Saturday, 1 November 2008

Winnie choppers in

Additional information and evidence about the Vela Family donations to Winston Peters has been published today by the Dom Post.

The following is an extract from a conversation transcribed by Ross Meurant. It is between himself and Winston Peters. Meurant was Peters lobbyist at the time of this conversation.

Mr Meurant said Mr Vela had friends who might not like seeing Mr Peters in the Vela helicopter, to which he says Mr Peters responded: "Tell him to hire me an unmarked helicopter. So I can paint it black/white and NZ First. Then I can drop into small rural towns and schools."

On October 28 and 29, Mr Peters called Mr Meurant wanting the helicopter, the documents show. They include a transcript Mr Meurant made of the second call.

Mr Peters: Meurant, tell those bastards I need a helicopter. Don't give me this crap about the machine needing repairs.

Mr Meurant: Come on, Winston, he has offered you his pilot. That's a grand a week ... he has personal reasons for not giving you his machine. He socialises with people who hate you.

Mr Peters: You gotta do better than that, Meurant. Don't these people know how dangerous I can be [laughs]. [Mr Peters then says something to effect of Mr Vela having been saved millions in tax liability by Mr Peters.]

Mr Meurant: Come on, he is the only guy to give you funding.

Mr Peters: I have other funding. Don't you worry about that.

Mr Meurant: Okay, you know how much, but Vela has given you 20 grand and, as I have just told you, has confirmed the other 30 grand. What he has said to me is tell you to spend some of the 30 on a helicopter and use his pilot for free. More from

Ain't it great to have friends in high places.

c Political Animal 2008

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