Horan says NZ First broke Parliamentary rules

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 17:41 27/05/2014
brendon horan
CAMERON BURNELL
ON THE ATTACK: Former NZ First MP Brendan Horan.

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Brendan Horan claims he has been inundated by people wanting to share information about NZ First as he makes new allegations that his former party had breached Parliament's rules.

Horan's office today released a memo written by Apirana Dawson, NZ First's director of operations, to party leader Winston Peters addressing "poor party financial structure and inadequate funds to support the party and to run a campaign".

Horan alleged last week that Dawson and other NZ First staff were engaged in party work when they were meant to be focused on parliamentary activities. Speaker David Carter has confirmed he is investigating.

In today's document, from July 2012, Dawson called for the establishment of a system where party members had their fees increased to at least $3 a month, to be paid by direct debit.

The document said the existing system did not raise enough money and there was a lack of accountability mechanisms.

Changing to direct debit would raise substantially more funds, the memo claimed, as well as help to retain members because they would have to effectively fill out paperwork to terminate their direct debit to leave the party.

"Most people are lazy and forgetful, so many would, more than likely, forget that they had a direct debit going to NZ First each month, and if they did remember, few would go about the necessary actions to leave the party," the memo stated.

Horan said today that he did not want to second-guess any investigation by Parliament's Speaker, but he believed the documents showed breaches of rules that stipulated that Parliamentary Service staff should not be engaged in party membership or fundraising activities.

"It's pretty clear that some Parliamentary Service staff are not necessarily just doing their job, that they're involved in party business, that under the rules of Parliament needs to be looked at."

He admitted he did not know whether Dawson was paid solely from Parliamentary Service.

Horan said he had been approached by former NZ First staff, former electorate chairs and former party MPs who all wanted to provide information about the way the party was being run.

"It's mind-boggling, so there's so much more to come out," he said.

NZ First has yet to comment on the documents released today.

Peters is not in Parliament today and his colleagues declined to comment on their way into the House this afternoon.

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Horan was expelled from NZ First at the end of 2012.

- Stuff

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