Can we trust John Key?

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, April 13th, 2016 - 334 comments
Categories: john key, national, tax, uncategorized - Tags: , ,

John Key has had some terribly bad luck recently.

First Fran O’Sullivan spilt the beans and told us that Key had this super plan to make New Zealand a bolt hole for the 1%. The article was posted two weeks ago. I mentioned it in this post.

I was struck by how tone deaf Key’s comments were. Wanting New Zealand to be swamped by the uber wealthy and not taxing multi national corporates because there may be a business case are the sorts of things that really clash with the idea that New Zealand should be an egalitarian multicultural society that respects its environment where everyone pulls their weight.

And it clashes with the carefully constructed image of Key being a state house dwelling son of solo mum immigrant. Poor boy does good remembers where they came from. Wanting to bestow privilege on the already wealthy clashes with this.

For some reason this post took off. There were an average number of comments, 91 at the time of typing this. But the Facebook references were huge and there have been a huge number of page views.

You can bet that if there is one thing that Kiwis will be really upset about it is making New Zealand some sort of haven for rich people, especially when their wealth may have been gained in less than morally acceptable circumstances.

Then the Panama Papers hit. Suddenly there was proof, if this was required, that rich people throughout the world had used tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of tax. Great if you want to live the sort of lifestyle that pretty well everyone in the world can only dream of. But terrible if you want to make sure that kids living in your country do not have their lives blighted because they are hungry or they live in cold overcrowded homes or their schools because of funding issues cannot deliver the quality of education that they deserve.

And New Zealand has clearly become an investor’s dream.  There may be semantic arguments about its exact status but clearly it has become a haven for people trying to avoid paying tax in their home nation.

Key’s second piece of bad luck was that just over a month ago he finalised his pecuniary interests return. It contained a simple line that referred to “Antipodes Trust Group Limited – short-term deposit”.

This company proclaims itself to be “a specialist provider of trustee and associated services for foreign trusts using New Zealand as their jurisdiction of choice”.  Its executive director and main point of contact is Ken Whitney who has been John Key’s solicitor for a while.  He is also one of the directors of Whitechapel Limited which is I understand the corporate trustee of Aldgate Trust which is John Key’s blind trust.  The evidence of this is that shareholding in the Earl of Auckland Ltd, Devils Creek Ltd (the Winery) and Dairy Investment Fund Ltd were transferred from John and Bronagh and Whitney to Whitechapel Limited in 2009.  Here is the Earl of Auckland Ltd shareholding change.

The Earl of Auckland shares are still owned by Whitechapel.  The Dairy Investment Fund shares were transferred in December 2008 to Whitechapel and in July 2010 to FNZ Custodians Limited.

The Devils Creek (now called High-water Vineyard) shares are the most interesting.

Even though it appears that Whitechapel no longer has any interest in the winery Key has made a big deal of handing out JK branded wine and has done so for a while.  It appears that Key’s trust no longer has any interest in the company but he still hands out JK branded Highwater wine.  Perhaps he should be asked about the details of the distribution deal.

John key mike Hosking

The subtleties of his relationship with Antipodes Trust Group Limited will need an explanation.  He has explained that the deposit was to cover legal costs for his trusts.

Having a blind trust is one thing but the problem with a blind trust is that you are not meant to know what is going on.  Having as a director of the trustee someone who heads a business which proclaims itself to be a specialist provider of trustee and associated services for foreign trusts using New Zealand as their jurisdiction of choice really makes you wonder if some of Aldgate/Whitechapel’s funds have been invested in foreign trusts.

As a minimum Key should release his tax returns.  Andrew Little has.  David Cameron and George Osborne have.

And rather than hide behind a blind trust our leaders ought to declare what they own.  And if they want to be leaders they should cash up their investments so that there is no possibility that the decisions they make may improve their material worth.

334 comments on “Can we trust John Key?”

  1. saveNZ 1

    Personally think it should be illegal for a PM to even have a ‘blind trust’. They are public figures with a huge amount of power over a country and their tax affairs should be publicly scrutinised the entire time they are PM and 7 years before. If they don’t like it, don’t become a PM.

    • The Other Mike 1.1

      Agree. There could even be a case for restricting the net worth of polis/PMs to qualify for the job. Rich people obviously just do not relate to the 40% of us just scraping by (or not).

      In other news:

      “Tax avoidance by multinational corporations will be forced into the open under proposals to be unveiled by European regulators on Tuesday following the Panama Papers revelations.

      The European commission will put forward legislation requiring large multinationals operating in Europe to disclose profits earned and taxes paid in each of the EU’s 28 member states, as well as fiscal havens.

      All large companies trading in Europe, including subsidiaries of non-European businesses, would have to publish how much tax they pay outside the EU, including detailed country-by-country information on their finances in tax havens.

      The commission was already working on measures to force international companies to disclose their earnings and tax bills in the EU. Following the leak of 11.5m files exposing the tax secrets of the global elite, officials have toughened up their plans to include tax havens. ”

      http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/12/eu-regulators-demand-greater-tax-transparency-companies

      • Herb 1.1.1

        So you want poor people trying to run the economy and stop you being poor.
        Sounds logical to me.

        Based on Littles “tax return” clearly thats a strategy that Labour whole heartedly accept.

        • pete 1.1.1.1

          Let’s invent a device that measures a persons level of happiness. In election year we grab the top 120 and send them to parliament. Any parliamentarian falling under 75% (yeah, that might be a bit low 🙂 ) of the going maximum happiness level gets replaced with the currently happiest non-parliamentarian.

      • Carl 1.1.2

        We would ensure we would only have a left government with that suggestion a little absurd really. When did you stop dreaming of a better life and start hating those that succeed

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2.1

          Meanwhile, on Earth, when the only way you can succeed is by laundering money, that’s not success.

        • maui 1.1.2.2

          The poor just need to be a bit more personably responsible and upskill and all of a sudden hundreds of thousands are finally paid a decent wage. Yeah right! This is what its like being stuck on the bottom rung of the ponzi scheme.

    • Enough is Enough 1.2

      The purpose of the blind trust is to prevent a person in power (Minister) from making government decisions that would directly benefit him or her.

      The trust is supposed to be blind to the beneficiary/minister. If it was not blind the minister could see what was happening with his assets and make decisions based on his/her own self interest.

      If a politician does not transfer their assets to a blind trust, what are they supposed to do with them to avoid the eventual conflict if interest issues?

      • weka 1.2.1

        Have Ministers always used blind trusts?

        • Enough is Enough 1.2.1.1

          I would hope so.

          That is the best (possibly only) way for them to avoid a conflict of interest.

          If they know where their investments are then they will always run the risk of being conflicted when making government decisions.

          For example A has $100 invested in Air New Zealand Shares, $100 invested in MRP and $100 invested in rental properties. He then becomes a cabinet Minister.

          There will always be a perception that the Minister is conflicted when cabinet decisions are made about SOE’s or Housing unless he is either forced to liquidate all his investments, or put them in a blind trust where he has no visibility or control over those investments.

          Savenz has suggested they should be illegal. I would suggest they should be compulsory for all Ministers, perhaps even all MPs

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.2.1.1.1

            Absolutely right, Enough is Enough. This is the only reason to set up a blind trust. There is not benefit to the politician.

          • weka 1.2.1.1.2

            So when the NZ parliament was set up in the 1850s, Ministers started using blind trusts?

            • Enough is Enough 1.2.1.1.2.1

              I have no idea.

              I am getting the feeling you do not approve of them. Would you prefer that Ministers continued to have direct or even indirect control over their investments?

              I certainly don’t. Ministers should be banned from having any sort of influence and you achieve that by taking the investments away from them and settling in a trust they can’t touch or see in other words a “blind trust”.

              • Macro

                But Key can certainly see and touch his “blind trust” how else does he hand a bottle of plonk over to his chums? Or haven’t you read the post?

                • Enough is Enough

                  Yes I have read the post.

                  Key’s blind trust is obviously not blind. That’s the point!!!!

                  If it was blind he wouldn’t know about the plonk.

                  Have you not read the thread. Savenz was arguing blind trusts should be illegal. I can’t work out why anyone who wants to prevent corruption in government would argue that. Can you explain why anyone would hold that position?

                  • RJL

                    @Enough is Enough “Key’s blind trust is obviously not blind. That’s the point!!!!”

                    And that’s also the default case for any blind trust owned by a minister. Any minister with a blind trust will know exactly what assets they originally put into it.

                    Hence “blind” trusts are not practical, effective means of separating ministers from conflicts of interest. They are only tools for obscuring the conflict of interest to the public.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      And your solution is what?

                      Prevent Ministers from voting in cabinet on matters where they have direct or indirect financial interest?

                      I would prefer we made it compulsory for them to relinquish all control of those financial interests while they are a Minister. So that they can get on with the job of governing with out any perceived or real conflict issues.

                    • McFlock

                      why would you prefer the pretence that they have no interest over recusing themselves?

                      The very point of a conflict of interest isn’t that they control their assets, it’s that the decisions they make as public servants might be skewed to inflate their personal wealth.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      Absolutely agree on your final point.

                      If they do not know what their assets are, then their decisions as public servants will not be skewed to inflate their personal wealth.

                      Essentially we are saying the same thing.

                      You aren’t saying blind trusts are bad. You are just saying they aren’t blind in the first place. And if that is the case I think we need to look at measures to ensure they are blind.

                      Public Trustees maybe

                    • RJL

                      @Enough is Enough “And your solution is what?”

                      That ministers recuse themselves from decisions that would create a conflict of interest.

                    • McFlock

                      I don’t think they could ever be truly blind.

                      I’ve spent a little bit of time on some small governance groups – declaring a conflict of interest and leaving the discussion or having someone else take over that task is a simple thing to do, rather than having to develop, investigate and enforce issues around how “blind” a trust really is.

                    • RJL

                      @McFlock

                      Yes, the only “problem” with the “recuse yourself” method of dealing with conflicts of interest is if the minister does want to take advantage of the conflict.

                      Which, of course, is exactly why Key et al never recuse themselves. They just “note” that there is a conflict, and nonetheless go on and make that conflicted decision.

                    • Macro

                      Conflict of Interest never seems to worry National MPs – they do it all the time.
                      Isn’t that why they are seek power so desperately?
                      To feather their own nests?

