Sprung again – Key’s “lawyer” has close links to Mossack Fonseca

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, May 10th, 2016 - 170 comments
Categories: accountability, don brash, Economy, john key, Politics, tax - Tags: , , , , , ,

Contrary to Prime Minister John Key’s categorical assertion, his “lawyer”, Ken Whitney, has been found to have links to Mossack Fonseca, the Panama law firm at the centre of a global scandal on tax evasion and avoidance, TVNZ reported today.

When it was first revealed that Whitney, who is no longer a registered lawyer but is Key’s legal adviser, was integrally connected to New Zealand’s tax avoidance scheme for foreigners through his firm Antipodes Trust Ltd, Key was asked if Whitney had given him a personal assurance that Antipodes had no connection to Mossack Fonseca. “Correct,” was Key’s answer.

“I know that he is of the highest ethical level and that he has the greatest level of oversight,” Key went on.

Turns out its all not true.

TVNZ’s Andrea Vance reported her investigation of the Panama Papers in conjunction with Nicky Hager and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, found significant links between Antipodes and Mossack Fonseca through companies in the notorious tax haven, the British Virgin Islands.

Between 2012 and 2014 Whitney was a director of the New Zealand arm of Rothschild Trust Ltd, which owns two companies, Capewood Investments Ltd, and Exchange Securities. Mossack Fonseca’s branch in the Virgin Islands was the agent for both these companies.

The public release of the Panama Papers database today suggests that this will be just one of many embarrassments for the government, the amoral rich and criminals.

TVNZ also reported that New Zealand law firms which successfully lobbied the government last year to halt a review of the law foreign trust laws initiated by Inland Revenue, have had significant dealings with Mossack Fonseca.

Lawyers from Cone Marshall, Asiaciti Trust, John W Hart, Anchor Trust International acted as directors and liquidators for dozens of Mossack Fonseca-related companies.

Cone Marshall acted as an intermediary, known as an “eligible introducer”, for Mossack Fonseca, just months before lobbying Inland Revenue Minister, Todd McClay about plans to tighten up on the tax scam.

Whitney was also one of the prime lobbyists. Despite a clear and obvious conflict of interest, Key allowed Whitney to lobby him. Differing versions of what was said have emerged with Key claiming Whitney’s recollection as “sloppy” and Key also having a different version of what he told Revenue Minister Todd McClay, than what McClay recalled.

The upshot was that McClay had a meeting with the “industry”, incredibly in offices of Antipodes, where the industry put the case that the $25m-$50m earned by the industry was worth the resultant reputational damage to New Zealand.

Interestingly, even former National Party and Act Party leader, Don Brash, who was of course also a long serving Governor of the Reserve Bank, has come out strongly against the foreign tax regime.

“If we were setting up a system that allows people to evade tax, that would be wrong,” he said.

“The Panama Papers issue is either illegal, or verging on illegal; it’s tax evasion, rather than tax avoidance,” Brash said.

“It seems to me that people involved in Panama structures are almost certainly trying to evade tax and I think that’s entirely reprehensible.”

“If we do have a tax haven here, I’d be very unhappy. What’s going on in Panama seems entirely inappropriate, if not criminal. If that’s what’s happening, and New Zealanders are playing a substantive part in that, then that’s reprehensible. “

He said the $25 million or so of fees collected by lawyers and accountants for doing this dirty business is not worth the damage it is doing to sully New Zealand’s previously clean reputation for transparency and low level of corruption.

Key yesterday did further backpedalling from his original position that New Zealand is not a tax haven and has full disclosure.

While not accepting the clear and obvious evidence that New Zealand is a tax haven, Key in his weekly press conference allowed that a tightening of the disclosure rules would likely proceed after John Shewan had completed his review. The Government would fast forward a law change targeting money laundering.

Today’s Dominion Post editorial headlined “Fiddling as we lose our good reputation,” slammed the government’s slow reaction to respond to the release by an anonymous whistleblower of Mossack Fonseca’s 11.5 million files, known as the Panama Papers.

“The longer New Zealand is clearly linked to the Panama Papers, the worse its international reputation will become.”

It asks: “Why has New Zealand allowed itself to stand out from countries like Australia and Britain, encouraging this kind of behaviour.”

Why indeed.

(Simon Louisson formerly worked for The Wall Street Journal, NZPA, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and was most recently a political and media adviser to the Green Party)

170 comments on “Sprung again – Key’s “lawyer” has close links to Mossack Fonseca”

  1. Te Reo Putake 1

    I’ve just had a wee play on the offshore leaks database. Aldgate, John Key’s favourite tube station, brings up some interesting hits. I haven’t got time this morning to look further, but Aldgate Ltd is linked to what appears to be a Queenstown law firm.

    Other nearby stations on the Circle Line include Moorgate, Temple and Monument. Perhaps readers with time on their hands could look further?

    https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/

    The database also links to OpenCorporates. Once you register, you can trace shareholdings and directors there.

    Happy fishing!

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Are you talking about Aldgate Ltd, the company incorporated in 2011 in the Seychelles?

      How is that related to John Key’s ‘blind’ New Zealand family trust?

      https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/10024363

      • I don’t know if it is or isn’t linked to Key, Lanthanide. If I had immediately found such a link, Key would be resigning about now.

        I simply ran out of time this morning to look further. There are several other ‘Aldgate’ named companies and I’ll have a look tonight and see where that leads. What I was suggesting was crowd sourcing the research effort. It may be that it’s a dead end, but I think it’s more than likely that Key has money squirrelled away somewhere given his past working history and his lawyer’s love of the dodgy trusts.

        So it’s worth checking Aldgate and similar names, just in case. But bear in mind that the whole point of these trusts is to disguise the true owners. It won’t be easy.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1

          Right, just checking.

          Key’s trust is of course a New Zealand based family trust. So I doubt you’ll find anything in a Foreign Trust database.

          • te reo putake 1.1.1.1.1

            No sweat. To be fair, my suspicion is that Key has many trusts, so I’m not expecting a link to the already known about family trust. What I think might be there is ‘Aldgate 2’, the one we aren’t supposed to know about.

          • alwyn 1.1.1.1.2

            That isn’t fair Lanthanide. TRP is simply engaging in fantasy, which is par for the course among those who will try anything to attack Key. Chris Trotter has a post on the subject.

            I tried the method myself. I looked up Andrew Little. He didn’t appear under that name so he is clearly involved in grossly illegal practices. If they were legal he would happily have used his own name. Instead he is using a pseudonym.
            I just have the minor little task of identifying what false name his dark secrets are hidden under. Obviously they are there somewhere tucked under a rock. He has gone to an enormous amount of trouble to hide them so thoroughly.

            Fun isn’t it? Crazy and meaningless but fun.

            • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Actually I think TRP’s aims, which he states in 1.1.1.1.1 are pretty reasonable.

