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.