New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says he did not
declare interests in a racehorse because he bought it for
charity and it never made him any money.
Former New Zealand First MP Brendan Horan has claimed that Mr
Peters failed to declare that he part-owned a 5 year-old mare
called Bellazeel, which had earned prize money of $20,175 in
the last year.
Mr Peters, a former Racing Minister and New Zealand First's
racing spokesman, told reporters this afternoon that he no
longer had a share in the racehorse.
He also said that it was no longer racing and had been "put
out to pasture".
The New Zealand First leader said he bought it as a donation
to a charity before he returned to Parliament in 2011.
He could not confirm when he ceased owning the horse, but
said it was after he became an MP again.
Asked why he did not declare the racehorse in the register of
pecuniary interests, he said: "There is no pecuniary benefit,
quite the reverse. You don't have to declare what could have
been. There was never any benefit, it was all loss. It was a
Mr Peters said it "cost him a fortune for a minor share" and
lost him "a lot of money".
MPs must declare all property, directorships, gifts, shares
and any other interests each year, regardless of whether they
Mr Peters said part-owning a racehorse was different to being
a director of a company.
"You're not talking about the same thing. If you look at the
declarations, they are all over different descriptions.
"If you are trying to say that somehow I was not involved in
full disclosure, you couldn't be more wrong. They don't say
[to] declare all your losses, do they?"
Asked what charity he bought the horse for, he said: "I
suspect I've forgotten. They put it up on an auction and I
said 'I'll be up for that'."
Mr Peters declared a company directorship, two properties,
two blocks of land, a superannuation scheme and overseas
travel in the latest returns, which were published last week.
Mr Horan's allegations come a day after Mr Peters acscused
Justice Minister Judith Collins of failing to declare all of
the details of her trip to China.
Mr Peters argued that Mrs Collins should have publicly
disclosed Chinese Government hospitality she received during
her October trip to Beijing.
The Chinese Government's support for the trip was disclosed
to the minister's Cabinet colleagues in a confidential
Mr Peters said Mrs Collins' case was not comparable to his
own case, and he stood by his belief that Mrs Collins should
have been sacked by Prime Minister John Key this week.
Mr Peters was censured by the Privileges Committee in 2008
for failing to declare a $100,000 donation by businessman