              Andrew Little has said he doesn’t have any trusts at all. So if you could tag him as being a beneficiary to any trust, then you would have dirt you could use directly against him.

            • te reo putake 1.1.1.1.2.2

              It’ll be fun I find something, alwyn! I genuinely believe that someone as knowledgeable about money as our PM might be tempted to have some dosh tucked away. We know he’s rich and we know his personal lawyer does this stuff for a living. Given how Key’s used to getting away with dodgy stuff, I think it’s a possibility. Maybe not a probability, but a possibility for sure.

              • Anno1701

                2 words

                BEARER SHARES (yes some countries haven’t banned these yet believe it or not !)

                this is why you will not find the PMs names on this database…

            • Tricledrown 1.1.1.1.2.3

              Merrill Lynch has had long ties with Panamanian tax haven.
              Going back to 1910.

  2. Pasupial 2

    Simon Louisson

    The paragraph relating to the meeting in the Antipodes offices ends:

    the industry put the case that the $25m-$50m earned by the industry was worth the resultant

    Should that be read as the; “resultant costs of being a viewed as a tax haven”, or did you mean to finish the paragraph differently?

    • Simon Louisson 2.1

      Thanks — also upfixed Key quote:
      “I know that he is of the highest ethical level and that he has the greatest level of oversight,” Key went on.

      • Richardrawshark 2.1.1

        ..and he’s brilliant.

        he tails off, that’s the last bit of the sentence I believe.

  3. ianmac 3

    Question Time today could be interesting though Key will argue
    a. Nothing illegal and
    b. He has no Ministerial responsibility for Whitney.
    Though did he mislead the House with his previous assertions.

    • mary_a 3.1

      @ ianmac (3) … and misleading the House is an offence is it not?

      It’s just for the ‘grace’ and corruption of Speaker Carter that keeps FJK there!

  4. Penny Bright 4

    New Zealand – the tax haven’ – (formerly) without the ‘tax haven’ label?

    ‘Perceived’ to be now the fourth ‘least corrupt country in the world’ (according g to the 2015 Transparency International (in my view – MEANINGLESS) ‘Corruption Perception Index’?

    How CONVENIENT (was) that?

    Seen this?

    NZ as Offshore Financial Centre Trust New Zealand

    http://www.trust-nz.com/en-nz-as-offshore.html

    “…You must remember that New Zealand is not a tax haven.

    Nevertheless, it is considered by many international investors and businessmen as the best jurisdiction to form asset protection structures and tax regimes for non-resident shareholders and/or beneficiaries.

    So the country can provide all the advantages of traditional “offshore” jurisdictions and even more because it is notblacklisted by any jurisdiction or authority in the world and has no connotations as a tax haven.

    New Zealand is a full member of the OECD, FATF and World Trade Organization.

    The advantage of New Zealand can be summarised in the following:

    New Zealand is considered by many to be the Switzerland of the South Pacific combining extremely high levels of reliability and service with high levels of confidentiality at a very competitive price.

    New Zealand has established reliable and government guaranteed banking industry, a controlled and highly professional trustee industry and profession, a wealth of highly competent accounting and legal advisors.

    Properly structured New Zealand entities [companies and trusts] are completely tax free here, i.e. pay no tax in New Zealand as long as they are established and owned by non residents and do not do business here.

    These structures can trade, invest, own assets, sell and buy property and shares and pay no tax in New Zealand

    New Zealand is one of the few jurisdictions that provides the added protection of trusts which means creditors, spouses, claimants cannot get at your assets because these are owned by a trust and no New Zealand court will ever interfere or disturb this arrangement.

    In New Zealand law a properly structured trust is unbreakable which makes New Zealand in a par with jurisdictions like the Cook Islands but without the stigma of offshore.
    …..”

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    • Sorrwerdna 4.1

      Rather ironic having Penny talking about tax evasion/avoidance -aren’t rates a form of taxation.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Protest is legitimate and she isn’t actually trying to evade the rates. Couple of major differences there between what Penny is doing and what National have allowed the rich to get away with.

        • International Rescue 4.1.1.1

          Protest is legitimate. Not paying your rates, and relying on the rest of us to carry you, isn’t.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            Pretty sure that the judge disagreed with you.

            Also, you could always join her in her protest. Maybe if more of us did then we’d get the transparency that she’s advocating for.

        • Chooky 4.1.1.2

          +100 DTB

      • ann johns 4.1.2

        She’s not evading anything, she’s made it clear that she is witholding those rates until the Auckland City Council is willing to be transparent, shed some sunlight. Exactly what we want to see happen here, so why don’t you go away and think about that before you post comments like that.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.2.1

          It doesn’t really matter what your reasoning is, refusing to pay a legally required debt is evasion.

          Just like tax evasion is tax evasion – even if you need to do it to afford your child’s hospital care, it’s still tax evasion.

        • Visubversa 4.1.2.2

          There is no Auckland City Council. There is an Auckland Council. Everything she wants is already reviewed by Council’s auditors. However, the details of individual contracts for things like processing resource consent applications when the Council staff are overloaded, are no more her business than the details of the pay rates of individual staff.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.2.1

            However, the details of individual contracts for things like processing resource consent applications when the Council staff are overloaded, are no more her business than the details of the pay rates of individual staff.

            I’m going to disagree with you there. Who the council contracts with and how much is being paid and what the KPIs are is most definitely our business. How else are we to know how well these things are working?

        • Chooky 4.1.2.3

          +100…well said ann jones

          International Rescue ( misnoma?)is obviously at the Conventional Level of Kohlberg’s hierarchy of moral development…Penny is at a higher level …the Principled Level of moral development…where sometimes laws/social conventions are made to be broken if a higher universal moral principle is at stake

          https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=kohlberg%27s+theory+of+moral+development&espv=2&biw=1276&bih=747&site=webhp&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwiSrby2qM_MAhWB6KYKHTIHCJAQsAQILA

    • Chooky 4.2

      +100…good points Penny…in other words New Zealand under jonkey nactional is a tax haven but with a respectable face

      white collar corruption, bankster fraud and white collar tax evasion usually looks respectable

  5. ianmac 5

    Just up on the Herald.
    “Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca used a bankrupt Elvis impersonator from Tauranga to provide a sham residential address for the alleged bagman in a major bribery scandal in Iraq.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11636474

    • joe90 5.1

      It’s a small world ianmac – I’ve known Darryl for many years.

      Always the slippery one, too.

    • International Rescue 5.2

      Yes, this morning we have an Elvis impersonator and a dead businessman. Tomorrow we’ll have news that Elvis is, in fact, alive and living in Panama.

    • Pasupial 5.3

      … Big Fat Elvis doesn’t know what the fuss means
      So I have to explain to
      Big Fat Elvis – isn’t what he should be
      I say; “hey Elvis you got insecurity”…

      [Youtube glitch means you have to click on the skip forwards button twice to get the song I’m referencing (same band). Can’t figure out how to fix that in the available editing time.]

