Fresh allegations levelled against Peters
Tue, 26 Aug 2008 12:00a.m.
ACT leader Rodney Hide was ejected from the House today after trying to ask Prime Minister Helen Clark whether she would think it appropriate if her Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters, had allegedly received payments in 2002 from businessmen acting on behalf of Simunovich Fisheries.
Peters however raised a point of order, arguing that such allegations could not be raised in the House as they were currently before the courts and thus under the provision of sub judice.
Hide continued to contest this point despite a series of Speaker's rulings supporting that Peters’ word had to be taken as truthful under the privileges of the House.
After subsequent protests, Hide was asked by the Speaker to depart the debating chamber. He did so after calling his ejection an “absolute outrage” and an “absolute disgrace”.
Hide’s ejection prompted a debate led by Bill English, Gerry Brownlee and Michael Cullen regarding the appropriateness of the Speaker’s decision. Brownlee questioned whether or not the Speaker should also accept Hide’s word that he had received evidence against Peters. However, the Speaker ruled that because of his direct association with any case currently before the courts, Peters’ word must be trusted ahead of that of the ACT Party leader. She also noted that if Peters was found to have misled the House, he would then be the recipient of applicable consequences.
Michael Cullen reminded members that the Speaker’s authority had to be respected in order to uphold the integrity of the House. Cullen argued that under Standing Order 111, matters regarded as sub judice were improper for discussion by members in order to protect the judicial courts from any inappropriate influence by Parliament.
Simunovich Fisheries are a high profile player in the fishing industry and were a focus of a 2003 select committee inquiry in which Winston Peters was a participant. The investigation stemmed from a series of legal actions brought against Simunovich Fisheries by its commercial competitors in which the company was accused of corrupt practices and bribery.
Early in the investigation against Simunovich Fisheries, Peters had been one of those accusing the company of corruption. However he later withdrew his allegations after claiming that the corruption case did not stand up to scrutiny.
Peters has previously asserted in 2004 that both he and NZ First had not received any donations from Simunovich Fisheries. However, more recently Peters could not confirm or deny that any donations had been made to NZ First by Simunovich Fisheries or its owners. During the 2003 inquiry the fishing company told the select committee that it had not offered any “campaign funds” to Mr Peters or his party.
Watch extended coverage of today's question time.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
Te Papa is our national museum but is it now a national disgrace?
A massive ice wave has ploughed through lakeside cottages in Canada and the United States near the border.
The two parties have settled a long-running legal battle which involves a financial settlement in exchange for assistance in an extradition case.
Since Anchor released their new milk bottles the company has been inundated with calls from angry consumers.
Prime Minister John Key has labelled the Labour-led Opposition the "devil beast".
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.