14 Jul 2008

Apology from paper wanted by Peters

11:49 am on 14 July 2008

The leader of New Zealand First is demanding an apology from a newspaper that reported the party had received a donation from a prominent businessman.

Winston Peters says the report in The New Zealand Herald that Owen Glenn admitted making a donation to the party in an email, is a work of fiction.

He says the party has no records of any loans or donations from the businessman, who is based in Monaco.

Mr Peters told Morning Report the newspaper's editor and the journalist who wrote the story, were welcome to go through the party's accounts.

He said they should then publish a front-page apology and resign.

Earlier, Mr Glenn said from his home in Monaco that all he wanted to do was help New Zealand, a country he says he loves.

He would not comment on whether that help included donations to New Zealand First.

Mr Glenn was the Labour Party's biggest donor at the 2005 election.

Mr Peters was questioned about Mr Glenn in February, after then-party president Dail Jones said New Zealand First had received a five figure anonymous donation.

Mr Peters said then that the money was a consolidation of party funds and Mr Jones was mistaken.

No comment on email

Auckland public relations advisor Steve Fisher has confirmed that when the allegations first arose in February, he advised Mr Glenn to refer all questions to New Zealand First.

Mr Fisher says he no longer has the email, cannot confirm its wording and does not know how it was obtained by the Herald.

And he says he cannot remember if Mr Glenn told him he had given money to the party.

Mr Glenn says he will not comment on the report.