INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ First Makes Starship Donation

Published: Wed 12 Dec 2007 03:28 PM
NZ First Makes Starship Donation
New Zealand First has donated a cheque for $158,000 to the Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland.
Rt Hon Winston Peters handed the cheque to the Starship CEO Andrew Young this morning, requesting that the money be used to “make life a little easier” for the young patients at the hospital and their parents, especially those facing extra hardship.
The donation follows the Auditor-General’s ruling that spending by political parties contravened the rules around parliamentary spending in the lead up to the 2005 election.
Mr Peters says New Zealand First acted legally and in good faith throughout the period in question and points out that it sought and gained approval through Parliamentary Services and the Chief Electoral Office for all of the expenditure in question.
“We believe the Auditor General’s opinion should have been legally tested in court but the issue became one on which the court of public opinion had already made its final ruling and a hearing before the 2008 election was not certain.
“New Zealand First has never shirked its social responsibilities towards the vulnerable in our society. We chose therefore to give the disputed amount directly to Starship Hospital rather than to see it lost in the coffers of the Wellington bureaucracy.
“At least we know that some good will come of this now and we are confident that taxpayers will approve,” said Mr Peters.
ENDS

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