  6. Sam C 6

    So, remind me again, what has Ken Whitney done that is illegal? Oh, that’s right, NOTHING. What has John Key done that is illegal? Oh, that’s right, NOTHING.

    New Zealand’s reputation has been sullied, you say. Well, that’s a pretty subjective statement, but in any event, if NZ’s reputation has been sullied, it certainly hasn’t to the extent of a list of Western countries as long as my arm.

    • grumpystilskin 6.1

      Poor old sam c just doesn’t get it.
      Perception is everything in the world of politics.

      • Sam C 6.1.1

        Grumpy, forgive me if I take a wait and see approach to that assertion.

        I think you’ll find most voters would prefer that the IRD focused its energies on clamping down on people in NZ that are avoiding tax, rather than some overseas outfit (criminal or not) not paying tax in NZ when that income hasn’t been generated in NZ in the first place.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Bullshit.

          Ask any Kiwi if they would prefer the IRD target themselves or to target foreign tax evading corporate entities in the chase for tax $$$ and I know what the answer will be.

          • Sam C 6.1.1.1.1

            Oh well, we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out then, won’t we?

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes we will. Personally I think the Opposition are still on the wrong track with all this.

    • ianmac 6.2

      Maybe the legality of money laundering, secretive trusts, tax avoidance should be changed. It s legal to avoid tax in NZ but why should multi millionaires pay no tax when the cleaner must pay tax.
      Sam please adjust your compass.

      • Sam C 6.2.1

        Well Ian, maybe some Labour MPs should adjust their compasses too.

        Even if you have a NZ based trust, there are usually tax rules which allow you to be taxed at a lower rate than would normally be the case under other domestic regimes. This is all perfectly legal, and plenty of people (Labour MPs included) do it.

        Do they need to adjust their compasses too or are they exempt?

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          This is all perfectly legal, and plenty of people (Labour MPs included) do it.

          Now, this is interesting. Please do explain how you know this as a fact.

          • Sam C 6.2.1.1.1

            It is an assumption – why else would they have such a structure? There are benefits in having assets in a trust, including tax benefits.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1.1.1

              “Tax benefits”. Like paying less than your share, for example.

              • Sam C

                Not for me to say – ask those who insist putting their assets in a trust. I’m not one of them.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  There are benefits in having assets in a trust, including tax benefits

                  Not for me to say

                  I’m glad you cleared that up. Thanks.

                  • Sam C

                    “Not for me to say” was in direct response to your assertion that those holding assets in trusts weren’t paying their fair share of tax.

                    Just to clear that up for you.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Clearly you had some other ‘tax benefit’ in mind. Sounds like paying less (a zero-rate, perhaps) to me whether it’s for you to say or not.

              • Chuck

                A trusts main purpose is to look after a asset/s, but you already knew that OAB 🙂

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The issue here is the way that particular trust and/or company structures can be used by offshore third parties as tax avoidance and/or money-laundering vehicles, but you already knew that Chuck 😉

    • AB 6.3

      So ‘legality’ is the only test we should apply? There is no underlying set of ethical principles on which our legal system should be based?
      So a government could pass a law saying it is OK to euthanize disabled people and it would be all good?
      Just about ALL political debate in western societies is about whether the law (and regulation) is a proper representation of our moral principles.

      And of course – the whole purpose of the trusts set up by these NZ lawyers is to create complex structures that allow certain behaviour to meet the letter of the law – even where that behaviour completely violates the spirit of the law and the lawmaker’s intention.

      So to make legality the only test of whether something is right or wrong is the utterly craven behaviour of an apologist.

      • Sam C 6.3.1

        Well no, that’s not what I actually said.

        But nobody, apart from the select few in the “bunker” have access to the content of the Panama Papers, so you and I are both interpreting what is “ethical” through the interpretations of Nicky Hagar and Andrea Vance, which as history shows, are not the most objective of “investigative” journalists.

        I’m betting that in the fullness of time, there will be some tweaks to the legislation as a result of this, but what is the point of jumping in boots and all when you don’t even know the extent of the problem?

        • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.1

          Well no, that’s not what I actually said.

          Yes, actually, it is. You’re just trying to back-pedal from it now that it’s been shown to be an entirely unethical stand.

          And then you went off to try and justify your unethical position by blaming other people.

          Typical RWNJ behaviour. Completely amoral and refusing to take personal responsibility.

        • framu 6.3.1.2

          thats your third shift of the goal posts

          first it was legallity
          then it was what the voters might think
          then it was taking aim at the opposition
          now its shooting the messenger

          maybe focus on how to fix things instead

    • Draco T Bastard 6.4

      What have they done that is actually right and proper?

      Just because something is legal doesn’t mean that it’s right or that it should be legal.

      • Sam C 6.4.1

        Well, if you are applying that threshold, where do we start?

        I’d like to start a bit closer to home thanks with reforming everything that is legal but that isn’t necessarily “right” – whatever that means. So, although adultery is legal, it is immoral (according to some). Should we make adultery illegal?

        Answers on the back of an envelope.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.4.1.1

          We can start here:
          The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED)

          And believe me, it doesn’t fit on the back of an envelope.

          • Sam C 6.4.1.1.1

            That’s your problem right there.

            Your pathological hatred of the PM clouds your thinking around the bigger issue, which is whether there is a need to change the law in NZ regarding the foreign trust regime.

            John Key’s lies have nothing to do with this. And you seem to think that the fact Ken Whitney et al wanted to lobby Todd McClay is crime of the century? Guess what? That’s what happens in any democracy – Government Ministers get lobbied. You may not like it, but it happens under Labour Governments too. Maybe we should make that illegal while we’re at it?

            • miravox 6.4.1.1.1.1

              ” Maybe we should make that illegal while we’re at it?”

              No. We should make it transparent.

              Clear as day who the lobbyists are, why they’re there and what government policies, regulations and laws will be affected.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.4.1.1.1.2

              John Key’s lies have nothing to do with this.

              Actually, they do considering that he’s been caught lying yet again.

              Your pathological hatred of the PM clouds your thinking around the bigger issue, which is whether there is a need to change the law in NZ regarding the foreign trust regime.

              I don’t hate FJK but I do hate the damage that he’s doing to our country and our society. And considering that the laws presently allow immoral actions then it’s obvious that they need to be changed.

              Oh, that’s right, FJK and the government he leads wrote those immoral laws.

              That’s what happens in any democracy – Government Ministers get lobbied.

              Well, IMO, that’s another immoral action that needs to be made illegal.

              • Sam C

                That’s quite a list you’re building there.

                The Labour Government is going to be very busy in its first term.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Probably, although I’m not sure their plans are exactly the same as Draco’s. You may want to check that for yourself.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’m pretty sure they’re not which is why I’m not a Labour Party member.

            • Kevin 6.4.1.1.1.3

              Nice to see someone on the right finally admit he is a pathological liar. Cheers.

