Key’s wine excuse hard to swallow

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 pm, May 26th, 2010 - 150 comments
Categories: accountability, Politics - Tags: ,

TV3’s Patrick Gower has reported on 3 News tonight and on his blog that John Key has admitted to owning an Otago vineyard, and providing free wine to “people that help me”. This, despite Key telling the public all his assets were in a blind trust.

3 News has footage of Key, as PM, clearly admitting to owning a vineyard

“You’re a vineyard owner yourself aren’t you,” the critic asked Mr Key. “I am,” replied Mr Key. “I have a little bit of a pinot noir and chardonnay-producing vineyard here in Otago, and it’s been doing very well. It’s successful. It’s been exporting some wines, and it’s a lot of fun.”

But when asked earlier today by TV3 about his assets, Key responded:

“I don’t know whether I own any assets or not,” says Mr Key. “The only assets are in our blind trust. I don’t know what those assets are.”

But if that contradiction wasn’t enough, it gets murkier. Last Christmas, a full year after becoming Prime Minister, Key was handing out bottles of “JK – PM’s Pinot” labelled with the same vineyard (Highwater) that he has admitted owning.

At Christmas Mr Key gave away as presents 240 bottles of pinot noir with Highwater on the label.

“This is your own wine?” Ms Robinson asked Mr Key. “Yeah I registered the trademark too There’s no getting past me.”

The brand name ‘PM’s Pinot’ has been trademarked by one of his trust’s vineyard partners – Mr Key says he asked him to do it.

“I asked him to do that for something for Christmas, and that was a gift and I wanted that so that I could in future years give away wine to all the people that help me,” says Mr Key.

The problem with that is trademarking a wine you don’t know you own seems like an odd thing to do.

Meanwhile National Party blogger David Farrar has come out with some far fetched excuses which seem to rely on us believing he is some kind of objective reporter (a reporter with access to the PM’s office even morning report can’t get).

Key, painted with his Tranz Rail eyes, has responded in a statement still insisting he doesn’t know about his assets – but that’s a hard excuse to swallow in wake of hard contradictory evidence. There are some very serious issues raised by TV3 about the honesty and integrity of our Prime Minister.

I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this story yet.

UPDATE: video below.

150 comments on “Key’s wine excuse hard to swallow”

  1. IrishBill 1

    I’m picking it’s an actual conflict of interest that has them all wound up. Have there been any changes to any laws or regulations governing the wine industry?

    • Marty G 1.1

      well, key was damn quick to rule out a tax hike on alcohol. that’s the decision one would expect from a winery owner. and considering he was so quick to put up tax on tobacco the discrepancy is suspicious

      • Clarke 1.1.1

        Well, to paraphrase an old saying as to why the alcohol tax hike was ruled out – never attribute to conspiracy what can usefully be explained by lobbyists.

        • Marty G 1.1.1.1

          the lobbyists with whom Key owns a vineyard? (the other owners are heads of the major supermarkets)

          Yup, looks like a conflict of interest, eh?

        • Ari 1.1.1.2

          Lobbyists are a conspiracy, they’re just a built-in one. 😉

    • Michael Foxglove 1.2

      As you say Marty, TV3 did make the point that the government did refuse to increase taxes on liquor…

      • gingercrush 1.2.1

        If you want to talk about conflicts of interests and something I see as truly awful. How about the conflict of interest that saw Labour enable the use of all sorts of trusts without doing anything about those trusts instead actually seeing more and more money put into trusts and tax loopholes. No that isn’t a conflict of interest.

        Or the conflict of interest of Helen Clark and rental properties that saw absolutely no fucking action. Which meant we saw years of incredible house inflation that saw less and less New Zealanders having the capacity to buy their own home. That saw more and more New Zealanders having to rent. Where New Zealanders gorged themselves on debt and put most of that on their houses so our current account deficit grew larger and larger and larger. Where many made huge gains on capital gains. Where more and more New Zealanders could the reap the results and pay less tax than they should have. Where the economy became so unbalanced we had little growth on exports.

        You really want to talk about a conflict of interest?

  2. George.com 2

    Curious stuff. Like you say, nothing wrong with owning a vineyard. Makes me wonder why Key is being so furtive. To one person he says he does own a vineyard and knows about it. To the news he denies everything. He also clearly didn’t like the question about having a conflict of interest.

    Two other observations. He looked slightly drunk when talking about his vineyard. Watching the TV3 video made me thirsty.

  3. gingercrush 3

    I predict over 100 comments of the left decrying the actions of John Key and them all excited about how much damage this will do to John Key and the National government. Its predictable because well its happened every time there is a so-called scandal. Only for it to not last and Goff, Labour and the left once again in an awful position.

    • Michael Foxglove 3.1

      This has nothing to do with Labour, but a lot to do with the integrity of your leader.

