Changing accusations on who leaked Peters Super overpayment

There has been a slew of accusations about who leaked information about the superannuation overpayment of Winston Peters.

Peters initially blamed the IRD. Then he moved to MSD, Bill English, Anne Tolley, Paula Bennett and public servants. By yesterday he was calling for mass resignations.

Stuff: Winston Peters calls for heads to roll over superannuation overpayment leak

Winston Peters wants heads to roll over his superannuation overpayment being leaked, including Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and State Services Minister Paula Bennett.

The NZ First leader told media following a finance debate in Queenstown on Wednesday night that those who have said they knew about his overpayment have “breached the privacy laws”.

When asked if Tolley, Bennett, State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes and Prime Minister Bill English’s chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, should all lose their jobs, Peters said “of course they should”.

“They’re all in breach of the privacy laws of this country and there has to be consequences – they have just been so badly caught out,” he said.

Peters has never resigned over breaches of privacy but he has different rules for himself.

Also yesterday: Shane Jones takes aim at social development boss: ‘Writing’s on the wall’

NZ First candidate Shane Jones has launched a scathing attack on a senior civil servant, who he has accused of being at the centre of politically-motivated leaks in two separate elections.

Ministry of Social Development chief executive Brendan Boyle has confirmed he briefed his minister Anne Tolley that the department had settled a matter with NZ First leader Winston Peters’ on the overpayment of his pension.

“The man is no stranger to breaches of privacy. He was in charge of the internal affairs department when in the midst of the 2008 election there was a massive dump of documents.

“It was a file of a matter I dealt with, pertaining to Bill Liu – right in the middle of an election.

“Now the man is in the middle of a major privacy breach in this election,” Jones said.

Risky for Jones to bring up Bill Liu.

It emerged just before the 2008 election, then Labour Immigration Minister Jones granted the controversial Chinese businessman New Zealand citizenship despite an Interpol warning.

And it seems that after being distanced from National Cameron Slater has shifted his dirty politics to trying to help Peters and NZ First.

Like Peters his accusations have evolved, suggesting they are dirty speculations.

He originally thought the big revelation was something else.

Then when the Super  story broke he accused Anne Tolley. He has since piled into Bill English and his staff, also Steven Joyce.

And apparently he has now blamed someone ‘very close to Paula Bennett’.

If the leaker is revealed both he and peters will probably claim to have been right – if they accuse enough people their odds must be good.

It has long been a tactic of both Peters and Slater of making public accusations without any evidence, it seems to be aimed at trying to flush out a culprit.

Dirty politics from both of them. It was dirty to leak the information but whoever leaked is just wrestling in mud with political pigs.

Next Post

27 Comments

  1. duperez

     /  September 1, 2017

    A number of places have references to the Peters ‘ story being talked about by various people before Sunday.

    • PDB

       /  September 1, 2017

      None of which have been proven. Winston himself put it about that National people were talking about it at their conference (no evidence) – the same guy that has so far accused a journalist for lying about his tax problem (a lie), blamed IRD (no evidence), blamed 2 National MPs (no evidence), said English & Joyce had discussed it (no evidence) and who had his attack dog Shane Jones blaming a senior public servant (no evidence).

  2. Blazer

     /  September 1, 2017

    National did it,and are now lying about it and trying to divert the blame by citing ludicrous alternatives.

    • PDB

       /  September 1, 2017

      Only a buffoon would still think National leaked the info considering the beneficiaries of the hit are clearly Labour and the Greens.

      • Anonymous Coward

         /  September 1, 2017

        How it has transpired is a seperate metric from how it was intended. By your logic Japan started the second world war because they gained the most from it.

        • PDB

           /  September 1, 2017

          Now you are being silly – the USA/USSR gained the most from WW2 (becoming super-powers in the process), not Japan.

          When looking at something like this where no one knows who the leaker was the assumption has to always be who benefits the most? and who has the most to lose? I’d suggest National had the most to lose & benefited the least from the ‘hit’. Of course they could have been a bunch of reckless idiots that disregarded all consequences but I think this more far fetched than the simple proposition a left-wing leaning public servant leaked it.

          Chances of finding the culprit very slim I would think.

          • Anonymous Coward

             /  September 1, 2017

            Well then swap USA/USSR for Japan then. ( though, yes they became superpowers but Japan was transformed into a thoroughly hyper-modern society from a feudalistic backwater).

