Peters to share Tauranga duties

By Kiri Gillespie -
Photo / APN
Photo / APN

New Zealand First representation for Tauranga will now be shared by leader Winston Peters and the party's other MPs after the expulsion of Brendan Horan.

Mr Peters announced the former Tauranga list MP's expulsion last week after allegations surrounding money missing from his dead mother's estate.

Mr Horan did not respond to calls from the Bay of Plenty Times yesterday but told One News he asked police to investigate the leak of documents, including phone records detailing his calls to the TAB.

The records showed more than 100 calls to the TAB in a 10-month period.

Mr Horan said that he did not have a gambling problem, that he had done nothing wrong and that he planned to continue as an independent MP.

New Zealand First information and regalia was being removed from Mr Horan's Mount Maunganui office yesterday.

Information sheets profiling each New Zealand First member and photos of Mr Horan in action were removed from the display windows at the corner of Rata St and Totara St.

Mr Peters said Mr Horan had no mandate to remain in Parliament as an independent MP.

"The fact is he's got to step aside."

Mr Peters said New Zealand First was planning to open a new office in Tauranga as soon as possible.

"We will make sure it's serviced by MPs, including me. It means extra work and travel time but that's what we are going to do," he said.

"There's no way we are going to leave a New Zealand First area without an office. We've had significant support and we want to reciprocate that and make sure we put the hard yards in there."

Mr Peters and MPs would share the role of representing the area.

"The key thing is, they want to see someone doing the business."

Mr Peters said the shared role would be temporary but the party did not want to leave the area and their supporters "high and dry".

The location of the new office was yet to be finalised.

He disputed comments made by Prime Minister John Key on television's Breakfast programme, questioning whether Mr Peters had done the right thing by expelling Mr Horan. Mr Key said it was possible Parliament could look at addressing legislation regarding list MPs remaining in Parliament after leaving the party they entered with, as those MPs were not elected by their respective communities.

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