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Key’s uranium mining interests

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 16th, 2010 - 57 comments
Categories: corruption, john key, Mining - Tags: , ,

There’s a few things about Key’s story regarding his shares in Jackson Mining that don’t stack up.

First, he says Jackson Mining was just an Aussie gold mining company when he bought them and that they didn’t get involved in uranium until a merger that saw become part of a company with uranium mines in South America. But Jackson mining was already involved in uranium exploration in South America before that merger when Key listed his interest in the company last year.

Second, Key claims not to have known about the merger until the Q+A interview, but let’s read the transcript of the interview:

“GUYON         Okay so that’s not something you’ve looked into because it looks like that Jackson Company has significant interests in mining uranium in Australia and Argentina, in the new guise of the company which is called Cauldron.  I mean is that something that you as the leader of a nuclear free country would be concerned about, or is this not something you’ve looked into?
JOHN  It’s not something I’ve looked into since I bought it back in 2001 or whatever when I was in Australia, so as I say I was a reasonable shareholder at the time, I actually sold the vast bulk of shares I owned, it was a very small amount, and the reason I didn’t sell them was their value was so low, if they’ve done a merger that’s the first I know about it today.”

How did Key know that there had been a merger, and not, say, takeover or just a sale, if he didn’t know about it before this question was asked? How didn’t he know this company was involved in uranium mining when it has been the company’s major focus for several years?

And another thing, remember when John Key was involved in a conflict of interest over Tranzrail? He was asking questions as an MP that gave him inside information pertinent to the price of his shares in the company. After being caught out and lying on TV about it, Key promised to put his assets in a blind trust, where he wouldn’t able to be tempted to use his position of authority and trust for personal financial gain again (apart from awarding himself whopping great tax cuts, of course).

Now we learn that, in fact, Key hasn’t put all his financial assets in a blind trust, he’s held on to the foreign ones including Jackson mining. I don’t think Key can claim that these shareholdings are different from his New Zealand ones. His decisions as Prime Minister can clearly impact on the value of his international shares. Particularly as his government continues with its moves to open up the conversation estate to Australian mining interests.

As Phil Goff said:

“When you’re Prime Minister you’ve got to be very careful about that. Perception is everything. You’re about to mine our pristine national parks and you’ve got mining shares? You’re Prime Minister of a nuclear-free and proudly nuclear-free country and you’ve got shares in a company that mines uranium? Not a good look”

Why is it that Key thinks he can play these dirty tricks and then thinks he’ll be let off the hook if he acts contrite and confused when he’s caught? Maybe because it always works?

And how blind is that trust, really?

57 comments on “Key’s uranium mining interests ”

  1. Doug 1

    Please tell me why should i care if John Key has shares in a legitimate business?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      Then why do we know that Key opens a new building or has an opinion on anything.
      Its because …

  2. greenfly 2

    Doug’s eyes follow the flow of the words on the screen but at the other end of his optic nerve, the collection of cells known as the brain fails to extract any meaning.

    • winston smith 2.1

      playing the man not the issue huh Greenfly

      To paraphrase Doug, please tell us why we should care if John Key has shares in a legitimate foreign company?

      And to paraphrase Phil Goff who the fuck cares

  3. Marty G 3

    Well, Doug, Key himself has said he will sell the shares now the ownership has been revealed. The question is whether he knew it was into uranium all along.

    And I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s not on for the pm of a nuclear-free country to own shares in uranium mines. Would you have thought it was cool for Lincoln to own shares in a slave trading company?

  4. illuminatedtiger 4

    ShonKey just keeps putting his foot in it!

  5. sk 5

    The point is that a Prime Minister should not own any shares at all. His financial interests should be held in a blind trust, managed by a professional. This is the case in the US, with Paulson, Corzine and Clinton – all of whom’s net worth considerably exceeds Mr Key’s. It is supposed to be the case here as well. The correct answer to Espiner’s question should have been “all my investments are in a blind trust, and I will not know what is in there until I leave office”.

    So, Doug, Winston, if you want NZ to a non-corrupt place, PM + cabinet ministers should have a blind trust. With Key it is still not clear how ‘blind’ his blind trust is.

