The Serious Fraud Office has announced that they are now investigating the NZ First Foundation. This comes after an announcement by the SFO had received a referral by police regarding the foundation five days ago. National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett says:
"I think that Jacinda Ardern, should stand Winston Peters down."
Before being asked about the whether the PM should intervene Bennett explains:
“By his [Winstons'] own standards he should be standing down. That’s what he did in 2008.”
Peters maintains that he has had no involvement in the operations of the NZ First Foundation apart from advising that it should be operated legally. He also highlighted the difference being in 2008 was that he himself was being investigated as opposed to a third party.
Bennett deflected questions about whether her leader should step down due to the National Party investigations, replying:
“Well he’s not a senior cabinet minister, he’s not in charge of billions of dollars.”
Shane Jones says that the issue has been completely exaggerated, saying that instead:
“I can assure you, no Kiwis out in the regions are in the slightest bit interested.”
These comments were made before it was revealed, that a second donation of $100,000 to the National Party is being investigated. National Party leader Simon Bridges says that he didn't know about this donation.