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John Key chickens out of #panamapapers interview

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, May 9th, 2016 - 37 comments
Categories: Globalisation, john key, journalism, making shit up, national, spin, tax, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

John Key Chicken

The Radio New Zealand TV One Nicky Hager release of analysis of the Panama Papers is underway and the media response is fascinating.

First up John Key pulled out of his regular Radio New Zealand interview after learning what he was to be questioned about. He attended all other media invitations. One wonders why. Perhaps National needs the PR advice to try and work out how to respond.

On twitter some of the usual suspects including some reporters who should know better are trying to claim there is nothing to see because Key has not been shown to own shares in a Prague owned illicit Uranium producing company based in Nigeria. Of course they are ignoring the widespread concerns expressed by many that New Zealand’s tax system should be used to essentially launder money.  But some have tried to say there is nothing to see even though the information dump is not due until tomorrow.

Some of the responses have been brutal.

https://twitter.com/MrDuttonPeabody/status/729401622762115072

https://twitter.com/Dovil/status/729401817428156416

https://twitter.com/MatthewHootonNZ/status/729378397411893248


Update (r0b):

37 comments on “John Key chickens out of #panamapapers interview ”

  1. save nz 1

    He’s taking the 5th amendment.

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      + 1

      Precisely. Now it’s too late for him to retire for “personal reasons.”

  2. mikesh 2

    On TV One’s Breakfast Show Key sidestepped the issue by talking about transfer pricing, and pointing out that this is a problem for the OECD to solve, not the NZ government. Admittedly transfer pricing is a dodgy practice and a serious problem but it was not the issue he was being asked about, which was NZ’s role as a tax Haven.

    • NZJester 2.1

      That is what he loves to do in parliament at question time also. He is asked a question by the opposition and gives an answer to a totally different question. When challenged he then claims his answer was appropriate to the question.

  3. Sabine 3

    guts

    he has none

    i wonder if he has an ample supply on adult depends?

  4. Born. Gisborne. 4

    Haunted he is by “Is it o.k ? Is it o.k? Is it o.k ? Is it o.k?………..

  5. Richard Christie 5

    His [Thompson’s] resume also includes stints at Inland Revenue in the early 1980s, also Allan Hawkin’s Equiticorp and law firm Kensington Swan. – RNZ

    Equiticorp.

    They say attitudes and values acquired in formative stages of an individual’s development persist in perpetuity.

    • alwyn 5.1

      I think that Andrea Vance should have been kept well clear of this if the view you hold is prevalent. To paraphrase you.
      “Her [Vance’s] resume also includes stints at News of the World”
      and
      “They say attitudes and values acquired in formative stages of an individual’s development persist in perpetuity”
      Oh dear. Even Hager the Horrible wasn’t as bad as that lot.

      • adam 5.1.1

        Oh look a fan-boy playing the women not the ball.

        Who would have thought such low comments would have come from one of our resident trolls.

        • alwyn 5.1.1.1

          You really are a stupid little fellow aren’t you adam?
          It has, as you are very well aware, nothing whatsoever to do with her being a female. It is that she worked for News of the World.
          You can’t accept that their journalists were crap, can you? You just bring up something that is totally irrelevant to my common.
          You really are getting desperate aren’t you?
          Getting the shakes because it is all blowing up in your face?

      • Ffloyd 5.1.2

        So, going by that saying Alvin you must have been a nauseating child.

  6. Nick 6

    Why would National change the tax laws to make it better for these Trusts in 2011? What was the motivation? More tax take for NZ? No. To improve information between other tax agencies globally? No. To create a tax haven? Yes. To benefit those who wish to hide illegal money? Yes.

      • mikesh 6.1.1

        They did. They removed the 28% rating on overseas income in local trusts and replaced it with a 0% rating.

        • Andrew 6.1.1.1

          Wrong … Nothing at all to do with tax-haven trusts that the panama papers are discussing. They zero PIE managed funds where those funds were only receiving income from foreign investments. These funds have nothing at all to do with the type of trusts that the panama papers are talking about. PIE funds cannot be invested in anonymously and must meet full anti-money laundering disclosure.

  7. Fred 7

    ‘just to be clear, this is a joint investigation between 7 journalists so when the PM casts aspersions it is on all of our work’

    6 words Andrea, NEWS OF THE WORLD – Phone Hacking.

    Plenty have cast aspersions on this previous work.

    • adam 7.1

      Fred, are you throwing muck to see what sticks. or is this just a macho power play?

  8. Tricledrown 8

    Urgent teleconference with Sir Lynton Crosby then textored Whaleoil and Hooton .

  9. TC 9

    Interesting watching the various msm jonolists jousting over the moral high ground they have chosen to ignore for the past 8 years.

