You remember John Key’s ‘blind trust’ that turned out not to be so blind. Key denied all but anyone could easily see into the ‘blind trust’. Key certainly knew of his wine and dairy interests, giving him a conflict of interest he failed to declare. Now, after the furor, the ‘blind trust’ has sold the shares. Funny things, coincidences.
The ‘blind trust’ scandal broke in May of this year. We found out that Key had been participating in government decisions affecting the wine industry without declaring his large interest in a winery. Despite this interest being held by a supposedly blind trust, a clearly pissed PM knew all about it in a taped interview.
Then there was his interest in the Dairy Investment Fund. Like the interest in Highwater winery, the shares in the Dairy Investment Fund had been transferred to the ‘blind trust’ but to find out what the trust held all you had to do was enter its name, Whitechapel Ltd, on the Companies Office website. Key had sat on important government decisions that benefited the Diary Investment Fund too.
It was while researching one of these decisions (the subject of a future post) that I went to double check on the ‘blind trust’s holdings.
So, Key had owned these shares for years (over six years for the dairy shares, two years for the winery) and then they are suddenly sold off after the revelation of the conflicts of interest that Key denies exist because he claims he doesn’t know what’s in his blind trust. Odd that the trustees should make those decisions when they did, if it were true that there’s no conflicts.
Also in my research, I discovered that Key used to be the major shareholder in another dairy company along with the trustee of his supposedly blind trust. Yep, funny things, coincidences.