More details on NZ First Foundation SFO charges

More details on the charges against two people in relation to NZ First Foundation handling of NZ First Party donations have been revealed, but the identities of the two people charged are still suppressed pending a reserved decision.

RNZ: Pair charged after SFO’s investigation accused of using ‘fraudulent device’

The pair charged after the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into the New Zealand First Foundation are accused of using a “fraudulent device, trick or stratagem” to secure more than $700,000 then used to pay expenses for the New Zealand First party.

Two people have been charged with obtaining by deception after the SFO’s investigation into the foundation and its handling of donations.

Charging documents released to RNZ today show the two defendants used more than $700,000 in a “fraudulent device, trick or stratagem” to pay expenses for the New Zealand First party.

It was more than $740,000 of donations.

They say the pair used deception to obtain control over $677,885 deposited into the bank account of the New Zealand First Foundation account between 21 April 2017 and 14 February 2020.

The defendants are also charged with using $68,996 deposited into a bank account of a company run by one of the defendants between 31 October 2015 and 20 October 2017.

“Those undeclared funds thereby become available to [a company run by one of the defendants]/New Zealand First Foundation to use as the defendants saw fit, and were used to pay expenses of the party and to develop a fundraising database for the benefit of the party and [a company run by one of the defendants].”

The New Zealand First party took the SFO to the High Court last month seeking to suppress the announcement of the charges and the existence of their court action until after a new government has been formed.

The court ruled against the party, saying there was “a significant public interest in the New Zealand voting public being informed during an election campaign about criminal charges of serious fraud against people or organisations related to political parties”.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has said his party has been completely exonerated by the investigation and stressed the foundation and party are entirely separate entities.

Peters repeated his ‘completely exonerated’ claim in last night’s leaders’ debate but that looks ridiculous.

He also said last night:

“I have welcomed the Serious Fraud Office inquiry from day one, and I welcome its outcome. Let me tell you one thing – I’ve got rid of two former Serious Fraud [Office] leaders – two, not one – and I’m not concerned about this at all.”

That also sounds like nonsense to me considering the lengths the party went to to try to hush up any mention of the case.

Meanwhile Labour is having their own problems: Ginny Andersen tells voters she’s been cleared by Commission, but Labour hasn’t

Labour’s Hutt South candidate, Ginny Andersen, has been cleared by the Electoral Commission for any potential wrongdoing in a local electorate scandal.

However, the Electoral Commission is still looking into potential wrongdoing by the Labour Party which has not declared the very low rent it has received for its Hutt South office as a donation.

Leave a comment


  1. John J Harrison

     /  9th October 2020

    Peters is toast, gone burger!
    Thank God !
    As I said yesterday, the trustees of the NZ First Foundation must be sweating bullets as they have a personal fiduciary duty to ensure this alleged fraudulent behavior never should have occurred.
    It did, and it did for years – according to public reports.
    How on earth was this allowed to happen ?
    With Labour, it is business as usual.

    • Blazer

       /  9th October 2020

      Of course National are…squeaky ..clean!

      • John J Harrison

         /  9th October 2020

        Blazer, correct, no charges against National – or ACT.
        Wonder why ?

        • Blazer

           /  9th October 2020

          Do you live in a commune where people wear pale ,blue ,safari suits and bobby socks with roman sandals?

        • Duker

           /  9th October 2020

          The charges and upcoming trial are against a former National MP and former national party ‘members’…. same charges as those individuals involved with NZF Foundation which isnt charged.

          So your point is … inspite of same charges same situation for ‘individuals’ and we know that Bridges was in the loop and fawning over one of those charged, the money ‘in the bag’ and a potential list spot

          • “same charges same situation”

            Meaning Peters was also ‘in the loop’?

            • Duker

               /  9th October 2020

              No evidence of that PG …tut tut
              You do know that JLR had taped conversations showing who was ‘in the loop’
              Do you want to go back and amend your claim now , as its baseless and merely surmises something you ‘dont know’

            • I didn’t claim anything, I asked you a question. You said the National and NZF are ‘same situation’, and that Bridges was ‘in the loop’, so to be the same that would make Peters ‘in the loop’ too. You chose not to answer that question.

              Perhaps you’re doing a selective ‘same situation’ – only the same in aspects that suit you?

            • Duker

               /  9th October 2020

              Thats making a claim I didnt mention, the charges are the same and the names are known and their connection to National
              This is what is known
              Bridges is known to be in the loop…is a fact .

              WE dont know the connection to NZF by those charged , the names are suppressed and Im sure you wouldnt want any ‘guessing’…tut tut again.

