New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters says his party will review the way it handles its party donations after complaints about its donations was referred to the Police, then the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
In a statement this afternoon, Peters said he welcomed the Electoral Commission referring the complaints to the Police.
"It confirms our prior view that only the police would have the powers to determine the issues involved."
Soon after Commission referred the matter to the Police, the Police referred it to the SFO.
"At this stage the SFO will consider if an offence has been committed, or otherwise, and it is not appropriate to make any comment on specific detail that prejudges their investigation," Peters said.
Peters has always denied any wrongdoing.
"New Zealand First's arrangements for collecting donations has been the same as other political parties. The New Zealand First Foundation is built upon the trust deed of the National Party," he said.
The statement continued: "This does not imply any impropriety but is intended to ensure the party, as with all parties, have robust arrangements."
In fact, he said Commission's statement today further underscores the importance of reviewing the donations regime.
The Commission said in a statement this morning: "Based on the information available, we have formed the view that the New Zealand First Foundation has received donations which should have been treated as party donations for the New Zealand First Party."
Peters said he had been advised that in all its dealings, the NZ First Foundation sought outside legal advice and does not believe it has breached the Electoral Act.
"At this stage, the SFO will consider if an offence has been committed, or otherwise, and it is not appropriate to make any comment on specific detail that prejudges their investigation."
• Rich and powerful: NZ First Foundation donors revealed
• NZ First Foundation donor thought they were giving to party
• NZ First Foundation donor: 'I clearly believed I was helping NZ First get in'
• Former NZ First party presidents say they had no idea the New Zealand First Foundation existed