14 Feb 2020

Paula Bennett calls for Prime Minister to speak on photos taken of journalist

From Morning Report, 7:26 am on 14 February 2020

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has backtracked on claims his New Zealand First party was responsible for taking photos showing former party president Lester Gray with RNZ journalist Guyon Espiner.

The photo, along with one of Stuff journalist Matt Shand, appeared on a pro-New Zealand First website in an article that criticised reporting by RNZ and Stuff reporting on the party's donation schemes.

Peters was asked about the photos when interviewed by Peter Williams on Magic Talk. Last night Peters issued a statement saying New Zealand First has no interest in putting journalists under surveillance and no private investigators had been hired to follow Guyon Espiner or anyone else.

He said a supporter had seen Lester Gray and Guyon Espiner together and snapped a photo. It was, in Peters' words, "as simple as that".

National Party Deputy Leader Paula Bennett speaks to Susie Ferguson.