Winston Peters refuses to back up phone claims and denials re Wally Haumaha

In Parliament this week National MP Chris Bishop accuses Winston Peters of Wally Haumaha contact

Today I can also reveal that Winston Peters rang Wally Haumaha after the inquiry into his appointment was announced. He gave him assurances, or words to that effect, that things would be OK. That is deeply, wildly inappropriate. Mr Peters needs to explain who invited him to the marae, why he rang Wally Haumaha to assure him that things would be OK despite an inquiry into his appointment, and why he thinks Mr Haumaha should stay in the role while he is subject to two separate investigations, with a third on the way.

Peters denied this (Stuff) – Wally Haumaha phone call claims: Winston Peters says he doesn’t use landline

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters says his phone records clear him of making a call to under-fire top cop Wally Haumaha – but he can’t explain how he got hold of them.

Neither the Parliamentary Service nor the Department of Internal Affairs received a request to provide the records on Wednesday.

In a press release issued to deny claims made by National MP Chris Bishop, Peters said: “I have not called nor had any reason to call Mr Haumaha since the controversy. My office has checked all my phone records since the inquiry was announced. No such call was made.”

When pressed by Stuff on Thursday about how he got the records so quickly, he said: “Got my staff to get it… I can’t tell you how. I trust my staff.”

Peters says he doesn’t use a landline phone.

Asked if he could have used another phone, he replied: “Oh, what went down down to a telephone booth you mean? To the best of my memory, no such thing happened and I got my staff to check it out, just to be safe.”

Later, a spokesman for Peters clarified to Stuff:

“The phone bills get sent to the office each month and are readily accessible. The bills itemise calls made and received…We then asked around for Mr Haumaha’s phone number (so we knew what we were looking for) and cross checked that way.”

Peters was asked for clarification on Newshub Nation this morning:

Lisa Owen: National alleged in parliament that you rang deputy commissioner Wally Haumaha to reassure him aftter an inquiry was launched into his appointment and the circumstances of that employment. You say that your office checked your phone records and there was not call. So I just want to be clear, does that include any and every phone that you could have used to make the call, and was there any other contact using any other means with Mr Haumaha from you?

Winston Peters: I can’t, I can’t believe, I can’t believe you’re wasting my or your viewership’s time. Mr Bishop said he had a revelation, and if he’s got a revelation why hasn’t he shown you that? That’s what a revelation means. No, he made a vile allegation, couldn’t prove it, and now you’re asking me questions about it.

Lisa Owen: Yeah well you could clear it up. Yes or no, have they checked all your phones if you have had contact with Wally Haumaha…

Winston Peters: No, I’ll, no I’ll clear it up by going, no Lisa, we’ll go to the original source who promised all you journalists a revelation. What was that revelation?

Lisa Owen: But you would know who would best know whether you’ve spoken to Wally Haumaha, you, do you not want to give a clear answer…

Winston Peters: That’s, that’s not the way our society, our democracy or our standards of law works. You just can’t make baseless allegations without putting up the facts. he hasn’t, and why aren’t you talking to him about that and not wasting my time?

Funny and highly ironic.

Peters has made a political career out of making allegations, and a number of times not delivered any evidence, but instead demanded that the media or the police investigate and find evidence for him. They usually haven’t obliged.

The way our democracy and our media are supposed to work is that journalists ask questions to hold politicians to account.

Peters has already tried a denial, and when held to account on that has switched to refusing to answer a simple but comprehensive question.

He could make a clear statement that he made no such call, but by refusing to do that leaves people to make their own conclusions.

I think that it is reasonable to see this as Peters trying to avoid being called out for making a call to Haumaha, and then being caught out trying to fabricate a denial.

And i think it is fair to ask and investigate how close peters and NZ First were to Haumaha and to his appointment, which raises valid questions about their involvement in setting up the inquiry.

More of the Peters interview:

38 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  September 29, 2018

    Peters is correct.
    Bishop should put up or shut up.
    It would be a never ending circus otherwise, of people having to defend spurious allegations that can not be…substantiated.

    • Corky

       /  September 29, 2018

      While I agree with you…all Winston had to say was ”yes or no.” Of course saying that leaves no wiggle room.

      We are edging closer to an early election.

      • Loki

         /  September 29, 2018

        The last time he said NO he used a big sign.
        That ended with a farcical episode for the privileges committee and Clark spent the last year of her reign on her knees eating dead rats to cover for him.
        I expect his pet blogger will be ripping into Bishop now from his Bure.
        Although after he got his teeth kicked in by the judge during another attempt to squirm out from under his self inflicted Blomfield nightmare he might be a bit busy.

    • I agree that Bishop should have backed up his accusation with proof.

      But by refusing to answer a simple question Peters has effectively helped Bishop’s case. This is a game Peters knows very well, but usually from the other side of the accusations, so he could be hoist by his own petard.

