years, and any declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission.
He says the reporting is wrong on facts and interpretation.
"I found out there was a $73,000 loan. As it came down each year the loan appeared with a different sum, because the loan's coming down. The journalists have added them all up and called them different loans. It was the same loan being paid down. You wouldn't have to be too bright to work that out but that is the type of mistake they are making and saying 'they had over $200,000 in loans.' And we're standing here bewildered and saying 'what on earth are these people talking about,'" Mr Peters says.
While New Zealand was cleared of allegations about its finances in 2007, the controversy contributed to its loss the following election.
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