                    • Jerko

                      Correct. RJL. Of course he knows what’s in the trust. It’s all smoke and mirrors. But then He knows that His supporters are too stupid to work that one out.

                  • sumgai

                    I agree that it’s not worded very clearly, but perhaps he is suggesting that Ministers etc should simply have to liquidate any assets that could be a cause for a conflict of interest? I could be wrong but I believe that is the case in some countries. You’d have to be naïve to believe that any of these jokers are really playing the game “blind”…

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      New Zealand has a major problem with the way we handle conflicts of interest, and it extends well beyond Parliament.

                      McFlock is quite correct, and unfortunately so is RJL. They get away with it because the rest of us go along with it, and those who don’t very quickly learn the ropes.

              • weka

                I have no idea.

                I am getting the feeling you do not approve of them. Would you prefer that Ministers continued to have direct or even indirect control over their investments?

                I certainly don’t. Ministers should be banned from having any sort of influence and you achieve that by taking the investments away from them and settling in a trust they can’t touch or see in other words a “blind trust”.

                I don’t have an opinion yet. Your argument makes sense, and so does SaveNZ’s. The problem I have with your argument is you are saying there is no other way. I’m critiquing that for whether it’s factual or not. If Ministers haven’t always used blind trusts then there used to be another way of doing this.

                • Enough is Enough

                  I think people have the misconception that it is called “blind”, to keep the public blind.

                  Whereas the intention is for it to be blind from the beneficiary i.e the Minister.

                  It is an effective corruption measure so that Ministers are not conflicted.

                  Keep them away from their investments while they are running our country

                  • McFlock

                    But obviously they aren’t effective at all.

                    The conflict of interest remains, but we are expected to pretend that it doesn’t.

                    Much simpler to have it that if any MP or minister has had a financial interest in the area in the previous ten years, they register a conflict of interest. And that this applies to trusts of which they are beneficiaries.

                    Have a basic list of keywords, like subject tags on this blog, so all their major conflicts can be quickly matched against the corresponding conflict keywords relating to bills and committees.

                    And if an MP or minister has a conflict, they recuse themselves from making a decision, and if everyone has a conflict they announce that.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      “But obviously they aren’t effective at all”

                      Other than Key and a bottle of plonk – what makes you say that.

                    • McFlock

                      do I need anything else?

                      I mean, I could point out the farcical nature of pretending that you don’t recall which assets you put into the “blind” trust just before you entered parliament, and therefore what you have a likely conflict of interest on, but key’s behaviour should be sufficient to demonstrate that the concept of a blind trust is about as reliable as a “chinese wall” in the offices of Fay Richwhite.

                  • weka

                    I’ve understood that part of your argument all along. Would you mind please responding to mine?

              • tracey

                As long as it is truly blind which depends on the integrity of both the settlor and the trustees running the trust

                I can imagine situations where a blind trust is set up by communication continues, but is denied.

                • Enough is Enough

                  Absolutely agree.

                  • weka

                    Do you trust Key? The people managing his trust?

                    • Enough is Enough

                      Hell No.

                      He is entitled to make money from his investments. However those investment should be under the strict control of a completely independent trustee.

                      It is that last bit which is difficult to believe would exist with Key.

          • Naturesong 1.2.1.1.3

            So the theory goes, but like Mitt Romney, most people know that the “blind trust is an age old ruse“.

            They only work when the main party is a principled and ethical person.

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.2.1.1.4

            So you think the whole concept of a register of pecuniary interests doesn’t actually have any point at all because all MPs should be using blind trusts instead?

            I think it actually holds people to a higher standard that we can check what their financial interests are, and that they are handing off decisions to impartial colleagues when a potential conflict of interest comes up.

            The problem with having a blind trust is that while hypothetically you have no idea where your money is invested, you may well be able to guess the categories of investment that are likely to be used if you know the manager of your trust well, (or if you interrogated them on their investment strategy to ensure you were going to get a good return) so you can make decisions that WILL be partial towards your interests while hiding behind the shield that you theoretically had no knowledge of what your money was invested in.

            Ideally anyone who wants to be a PM should probably just divest themselves of most of their investments beforehand and focus on running the country while they’re in office. The salary is not exactly modest anyway so it’s not like their family will starve or even have difficulty, say, funding private school for their kids.

            • Matthew Whitehead 1.2.1.1.4.1

              As a bonus having a public register also acts as a filter for corruption and/or incompetence of itself, because people who fail to disclose investments can be caught.

              If someone “accidentally” breaches the secrecy of a blind trust that’s much harder to confirm.

      • RJL 1.2.2

        Of course, reality is nothing like this.

        The reality is that the Minister knows exactly what is in the blind trust. It contains the assets he put into it when he set it up.

        The only purpose of a blind trust is to hide from the public what the minister owns.

        The best way for a minister to avoid a conflict of interest is to recuse themselves from decisions that create a conflict of interest.

        • Enough is Enough 1.2.2.1

          You don’t know much about trusts do you?

          The beneficial owners under an unincorporated trust are always hidden from the public.

          My house is in a family trust. The beneficial owners are my children. No public record will ever tell you that though. And guess what. its not called a blind trust.

          • RJL 1.2.2.1.1

            Yes, but your children are (presumably) not ministers of parliament.

            If your children were ministers they would need to declare that they had a beneficial interest in your family trust (and that declaration would be a public document).

            • Enough is Enough 1.2.2.1.1.1

              The point of it being blind is you don’t know you are a beneficiary and don’t know you have an interest in the asset.

              Therefore removing the conflict.

              You can’t declare something you don’t know

              • weka

                If you don’t know you are a beneficiary of a blind trust where do you think that part of your income comes form?

                • Enough is Enough

                  You will know there is a blind trust.

                  However you don’t know the asset to which you have beneficial title to.

                  As a crude example look at Kiwisaver. You know you have an interest in the relevant fund. You have no idea where that fund is invested or where it derives its income from (let assume there is no disclosure statement)

                  • weka

                    Sure (above you seemed to be implying that you didn’t know you were a beneficiary of a blind trust).

                    But the concerns are still there. It’s as good as the ethics of the people involved right? And there are now other issues to be considered alongside this because we have a PM who lies.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      I should clarify. You will obviously know you are a beneficiary of a blind trust. however you don’t, (and should have no ability to find out), what assets you have a beneficial ownership of.

                      I agree there is a concern there. That is why I pondered maybe making it compulsory that the Trustees are someone completely independent and regulated, like a Public Trustee

                  • RJL

                    On Monday, you have a trust.

                    On Tuesday, you are going to become a minister, so late Monday afternoon you move your assets in the trust into a blind trust.

                    On Wednesday, you still know what assets are in the blind trust.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      On Friday you will probably have a pretty good idea.

                      Next month, you would expect the assets to be pretty similar.

                      Next year however, you’d be pretty much guessing. You would have a fairly negligent trustee if he sat on the day 1 investments and did nothing with them to take into account fluctuations in the market.

                      I’d be pretty pissed off if I found out that I still had an interest in the 25,000 Dick Smith shares I bought in 2013. My trustee should have sold them and reinvested in something…now what is that something?

                    • RJL

                      @Enough is Enough “You would have a fairly negligent trustee if he sat on the day 1 investments and did nothing with them to take into account fluctuations in the market.”

                      Depends on the nature of the investments doesn’t it?

                      Long term investments will pretty much be the same years later.

                      Also, the trust manager will be following the investment instructions issued by the minister when the blind trust was set up. So, even short-term reinvestment decisions are somewhat knowable by the minister.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      What time of long term investment are you suggesting that would not require constant monitoring. A trustee’s brief would be to maximise the value of the assets. That would always involve divesting in assets and reinvesting.

                      If there is a 100% safe investment that would guarantee growth over a long term, please let me have the details.

                      What you are arguing is the trust is not blind at all (which may or may not be the case in practice).

                      What I am arguing is a blind trust removes corruption from government.

                    • RJL

                      @Enough is Enough “What time of long term investment are you suggesting that would not require constant monitoring.”

                      Non-speculative investments. Commercial/industrial property, forestry, non-speculative shareholdings, etc.

                      It’s not that they would require no monitoring, but that they would be very unlikely to be sold due to short-term market price fluctuation, because they are not investments designed to be sold, short-term.

                      If there’s a reasonable chance that Max Key will inherit it, it’s a long term investment.

                    • RJL

                      @Enough is Enough “What I am arguing is a blind trust removes corruption from government.”

                      But because “blind” trusts are not really blind to the minister, it only provides an illusion of this.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      Then it is clearly not a blind trust…

                      This is going around in circles

                    • McFlock

                      The fact is that key’s current arrangement is called a blind trust, is legally a blind trust, is in the pecuniary interests register as a blind trust, and yet he seems to have a fair idea about what’s in it.

                      Now, you can tweak the system to try and make it demonstrably blind and hope that this time there aren’t any holes in the blindfold, or we can just be done with it and demand that ministers with a conflict are barred from deciding on that issue.

                    • RJL

                      @Enough is Enough “Then it is clearly not a blind trust…”

                      Exactly. It’s impossible to design a system whereby the trust is truly blind to the minister.

                      Hence, blind trusts are not the solution to preventing conflicts of interest.

              • So, when a blind trust is set up are all assets immediately liquidated (e.g., a manufacturing company, a private jet, a real estate portfolio,etc.) and then reinvested in other assets and so the person who put the initial assets into a blind trust would then have no idea what assets they have now been converted to?

                • mickysavage

                  That is the thing about Key’s “blind” trust. If he had access to a browser he could see that he continued to retain ownership of shares in the winery. The shares were only sold after the scandal broke. And even after the sale he still peddles his wine …

      • Pull the wool 1.2.3

        The blind trust is set up to keep their corporate interests secrete from the public, not themselves. Take a look Rowena Mason’s (Political correspondant) article in the Guardian.

        • Mike S 1.2.3.1

          Exactly.

          It would be much better for all details about these trusts to be publicly available information. This would avoid any conflicts of interest as anybody could see when one occurs and a politician with a conflict of interest would be quickly alerted to the fact should they not have already declared it.

          Anybody who thinks a person like Key has no idea what investments he has is either extremely naive or a completely one-eyed Key supporter.

