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Court of Appeal: Trifecta of victory for NZ First, trifecta of failure for opponents – Winston Peters

For the third time since April 2020, New Zealand First has defeated the Serious Fraud Office and all those complicit in a malicious attack against a political party going about its lawful business in a lawful manner.

In April of 2020, six months before the 2020 general election, the SFO launched an attack on New Zealand First, for political not legal reasons, and have now failed three times.

– First: On 29 September 2020, on the eve of a court hearing, the SFO had to publicly withdraw all implications of illegality against any Minister, MP, or Party Official of New Zealand First.

– Second: At the High Court on 22 July 2022, the SFO lost in its claim against the New Zealand First Foundation Directors, who were found not guilty – a decision the SFO nevertheless appealed.

– Third: Today at the Court of Appeal, the SFO had their appeal dismissed.

In short, all three events show that there never was any evidence or intention to act illegally by New Zealand First or the Foundation.

However, the April 2020 attack by the SFO dramatically effected New Zealand First’s public image, particularly since the media and political opponents immediately decided that it would not be ‘innocent until proven guilty’ but the converse – ‘guilty until proven innocent.’

The multitude of media headlines and attacks are evidence of this.

New Zealand First has faced over $4 million of taxpayers’ money misused against us in these attacks, not just by the SFO but by the Electoral Commission as well – who referred the case to the SFO when they clearly had no grounds to.

And to defend ourselves in court, and our innocent officials and members, New Zealand First is out of pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars.

New Zealand First deserves an apology from those individuals in the complicit media for their relentless, venomous, biased, and politically motivated attacks directly prior to, and for the years following, the 2020 election.

The Court of Appeal’s ruling today has reinforced what we stated from the start – there was no wrongdoing. These were nothing but malicious unfounded attacks by the SFO, Electoral Commission, and especially by some in the media with blatant personal vendettas.

We want an apology.

 

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