    • lprent 3.2

      You forgot the comments from the right as well that push it up even further. I can testify that it certainly kicks up the page views and therefore the CPU – I’m averaging just under 25% CPU at present. That is about as high as it been sustained at for more than a short period since the new server got put into place.

      I guess people are interested enough to read the posts

      • gingercrush 3.2.1

        Oh I know. I can’t help myself but writing tripe is something I’m rather good at.

        • Lanthanide 3.2.1.1

          We’ve noticed.

        • mickysavage 3.2.1.2

          GC defender of the indefensible.

          Lynn is right in terms of popularity. For a post that went up just before 10 pm there are already 71 posts.

          Of course there is nothing for Key to be worried about.

          Apart from the perception that he told fibs, and that he has a blind trust that appears to be able to see.

        • Craig Glen Eden 3.2.1.3

          yup

      • champagne & hookers 3.2.2

        get a life lynne, what sort of person sits there and watches the CPU usage of a server…. I bet you\’re pulling your pud while doing it too.

        [lprent: A sysop does, especially after having a crash because there wasn’t enough server CPU last month. Basically you’re a cretin who obviously doesn’t think deeply about what makes these sites operate. ]

        • Bright Red 3.2.2.1

          have some goddam manners you piece of crap. Lynn’s hard work and skill is what keeps this site going. why don’t you f%ck off back to the sewer?

    • Marty G 3.3

      so, just to be clear ginge. You don’t approve of the Prime Minister of your country pretending to not know the contents of his ‘blind’ trust. You are concerned that he appears to have a conflict of interest that he has hidden. But you don’t want to talk about it, and you don’t want us to talk about it, because as long as you’re getting tax cuts whatever else the Nats do is OK.

      • gingercrush 3.3.1

        I don’t really care. I only care when Labour does something. We’re mostly all the same. As the left overlook much of what Helen Clark and Labour did while the right saw everything as corrupt. So the same thing happens in reverse with the left decrying corruption over every scandal to do with the right while we well overlook it.

        • IrishBill 3.3.1.1

          That’s a keeper.

          • felix 3.3.1.1.1

            Sure is.

            The best part is the extra backslash showing that ginge actually edited that comment and decided to go with it as is.

          • burt 3.3.1.1.2

            Or he stuffed up the capture and didn’t notice that the bogus escape characters had been inserted.

            • lprent 3.3.1.1.2.1

              I associate that with RSS inserted comments. It came in during the transition from wordpress 2.8.x to 2.9. Been meaning to put a filter in for it on a weekend for while. But I’ll just have a wee jigger with search and replace.

              Update: fixed for all existing comments on ‘ and “

    • George.com 3.4

      Labour this, Labour that.

  4. Gooner 4

    This is interesting.

    If he knows what’s in his blind trust then that could extend to many assets and possibly conflicts too, not just wine.

    Let’s see how this evolves.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      It probably depends on whether he is friends with people that also have investments in the same area as his blind trust, which would presumably limit the potential scope.

      Of course, it’s really not a good look.

      captcha: lorrys (haha)

  5. Gooner 5

    It seems, from reading KB, that the wine he gave away did not come from the vineyard supposedly owned by the blind trust -Highwater.

    Let’s wait and see who’s correct.

    • IrishBill 5.1

      But wasn’t it labeled Highwater?

      Edit: just checked Gower’s blog. It was labeled highwater.

      • Marty G 5.1.1

        he was talking about Australian Highwater

        • Gooner 5.1.1.1

          Who was talking about Australia Highwater? Key or Gower?

          • IrishBill 5.1.1.1.1

            At Christmas Mr Key gave away as presents 240 bottles of pinot noir with Highwater on the label.

            “This is your own wine?” Ms Robinson asked Mr Key. “Yeah I registered the trademark too There’s no getting past me.”

            Seems pretty clear to me.

          • Michael Foxglove 5.1.1.1.2

            Gooner – I think you’re missing Marty’s comic genius…

          • Marty G 5.1.1.1.3

            Gooner. The ‘he was talking about Australian X’ joke goes back to Key’s infamous “we would love to see wages drop” quote.

            One of Key’s half a dozen excuses was that he wasn’t talking about New Zealand wages dropping but Australian wages dropping so that we could catch them easier.

            It was patently absurd but that didn’t stop the righties wholeheartedly adopting it (much like you’re running Key/Farrar’s lines now).

            Anyway, the ‘he was talking about Australian X’ line recalls that pathetic excuse and casts the same light on your current excuses.

            • felix 5.1.1.1.3.1

              He obviously meant to say “Lowwater”.

            • MsM 5.1.1.1.3.2

              A bit like Key flipfloping before the election about why previous fluff pieces had him leaving Elders in 1987,

              “Oh that? I meant to say 1988.” Yeah right… Tui’s anyone?