      • NOEL

         /  September 29, 2018

        Noticed this on another site.
        Interesting point?
        “Nostalgia-NZ
        Had a look through has anyone considered even if the words are true that ‘you’ll be okay’ has no definitive of meaning of political interference and is part of NZ language such a ‘she’ll be right,’ etc convoluting ‘you’ll be okay’ (again if it was said) is innocuous – saying on the other hand something like ‘don’t worry I will sort this out’ has a sinister meaning. I think this is news when you don’t have news. Proof of it and proof of the meaning will change all that – if Bishop has it. Show us the money!”

  2. robertguyton

     /  September 29, 2018

    A phone call here, and email there…National are really slamming the Government on things that count!! They’re going great guns!! I only hope they don’t do anything stupid, like repeating the music copyright stuff-ups they already have suffered over…

    • You’re diverting again. Yeah, National do some silly thing, but you may have forgotten that they aren’t in government any more. Try focussing on the post.

      Do you see no problem if Peter got involved with Haumaha while he was the subject of an inquiry organised by another NZ First MP?

    • Corky

       /  September 29, 2018

      ”I only hope they don’t do anything stupid, like repeating the music copyright stuff-ups they already have suffered over…”

      National took advice on that issue. Advice that turned out to be wrong.

      Anyway, back to the coalition government…?

      • Blazer

         /  September 29, 2018

        advice that turned out to be wrong…4 times re music..

        and wrong advice about meth testing,and wrong advice about…….nearly everything….

        hopeless.

    • David

       /  September 29, 2018

      I am surprised Robert that of all people you would try and defend Peters..seriously I can’t think of a person more diametrically opposed to you or would detest you more tha Peter’s.. you are everything he holds in contempt

      • Corky

         /  September 29, 2018

        The Greens..divorced from reality.

      • robertguyton

         /  September 29, 2018

        David – I’ve met and wined and dined with Winston on a couple of occasions, chatted with him during both and didn’t detect the contempt you describe. I’m wondering, perhaps you don’t understand politics? Just a thought…that said, the Winston/Greens misfit is obvious : I’m not stupid (despite Corky’s insistence to the contrary).

    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  September 29, 2018

      Thread jacking again – ban-able offence at your spiritual home over at The Standard… Pete goes very easy on you Robert, very easy

      • robertguyton

         /  September 29, 2018

        Meh – Pete does what he can, but I can manage his authoritarian bent well enough.

  3. Ray

     /  September 29, 2018

    This is beyond funny.
    How about Winston put up the facts for the many, many times he has used Parliamentary privilege to make claims, starting with that claimed ferry grounding to having Bill English’s cell phone records!

    • Blazer

       /  September 29, 2018

      hope you are not engaging in whataboutry there…Ray.

      • Ray

         /  September 29, 2018

        This isn’t whataboutry as practised by you and Robert, rather I am pointing out Winston who is famous for his allegations while he is has Parliamentary privilege seems to have different appreciation of who should supply the evidence when he is on the receiving end.

        Asking if he is going to do that is just a way of highlighting his hypocrisy.

        • Blazer

           /  September 29, 2018

          that is the definition of whataboutry…yours is the same variety.

      • Trevors_Elbow

         /  September 29, 2018

        Hahahahahahahhahahahahaha… you actual typed that with bursting into flame??? Your hypocrisy is boundless, endless and bottomless…. keep spinning lad, keep spinning

  4. George

     /  September 29, 2018

    How about a reminder about Peters prevarications past, current and future.
    The selling of Huka Lodge and the selling of the very large sheep station Lochinvah.
    Others can and will add to the list

    • Blazer

       /  September 29, 2018

      whataboutry is frowned upon by right wing posters here George.

      (unless they change their minds…which they often do)Bol.

      • artcroft

         /  September 29, 2018

        I think you’ll find i’ve not changed my mind but consistently labelled this govt as incompetent, corrupt, led by a clueless young women and a tired old fraud.

      • Ray

         /  September 29, 2018

        @SowellDaily: “One of the most widespread substitutes for morality, especially among the Left, is sanctimoniousness.”

        • Blazer

           /  September 29, 2018

          “One of the most widespread substitutes for morality, especially among the Right, is self righteousness’

  5. Gezza

     /  September 29, 2018

    One thing I definitely like about this coalition is that politics certainly hasn’t been dull since they got elected. 😎

  6. Trevors_Elbow

     /  September 29, 2018

    geezzzzs… talk about self-immolation by Winston. Dousing the flickering embers Bishop cast about looking for combustible material with gasoline.

    Winston has made himself look guilty of something with his answers… fascinating political theatre… who wins out the old Fox or the Fox learning his trade?

    • Blazer

       /  September 29, 2018

      Bishop is beating..himself.

      • Trevors_elbow

         /  September 30, 2018

        And as usual you’re running around deflecting. We will find out what National gave shortly. If it’s nothing it has at least made Winston look slippery when answering press questions… attrition leading to disintegration doesn’t require a king hit first up….