29 Jul 2008

Peters due to return to Parliament

8:41 am on 29 July 2008

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters returns to Parliament on Tuesday for what's expected to be a fiery session on the issue of political donations.

He will meet Prime Minister Helen Clark to make his position clear on donations to his party before Question Time in the House.

Miss Clark says she will seek an assurance that his party's actions have been lawful.

Mr Peters travelled to Samoa on Sunday with United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for a meeting of Pacific Island foreign ministers.

In Rotorua on Monday, Miss Clark said she is bound to accept Mr Peters' word that there has been no illegality, and will need some persuading that there is not more heat than light on the matter.

A Radio New Zealand political reporter says Peters is expected to ignore advice to take a placatory approach and will come out with guns blazing.

ACT Party leader Rodney Hide says there are plenty of questions to ask.

National Party leader John Key says everyone just wants straight forward answers.

Businessman Sir Robert Jones' concerns says he gave $25,000 to New Zealand First in 2005, through the Spencer Trust, after Mr Peters asked him for a donation. He wants to know whether the money was passed on to New Zealand First.

Sir Robert says he had previously donated about $150,000 to the party.

Mr Peters also faces questions over a $100,000 donation towards the legal costs of an electoral petition in 2006 from Monaco-based businessman Owen Glenn; as well as a report in The Dominion Post newspaper that his party received up to $150,000 from a prominent racing

family between 1999 and 2003.

The House resumes at 2pm.