Audrey Young 's Opinion

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Audrey Young: Winston Peters resists excellent questions

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Winston Peters has nothing to say about his visit to Kim Dotcom's mansion, as he says over and over again. File photo / Michael Cunningham
Winston Peters has nothing to say about his visit to Kim Dotcom's mansion, as he says over and over again. File photo / Michael Cunningham

A bunch of colleagues from the Press Gallery today were showered with a suite of insults by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters on his way into Parliament today.

Their sin was to ask him whether he had visited Dotcom's mansion in Coatesville three times, as Prime Minister John Key alleged.

Peters' not only refused to answer, he contrived to make any such visits a matter of privacy - not that that's an admission he had them.

We don't recall Peters suggesting John Banks' visits were a private matter.

The questions were not only reasonable, most of them were excellent as you'll see below as they tried to prise the truth out of him:

Lloyd - Radio Live: Is the fact you can't remember or are [you] just not willing to tell us?

Peters: "Mindless meandering" etc etc

Lloyd - Radio Live: Is it a private matter though you were there in your capacity as an MP?

Peters: "Stupid question etc etc....

Lloyd - Radio Live: But you are paid for by the taxpayer and if you were there is you capacity as an MP, shouldn't you tell us?

Peters: "Mindless meandering" etc etc

Claire - NZ Herald: Did he show you his cars?

Peters - "Stupid question"

Claire - NZ Herald: Why is there any harm in you telling us?

Peters: [***]

Claire - NZ Herald: Do you think John Banks didn't need to tell us whether he had gone out there or not, or whether his privacy was breached when Dotcom said he had been out there?

Peters: [*** ]

Tova - TV3: Do you agree with Mr Banks that going out to Coatesville mansion has strange effect on politicians' memories?

Peters: [***]

Tova - TV3: Do you believe Russel Norman's assertions that he can't remember when he met Kim Dotcom, can't remember who instigated meetings, can't remember how many times he has spoken on the phone.

Peters: [***]

Tova - TV3: Is this another example of politicians' brain fades when it comes to Kim Dotcom?

Peters: [!!!]

Laura - Newstalk ZB: If you went to the Dotcom mansion, did you use taxpayer funded travel?

Peters: [!!!]

Katie - TVNZ: John Key says you have met with Kim Dotcom three times. He says he knows that as fact.

Peters: [!!!]

Claire - NZ Herald: If Kim Dotcom or Mega offered you a donation, would you take it?

Peters: [***]

Michael - Fairfax: You've asked parliamentary questions about Kim Dotcom and his case. Surely that places it in the public arena for transparency sake.

Peters: [***]

Felix - Newstalk ZB: By not giving us a definitive answer, don't you suggest you've got something to hide?

Peters: [****]

Lloyd - Radio Live: What happened at the mansion to make it such a touchy subject.

Peters: [***!!!***!!!]

Debate on this article is now closed.

- NZ Herald

Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor, a job she has held since 2003. She is responsible for the Herald’s Press Gallery team. She first joined the New Zealand Herald in 1988 as a sub-editor after the closure of its tabloid rival, the Auckland Sun. She switched to reporting in 1991 as social welfare and housing reporter. She joined the Herald’s Press Gallery office in 1994. She has previously worked as a journalism tutor at Manukau Technical Institute, as member of the Newspapers in Education unit at Wellington Newspapers and as a teacher in Wellington. She was a union nominee on the Press Council for six years.

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