      • My worry is in broad terms the need to clarify tax avoidance and tax evasion!
        Blind Trusts and other mechanisms will suffice tax avoidance, however, the greater need for fiscal ‘transparency’ is paramount.
        I’m not sure that ‘pointing’ the finger at public figures is useful or even sensible, given the obvious political targeting.
        The bottom line– let’s have legislation that makes transparency a bench mark to fair dealings and paying tax levied by law.

      • Booker 1.2.5

        Theoretically yes, but let’s face it – how many different industries and investments is a blind trust really going to be throwing money into, especially in this country? Technically he may be ‘blind’ to what the trust invests in; in reality, not really.

        • AmaKiwi 1.2.5.1

          @ Booker

          “how many different industries and investments is a blind trust really going to be throwing money into?”

          Furthermore, if a minister’s assets are all farms, the only thing a trustee could do would be maintain the farming operations.

          The trustee would have their head handed to them if they sold the farms and bought shares.

    • whateva next? 1.3

      Is there any valid reason to have a “blind” trust at all?, I get he has soooo much money he can play around with it, but what’s with the “blind” bit anyway?
      (and no, I am not jealous of his complete lack of class and integrity before anyone like the Tory MP’s are suggesting about those who question values of the very rich atm)

    • Chooky 1.4

      +100 saveNZ…blind trusts indicate a conflict of interest

      …there should be total transparency for members of parliament because of the responsibility for New Zealand’s assets, the assets New Zealanders have built up over generations

      New Zealand is not a company for jonkey and his mates to take over and asset strip for their own financial gain

      …look what has happened to Greece and Libya

      • Chooky 1.4.1

        New Zealanders have kept their flag…(despite a huge campaign by jonkey )

        New Zealanders need to retain their own KiwiBank…government guaranteed, and set up as a viable opposition to the Australian banks which are taking out millions in profit from New Zealanders and away from New Zealand.

        There must also be total financial transparency from elected representatives to New Zealand Parliament …to make it clear that they are NOT corrupt! ….and that they are working in the best interests of New Zealanders

        (not too much to ask really)

    • Mosa 1.5

      Rules and moral authority dont apply to Key or members of this rotten government
      He has all but confimed he is running this country for those privileged few who are exempt from responsibility backed by a nasty anti left media
      The longer they are in office the harder it will be to get our country back

    • Mosa 1.6

      Can we trust John Key ?
      Just the same as asking a shoplifter too look after the store for the day and pay for everything they steal when they leave

    • john west 1.7

      Couldn’t agree more. Blind trust means blind faith in the PM.

  2. Great summary, mickeysavage. There are a lot of potential problems for Key around his investments. I had a read of the right’s response on other blogs and most of it was of the ‘nothing to see here, move on’ variety. But one line that seemed to be pushed a lot was that Key’s use of a tax minimising lawyer was that it was different from foreigners looking for a tax haven, because he’s based here. But, if as one commenter here at TS claims, the movement of money relates to the sale of a London property, then Key is, for all intents and purposes, a foreign investor just like all the rest.

    So he may well got a benefit from the very laws he has introduced in his time as PM. If anything, that would be worse than dodgy David Cameron’s shaky position, because the British leader has the partial excuse that the Cameron family trust predates his time as PM.

    Key doesn’t have that get out clause.

    Anyhoo, the real difficulty is perception. Key’s already bottoming out. I understand his rating in ‘doing a good job/doing a bad job’ polling is the worst its ever been. He looks tired and, now, shifty. And never forget, Key is all the Tories have got. Without him, they’re goneburgers.

    • Bearded Git 2.1

      Perception of Key is going to get worse. This from Trevett and Davison in the Herald today:

      “[Antipodes Trust ] points to tax-free benefits, laws that protect client confidentiality and “limited” reporting requirements which mean the identities of settler and beneficiaries do not need to be disclosed – the exact issues which the Government’s review is looking at….. Antipodes Trust Group’s executive director, Ken Whitney, is Mr Key’s lawyer.

      So Key’s lawyer is a major player in the overseas trust scam….this looks bad for Key.

      When the article says “limited” this should read non-existent; just the name and address of the NZ trustee is required.

    • Enough is Enough 2.2

      It is a pretty hollow strategy just waiting for Key to bottom out,

      I would like to think we have more to offer than just waiting for the Tories to be goneburgers when Key falls over.

      • International Rescue 2.2.1

        The left’s attacks on Key started very early in his political career. They have no substance at all, including this ill informed opinion piece. The public see right through it, but still the left carry on. I’m not sure if it is a deep disconnect from the broad cross section of NZ’ers, or just plain nastiness.

        Key is rich. He is successful. He is NZ’s most popular, and most likely most successful, PM ever. Suck it up.

        • Macro 2.2.1.1

          and most likely most successful, PM ever.
          Yep!

          Child poverty UP
          Government Debt UP
          Number on Surgical waiting lists UP
          Unemployment UP
          Inequality UP
          Number of homeless UP
          Quality of hospital meals …… Nah
          Number of Cronies appointed to cushy jobs UP
          Number of MPs leaving parliament for “personal reasons” UP
          Number of suicides on farms UP

          Could go on – but frankly its just too depressing.

          The sooner the bastard is gone the better for this country and make no mistake!

          • Dv 2.2.1.1.1

            Forgot 120 billion debt

            • Macro 2.2.1.1.1.1

              2nd on the list dv – I knew you would be looking 😉

            • International Rescue 2.2.1.1.1.2

              So you would not have borrowed to sustain WFF and the rest of the welfare system and boost the economy during a recession?

              • Macro

                I wouldn’t have given people like you a tax cut for a start. And I would have raised the minimum wage to a living wage so there was no need for WFF in the first place.
                Running a low wage economy only results in poverty and the need to prop up bad employers who wont pay their employees a living wage and shouldn’t be in business in the first place.

                • International Rescue

                  Thankfully we don’t have a low wage economy. We have one of the highest minimum wages cf median wage in the OECD.

                  • Macro

                    So no need for WFF then – right!

                    • International Rescue

                      WFF is simply taxing people, removing admin overhead, and then giving those same people their money back. Ludicrous. Introduce a tax free threshold alongside a re-targeting of benefits.

                    • Macro

                      WFF is simply the govt having to prop up people who despite working all hours god has given them and earning a “minimal wage” still cannot afford to live. ie a low wage economy.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    WFF is a direct government subsidy to employers, you moron. How fucked in the head do you have to be to miss that basic truth?

                    You have shit for brains, but don’t worry: that makes you a genius at Cabinet Club.

                    • International Rescue

                      “WFF is a direct government subsidy to employers, you moron.”

                      Ah, no. Employers pay what is required to remain competitive, including attracting good staff. WFF is a poor alternative to tax cuts, or a tax free threshold. Poorly targeted, and poorly implemented.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      An income top-up for those whose wages don’t cover living costs subsidises companies that pay those inadequate wages.

                      If companies all think that high wages make them competitive in the job market, why is there always so much ignorant whinging and whining whenever the minimum wage goes up?

                      WFF subsidises low wages. I note that National have had eight years to can it and take up your suggestions. What’s the matter, did your reckons get outbid at the policy auction?

                    • International Rescue

                      The living costs of an individual are irrelevant to whether a business can afford to pay a certain wage. An individuals lifestyle choices should not determine what a business pays. I recognise your love affair with communism, but here’s a news flash…that system collapsed.

                    • Macro

                      The living costs of an individual are irrelevant to whether a business can afford to pay a certain wage.</blockquote

                      No it's not!

                      http://worksite.actu.org.au/the-harvester-judgement-and-australias-minimum-wage/

                      The result of this judgement in 1907 not only raised living standards for thousands of workers it also had a profound and beneficial effect on the economy.

                      If the business cannot afford to pay a living wage then it seriously needs to consider whether it should be in business.

                    • International Rescue

                      “No it’s not!”

                      Yes, it is. And if the best you have is a quote from 109 years ago, then I rest my case.

                      “If the business cannot afford to pay a living wage then it seriously needs to consider whether it should be in business.”
                      I’m going to frame this quote, it ranks as one of the stupidest. Goodbye thousands of jobs, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    A moron thinks social democracy is Communism? No wonder there are so many psychology papers that find wingnuts are stupid, ignorant people.

                    • International Rescue

                      We have social democracy.

                    • McFlock

                      We have social democracy.

                      No, we have the vestiges of a social democratic system that has been attacked and degraded for thirty years.

                      Wikipedia:

                      Modern social democracy is characterized by a commitment to policies aimed at curbing inequality, oppression of underprivileged groups, and poverty;[12] including support for universally accessible public services like care for the elderly, child care, education, health care and workers’ compensation.[13] The social democratic movement also has strong connections with the labour movement and trade unions, and is supportive of collective bargaining rights for workers as well as measures to extend democratic decision-making beyond politics into the economic sphere in the form of co-determination for employees and other economic stakeholders.[14][15]

                    • International Rescue

                      We have all of a). Unions are irrelevant today, so unnecessary, but there re strong workers protections in NZ.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Dream on, fuckwit: union members get paid higher wages, which makes them very relevant: join a union, get better wages and conditions.

                      Meanwhile, why are you cuddling up to criminal scum like your money laundering Daddy?

          • International Rescue 2.2.1.1.2

            You’ve got just about every one of those stats wrong. And blaming the Govt for MP’s leaving parliament? But the funniest one is the surgical waiting lists. This Govt inherited a disaster in health and has turned that around.

            • Macro 2.2.1.1.2.1

              oh do enlighten me oh knowledgeable one – where do i err? do show me how govt debt has diminished. should it be a negative sign in front of the $120 bn?
              are there less people sleeping in cars these days? could have fooled me.
              why does the latest report on waiting lists say that over 280,000 people are now waiting for surgery ad it is growing?
              I guess it is not the govts fault that they encouraged farmers to borrow heavily and now they are up shit creek without a paddle and about to loose all.
              And of course none of those appointments are in anyway mates of john or anyone in National – “never heard of him/her!”
              And I guess the child poverty of around 28% is pure fabrication. The fact that teachers are now forking out of their own pockets to feed their students is simply propaganda!
              Mate I don’t know what planet you live on – but it certainly isn’t here on Earth or anywhere in NZ.

