Peters de­nies Lusk has worked for him

The New Zealand Herald - - News - Lucy Ben­nett

New Zealand First Leader Win­ston Peters re­jects claims that po­lit­i­cal con­sul­tant Si­mon Lusk has worked for him, or the party.

“He’s worked for mem­bers of the Labour Party, he’s worked for mem­bers of the Na­tional Party, but he has not worked for me, or New Zealand First,” Peters said.

His NZ First col­league Shane Jones con­firmed Lusk at­tended two fundrais­ing events at the Welling­ton and Auck­land of­fices of law firm Rus­sell McVeagh. The $350-a-head events, on Oc­to­ber 31 and Novem­ber 4, were billed as an evening of din­ner and pol­i­tics with Peters and his cau­cus.

“He has been to two events,” Jones said yes­ter­day, be­fore con­firm­ing he was re­fer­ring to the Rus­sell McVeagh din­ners.

“I pre­sume that he had come as part of the crowd, want­ing to hear news of New Zealand First.

“I’ve got no com­mer­cial re­la­tion­ship, ad­vi­so­rial re­la­tion­ship with Si­mon and I don’t know of any other mem­ber of the cau­cus who has.”

Jones said he had “never, ever, had any re­la­tion­ship with Si­mon. I ob­vi­ously know Si­mon from the days of yore. I met him through [Po­lice Min­is­ter Stu­art] Stu Nash”, Jones said.

NZ First MP Ron Mark ap­peared not to have heard of Lusk: “No, I don’t know Si­mon Lux­ton. Lusk. No.”

It is un­der­stood NZ First MP Clay­ton Mitchell has used Lusk’s ser­vices. He could not be reached for com­ment.

Lusk also did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

NZ First pres­i­dent Lester Gray, who ini­tially told the Herald he would re­search whether the party had used Lusk’s ser­vices, could not be reached later. Jones said Lusk was not in­volved in bro­ker­ing any deal be­tween NZ First and ousted Na­tional MP Jami-Lee Ross to cast his proxy vote while Ross re­mained on med­i­cal leave.

Photo / War­ren Buck­land

Po­lit­i­cal con­sul­tant Si­mon Lusk did not re­ply to re­quests for com­ment.

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