Hush money claims over Peters
ACT leader Rodney Hide has told Parliament the Serious Fraud Office is considering a complaint that NZ First leader Winston Peters asked a fishing industry boss for $50,000 to keep quiet about corruption allegations. The claim came amid angry exchanges which saw Mr Hide expelled from the House after a stand-up row with Speaker Margaret Wilson, who said he was breaking Parliament's rules by raising matters before the courts. Mr Peters said Mr Hide was making baseless allegations that were part of a defamation case he has taken against Television New Zealand, Radio New Zealand and others. Speaking under parliamentary privilege, Mr Hide claimed the Serious Fraud Office was assessing a complaint from a former business associate of Peter Simunovich that Mr Peters had gone to Mr Simunovich with evidence of corruption. Mr Hide said the businessman claimed Mr Peters told Mr Simunovich that through a payment of $50,000, the evidence could be slowly got rid of. Mr Hide also claimed a businessman had told Dominion Post reporter Phil Kitchin that he was given $9999.95 to pass to NZ First in exchange for Mr Peters "shutting up about his allegations of wrong-doing against Simunovich Fisheries".
Mr Hide said the man's statement and details were provided to the fraud office last week and the man was concerned for his personal safety.
The claims are extraordinary, that Winston blackmailed Simunovich Fisheries for $50 000, I just think that Winston would have made it for a lot more than $50 000, why was he aiming so low? Rodney is smart, smart enough to make sure his claims are rock solid and they better be or he’ll find himself crucified but the damage may well have been done, Winston taking money from corporates after raging against them for his entire life is hypercritical, but blackmailing a corporate to hush up evidence is a claim that spells political suicide. The theatre continues today with the extra pressure of the privileges committee and Owen Glenn’s statement on any money he gave Peters, while the cliché is you should never write off Peters, this time I think his fate may well be sealed.