Calls from the
parliamentary-funded cellphone of former NZ First list MP
Brendan Horan included 11 to an Auckland TAB number in the
space of four days, according to phone records seen by the
But Mr Horan, who returned to Parliament this morning in
defiance of party leader Winston Peters' call for him to
resign his place says he was entitled to call whoever he
liked with that phone, and he denied allegations he has a
Mr Peters expelled Mr Horan from the NZ First caucus
yesterday after receiving information which left him "with no
confidence in Mr Horan's ability to continue as a member of
That information related to allegations by his half brother
Mana Ormsby that Mr Horan misappropriated money from his
mother prior to her death in August this year, partly to fuel
a gambling habit.
The Herald has seen a single page of Mr Horan's
parliamentary cellphone records which include 11 calls to an
Auckland TAB number between April 3 and April 7 this year.
But Mr Horan this afternoon told the Herald there was
no restriction on parliamentary phones; "You can call who you
want to call."
While Mr Horan has acknowledged he does bet on horses he said
claims his gambling was out control were untrue.
"There are all sorts of wild allegations being bandied about.
I'm not prepared to have to stand here and defend every
allegation that comes along. I do not have a gambling
problem. It's a simple as that."
"This is just a witch hunt. I've been accused of everything.
I'm surprised December 25 is still on the calendar."
After telling the Herald last night he would return to
Parliament, Mr Horan this morning attended a closed session
of the Maori Affairs select committee.
The Herald understands Mr Horan was barred from his
former NZ First office this morning.
Following talks with the Clerk of Parliament and Speaker
Lockwood Smith he was shown to a new office in the old
It is thought he also discussed seating arrangements in the
House, and staffing and funding.
Questions in the House and speaking slots in some debates are
awarded on the basis of proportionality, and New Zealand
First can expect to lose some of its entitlements. Taxpayer
funding for the party will also be affected.
Mr Horan told the Herald his plan was "to try and be
as effective an MP as possible now I'm an independent MP and
my values haven't changed".