A trust for Susan Couch, the woman who survived severe injuries in the 2001 Panmure RSA triple murder, received almost half the $158,000 the New Zealand First Party gave to charities instead of repaying Parliament for misspending at the last election.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said yesterday she had suffered severe injuries but had been failed by the system, not being covered by any ACC lump sum compensation.
The $78,000 is thought to have been given in June to the Susan Couch and Crime Victims Charitable Trust.
And it is understood to have been part of the money originally donated to the party by the Vela brothers - via the Spencer Trust, which has received a clean bill of health by the Serious Fraud Office.
Mr Peters said the money was still in the Susan Couch trust bank account, implying that none of it has been spent.
One of the Susan Couch trustees is Mr Peters' own solicitor Dennis Gates, of Whangaparaoa.
Mr Gates would not answer any questions last night about what the trust spent its money on or who the other trustees are.
It is not the only New Zealand First connection. Mr Peters' barrister Brian Henry won a Supreme Court case in June on behalf of Susan Couch, giving her the right to sue the Corrections Department for exemplary damages.
Mr Henry has said he was not paid for his services.
The money to charities dispersed by New Zealand First in June was its second attempt to give away an amount identified by the Auditor-General as having been unlawfully spent by the party in the last election.
Most other parties repaid the money to Parliament but Mr Peters gave the money in December to a charity, initially the Starship Foundation, but it was returned.
In June, the money was divided among nine charities but the Cystic Fibrosis Association returned its $10,000.
The Herald approached Susan Couch in June to ask if she had received money from New Zealand First but she said she had not.
It is possible the money was not sent directly from the party and was perhaps routed through a trust such as the Spencer Trust or that she did not know the source of her donors.
Sensible Sentencing Trust chairman Garth McVicar said he heard of the Susan Couch trust in June at the time of the Supreme Court decision.
Mr McVicar said they had been looking at ways of buying Ms Couch a freehold house and Mr Henry said he had set up a trust for her.
"I don't know how much Sue would know about the trust. She's not a trustee."
Mr McVicar said he knew a donation had been made but not who it was from or for how much.
"Sue hasn't got the money. As far as I know and as far as Sue knows, the money is still in the trust."
That donation from the Spencer Trust is the money the Electoral Commission says should have been declared by the party in April.
The commission said secretary Anne Martin did not commit an offence.
Instead it found against Act leader Rodney Hide, who laid the complaint against New Zealand First, for not declaring as a donation office space to the value of $20,000 a year given to the party by businessman Sir Robert Jones until 2005.
Mr Peters said he regretted publicly revealing the recipient of the money.