Nov 3, 2008

We Agree With The Greens

An enquiry into the links between Winston Peters and the Vela family, and cash for policy outcomes, would seem to be warranted. How common is this practice in New Zealand? This from the Dominion Post.

The Green Party has called for a commission of inquiry into the Winston Peters cash-for-policies allegations.
Greens co-leader Russel Norman said allegations that the Vela family - worth $180 million - had an insider within NZ First, manipulating its racing, fishing and tax policies, were "deadly serious".
Prime Minister Helen Clark has refused to retract earlier expressions of confidence in Mr Peters.
On Saturday, The Dominion Post revealed that former National MP Ross Meurant brokered donations from the Vela family to NZ First before the 1999 election and later took a taxpayer-funded job as policy adviser to Mr Peters. Mr Meurant told the Velas, he would be able to frame friendly policy in areas they were interested in.
Mr Peters has dismissed the reports as "another tissue of lies". Asked by one newspaper if he denied the allegations made in The Dominion Post, he said: "Deny them? They are just fantasyland rubbish. My name is not on any of those papers."
In fact, his name is on page after page of memos and reports by Mr Meurant to Phillip Vela. Notes from one meeting made by Mr Meurant record Mr Peters as saying he had saved Vela interests "millions in tax liability".
Mr Norman said "there needs to be a look at what is the best way, should it be some kind of commission of inquiry ... to get to the bottom of it ... "