              The man’s a muppet and oft times an embarrassment, but luckily for the right, so far he’s adept with a shovel but “I’m with stupid” does appear to be his motto.

              The National and Act parties must be kicking themselves about now for not spell checking the puppet wanted ad.

  6. I think the story sounds daft: of course he knew what investments went into his blind trust. It wasn’t monetised.

    • Michael Foxglove 6.1

      Danyl – so you don’t think the trust could have been blind then? I guess that means that Key should never have even pretended to have ‘blind’ assets – he clearly knew what he had?

    • Gooner 6.2

      Danyl, yes he knew back in December ’08. But after that he supposedly has no idea what has happened to those assets – sold, kept, transferred etc.

      But now it *appears* as if he knew he owned a vineyard at Christmas time last year, so his blind trust seems pretty bloody transparent.

      As I said, let’s wait and see what ends up in the wash.

      • Marty G 6.2.1

        Gooner. In December last year – a year after the blind trust – he handed out bottles with his name and the name of the vineyard on them.

        And if Key knows what is in his blind trust then in what sense is it blind and how does that avoid conflicts of interest?

        • dave brown 6.2.1.1

          It either came from Hell or Highwater.
          He’s not talking about his blind trust but our blind trust in blind trusts.

  7. Herbert 7

    Does that mean that John boy lied to parliament in his answers to question 7 today? I suspect it is not the damage to the Government that is the issue but damage to the integrity of Parliament.

    “7. Hon PETE HODGSON (Labour—Dunedin North) to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement to the New Zealand Herald last year that he has put certain assets into a blind trust that is “so blind I haven’t a clue what’s in it’?

    Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes.

    Hon Pete Hodgson: Can he confirm that that means he cannot have a conflict of interest regarding those assets because he does not know, and cannot know, whether he still owns those assets?

    Hon JOHN KEY: That would be my interpretation of it, yes.”

    • Marty G 7.1

      yeah. he has been cornered very well. made empathetic statements, that are now proven false.

      he wouldn’t have known that TV3 had that video until it went to air, hence the lies in the press release, which was put out after the post question time interview.

  8. Gooner 8

    Yeah well it seems pretty clear reading Gower’s blog entry. Yet Farrar appears to say the PMs office told him this:

    TV3 also tied into the story the bottles of Pinot he gave away at Xmas time, and had branded JK Pinot. However this wine did not come from Highwater (the vineyard that he previously (and the blind trust may stll currently) but another vineyard.

    • Marty G 8.1

      gooner. you know perfectly well that the grapes in a wine often come from different vineyards but it was put out under the brand of the vineyard that Key owns. That’s not some magical coincidence.

    • IrishBill 8.2

      Just watched the story. It clearly says “highwater vineyard” on the label of the wine he gave the gallery late last year (there’s a shot of it). Which means Key was giving away falsely labeled wine or his office was lying to DPF.

  9. MikeG 9

    Key claims not to know the other investors in the vineyard, which would seem to be stretching the truth at best. Prior to the transfer to the blind trust the Key’s were 1 of 11 shareholders – one would think that you would know the other 10 shareholders in a relatively small private company.

  10. Gooner 10

    Or search at the companies office website.

    • lprent 10.1

      Thats what I’d do – look at the companies office. Looks to me like Gower has already done most of that.

      The server is doing what it is meant to (nice to see it getting a spike without me getting terrified about it falling over while I’m in the middle of serious coding), it will txt if it has an issue.

      Wow – the tail of the server log coming through ssh is really scrolling pretty fast.

      • infused 10.1.1

        If you’re that worried, you should cut down the amount of threads. If the server is crashing, you’re being a poor admin tbh. Thread Pool, Memory Pool…. Ah linux eh… apache? bitch eh. This is where IIS wins out IMO.

        • lprent 10.1.1.1

          The comment threads aren’t an issue. The main load on the system is the bots, the searchbots (the extra loading after a post is published is pretty damn high), RSS feeders and the various spambots. Since they look at all 5400 posts pretty regularly and there are a lot of them, they push the base load up quite a long way.

          The big issue has been that we’ve always run on inadequate server boxes. Mostly either obsolete hardware from my rejects, or in virtual servers where we have always been pushing the edges of the container limits.

          I’ve never been impressed with IIS as a webserver. I’ve found it to be bloated and not particularly reliable on long-run sites, especially when resource constrained. Apache2 running with fcgi and a pile of other tweaks has kept this site running in in resource environments that IIS couldn’t even start in.

          However the advertising around the page is now paying for a server that isn’t resource constrained. Makes life a *lot* easier.

          • infused 10.1.1.1.1

            IIS7 pawns. You should take a look. Far from bloat since it’s a full redeisgn.

            I wasn’t talking about comment threads. I was talking about apache threads.