              • International Rescue

                OK, let’s start with farm suicides. The suggestion that the Govt ‘encouraged farmers to borrow heavily’ is hysterical nonsense. Businesses borrowing decisions are theirs and theirs alone. Not only that, you have absolutely no evidence those suicides were related to financial matters. The overall rate of male suicides increased in 2015, so the farm suicides could be part of a wider trend. Which incidentally we only know about because we started measuring suicide data 8 years ago.

                The rest of your analysis is equally as shoddy.

              • International Rescue

                Surgery Waiting Lists:

                http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/290365/massive-drop-in-surgery-waiting-lists

                “Waiting lists for elective surgery have dropped across the country, with some figures falling by two thirds since January.

                New figures have been released in a report by the Office of the Auditor-General.

                Since January, the number of people waiting more than four months for a specialist assessment fell from 552 to 160.

                The number of people waiting more than four months for treatment, meanwhile, fell from 606 to just over 257.

                The figures were well within the buffer zone and, as at the end of September, more than 99 percent of all patients were treated within assigned timeframes, the report said.”

                Shall I keep going through them all?

                • Macro

                  Oh we are good at cherry picking arn’t we!
                  You know those figures have been shown to be pure bullshit and over a year old. Why did you not use the latest?

                  • International Rescue

                    Oh my goodness you are out of touch. The article is from November 2015. The data is to September 2015. The numbers are not ‘pure bullshit’. Your claims are.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Had surgery recently have you? All you’re doing is demonstrating your ignorance and gullibility.

                    • International Rescue

                      Actually, no, but my father has. Terrific service, short waiting list.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “Short waiting list” which you can only get on if your surgery can be done within four months. Two independent sources (both health professionals) have verified this information to my face.

                    • International Rescue

                      Then they aren’t independent. Because the data and my own experience say you’re wrong.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Independently of one another, in two entirely separate medical practices, dealing with two separate and unrelated medical conditions, in the context of two different patients, one who got on the waiting list and one who didn’t.

                      Either you’re a gullible fool or you’re lying through your teeth.

                      Which is it? Are you a liar or a dupe?

                    • International Rescue

                      It’s just your anecdote. And the link proves nothing. There are far more operations being conducted today than under Labour. I know that irks the left, but they’re the facts.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      A dupe and a liar then.

                    • International Rescue

                      Surgery Waiting Lists:

                      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/290365/massive-drop-in-surgery-waiting-lists

                      “Waiting lists for elective surgery have dropped across the country, with some figures falling by two thirds since January.

                      New figures have been released in a report by the Office of the Auditor-General.

                      Since January, the number of people waiting more than four months for a specialist assessment fell from 552 to 160.

                      The number of people waiting more than four months for treatment, meanwhile, fell from 606 to just over 257.

                      The figures were well within the buffer zone and, as at the end of September, more than 99 percent of all patients were treated within assigned timeframes, the report said.”

                    • McFlock

                      Are you saying the WDHB email was forged? Because that shows you exactly how the waiting lists were gamed: refer back to GP in the alloted time, that counts as a resolution on the case.

                      It’s like ED waiting times all over again – the nats bring in a target, and look the other way when DHBs find it easier to game the target rather than performing miracles with insufficient resources.

                      I hope your dad is ok – he must have been at death’s door to be treated so quickly in the public system. I’ve had family members wait the better part of a year if not longer for orthopaedics.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Too funny. You think that supports your lies? Linked earlier:

                      “Too many acute presentations cannot be managed without cancellation of elective surgery patients.

                      Elective surgery patients cannot be cancelled because of … compliance [with Ministry of Health targets].”

                      Here it is spelled out again:

                      the drive to cut wait times has left 36 percent of patients with moderate to severe pain and disability untreated.

                      Go on, tell some more lies.

                    • International Rescue

                      Thanks for you thoughts about my dad. He has had some nasty basal cell carcinoma’s removed from his scalp. He’s 90, and his recovery from the plastic surgery aftermath is slow.

                      “Are you saying the WDHB email was forged?”

                      No. But there is a huge amount of politics in the health system, and elective surgery always takes a back seat to surgery for acute conditions. The NZ health system faces an increasing demand due largely to an aging population, a huge turnaround in net migration, and the increasing advances in surgical medicine. Not everyone’s needs can be satisfied in full today. There have always been rationing; Annette King shut huge numbers off waiting lists in her time as HM. The criticism of the current system from the left is, in my opinion, sour grapes.

                    • International Rescue

                      “You think that supports your lies?”

                      No, it supports my contention that elective surgery waiting lists are dropping. You’re studiously avoiding confronting the stats, and relying on newspaper headlines. It won’t wash.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      the drive to cut wait times has left 36 percent of patients with moderate to severe pain and disability untreated.

                      Why do you tell so many lies?

                    • International Rescue

                      “the drive to cut wait times has left 36 percent of patients with moderate to severe pain and disability untreated.”

                      Like I said, cite some data abut the actual waiting lists. Like I did. If you’re that gullible to a headline, then you’re wasting my time.

                      “The figures were well within the buffer zone and, as at the end of September, more than 99 percent of all patients were treated within assigned timeframes, the report said.”

                    • International Rescue

                      Have a read of this OAB:

                      http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/50HansQ_20140129_00000010/10-health-services%E2%80%94access-to-elective-surgery

                      That will calm your nerves, and show what a pillock King really is.

                    • McFlock

                      So the email that described how waiting list targets are being gamed is genuine, and you fall back on arguing that it’s all so difficult and expensive and labour did it too.

                      We need better wingnuts.

                    • International Rescue

                      “So the email that described how waiting list targets are being gamed is genuine…”

                      No, I’m saying an email is a personal communication, expressing a personal perspective. I would also note that the emails author contradicts the angle taken by the media on the email.

                      “Dr Cullen told the Weekend Herald he had not expressed himself accurately in the memo. He agreed with Dr Brant’s statement and there was “no inappropriate use of the suspended list” at Waitemata. What he had meant to say was that he had heard that other DHBs used the suspended list in the way he wrote. When asked which DHBs did this, he said he did not know – it was hearsay.”

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11442019

                      Also from that link:

                      “But the DHB’s acting chief executive, Andrew Brant, in a statement to the Weekend Herald yesterday, rejected the memo’s “suspended list” definition.

                      “The ‘suspend’ list is not a hidden list of patients. These are people who require further diagnostic assessment, such as an MRI, before they can be confirmed and listed for surgery.” At April 7, the list contained 341 patients.

                      Dr Brant said no patients who had been given certainty of treatment this year had been returned to the care of their GP and the DHB had met the treatment time requirements for elective surgery. At the end of March, only 14 patients – within the number permitted by the Health Ministry – had been waiting longer than four months for surgery.

                      “Waitemata DHB is performing more elective surgery than ever – volumes are up more than 41 per cent from 2010 to 2014.””

                      I’m interested in the real outcomes, not newspaper headlines.

                    • McFlock

                      It wasn’t personal. It was a professional communication of someone who is directly involved with the system they are talking about.

                      The bosses denied gaming the ED stats, too, and gaming waiting lists the first time around.

                      But your dad got care, so everything must be fine 🙄

                    • International Rescue

                      “It was a professional communication of someone who is directly involved with the system they are talking about.”

                      Which was then clarified by both the author and the head of the DHB. Unfortunately only the headline was quoted.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Either you have no clue how the “waiting list” is constructed, or you’re lying.

                  Surgeons, with a wink and a nod, openly encourage patients to exaggerate their condition in order that they can get on the list at all. The National Party has managed to corrupt the Hippocratic Oath. You fuckers belong in prison, not in government.

                  • International Rescue

                    Read the article. It was Labour who knocked people off waiting lists because they had screwed the health system. National have fixed it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Your lies will convince everyone – except those family members who have had to deal with waiting for weeks or months to even get a date for important surgical procedures.

                      Having said that, both Labour and National have fucked around with and underfunded the health system endlessly.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I have my information directly from a surgeon, and on hearing it, I cross-checked with an optician acquaintance: sure enough.

                      There are people waiting for surgery, who need surgery, who cannot get on the “waiting list”. This is a direct result of National Party policy.

                      Yes, yes, I know you don’t believe that. Why don’t you demonstrate your ignorance and stupidity some more?

                    • International Rescue

                      “There are people waiting for surgery, who need surgery, who cannot get on the “waiting list”. This is a direct result of National Party policy.”

                      From first hand experience, that is absolute bollocks. There is rationing in the health system, and there has to be with medical and surgical advances, but my very personal and recent experience (my father) of the system has been a very good one.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Your father (is he low-life right wing trash like you?) wasn’t refused surgery? Good luck to him. Meanwhile, your Daddy has corrupted the Hippocratic Oath.

                    • International Rescue

                      No, he wasn’t refused. He’s had several surgeries in the past 3 years for cancers on the scalp. All well within a four month timeframe, al at Auckland Hospitla. Wonderful system, wonderful people.

        • Dean Reynolods 2.2.1.2

          ‘Key is most likely (the) most successful PM ever.’
          A stupid, unsubstantiated claim – I challenge you to name 7 achievements of Key’s over the last 7 years which have improved every New Zealanders’ living standards.

          • Mosa 2.2.1.2.1

            NONE It is Helens policies that are keeping people afloat
            Ironically it’s kept Key in office after declaring it communism by stealth for seven years

            • International Rescue 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Helen’s policies?

              Helen’s policies had NZ going into recession with high interest and inflation rate. A remarkable achievement on the scale of economic incompetence.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Meanwhile, on Earth, the Treasury department blames a drought, and both Bill English and John Key acknowledged that Lab5 had left the economy in good shape to weather the coming storm. “This is the rainy day the government has been saving up for”.

                I’ve linked to these facts so many times its not funny. Are you hoping that telling your lies enough times will make them go away?

                Learn some recent history, fool.

                • International Rescue

                  You didn’t read what I wrote. The country was heading into recession (the reasons are irrelevant) and Labour was taxing and spending so much we had high interest and inflation rates. Incompetence.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Ok, fuckwit, looks like I’ll have to rub your face in it.

                    I want to stress that New Zealand starts from a reasonable position in dealing with the uncertainty of our economic outlook.

                    Why do you tell so many lies?

                    • International Rescue

                      Why didn’t you give the full quote?

                      “In New Zealand we have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for,”

                      English was referring to NZ’s debt levels, not our inflation and interest rates.

