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Clayton Cosgrove at centre of political row

Saturday 7 Jul 2012 1:45 p.m.

It's not unusual for constituents to seek help from their MPs, and it's certainly not unusual for MPs to try to help them out.

But when political donations become involved, questions then start to be asked.

Natasha Smith reports on a 22-hectare property in Christchurch that's at the centre of a political row.

Watch the video for her full report.


The Nation did speak to Independent Fisheries.

At first they declined our request for an interview and sent us a statement from their lawyer.

In response to our questions about their donation to Clayton Cosgrove, Pru Steven said any allegations that her client's interests were promoted by an MP in return for large donations "would be false".

Further, she threatened court action if we went ahead with our story.

Then Friday afternoon we got a statement from Mike Dormer at Independent Fisheries who was prepared to give us some answers despite his legal advice.

First, he pointed out that Independent Fisheries started discussing the issue of land near Christchurch Airport with Clayton Cosgrove in 2008 with a large number of other landowners.

Second, he said the Christchurch Airport Protection Bill was not initiated by Independent Fisheries, nor did it make any payments to Clayton Cosgrove in connection to the bill.

Independent Fisheries also told us it has a long history of funding political parties, and doesn't put any preconditions on funding support and no preconditions were placed on the support provided to Clayton Cosgrove's campaign.

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