            • lprent 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Apache only runs so many threads if you run it out of the box. The standard setup is pretty damn horrible. I don’t use that

              • infused

                My point was, if you’re running out of CPU, limit the amount of threads in apache = no more death by CPU.

            • lprent 10.1.1.1.1.2

              Used IIS7, and it is a hell of lot better than IIS6 or *shudder* 5.

              However it has a pile of its own quirks many of which are to do with its largely irrelevant (for a webserver) security. I managed to waste a few hours hunting around the net getting it to recognize the file types for a WPF clickonce deployment so it didn’t block them. Both technologies are mickeysoft – so why in the hell did I have to manually fix it.

              Getting the pools to run correctly isolated per webapp is just outright annoying.

              About the best thing you can say about it is that IIS7 is better then 6.

              Damn when wordpress 3 gets here, I’m setting up a scitech.thestandard.org.nz. Too much politics here and not enough tech.. I can’t be bothered maintaining two code bases, but the MU features in 3.0 mean that I don’t have to.

              • infused

                Because you’re a quack 😛

                I run a popular nz site in .net with close to 1m hits a month. it copes fine. 3 different applications on it with 2gb of memory.

                I bet you get a lot more activity than mine, mmm maybe not. Mine has 65,000 links… Anyway… no cpu issues 😛 (also hosted in NZ, say no to USA hosting)

                • lprent

                  This site has been running on effectively a single shared CPU with 256MB of RAM in a virtual server container up until this year (in 2008, I bumped it up from 128MB). I bumped it to 512 at the end of last year. Now it is on 2GB and multi-core Xeons – quite different

                  Last time I looked at hits (we usually look at page impressions instead) was at the start of last year when it was getting a million or so per week. Traffic has jumped since then.

                  Count the number of links per page, including in the comments. It’d be rare when a post + comments don’t have at least 20 links in it. Some of the posts with hundreds of comments will have a lot more, especially the climate change ones.

                  As I said you’re looking at a system in IIS that runs well when given heaps of resources – which I couldn’t afford…

                  Try running IIS6 + windows of your choice in 256MB with a active dynamic website on top of it. Don’t even think of putting IIS7 on it – you can’t push the required OS into that.

  11. Nick C 11

    1) He made the vineyard comments 3 WEEKS after the bling trust was set up. He was clearly just opperating on the assumption that the trustees hadnt used those 3 weeks to sell the vineyard.

    2) Direct quote from the blog: “The label on PM’s Pinot says “Highwater Vineyard” but Mr Key told me that it’s a totally different wine … It’s actually from Sam Neill’s Sleeping Dogs vineyard….a nice drop too.”
    -So the wine came from Sam Neill’s vineyard, not Key’s. Unless you have any evidence to contradict what the PM said i suggest you accept his word.

    • IrishBill 11.1

      So why do you think it says highwater on the label? Coincidence?

    • Marty G 11.2

      Nick C. It’s labeled with the name of the vineyard he owns. A year after it went into the blind trust. Coincidence? Get real.

      So what if the grapes came from a different vineyard?

    • Eric C. 11.3

      Are you blaming Sam Neill for the mistaken attribution of the source of the wine?

      By the way, isn’t Sleeping Dogs Ltd owned by Roger Donaldson?

    • “1) He made the vineyard comments 3 WEEKS after the bling trust was set up.”

      Bling trust! Says it all, really.

  12. Eric C. 12

    I wonder if Key ran into any of those other owners of Highwater and Mount Michael at the Pinot Noir Celebration in Queenstown in Jan 2009 or at Pinot Noir 2010 in Wellington in Feb 2010 or at any of the other wine events he attends to promote pinot noir. He seems to spend a lot of time hanging out with a crowd he doesn’t know.

  13. So whats the deal…Key doesn’t know whats in the trust but Bronagh does and she “doesn’t” talk to him about it ?…yeah right

    Reminds me of English’s trust with his wife that he conveniently removed himself from.

  14. felix 14

    *Ahem*

    Can I be the first to say it please? Highwatergate.

    WOOT!!11!

  15. gobsmacked 15

    On the 3 News report Key says (in that slightly sloshed-sounding interview with the wine critic) that owning the vineyard is “a lot of fun”.

    So he knows nothing about it, but he knows it’s fun. Hmmm.

  16. Sam 16

    Love the scramble by the right to play this down.

    So predictable.

  17. ianmac 17

    Interesting that Nick C is close enough to Key to be able to discuss details like “but Mr Key told me that it’s a totally different wine It’s actually from Sam Neill’s Sleeping Dogs vineyard”
    And the near copy of the Republican motif interesting too. Inside joke perhaps?

    • felix 17.1

      I think he’s quoting Gower, it’s the old “”quote marks” inside other quote marks confusion.”

