The hypocrisy of Winston Peters

Last week Mr. Jan Trotman, kept man of  St Marys Bay issued a press release railing against gambling:

Rt Hon Winston Peters says that gambling is a scourge of communities, preying on families and at-risk individuals throughout New Zealand.

“Deregulation to allow greater advertising of gambling will significantly impact on families, communities and the most vulnerable in society,” says Mr Peters.

“This is a good deal for Sky City but a raw deal for the community and taxpayers”

Mr Peters says that these deals negotiated by the government drops it into the pockets of the gaming industry.

“The government is gambling with the future of New Zealand and the people will be the losers,” says Mr Peters.

Would this be the same Rt Hon Winston Peters who was doing his level best to help the gambling industry in 2005:

Peters revealed to the Herald yesterday that a $30 million-plus package a year to horse racing was already in place.

The New Zealand First leader might have to work hard to prove himself with the cynics when dealing with the rest of the world, but the new Racing Minister had accomplished his aims for racing even before being sworn in yesterday afternoon.

In a stunning declaration, Peters said New Zealand First’s demands for the racing industry had been agreed to during his party’s negotiations with the Labour Party in the past two weeks.

And they encompass pretty much all of what racing has been looking for, and failed to receive, from recent successive Governments.

“There was no use taking on the racing portfolio if we couldn’t deliver on our promises,” Peters said.

“I would never have signed up for racing if I hadn’t been confident of that. My demands have already been agreed to by the Labour Party.”

In that simple statement racing has had its best news in decades.

Peters said all five points in New Zealand’s First’s racing policy on its website are in the bag.

His “demands” for the gambling industry were:

  • Remedy the anomaly in gaming legislation by putting gaming on the same foot.
  • Implement an improved depreciation regime for stallions (write-down over two years) and broodmares (including provision to fully depreciate a mare 12 years or older in the year of purchase).
  • Provide a tax advantage for on-course betting.
  • Review the Racing Act 2003 and clarify governance and management roles.
  • Provide interim measures in conjunction with the Racing Board to ensure a smooth transition to the amended taxation regime.

So gambling wasn’t a scourge of communities when he was propping up racing and betting at racecourse and putting gaming on the same footing, nor was it a scourge when he was subsidising and raising stakes for races.

New Zealand’s premiere harness races will receive a stakes increase totalling $1.6 million this year, Racing Minister Winston Peters announced at the Harness Racing New Zealand annual conference today.

“Government funding of $750,000 boosted by $850,000 of club and industry money will raise the stakes of key harness racing events by a total of $1.6 million in 2008/09,” said Mr Peters.

“Big-money races provide the bedrock around which highly successful racing carnivals can be built, bringing proven, serious economic benefit not just to the racing industry but to the economy as a whole and local communities in particular.

Those would be racing carnivals where people get more races to place bets and gamble…clearly not a scourge on communities when Winston peters is promoting it. Then again perhaps he was influenced by his large donations from racing interests:

Hogan, whose personal fortune has increased from an estimated $70 million to $100m in the past year according to the NBR Rich List, had become a fully fledged campaigner for the party by the time of the 2005 election, writing pro-NZ First articles in industry publications and paying for newspaper advertisements explaining why racing folk should block-vote for the party.

“I don’t deny that at the time when we were pushing very hard to get changes to the tax take that I did spend a few dollars with advertisements in the paper,” Hogan told the Sunday Star-Times last week.

“It wasn’t done… to get around the rules. There were no political donations. I might have spent eight, 10, 12 or 14 thousand dollars contributing to advertisements. At that time, you certainly didn’t have to declare it.”

The Electoral Commission says the rules at the time stated that if the advertising was done with the agreement of the party, it should have been declared, but expense returns did not require itemisation. At the last election, NZ First had an expense limit of $1.8m and returned total expenses of $417,227.

However, if the value of the advertising exceeded $10,000, it should have been returned as a party donation. NZ First made a nil return that year.

Hogan says the advertising was his own initiative. “Certainly it was not by any request from Winston, it was me `push push push’.”

