NZ First stalwart Frank Perry jumps ship

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 16:43 12/08/2014
Frank Perry Winston Peters
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax NZ

KEEPING MUM: Frank Perry, who started working for Winston Peters in 1999, says he's not taking any NZ First secrets with him.

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NZ First leader Winston Peter's former right-hand man has switched allegiances to the Internet Party, though he insists there is no ill will between the pair.

Frank Perry, who worked for Peters from 1999 to this year, has joined Kim Dotcom's party in an advisory role. He had earlier stepped down from NZ First due to ill health.

Perry said he had stepped down a month ago, saying he had been unwell and working reduced hours for "some time" and was not up for another fulltime campaign.

But after posting his new employment status on Facebook he was contacted by old friend Pam Corkery, who is press secretary to Internet Party leader Laila Harre.

"She happened to strike me on a day when I was feeling quite bored," Perry said.

He had agreed to work for the Internet Party as an adviser, helping Corkery with her workload and on party policy while working from home.

"I'm not rewriting their policy or anything like that; it's just some simple stuff around the edges and it's a new thing for me and I find it interesting and the fishing season hasn't started yet."

The former journalist said as a "bit of a technophobe" he was enthused by the Internet Party's focus on technology and believed New Zealand had some catching up to do.

"It was new to me and I thought it sounded quite interesting."

There was no animosity between him and Peters, he said.

"I rang up Winston and told him I was doing this. I got no complaints, he needs someone a lot more energetic and full-on than me now."

He would take no trade secrets with him, Perry said.

"I am not taking any secrets with me ... what happened at NZ First stays at NZ First. I think it's very unprofessional to go around whispering things about your last employer."

Comment has been sought from Peters and the Internet Party.

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