            • framu 6.4.1.1.1.4

              ” And you seem to think that the fact Ken Whitney et al wanted to lobby Todd McClay is crime of the century? Guess what? That’s what happens in any democracy – Government Ministers get lobbied”

              you seriously think that was the issue?

              jesus wept

        • Colonial Viper 6.4.1.2

          I’d like to start a bit closer to home thanks

          Hey dickhead this tax evasion enabling legislation is made and enforced from downtown Wellington, how much “closer to home” do you want.

          • Sam C 6.4.1.2.1

            Ignore the rest of my comment, if it makes you feel better.

            And hey dickhead, as I’ve already said, I’m sure there will be changes to the legislation as a result of this.

            • Colonial Viper 6.4.1.2.1.1

              Just making the point that locals located locally in local organisations are responsible for this tax haven situation.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.4.1.2.1.2

              So am I. For example, when the government introduced the new category of PIE in 2011, the IRD advised that it would affect:

              Sections CP 1, CX 56, CX 56B, DB 54B, HM 1, HM 2, HM 6, HM 6B, HM 7, HM 8, HM 11 to 13, HM 19B, HM 19C, HM 31 to 33, HM 35C, HM 41, HM 44, HM 44B, HM 47, HM 51, HM 53, HM 55C to 55H, HM 60, HM 61, HM 64, HM 65, HM 71B, HM 82, IC 3, LS 1, LS 2, YA 1 and schedule 6 of the Income Tax Act 2007; sections 28D, 31B and 31C of the Tax Administration Act 1994

              Those aren’t all the ‘minor’ changes they brought in, just the ones affecting some of the new cash washing machines investment vehicles.

              Expect more of the same.

              • nadis

                just a reminder…… the pie changes in 2010 have nothing to do with the Mossack Fonseca type of business. Pretty sure not a single $ has been laundered through PIE funds, and you should expunge the 2010 PIE change from your arguments as it just makes you look uninformed. It just cant be done, because to invest in a PIE as a trust, you must -with no exceptions – identify all trustees and beneficiaries. And PIEs have explicit rules that no person or group of relted persons can control more than 20% of the trusts assets. Every PIE ever registered is some variation of a collective investment vehicle with public disclosure of trustees, and more important, full IRD transparency of all investors. Whereas with a private trust, all that stuff is secret, hence their attraction.

                However you are dead set correct that billions of dollars have been and are being hidden by private discretionary trusts domiciled in NZ, but with foreign beneficiaries and settlers. And those trusts are set up and maintained by law firms, both small and Shortland street like. PIE funds on the other hand are exclusively set up and amiantained by investment managers who are regulated by the Financial markets Authority.

                One other comment I would make about any politician, donor or other NZ person who is named in the data leak, is this. The fact they have a foreign (from NZ) trust is not the interesting detail. What counts is the answer to this question:

                “Have youn disclosed details of the foreign trust that you are a bveneficiasry of to the IRD?” If the answer is yes, move a long nothing to see here. If the answer is no, then that person is breaking the law. Criminal law, not civil.

                Re Mojo Mathers type allegations or any person linked to an offshore trust, it is really easy to get to the bottom of whether she or they are breaking the law or not:

                A) ask her if she discloses the trust and its accounts to the IRD (she may refuse to answer which is entirely her right, but she won’t be able to ignore the IRD’s new Panama team ), or

                B) Check the interest register at parliament to see if she lists the trust. If yes, then you can assume she reports it to IRD, if no, then she is misleading parliament. That would give no insight in to whether she is playing tax evasion with the IRD, but you could draw a conclusion along those lines.

                I suspect that she will be doing the right thing. To not report is such an obviously stupid thing for a private citizen to do, let alone a politician…….

                • Pat

                  http://www.ird.govt.nz/resources/5/8/583adc804ba3d6f9bc19bd9ef8e4b077/ir858.pdf

                  he investor must also provide the following additional information:
                  • date of birth, if applicable
                  • home address in their country or territory where they reside for tax purposes
                  • their equivalent of their tax le (IRD) number in
                  the country or territory where they reside for tax purposes, or a declaration if they’re unable to provide this number.

                • Pat

                  Mojo Mathers (Green, List)
                  4 Beneficial interests in, and trusteeships of, trusts
                  Lamledra Hart Trust (beneficiary)
                  6 Real property
                  Home, Peel Forest Village, Canterbury, New Zealand
                  Holiday home, Peel Forest Village, Canterbury, New Zealand
                  Lamledra house (owned by trust), Gorran Haven, Cornwall, United Kingdom

                  7 Superannuation schemes
                  AMP KiwiSaver
                  9 Creditors
                  Kiwibank – mortgage
                  10 Overseas travel costs
                  United Kingdom – Lush award presentation. Contributor to travel (economy class airfare): Lush prize.
                  J. 7

                  http://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-nz/51DBHOH_PAP68868_1/d8a2bfb5d3a719a3d923ee523233665750f46412

                  starting to wonder if you wrote Key’s speech

                  • nadis

                    Why?

                    I haven’t stated any opinions on this, just facts. And as expected, the Mojo Mathers thing is a beat up.

                    But if you want my opinion here it is. All trusts domiciled in NZ should identify all settlers and beneficiaries to the IRD with certified passports, certified proof of address and an official tax registration number (as all investors in PIE funds already have to do), and provide a copy of trust accounts to the IRD.

                    Problem solved.

                    • Pat

                      “All trusts domiciled in NZ should identify all settlers and beneficiaries to the IRD with certified passports, certified proof of address and an official tax registration number (as all investors in PIE funds already have to do), and provide a copy of trust accounts to the IRD.”

                      except as you can see from my post and link above they do not have to provide a passport,nor a registered tax number and their address for tax purposes can be, say a Panamanian one (or the like) so your contention falls flat.

                    • nadis

                      Except Pat, in NZ the FMA is responsible for compliance with Anti-money laundering legislation, not the IRD. I merely said the data should go to the IRD, not necessarily the proof of that data..

                      The minimum practice required by the FMA is verification of that minimum data stated in the legislation with a certified copy of an official document. Every institution that operates a PIE requires as a minimum certified passport or birth cert, certified proof of address, bank account number, official tax identifier. No exceptions.

                      The FMA does not allow anyone to self certify, hence the requirement for docs that meet their minimum code of practice.

                      https://fma.govt.nz/assets/Reports/131201-identity-verification-code-of-practice-aml-cft.pdf

                      And anyway, if you can explain how a dodgy offshore person could use a PIE fund to their nefarious advantage, I’m all ears, butr I’m 100% sure you won’t be able to come up with anything remotely possible.