  10. Myrtle 10

    Interesting to look at stuff.co.nz website today. There’s absolutely nothing on the Panama papers. Why is NZ so gullible as to think that we have a free press?

  11. Byd0nz 11

    Capitalism sucks, voters of capitalist parties are the suckers, stop voting. On polling day, protest instead, smash the system.

    • Eastwood 11.1

      I once read something along the lines of this: one of the effective strategies for winning elections for right wing parties is to create a sense of disillusion in non-right wing voters, taking away their motivation to vote at all.

  12. Grantoc 12

    I didn’t realise that Nicky Hager and Andrea Vance were international tax experts. I thought they were both journalists. But, there you go; tax experts they are it seems.

    I guess they picked up their expertise in a crash course over the weekend. Obviously doesn’t take much to bone up on tax law matters.

    • Wensleydale 12.1

      I guess you have to be an automotive mechanic to know when there’s something wrong with your car too, right?

    • mickysavage 12.2

      The concepts are not too difficult.

      1. Rich overseas person wants to hide his money and pay no tax.
      2. He gets advice from MF.
      3. They say get a New Zealand foreign trust. We have a group of local professionals who will do the work.
      4. Company is incorporated locally and ROP is not a director or shareholder.
      5. Trust deed signed with company as trustee. ROP may or not be specified as a beneficiary but trust deed is kept secret.
      6. Trust registered with IRD. All that they have to be told is the name of the trust and the officers. As long as the settlor is not an Australian taxpayer all is good.
      7. IRD can ask for more details but there are 11,000 of these trusts and IRD can’t even review how they are working.
      8. Trust company can then own anything anywhere and if someone tries to find out who the beneficial owner is they can’t.
      9. Rich person pays no tax. If he lives in France he ticks box saying he paid tax in NZ (which is zero rated). Infrastructure falls apart, kids go hungry and Rich man’s country misses out.

      Care now to address the issue?

    • Lanthanide 12.3

      Why would you expect a tax expert to do a journalist’s job?

      The journalists are investing the leaked papers, trying to see how they fit into a New Zealand context, and efficiently reporting that to the public.

      I can imagine that tax experts could easily be biased and fail to mention points that are salient to wider society, because they have their own little pre-conceived ideas about what is important and what’s not. John Key is a classic case in point – he doesn’t see any problem with his personal lawyer getting direct access to ministers to lobby a point, even though many other people in this country think it is bad form.

      I know some might like to think that journalism jobs don’t require any particular skill and that anyone can do the job, but it’s simply not true (even if many individual journalists could themselves do a better job much of the time).

  13. Lanthanide 13

    A while ago on The Standard there was an observation made by some commentators that “Key is never interviewed by Radio NZ any more”.

    I replied by saying that Key actually has a weekly interview slot, and the only times he’s missed it is when he’s been out of the country or (reasonably) otherwise engaged. Other commentators were certain that Key was dodging interviews.

    Today Guyon Espiner backed my statement up, by saying that this is the first time Key has ever rejected one of their standing interviews, even though he was available, and went on to do interviews with other media.

  14. Eastwood 14

    Watching Paul Henry interview John Key this morning, for some reason I’m reminded of interviews with Lance Armstrong before his fall from grace.

    Let’s hope I’m wrong, and his true priorities are all Kiwis, young and old, rich and poor.

  15. katipo 15

    He did did talk to Mike Hosking though…. it was like a Clarke & Dawe comedy sketch.

    “.. technically a tax haven is a haven from tax….. hmmm well not really … umm er well not necessarily I’m not an expert on these matters… you’d have to get KPMG on ….. er um but look you can do it for a lot of reasons …..”

    • simonm 15.1

      God, that was just embarrassing. Our Dear Leader even rolled out his favourite old chestnut about how we must remember that “Nicky Hager is a screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist!” (note to Crosby and Textor: it’s time to write some new material for John).

      All the while Hosking sat there with his sycophantic grin, looking like a proud father whose toddler had just used a grown-up’s toilet to do Number 2’s for the first time.

      • Hami Shearlie 15.1.1

        And Hosking was no doubt singing the tune “Do what you doo-doo well boys!”

    • TC 15.2

      A court jester and his king

  16. mikesh 16

    Shortly after assuming the prime ministership John Key had a meetng at Wellington airport with Lord Ashcroft who, at the time was chairman of the British Conservative Party, when the latter was passing through on his way to somewhere. No one knows what they discussed, but Ashcroft was famous for once saying that he would “keep his money overseas for as long as Britain had a Labour government”.

    I think we may be starting to get an inkling of what they were discussing, though I’m only speculating of course.

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