              So the answer to your surmises to say Im surmising too ? Im not, the National party donations people involved are facts
              Would you like to amend both claims now, but its your blog to do as you wish, as you are ‘making claims with no evidence’, including no evidence of your claim Peters was in the know ( as in names of donors and $$, which we know Bridges was )

            • Peters was certainly in at least part of the Foundation loop despite hime denying any involvement.

              The leaked documents show NZ First leader Winston Peters was present at a March 2017 board of directors’ meeting, where the board agreed to the concept of establishing the foundation. The documents contain a recommendation that Peters “select an appropriate legal adviser” to develop the foundation.

              Brian Henry, Peters’ lawyer, later became one of two trustees of the foundation. The other trustee is former NZ First MP Doug Woolerton, who runs his own lobbying firm, offering media strategies, services in “drafting changes for legislation” and “personal introductions” where appropriate.


              Given how much NZ First has been the party of Peters it stretches credulity that peters would not either have an ongoing knowledge of the workings of the NZFF, or an arranged distancing arrangement that would have to have his approval for operating.

              Peters has contradicted himself a number of times on all of this. He has claimed to have nothing to do with the Foundation, but also claims to know they did nothing illegal.

            • NZ First Foundation not operating, not taking donations, Winston Peters says

              Asked about his involvement with the foundation, Peters said: “I have had no involvement at all [with the foundation] other than to say ‘whatever you do, make sure it is legal’. And I know from the legal advice that I’ve been getting subsequent to these investigations, that it has been.”


              He can’t know nothing and everything, but that seems to be what he wants everyone to believe at various times.

            • John J Harrison

               /  9th October 2020

              Pete, when he made that remark it may have been true ie not operating or taking money.
              That most certainly was not the case previously as anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows.
              He was deflecting for his fan boys and they took the bait and ran with it.
              As evidenced by the shrill remarks in his support on this site.
              I hope that jail time awaits the transgressors if convicted.

          • Duker

             /  9th October 2020

            Established the foundation – some years back

            Some more wild surmises about the legal postion since
            “I know from the legal advice that I’ve been getting subsequent to these investigations,…
            Thats clearly after the fact of the SFO he has been keep updated on the legal position.
            Doesnt in any shape and form suggest hes in the loop and knows the donors names and amounts as Bridges was ( a known fact , not a surmise)

            Every new claim is just a surmise without any evidence “He can’t know nothing and everything,” you claim without evidence of what ‘everything is .

            “Peters it stretches credulity ” …no no its you doing that PG, your own standards require evidence.
            The quote you give is just Peters saying he has no involvement and by some miracle of english translation then becomes your evidence he does know….

            Wheres the beef , wheres evidence of Peters knowing the names and $$.

            All the evidence you present is the NZFF establishment involved Peters..before any donations were made and secondly once the SFO enquiries began he was advised of the legal position ( not the names and numbers at all.)

            Flimsy flimsy flimsy, which you wouldnt tolerate from others . not that you have to follow the guidelines for everyone else and its a complete diversion from my central claim that the National party leader was in knowlege of the $100k and Ross and the donors and the personal thank you and a possible list placing
            This is light years ahead of the surmises you make regarding Peters…some who he knows everything ( we could say that about any party leader on any matter)

            • ” its a complete diversion from my central claim that the National party leader ”

              That’s really funny. You mean a diversion from from your diversion?

              This post is about the NZ First Foundation and that’s what I’ve been commenting on. You keep trying to divert.

            • Duker

               /  9th October 2020

              Way out of date Artcroft, ( March) we know a lot more of the details and that SFO has laid charges and the names of chargees
              Do try to keep up

            • artcroft

               /  9th October 2020

              What information. Do you mean the charges against JLR and the three other chinese guys? No charges against Bridges, no charges against National Party office holders. Just a smear on your part.

            • Duker

               /  9th October 2020

              The donations occured while the party leader was aware of the $100k figure and fine dining with the donor…at the time of donation,
              the bag man was a close associate of bridges and national the time of donation,
              one of those charged was looking to get on the the time of donation

              All these events occured while connected closely to National Party.
              You are gutless for pretending the ‘office holder’ ( what does that even mean), Bridges was the leader of the Party and seemed from the tapes, to be the person who instigated it all, Ross merely being a conduit.
              To top it all off the NZ National Party got the money in its accounts and another office holder knew it had been split and the ‘names used’ were previously unknown to them and not the person Bridges wined and dined

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  9th October 2020

              What is an office holder ? It’s someone who holds an office or position.

  2. Gerrit

     /  9th October 2020

    Much more interested in who contributed to the trust and what they expected, and got, in return.

    $700K is a shite load of cash, not many grey power grannies would have that sort of money laying about..

    • John J Harrison

       /  9th October 2020

      Gerrit, think fishing, forestry and race horses.
      Of course Winston knew NOTHING !