                      Is dishonesty a perpetual with you?

                    • McFlock

                      So Labour had saved up for a rainy day while taxing and spending?

                      You’re a stupid piece of shit.

          • International Rescue 2.2.1.2.2

            Neither stupid nor unsubstantiated. No other Govt, no other PM could have steered the country through the recession as Key has.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.3

      How? Profit from the sale of a London Flat would not be income in NZ (unless he’s bought it with the intention of re-sale at a profit, which he almost certainly did not and in which case the vehicle that owned it would make not difference).

      UK capital gains tax would have to have been paid.

  3. Ben 3

    From memory a certain Labour leader had a secret trust fund, and failed to disclose who its donors were. I wonder who organised that for him.

    Yet again the Left are being distracted and diverted by ‘gotcha politics’, and yet again the Left will be disappointed when the polls (yes, those pesky polls) show that what the public wants is for Labour to stand on their own merit, and not elevate themselves by trying to make others look bad.

    With a rating of -93%, it is obvious that people are sick of Little barking at every passing car. New week, new car, same bark.

    • dv 3.1

      SO Ben you don’t approve of secret trust funds then.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      And the RWNJ comes in with the But, BUT, BUT, Labour did it TOOOO…. When they, you know, actually didn’t.

      And National always puts others down and never tries to raise themselves up. Ben’s comment is just another example of that. It’s psychological projection that National and National supporters always drag out when they know that they’ve been caught being scum.

      • Ben 3.2.1

        “And the RWNJ comes in with the But, BUT, BUT, Labour did it TOOOO…. When they, you know, actually didn’t.”

        You don’t have to look far to you know, see that they actually did.

        http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Duncan-Garner-Is-David-Cunliffe-a-fake/tabid/674/articleID/40989/Default.aspx etc etc

        Let’s give all the MPs the same attention that Key is getting. Won’t that be a fun and drawn out process.

        • McFlock 3.2.1.1

          Was it supposed to be a blind trust?

          I don’t agree with trusts being used to gather donations that should be public, but at the same time it’s not the same as having a “blind” trust to avoid conflicts of interest in parliamentary votes and still knowing what you own through the trust, so it’s not really “blind” and you still have a conflict of interest.

    • Anne 3.3

      @ Ben
      Yeah $9500 wasn’t it? Something to do with a few donors to Cunliffe’s leadership campaign wanting to remain anonymous so he set up a [very] temporary trust to ensure their anonymity. Oh dear, the naughty, naughty boy!!!! And didn’t the hoi polloi of the media world have a ball:

      http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/top-tweets-about-david-cunliffes-labour-leadership-trust-fund-dc-152760

      Suggest a few of these tweets are thrown back into their faces!

      • Ben 3.3.1

        Perception Anne, perception.

        • adam 3.3.1.1

          Perception is an interesting point, perception is in your context the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted.

          Then OK, David Cunliffe, used a trust to protect individuals from people who would hound them.

          Which I think most people agree is one of the few occasions when a trust is used legitimately to hide behind.

          Where as the perception, of John Key and others of massive wealth, is they are using trusts to hide money, and not pay taxes.

          I think you have just giving us a working example of Public Relation double speak Ben. That is when you try and mix perceptions together to create confusion, and give venal people the benefit of the doubt, when reality dictates they have acted unscrupulously.

          Or let me put that in another form for you – You speak with the tongue of the deceiver.

          • International Rescue 3.3.1.1.1

            “…of John Key and others of massive wealth…”

            And there you have it. The envy is oozing out.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1.1.1

              It’s not envy – it’s disgust with these arrogant, selfish arseholes and their fanbois.

              • International Rescue

                No, it’s envy. It’s the ‘rich prick’ syndrome. And no-one’s buying it.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So, you think you can tell me what I’m feeling?

                  I can assure you that it’s anger and disgust with how these aresholes are destroying society and the environment for their own aggrandizement and enrichment. That anger and disgust goes even deeper for the fanbois.

                  • International Rescue

                    I can assure you you’re feelings are transparent for the simple reason that you have no evidence that John Key is “destroying society and the environment for their own aggrandizement and enrichment.” If anything, NZ is considerably better off than before Key took office.

                    • Dean Reynolods

                      ‘NZ is considerably better off than before key took office.’
                      How often do you visit planet earth?

                    • Macro

                      Tell us how NZ is, in your opinion, “Better off” – we would love to know.

                    • seeker

                      @international rescue 4.09pm

                      You are wrong

                    • Mike S

                      ” If anything, NZ is considerably better off than before Key took office.”

                      Evidence please. Put up or shut up.

                      Or at least please tell us what measures you would use to determine whether NZ is better or worse off than before Key took office so we can try and find that evidence ourselves.

                    • Liberal Realist

                      If anything, NZ is considerably better off than before Key took office.

                      Really? How about:

                      If anything, NZ was considerably better off before Key took office.

                      FIFY 🙂

                    • International Rescue

                      “If anything, NZ was considerably better off before Key took office.”

                      Nope. Lower interest rates, lower inflation, wages growing ahead of costs, higher employment…

                    • International Rescue

                      “If anything, NZ was considerably better off before Key took office.”

                      Nope. Lower interest rates, lower inflation, wages growing ahead of costs, higher employment…

                    • International Rescue

                      “Or at least please tell us what measures you would use to determine whether NZ is better or worse off than before Key took office so we can try and find that evidence ourselves.”

                      Interest rates.
                      Annual inflation.
                      Employment numbers.
                      Net migration.
                      Choice in education.
                      Incomes rising faster than costs.

                      I could go. The list, after all, is quite long.

                    • International Rescue

                      “Tell us how NZ is, in your opinion, “Better off” – we would love to know.”

                      More people employed.

                      Lower cost of living increases.

                      Lower interest rates.

                      Lower tax rates.

                      I’ll post more if need be.

                    • pat

                      LOL….this John Key?

            • adam 3.3.1.1.1.2

              International Rescue, what are you saying?

              The English language is full of descriptive words. Indeed one of it’s strengths as a languages, is the purely analytical nature of English words.

              So what I wrote was noting more than what is being reported. it’s not the middle class, nor the poor using these trusts. Actually, if you look at the reporting, it’s not even the wealthy. It’s the massively wealthy, the über-rich if you like.

              It’s just two words, but to you I’m envious.

              So the fact I have love, companionship, and family – means I’m pretty much fulfilled. Here’s a hint, I don’t do envy, it’s bad for the soul.

              Is it being tethered to materialism that leaves you feeling so devoid of real human emotions, and empathy? That same materialism that means you can only define the world in greedy, and self absorbed ways?

          • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1.2

            +1

        • framu 3.3.1.2

          “they actually did.”

          and theres you claiming certainty

          which is it?

    • swordfish 3.4

      ” … with a rating of – 93″

      Ha-haaa ! Love the outrageous Spin (not to mention the attempted de-rail)

    • joe90 3.5

      I wonder who organised that for him.

      Nice wee balance fairy there Benny.
      /

    • Bearded Git 3.6

      Key’s rating is now -61% and dropping.

      Wait till the public realise that Key’s lawyer is a major player in the overseas trust scam.

      • Reddelusion 3.6.1

        Here we go another “just wait” When will you lot learn, what’s that saying about insanity in regard to repeating the same shite over and over again and expecting a different result, JKDS is a manifestation of such, but keep on pumping yourselves up its fun reading

  4. Heather Tanguay 4

    An excellent account of all the recent happening with John Key and his financial deals and money go round.
    It’s all in perception, this does not look good for New Zealanders.
    New Zealanders do not like to be embarrassed on the world stage, and we sure are being embarrassed at the moment. No matter where you are standing this does not look good. A blind trust may be quite legal, but why is it blind? because they do not want people to know what is going on inside the blind trust.
    New Zealanders like fairness, well most of us do. This does not seem like fairness, all this extra money sloshing around. We like people to pay their tax, like we do and we like to see the results from that tax for example good hospital meals, not like the horrible food being served in Dunedin and other places.
    I find it interesting that John’s friends and other ministers are not supporting him in this, I have not heard any of them speak for him.
    What is that I hear? – is that the rattling sound of the cutlery drawer?

  5. wyndham 5

    Key made a personal fortune of over $50 million whilst working at Merrill Lynch. That’s a place where you gamble with other peoples money.

    Where would he invest such a large sum ? Pads in Parnell and Hawaii only touch the fringe.It doesn’t seem to be in the “blind” trust.

    What’s your bet ?

    • Reddelusion 5.1

      That’s funny I thought it’ was an investment bank, that raised and underwrite capital raising provided Wealth management and other financial services including risk management eg Fx exposure while also trading on its own account. All supporting markets and main street as part of financial service sector

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        Yep, gambling with other people’s money.

        • International Rescue 5.1.1.1

          All approved by those ‘other people’, and all perfectly legal. Why does someone being rich irk the left so much?

          • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1

            Might be that poverty kills children when others are loaded and could have saved them. That’ll be it. Dead babies tend to upset people.

            • The Other Mike 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Zactly. And the reason the ‘plebs’ are upset, but not surprised, at the latest proof in the Panama Papers the very rich are stealing from us all to the tune of trillions..

            • International Rescue 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Unless you can link poverty to John Key’s work at ML, which you can’t, then try another angle. This one isn’t working.

              • McFlock

                What does ML stand for again? What did that company do?
                There’s your answer. Key was part of that machine.

          • Mike S 5.1.1.1.2

            It’s not about being rich, it’s about the harm caused in becoming rich and the future harm that will be caused by becoming more and more rich.

            Because the making money from money world of currency trading, derivatives, etc,etc is completely unproductive to society and sucks exponentially increasing amounts of money out of the real, productive economy of goods and services and that money rarely returns.

            The downstream effects on the real economy are unemployment, under-investment in productive activities, increasing inequality, less social services and so on.

            Key’s role as a currency trader / investment banker enriches a few individuals and offered no benefits to society as a whole whatsoever, yet he is rewarded with massive financial gain of millions of dollars. On the flip side, people like firefighters, teachers, nurses, etc, who’s work is infinitely more beneficial to society, might be paid a pittance in comparison and struggle to get by.

            Does that seem like an economic / financial system that is functioning well to you?

