Latest Winston 'scandal' - compared to National scandal about to drop
PM admits scotching consul bid
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.
Oh for God’s sake – YAWN! So what Peters pushed for Owen to be looked at, it was turned down, they even ended up suggesting someone else who lives in Monaco all the time rather than the 3 months Owen spends there. This is tired and is nothing compared to what is about to be released regarding National. If I were John Key, I’d be a lot more worried about what is about to drop than papers showing Winston pushed to see if Owen was acceptable for Monaco, my guess is that no one will be talking about Winston and Owen next week.
Cash not linked to Monaco role - Glenn and Peters
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and billionaire Owen Glenn both say there was no connection between a large donation to the party and Mr Peters backing the expatriate's bid for a diplomatic position. Mr Glenn gave NZ First $100,000 and Mr Peters, in his role as Foreign Minister, supported his bid to become honorary consul of Monaco. Mr Peters, stood down from his ministerial roles while donation allegations are investigated, has maintained he did not know about the donation to his party but Parliament's privileges committee found he did and it heard evidence that he asked for the money. Official documents released yesterday showed an email trail in which Mr Peters pushed the Foreign Affairs Ministry (Mfat) hard to have Mr Glenn appointed to the position. Mr Peters told Radio New Zealand today that he only ever asked the ministry to investigate the merit in appointing an honorary consul in Monaco, and he did not push for any particular person to be appointed to the role.
However, among the documents released was an April 19, 2007, memo from Mfat chief executive Simon Murdoch which said Mr Peters "wants to appoint an honorary consul in Monaco. It is a distinguished expat of his choice". Another memo talks about Mr Peters being annoyed progress was so slow. Mr Peters said the decision on an appointment in Monaco was subject to the same "tardy" decision-making by Mfat that he experienced over a decision on a similar appointment in the Ukraine, and the organisation of his trip to North Korea. "I wanted them to give me the answer - do we need a consul today, in 2007, in Monaco and, if so, would you check this man (Mr Glenn) out." When the ministry came back and said a consul was not needed in Monaco "that was the end of it", Mr Peters said. Mr Glenn told Newstalk ZB he initially told Labour Party president Mike Williams he would like to be honorary consul in Monaco because New Zealand was not represented. The suggestion was passed to Prime Minister Helen Clark and Mr Glenn said he was then told by Mr Williams there was no objection but the decision lay with Mr Peters. Mr Glenn said Mr Peters "favoured the idea". He later gave $100,000 to Mr Peters but said there was no connection between that donation and the honorary consul's position. "These are separate things. I am trying to be a nice New Zealander if you like and people are trying to make something that is serious out of it."
Isn't it nice to see that both dear old crocodiles can at least get one part of their story straight and that is apparently in the world of nudge, nudge, wink, wink one can still have chinese walls created to help focus oneself on the issues at hand. My guess is that come next week - perhaps Wednesday before the election, we won't be talking about Winston.