The Peters denial (before his admission)

In Saturday Lloyd Burr from Newshub asked Winston Peters about whether he had more superannuation than he was entitled to.

The audio is here: Winston Peters’ shifting story over pension overpayment

Transcript:

Winston Peters: “I know the circumstances, I know who the hell, who filled the form out I know all that stuff, but I don’t know why on Earth you’re making this enquiry.”

Lloyd Burr: “Well, it’s just that you’re not giving me a straight-up answer, that’s why I’m keeping on asking about it.”

Winston Peters: “I’m giving you a straight-up answer. I don’t know who the hell your informant is but he doesn’t know what day it is.”

Lloyd Burr: “So it’s a no from you. That you haven’t claimed more pension.”

Winston Peters: “No, no, no, no. Nobody is going to call me up on this one of these sort of classic questions which is ‘have you stopped beating your wife’ type stuff. No one responds to that sort of stuff.”

Lloyd Burr: “I’m not ask… I mean this is a bit different.”

Winston Peters: “In this campaign I’ve been called this that everything else and I decided I am not going to answer respond to any of this sort of crap at all.”

Lloyd Burr: “With respect Mr Peters, why are you getting so defensive about this?”

Winston Peters: “I’ve got nothing to say at all.”

Lloyd Burr: “So you’re not even going to deny it, you’re not going to rule it out.”

Winston Peters:”I’m not going to have any comment to make about people running around making malicious statements about Winston Peters.”

Lloyd Burr: “It would be wrong of me if I didn’t go to…”

Winston Peters:”I’m keeping straight on my job. I am not going to give you any answers at all.”

Lloyd Burr: “Why not? If it didn’t happen, why can’t you just rule it out?”

Winston Peters:”Simply because I’m not going to respond to malicious statements which are not true. I’ll say to you one more time real slow Lloyd, you’re not going to get any response from me at all.”

That’s classic Peters indignation and denial. However last night he changed his stance somewhat when he put out a media statement.

A Mistake That Was Fixed

Some media contacts have called to alert me about a possible story about superannuation.

“From what I can glean it is about the following:

• In early 2010 I applied for superannuation, in the company of my partner, and in the presence of a senior official at the Ministry of Social Development.

“In July of this year, I was astonished to receive a letter from the Ministry to advise there was an error in my superannuation allowance and a request that I meet with them.

“I immediately contacted and met the area manager of MSD.

“It was unclear on both sides how the error had occurred leading to a small fortnightly overpayment.

“Suffice to say, we agreed there had been an error.

• Within 24 hours the error and overpayment had been corrected by me.

• I subsequently received a letter from the area manager thanking me for my prompt attention and confirming that the matter was concluded to the Ministry’s satisfaction.

So Peters has now admitted a mistake had been made.

What he hasn’t admitted is what mistake had been made, and who made the mistake.

If this was another MP (that wasn’t from NZ First) Peters would be likely to have a quite different view of the importance of a mistake in the amount of superannuation made for (apparently) seven years, since Peters reached the age of eligibility.

It seems that the most likely reason for an incorrect payment relates to having a spouse or partner.

Clipboard03

The current online application information is clear:

SuperOnlineApplication

https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/online-services/superannuation/client-circumstances.html

The current form is also clear:

SuperApplicationPartner

Household information:

SuperApplicationHousehold

And obligations are made clear regarding partners:

SuperApplicationPartner2

There is also a Partner’s residence Form that needs to be filled out of the partner is not receiving superannuation.

Obligations are also clear regarding partners.

SuperObligations.jpg

If a genuine mistake had been made by MSD then it would have been politically smart for peters to have been up front and open about the mistake being identified and rectified.

It justifiably would have raised questions about why Peters wasn’t aware he was being paid at the same rate. Super levels is the issue that Peters has championed more than anything else so one could assume he should know what the categories and levels of payment were.

We will see what else comes out about this.


UPDATE – from Newsroom: Co-habiting Peters billed $18,000

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters took higher superannuation payments than he was entitled to for seven years – while living with his de facto partner – and has been required to pay back $18,000 to the state.

