Tuesday, September 29, 2020

This doesn't sound like exoneration

The SFO has finally reported back on NZ First's dodgy foundation, and charged two people with "obtaining by deception". They're at pains to say that neither of the people charged (who have name suppression, but we can all guess who they are, even if we cannot say publicly) is a "Minister, sitting MP, or candidate in the upcoming election (or a member of their staff), or a current member of the New Zealand First party". As one commenter said, this means they probably resigned their party memberships this morning. If they'd never been members of NZ First, then the SFO would have said so, so their choice of language is damning in itself.

The choice of charges is interesting, and I guess it means that NZ First said the Foundation was nothing to do with them, and they took the party at their word. But it sounds like Winston has basicly thrown them under the bus

Meanwhile, Winston is claiming to have been exonerated, and suing the SFO for being "unreasonable" in investigating a credible allegation of donation fraud. The aim is clearly to create enough outrage and smoke in the hope that none of the stench sticks to him. But really, I don't think anyone will be more likely to vote for NZ First knowing that the two people charged are not "current" members of his party. And we all still need to ask: if the Foundation really had nothing to do with NZ First, why was it paying their bills?