            You’re still looking at results over intention. National have gained nothing from this it’s true, but that doesn’t override what they could have hoped to have gained – and don’t forget that this is a party that a few weeks a go had an enormous lead in the polls.
            If anyone could leak something for a negative gain at the moment it’s the National party.

            • PDB

               /  September 1, 2017

              I’m sure the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were happy to know they gained the most from WW2!

              We agree to disagree – hopefully the truth comes out.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  September 1, 2017

              It’s kind of sad that you choose to split hairs on the analogy rather than accept it’s intent, may your pedantry serve you well.

            • PDB

               /  September 1, 2017

              All done in a light hearted manner – sometimes hard to read intent.

  3. Peters will have to find a way to make a big hit on Labour this week.

    At only 4% Pref PM and 8% Party in the polls, it looks like he’s being deserted for Jacinda Mania. He’d better not attack her personally or threaten an anti CGT bottom line, but he needs to come up with some direct dirt. He should have some, being their lap dog for so long.

    • PDB

       /  September 1, 2017

      Yep – It shows that a good chunk of Winston’s support base was old Labour supporters who are now deserting him in droves. For a guy the MSM paint as politically astute he has made a major error in mainly attacking National & largely ignoring Labour since Ardern became leader.

      A Labour/Greens/Maori party govt is now very much on.

      • I’m afraid his explanations re the ignored letters from MSD and the original app/data entry/stupid MDS agent filling in error, his failure tp notice he was getting more over a seven year period simply don’t pass a normal person’s sniff test.

        He has so much bullshit form for both milking the taxpayer and falsely filling out forms.

  4. Stephen Franks has an interesting position on the basic “privacy” aspect which he feels is an overblown sensitivity that has crept into the collective NZ psyche. His suggestion would be that any records connected to the receipt of public moneys, such as benefit or superannuation payments, should be available as a matter of public record.

    If Winston has done nothing wrong what is the issue about our seeing the documentation? On the other hand, if he did diddle the application why should he be allowed to hide behind a shield of “privacy” ?

    • Blazer

       /  September 1, 2017

      Franks can’t be serious.The stigma for beneficiaries is bad enough already.Its a wonder he is not advocating a return to stocks and a weekly parade complete with rotten…fruit.

      • I’m pretty sure he is serious Blazer. Though I doubt he envisions a public data base say the way the Companies Office data is available. Maybe there is some halfway arrangement that would be considerate of people’s routine personal sensibilities.

        I guess we’d have to ask him.

        • duperez

           /  September 1, 2017

          Franks considerate of people’s routine personal sensibilities? Pshaw!
          However, I’m with him. Since our radio station, RNZ has him on regularly I guess they pay him so I want access to his records connected to the receipt of public moneys

      • Belledejour

         /  September 1, 2017

        How do we know it is not a criminal matter? If he made a false declaration on his original application he committed a crime. I wonder why the Minister of Police was briefed, and a legal opinion obtained from the Solicitor General, (caveat; as alleged by the whale) unless a crime was involved? Can someone form MSD please hurry up and leak the original form he filled and signed with the 2 relevant questions on it?
        And if he committed a crime, then bigger questions will be asked about who in the Govt potentially covered his butt and shielded him from being taken to court.?
        That actually would be a Mother…etc.
        The leak could still have come from within the Nats, with a person being not happy if he was potentially shielded in this way, a break from ranks in other words.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  September 1, 2017

          As others have said, because the matter was settled and charges weren’t laid.

    • PDB

       /  September 1, 2017

      I suppose the key here is that it’s not a criminal matter, Winston paid what he owed and the penalties arising from that and the incident was considered closed by the authorities. In that respect there was no need for the general public to know.

      • Well, I certainly don’t want to be one known for being unnecessarily critical of him.

    • robertguyton

       /  September 1, 2017

      “privacy” you write? Happy to chuck privacy out ’cause, just ’cause. God protect us all from such feebleness.

      • Anonymous Coward

         /  September 1, 2017

        You don’t want the protections that privacy law offers you?

        • Does this have anything to do with your chosen pen name?

          • Anonymous Coward

             /  September 1, 2017

            It’s an old default name from internet forums from back in the day, no more anonymous or cowardly than any other pseudonym here.

          • Anonymous Coward

             /  September 1, 2017

            But why don’t you like privacy laws? I guess it’s got more to do with what you can’t find out about other people than what people can find out about you.

            • I think privacy laws are a good precaution A/C. I just don’t think they should be turned into a religion.