                      But if you want, I can tell you several ways in which dodgy offshore people can use NZ domiciled foreign trusts to launder money, hide the origins of money and ultimately either avoid tax in their home country, or in some cases actually pay tax in NZ, which is a stamp of legitimacy for dirty money. If you transfer money from a legitimate NZ investment that has paid tax in NZ to the US or European banking system, it is 100% clean, even if it originally came from Russian or Chinese organised crime organisations, or third world despots, or fraudsters or whatever.

                    • Pat

                      Three levels of customer due dilligence
                      In some instances, we have noticed a lack of understanding of the three levels of CDD and the di erent requirements for each level. This has resulted
                      in incomplete identi cation documentation, especially relating to trusts and the person who is acting on behalf of a customer. It also extends to veri cation requirements as detailed in the Identity Veri cation Code of Practice (Code of Practice). With enhanced CDD there appears
                      to be a lack of understanding of requirements when obtaining information relating to the source of funds
                      or the wealth of the customer (section 23(a)) and veri cation of this information (section 24(1)(b)).
                      Identity Veri cation Code of Practice
                      We have noticed that in a number of instances the correct identi cation documents have not been obtained under the Code of Practice. This also extends to the veri cation of these documents. In some instances where certi cation of documents has been carried out:
                      • the ‘certi er’ has not been an ‘independent’ person • scanned “copies of certi ed documents have been
                      received but not the original certi ed copy
                      • employees e.g. authorised nancial advisers of an RE, have ‘certi ed’ sighting the original document.
                      Certifying is addressed under the Code of Practice, including who can ‘certify’ documents.
                      Good practice
                      Some REs have fully automated transaction monitoring systems with rules that are t for purpose and re ect the risk assessment. This ensures e ort
                      is put into areas of identi ed risk of ML/TF. Where
                      an external provider is used, there is a clearly documented understanding of responsibilities and regular reviewing.
                      Customer due diligence (CDD)
                      Having processes in place to appropriately identify
                      and verify customers is critical to an e ective AML/CFT programme. CDD is the cornerstone of the AML/CFT regime and REs must have proper systems, processes and policies in place to undertake this. This also extends to adequate frontline sta training in CDD requirements.”

                      https://fma.govt.nz/assets/Reports/_versions/5436/141101-AMLCFT-Monitoring-Report-2014.1.pdf

                      “And anyway, if you can explain how a dodgy offshore person could use a PIE fund to their nefarious advantage, I’m all ears, butr I’m 100% sure you won’t be able to come up with anything remotely possible.”

                      …..perhaps like this.

                    • Pat

                      The focus on the 2011 PIE tax regime is not a distraction from the issue of money laundering or tax evasion….it is simply the explanation for the explosion in the attractiveness of NZ as a destination for those activities.
                      I understand you don’t wish the industry you are involved in to be associated with these activities but it is unrealistic to maintain the position there is no connection, it is promoted as such and was foretold in a number of reports…that is not to suggest the entire industry is involved nor that it is its sole purpose.
                      I agree that PIEs as a vehicle for investment are not the issue per se however I think it highly probable that should the rules around FTs and disclosure be amended to truly meet anti laundering goals the size of the industry will shrink significantly.

                    • Nadis []

                      Pat. It wont make any difference to pies if rules are tightened. There is almost no offshore money in any pies. Be very happy for younto explain why pies are iseful for tax evaders. I have clearly explained why they arent.

                      It would make a differnsce to anonymoud foreign trusts however whichnwould be a good thing. Despite being involved closely with pies i would fully support law changes that cleaned up or closed down the foreign trust business. It adds nothing to nz. Just keeps a few lawyers in late model porsches.

                    • Nadis []

                      And can you describe the pies u have identified as not being for investment purp9ses?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Ok Thanks Nadis.

                  Why don’t they use zero-rated PIEs to avoid tax though:? Isn’t that the mechanism Mizzi used?

                  The IRD lists the changes made in 2011. What caused the subsequent proliferation of trust vehicles?

                  • Pat

                    nadir knows full well (or if he’s what he claims he is, he should) that FTs can and do invest in zero rated PIEs and that the whole scam is essentially an honor system….further it is exactly that zero rated change rat caused the explosion of FTs in NZsince 2011

                    • Nadis

                      Seriously guys the zero rated pie thing is not the issue. Bu focussing on it, u fall into the trap set for you by the lawyers who faciltate the anonymous offshore trusts.

                      Zero rate pies are public vehicles by definition. Why would money launderers use them? They have registers which display identifying details of all unit holders. No unit holder is able to exercise any control over the PIE.

                      And the whole concept of zero rating was to allow easy access to nz investment funds by foreigners who previously had 28% tax withheld. But as long as they are not nz taxpayers and the pie has no nz income, they have no Nz tax liability.

                      I dont know about Mizzi,band whether he inested in a pie. There is a big misconception here – PIEs are not something an individual can create for thrir own personal use. Thwrw arw very strict rules around minimum number of investors, related partoes etc. Every pie i van think of has an external (to the PIE) manager, custodianand trustee. The pie structure is what uour kiwisaver is. It is not a private tax planning vehicle.

                      Seriously, you guys should listen to what i am saying. Nz DOES have a major issue around private foreign trusts
                      being used to launder money or to hide assets. It is disgraceful and some of our large shortland street firms are fully complicit. Not breaking any laws but knowing full well they are aiding ratbags from offshore. The PIE thing is not related. Pies have none of the attributes thayoney laundwrers or tax evadwrs want.

                      As to why there has been an explosion of foreign trusts over the last 5 yrs. It is probably because secretive tax planning firms like mossack fonseca became aware of how lenient our foreign trust rules are.

                      And there is a list of all pies somewhere probably at ird, and all those pies must main a register that identifies every investor, unlike the private unregistered forwign trusts. Each pie must be registered with the IRD and have an IRD number.

                      i’ll say it again. Keep banging on about PIEs and you’ll neglect the real issue which is why does NZ allow anonymous cash to flow through our jurisdiction when we are allegedly against money laundering by criminals and terrorists. The only benefit of this business is fees to a handful of lawyers. There is no wider benefit to nz.

                    • Nadis

                      Just to add one point of clarification pat. The zero change didnt change anything at all for foreign trusts. They have never had a tax liability in NZ. The increase in number of trusts was not pies. It was foreign trusts. So why did the change cause the explosion un numbers?

                      You are confusing a spurious correlation with causation.

                  • Nadis

                    Oab. I commented on the explosion in numbers below. The zero rated pies arent useful for tax evasion because they dont rremove tax liability. Any investor is still legally liable to pay tax in their own jurisdiction as per tue rules of there home.

                    The reason why pies with a zero ratte for foreigners arent useful for tax evaders is brcaise they bringnyou inside the formal disclosure and reporting rules. I would be surprised, and the fma would likely shut down any pie with anonymous or h8dden investors. All majagers of pies are audited 2 yearly to ensure they are identifying allbinvestors correctly. So if a foreigner uses anpie in nz and doesnt report the income back home, they tun tue risk of their tax authority receiving info from tue Ird. It would be extremely and simple for s foreign tax aythority to ask the ird for a list of all pie investors in nz who have an address or passport of their country. In fact already, all pie funds mus port annually the details of any usa investor to the ird which is oasswd directly to the irs.