  18. Dan 18

    And Helen got panned by these guys for signing a painting as her own for a fundraiser!

    Here we have a guy who doesn’t know what is in his trust (so he can’t be accused of conflict of interest) but gives away many bottles from the trust with his name on it which implies it is his wine but it isn’t.

    If he can’t handle that dilemma, no wonder he isn’t allowed to front National Radio on less important matters like the budget.

    “I’m relaxed about it!” Yeah right.

    Wee query: where did TV3 get the story from?
    Highwatergater… love it!

  19. Bill 19

    In a smallish operation like this vineyard Johnny Boy is a shareholder in I’d imagine it would be kind of normal practice come some event worth marking…such as completion of harvest or anything really seeing as how we’re talking alcohol which is normally done by people who are right into their alcohol…to have a wee celebration that would entail having the dozen shareholders round for a wee celebration.

    Except Johnny Boy.

    ‘Cause they all know that he knows not what they know…That he’s a shareholder. But how can that be? How does it work that everybody knows not to invite Johnny Boy for the wee swarees?

    So, do they blindfold him and trust him not to peek at the surroundings? A ‘blind fold trust’?

    Or do they just get him so blind drunk that he can’t remember who, what, where, when or why in the morning? A ‘blind drunk trust’?

    Or is they all looking to pull the wool over our eyes and hope we take his word on shit? The blind trust.

  20. Irascible 20

    Right now we keep referring to Key’s winegate, highwatergate, pinotgate and any other variation to hang Key with the memes that Farrar & co used against Helen over 2007-2008.
    The ability to keep smiling & waving while denying all responsibility or knowledge of anything is starting to wear thin for Key.

  21. starboard 21

    aw look its not good..we better call an election for next week…who you thinks gona win ?

  22. mark 22

    how terrible to have a PM who is successful enough to own lots of assets and know a little bit about financial markets.
    Lets all get into him so we can get rid of him and replace him with a failed teacher or union official , then our country will really be prepared for the ongoing and worsening economic depression.

    • exbrethren 22.1

      Yeah it doesn’t matter that he breaks every rule going on blind trusts and lies about it. He was a successful gambler so hes great.

    • Pascal's bookie 22.2

      “then our country will really be prepared for the ongoing and worsening economic depression.”

      Considering boy wonder’s budget numbers rely on the recession being over, that’s quite the own goal there mark.

  23. Scotty 23

    I hear Key also has a stake in a distillery, this Xmas he will be giving out bottles of vodka to all the msm journalists who have given him a free ride . apparently ,its called “North of Fifty”

  24. Adrian 24

    This isn’t about blind trusts or wine, it’s about Keys only skill….lying.

  25. kriswgtn 25

    John May Lives

  26. BLiP 26

    No show for King John the Clueless of Charmalot today on Morning Report – again! What’s he hiding?

    • I dreamed a dream 26.1

      Hmmm… quite a few no shows lately by King John. May be running out of weasel lines and teflon I guess. The serious questions at this stage of running the country are getting too difficult huh?

  27. As always, the left have the best songs. Can’t find a video, but here’s the lyrics to a Phil Ochs’ song that could have been about Key (and De La Soul fans will recognise the inspiration for their finest album’s title):

    How high is the watergate, mama, she said it’s one foot high and risin’
    How high is the watergate, papa, he said it’s two feet high and risin’
    There’s a flood around the poker game (there’s a bug on the window pane)
    Gerry ford must be insane
    Oh, my god, it’s mickey spillane,
    The tides are risin’ (two feet high and rising)

    How high is the watergate, mama, three feet high and risin’
    How high is the watergate, papa, three feet high and risin’
    In the swiss bank the money’s stashed
    18 minutes of tapes were slashed
    They’ve even taken in johnny cash
    Three feet high and rising

    How high is the watergate, mama, four feet high and risin’
    How high is the watergate, pama, four feet high and risin’
    Nixon’s gone and taught you lies (nixon doesn’t talk, he lies)
    A face that screams out for replies (…for a pie)
    And the only one workin’s is david frye,
    Oh the tides are risin\’ (four feet high and risin’)

    How high is the watergate, mama, five feet high and risin’
    How high is the watergate, pama, five feet high and risin’
    If there ever was a crook, he’s it
    Perversion is the soul of wit
    Pack your shovel, he’s full of shit,
    The tides are risin’ (five feet high and risin’)

  28. tc 28

    In typical merchant banker styles Sideshow john doesn’t five an F about the rules or perception…..it only ever about money and power with him.

    Anyone out there who believes he’s not aware of what’s in the blind trust (his money after all) is naive or like DPF will swallow any spin/crap eminating from his mouth.

    Wonder what the rest of the msm will do with this and nice work TV3 who look like they’ve discovered how to stand apart from TVNZ……by doing some investigative journalism and running stories the gov’t will not like…a.k.a. doing their job.

