Amazing coincidences

Written By: - Date published: 2:07 pm, November 23rd, 2010 - 34 comments
Categories: accountability, john key - Tags: , ,

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.

Funnily enough the holdings are gone. Whitechapel sold the Dairy Investment Fund shares on July 19th and the Highwater shares on August 18th.

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.

34 comments on “Amazing coincidences”

  1. toad 1

    If you have time for this sort of research Marty, how about some more on the Jenny Shipley, Sammy Wong, Pansy Wong connection. I’m sure there’s more to that story than we have heard so far.

    And it would be very interesting indeed to learn what Shipley has been using her international travel perk for since she stepped down as PM, although given the Parliamentary Service doesn’t come under the OIA that’s not something any amount of research could find out unless there is a whistle-blower in the Parliamentary Service who is prepared to spill the beans.

    • higherstandard 1.1

      It wouldn’t be interesting, it would be nauseating.

      We’re such a pathetically soft cock little country that no one has the balls to tell these pricks that their perks are gone and that we’ve legislated so they can’t sue for recompense.

      Another sickening old boys/girls club.

      • Robert Atack 1.1.1

        Yeah what these creeps are doing, should be classed as treasonable, and they should be seen as the treasonous bastards that they are, Key knows and understands money, yet he is running NZ like a Greek conman, selling us to his mates @$200 + million a week.
        Lets all join the Europeans on Dec 7th and withdraw all our money from the banks. If they see us doing it before them, NZ could be the world leaders in sticking it to Key and his mates. … oh that would mean a % of the idiot masses caring … sorry forgot, they don’t, they vote for the clowns instead.
        As George Carlin says -Fuck Hope – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W9Cs6KPTus
        And don’t vote http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIraCchPDhk
        ‘hope’ it is ok posting these links.

    • toad 1.2

      I meant “stepped down as an MP”. She didn’t step down as PM – she got booted out.

  2. higherstandard 2

    Re the another dairy company – i think this has always been out in the open.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/john-key-the-unauthorised-biography/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502247&objectid=10523316

    “Haunui Dairy

    Another dairy investment company. Key owns 64 per cent of the company, which is being wound up. Haunui Dairy owned and operated a 200ha farm milking 650 cows at Tapanui, in Clutha. The company’s original owners were Key, dairy entrepreneur Geoff Taylor, ANZ National rural banking head Charlie Graham and farmers Craig Burgess and Jean Lawson.

    Burgess and Lawson had been sharemilkers on the farm when the previous owner decided to sell. They took a stake of about 40 per cent, and entered into an equity partnership arrangement with the other investors. The company owned the land, improvements, cows and machinery.

    Burgess and Lawson later sold their stake to the others. Lawson says they met Key once and found him “very nice, down to earth”. It had been a good arrangement for them, she said. The farm was bought in 2000-2001 for $3.4 million and was sold in 2006 (with a settlement date of May last year) for $5.4 million.

    With the sale of the farm, Haunui Dairy has been placed into liquidation. The liquidators say all machinery has been sold and most of the company’s affairs have been tidied up. No debts are owed, and the liquidator is simply waiting for the IRD to issue a small refund (about $900) before the company is officially wound up.”

  3. felix 3

    Marty, you might want to check that “doesn’t drink” link – it pretty clearly says that he does drink.

    Great post though.

  4. tc 4

    No surprises here and loving the intelligent/practical responses to our credit downgrading from a bloke who made millions dealing in international markets that react to these sorts of actions.

    Much like the blind trusts it’s all in the past and he can’t recall a thing.

    We are an international laughing stock with sideshow and blinglish sailing us towards oblivion.

  5. vto 5

    How is it that Key can get away with this bullshit? And what about Carter? and Creech? and the list goes on.

    How can government ministers make decisions on issues they have a vested financial interest in? It is completely and utterly wrong and it leads to just one conclusion…

    New Zealand’s government is corrupt – simple as that. Never thought I would say that but it is the ONLY conclusion given their circumstances and their actions. Some sort of judiciary action must be required surely.

    • insider 5.1

      So ministers can’t make any decisions on housing, cars, boats, clothing, farming etc etc? Pretty impossible standard you impose there. Only indigents should apply to be MPs in future eh?

      • felix 5.1.1

        Are you trying to equate owning a car with, say, owning a car sales yard?

