What will happen next with New Zealand First Foundation saga?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 24 Nov 2019, 5:15PM
Winston Peters with lawyer Brian Henry. (Photo / NZ Herald)

What will happen next with New Zealand First Foundation saga?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 24 Nov 2019, 5:15PM

The biggest story of the week has been the scandal surrounding the New Zealand First Foundation, but what happens next? 

The Electoral Commission is seeking information from the party and its foundation, following claims of undisclosed donations.

Some donors have told Stuff they weren't aware donations were going to the foundation, and not the political party.

Party leader Winston Peters says the foundation is to help promote democracy in New Zealand.

He says there's nothing illegal or secret about the New Zealand First Foundation and says the idea his lawyer and others were seeking to do something illegal is preposterous.

If any irregularities are found, it could be passed on to the Serious Fraud Office, with politicians such as David Seymour already threatening to do that.

Political commentator Shane Te Pou told The Weekend Collective that if the foundation is behaving illegally, why would the party have called it the New Zealand First Foundation?

"Brian Henry's got a 20 plus year history with Winston Peters, I think it looks transparent with me."

He says one of the big consequences of this could be changes to electoral law and donations, with a greater level of transparency.

"Our laws really were designed in a simpler time. Politics is complex, and there's a lot more money in the political system than there was 10 to 15 years ago."