      • Patzcuaro

         /  9th October 2020

        And possibly Russian money as there is a Russian billionaire not that far from Whananaki.

      • Duker

         /  9th October 2020

        Race horses ?
        heard of the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry Ltd , clearly a NZ company, which gave $150k to National party.
        JLR evidence in court could be interesting when his lawyer leads him through all the back door methods he used for a nameless political party, maybe the defence will call a nameless former leader to give evidence

  3. artcroft

     /  9th October 2020

    If these claims are proven in court, then I hope a decent sentence is handed down and not just a slap with a wet bus ticket. Otherwise it’ll be game on and they will all do it.

    • Corky

       /  9th October 2020

      Arty, the bros will give these boys a warm reception…unless they can buy a segregated cell.

  4. Duker

     /  9th October 2020

    “Accounts seen by Stuff show at least as recently as 2018 and 2019 the NZPFU charged just $1500 a year in rent – well below the market rate for office space in Petone. A shop at 264 Jackson Street, just up the road from Andersen’s office, is currently for lease at $18,200 a year.”

    Shops have different rents to offices even when in same street – which should be obvious, even when considering a shop might be shorter tenancy- 6 months?, while an office may have a longer term say 5 years.
    It seems that the Petone branch of labour owned the building once and 10 yrs ago sold to the Firemans Union as its HQ
    [Deleted] Dirty Politics 101 keeping your own name out of it.
    [It’s dirty politics making accusations with no evidence. PG]

  5. James

     /  9th October 2020

    It’s also a mystery what happened to the funds in the ‘Susan Couch – Crime Victims Charitable Trust’ – originally set up by Brian Henry to receive some of the $158,000 that NZ First should have repaid to the taxpayer. The last annual financial statements showed $87,084 in the bank on 31 March 2014, but there has been nothing since then and the charity has been deregistered for not producing its returns.

    • Duker

       /  9th October 2020

      Jumble mumble , your claims without evidence against a lawyer ! should be deleted..tout suite

      Did TVNZ get the $110,000 GST money from the taxpayers broadcasters fund ( inc GST) that Joyce as campaign manager ‘over spent’ on TV advertising back in 2005.
      NO TVNZ didnt, as the fund didnt have the money left and they paid the invoices directly and a party is prohibited from using its ‘own money’

  6. Gerrit

     /  9th October 2020

    Lot of Duker deflection and whataboutism going on.

    • Duker

       /  9th October 2020

      Guess who is back in the campaign spouting praise for Collins ( after she dissed him in her book…hahahaha)

      Campaigning very well ???? Confident and Strong ??? and someone he fired from the job
      Sounds to me like desperate calls from ‘every one but Judith ‘ to get that one out ( not that she would be on her knees for anyone- except to pull the christian vote)
      Like hell he did

      means no more whatabout for Key as he has returned to the fray

      • More of what Gerrit mentioned.

        Helen Clark has been quite visible during this campaign. I guess ex political leaders can still have some sort of interest in politics.

        I’ve even seen Jim Bolger pop up a few times. Like:Long fight for compulsory te reo lessons in school

        The activists who helped create and deliver the historic 1972 Māori Language Petition are still fighting for te reo to be compulsory in schools nearly 50 years on.

        …It led to the first annual Māori Language day and later Māori Language Week, but successive governments have not gone as far as to make te reo a core subject.

        Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger said he tried and failed to do just that when he was elected in 1990.

        “One of the first things I tried to do as Prime Minister was to get it accepted by officials that we should teach Māori to all children in primary school and that didn’t work. They thought it was far too hard and nothing really happened,” he said.
        Talking of Bolger: Jacinda Ardern’s greatest achievement

        Unhappy with how things with its junior coalition partner were working out, National transport minister Jenny Shipley staged a coup against Prime Minister Jim Bolger. Winston Peters was sacked from Cabinet shortly thereafter.

        In the 1999 election, New Zealand First received less than five percent of the vote and only survived by dint of Peters winning the seat of Tauranga.

        …When New Zealand First went with National in 1996 and Labour in 2005, it bailed out existing governments that were already exhausted. The patience of the voting public was already frayed and the subsequent scandals only helped convince them that a time for a change was needed.

        It’s not Labour who looks exhausted this time, it’s Peters. The tolerance of the voting public seems to have also been exhausted. Too many scandals, too many contradictions, too many promises that are discarded after elections.

  7. duperez

     /  9th October 2020

    Cases involving fraud and deception are common. Often they concern large amounts of money. They don’t draw anywhere near the attention allegations against the NZ First outfit have attracted. They certainly don’t rouse as much public emotion.

    What is the emotion and rancour about? Justice? Acting outside the law? People being ripped off? Pure animal politics? Or something else?


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