  29. ak 29

    mmmmmm……..what best to complement this poached mackerel……..Highwatergate with its robust associations, or the more sophisticated Pinot-Keyo and its interesting nose, or good old el cheapo Winebox 2? Decisions, decisions, who’d be a sub these days…..

  30. Tigger 30

    The TV3 article says that Key is trademarking the PM’s Pinot brand. Here’s the evidence:
    http://www.iponz.govt.nz/cms/trade-marks/banner_template/IPTM

    Only one problem, it shouldn’t have been accepted.

    There are certain restrictions to registration of trade marks. The IPONZ website states:

    “A trade mark may not be able to be registered if it:

    * Suggests endorsement or licence by a particular person or organisation.”

    Surely ‘PM’s Pinot’ suggests endorsement or ownership by the Prime Minister? Further, Key is the PM, yes, but only now. Past and future PM’s have no relationship with the wine and but the trademark suggests they either endorse or licence it.

    Further, should Key be using his PM status in a trademark anyway? John Key as a trademark as one thing. But he’s here claiming ownership (the trademark ownership) of the title PM (meaning Prime Minister).

    • Pascal's bookie 30.1

      good points Tigg.

    • Bill 30.2

      “A trade mark may not be able to be registered if…”

      may not signifies discretion. It’s a world away from will not or can not. Just saying.

      • Pascal's bookie 30.2.1

        Still got the issue of using the office of PM for potential private bennie tho…

        • Bill 30.2.1.1

          Dunno.

          From memory the label has ‘P.M.’ (rather then ‘Prime Minister’) and Johnny Boy’s signature.

          So he’s arguably merely acknowledging that he’s a Puerile Muppet.

          • felix 30.2.1.1.1

            Pet Monkey?

            • Bill 30.2.1.1.1.1

              Pissed Monkey, Muppet or whatever, but don’t we just love the net?

              Was looking for an image of the label and came across this from 3 months ago. At about 41 sec’s in “…is because John Key has, em, I think a major shareholding in Mount Edward wines and em..not a lot of people know that and…

              Which might have been him confusing Mt Michael wines with the Mt Edward of the label ( he hesitates on the detail) but regardless, it appears to be ‘common knowledge’ three months ago that Johnny Boy had investments in the wine industry.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                the actual wording is “PMs Pinot”
                There are others such as Corbans …Pinot which obviously is endorsed by Corbans, they are the holder of the trademark and own the name Corbans

                Key isnt the holder of the trademark Andre Nugent is
                . And Key cant assign the PM trademark as he is only ‘temporary’

  31. BLiP 31

    Isn’t it fun having a rummage around the Companies Office web site. I’m sure its just a typo, but one of John Key’s trust lawyers, Kenneth Grey Whitney is listed on the Earl Of Auckland Ltd’s list of shareholders as living at the same address as Key – talk about having your lawyers close, maybe he’s bunking down with the DPS in the pool house?

    • I dreamed a dream 31.1

      Interesting…

      • BLiP 31.1.1

        Well . . . there’s no end of speculation one can indulge in. As per the Earl of Auckland Ltd’s listing, I found it interesting to see that earlier this month the name “Graham Ross Simpson” was removed from the list of shareholders and replaced with SDM Trustee Company, which is some sort of legal contrivance of law firm Simpson Dowsett Mackie. Although completely unrelated and in casting no aspersion on any individuals, Simpson was the sole director of Stonedon Trustee Company (since put into liquidation by the IRD and subsequently struck off). The Highwater Vineyard Ltd company changed its name last year from Devils Creek Ltd . . . just saying.

        Trusts within trusts within trusts . . .

    • ghostwhowalksnz 31.2

      Surely you arent saying a lawyer committed a falsehood, either that or the person at the address used someone elses name ???

  32. TightyRighty 32

    This looks fairly stupid on the Prime Ministes part. at worst, it’s a breach of privilege. At best, it’s very un-prime ministerial. there may be a plausible explanation, but if it hasn’t arrived already, it’s probably not going to. what is needed is for one of the PM’s friends to buy all the offending goods of trade me, and “destroy” the evidence.

  33. jcuknz 33

    Since good wine is not like fizz which is made one day and sold the next it is reasonable to assume that the wine was bottled at the time of the election or before when it was AOK for John Key to know about it. Not that it bothers me in the slightest. This is a typical standard type storm in a teacup. 🙂

  34. Tom 34

    I’m not so worried about the niceties of parliamentary rules. What worries me about this is that it looks like the PM lied to the public. He cannot say ‘yes I own a vineyard’ in one context and then say ‘no idea what I own’ in another. But even more worrying to me is that the new line seems to be ‘I knew but I didn’t know’. It’s like that GST promise. An unqualified unequivocal statement later disavowed by arguing context. I like the guy, but he’s looking more and more slippery.