                    By the way, nz investors have always been able to select their own tax rate. If for instance youbhave a kiwisaver, you ccak declare ehat your tax rate is. You can say 0%. Or 28%. The choice is yours. But no matter what u select u still have the obligation to pay the right amount of tax to ird. And if you dont pay enough the ird will come after u with penalties.

                    • Pat

                      “the reason why pies with a zero ratte for foreigners arent useful for tax evaders is brcaise they bringnyou inside the formal disclosure and reporting rules. I would be surprised, and the fma would likely shut down any pie with anonymous or h8dden investors. All majagers of pies are audited 2 yearly to ensure they are identifying allbinvestors correctly. So if a foreigner uses anpie in nz and doesnt report the income back home, they tun tue risk of their tax authority receiving info from tue Ird. It would be extremely and simple for s foreign tax aythority to ask the ird for a list of all pie investors in nz who have an address or passport of their country. In fact already, all pie funds mus port annually the details of any usa investor to the ird which is oasswd directly to the irs.”

                      so how many PIE funds has the FMA shut down to date?……none I can find…however if you read the previous link you will know compliance is almost non existent….they have however issued a warning or two.
                      http://www.interest.co.nz/property/81367/craigs-investment-partners-gets-formal-warning-after-fma-investigation-its-anti-money

                      The NZ IRD has no obligation to foreign jurisdictions other than to supply (limited) information IF REQUESTED and only if we have a reciprocal agreement with that jurisdiction so to claim that FTs risk disclosure of benefit is spurious, especially if the investor claims tax residency in a country without such an agreement, AND the information available to the FMA and/or IRD is both limited and frequently unverified. …a point that has been noted by various experts over the course of this debate and confirmed by the FMAs own audit. (see previous post and link)

                      Your claim that the zero rating for FTs investing in NZ PIE funds was the case prior to 2011 is also bogus ..

                      http://www.ird.govt.nz/technical-tax/legislation/2011/2011-63/2011-63-foreign-investment-pies/

                    • Nadis []

                      I said zero rates for non resident trusts obviously. You know, what we have been discussing.

                    • Pat

                      so in summary you hold the following positions?

                      1)The PIE tax changes 2011 had no impact on the number of FTs in NZ

                      2) There is no tax evasion potential by investing in a PIE

                      3) FTs do not invest in PIE Funds due to disclosure requirements

                      4) If disclosure around FTs was strengthened it would have no impact on PIE funds

    • Macro 6.5

      So were the gas chambers in Germany
      “legal”
      Didn’t make them morally right though.

      • Sam C 6.5.1

        Long bow there Macro, very long bow.

        • Colonial Viper 6.5.1.1

          legal ain’t the same as right.

          A corruptocracy is always going to manipulate the system to make their preferred behaviours legal. Or at least, unenforceable.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.5.1.2

          I believe it’s a morally white bow, m’lud.

          • Sam C 6.5.1.2.1

            Crikey. Are you really comparing gas chambers in Germany to foreign trusts?

            • Macro 6.5.1.2.1.1

              Because billions of dollars ripped off from poor countries are squirreled away to launder and evade tax, countries reliant on that evaded tax cannot support the infrastructures and health regimes that are necessary to support life – you may as well throw millions into gas chambers instead.

              • Sam C

                Ok, so you are then. Wow.

                • Macro

                  I’ll give just one tragic example.
                  The Philippines govt is cash strapped because of the elite robbing the poor and buying shoes and secreting the rest in Swiz Bank a/cs.
                  Today 11 young women will die in childbirth in the Philippines and 11 more tomorrow – 4500 a year, because the govt cannot provide adequate pre-natal care and child birthing facilities. The cost of a private birthing clinic is around 20,000 peso which many cannot afford. The cost of a pre-natal scan is around 8,000 peso again out of the reach of many.
                  This senario is repeated around the world thanks to the greed of the elite squirreling away their ill gotten gains.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.5.1.2.1.2

              Me? Nope, I think Macro’s use of a sledgehammer to crack a jelly, while on target, was a tad extreme.

              Your argument is still a munted jelly though.

            • Anno1701 6.5.1.2.1.3

              Hitlers money launderer

              “How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power ”

              http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

            • Tricledrown 6.5.1.2.1.4

              Murderous Dictators and illegal arms Dealers using foreign tax Havens to launder money.

    • mary_a 6.6

      @ Sam C (6) ….

      “What has John Key done that is illegal? Oh, that’s right, NOTHING.”

      Misleading Parliament is illegal! Something Key indulges himself in quite regularly, particularly even more so concerning this issue, when he’s repeatedly stated in the House “… NZ is NOT a tax haven …”

      • Gabby 6.6.1

        ‘Did he personally push through the zero rating of tax on foreign funds in 2010 over the objection of officials from the Ministry of Economic Development or, put another way, does he recall saying: “I have told Gerry to deliver me a paper that has zero rating of funds”?

        Rt Hon PONYBOY: No.’

        Looking forward to seeing how he explains that.

  7. MistahP 7

    I did not have TAX with that HAVEN!

  8. cowboy 8

    Lets not allow Key sycophants to derail the debate here. This is not about the integrity of the New Zealand domestic tax system, that’s your classic strawman strategy. This is all about the morality of allowing opaque foreign trusts using of New Zealand’s hard won international reputation to hide their tax affairs from their own govts. This is exactly how the shady foreign trust industry has been spruiking these services. For all intents and purposes New Zealand is being used as a tax haven and urgent and decisive action is required.

    • nadis 8.1

      Technically NZ isn’t being used as a tax haven. It’s more correct to think of it as a money laundering haven.

  9. dv 9

    Sam C the designated ….. today

    • Pasupial 9.1

      Sam C can barely be said to have existed as a commenter until today (which has seen more than half his total comments in this post alone). He had a total of three comments in August last year (to establish the pseudonym?), with the remainder on April 21st when his defense of Key & Whitney went poorly, starting with:

      This is really desperate stuff. I’m struggling to fathom the depths you’ll go to to smear Key. There really is nothing to see here.

      John’s Key’s “lawyer” is not a lawyer

      Passing through him being called; a fuckwit, and denying ever having mentioning KDS (merely describing the symptoms of that imaginary ailment fashioned in the image of the; Bush Derangement Syndrome, slur of last decade’s Republicans). Culminating in this revealing exchange:

      …I worked for a Magic Circle law firm in London for a number of years (Commercial Real Estate), then the NZ Govt for a few years (administration of Crown Land), then a large energy generator (wind farm development), then a private property consultancy (general property advisory). Then I elected not to new my practicing certificate.

      To which OAB reponded:

      Did you ever come across any situations where a client wanted a legal way to launder money? They say commercial real-estate, for example, is a favourite for washing drug money.

