13 Jul 2022

NZ First Foundation case: Lawyers argue name suppression

2:37 pm on 13 July 2022

A judge has reserved his decision after hearing arguments for and against continuing name suppression in the New Zealand First Foundation case.

The High Court at Auckland

Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

The two people charged over the handling of donations to the foundation were on trial last month.

However, they cannot be named while appeal rights are available.

Justice Jagose continued existing suppressions at a hearing in the High Court in Auckland this morning.

The pair were on trial last month, accused by the Serious Fraud Office of obtaining nearly $750,000 by deception between 2015 and 2020.

They denied deceiving the New Zealand First party by collecting and spending money the Crown argued should have been treated as donations with reporting obligations.

At today's hearing all existing suppressions continued after arguments from the pair's lawyers, the Crown and lawyer Robert Stewart representing media including RNZ.

A decision on the trial outcome is expected soon.

When the individuals were charged by the SFO a few weeks before the 2020 election, it confirmed that neither of the accused were ministers, sitting MPs, candidates, staffers or current members of New Zealand First.