Horan 'getting on with the job' - Peters

By Kate Shuttleworth

Brendan Horan. Photo / APN
Brendan Horan. Photo / APN

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has seen the bank statements for Brendan Horan's late mother, but has refused to say if he has confidence in his MP after an allegation Mr Horan took money from the bank account.

Mr Horan was stood down this week and was told by Mr Peters to return to Tauranga to provide evidence to clear his name.

Forensic accountants have been called in to investigate Mr Horan's mother's estate after allegations from the MP's brother that large sums of money had gone missing from the bank accounts. Mr Peters said he was told two months ago that when the probate was completed and granted by the court he would get the information.

"We have at last got access to the bank statements; but that's going to be a lengthy exercise," said Mr Peters.

"I have not been given [all] the information, so unless I go out and beg, borrow or steal it I have to put all my resources into finding it myself, which I have."

Mr Peters also refused to provide the time-frame he'd given Mr Horan to front up with evidence, or when Mr Horan would return to Parliament. He said Mr Horan was still carrying out his Parliamentary duties while not in Parliament.

"He's doing all his constituency work, he's doing all his correspondence. He's not on beach leave, or on gardening leave; he's getting on with his job.

Mr Horan confirmed on Monday he had received strict instructions from Mr Peters, but would not say what he was told to do.

"That's between Winston and I, and I have no comment to make," he said.

When asked when he would be back to continue his duties in Parliament, Mr Horan replied: "If the media would leave my family alone it would be as expeditiously as possible."

He would not say why there had been more than two months' delay in providing information to Mr Peters.

"I'm not the person holding things up here," he said.

"It's a personal family matter. It should never be in the media spotlight."

Mr Horan's brother Mana Ormsby, the executor of the will and a lawyer, said the bank statements showed a large number of withdrawals from TABs and ATM machines near Mr Horan's office in Mount Maunganui, Auckland and Hamilton.

They also showed numerous payments at takeaway food outlets and video shops.

Mr Ormsby has said his initial investigation suggested about $85,000 was missing from his mother's account.

Mr Horan has said firmly he will not step down from NZ First because of the matter. He called in lawyers after an article was published revealing the allegations.

- APNZ

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