Jul 27, 2008

Bob Jones Bites Back

And we are very pleased to see that former staffers like Rex Widerstrom are prepared to set the record straight. This from the Herald On Sunday

Peters has said he has "no involvement with that trust" administered by his brother, but former NZ First staff member Rex Widerstrom told the Herald on Sunday he was prepared to swear an affidavit stating the trust was set up around the time of the Winebox Inquiry to funnel anonymous donations from people who wanted to support Peters' various legal battles.
He said he had the opinion that during his time with Peters there were occasional discussions in the NZ First parliamentary offices about the Spencer Trust, and he was absolutely convinced Peters had knowledge it existed and what its function was.

He recalled one conversation between Peters and ex-staffer Sarah Neems when Neems asked Peters if a donation should go into the Spencer Trust and Peters agreed it should.
Another former NZ First staff member - who did not want to be named - said it was his understanding the name "Spencer" was decided on because of Peters' great admiration for his namesake Winston Churchill. Churchill's middle name was Spencer and for years his photograph hung in Peters' Wellington office.
Controversy over the Spencer Trust follows claims NZ First has received donations from wealthy donors which it has not declared to the Electoral Commission. Peters has dismissed the claims as unsubstantiated rubbish.
Wayne Peters told the Herald on Sunday he had no comment to make about the Spencer Trust, while Peters told journalists yesterday attending a press conference for US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice he would not be answering questions on the issue.
He could not be reached last night for comment on Widerstrom's claims.
However, yesterday Sir Robert went on the front foot over suggestions by Peters that his "memory was failing him" over the donation, questioning why Peters would solicit funds for a trust he had no knowledge or involvement with.
He said he would be writing to Wayne Peters this week asking what the money had been spent on.
All donations to political parties of more than $10,000 must be declared to the Electoral Commission.