Peters filled out forms when he turned 65 that qualified him for the single person’s superannuation rate, which is about $60 a week higher in this case than a person would receive if declared to be living with a partner, which he was.

The Labour Party made clear it could not have Turei, who took benefits greater than she was entitled to, serve in a future coalition cabinet. Peters and New Zealand First are potential Labour allies.

I’m sure Labour would like NZ First taken out of the coalition equation.

Peters and partner Jan Trotman live together in a dress circle, $2.65 million St Mary’s Bay home. Her application, on turning 65, for superannuation is said to have brought the discrepancy to the Ministry of Social Development’s attention. Newsroom understands Trotman had to say if she was single, married or in a de facto relationship. The information was cross-referenced and Peters’ lack of entitlement to the sum he was receiving was discovered.

It is not clear why that higher figure was not noticed – by Peters – over all seven years, given his deep knowledge of and commitment to superannuation.

Peters disputed claims in this article but wouldn’t offer any alternative facts.

 

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67 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  August 28, 2017

    🤔 Give him a bit more time & he might soon deny he’s Winston Peters❓ 😳

    Reply
    • Pete Kane

       /  August 28, 2017

      C up rather than ‘greed’. People are being silly. and perhaps careless. Still it spices things up with that very ‘Truth’ type media group at Newshub. So called degrees from Polytechnics now claiming to be Varsities are the staff.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 28, 2017

        When anyone else does a genuine cockup this horrid beggar is the first to yell ‘conspiracy!’ in the House & carelessly & cynically trash people’s reputations for any petty political advantage. Serves the sod right! And that’s assuming this truly is a cockup!

        Reply
        • DO YOU LIVE ALONE?
          DO YOU HAVE A PARTNER?

          Either he filled in Yes or No tot hese questions and furnished them with her details or NOT. If #1 was No and #2 was Yes then he’s vindicated. If not, he deliberately mislead the dept. It’s a simple form. He’s a lawyer. He understands this.

          How did he answer those questions?

          Reply
          • Spotting a pattern. Voters ousted him when in 2008, Peters was ejected from Parliament after he denied receiving funds from millionaire Owen Glenn. Parliament’s Privileges Committee heard evidence contradictory to Peters’ infamous “No” sign that he held up at a press conference.

            He’s a beggar to just deny something. It seems par for the course

            Reply
          • Blazer

             /  August 28, 2017

            its none of your business or anyone elses.

            Reply
            • Pete rendered defunct as a blogger and yournz as a blog. Apparently it’s now only for the special and the elite self-chosen few.

              Snowflakes and it’s already spring.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 28, 2017

              It most certainly would be our business if it was a fraud-as it is, I would have to admit that it was an error. It is still our business, I think. He is an MP and as such has to be like Caesar’s wife. He was a bloody fool not to make it public when it happened and thus make the whole thing fal flat.

              Does Blazer think that the Paula Bennett whatever it is (and if it was a fraud, she would hardly be able to keep it quiet with threats of legal action any more than anyone else would) is nobody’s business ?

            • Blazer

               /  August 28, 2017

              @KC…if you have any evidence of Winston committing fraud…notify the..authorities.More to come re Bennett…shes lowered the cone of silence,though many salacious rumours..swirl,especially in the blue corner,along the ‘confessions of a truckstop..party girl’ angle.

            • Rumours swirling = dirty politics. Slater has been pushing them out again today. No evidence in public of anything.

            • Corky

               /  August 28, 2017

              Be careful with your innuendo, Blazer.

            • Blazer

               /  August 28, 2017

              no innuendo…she has owned it.

            • Corky

               /  August 28, 2017

              Where?

            • I don’t trust any rumours being pushed by Slater without solid evidence. He has a record of trying to trash Bennett and more recently also National, so it could easily just be more dirty politics.

              Slater has been busy trying to promote Peters and NZ First.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  August 28, 2017

      Blazer, I said that I would have to admit that it was an error-although I am no fan of Winston Peters, to put it mildly.That means that it was no criminal intent, even if it was a technical offense. He was an idiot with the way he handled it. 0/10 for that.

