‘Dirty politics’ and NZ First financial issues

It looks like ‘dirty politics’ is back, with Winston Peters repeating insinuations made a number of times on Whale Oil 2.0 (The BFD) that look like trying to discredit an ex-NZ First official who has become a whistleblower.

On Wednesday at The BFD: Lester Gray & Nick Smith Playing Games with Parliamentary Processes

Lester Gray is using National MP Nick Smith to continue his wonky jihad against NZ First and now they are wanting to use parliamentary processes to try and destroy the party that Gray used to be the president of. Nick Smith seems intent on provoking the substantial lawsuit that is hanging over his head by continuing his own jihad against NZ First.

Smith went public revealing multi million dollar legal threat made against him by NZ First lawyer Brian Henry – see Brian Henry threatens Nick Smith and Guyon Espiner damages claim “as high as $30,000,000.00”.

‘Cameron Slater’/Whale Oil used too throw around legal threats (which turned out badly for Slater), but the Slater influence seems to have crept in to The BFD, which appears to have been set up to avoid court and liquidator actions.

Word has it that NZ First are relishing Lester Gray and Colin Forster trying this on.

We have it on good authority that some of the likely questions the select committee may ask will be as follows:

1. Why did Gray resign rather than go through the judicial process over his bullying of other party members?
2. Why is Forster complaining now? Is it because he was voted out of his position by the party?
3. What has NZ First done to support those bullied by Gray?
4. Why won’t Gray & Forster face NZ First MPs in a select committee?
5. What is Gray’s mental health condition and why did he request NZ First not comment on it, and does he believe that he should be questioned about it now he has demonstrated he is fit to appear before the select committee?

They don’t seem to have thought this through. Labour and the Greens will hammer hell out of them at the select committee even if NZ First does not have any MPs present. Those questions may prove rather detrimental to any barrow they are trying to push.

That is posted under the author ‘SB’ (Spanish Bride/Juana Atkins) but looks to me like same old ‘Cameron Slater’/Whale Oil style dirty politics.

This is part bullshit. From “Word has it that NZ First” it looks like The BFD is straight out shilling for NZ First – are they being paid for this?

“We have it on good authority that some of the likely questions the select committee may ask” sounds like bull, unless NZ First were going to tell Labour MPs on the select committee what dirty ‘attack the messenger’ questions to ask.  That’s unlikely – the Labour MPs blocked Gray and Forster from appearing before the committee anyway.

This isn’t the first time The BFD has raised “Gray’s mental health condition”.

This hardly seems a coincidence: Winston Peters lashes out at ex-NZ First party officials for request to give evidence

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has accused his former party president Lester Gray of having “mental health problems” – a claim strongly denied by Gray, who has previously raised questions about the party’s finances.

The accusation emerged after National’s electoral law spokesman Nick Smith told Parliament that Labour MPs on the justice select committee refused a request for Gray and former treasurer Colin Forster to appear before it in a private session during their inquiry into the 2017 election.

Peters then suggested outside the House that Gray had mental health issues and it would not have been appropriate for him to give evidence to a select committee.

Ironic that Peters is using ‘mental health’ to try to discredit someone, when it looks to me like NZ First or one of their agents is using Slater’s dirty politics tactics at The BFD.

Smith said it was “appalling the lengths to which the Deputy Prime Minister is going to silence anybody that raises questions”.

Smith may have stepped over a select committee line (but claims not to have):

Labour is thought to be considering a privileges complaint against Smith to the Speaker for revealing closed business of a select committee – although MPs have absolute privilege in the House.

Gray and Forster made their request to appear in the wake of revelations about large donations to the New Zealand First Foundation, which funds party activities from donations that don’t have to be declared.

The pair wrote to the committee last week asking to be heard in its inquiry.

Specifically they cited “the recent serious revelations over the failure to disclose major donations, the significant expenditure on unauthorised campaign activities and the inappropriate running of a separate foundation without proper oversight of elected party officials.”

“The inquiry is a safe place for us to disclose our knowledge of what has taken place.”

Gray resigned in October two weeks before the party convention and according to Stuff, his resignation letter said he was unable to sign off the party accounts.

“I refuse to sign off the 2019 Financial Reports with the information I have been provided,” he wrote.

“As president, the limited exposure I have had to party donations and expenditure leaves me in a vulnerable position.

“This type of operation does not align with my moral and business practice values, and I am therefore not able to support the Party any longer.”

Peters outside the House questioned why Smith wanted to hear Forster and Gray.

“The reality is he wants to hear evidence from somebody who is no longer treasurer of the party and knew nothing about anything because he wasn’t there at the time so why would he be an expert witness on something he could not possibly know anything about?”

Asked about what would be wrong with Lester Gray giving evidence to the justice committee, Peters said: “Lester Gray’s lawyer wrote to me and my board and asked if we would have regard to his current then mental health problems and I have respected that letter and never said a thing about it but we are not going to sit here and take that sort of behavior hereon in.

“In short, if his lawyer pleads with us to give some understanding on his mental health problems, then perhaps the corollary should be that she should not try and think that some select committee because of his present state of mind is the proper place for him to make submissions.”

Someone seems to have provided The BFD with this mental health information some time ago. A post from 21 November: Brian Henry puts Bridges & Smith on Notice

Brian Henry has smacked Simon Bridges and Nick Smith hard, threatening to sue the cowards for smearing him in parliament.

So, Nick Smith is a coward and won’t repeat his allegations outside of parliament. The amount talked about are the direct provable losses that Simon Bridges and Nick Smith have caused Brian Henry because of their false accusations in the house.

That was posted under ‘SB’ but it doesn’t look like normal SB style to me.

