Gisborne mayor smear a storm in a beer glass

Police have rejected allegations Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon offered an election bribe and said there was absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing.

Gisborne District Council candidate Peter Jones laid the complaint that led to the police investigation.

Jones claimed the Mayor placed $20 on the table at the 2nd NZEF Club on the afternoon of Sunday, September 4.

Jones has said he laid the complaint under the “treating” rules of the Electoral Act, which makes it illegal for a person to directly or indirectly supply food, drink and entertainment to influence voters.

Foon has disputed any suggestions his action were “corrupt”.

He has said he gave money regularly at gatherings as “koha” and he was at the 2nd NZEF to celebrate a club member’s birthday.

Detective Sergeant Kevin Ford said this morning police have concluded their investigation into Jones’ complaint have found no wrongdoing.

“We spoke to numerous people identified as witnesses by the complainant in this matter.

“There is absolutely no evidence – or in fact any suggestion from anyone other than the complainant – that Mr Foon has in any way been trying to corruptly influence voters.

“There are also no legal issues with the circumstances surrounding $20 given to a person that Mr Foon has had an association with since childhood,” Ford said.

“Koha in correct legal circumstances and in accordance with Maori custom does not translate into an offence under the Electoral Act.”

Ford said it was “disappointing that the complainant in this matter has continued to make allegations – and post inaccurate and inflammatory comments – on social media”.

Peter Jones was very vocal on Whaleoil yesterday.  It will be interesting if he will be back today.

Jones said this morning he was happy to let the matter rest.

“I am also happy for voters to make their own minds up about this matter.

“I feel I was set up that afternoon in the 2nd NZEF but it was done as a joke on Fathers’ Day at my expense,” Jones said.

“Now I just want to get on with the election.”

Eh?

He was going hell bent for leather last night.

Oh well.  Let’s all have a beer and get over it.

He had his 15 minutes of fame.

 

– NZ Herald


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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