      Can you offer us any insights?

      And then there was silence.

      • Sam C 9.1.1

        Nice detective work, Parsupial. Yes, I just wanted to build a pseudonym…

        I’ve got another life, so don’t feel the need to fill in my days engaged in endless pointless debate on here. But, where posts on here are so off piste as to border on the insane, I feel the urge to comment. This is one such post.

        In re OAB’s question, which you’ve helpfully repeated above,, I logged off the Standard for about a week, so didn’t see the question. My belated answer to his question is: No, I didn’t come across any situations where a client wanted a legal way to launder money. Mind you, that was 15 years ago, before the tidal wave of Russians and Chinese wanting to patriate funds into the UK.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1

          How do you feel about your ‘nothing to see’ remark today, Sam?

          One thing we’ve all seen since then is the Prime Minister’s story changing with each telling. So there was that to see.

          • Sam C 9.1.1.1.1

            How is his story changing? How do you know that Whitney didn’t give him his personal assurance?

            And my nothing to see comment was in relation to the lather people were getting themselves into over whether the PM had called Ken Whitney a lawyer or not. And there really was nothing to see.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1.1.1

              The story about the highly ethical not always morally white close sloppy friend who misrepresented him. That story.

            • Tricledrown 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Time for a cup of tea Sam C.
              It seems looking at your comments and sentiments ,Diction etc.
              They ate identical to banned trolls comments.

              • Sam C

                I’m quite ok thanks Tricledrown. I just have a contrary point of view to some on here. If that is a bannable offence, then ban away.

        • Robert Guyton 9.1.1.2

          ” But, where posts on here are so off piste as to border on the insane, I feel the urge to comment. This is one such post.”
          Sam C says this post borders on the insane.

  10. Ralf Crown 10

    Just another nail in the trade and business coffin called New Zeeland. Who the hell will ever again trust this little retarded paradise in the bottom corner of the map in the future that exposed itself as being full of the proverbial bitches of snoopers behind a laced curtain, always looking for the next dirt to gossip about and spread rumors. No free money flow – no free trade, no secrecy – no business, no export. There are better places to work with. Kiwis are good moving towards a nation where the prime industry is washing the shirts for each other and paying high taxes for the trouble. Bright future, isn’t it.

    • Sam C 10.1

      You should open your eyes and look at Australia, the UK, the US, Continental Europe, to name a few obvious ones. If you think little old NZ is poked, then I’m not sure where you’re going to move that is better. Scandinavia, perhaps?

    • Anno1701 10.2

      “called New Zeeland”

      Odd….

  11. Bob 11

    Title: “Sprung again – Key’s “lawyer” has close links to Mossack Fonseca”
    “Between 2012 and 2014 Whitney was a director of the New Zealand arm of Rothschild Trust Ltd, which owns two companies, Capewood Investments Ltd, and Exchange Securities. Mossack Fonseca’s branch in the Virgin Islands was the agent for both these companies.”
    So Simon, let me get this straight, Key’s Lawyer/Legal Adviser used to be a director in a company, that had a client, that owned two businesses, that had subsidiaries in the British Virgin Islands that used Mossack Fonseca’s services. So this is now classed as a close link???
    Let’s not forget Mossack Fonseca are a legitimate Law Firm that specialises in commercial law, trust services, investor advisory, and international business structures as well as intellectual property protection and maritime law services. Is there any information on what services they actually used? Or is it another case of ‘guilty until proven otherwise’?

    • Reddelusion 11.1

      Don’t be so sensible Bob 😀

      • Tricledrown 11.1.1

        Don’t be so gullible blue rinse .
        Now Key and Cronies trying to launder the truth.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2

      Odd thing to deny, having any connection to such upstanding global citizens with such a useful combination of talents. I wonder why he did that.

      • Bob 11.2.1

        Especially with such ‘close links’! How could he possibly forget…

        • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2.1.1

          Yes, it was sloppy, wasn’t it. A bit embarrassing but no biggie. I expect someone from Cone Marshall forgot to jog his memory too. The optics aren’t great. Never mind.

          Which is worse for you, Bob, tax avoidance or money laundering? The lines are kind of blurry.

          • Bob 11.2.1.1.1

            “Yes, it was sloppy, wasn’t it. A bit embarrassing but no biggie. I expect someone from Cone Marshall forgot to jog his memory too. The optics aren’t great. Never mind. Which is worse for you, Bob, tax avoidance or money laundering? The lines are kind of blurry.”

            Are you suggesting money laundering has occurred?

            To answer your question, I would say:
            1) Money Laundering
            2) Defamation
            3) Tax avoidance

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2.1.1.1.1

              No. The BBC, Business Insider, The New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, RNZ: they’re suggesting money laundering has occurred.

              • Bob

                With regards to John Key’s Lawyer/Legal Adviser as we are discussing on this thread?
                I hadn’t seen any stories on the BBC, Business Insider, The New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media or RNZ making these links. Or have you just gone off on your usual rambling tangent?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You’re going around in circles. We’ve already established that his forgetfulness was sloppy. The BBC etc. made the money laundering link.

                  Personally I think a sloppy forgetful lawyer with links to his country’s PM, who admits under oath that his actions aren’t always ‘morally white’, might accidentally get mixed up in all sorts of unsavoury activities.

                  Especially if he also happens to sell legal structures that are – by an amazing coincidence – tailor made for tax avoidance and money laundering.

            • Anno1701 11.2.1.1.1.2

              “2) Defamation”

              oooooooo……

        • instrider 11.2.1.2

          The funniest “close link” was in radio nz who claimed Whitney gave a reference to a nz lawyer who then went and worked for mosaack fonseca. Oh the shame of it! Will noone think of our international reputation?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2.1.2.1

            You’re conflating Whitney and the Prime Minister’s reputations with that of New Zealand’s. New Zealand’s is damaged by being a tax haven and theirs are damaged by their public statements.

    • Richardrawshark 11.3

      Hey bob, I like your point. Well said.

      I throw in though a series of events that led to a tax haven status, with denial this was happening and we were not a tax haven. This series of events started prior to when Mr Key’s national party gained power in 2008 and was in an interview he had where he said that New Zealand becoming a tax haven like Switzerland was an attractive idea to him.

      Since then woe and behold we are a tax haven.

      The issue is , did he mandate for this, is it morally right, and to do it, he’s lied on quite a few occasions, the questions is now bordering on the, is he fit to hold his cabinet and prime minister position. Is he someone with a good reputation and the morals to lead the country. Ministers have had to leave for lesser transgressions.

      This will for a while, become a fight to retain his power whether he remains leader and PM will be a test of the mans political skills and party control. It will also require him at the same time to manage the public’s opinion on the perception of his actions.

      It will also require him to face question time in the house.

      • Chuck 11.3.1

        Wow Richard rawshark…”This will for a while, become a fight to retain his power whether he remains leader and PM will be a test of the mans political skills and party control.”