        It sounds like you’re having trouble with the actual concept of a “conflict of interest” as opposed to disagreeing on the existence of one.

        • insider 5.1.1.1

          No, and you and marty and vto seem to have issues with the concept of degrees of conflict as exemplified by “How can government ministers make decisions on issues they have a vested financial interest in? It is completely and utterly wrong…”

          You don’t seem to think owning a car is a vested financial interest. Well for me it is as it is the second most valuable thing I own.

          But I don’t think the existence of a potential conflict is always an issue – it is the relative level of risk that is important, and the specificity of the conflict.

          Using your car yard example, if a rule affecting the profitability of car yards was being made by me it would be a clearer conflict if I operated the yard than if i just owned the land underneath it. But the risk would increase if I owned a series of such properties even if I didn’t run the yard.

          Blanket statements that any vested financial interest is akin to opening the door to corruption ignore the subtleties of what real conflicts of interest are and lead to stupid ‘where there;s smoke there must be fire’ type posts as Marty’s.

          • felix 5.1.1.1.1

            Yeah ‘cos the post was about how Key has a vested interest in eating steak & cheese pies and using grapeseed oil.

            Oh no hang on that’s bullshit – it’s about him owning dairy companies and vineyards.

            You’re the one having trouble with degree.

  6. tc 6

    ‘Some sort of judiciary action must be required surely.’

    yes after they’ve passed some more ‘laws’ under urgency which sees black become white or shades of grey it’ll be for the AG to decide, corruption as we knew it declared standard operating procedure and parliamant only sits when the weathers not so great in Hawaii.

  7. Jeremy Harris 7

    I’d like to see the cabinet manual amended so all cabinet members interests are listed and an independent thrid party (Clerk of the House maybe) decide if you should be recused…

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Seems the only sensible way to do it.

    • Kevin Welsh 7.2

      I would like to see something even simpler Jeremy.

      If you decide to take the route of Public Service, then you divest yourself of your business interests. This is the only way you can be seen as having no conflict of interest.

      • insider 7.2.1

        Why stop there Kevin? Why only business interests? Why not say Labour members can have no legitimate views on union issues because of the almost obligatory membership of and alliance with unions. Can you imagine the furore if they were forced to renounce their membership of unions?

        • higherstandard 7.2.1.1

          Perhaps we could lobotomise and neuter all elected representatives ?

        • felix 7.2.1.2

          “Why stop there Kevin? Why only business interests? Why not say Labour members can have no legitimate views on union issues…”

          Because the object of this exercise is to ensure that elected officials are not directly profiting from the decisions they’re supposed to be making on behalf of the rest of us.

          Sheesh, it’s not that difficult a concept innit?

          • insider 7.2.1.2.1

            Kevin said “This is the only way you can be seen as having no conflict of interest.”

            He said no conflict of interest at all, not just financial benefit as a business owner. Conflicts occur everywhere; it’s unavoidable when you begin to own assets. Just because you own a house, shouldn’t mean you can’t get involved in discussions on rules about house ownership even though you have a material interest.

            Adn of course none of this covers the future advantage that changing a rule might give. So it’s how you manage conflicts that counts, not trying to eliminate them.

            • Kevin Welsh 7.2.1.2.1.1

              The article was about COI from a financial standpoint and that was what I commented on. Don’t put words in my mouth Insider.

            • felix 7.2.1.2.1.2

              insider, that’s a feeble man of straw you’re attacking.

              When you’ve finished perhaps you’d care to comment on the topic at hand.

      • insider 7.2.2

        AN asset register means that the people can see and judge for themselves whether there is any conflict. They did exactly that over Marty’s so called scandal and demonstrated they just don’t accept that Key had done anything unusual or had a COI. No doubt Marty’s next scandal will be another H Fee fizzer to all but the Keystoned Cops

        • Kevin Welsh 7.2.2.1

          Unless, of course, you have a so-called ‘Blind Trust’. Then there would be no reason for an Asset Register, Insider.

          • insider 7.2.2.1.1

            No because a blind trust is a management tool – it would be foolish to assume you have no knowledge of what was initially in the trust, because it would be your actions that created the trust and transferred assets into it. That of course may change over time as assets move. So listing the initial assets of such a trust is important.

      • Vicky32 7.2.3

        An excellent idea, Kevin!
        Deb

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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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