Key’s sloppy trust

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, May 5th, 2016 - 7 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, john key, scoundrels, tax, uncategorized - Tags: , , ,

An editorial in The Herald today keeps the pressure on Key – PM to blame for sloppy trust affair

When the Prime Minister’s personal lawyer approached him about a report in the Herald that Inland Revenue was changing its attitude to foreign trust funds, John Key says he told him to “go and see the [revenue] minister”.

Yes, that is what he claims. His extensive record of lying doesn’t do him any favours though.

He should not have said anything of that kind. He should have given this message to Ken Whitney: “You are my lawyer. I’d rather you didn’t approach anyone in the Government about issues of public policy. Surely somebody else in the industry can do it.”

But the more serious problem is that he should not have entertained this approach from his lawyer. A Prime Minister needs to keep his personal wealth and investments well away from his public responsibilities. Mr Whitney did his client no favours by bringing this issue to him, even if none of Mr Key’s wealth would be in a foreign trust administered here.


Meanwhile (ex) lawyer Whitney can’t be happy to see his dirty laundry dragged out into the sunlight – John Key’s lawyer criticised for sham trust

John Key’s lawyer, Ken Whitney, was criticised by the High Court after creating a sham trust for a bankrupt property developer then failing to disclose it to authorities probing his client’s insolvency.

When asked during cross-examination if he had concerns around setting up structures to allow a bankrupt to continue in business, Mr Whitney told the court: “No, not particularly. It’s a common thing for people to do. It may not be morally as white as it could be but it’s normal practice.”

Oh dear. So, sloppy and not quite moral. So much for Key’s claim “I don’t deal with people unless they’re highly ethical and they do things well”. Nice to know that Key doesn’t hold a grudge against Whitney though. Very condescending decent of him.

7 comments on “Key’s sloppy trust”

  1. save NZ 1

    If John Key is caught as a tax cheat I wonder if Obama will still play golf with him in Hawaii?

    Roll on more Panama papers discoveries….

    And more pressure to uncover what and who are in the secret NZ trusts John Key and Whitney helped set up and stopped IRD looking into to.

  2. Macro 2

    ” So, sloppy and not quite moral”
    You might very well say that – but I couldn’t possibly comment!

  3. mike 3

    With all the examples we have so far of what barefaced lying crooks this bastard and his cronies are, from Hollow Men clean through to this latest corruption, shall we just expect it all to disappear as the others have?

    As Rudyard Kipling wrote in 1917

    Shall we only threaten and be angry for an hour?
    When the storm is ended shall we find
    How softly but how swiftly they have sidled back to power,
    By the favour and contrivance of their kind?


    Fairly likely I’d say.
    With all the trumps calling him ‘popular’ how can ordinary decency win?

  4. Whateva Next 4

    Excellant quote Mike, and I would add from Ed Murrow:

    “Our history will be what we make it. And if there are any historians about 50 or 100 years from now — and there should be preserved the kinescopes of one week of all three networks — they will there find, recorded in black and white and in color, evidence of decadence, escapism, and insulation from the realities of the world in which we live. We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable, and complacent. We have a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information.
    Our mass media reflect this.

    But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us, then television, and those who finance it, those who look at it, and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.”

    • AmaKiwi 4.1

      Wow! Edward R. Morrow died in 1965 so this quote is from the earliest days of television. He saw at the outset what was going to happen.

  5. vto 5

    I wonder if Ken Whitney could help some beneficiaries with the same ‘issues’ as the bankrupt he helped..

    i.e. set up a trust to circumvent Winz rules.

    Key and the entire National Party would clearly be ok with that. Oh, and their supporters too of course.

  6. Graeme 6

    If Key describes Ken Whitney as “highly ethical”, I’d hate to run into who he describes as a dodgy bastard, especially In light of his work for Rob Neilson, who’s a seriously dodgy bastard.

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