Jul 18, 2008

Glenn Did Donate $100,000 to NZ First

This from NZPA via Stuff - we make no comment:

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said tonight expatriate billionaire Owen Glenn donated $100,000 towards a legal action he mounted after the 2005 election, but he denied the money was given to his party and said he had only just found out about it.
Since July 12, when the Weekend Herald published an email from Mr Glenn in which the business tycoon said he had given money to NZ First, Mr Peters has angrily denied that any was received.
He has called reporters liars and called for the resignation of the Herald's editor Tim Murphy and its political editor Audrey Young.
Tonight he said he had been told by his lawyer Brian Henry that Mr Glenn donated $100,000 towards the cost of the litigation that followed an election petition he launched after the 2005 election.
Mr Peters lost the Tauranga seat to National's Bob Clarkson, and he claimed in the petition that during the campaign Mr Clarkson exceeded election spending limits.
He lost, and in March 2006 the High Court ruled he had to pay $40,000 in costs.
Mr Peters said Mr Henry came to see him at 5pm today and told him Mr Glenn had donated "a sum in the order of $100,000" towards the legal costs of the petition.
He said that since 1991 he had been involved in 14 legal actions which had been partly funded through donations, and Mr Henry had "a firm policy" of not disclosing the source of donations.
"I have never been told the source of these donations but have personally met the shortfall which has amounted to many hundred thousands of dollars," Mr Peters said in a statement.
"Mr Henry decided, due to the publicity over the past weekend in respect to Mr Owen Glenn, that he should break this policy and inform me that Mr Owen Glenn had donated in 2006 a sum in the order of $100,000 towards the legal costs of the Tauranga electoral petition."
Mr Peters said that until today he had been unaware of the source of any of the donations for legal expenses "and I have cause to be very grateful to Mr Glenn for his very generous contribution".
Mr Glenn did not make the donation to the NZ First Party, he said.
This week Mr Peters gave Prime Minister Helen Clark an assurance Mr Glenn did not donate any money to the party.
"I told the prime minister what I then knew, and today I have told her what I have learnt," he said.
The row over the donation broke out in February this year, after Mr Glenn said he had given money to parties other than Labour but did not identify them.
There was intense speculation NZ First was one of them, but Mr Peters denied it then and continued to do so until tonight.
The issue was reignited when the Herald published the email from Mr Glenn to his spokesman in New Zealand, Steve Fisher.
It said: "Steve – are you saying I should deny giving a donation to NZ First?? When I did??"
In reply, Mr Fisher told Mr Glenn not to contradict Mr Peters.
Mr Glenn has consistently refused to comment.