Aug 15, 2008

Friday Night History

Remember this from 2004?

New concerns in scampi row
Feb 4, 2004 6:09 PM
Winston Peters will find out next week whether he faces a parliamentary inquiry over meals he accepted at an Auckland restaurant.
But there are now new concerns that a former MP worked with both fishing interests and the New Zealand First leader during the scampi inquiry.
The claims come from the former partner of Ross Meurant.
Yvonne Dossetter says the former National Party MP was a part-time policy advisor to NZ First at the time of the scampi inquiry. Meurant's ex-partner says he was simultaneously working for fishing interests - including Simunovich Fisheries.
Peters says he is unaware of any link between Meurant and Simunovich.
Dossetter says Meurant would often talk to Simunovich Fisheries and then he would often talk on the phone to Peters.
Dossetter has sworn in an affidavit that Meurant began working as a political lobbyist for Simunovich Fisheries around May 2002. She believes he was still in the role a year later.
New Zealand First has confirmed Meurant has been acting as a policy advisor to the party since early 2000.
"I used to see cheques come in in the sum of $2,500 a month to a company called Jack Rabbit Ltd," Dossetter told ONE News, confirming that the company was Ross Meurant's.
Asked who the cheques were from, Dossetter said: Simunovich Fisheries.
Simunovich Fisheries has refused to confirm to TVNZ whether Ross Meurant is, or was, on its payroll, saying it's a private company.
But when ONE News rang Simunovich Fisheries last week and asked for Mr Meurant a receptionist said he wasn't in but a message could be left for him. The receptionist indicated Meurant works out of the office but "generally comes in once a day".
During most of last year Peters sat on the parliamentary select committee which was investigating the allocation of quota in the multi-million dollar scampi fishing industry. Simunovich Fisheries is a key player in the industry.
But Peters says he has no knowledge of Meurant working for Simunovich and Meurant declined to answer questions put to him by ONE News.