11 Oct 2008

Key says SFO decision on Peters changes nothing for National

7:23 pm on 11 October 2008

The National Party says the fact that New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has been cleared of any fraudulent behaviour changes nothing with respect to the two parties' relationship.

The Serious Fraud Office says there is no basis for fraud charges to be laid, but did find possible breaches of electoral law over New Zealand First's non-disclosure of donations.

The SFO has passed on information to the ongoing police and Electoral Commission investigations into the party's 2005 and 2007 returns.

National's leader John Key has ruled out any post election relationship with Mr Peters or New Zealand First, and says the SFO decision changes nothing.

"We ruled Winston Peters and New Zealand First out on the basis of the evidence that he gave to the select committee and the parliamentary privileges committee because we simply couldn't reconcile his version of events from that from Owen Glenn's so really the SFO is neither here nor there to us."

The privileges committee found Mr Peters did have knowledge of a donation from the expatriate businessman to his legal costs in 2006. Mr Peters was subsequently censured by Parliament.

Mr Key says he is still comfortable with the decision he made not to work with Mr Peters or New Zealand First after polling day.