Hon Winston Peters
From the moment these spurious allegations were first raised and then perpetuated by many in the media, day after day, and month after month, I maintained that there had been no wrongdoing. Today the High Court confirmed that no crime had been committed and New Zealand First has again been cleared of all charges.
We took the SFO to Court before the last election and forced them to admit that no crime had been committed by the New Zealand First Leader, any New Zealand First Minister, Member of Parliament, or Party member. However, the SFO then pursued charges against the New Zealand First Foundation.
The victims in this situation are the New Zealand people and our democracy. The guilty party are those many in the New Zealand media who naively believe liars, and sadly take it upon themselves to conduct trial by media. They will just not leave it to the Courts to decide. The political narrative many in the media seek to impose on our democracy and New Zealand is far too often based on bias and falsehoods.
We once had a country where one was innocent until proven guilty. Now it is guilty until proven innocent. Sadly, a lot of people don’t have the resources to clear their names, whether in the media or in the Courts.
This is something that must change in our country. Such media must be held responsible for the damage their lack of professionalism has.
Again, I intend to address this abuse of power and hold this type of journalist liable for everything they write or say.
There is too much that is rotten in our media and that has got to change.
It’s simply sad that the cost of justice in New Zealand comes at such great personal cost to those wrongly and maliciously maligned.