  6. When can I start using the word ‘corruption’ and when will that perception start to flow out of N.Z as this Nactional Government continues to wield the conch?

    captcha – ‘full’ of it

  7. I watched the interview and my porkie alert antenna went into haywire. Espinar gave it all away by immediately providing to Key the information regarding the reorganisation rather than allow Key to answer and then confront him with the truth.

    We should give a damn because PMs are really really well paid and on our behalf receive information which would allow them to make a killing on the stock exchange. At best they should only have a blind trust. They should not use their time to engage in business activities and they should not be permitted to make money from essentially what is insider trading.

    SK is right. If it is good enough for the US it should be good enough for NZ.

  8. tc 8

    Kosher……No, Arbritrage……Yup, abuse of position to gain financial advantage….absolutely.

    And as MS has pointed out what’s know in Oz politics as the Dorothy Dicks question gets posed by sychophantic MSM’s Guyon (probably fluttering the eyelashes come hither style as well)……Dorothy Dicks is a known question rehearsed and posed which prompt a reply to assist the polly on the receiving end.

    More lay down and walk all over us behaviour by the MSM…..bet Guyon’s bonus this years healthy.

  9. Ed 9

    Key says: “and the reason I didn’t sell them was their value was so low” – a clear indication that he intended to monitor prices himself and sell when prices were higher, rather than transfer them to a blind trust.

    If he selected some shareholding not to go into the trust, it does beg the question as to what instructions the ‘blind trust’ are under . . .

  10. He should be applaued for making a good business choice. Uranium mining compaines can soar.

    What he invests in, is his choice, its not like he gave them a contract to mine in New Zealand.

    • sk 10.1

      A good business choice??? the stock went down at a time when mining stocks globally soared. But that is not the point. This is an ethics question.

    • I am shaken by the number of comments that are so stupid. No wonder a person like Key is so popular! How many people see him without the slightest discernment? We only have Key’s own word on this matter. Who else is there to testify? This is a very devious man, with all that “winning” charm, “smooth””, acting the typical N.Z. bloke, the sickly smile. Eventually I hope that Kiwis will see through it all. I note that the Uranium shares are going up and up, and I can find nothing to say that the shares have been sold. Key promised that they would parted with on Tuesday or Wednesday. This is Friday. Let us hope that he is not being “sloppy” yet again! No, that word I would not choose; I would use words like “outrageous”, “disgraceful” and to repeat,
      “deviant”. Key would like us to forget this incident as he gets on with some wicked mining of his own. Let us be sure not to forget.

  11. ETHICS??

    The company he bought into wasnt illegal, he did nothing wrong.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      No one said nuttin bout legality Brett, but tell me, why is he denying knowing anything about no uranium, and selling the shares?

      • Brett Dale 11.1.1

        Mining companies start out mining one resource and then may turn to another.

        Maybe he is denying it, because he knows that the public has been brainwashed over the years.

        • felix

          So you think he might be saying something, on purpose, that he knows isn’t true?

        • DeeDub

          And you sir, are obviously missing the one key feature required in order to have been ‘brainwashed’ along with the rest of us.

  12. The left cant handle the truth, they would rather beleive lies about GE, Global Warming and Mining.

    • Edosan 12.1

      Truth is, after all, what you ‘feel’ in your ‘heart’.

      • Brett Dale 12.1.1

        Truth should be fact, backed up by stats, and not what some hippy is feeling after smoking a doobie.

        • Tigger

          Key clearly can’t handle the truth, which is why he keeps inventing these circuitous arguments to explain his actions…

      • DeeDub 12.1.2

        And a higher power help us if Brett Dale is indicative of the ‘feelings’ and ‘heart’ of the right…. bought any new Billy Ray Cyrus albums lately, Brett?

    • Pascal's bookie 12.2

      I’m all in favour of GE. Personally I want a little monkey man that eats non bio-degradable garbage, shits MDMA, and is smart enough to pop down the bottly to buy me my liquor, but not smart enough to drink it itself, (or spend the change) on the way home. He could possibly ride there on a trike. That’d be cool.

      But that’s a diversion. Why would John Key be protecting lefties from the truth that everything is actually ok?

