Sep 4, 2008

NZ First Facing Police Probe?

The Dominion Post's Martin Kay is reporting that the Spencer Trust made donations to NZ Firsst in 2007 which were not declared by the Party. Unlike the Bob Jones donation the 2007 donation falls within the time limit for prosectution. It is amazing what one finds when one gets a look at the books......

NZ First could face a police investigation after a Spencer Trust administrator said the fund made donations in 2007 which should have been declared and which fall inside the time limit for prosecution.
Trustee Grant Currie said more than $10,000 was channelled to NZ First in each of 2006 and 2007, and he believed it should have been disclosed under rules governing political donations.
The 2007 donation is crucial as the return for that year falls within the six-month time frame for prosecution. More than $9999 from the same source must be notified to the Electoral Commission, but NZ First made "nil" returns for 2006 and 2007.
ACT leader Rodney Hide indicated last night that he would ask the commission to refer the issue to police.
Confirmation that the trust made $10,000-plus donations in the past two years came a day after NZ First admitted it should have declared $50,000 given 10 days before the 2005 election, shortly after property investor Sir Robert Jones and an unidentified source made payments to the trust of $25,000 each.
The trust opened its books to show the $50,000 transfer after the Serious Fraud Office began investigating the handling of Sir Robert's donation and money from the Vela family.
NZ First leader Winston Peters' lawyer, Peter Williams, QC, said yesterday that he believed Vela family interests had paid a total of about $80,000.
NZ First has blamed the failure to declare the 2005 Spencer Trust donation on administrative errors due to a turnover in senior office holders just after the election. The false declaration technically broke the law but cannot be acted on because the six-month deadline for prosecution is long over.
But the commission confirmed yesterday that the deadline for investigating the 2007 return was November 16, as it was filed on May 16.