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Horan refuses to quit parliament

UPDATE / Dec 5: Brendan Horan is refusing to quit parliament.

Yesterday the NZ First MP was expelled from the party's caucus, and leader Winston Peters called on him to resign as an MP.

Through his lawyer, Paul Mabey QC, Mr Horan says he is surprised by his expulsion and intends to remain in parliament.

Mr Mabey told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint his client said the accusations were untrue, and unproven.

However, the QC could not comment on new information given to Mr Peters yesterday, as neither he nor Mr Horan had been shown a copy.

Mr Horan would welcome any inquiry.


Brendan Horan expelled from NZ First

Dec 4: New Zealand First party leader Winston Peters told parliament this afternoon he had no confidence in his MP, Brendan Horan, and called on him to resign as a MP.

Mr Peters said Mr Horan would be expelled from the eight-strong New Zealand First caucus.

News media reports over the last fortnight have carried allegations from Horan family members that the former TV weatherman stole from the estate of his mother, now deceased.

In a statement shortly before Mr Peters' statement to parliament, Mr Horan's lawyer, Paul Mabey QC, said his client was confident of exoneration on the allegations.

"Mr Horan completely denies any suggestion that he has stolen from his mother or misappropriated her money or assets.

"He invites any investigation into his mother's affairs and is confident that any proper investigation will exonerate him entirely," he said.

Next on the list
The expulsion makes no difference to the balance of power in parliament because Peters' party is in opposition and, if Mr Horan resigns, he will be replaced by the next ranked candidate on the party list entered for the 2011 election.

Next on the list is Helen Mulford, an advocacy manager for Spectrum Care Trust Board and a harness race trainer and enthusiast from Pakuranga, Auckland.

While its leader has made a political career of exposing political and financial scandals, New Zealand First is itself no stranger to controversies involving personal and political probity.

Mr Peters was embarrassed in the 2008 election over donations to the party from millionaire Owen Glenn, and saw his caucus implode in the mid-1990's over scandals involving then MP, now adviser to the Maori King, Tukoroirangi Morgan, over unauthorised expenditure, including an infamous $89 pair of underpants.

The following press release came from Mr Horan's Queen's counsel Paul Mabey:


1. As a result of the death of Mr Horan's mother various issues have arisen concerning the administration of her estate. Those matters are private and personal to the family. Unfortunately some persons, for their own reasons, have chosen to make them public.

2. Mr Horan has been the subject of unwarranted and unfair publicity which has implied that he is dishonest and has stolen from his mother. There can be no other interpretation of that publicity.

3. Mr Horan completely denies any suggestion that he has stolen from his mother or misappropriated her money or assets. He regrets that a private and personal family matter has been made public and his only wish is that the issues concerning his mother's estate are resolved quickly and properly. He invites any investigation into his mother's affairs and is confident that any proper investigation will exonerate him entirely.

4. Mr Horan will make no personal comment at all on these matters but has instructed that this release be made on his behalf. As far as Mr Horan is concerned the sooner these matters are resolved the better as he will then be able to return to his work as a Member of Parliament to concentrate on fulfilling his duties without the distraction of false and unjustified allegations.

Paul Mabey QC


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Comments and questions

“Next on the list is Helen Mulford, an advocacy manager for Spectrum Care Trust Board and a harness race trainer and enthusiast from Pakuranga, Auckland”
The introduction reads like a game show contestant. Sorry, she will be, won't she - a player and contestant in the game show called Governing NZ.

Former Minister for Racing... crony capitalism here as a prime example, perhaps?

"Who Wants to be a Parliamentarian?"

...with your host Steve Parr.

Yet again another example of what a great system MMP is.

No, it's not an example of anything, until the facts surrounding Horan's alleged thefts emerge.

Not since Winnie's emphatic “NO” sign has he been so forthright and quick, when usually he’ll milk any bit of publicity for NZ First for as much as possible.

Guess the evidence and proof must have been blatantly obvious, or Peters would be like the former Labour leaders – trying to shelter / hide / shield corrupt MPs. Will Horan now resign from Parliament or will he keep the snout firmly buried in the trough?

Hang on a minute, whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"?

If I had to decide who to believe on this matter right now, and based only on the information available, I would back Brendan Horan rather than the "sickness beneficiary".

Who knows what the brother's motives might be.

I'd prefer to wait for the facts rather than rely on Winston Peters' moral compass.


I wonder if Peters will be having “flashbacks” to the Helen Clark / Glenn Donation saga where his lies almost forced Clark’s hand. The only thing that stopped her was a by-election that would have cost Labour the leadership.

