New Zealand First representation for Tauranga will now be
shared by leader Winston Peters and the party's other MPs after
the expulsion of Brendan Horan.
Mr Peters announced the former Tauranga list MP's expulsion
last week after allegations surrounding money missing from
his dead mother's estate.
Mr Horan did not respond to calls from the Bay of Plenty
Times yesterday but told One News he asked police to
investigate the leak of documents, including phone records
detailing his calls to the TAB.
The records showed more than 100 calls to the TAB in a
Mr Horan said that he did not have a gambling problem, that
he had done nothing wrong and that he planned to continue as
an independent MP.
New Zealand First information and regalia was being removed
from Mr Horan's Mount Maunganui office yesterday.
Information sheets profiling each New Zealand First member
and photos of Mr Horan in action were removed from the
display windows at the corner of Rata St and Totara St.
Mr Peters said Mr Horan had no mandate to remain in
Parliament as an independent MP.
"The fact is he's got to step aside."
Mr Peters said New Zealand First was planning to open a new
office in Tauranga as soon as possible.
"We will make sure it's serviced by MPs, including me. It
means extra work and travel time but that's what we are going
to do," he said.
"There's no way we are going to leave a New Zealand First
area without an office. We've had significant support and we
want to reciprocate that and make sure we put the hard yards
Mr Peters and MPs would share the role of representing the
"The key thing is, they want to see someone doing the
Mr Peters said the shared role would be temporary but the
party did not want to leave the area and their supporters
"high and dry".
The location of the new office was yet to be finalised.
He disputed comments made by Prime Minister John Key on
television's Breakfast programme, questioning whether Mr
Peters had done the right thing by expelling Mr Horan.
Mr Key said it was possible Parliament could look at
addressing legislation regarding list MPs remaining in
Parliament after leaving the party they entered with, as
those MPs were not elected by their respective communities.
- Kiri Gillespie of the Bay of Plenty Times