NZ First Foundation case: Pair going to trial

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
The two people charged in the New Zealand First Foundation case have pleaded not guilty and elected trial by jury.

The Serious Fraud Office has charged two people with obtaining by deception after its investigation into the foundation and its handling of donations.

The defendants are accused of obtaining more than $700,000 between 2015 and 2020, which they then used to pay expenses of the New Zealand First Party.

Yesterday, one of the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge and elected trial by jury before Judge Allan Roberts in the North Shore District Court.

Today the second defendant had his first appearance in the same court this morning, where he also pleaded not guilty and elected trial by jury.

RNZ, Stuff, NZME, TVNZ and Mediaworks fought to name the pair before the general election, arguing there was compelling public interest in identifying those charged before the polls closed.

The media entities lost in both the District and High Courts before unsuccessfully seeking leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal, bringing their fight to name the accused ahead of the election to an end.

The defendants will next appear on November 19 in the North Shore District Court.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter