MP told to sort out family dispute
NZ First MP and former weatherman Brendan Horan is welcoming forensic accountants investigating the estate of his mother, saying he wants to clear up allegations large sums were misappropriated from her bank account.
The Tauranga-based list MP said the matter was a family dispute and he was "disgusted" it had been dragged before the public.
Mr Horan, a former TV1 weather presenter, was last night with his barrister and was considering legal action against what he believed were defamatory statements made about him.
"I've been accused of everything."
His mother, Olwen Horan, was 87 when she died of cancer in August.
A Mt Maunganui resident, she won about $1 million in prizes, including a house and car, in an Australian lottery in 1999.
In February 2007 she had a balance of $259,000 in her account.
When she died there was less than $3000 left.
It is believed the forensic examination will look at the use of Mrs Horan's eftpos and credit cards, and cheque transactions.
There have also been allegations of many TAB withdrawals.
It is understood the allegations have come from Mr Horan's brother, Mark Ormsby, also known as Mana and Te Karera, who is a long-term sickness beneficiary.
Mr Horan described his mother as a "regal woman" and said she would be horrified the matter had been made public.
"It needs to stay within the family."
The executor of the will, her nephew John Buckthought, said Mrs Horan had changed her will and was concerned money was going missing from her accounts.
The change authorised the executor to "recover money by any lawful means" that had been loaned or taken from her.
Mr Horan said he had an outstanding loan of $350 but no money had been misappropriated.
The codicil, or amendment, to his mother's will had been sent to reporters at Parliament, he said.
"It's pathetic. This is the first time an MP's family has been brought into the public eye.
"It's important it doesn't happen to other MPs because the job is hard enough without this."
Mr Horan said he wanted an investigation of his mother's accounts: "I want this cleared up and all the madness can go away.
"This is all over nothing."
NZ First leader Winston Peters said he had been contacted by a member of Mr Horan's family.
"I said: well, show me the facts and the evidence, and I'm still waiting. Because they have not provided me with what I have asked for, there is very little I can say at this time."
Mr Peters had told Mr Horan to sort out the matter with his family.
"The family need to sort it out too."
The Dominion Post