      I have to agree with Corks-don’t faint, Corks-but suspect that Blazer is relying on the fact that nobody knows who he is and that Paula Bennett has better things to do with her time than find out. Even if the story was true, it wouldn’t be a crime, it would be ancient history and would fall flat, I suspect because of this. It is hard to believe that had these events happened, it wouldn’t have come out before. I will not be waiting breathlessly, anyway.

      Reply
  2. PDB

     /  August 28, 2017

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/08/27/44774/co-habiting-peters-takes-single-super

    “New Zealand First leader Winston Peters took higher superannuation payments than he was entitled to for seven years – while living with his de facto partner – and has been required to pay back $18,000 to the state.

    Peters filled out forms when he turned 65 that qualified him for the single person’s superannuation rate, which is about $60 a week higher in this case than a person would receive if declared to be living with a partner, which he was.

    Peters and partner Jan Trotman live together in a dress circle, $2.65 million St Mary’s Bay home. Her application, on turning 65, for superannuation is said to have brought the discrepancy to the Ministry of Social Development’s attention. Newsroom understands Trotman had to say if she was single, married or in a de facto relationship. The information was cross-referenced and Peters’ lack of entitlement to the sum he was receiving was discovered.”

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 28, 2017

      “A Stuff story about the couple in 2011 said:

      “Peters has an enviable life. He and his glamorous and successful partner, Jan Trotman, the former managing director of pharmaceuticals company Janssen-Cilag, live in a beautiful house in St Marys Bay, Auckland, with their chocolate labrador, Bella. The three-level home, which boasts a swim-jet pool and bar facilities, was bought for $2.25 million in 2008 and has expansive views of Waitemata Harbour.”

      Sounds like Peters was living by himself in 2010 then……..was never known as a good ‘details man’.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 28, 2017

        It’s typical trougher politician shit – you wonder what else they all screw out of our pockets, not caring who actually pays for it.

        Reply
    • He has just been interviewed on RNZ and said the $18,000 is ‘demonstrably false’ but he wouldn’t say by how much, and when asked if it was more there was a notable pause.

      He also seemed to make a slip – he said ‘we made a mistake’ and then corrected to ‘a mistake was made’.

      This has really flustered him.

      Reply
      • sorethumb

         /  August 28, 2017

        it wouldn’t be worth the risk though would it?

        Reply
      • Yes, “This has really flustered him”. Such blatant fiscal ( cough) mismanagement does not fit with his claim to have been our best MOF ever.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  August 28, 2017

          this looks like another dirty hit from National…who leaked the info is the story.Peters was a private citizen when he applied for Super.

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  August 28, 2017

            Maybe so but he was back in parliament in 2011 whilst still over-claiming.

            Why National? Could be the Greens wanting to hit back or Labour wanting to get Winston wrongly accusing National of leaking his details.

            Reply
          • “this looks like another dirty hit from National.”

            Could just as easily be a dirty hit from Labour.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  August 28, 2017

              Chris Trotter…’Always, the critical journalistic question arising out of this sort of political hit is: “Cui bono?” (Who benefits?) Which political party would benefit the most by embarrassing Mr Peters and driving down his party’s support?

              Richard Harman, proprietor of the Politik website, has (almost certainly unwittingly) identified one possible beneficiary in his latest posting, “National Sees Path To Power” (28/8/17) in which he states: “National is now going to target Winston Peters and NZ First in the hope of winning one or two per cent of his vote back off him. They believe that will be enough to hold on to power.”

            • Labour should be as concerned as National if NZ First has much say post-election. I think both National and Labour would prefer they didn’t have to deal with him.

            • PDB

               /  August 28, 2017

              Likely that Labour did the dirty on the Greens by giving further information on Turei to the press (especially as their favourite man John Campbell at their favourite radio station nailed the final nail in her coffin) so they have form in this area……

      • “Demonstrably”. That means he’ll demonstrate it

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  August 28, 2017

          Yeah! Right! 🙄

          Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  August 28, 2017

          Not holding my breath…still waiting for the repayment of $158,000 illegally spent by him in 2005…until he and the Labour/Greens retrospectively legislated to legalise it. The Greens and Labour paid their money back but as I understand Winston felt it shouldn’t go to the taxpayer it had been misappropriated from.