        I would like to think you are having a laugh here…but sadly I think you are not and actually believe in what you post.

        As for NZ being a tax haven…no its not.

        http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/ethicalcampaigns/taxjusticecampaign/taxhavenlist.aspx

        • Richardrawshark 11.3.1.1

          I know you disagree and think I’ve gone overboard a bit Chuck. but wait and see mate. Wait and see. i’ll remind you of your reply later.

          This is definitely going to be a fight for John’s political survival. The media don’t run the country just the information coming out.

          Parliament has it’s own rules. in the bear pit he doesn’t have Mike Hosking’s to jump to his defence.

  12. save nz 12

    Hope the SFO and IRD are going through the law and accountancy firms that are making the $24m in fees from the tax scam to make sure they are paying their taxes on the 24m.

  13. One Anonymous Bloke 13

    Our three-way collaboration with One News and Nicky remains intact.

    I expect it’ll still be strong when the Shewan really hits the fan.

    Alex van Wel at RNZ.

    That’s an …interesting… way to put it.

    • alwyn 13.1

      Oh God. Why did you have to highlight that!
      RNZ, TVNZ and Nicky Hager.
      A menage a trois. The mind boggles.

  14. Richardrawshark 14

    Keys the master, he just laughs it off, creates a distraction in Greenpeace amnesty international and the red cross having a trust..like they are international drug dealers or something.

    And says that’s business as normal for us and um what about it? It’s perfectly fine to Mr Key for people like tax evasion specialists because that’s what they are. or as he puts it, a legitimate business group to approached him and have face time with his Ministers..

    I see how Hitler kept power, once your in, anything goes, and what are YOU going to do about it.

    Off Topic, Radioheads new album’s quite good listening now. Nice settling music.

  15. Richardrawshark 15

    I saw Annette so rattled from a preposterous answer, she asked the speaker for help. The opposition are helpless, the powers that be have control of the machine.

    any old answer will do if it’s clearly a plain load of lies and you have the proof in your hand in parliament right there.

    and what.. say the powers that be..it’s unfathomably a joke.

    democracy. she lies bleeding and raped.

    • save nz 15.1

      Maybe Key is just a Stepford politician – the words and content meaningless and just keeps repeating the same few phrases again and again like one of those dolls. Well, actually, at the end of the day…Labour did it first, I can’t recall, NZers don’t want that, etc etc

  16. International Rescue 16

    “…like they are international drug dealers or something.”

    No, that’s not the point at all. The point is that the left are crying guilty by association, and are running down every last elvis impersonator mentioned. If the left is to be consistent, they must put the same sunlight on Greenpeace, Amnesty and any other of their pet political operatives.

    • Sam C 16.1

      No, no, IR – there is a different burden of proof for the Red Cross and Greenpeace – haven’t you been listening? Any links they have to Mossack Fonseca would be completely legitimate. They just would.

      • Grantoc 16.1.1

        Don’t worry Little would ban Red Cross and Greenpeace’s foreign trusts if he was ever to get into power because, according to his simplistic thinking all foreign trusts are bad.

        But he won’t of course. He’s naive at the minute. He’ll come to realise that life is complex and that black and white solutions rarely work.

      • Johan 16.1.2

        Tory Trolls running rampant with predictable misinformation and obfuscation, must be kindergarten 101 time;-)))

        • Grantoc 16.1.2.1

          Johan

          What misinformation and obfuscation are you referring to?

            • Richardrawshark 16.1.2.1.1.1

              So john key blames these groups for other people avoiding taxes because they are a charity if they file the benefactor as say, The Red Cross.

              What sort of low life piece of scum does that.

              and he was laughing and all excited like an ADHD school kid.

              • Hanswurst

                No, he was just huffing, puffing and all excited like John Key.

              • Gristle

                Of course the Red Cross Defence. So if a trust was found with Mr Key or any of the Keylings as beneficiaries then it will be due to Nickey Hager setting it up and naming them as beneficiaries and they know nothing about it.

                • Gangnam Style

                  Try harder spinners, http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/79840537/John-Key-used-discredited-allegations-to-link-Greenpeace-to-foreign-trusts?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

                  “Norman said Greenpeace had never received money from foreign trusts and it was a “completely wild allegation”.
                  “These people use the names of charities to put people off what they’re doing.”
                  Norman said Key was “mud-slinging” in an effort to “muddy the waters on the issue”.
                  “He should deal with the issue at hand and crack down on tax avoidance”.
                  On top of the Greenpeace allegations Key also took a swipe at Green Party MP Mojo Mathers, who along with National MP Paul Foster-Bell, has been linked to a foreign trust.
                  During Question Time Key told Shaw to “just turn around and ask his colleague, Mojo Mathers, (who) has a foreign trust”.
                  Mathers sought leave in the House to dispute Key’s claims and clarified she was a “beneficiary of a UK-based family trust”.
                  “It is not a trust that I own, and it is not a foreign trust,” she told the House.
                  Labour leader Andrew Little later defended Mathers and said Key’s comments were “dumb” and “totally tasteless”.
                  “If he was a man he would stand up and apologise, he didn’t do that.”
                  “She should never have been put in that position. She’s the only deaf member in the House and this is New Zealand sign language week. It was just totally tasteless,” he said.

                  (actually it was Andrew Little that Key was replying to, fuck knows what Stuff was watching)

                  • Pat

                    par for the course for the pony tail fetishist…..and sadly he’s our representative

        • Sam C 16.1.2.2

          Tory trolls running rampant? More like tinfoil hat wearers drowning under the weight of their tinfoil.

          • Macro 16.1.2.2.1

            🙄
            You said it Sam!
            (think about the logic of your comment Sam!) You are referring to yourself. 😄

  17. M 17

    To nail a few things home, it would be a good idea if the media and those investigating the released data concentrate on some of the examples given of overseas owners of NZ based trusts. For example, a Mexican car dealer. Get some answers from Mexican police/government authorities. Has this individual got a criminal record? What other types of business is he linked to? Mexican (or Brazilian or Colombian) authorities may be happy to provide this information. It could turn up some interesting results.

  18. whispering kate 18

    Looking at the PM during question time in the house today I saw a man who is out of control. Nasty, yelling and accusing like there was no tomorrow. All I could think of is natural justice has its way of sorting things out to its inevitable conclusion. He is beyond repair and its just a slow decline from now on in. His party will see him as a liability and finally will roll him. Karma has its way and he will pay one way or another, loss of Mana to himself, maybe loss of a knighthood and no friends left to turn to as they will all be under a bus. I don’t think its going to be too far off as so many nasty things have happened with him involved and he has lied so many times that natural justice will mete it out to him. He needs serious professional help.

  19. Tricledrown 19

    Berlusconi comes to mind.
    Corruption followed Berlusconi round like a bad smell until he was laughed out of office.

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