  13. “Particularly as his government continues with its moves to open up the conversation estate to Australian mining interests.”

    Opening up the CONVERSATION estate to the Aussies? Didn’t he already do that when he hired Crosby Textor to do his talking for him? 😉

    All joking aside, it’s a bad look and a blunder on Key’s part, and one more cut of the thousand that will ultimately bring his Prime Ministership down. It’s not the end of his world. Even lefty me will acknowledge just how much he has on his plate. (what with all the privatising)

    He should have delegated someone trustworthy to sort out is blind trust affairs and make them squeaky clean, particularly after his first shareholding blunder. The fact that he didn’t learn from his first mistake is what worries me.

    • felix 13.1

      Oh but he did learn from his first blunder.

      He learned that no-one is going to ask him more than one follow-up question and if he mumbles a few self-contradictory explanations he can probably get away with anything. Hey look, all blacks!

  14. Roger 14

    A clear conflict of interest, if Key was involved in a private company and was involved in such contradictory behavior he would have been fired. Maybe he knows when the shares will increase in value…when his government gives Jackson Mining the contract. But of course the moronic right say “NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE”.

  15. Gosman 15

    Has he broken any rules or regulations here at all?

    If not then what you are stating is that you think NZ should have rules and regulations prohibiting this sort of stuff then.

    I would argue that it would have been better to push for this when a Left leaning Government was in power and not now.

  16. Has he broken any rules or regulations here at all?

    Possibly not, buit at his wage I expect him to put all of his efforts into his job, not into maximising his personal wealth.

    Besides he promised before that he would have a blind trust. Clearly he does not.

    Now every time I hear the tories talking about mining the conservation estate I wonder if he is going to benefit somehow.

  17. Fisiani 17

    So John Key has a few shares in a company that uses uranium lawfully to provide power and so reduces the need for coal fired power stations. He is thus preventing Global Warming and should be lauded. We should all consider buying such shares.

  18. Blue 18

    Key’s a lazy arse if he really didn’t know that the company he’d invested directly in had undergone an merger and a substantial change in direction.

    Gives passive management a new meaning.

    Aside from any ethical questions it makes me wonder how he ever acquired a $50m forture, or retained it, when he is such a lousy investor.

    He’s also a lousy politician if he didn’t learn anything from the Tranzrail debacle.

  19. BLiP 19

    The a ballad of Wee Smug John:

    ♪ ♫ Every mornning at the mine, you could see him arrive.
    He stood 4 foot 6, weighed 245.
    Kind of broad with the truth, that lying little shit
    And everybody knew he was stuffed full of it, that Smug John

    Wee John
    Wee John
    Wee Smug John
    Wee John
    ♪ ♫

    • felix 19.1

      Love your work Mr BLiP!

    • Brett Dale 19.2

      He also became Prime Minister ansd made himself 50 Million dollars before that.

      Why put in a dig about his height and weight?

      If someone on the right right made fun of Marion Hobb’s weight or mole on her face, you guys would be screaming how digusting.

      What does Key’s weight or height have to do with anything??

      • felix 19.2.1

        Your first couplet is a clumsy rhyme although the second is quite clever.

        Overall though the meter is very lumpy. Definitely prefer BLiP’s.

        You’d be a Charlie Daniels fan too wouldn’t you, Brett?

      • BLiP 19.2.2

        Its an obvious (to some) parody – Clueless is clearly taller than 4’6″ and, having met the twerp twice (remind me to tell you about it some time) I know he’s probably under 100kg. If I’d wanted to be nasty I would have questioned his sexuality, linked him to the holocaust, mocked his orthodontological impairment, and smeared his spouse. Pop over to the sewer if you want clear examples of how its done.

  20. Not really, Im into the left type country songwriters, post 1989 (beleive it or not) Natalie,Garth,Ryan Adams, Chris Cagle, or the Non Political aritsts such as George Strait and Alan Jackson.

    • felix 20.1

      My own taste in country is a little older, 60s and 70s stuff mostly – Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and back further to Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie. I do like some of Ryan Adams’ stuff though.

  21. Felix:

    Yep Merle is a Legend.

    George Jones is not bad, cant beleive he still tours.

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