            • International Rescue 5.1.1.1.2.1

              “Because the making money from money world of currency trading, derivatives, etc,etc is completely unproductive to society and sucks exponentially increasing amounts of money out of the real, productive economy of goods and services and that money rarely returns.”

              Trading in currencies IS a service. And one freely and legally engaged in.

              “Key’s role as a currency trader / investment banker enriches a few individuals and offered no benefits to society as a whole whatsoever, yet he is rewarded with massive financial gain of millions of dollars. ”

              You could say the same about reality TV stars, certain sports stars, union officials….

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Liars can and do say all sorts of things, and your point is? That you think union staff are paid seven figures?

                🙄

          • Liberal Realist 5.1.1.1.3

            All approved by those ‘other people’, and all perfectly legal. Why does someone being rich irk the left so much?

            Might be because they got rich and continue to get richer whilst not paying their fair share.

            The right seem to forget that all of the infrastructure that allows a market economy to function (Ya know, stuff like roads, railways, hospitals, schools etc.) was and is paid for with taxation revenue. The rich consider it a right to benefit from the infrastructure and institutions that support a market economy but don’t want to pay for it – hence, they use financial tools (such as trusts) to ‘shield’ their wealth from the tax man.

            I personally do not have any problem with people becoming rich, as long as they’ve earned their wealth legitimately, legally and pay their fair share back to the society that allowed them to acquire their wealth in the first place.

            Pretty simple isn’t it?

            • International Rescue 5.1.1.1.3.1

              “Might be because they got rich and continue to get richer whilst not paying their fair share.”

              How do you know? Do you have an insight into John Key’s finances to evidence he hasn’t paid his fair share?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                When asked about it, he uses a lot of ‘qualifiers’. What does that tell you?

                The response from the wealthy set in Europe is instructive: “everyone does it, nothing to see here”. They stress the (albeit dubious) legality of what they’re doing.

                Key lobbied personally for the 2011 law change. Like so many of the things he’s done, this was against official advice. I care less about the tax evasion (which is bad enough) than I do about the money laundering for terrorists and criminals.

                Cui bono?

    • Plan B 5.2

      The 50 million has never rung true to me. I think he left Merrill Lynch before pay went completely crazy.
      I think he will have made far more money during his time as PM than he did previously and all Tax-Free, as they are capital gains. Just guessing.

      • Smilin 5.2.1

        50mil was a PR stunt from CT cause nobody knew who the F Key was, just the idiot alternative to Helen because she was too tough on the right wing ,they had to be democratic, god that irked them so much for 9 yrs ,just look back at Keys insanity in the house when he became leader almost like watching Hitler

      • Smilin 5.2.2

        Why has so much dodgy shit come to light since Key became PM ?
        IS IT HIM exposing it or what ?or is he the financial messiah he makes himself out to be? Nah dont be funny hes in this world banking corruption up to his neck
        Start there and work it back I think you will find what most of us have
        Key is not doing his job for this country properly because he doesnt know how and has only one aim to destroy the previous 9 yrs of Labour and create bluetopia for the rich that put him here in our country

  6. slumbergod 6

    John Key fits the profile for a business psychopath. He is dangerous because he has no empathy for anyone else. Can he be trusted? errm, No!

  7. Anno1701 7

    That photo is hilarious, It almost looks like JK has his hand somewhere “inappropriate ”
    and Hosking is thinking to himself ” grit your teeth and bear it Mike, hes just bought a bottle of wine you owe him this”

  8. John Monro 8

    John Key has had “some terribly bad luck recently” – a nice line in irony, thank you. What we may be seeing at last the Teflon being worn away and the rather tatty person that it’s been protecting for so long beginning to show through. It’s totally bizarre that John Key’s wealth has escaped scrutiny from the media for so many years. His blind trust is supposedly non-beneficial. Does that mean now , or for ever? Is this blind trust held for his own family, in which case the definition of non-beneficial is being stretched to absurdity. Not one of he declared assets is given a value – this is not reasonable. Because if we really knew what was going on, we’d realise straight away that when John Key reduced income tax when he came into office, he probably saved himself tax of around $100,000 p.a. Additionally his refusal to have a capital gains tax has probably save him many millions of dollars. John Key is the most solipsistic and self-interested man in Parliament, everything he does is done for the glory and advancement of John Key, and if his capitalist cronies advance as well, so much to the good. Only now, when the media are being forced to face some reality, do we start hearing some comments from them. The NZ media are corrupt and supine.

    • wyndham 8.1

      Absolutely right, John Monro. Key has never been about the good of this country or the welfare of its people; it’s all about John Key.
      The carefully organised facade is a product of spin. Along the way many good folk have been totally used by this pathologically self-centered man including the young lass from McGechan Close and latterly some topline All Blacks. They are quickly put aside once Key’s purpose has been served.
      It’s the way Key has besmirched the reputation of this country that upsets me as an older New Zealander who can recall political leaderships based on decency coupled with concern for all our citizens. There is something grimy and underhand about Key. Above all, for me, Key appears incapable of giving a straight answer when questions arise as to his probity. He besmirches the character of the questioner and resorts to immature quips. He is indeed a hollow man.
      Ugh!

    • Leftie 8.2

      Many +1’s John Munro

  9. NZJester 9

    Can we trust John Key?

    I trust him as much as I trust a fox to guard a hen house!

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    I think Key will take a hit from this saga, and National too, but less so.

    The third parties will be the main beneficiaries from Key’s weakness.

    • swordfish 10.1

      Significant voter fatigue with Key and the Government (Key’s already down to his lowest Preferred PM and Favourability ratings – he now has almost equal numbers holding unfavourable vs favourable views of him. That’s unprecedented. Back in his First term he had huge net positive ratings on Favourability and Performance and was still doing pretty well in 2014. Not anymore).

      And yet voters are still reasonably comfortable with the current overall direction (not enthusiastic nor uncritical, but not up in arms either) and, crucially, they don’t yet perceive a competent alternative government in the Opposition.

      Open mike 13/04/2016

      Open mike 13/04/2016

      • Puddleglum 10.1.1

        Agreed. The immediate spike in Labour’s polling after Cunliffe became leader was evidence back in 2013 that there was latent dissatisfaction with Key that was looking for an alternative.

        To some extent NZ First has probably also benefitted from that latent dissatisfaction.

        • swordfish 10.1.1.1

          Cunliffe: Yeah and that’s why it was a little disappointing to see Danyl at The Dim Post (a couple of days ago) pushing the kind of rhetorical strategies much favoured by the Hooton/Farrar/Slater Brigade: namely, Labour’s “poll results under the centrist leadership of Shearer went as high as 36%. Then he was rolled, Cunliffe took the Party to the Left, and they wound up in the mid 20s.”

          in terms of Monthly averages, Shearer’s Labour reached a high of 35% in March 2013, before falling to an average of 31-32% during his final three months as leader (June, July, Aug 2013).

          in contrast, Cunliffe immediately lifted Labour’s monthly average back up to 35% (reaching 38% in some individual polls) and Labour’s average remained above Shearer’s 31-32% level right through to February 2014. Really only started to sink below 30% at the end of the second quarter of 2014, the relentless series of mini-scandals enveloping Cunliffe (via MSM/Dirty politics) + an unusually well-received Budget = drove Labour’s support hard into the ground. Pretty likely the same would have happened to (let’s face it, a particularly hapless and ill-prepared) Shearer.

        • swordfish 10.1.1.2

          On Cunliffe: Disappointing to see Danyl at The Dim Post pushing the kind of rhetorical strategy usually associated with Hooton/Farrar/Slater: namely, that Labour’s “poll results under the Centrist leadership of Shearer went as high as 36%. Then he was rolled, Cunliffe took the Party to the Left, and they wound up in the mid 20s.”

          All true, but highly de-contextualised. In terms of monthly poll averages, Shearer’s Labour reached its apex in March 2013 (35%), before falling to a 31-32% average during his final three months at the helm.

          Cunliffe then immediately drives the Party’s average up to 35% for three of his first four months as Leader (occasionally reaching 38% in individual polls), the average remains above Shearer’s 31-32% right through to February 2014, and only falls below 30% in June – after the series of MSM / Dirty politics mini-scandals enveloping Cunliffe.

          And yet the mythology continues …

          • swordfish 10.1.1.2.1

            Ha Haaa !

            First comment disappeared into the ether last Night, so re-composed this morning. Now the original turns up like a bad penny.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Cunliffe then screwed up his Leadership by, amongst other things, trying to appease the ABC crowd – whom the membership had voted overwhelmingly against – instead of striking out on his own path.

              • Olwyn

                Cunliffe had very little time to establish the conditions he needed to effectively take the direction he seemed to have in mind. To get out of political snooker you need a big bunch of enthusiasts behind you, who will disregard media attempts to discredit you, blow the whistle on your detractors and will keep up the fight on your behalf. To build such a following takes time, and the followers themselves need to understand as well that real change always involves effort and commitment – it is never just a matter of passive approval.

                • Colonial Viper

                  He didn’t have time and he had to act fast and act accordingly.

                  Instead he surrounded himself with his enemies and let the raw goodness and hope built up from his popular membership support over the leadership race to wither on the vine.

                  Grant Robertson being a much better political operator would never have made those errors. That’s why I reckon GR2020 (if not before).

                  • Olwyn

                    I do not associate Grant Robertson with the pursuit of change that genuinely challenges the establishment, though I may be underestimating him. If you have the establishment on side you do not have the same problems, though an enthusiastic movement is also less likely to build around you. Remember that Grant Robertson lost two leadership elections when faced with popular movements involving only Labour Party members, despite his ability to call in media favours, court the influential, etc.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Agree with your perspective. But even as GR has lost those leadership contests, he has solidified his hold throughout the party. And there is no one left who can beat him in the next leadership challenge.

                      And yes, GR is a creature of the establishment.

                    • Olwyn

                      To me, the whole Labour caucus needs to get out of snooker. If, as you think, Grant Robertson now has a vice-like grip on the caucus, you are speaking of a majority among roughly 34 people, who have been in their roles for at least 8 years, often many more, with only incremental changes in personnel over that time. To remain in the running, they need to bring in new faces, which will inevitably dilute GR’s assumed grip on the caucus. If they cannot achieve that, your GR2020 prediction is likely to involve GR presiding over a much diminished party, with even less popular prestige than it now enjoys. So, as much as my sympathies lie with the Corbyn-Sanders movements, I want to see the Labour vote strengthen with Little at the helm, since I see that as the only way Labour can remain viable and regain momentum.

