Lloyd Burr: Where is the openness and transparency, Winston Peters?

OPINION: Winston Peters is the king of demanding openness and transparency from the Government.

Whether it's the Todd Barclay scandal, or Pike River, or ministerial questions in the debating chamber, the New Zealand First leader demands the truth.

He uses words like "integrity" and "honesty" time and time again.

He often challenges ministers that if they have nothing to hide, then they have nothing to worry about.

Which is why Mr Peters’ recent comments about his pension overpayments are strange.

His defiance against being open and transparent about the ordeal is hard to square with his own standards for other politicians.

He's not being open and transparent. He's refusing to give basic details. He's personally attacking journalists instead of fronting up.

It looks like he is hiding something. It looks a bit like the "No" sign from the 2008 election all over again - when he denied getting a donation, and it turned out he did.

How much was he overpaid, and over what time period?

Why did he not realise his pension rate was wrong, given that MSD writes to all superannuitants annually asking if their details, living conditions, and pension rates are correct?

If it was a clerical error at MSD, why doesn't he authorise the department to release details regarding the saga?

Did he intentionally claim a higher pension rate than he was entitled?

Why did it take seven years for him or MSD to realise he was being paid too much?

Mr Peters often claims he's a man of his word. Now is a perfect time to front up, and be open and transparent.

Lloyd Burr is a Newshub political reporter.

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