  35. randal 35

    What I cant understand is why John Key is never asked to justify why Kiwibank should be sold. Enough of this death by a thousand cuts nonsense.
    Just keep asking the question.
    Why does kiwibank have to be sold?

    • TightyRighty 35.1

      it doesn’t have to be sold. a partial floating makes some sense though. bank stocks are usually good performers on the stock exchange, and it would help restore some faith in the exchange market too. another majority NZ owned blue chip stock couldn’t hurt

      • BLiP 35.1.1

        But if it aint broke . . .

      • Bright Red 35.1.2

        um. It’s 100% NZ owned right now.

        Why is it the government’s responsbility to give a gift to the sharemarket? Why can’t your damn private sector heroes succeed and build up major comapneis themselves without govt handouts?

      • insider 35.1.3

        I\’m sorry but why should the govt privatise assets just to prop up the stock market – which is a privately owned institution?

        The companies on the SX are supposed to be the best of NZ business. If those effers with their resources can\’t even sell a good story about why investing with them makes sense then they don\’t deserve our support.

  36. randal 36

    Once over lightly on the six o’clock news is not good enough.
    Keep on it and dont let him get away.

  37. insider 37

    H Fee H Fee H Fee H Fee H Fee H Fee H Fee H Fee H Fee

    You know what happened last time. Been there, done that, got badly scalded. You’d think chief strategist Hodgson would be very cautious in taking this on.

    [lprent: I haven’t seen anything from Labour yet, just from TV3 and here. If you’re implying that Labour has any control on this site – well you know what I do to people that suggest that… I’d suggest that using that line here will result in a tenuous ability to comment here. ]

    • Bright Red 37.1

      So, what you’re saying is that you don’t approve of Key saying he has a blind trust when he really doesn’t and you don’t approve of him hiding a conflict of interest over alocohol reform. But you don’t want to talk about it.

      • insider 37.1.1

        I think the conflict of interest alcohol reform theme is tenuous. He would arguably be more affected as a consumer than a producer (did he declare that conflict?) and the general consensus on the LC proposals seemed to be that they were barmy.

        I have no objection to anyone pursuing the story, just that this kind of smear approach has been tried regarding Key before and met with a resounding level of indifference. I’d suggest this is a weaker story (though perhaps stronger than the rain story which has been non stop on the news since the weekend!) and you need to go cautiously in championing it

        • lprent 37.1.1.1

          More tenuous than “Paintergate”, “Speedgate”, 20 year old tennis balls, etc?

          I’m afraid what goes around comes around – as I pointed out before and after the election. Frankly if National and Key can’t stand the inspection then they shouldn’t have started the use of the technique. They legitimized the technique in politics and now they have to suffer the consequences themselves for a decade or so – otherwise how else can we be confident that they’ve learnt why it isn’t a good idea.

          I’m having a close look at the PEDA file stuff at present. It may also have a perfectly legit reason for how it came about. But like Keys ‘blind’ trust, it raises questions about conflicts of interest. What I can’t figure out is who signed off on such a dramatic change in policy. I’m wondering if it was Key?

          • insider 37.1.1.1.1

            I’d agree those were overcooked too.

            PEDA smells to me like basic favouritism – not good and they deserve everything they might get.

            • Bright Red 37.1.1.1.1.1

              The ties that National’s next MPs, Micheal Jones and Inga, have to PEDA is very concerning.

              Looks like another attempt to make these guys look good ahead of their campaigns.

        • Bright Red 37.1.1.2

          Key is in the business of selling wine. he is in business with majoy wine sellers.

          How can that not be a conflict of interest when it comes to seeting atax that is meant to discourage alcohol consumption? Not only would it potentially reduce his sales, any tax on consumption is partially borne by the producer.

          • insider 37.1.1.2.1

            Because conflicts of interest tends to have to be far more specific for them to be material.

            All politicians have a material interest in a range of things they have to make decisions on – eg houses, tax rates. It would be ludicrous to remove them from being able to make such decisions.

            The LC proposal was just that. It had no status apart from being a recommendation from an august body, same as many bodies come up with really good ideas that don’t fly when tested against the hard reality of public and political opinion. Did the Govt commisison the report and ever say it would act on its recommendations?

            • Ari 37.1.1.2.1.1

              The problem is that he didn’t properly declare his trust and that it was no longer “blind”, and withdraw himself from policy-making on this matter.

              That\’s all one needs to do to avoid a conflict of interest in an area they’ve invested. I personally don’t really think there’s anything going on, but this is about an ethical standard of political practice that Key himself campaigned on improving. He’s pretty much made his own bed here.

