By 3 News online staff
NZ First MP Brendan Horan has been stood down from his Parliamentary duties following allegations he took money from the bank accounts of his late mother.
Mr Horan remains a Member of Parliament but has been told by NZ First leader Winston Peters not to return to work until he fully answers all the questions that have been raised about money missing from his mother’s estate.
It has been alleged that large amounts went missing from Olwen Horan’s account before she died in August.
The allegations were made by Mr Horan's brother, Mana Ormsby. He says around $85,000 was missing from their mother's account, withdrawn from ATMs and TAB outlets near Mr Horan's office in Mt Maunganui, and in Hamilton and Auckland.
Mr Ormsby called Mr Peters two months ago and told him about the allegations.
“I took some serious notes but I did leave that conversation on the basis that he would get me the information and pronto,” says Mr Peters.
“To date I have received no information at all,” he says.
Mr Peters was asked if he had stood down Mr Horan or if he was on ‘gardening leave’.
“You can use the expression you like but [Mr Horan’s] number one priority is to sort this matter out and get the facts before me because that is something upon which a future decision is going to be based,” he replied.
He was also asked why Mr Horan wasn’t fronting up to Parliament and why he remained on full pay.
“A lot of people don’t front to Parliament for various reasons and on an occasion like this here, the number one responsibility is to get the matter sorted out now.
“This is a priority matter and it is urgent,” he says.
Mr Horan has previously denied any wrongdoing, saying the matter was a family dispute and he wanted to keep it as such.
Mr Peters has repeatedly refused to back Mr Horan, and today confirmed he hadn’t heard from the estranged MP for 24 hours.