NZ First had previously benefited from generous donations by the Vela family, owners of horse breeding and sales company NZ Bloodstock and with an estimated worth of $180m. According to the Dominion Post, cheques totalling at least $150,000 from Vela accounts, including the family’s fishing and thoroughbred companies, were written out to NZ First from around 1999 to 2003.

The paper has alleged that some of the cheques were handed to Peters, and that not all of the money made its way into the party’s bank account. Peters is threatening legal action over the claims and told a press conference on Friday that all the money from the Velas was lawful.

There is a word that you can use to describe the selling of policy for large cash donations, it is corruption. When corruption and hypicrisy are added together you have a serous problem.

This is why I want an Independent Commission Against Corruption established. They should look at issues like this I have outlined above, they should look at political parties wilfully breaking electoral law, they should look at contracts and bids from local body to government and they should look at establishing a register of lobbyists.


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  • Guest

    Outstanding work Cam. Truly breathtaking hypocrisy to rail against a casino but throw financial support at racehorsing.

  • Paddles83

    Same Wig, Same Shit, Different Day from the baubles of office trougher

  • Paulus

    This hypocrite relies upon people only having a 30 second soundbite memory like you have on television adverts.
    And the Media go along with it as they are part of this hypocracy – sell media irrespective of facts.

  • Does the Racing Industry in New Zealand bring in any money into the country or is it just a means of providing betting opportunities to punters. 

    The question I am asking is do we really need the racing Industry is it Vital to our economy?

    (Not that I have a problem with the industry I am asking is it vital or not).

  • jay cee (the one and only)

    typical winston,make it up as you go along, i’ll bet he can’t wait to hear what hes going to say next.

    • poorman

      Winstone ‘Carlos Spencer’ Peters – Not even he knows which way his mind will turn next.

  • Apolonia

    Where’s the tax-payer’s money Winston?

  • Sadu

    For the unitiated, can someone please point out the story behind the Jan Trotman, kept man thing? Obviously there is some interesting back story that some readers aren’t party to.

  • Anonymous

    Nothing a good kick in the baubles wouldn’t sort out.
    Hypocrisy of the highest order from Count Crapula

  • Phar Lap

    To think that that clapped out individual and the” Green” Party will dominate Parliament for the next three years with their lies and manipulation of the truth,makes one wonder how and why they think they are the chosen ones. Lockwood should stop their time wasting at $7000,dollars a minute.Hope he has the balls to lock horns with Peters the pretender , Commie Norman and madam “froggie” Turei.

    • Gazzaw

      Do we have a geopolitics expert here who can give us the expected mortality rate of Mr Trotmans supporters prior to 2014? Very few voters who hit 65 in the next three years are likely to be NZF voters so hopefully the nett loss will take the party below 5%.

  • Patrick Murphy

    So who voted for this wanker? Plenty of us saw through him way back what is the problem with Kiwi voters. There should be a basic intelligence test before a voter is allowed into the voting booth. This fool is an oxygen thief & a drain on NZ. He has not & will not contribute anything constructive to NZ. He is there purely for his own gain.

  • Steve and Monique

    Winnie the pooh strikes again. Why do we end up putting up with this twat,and his soap box rantings.Fuckin MMP has a lot to answer for.

  • guest

    actually “cam” you are the heretic here – horse racing is an industry in most of the civilised world and as most realists recognise that the discretionary spend will always have to account for the use of X dollars for gambling. the arcane regulation that existed prior to Winston Peter’s(WP) taking up the cause meant it was losing ground to other forms of gambling. as an employer/exporter the industry has a lot more merit than say the pokies which i would suggest the takings get distributed to those who don’t need it.
    “cam” you and your neoclassical friedmanites are too well insulated with middle class blubbery trappings to give a toss about the kiwi battler. your types were unfit for service during WW1 hence the proliferation of subscribers to this website. put a pack on you’re back and route march up a hill you would be slobbering mess whereas WP would get to the top and cap it off with a carton of cigarettes while he is thumbing through the best bets – further evidence of your weak balls