              I don’t really see how it’s ludicrous for him to remove himself- it’s about being able to confidently say you couldn’t have even been tempted to let your personal interests effect your judgement.

  38. gingercrush 38

    You think Labour could have well left the media to do their job (that they were doing). Instead the whole thing now looks like a jack-up between TV 3 and Labour. I’m also curious why this stuff goes to Pete Hodgson who is well not regarded by anyone. A useless cabinet minister and useless in opposition. What should have been a rather simple explanation on Radio NZ ended up sounding completely bizarre. Simple is best Hodgson.

    Oh and for TV 3 to say they were investigating this stuff when really it looks like it was Labour was doing the investigation is saying something.

    —-

    Oh and on a side note. What is it with TV 3 that big political stories have been brokered by people other than Duncan Garner and fronted by other people than Garner?

    • Bright Red 38.1

      ginge. welcome to the sausage factory. nearly every bad story for one side was researched by the other and given to the media.

      That’s not illegitimate, it’s the game that every political party plays, and it doesn’t excuse Key’s conflict of interest. Which you are so desperate not to acknowledge.

      captcha: enemys

    • ghostwhowalksnz 38.2

      Garner plays the good cop to Gowers bad cop. You have to treat pollies like suspects!

      National has a full time black ops group who work outside parliament , probably the same building as
      Farrars Curia market spin company.

      Farrar previously started out working for this lot before he became a beehive worker ( and probably still has a big connection) Some one should check out the tenant list at his building , or most likely an tenant with no business name on the door.

    • bobo 38.3

      I take it Garner works full time on “the Nation” now and Gower has his old job, why? do you want Garner back cause he more chummy with Key? This issue is more about Keys relationship with the Big supermarket owners than Keys part ownership in a vineyard.

  39. frustrated 39

    Why should politicians be allowed to have blind trusts, wouldn’t it make more sense to make it a requirement of entering parliament to have all your interests assets declared along with all blind trusts that you have an interest in open for public scrutiny ?

    I’ even go further and make it a requirement for all MPs spouses/partners to declare their interests and employment in a register which could be vetted by the ombudsman.

    • Bright Red 39.1

      totally agree. Trusts are just a vehcile to hide conflicts of interest.
      In the US, the have to reveal their tax records too.

  40. mike 40

    this is pretty clear – Key lied – he admitted on film at a function he had the winery and then said he had no idea what was in his blind trust. Can’t be any clearer. All good stuff for exposing the liar and another chink his his armour.

    • jcuknz 40.1

      That is or could be a silly misleading statement ….I don’t know the exact details but I wonder when the ownership statement was made and when the other statement. Since John Key sounded a little inhebriated in the ownership statement I wonder if he was speaking from memory of pre-government activities and forgot the trust situation for the moment. It seems to me to be a media beat-up eagerly picked up by key-phobes to blather on about, so that is why it doesn’t bother me, only the potential to malign somebody.

  41. ghostwhowalksnz 41

    Remember too this is on top of his lies about where he was living when he was going for the national nomination for his seat.
    He signed a statutory declaration saying he was living at his rural farm for the ‘previous month’ when he was signing other commercial documents saying he was living at his then real home in Orakei Rd in Remuera.

    Of course ‘now’ is electoral address is Parnell for his rural fringe Helensville electorate.

  42. greenfly 42

    Key lies casually and frequently. It’s especially noticable if you are in the audience of some stakeholder crowd or other. He’ll say things there that he’ll avoid saying in an open forum.
    Sneaky little conniver.

    captcha ‘dislike’

  43. mike 43

    listening to the video again, he seemed quite well informed last year about this business he knows nothing about today! ie the business was doing quite well, was exporting, and knew it was pinot. Outright lies whatever way he tries to slip out of this one. Not a good look surely Rightwhingers???

  44. winebox 44

    Gingercrush: sour grapes ! (heh).

    Where are Winston’s forensic skills when we need them ?

  45. Grapethroat 45

    As I understand it this could well be the opportunity for Key to be rolled. ACT may well not support him at privileges committee due to friction over the ETS, and some in cabinet would like the opportunity to steer the party to the right. Changes to superannuation are likely to come quick if Key goes.

    • Grapethroat love the name !!!

    • ianmac 45.2

      Don’t think that Act would kill the goose. Even though alliances were at work in the Privileges Committee against Winston I think it would hardly work against Key. And who would be able to afford the top lawyers and investigators to give Key the script to answer any Committee charges even if Lockwood was willing to act with integrity? Ummm
      Though remember that Hide was prosecuter, jury, and judge.

    • I dreamed a dream 45.3

      @Grapethroad “this could well be the opportunity for Key to be rolled.”

      Hmmm… I wondered who actually got this Highwatergate started. Could it be someone from within National, I wonder. Maybe the rightwingers in NACT have had enough and felt it’s time to roll him.

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