          I recall Peters being involved in passing the government’s Compliance and Penalties Regime (1998 ?) which stipulates how unpaid tax debt is to be punished, via late payment penalties, initial and monthly incremental plus use of money interest.

          He helped make sure that people owing the government money are punished at circa 26% for reneging on their responsibilities under the law to pay money to the government on time. That $158,000 owed to the government and still unpaid would have bankrupted most people by now.

          Reply
  3. PDB

     /  August 28, 2017

    I wasn’t initially convinced there was a story but now I can see where there is one.

    These forms you have to fill in are pretty precise – to claim to be living alone if you weren’t would have to be done deliberately. Also take into account the person filling in the forms knows superannuation inside and out (considering it has always been his pet project in parliament) and there is no excuse for making such an error.

    The only reason is why? Peters is extremely well off. Maybe he needed the extra spending money? – remember he had been out of parliament for a couple of years when he applied or his pension and there was no guarantees he would be back in 2011.

    Reply
  4. sorethumb

     /  August 28, 2017

    Doesn’t sound too bad: he paid it back within 24 hours.

    Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  August 28, 2017

      But if we are interested in Peters we ought to know who is so fired up against Peters and why. A giant elephant in the room (in theory NZ First is “National”)

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  August 28, 2017

        “in theory NZ First is “National”

        Winston and his policies have more in common with Labour than National.

        Reply
        • sorethumb

           /  August 28, 2017

          National is globalist. John Key made that very clear:
          “I’d like New Zealanders to feel (after my time as Prime Minister) they have become more confident outward looking nation more multicultural”
          John Campbell interviews John key after winning last election.
          Why should we feel confident?

          Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  August 28, 2017

        That’s my feeling Sorethumb. Wouldn’t want to be the leaker(s)/criminal(s) involved.

        Reply
  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  August 28, 2017

    Throws Turei’s transgressions into the shade somewhat … so when will Peters resign?

    Rhetorical question, really.

    He’ll never go over this. He’s too big a troughing hypocrite to admit he defrauded NZ Super

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 28, 2017

      There’s another word that describes it too.

      Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  August 28, 2017

      Turies transgression was “telling someone else’s story”. In that sense the level of lying was much greater as on top of all that the lying was more substantial and she held out for longer.
      Imagine if Winston had claimed how hard it was to survive on super and then it was revealed he lived in sumptuous surroundings.

      Reply
      • Joe Bloggs

         /  August 28, 2017

        “Winston had claimed how hard it was to survive on super and then it was revealed he lived in sumptuous surroundings”

        … which is pretty much what Peters did, in a nutshell:

        He made a false claim to obtain more NZ Super than he was entitled to, knowing full well that he was living in sumptuous surroundings.

        Technically that’s criminal conduct in much the same way as Turei’s was. And his dissembling about the whats, whys, and how muches, is just as morally bankrupt.

        Reply
        • sorethumb

           /  August 28, 2017

          not as though he made a speech to that effect and was *then* found out. Turie was using it as a vote winner, emboldened by the Green’s enthusiasm for Jeremy Corbyn’s surprise result.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  August 28, 2017

            Who the fk is this “Turie” you keep raving about today, dinglebunny?

            Reply
  6. Peters?
    Not being honest?
    Well, who’d have thunk it…
    Keep digging there’s more to this than just an error….

    Reply
  7. Blazer

     /  August 28, 2017

    if anyone has any evidence of Peters committing a crime….present it to the authorities…..yaaaawnnnn.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 28, 2017

      Technically he has committed a crime, the extent of which and intent we are still unsure of.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  August 28, 2017

        It does seem to have been an error, claiming a single pension rather than including his partner-I don’t know what the proper thing is to do in this situation. I must say that I would have thought that it was the right thing-not claim the partner..