Nick Smith also, rather stupidly, continued the attack with Question 9, despite having been informed of the action and then even more stupidly tabled his legal letter in parliament, though with some redactions regarding Lester Gray and the real reasons why he left NZ First.

The BFD has obtained copies of the letters and they are outlined below…

So, now we are starting to find out the real reasons behind the rather sudden departure of Lester Gray from NZ First.

Sources tell us…

There is also the rumour that …

Sounds very much like Slater/WO dirty politics (although the style hints that it may not have been written by Slater either).

…when this was discovered by people close to Lester Gray he suddenly had his “mental health” episode.

It looks to me like someone with close links to NZ First is providing information to if not writing posts for The BFD.

So Dirty Politics appears to be back, this time via NZ First/The BFD but with a lot of similar tactics used by Slater/Whale Oil.

Leave a comment


  1. Duker

     /  6th December 2019

    Gray and mental health issues ?
    This story does say ‘health issues’
    Gray also said
    “”I will always treasure the wonderful people I have met and the friendships we have started.”
    How much of that is true ?

    • Jobe

       /  6th December 2019

      Cameron Slater and Juana Atkins questioning someone else’s credibility and honesty because they apparently have mental health issues?
      That is the capital S for Shameless really.
      Seen it all now from them.

  2. duperez

     /  6th December 2019

    I don’t agree that it looks like ‘dirty politics’ is back. I certainly don’t think ‘dirty politics’ has ever left.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th December 2019

    This stuff carries a distinct whiff of coakroach soil and late unlamented bloggers.
    History about to repeat?

  4. Blazer

     /  6th December 2019

    The leaker of NZF’s financial operations is no longer in any doubt….if ever there was …any.

  5. Gezza

     /  6th December 2019

    Is the BFD even getting any msm attention?

    Lets just wait & see where this goes:

    “Gezza / 5th December 2019
    “Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters claims the New Zealand First Foundation was modelled on the National Party Foundation but records revealed in a Stuff investigation suggest otherwise.

    “It’s based on the National Foundation,” he said.

    But while the initial brief for the NZ First Foundation did name-check the National Party’s foundation, in practice it has operated completely differently.

    The National Party’s Foundation was established as a capital-protected fund which uses the interest on donations to support the political party.

    A memo from the meeting where the NZ First Foundation was set up suggests this was also the idea for the NZ First Foundation – but bank documents show it has been drawn down on several times.

    National Party spokesman Mark Nicholson said the National Party Foundation is treated by the Electoral Commission as the same entity in terms of donations. “All donations to the National Foundation are treated as donations to the political party and recorded,” he said.

    Nicholson said a system to aggregate donations is in place and all donations are declared by the party secretary in their annual returns. Electoral returns from New Zealand First do not match up with donation amounts into the foundation bank accounts.”

    More …

  6. Blazer

     /  6th December 2019

    so there are never any drawdowns of funds in the National Party’s foundation!

    • Gezza

       /  6th December 2019

      Dunno. Don’t think Stuff’s investigating that one. May not be able to find a leaker there yet.

      The SFO’s bloody slow getting back to us on that $150k donation to National though. Reporters don’t seem to be putting the pressure on there.

    • Duker

       /  6th December 2019

      No drawdowns of Nats fund ? of course of ….they have said so ! The have buckets of money anyway …names protected from disclosure by every loophole money can by after 9 yrs in government

    • alloytoo

       /  7th December 2019

      @Duker “So there are never any drawdowns of funds in the National Party’s foundation!”

      Irrelevant question:

      “All donations to the National Foundation are treated as donations to the political party and recorded”

      @Duker “No drawdowns of Nats fund ? of course of ….they have said so ! The have buckets of money anyway …names protected from disclosure by every loophole money can by after 9 yrs in government”

      If the Trust and Party are treated as one entity for donations disclosure then it makes absolutely no difference if the Trust retains all the donations or if it draws them down for a specific purpose because they have been already declared as party donations.

      You appear to be outraged simply because the national party have “Buckets of money.”

  7. Loki

     /  7th December 2019

    I doubt completely that his long suffering wife wrote one single word of that post.
    It is clear he has been supporting Winston since the Nats rinsed him.
    The post is so clearly a Slater effort with direction from his peculiar mate from the Hawkes Bay
    And yes.
    Those people dropping mental health slurs into the mix is astonishing.
    As you are the last remaining person who reads his feeble new site and isn’t a member of the cargo cult.. we probably needn’t worry about influence on voters.
    He has zero influence and negative credibility.
    A forgotten nobody hiding behind “Illness” to avoid his debts.

    • “The post is so clearly a Slater effort with direction from his peculiar mate from the Hawkes Bay”

      That’s how it looks to me. Slater working in the shadow of ‘SB’, with help.

      The BFD can barely muster support in comments for their attempted hit jobs now, getting more criticism than sock puppetry. and it is ignored by media which used to give WO oxygen.

      But they seem to be continuing with a plot to try to oust National’s leaders, Bridges and Bennett, plus Nick Smith, and anyone who has annoyed Peters or Slater (there must be many), get a Winston friendly leader installed so paving the way for a grand coalition of National and NZ First.

      A comment from ‘spanish bride’ this week (in response to “It defies belief that this post infers that NZF are potential coalition partners for National.”:

      NZ First’s history is that it has been in coalition with BOTH National and Labour at different times so it is inaccurate to say that describing NZ First as a “potential” partner “defies belief” Given the right set of circumstances it is possible that NZ First would choose National. With Simon Bridges as the leader of National the possibility of a coalition with NZ First is currently zero.

      It appears that the toxic team of twits still believe they can pull this off.


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