Hypocrite Peters writes another sorry saga chapter in a sorry saga story book…

'Twas always going to happen. Dog tucker. Winston is campaigning flat out for the last hurrah when Key gives him the knighthood and he delivers the NZ First gaggle.
Ethical Winnie dazzles with his decisiveness to root out any hint of corruption. Every grey-haired lady in the land will be mentally making a cross for what someone (Eric Young?) called the Keith Richards of NZ politics.

Horan 100% denies that he has taken any money from his mother's account and that this will be confirmed in due course.

Peters has sacked him anyway.

Logic would suggest both can't be right. Yet why on earth would Horan make a public statement 100% denying any wrongdoing if,in fact, he has taken the money inappropriately. Surely he will know that this will be become public knowldge in due course as well.

He will look even more of an idiot then - is that even possible? I mean, what is the point?

Who actually voted for these clowns? I saw something like this coming after all the sh*t Winston Peters has pulled in the past.

I certainly didn't vote for these losers but we are stuck with them due to MMP. What a joke. And Peters bringing Horan's moral fibre into question is a bigger joke – this from a person with zero credibility surrounding the issue of honesty and integrity.

Pardon? Do you mean you'd rather not live in a democracy, but would prefer an autocratic rule, based entirely on your individual preferences?

No, didn't think so. Time to grow up.

Spot on, Beauclerk. It is indeed further evidence that MMP is genuinely superior to FPP, by acknowledging that it is parties, and not the party members, that matter. It enables a party to easily get rid of a representative who is at risk of doing that party reputational damage and whose continued presence is detrimental to both the performance and the perception of parliament. In the past, under the good old "let's create a winner where none existed" system, parties would cling on to their dead wood for all they were worth, in morbid fear of a byelection that would embarrass them even more than the loss of an errant member.

Well, well, well... "3 holes in the ground" a true statement...why on Earth is Peters the leader of this party then, as by going by these rules he should have been expelled from this outfit/party many years ago.
I simply cannot believe what I am reading here!!! ...amazing double standards by this so-called leader.

And this is the stability and standard that NZ First offers to the next Green Labour govt of David Cunliffe in 2014? This is the quanta of character, experience and motivation that is offered to us by the caucus of NZ First? Just how many more flakes, flighty fruits and fraudsters is NZ First going to bring into our House of Representatives before enough elderly people in this country grow up, stop voting for them and say enough!

Unfortunately, we have learned that it can be difficult to determine what Winnie actually means when he makes a statement.

We all saw the big "NO" card.

And using parliamentary privilege is that bit more confusing?

So, once again, we don't actually have a clue what the truth really is at present... You are a pain, Winnie.

Maybe Winston realises that he can't win the next election on the normal Asian-bashing stance - so he is trying to re-invent himself as a purist, no-nonsense sort. He has shown in the past he doesn't need evidence to make accusations - aka, the empty wine box.

Big fat hairy deal. NZ First is a dead-end party kept alive by a bunch of purple rinse wrinklies who are steadily dying off...

Horan should immediately set up a new party – NZ Fast (dedicated to getting NZ growing faster). As Leader of NZ Fast he would be entitled to extra funds for his office. NZ Fast should run as a party next election. Given the quality of the eyesight of the average NZ First voter, NZ Fast would pick up plenty of votes.

Do you people really expect politicians to be truthful? Really?

Don't know about purple rinse wrinklies growing up, but the standard of comments here indicates it's not just them who need a reality check.

And I've noticed that regardless of the topic, it doesn't take long to swing round to good old Labour bashing. Now come on, own up, you all never had is so good as when Lady Helen was in charge. Now there was a leader.

Horan's ex-boss taught him well. Keep your snout is in the trough as long as you can. Easy dough to pay his QC.

Of course, why do think there's so few resignations from parliament?

The real reason is probably because this guy Horan is better looking, better hair cut and better dressed than Winnie. That's why he has to go. He is a major threat to Winston's image and ego.

From 'Weatherman" to whetherman?

What a hypocrite Winnie the whiner is. Can anyone forget his various dirty antics over the years? Who is he to judge anybody else, given his track record in politics!

Regardless to if he took the money or not, as in any senior position when you have lost the respect and support of your colleagues or team you represent, you should go.

If he was elected to represent a region different story then then he is answerable to voter first, then party. As a list MP he is only there with the support of his leader and colleagues, who obliviously don't support him over his explanations on this matter and no doubt his performance over the past 12 months. I am also to believe he's had more weeks off then an average school teacher. However, the school teachers produce more results!

Therefore, he can only be judged by his leader and party, and should have the maturity and honour to abide by a collective decision. It a shame that within the bubble of Wellington our MPs don't regard that being an MP is a position of privilege and comes with a responsibility of performance as well as upholding a standard reflective of their remuneration.

His reluctance on giving up what I assume is a sizeable salary with benefits is not surprising if there is an element of truth to what his behaviour indicates.