Now we come to the “truth” of Helen Clark’s claim that NZ First’s organisation are only a bunch of amateurs who can’t be expected to get their electoral returns right!
Nick Kosoof is an accountant, and an auditor.
Dail Jones is a lawyer of long standing, and as a person who first got in to Parliament in 1975, has probably the longest understanding of the requirements of filing returns under the electoral laws, of any MP in New Zealand.
Brent Catchpole, as NZ First’s treasurer and another former MP to boot, is as stated, an accountant as well.
Kay Urlich, the former treasurer, was in that position for 12 years, and in addition, as long-time parliamentary Executive Secretary to the previous long-serving NZ First President Doug Woolerton, another MP, and therefore familiar with the requirements of filing retruns for individual MPs as well, is also hardly an amateur.
In addition of course, Winston Peters, another lawyer, who has been involved in fighting Electoral Petitions since his own one that saw him enter Parliament first in 1979, together with his lawyer Brian Henry with whom he was involved in fighting the Wairarapa Electoral Petition in 1987, and who has been NZ First’s long-standing “Judicial Officer”, are experts on the Electoral Act and its requirements for filing returns. They will tell you so themselves.
Peters’ brother, Wayne Peters, engaged not just as a trustee for the Spencer Trust, but who has also been involved intimately with NZ First, including at huge expense to the taxpayer for his role in the 1996 negotiations leading to the coalition with National that year, is another lawyer.
Roger McClay, another long-standing MP who gained entry to Parliament on a hard fought electoral recount in 1981, was until recently yet another close adviser to Peters and NZ First. He too, was very familiar with the requirements of returns filed under the Electoral Act.
Edwin Perry, recent secretary of NZ First, is yet another former MP and candidate, and therefore hardly unfamiliar with the burdens of Electoral law.
Peter Williams, Peters’ latest lawyer, and a “QC” to boot, was involved with assisting former MP Gilbert Myles take his place in Parliament under the provisions of the Electoral Act in 1998, when Deborah Morris resigned as an MP, and when Peters tried to stop Myles from re-entering Parliament as next candidate on the NZ First List. Again, not a novice on the law.
So where are the “amateurs” Helen, and why are you perpetually running interference for this bunch of shysters?
Besides, hasn’t Helen Clark, in the Electoral Finance Act she and her minions forced through with the support of these people, required every candidate for every party this election to appoint a Financial Agent who is required both to understand a law the Electoral Commission itself can’t understand, and to file returns based on their understanding of that law….on pain of either jail terms or huge fines if they get it wrong? Will Helen Clark, after the election, be excusing all of them because they too are just “amateurs”?
Hat-tip: Turlough and Kiwiblog