        But by making a big mystery out of a big nothing, he has made it look as if he had something to hide.

        I will look up the WINZ website and see what people in this situation are meant to do.

        Reply
  8. unitedtribes2

     /  August 28, 2017

    The interested thing is Whale Oils attitude to this story. First its a National Hit Job. Then theres a bigger scandal about Paula Bennet that she’s hiding with the threat of legal action.
    “Only the National party were pushing the Winston Peters scandal. Everyone else was pushing Paula Bennett. This clearly showed that Peters’ “benefit problem” was a National hit. A clumsy one, as we found out last night, due to Peters simply paying back the overpayment and that’s the end of it. ”
    If anyone had any doubt the Cameron was on Winston’s payroll they shouldn’t now

    Reply
  9. sorethumb

     /  August 28, 2017

    It sounds like W has specifically said he has a letter from MSD absolving him of blame.
    If he doesn’t produce it he will be seen to have lied. The worst case is that Winston does a Turie (although I don’t think they are the same situations). Anyway NZ First needs a makeover as too much reliance on Winston. Kerry McDonald/ Sir Paul Callaghn have everything to satisfiy NZ First voters.

    Reply
  10. Patu

     /  August 28, 2017

    The haters are really scraping the barrel with this one. I suspect that Winston wouldnt be anxiously awaiting his pension payment so he could buy food once a fortnight. And he has paid it back in full as soon as it was brought to his attention. Why would he remember exactly how much he was supposed to recieve if he didnt need it?

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 28, 2017

      He’s a lawyer and a self-proclaimed superannuation ‘expert’ and he decided not to tick the right box regarding his living arrangements when he went to claim his pension?

      No wonder he became an MP……….would have made a crap lawyer.

      Reply
      • Anonymous Coward

         /  August 28, 2017

        “he decided not to tick the right box”
        You’re making an assumption there. Without seeing the forms he filled in you cannot be sure that the error didn’t happen when the data was inputed at MSD.
        Using Occams Razor, which is most likely?

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  August 28, 2017

          Winston said he paid penalties – ask yourself, why would he pay penalties if he wasn’t to blame for the error?

          Reply
        • PDB

           /  August 28, 2017

          “He then said interest (“which is very high I might add”) and penalties had been added.”

          https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/08/28/44815/peters-overpaid-and-under-pressure

          Reply
          • Anonymous Coward

             /  August 28, 2017

            When I paid child support I got behind because an employer didn’t make the contributions, I then payed double every month to make it up. Despite paying double every month I paid a $5 late payment penalty and penalty interest. Why? Because my payments started 2 days after the due date that they had in their ledger, so every double payment after that was logged as 2 days late and incurred a penalty.

            Long story short, if the government is owed money it charges penalties and interest no matter who is at fault.

            Reply
            • PDB

               /  August 28, 2017

              Again though was that the govt depts fault or technically your fault and your employers fault? Your employer didn’t make the contributions and you didn’t double-check the due date.

              Winston has a history of telling porkies. Unless he provides evidence that he was not to blame for the error, or the govt agency speaks up to take the blame all evidence currently in play points to him being at fault.

              Now if he just came out and said he stuffed up through not paying attention to what he was declaring and had paid it back as soon as he was alerted wouldn’t that be a better way of killing the story? Instead he has tried to push the blame for the error onto the officials & attacked the media thus ensuring the story is given legs.

  11. patupaiarehe

     /  August 28, 2017

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/08/winston-peters-admits-taking-single-person-pension-while-in-relationship.html

    We’ve gotta realise that there is no actual proof that he has deliberately mislead MSD

    Mr Burr should choose his words a bit more carefully when on national TV. While it may be true that Mr Peters received NZ Super at the single persons rate, is there any evidence that he claimed it, as Mr Burr states???
    This is nothing more than a very poorly executed ‘hatchet job’, and it’s hardly surprising that Winston has adopted a ‘GFY’ attitude towards the media on it.

    Reply
  1. Around and About – Peters pension | The Inquiring Mind
  2. Around and About – Peters Pension | The Inquiring Mind

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