Horan gains access to bank statements
NZ First leader Winston Peters says embattled MP Brendan Horan now has access to his late mother's bank statements, but he won't rush to judge whether money is missing from her accounts.
Horan has been absent from Parliament this week after Peters told him to remain in his hometown of Tauranga to sort out claims raised by his half-brother Mana Ormsby.
Forensic accountants have been asked to investigate the estate of Olwen Horan, who died in August, amidst allegations large sums of money were misappropriated from her bank accounts over several years.
Peters today said going over the bank statements would be a "lengthy exercise".
He still had not been provided with any facts from Ormsby.
"The person who made the allegation had a duty to give me the information, but he hasn't."
Peters acknowledged he had known about the claims for two months.
"But I was promised that the moment probate was finished and granted by the court, I'd be given the information.
"I have not been given the information and unless I go out and beg, borrow or steal it, I have to put all my resources into finding it, which I am."
Peters said those resources were not taxpayer funded.
The NZ First leader said he had spoken to Olwen Horan's lawyer and executor.
"The lawyer has brought me up to date with what he knows, but then again he is bereft of any evidence or facts because they haven't been provided to him despite numerous requests."
Peters said he wanted the matter resolved as quickly as possible, but again refused to comment on whether he had confidence in his MP.
"I'm not going to given any judgement until I've got the facts."
Asked whether he would force Horan to quit the party, Peters said he'd considered every option.
"I have looked at every permutation on this matter."
Peters today denied he had put Horan on leave.
"He's doing all his constituency work, he's doing all his correspondence, he's not on tour leave or beach leave or gardening leave. He's getting on with his job, but that is his number one priority."
Olwen Horan was 87 when she died in August with less than $3000 in her current account, down from $259,000 in February 2007.
The Mt Maunganui resident won about $1 million in prizes in an Australian lottery in 1999.
Horan has welcomed the investigation, saying he wanted to clear up allegations.
The Dominion Post