              • swordfish

                Yeah, he was a disappointment after the heady days of those initial 2 or 3 months in late 2013. Made a few blunders, subject to relentless MSM attacks, managed to muddy the waters on policy and vision (via, as you say, ABC appeasement).

                Didn’t help, though, that the fundamental mood of the Country was beginning to turn even before Cunliffe took over – rapid rise in economic confidence over the second half of 2013 and throughout most of 2014, for instance. At the same time, however, a noticeable increase in concerns about inequality registered in the polls. So there were still a few openings for Labour and the Left. But they needed to appear credible and competent.

                Despite all their bluster, the Nats were worried through most of 2012-13. Economic confidence severely down from the immediate post-2011 Election period right up until mid-2013, increasing numbers telling pollsters the Country was heading in the wrong direction, a majority telling Fairfax Ipsos they wanted a change of Government. And hence the Opposition Bloc finding itself highly competitive again – frequently leading in the polls (regardless of Labour’s fluctuations).

                • Colonial Viper

                  Agree. But I’ll suggest another viewpoint.

                  Strategically, Cunliffe should have made winning that election a secondary priority – because it was unlikely given the fractious nature of his caucus.

                  His primary objective should have been to unassailably secure his party position as Leader of the Opposition.

                  Again, GR will not make any such error.

              • Magisterium

                Cunliffe screwed up his Leadership by, amongst other things, being literally the worst campaigner in the world.

    • Leftie 10.2

      Not if msm and the pollsters have anything to do with it. Expect the planet key polls with its unrealistic figures of support and declarations of “nothing dents John key” accompanied by “National can now govern alone” spin, despite the fact that National has been unable to achieve that in the past 3 elections, 2 of which were dodgy.

  11. Dean Reynolods 11

    Photo caption for Key & Hoskings should read – ‘Two short arses with thinning hair & shrinking credibility.’

  12. Leftie 12

    “should cash up their investments so that there is no possibility that the decisions they make may improve their material worth”

    Way too late, John key has been happily doing that from the beginning.

  13. Leftie 13

    “Can we trust John Key?”

    NO.

    John key was neither trustworthy nor honest to begin with.

  14. Macro 14

    Can we trust John Key?

    In a word. No!
    Have we ever been able to trust him?
    We can trust him to look after himself and maybe his mates, but other than that – No.

  15. BM 15

    Trust him more than Andrew Little.

    Andrew Little’s been earning top money for a long time, yet doesn’t seem to have much to show for it, I find that very suspicious.

    What’s he been doing with his money?

    • Macro 15.1

      And I spent all my money on wine and women.

      The rest I just wasted.

      We need better trolls.

    • dv 15.2

      Here the point BM, you CAN legitimately asl such questions about Little BUT can’t ask the same about Key because you have the info about Litlle, BUT not Key

    • Leftie 15.3

      So you want to know all about Andrew Little’s money, but you are not interested in John key’s, despite the fact, that as PM, he is supposedly accountable to us.

      Andrew Little has put his money where his mouth is and fronted up. Showing honesty and transparency makes Andrew Little a hell of lot more trustworthy than John key, who is a compulsive liar and serial deceiver BM. How can you trust someone as untrustworthy as John key?

      • BM 15.3.1

        All we got was his income statements, where’s the rest of it?

        • Leftie 15.3.1.1

          What makes you think there’s more? Andrew Little has fronted up and provided tax records dating back to 2010, so where is John key’s? He is the PM and is supposed to be accountable to us. Why aren’t you asking for John key’s tax records?

          • Bg 15.3.1.1.1

            PAYE accounts not tax returns. Sadly Andy doesn’t know the difference. And he wants to control the country’s cheque book?

            • Leftie 15.3.1.1.1.1

              I never said tax returns, I said tax records. Salary and Wage earners with PAYE deductions, and interest and dividends taxed at source do not require a tax return. Andrew Little has shown he is paying his fair share of tax and is not filing to have it back. That is what you right wingers are refusing to see. Sadly its you who doesn’t have a clue.

              Look at the FAILURES the key National government has made having control over this country’s cheque book. What an economic debt ridden shambles for future governments to sort out, and its going to take generations, if it ever does.

    • stigie 15.4

      Correct BM, all that EPMU money being earned from the low paid workers..?

    • weka 15.5

      “Andrew Little’s been earning top money for a long time, yet doesn’t seem to have much to show for it, I find that very suspicious.

      What’s he been doing with his money?”

      Citation needed for Little’s income over the past 7 years (i.e. what do you mean by ‘top’?). And for him not having much to show for it.

      • Smilin 15.5.1

        If he is and I think he is as honest as Mr Average Kiwi he will be as broke as the rest of us under Key “the crook”

      • BM 15.5.2

        Andrew Littles gross income over the last seven years is

        $1,159,774
        That’s over a million dollars in income, yet no assets apart from what looks like a fairly modest house in island bay Wellington and that’s apparently still got a mortgage on it.

        (ANZ -Booooooo supporting a Australian bank, where’s his loyalty !!!)

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/78836990/andrew-littles-tax-returns-as-boring-as-he-promised

        What’s he done with his money?

        • Nessalt 15.5.2.1

          Do you think Andrew little let a MARKET rate decide his mortgage? whats good for the goose must be good for the gander

        • dv 15.5.2.2

          Well done BM
          One correct statement

          1.5m is indeed over 1 million

          I am impressed

        • weka 15.5.2.3

          What are his living costs? You need to convert teh gross income into net, otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

          • adam 15.5.2.3.1

            Andrew has a child as well, plus pets as well weka – Must be hard for the high flying trolls to imagine living expenses.

            Is that tears I see over the media pointing out the plainly obvious BM and Nessalt.

            Poor poppet’s – Andrew is squeaky clean, it must burn he not as corrupt as your boy.

            • weka 15.5.2.3.1.1

              Plus a mortgage and two superannuation schemes.

              High flying trolls? I though BM was starting to sound downright jealous of all this money that Little has 😉

              as an aside, I didn’t know Little had a child, and I’m not sure if I even know if he is married. Interesting because it’s so unimportant but compare that to how Helen Clark got treated.

        • Colonial Viper 15.5.2.4

          Andrew Littles gross income over the last seven years is

          $1,159,774

          Yep, that’s the territory of the top 1% (just).

          Having said that I reckon Key is in the territory of the 1% of the 1%.

          That’s a whole other ball game which makes those earning $200K per year look like beggars.

    • fender 15.6

      Yeah your suspicions are justified, being an ex banker and trader/gambler Little probably spent it on cocaine and prostitutes.

      Tell your mate whalefail!

    • Rob 15.7

      John Key was worth 50M when he went into politics and they still say he is worth about that much
      That was 14 years ago
      Well go figure he must have put his money with Mossarck Fonseca!!

  16. Smilin 16

    Lovely picture of Dopey and Dopier

  17. Smilin 17

    NO we cant trust John Key his working life has everything to do with the sink the poor banking policies since 1984 and prior to that
    Its been all about power for the 1% and their credibility in holding on to that power

  18. weka 18

    Micky, I really apprecite this post and very good explanation and background. Have been struggling to follow some of the bigger Panama story, but this part is very clear.

  19. McFlock 19

    “Earl of Auckland”? Seriously?
    Fuck, talk about inadequacy issues in our prime minister…

  20. Leftie 20

    Amazing coincidences
    November 23rd, 2010

    “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.”

    <a href="/amazing-coincidences/

    John Key and his vineyard investments Wednesday 26 May 2010

    <a href="http://www.newshub.co.nz/opinion/patrick-gower/john-key-and-his-vineyard-investments-2010052616#axzz45ZTY2uvW

  21. International Rescue 21

    “Having as a director of the trustee someone who heads a business which proclaims itself to be a specialist provider of trustee and associated services for foreign trusts using New Zealand as their jurisdiction of choice really makes you wonder if some of Aldgate/Whitechapel’s funds have been invested in foreign trusts.”

    So your entire piece is based on your ‘wonderings’? No evidence. No paper trail. No facts. This is the sort of rant that adds full % points to Key’s popularity.

    • McFlock 21.1

      So do you read the entire post and then carefully extract a short quote that you can go off on your own wee drug-trip about, or do you just randomly pick a paragraph and mash it into your own idiotic key-love?

      Because it looks like you didn’t read the post, check any of the links, or examine the photo for any time longer than it took you to masturbate while gazing into dunnokeyo’s empty eyes.

      • International Rescue 21.1.1

        Oh I read the entire post. It is a speculative hit with no factual support. And I could have picked on any number of comments within the piece, such as “There may be semantic arguments about its exact status but clearly it has become a haven for people trying to avoid paying tax in their home nation” and shown them to be demonstrably untrue. But I just happened to select the one that showed up the narrative for what it is. A leftie hate rant that just keeps adding to Key’s popular support. When will you learn?

        • weka 21.1.1.1

          Irrespective of what you agree or disagree with in the post, the fact that you are spinning micky’s considered ponderings as a rant makes everything else you say irrelevant.

          • International Rescue 21.1.1.1.1

            When you resort to ‘wondering’ in the absence of any evidence at all, it is a rant. And not that considered.

            • Puckish Rogue 21.1.1.1.1.1

              Fairs fair, if theres anyone that knows about trusts its MickySavage 🙂

            • weka 21.1.1.1.1.2

              “When you resort to ‘wondering’ in the absence of any evidence at all, it is a rant. And not that considered.”

              That’s not what the word rant means.

              “speak or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way”

              Micky didn’t do that. You on the other hand are getting close.

              Read the title of the post. It’s a question. The whole post is a question. It’s saying, this is a man who many people don’t trust, and here are some more things to consider. It contains opinion and backs that up with credible references. All I can see from your comments is that you don’t like what is being said. That’s fine, but don’t misrepresent what is being done here. You could also try presenting a counter argument beyond trying to smear micky and make out the post is something it isn’t. Put up some evidence-based opinion of your own.

              • International Rescue

                “Micky didn’t do that. ”

                That’s exactly what he did. The post is angry and irrational.

                “The whole post is a question.”
                No, it’s innuendo, thinly disguised.

