Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Bad blood between Peters and Horan reaches new low

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. File photo / Mark Mitchell
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. File photo / Mark Mitchell

Bad blood between Winston Peters and Brendan Horan reached a new low this afternoon as the New Zealand First Leader referred to his estranged former political protégé as "the Jimmy Savile of New Zealand politics".

Mr Horan was ejected from NZ First late in 2012 amid claims he had misappropriated money from his dying mother's bank accounts.

While he and Mr Peters have sniped at each other since then, the conflict has been particularly bitter in the last week or so with Mr Horan, under cover of Parliamentary privilege claiming misuse of Parliamentary funding by Mr Peters and also claiming Mr Peters failed to disclose his interest in a racehorse in Parliament's Register of Pecuniary Interests.

This afternoon, as Mr Horan attempted to raise a point order at the start of Question Time, Mr Peters called him the "Jimmy Savile of New Zealand politics".

After Mr Horan raised a point of order seeking leave to table a document from the NZ Racing Conference regarding the ownership of the horse at the centre of his recent claims, Mr Peters said Mr Horan should have better explained what the document was.

"He referred to the word ownership and Jimmy Savile ought to know better than that."

The late British broadcaster Sir Jimmy Savile's name has been blackened by the hundreds of allegations of sexual offending against children which emerged after his death three years ago.

Mr Horan raised his own point of order, saying he took offence to "the disgusting comments" from Mr Peters.

Mr Horan found an ally in Police Minister Anne Tolley who told Speaker David Carter that Mr Peters' comment was "a really offensive remark" for which he should withdraw and apologise which Mr Peters did when asked by Mr Carter.

Mr Peters later refused to comment on the matter but Mr Horan told the Herald the comments were "disgraceful".

"Here we are in Parliament and Winston's reduced it to name calling and he's putting out a massive distractor because he's been found out. He's back to his old bullying ways and he's hoping to distract from the very serious information that's going to be released tomorrow."

Mr Horan said that information would be about Mr Peters' use of Parliamentary Leaders' funding.

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