Winston's slush fund diagram
The image above has been amended to include the correct photograph of Mr Vela. The photograph used in the previous version of this diagram was of Mr David Ellis. This was a result of a caption misunderstanding - no imputation of involvement in this affair by Mr Ellis was meant by the photo. This was an honest mistake.
Tumeke! unreservedly apologises for this mistake and any inconvenience or distress that it has caused Mr Ellis.
Tumeke! aims for high standards and we have failed in this respect on this occasion. We renew our commitment to get the facts right and keep the facts right, and when alerted to an error we will endeavour to remedy that error promptly.
Stuff reports we can add another random $20k to the chain:
The Dominion Post has obtained a deposit slip showing $19,998 was deposited in one or more cheques into the party's coffers in December 1999. The donation, banked into the party's Westpac account, fuels the issue of big-business donations to NZ First - a party that has proclaimed that it does not take money from big-business donors.
Electoral Commission records for 1999 show that NZ First did not declare any donations of more than $10,000 - the threshold requiring such a donation to be reported.
Contacted for comment yesterday, the party leader, Winston Peters, said: "Phil, I told you I'm not talking to a lying wanker like you. See you." He then hung up.
I don't think he should be making threats to someone who seems to have the incriminating paperwork in his bottom draw. Whether Kitchin is putting these allegations on a slow release timer or whether disgruntled people are popping out of the woodwork spontaneously now Winston looks to be on the ropes is another question.
How does the money that WInston owes to his lawyers - and incurred as part of his (and therefore party's) political gain - get paid? His lawyers handle that side and it's reeking. So is the money seemingly paid to NZ First after being washed through his web of trusts.
The trick is for Winston to maintain that he had nothing to do with the money trail. No evidence exists in writing that he does, but at every turn his hand is present. But as yet no smoking gun. And there might never be one. This is a public credibility issue - not a criminal one, despite the SFO being called in by Rodney Hide. I would be astounded if someone as fastidious and lawyerly as Winston would leave so much as a loose hair on his teflon suit.