                “It’s saying, this is a man who many people don’t trust, and here are some more things to consider.”
                What things? Gossip. Rumour. Unsubstantiated ‘wonderings’.

                “It contains opinion and backs that up with credible references. ”
                No it doesn’t. Otherwise I wouldn’t be calling it out.

                • McFlock

                  You’ve been calling out “wolf” for a while now, and still there’s never been so much as a mildly-irked poodle wandering the streets.

                  Like your namesake, you’re just a poorly-guided wooden puppet that jumps at the call of the landed gentry ito protect the investment value of multinational coporations.

                • weka

                  You’re not calling it out. You’re just going wah wah I don’t like it, he’s wrong. Whatever. I’m bored now. Come back when you can put up an actual argument.

                • Hi International Rescue,

                  Could you please highlight the parts of the post that were ‘angry’?

                  And what parts were ‘irrational’.

                  I’ve had a look and they don’t jump out at me.

                  • International Rescue

                    Angry…most of the article. It’s tone is typical of the left wing angst about Key’s success.

                    Irrational…linking child poverty with wealthy foreigners having money in NZ trusts. There’s more, but that’s a good start.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You think the kind of low-life trash who pander to organised crime give a toss about poverty? Your money-laundering party is over, scum.

                    • International Rescue

                      Who are you referring to? The only organised crime I’m aware of here is unions who dont pay over their tax deductions.

  22. Puckish Rogue 22

    So a flat got sold and the money deposited into his lawyers firms accounts and then presumably paid out

    That’s how it supposed to happen isn’t it?

    Keep barking at the passing cars lefties, it hasn’t worked since 2007 but nows the time it’ll work! 🙂

    • dv 22.1

      OK so far PR, But where did the money go after that- i.e. the payout.

      • Puckish Rogue 22.1.1

        Beats me, this is all conjecture. I don’t even know if there was a flat, I’m just giving a more than valid reason as to what could have happened (although he does/did have a London flat)

        However for the sake of argument lets say it did happen like that then the proceeds of that sale would be subjected to UK law I’d have thought and nothing to do with NZ

        By the by, have a read of this:

        http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/04/panama-papers-tax-havens-world/477042/

        Theres some graphs in there that might be of interest

        • International Rescue 22.1.1.1

          Yes, these graphs show this as the left wing beat up most people realise it is.

          • Leftie 22.1.1.1.1

            Desperate much? Stupid comment there IR. Its not a left wing beat up.

            • International Rescue 22.1.1.1.1.1

              If you read the cite in PR’s post, you’ll see how well placed NZ is on the international transparency scales.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Cuddling up to money laundering crims, because your Daddy says he’s relaxed about it.

                Do you pay for your own vaseline too?

              • Leftie

                The spin doesn’t stack up with reality IR. TransparencyNZ has a lot to do with those fudged stats.

                • International Rescue

                  The reality is as presented. Call it what you like. You might not like it, but try to refute it.

          • adam 22.1.1.1.2

            I’m quickly coming to the conclusion International Rescue is a PR mole from some odd ball wing of corporatism.

            Throwing all sorts of lies and innuendoes to see what sticks.

            It’s like back to the bad old days of McCarthyism – what next son were all communist hell bent on selling New Zealand to…

            Oh wait thats your lot, the sellers and wreckers.

          • pat 22.1.1.1.3

            Hows things going in the “lucky country” IR? Made the front page yet?

  23. TC 23

    Rhetorical question mickey, even discouting all his banksta past he’s lied to the public on so many occasions blip could create a site devoted to his BS.

  24. ABSack 24

    Hilarious stuff, must fly – will pop back in another couple of years to see the same lefties spinning the same shit the same way and wondering why no one wants Labour in power. Except Colonial Viper, since Dunedin Labour shat on him, he seems to have learned a lesson or two. Probably by then he will be a National Party member. Anyway, toodles!

  25. saveNZ 25

    Good article about why Key needs to come clean!
    The 1% hide their money offshore – then use it to corrupt our democracy by Aditya Chakrabortty

    “Because at root, the Panama Papers are not about tax. They’re not even about money. What the Panama Papers really depict is the corruption of our democracy.

    Following on from LuxLeaks, the Panama Papers confirm that the super-rich have effectively exited the economic system the rest of us have to live in. Thirty years of runaway incomes for those at the top, and the full armoury of expensive financial sophistication, mean they no longer play by the same rules the rest of us have to follow. Tax havens are simply one reflection of that reality. Discussion of offshore centres can get bogged down in technicalities, but the best definition I’ve found comes from expert Nicholas Shaxson who sums them up as: “You take your money elsewhere, to another country, in order to escape the rules and laws of the society in which you operate.” In so doing, you rob your own society of cash for hospitals, schools, roads…”

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/commentisfree/2016/apr/10/money-offshore-corrupt-democracy-political-influence?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H&utm_term=166567&subid=13842748&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

  26. Magisterium 26

    It all comes down to sovereignty, just like the TPPA.

  27. reason 27

    An invisible cycle way and tax haven status for rich criminals ……………. you have to admit Keys legacy is diverse….

    Key has burnt off any trust/honesty rating s he ever had on everything from Mike sabins ‘resignation’ circumstances, Jihadi brides, slagging Nicky Hager, the gcsb….. or indeed a whole Blip list of lies and misleading statements from him stretching back to the Hollow men days when National partnered up with the exclusive brethren for 1 million dollars of illegal electioneering.

    His extremely high dishonesty rating has not hurt him in the elections ………. if we ignore northland.

    A good proportion of National voters and certainly their donors would probably support ‘dirty hot’ money sourced from criminals, human traffickers etc coming into our country if they got to clip the ticket or it pushed up their house prices…. But they like the National party are the minority of New Zealanders.

    The nats nasty brand of greedy incompetence in things like the boom-bust dairy explosion and predictable collapse have degraded so many things in New Zealand from our rivers being toxic, our world education rankings plummeting, our world topping domestic violence stats, disgraceful and wasteful youth unemployment, student debt etc etc etc.

    The dirty little tax haven status JK has gifted us is just another example of national shafting the many for the benefit of the ( rich ) few…….

    Its about the only thing you can trust them on and it has always been there in this government,…….just covered up with teflon … Teflon by the way is potentially toxic and always fails eventually https://theintercept.com/2015/08/11/dupont-chemistry-deception/ ………..

    As a final thought ………. Is the fact that NONE of the greedy financial swindlers who caused the GFC crisis were prosecuted or sent to jail for their fraud related to the fact that we now have a prime minister who sets up NZ as a tax haven ??

    • Leftie 27.1

      Many +1’s Reason.

    • ropata 27.2

      bankers and 1%ers do not go to jail, they might get slapped with a wet bus ticket, strictly for PR purposes. but TPPA and #democracyspring protestors will get cuffed straight away

  28. rod 28

    I trust John Key. Millions wouldn’t.

  29. Observer (Tokoroa) 29

    We seem to forget that the poor little PM, John Key, got booed at Eden Park. Twice.

    No Prime Minister in NZ has ever been humiliated to that low level. What does the Poll make of that?

    The big thing that it shows citizens here – is that Key’s adoring little grub hustlers love corruption and fiscal filth. They hate the ordinary Kiwi.

    National is the most incompetent rabble ever to occupy parliament in New Zealand.

    • Leftie 29.1

      Yep, totally agree with you there Observer (Tokoroa) !!

    • Rolfcopter 29.2

      Dumass, pollies have been booed at sports events forever…. Clark even indulged in breaking the speeding limit to get to a game especially for that pleasure.

      • Leftie 29.2.1

        In comparison Rolfcopter, John Key has done way way way way way way worse!!!

        But it wasn’t just at sporting events was it? Booing key is a good hit to his fragile ego. Keep that up Kiwis.

    • Don't worry. Be happy 29.3

      Got booed in Auckland twice….and then chickened out of representing us at Waitangi.

      Even if the polls are not yet indicating an awareness of this grubby little man’s vulnerability, I believe that he is….and as a result no doubt planning his escape route. He after all knows how much he has to hide from us. What he doesn’t know is how much will emerge from The Panama Papers….or the next revelation of just how dirty the filthy rich are, given that one thing tends to lead to another…..no wonder he is looking exhausted and sounding sloshed.

    • Bob 29.4

      “No Prime Minister in NZ has ever been humiliated to that low level”
      Um, Aunty Helen at Te Tii Marae?
      Rob Muldoon being forced to call a snap election while drunk?
      Jenny Shipley…well just being Jenny Shipley

  30. sabine 30

    that picture.

    MH the alcoholic so happy that his dealer arrived with some piss.

  31. UncookedSelachimorpha 31

    My solution:

    Full public disclosure of all assets owned, and all income received and all tax paid. For ALL politicians.

    Then the public can assess any potential conflicts directly. And not just conflicts directly related to a specific asset. Some of us might consider that someone extremely wealthy who pays far less tax than much poorer people – has some important values that conflict with their own.

  32. Shifty 32

    Great read. I don’t agree with that last bit. I think that kind of expectation is hugely unfair. People aren’t automations that can put their personal life goals on hold for a few years (much as we think we can do such things!) Otherwise you’d be better off having Skynet run the place.

    There is nothing wrong with blind trusts. I think some of us are (unintentionally) a wee bit ignorant of their purpose and function. It comes down to the the intent of the individual, which is the weak point of well, everything.

    Wealth is directly proportional to exploitation. Not many of us envy that.

  33. I’ve looked on here several times in the past 24 hours to see the page headlined by “Can we trust John Key?”

    It doesn’t matter how many times I see it or how long it is here, the answer is NO.

    • Gangnam Style 33.1

      I think it’s a rhetorical question repateet.

      • repateet 33.1.1

        I realise that. It’s just that I didn’t want any of those who think that he is indeed Honest John or is anywhere near rightly Honourable seeing no explicit answer.

        If any are reading this and think I’m being equivocal I think that the issue raised in this item is trivial and in a sense mere grist to the mill.

        No-one can trust someone who has an extensive history of being a liar, a rat and a slimy weasel. (Apologies to those animals.)

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  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
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    21 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
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    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
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    21 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
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    22 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
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    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
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    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
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    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
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    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
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    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
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    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
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    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
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    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
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    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
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    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
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    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    7 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
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    7 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
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    7 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
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    1 week ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
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    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago