web analytics

Key’s Blind Trust vs Our Blind Faith

Written By: - Date published: 4:19 pm, April 29th, 2016 - 29 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, capital gains, john key, same old national, slippery, tax, treasury - Tags: ,

“I am writing to you on behalf of a group of industry professionals operating in the New Zealand foreign trust industry. We are concerned that there appears to be a sudden change of view by the IRD in respect of their previous support for the industry. I have spoken to the Prime Minister about this and he advised that the Government has no plans to change the status of the foreign trust regime.

“The PM asked me to contact you to arrange a meeting at your convenience with a small group of industry leaders who are keen to engage to explain how the regime works and the benefits to NZ of an industry which has been painstakingly built up over the last 25 years or so.

“I would be most grateful if you could advise what dates and times you may have for a meeting with perhaps 3 or 4 of us to put the industry’s case and clear up any misconceptions which may be changing the current change of view at IRD.”

That’s the email from John Key’s lawyer Ken Whitney to Revenue Minister Todd McClay pressuring him into a meeting around a proposal that Whitney believed would make life a little more difficult for the trust industry. A meeting was hurriedly arranged. Ultimately, no change was made to the rules around trusts.

Whitney won. Transparency lost.

In my experience, lawyers are careful with words. So what are we to make of these words:

“The PM asked me to contact you to arrange a meeting at your convenience with a small group of industry leaders … ”

Well, no. According to the PM, he did no such thing. He merely suggested to Mr Whitney that he (Whitney) have a personal chat with McClay. According to the PM, in no way did he suggest Whitney go in mob handed to lobby the Minister. Hell, it was such a casual matter, he initially neglected to mention that it was his long time personal lawyer who asked him about the possible tightening up on trusts. It was just ‘somebody’ he ‘bumped into’ and that sort of thing happens all the time.

If Mr Whitney is to be believed, any citizen can write to a Minister of the Crown, say the PM reckons a cuppa and a chat would be a fine thing and I’ll be in your office tomorrow at 10. See ya then.

In the real world, McClay saw Whitney and the others because he felt he had to. Perhaps McClay contacted Key and checked whether he really did have to meet with his mate. Perhaps he didn’t and just took the lawyer at his word when he wrote that it was a direct request from the PM. Either way, we should be told just why a Minister would go along with such an unusual arrangement.

But to be frank, McClay’s weak deferring to Whitney isn’t the matter I really want answers to.

Here’s the nub of it as I see it:

Key’s a rich man. He’s got mega bucks, but none of us know how much or where its stashed. So ….

Did New Zealand Prime Minister John Key profit from the meeting between his lawyer and his Minister?

Did Key financially benefit from the apparent decision not to tighten up the rules about trusts that appears to have directly followed on from his lawyer lobbying the Minister?

If so, has John Key abused his high office in order to make money?

Last question:

Is our Prime Minister a crook?

I don’t know the answers, but I do know we need to be told. There absolutely needs to be an enquiry into this matter.

A criminal enquiry.

Show me the money, John. Show me the money!

 

29 comments on “Key’s Blind Trust vs Our Blind Faith ”

  1. Mad Plumber 1

    There are some interesting comments by Andrew Geddis on Pundit about this.

  2. Anne 2

    Did New Zealand Prime Minister John Key profit from the meeting between his lawyer and his Minister?

    Course he did. Maybe not directly but he no more wanted the IRD poking it’s nose into the Trust scene than Whitney did. He’s got his own fingers in the Trust pie.

    Did Key financially benefit from the apparent decision not to tighten up the rules about trusts that appears to have directly followed on from his lawyer lobbying the Minister?

    Course he did. He didn’t want the IRD poking it’s nose into his financial affairs.

    If so, has John Key abused his high office in order to make money?

    Course he has. But the abuse will be well hidden. Probably non- traceable.

    Last question:

    Is our Prime Minister a crook?

    A white collar crim. Yes.

    There ya go. No more need be said. 😉

    • Sacha 2.1

      “He’s got his own fingers in the Trust pie.”

      They are *foreign* trusts, so this point seems really unlikely to be true. He’s dodgy, but that should not be the focus.

      The PM’s class are doing immoral things most NZers would never approve of. Let’s not do any more foot-shooting like Labour did over Shewan’s actions. Focus on the broader point, not trying to ping the guy after 7 years of utterly failing to do so.

      • Anne 2.1.1

        See the winky face? That denotes a tongue-in-cheek response to TRP’s questions. I expected a bit of sniffing and snorting, but one can be a little light-hearted about these things sometimes? Lets face it, JK has made questionable accusations about his opponents – in a light hearted manner of course – so nothing wrong with a bit of reciprocation.

        What’s more, some of it might turn out to be true!

  3. Paul 3

    How can this information be used to unseat this corrupt government?

    • Chuck 3.1

      It can’t because Anne is trying to link dots that simply don’t exist.

      If you want to unseat this government, you need to do it the hard way…convince NZ that you have a better option to offer.

      • Paul 3.1.1

        You mean saying you’ll clamp down on tax havens?

        • Chuck 3.1.1.1

          The left kicking National out come 2017 (however remote it maybe) will have nothing to do with tax havens.

          Clamping down on tax havens is outside my sphere of influence…but thanks for thinking I have that power.

  4. b waghorn 4

    I don’t know if key is a crook, but he certainly operates in manner not fit for a political leader, to many times he’s been shown to operate in a nudge nudge wink wink manner, we are not in wall street now trying to turn tricks for a dollar!!

  5. Sacha 5

    “According to the PM, he did no such thing. He merely suggested to Mr Whitney that he (Whitney) have a personal chat with McClay.”

    Gee, who to believe?

  6. gsays 6

    “In my experience, lawyers are careful with words. ”
    coincidentally so are habitual liars.

    their korero is littered with qualifications, obfuscations, red herrings and very particular wording.

    also in this latest (i want to say litany of lies) effort, the omissions (key information) are as important as what is said.

  7. greywarshark 7

    Great title TRP. Says a lot in those few words.

  8. Keith 8

    A lawyers number one job and reason for being is to speak on behalf of their client. So anyone who thinks that McClay was going to do anything other than comply with this messengers wishes believe in the Tooth Fairy!

  9. Graeme Stanley 9

    But Wasn,t it reported somewhere that Mr Ken Whitney had let his Lawyers practising certificate registration lapse in February this year? If that’s is correct what does that all mean?

    • Anne 9.1

      Well, it happened in 2014 did it not? Whitney was still a “practising lawyer”.

      • Ed 9.1.1

        I’m not sure about the timing there – wasn’t it early 2014 that Whitney stopped being a lawyer? But whenever it was, the continued reference to John Key’s lawyer is perhaps a little surprising. Also surprising is the statement that Whitney had “changed firms”- apparently he has been involved with Antipodes Trust for 20 years, so Whitney was probably leaving his law practice to concentrate on a different part of his long-standing business activities. Given that, there is the question of why John Key had an investment (or deposit) with his lawyer previously, and why that amount would have been transferred to a company with quite different activities. I am surprised that a lawyer would retain money from a client – weren’t the days of lawyers trust accounts supposed to be largely over – money held is usually paid over fairly quickly. If indeed it was money held for legal services, wouldn’t it have been passed on to his new (practising certificate holding) lawyer? Or was the money in some way part of services offered by Antipodes Trust?

        The efficacy of the work of the “trust industry”” – or at least this part of that broader industry, can perhaps be gauged by the group who Whitney organised a meeting for estimated that the industry was worth 300 jobs and $10 million – whereas IRD estimated actual tax receipts at only $3 million . . .

        • Anne 9.1.1.1

          Yes, I did note when this story broke that different online news outlets were coming up with slightly different stories about both the timing and status of this Whitney fellow. My understanding overall is that Whitney continued to be Key’s personal lawyer after he “changed firms” and (presumably) only ceased to be Key’s (official) lawyer when he relinquished his practising certificate – which I read somewhere was early this year. All a bit murky from my standpoint.

          John Key is also on record as claiming Whitney is a personal friend whom he has known for many years.

  10. Et Tu Brute 10

    I don’t see anything wrong with the email. The guy is lobbying the minister. Ever see how lobbyists play off two people against the other? “So and so said…” I can think of three times at least this week when such a tactic was used against me.

    Now John Key might have told him to speak to the Minister. He could also have shrugged off his lawyers approach and told him to speak to the responsible minister instead. I mean what is the politest way to get rid of a lobbyist? Send him to someone else.

    • Keith 10.1

      For the purposes of pointing out the bloody obvious for National Party supporters he’s not a “lobbyist”, he’s John Keys lawyer and despite all the publicity and even this blog you’ve missed that? John Key pays this man to represent him!

      But with John Key its always just a coincidence, just one after the other after the other etc, etc.

      • Et Tu Brute 10.1.1

        So as a private citizen as soon as he provides services to a minister or prime minister he loses his freedom to act as a private individual and business person? Sure, I’d rather if I was a politician that people I dealt with didn’t try to influence me or speak their mind. It would be easier. But it is highly unlikely to happen.

        • Pat 10.1.1.1

          It is the context and success of the lobbying…and the facilitation by those in power. It is not as if he made a public submission to a select committee…and Key then lied about it to ice the cake.

          I believe in legal terms it’s called undue influence.

          If you think its acceptable it shows how quickly we are sinking into the slippery sided pit of corruption.

          • greywarshark 10.1.1.1.1

            Brutes don’t understand the finer points of philosophy, politics and pusillanimous behaviour in private and public.

            Note that on google there is a graph showing that the pusillanimous word was used much more rarely in 2010 than 1900. Which, to me to shows that we have now embedded behaviour that would have been remarked on with scorn in the 1900s.)

        • Aidan 10.1.1.2

          Here’s the thing, John key had inside knowledge that ird was considering clamping down on foreign trusts, and gave his lawyer a heads up about it to shut it down. Sureley key wanted to protect new Zealand’s status as a tax haven and sent witney to do it so as to provide some space between himself and the issue.the interesting question is why was key so concerned about it? And yeah the whole thing stinks to high heaven

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    In the real world, McClay saw Whitney and the others because he felt he had to. Perhaps McClay contacted Key and checked whether he really did have to meet with his mate. Perhaps he didn’t and just took the lawyer at his word when he wrote that it was a direct request from the PM. Either way, we should be told just why a Minister would go along with such an unusual arrangement.

    Or the other one – FJK contacted McClay ‘unofficially’ and told him to have the meeting and reassure the Trust Fund People that the laws weren’t going to be changed.

  12. Paul Campbell 12

    So a blind trust is something where the owner has no knowledge of how their money is being invested – it’s supposed to be a very hands off affair – but in this case the guy running Key’s trust is coming to him and asking for favours, and Key is hooking him up with the minister who can get things done for him. This doesn’t look like it’s all hands off to me

  13. NZJester 13

    The whole thing with John key and his no longer lawyer mate is very shady.
    This guy should not be referred to as John Key’s lawyer as he is no longer one.
    It is my understanding that he retired as a lawyer and voluntarily gave up his legal right to practice law in New Zealand, so can no longer legally call himself a lawyer.
    He is John key’s mate who gives him legal advice and not his lawyer.

    Also why is it that it was not him that went to the ministers to lobby them but in fact it was the ministers that went out of their way to visit him?

    Every little fact that comes to light makes it look even more a #Shonkey business.

  14. save NZ 14

    PM’s should not even be allowed “blind trusts’.

    PM’s financial affairs should be open to the public so that it is clear if they have conflicts of interest or not.

    It is clear JK runs NZ like his private crony piggy bank. Want to embezzle money and hide it, no problem, have we got the offshore trust for you, JK’s personal lawyer will make sure that rule never changes! Have insurance shares, no problem, EQC will assess everything at pre quake standards to save insurance money. Need foreign aid, no problem, just donate $101,000 and voila 7.5million awarded to Scenic hotel! Everything is to benefit the 0.1%

    I just don’t know how you can just use this cop out of ‘blind’ trust and ‘offshore’ trust to get away it!

  15. Byd0nz 15

    You poor capitalist voters never learn,
    You’ll go to the polls again,
    And again, you take the pain,
    Capitalism is so inane.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Conservation Minister plants two millionth tree in Raglan restoration
    A long-term conservation project led by the Whaingaroa Harbour Care group in the western Waikato reaches a significant milestone this week, with the planting of the two millionth tree by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Planting the two millionth tree crowns 25 years of commitment and partnership involving Whaingaroa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Seniors – our parents and grandparents
    International Older Persons Day is a chance to think about the individual older New Zealanders we know and to confront ageism, Seniors Minister Tracey Martin said today. “What happened around COVID-19 is a reminder that our over-65s are a very large and diverse group of people and we need to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Residential building sector growing stronger
    Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show healthy growth in residential building consents in an environment of Government support for the sector during COVID-19, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods. Statistics New Zealand reported today that a record 10,063 townhouses, flats, and units were consented in the August 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF helps Bay of Plenty youth find jobs
    Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) support for a pathways to work hub in Tauranga will help address high youth unemployment in the Bay of Plenty by connecting young people with training and meaningful employment opportunities, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau has announced. “Priority One Western Bay of Plenty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government confirms new acute mental health facility for Lakes DHB
    A new acute inpatient mental health facility at Rotorua Hospital will provide more patient-centred and culturally appropriate care to better support recovery, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says. “Improving mental health and addiction services remains one of the biggest long-term challenges facing New Zealand,” says Chris Hipkins. “Lakes DHB’s existing Whare ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago