Oct 29, 2008

The Press On The Latest Peters Scandal

Colin Espiner has an interesting article which suggests that the PM is seeking to distance herself from Mr Peters.

Prime Minister Helen Clark has admitted she scotched Winston Peters' attempts to appoint Owen Glenn as honorary consul to Monaco after hearing the billionaire had given her foreign minister $100,000.
The revelation late yesterday came as Clark sought to distance herself from a fresh scandal enveloping the New Zealand First leader over his dealings with Glenn and the businessman's bid for a diplomatic post.
Papers released under the Official Information Act yesterday to TVNZ show Peters was involved in trying to get Glenn appointed as New Zealand's honorary consul to Monaco.
Peters has maintained that he had little to do with Glenn's unsuccessful bid to be appointed as honorary consul in his adopted home.
But email correspondence between officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade shows Peters pushed the case hard and gave his department a hurry-up for not moving fast enough on the appointment, asking New Zealand's Ambassador in France to meet urgently with Glenn in Monaco about the role.
The correspondence, during 2007, came a year after Glenn had donated $100,000 towards Peters' legal expenses in the Tauranga electoral petition, which Peters denied knowing about until July this year.
A parliamentary privileges committee inquiry censured him last month for not declaring the donation.
Clark said last night there was no issue because no appointment had been made.
She revealed she had blocked the proposal because of the possibility that money was involved.
"For my part, once I had heard there had been a donation I didn't think it would be appropriate," she said.
A spokesman confirmed Clark had formally axed the proposal once Glenn told her when they met in February that he had donated money to Peters.