Sprung! New Panama Papers dump confirm NZ is a tax haven

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 am, May 9th, 2016 - 277 comments
Categories: brand key, Economy, greens, james shaw, john key, Politics - Tags: , , , , , ,

A new release of Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca papers absolutely confirms New Zealand is a tax haven, said investigative writer Nicky Hager, who along with TVNZ and Radio New Zealand, has been given access to the huge wad of files.

And ironically, it is because of New Zealand’s squeaky clean reputation that tens of thousands of foreigners, predominantly from south and central America, have come flooding here.

When news of the 11.5 million files Mossack Fonseca files leaked by whisteblower “John Doe” was first published last month, prime minister, John Key, categorically denied New Zealand is a tax haven and said full disclosure was needed.

New Zealand has set up a regime whereby foreign entities or people registered here but earning money offshore are zero rated for tax.

Key has since back-pedalled and accepted it might be and has appointed tax expert and well known advocate of low tax regimes, John Shewan, to review the foreign tax lax.

TVNZ’s investigation today, with cooperation from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reveal how New Zealand, Niue, the Cook Islands and Samoa have become prime destinations for the rich around the globe to hide their financial secrets and avoid tax.

“What the Panama Papers show, without any doubt at all, absolutely conclusively, is that New Zealand is functioning as a tax haven,” Hager told TVNZ’s Breakfast program.

TVNZ reveals the New Zealand operation centres on an accountancy firm called Bentleys, run by Roger Thompson, a former Inland Revenue executive.

Bentleys, in downtown Auckland, is the New Zealand agent for Mossack Fonseca.

Bentleys charges NZ$4000 to set up trusts for wealthy foreigners who then use New Zealand’s limited disclosure rules to stay anonymous even to IRD. Bentleys charges another $2000 a year to send a one page form to IRD to confirm the trust clients don’t need to pay any tax under New Zealand law.

Checks on clients are limited to a 15-page questionnaire, a scanned passport and an internet search. The requirement to have a New Zealand director in the trust is skirted by naming a Mossack nominee who isn’t a benefactor.

“IRD never knows who the real people are behind these trusts,” Hager says. “They never get to see their accounts, they never get to see what business they are doing.”

“It is a completely unworkable system if you want to avoid corruption, crime and large scale tax dodging.”

Bentleys deliberately avoids linking the trusts with mostly First World countries that have double tax agreements with NZ.

“It looks likes one, it smells like one, and it’s been used as one, then to all intents and purposes it is a tax haven,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said.

TVNZ said its investigation link NZ-based trusts to multitudes of secret central and south American deals involving middle men. Israeli Assaf Zansuri is a Bentleys client who brokered a deal to sell drugs to Mexico to spy on drug cartels.

It also uncovered a deal by Venuzuelan banker Carlos Durado buying Mexico’s second largest drug company using a New Zealand trust and a Dutch company.

Roger Thompson said he breaks no laws and his services are used legitimately and checks on his clients are of a “high standard”.

He also denies New Zealand is a tax haven. He said New Zealand is a high quality jurisdiction for trusts with a “benign” tax system in certain circumstances.

Hager said it was not about tweaking the legislation, “which is probably what the government’s very tame review will recommend,” it’s about whether we want to be a tax haven.

Ironically, the Mossack Fonseca files reveal the firm was actively promoting New Zealand’s good reputation to its wealthy foreign clients as a good place to do business. It set up here three years ago. Previously it has had a base in the tiny state of Niue, a New Zealand dependency where a similar regime operated.

The great thing about New Zealand, Mossack says in its promotional material, is that it is known for its transparency and fiscal compliance. It is member of the UN, the OECD, IMF and belongs to the British Commonwealth. It has secure and flexible trust laws that make it easy for clients to comply by paying low levels of tax.

There are 61,000 documents relating to New Zealand. Mossack pushed Look Through Companies (LTCs) which meant foreigners are required to pay no tax here as long as the money is earned offshore.

A decade ago there were less than 2,000 foreign trusts here. When Mossack opened here is 2013, that swelled to over 7,500 and that has since grown to nearly 11,000.

TVNZ said a new report from the International Tax Justice Network suggest that the equivalent of NZ$18 trillion, yes that’s trillion, has been siphoned out or Russia, Nigeria,China and other developing economies into offshore finance schemes like New Zealand’s.

John Key pulled out of his regular Radio NZ Monday morning interview on hearing that RNZ is part of the investigation of the Panama papers.

(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)

 


See also

TVNZ: Files from the Panama Papers show Mossack Fonseca was actively promoting New Zealand to its wealthy foreign clientele as a good place to do business.

RNZ: New Zealand’s part in the Panama Papers

NZ Herald: Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca’s man is former IRD staffer

John Key with Paul Henry Newshub: Panama Papers: NZ ‘absolutely conclusively’ a tax haven – Hager

Sydney Morning Herald: The Panama Papers: Chinese Rich Listers were top Australian clients

277 comments on “Sprung! New Panama Papers dump confirm NZ is a tax haven”

  1. b waghorn 1

    The memes that key n co are pushing is the “Hagar’s a left wing conspiracy theorist” and 60,000 mentions is a tiny fraction of 11 million papers, trotter spouted that last one just now.

    • Puckish Rogue 1.1

      It will be interesting, once all the papers are released, to see exactly where NZ sits in the ranks of tax havens

      I’m guessing its going to be quite low down the scale

      • Tricledrown 1.1.1

        poor PR your so right about lowdown and scales.
        A slippery snake belly.

        • Puckish Rogue 1.1.1.1

          Yeah yeah but that doesn’t change that the release is a damp squib, it doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know (or care about) and hasn’t got any smoking gun evidence…maybe theres more to come but if this is it then its just a Big Nothing

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.1.1.1

            Uh, it has plenty of smoking gun evidence on the subject in general and specific people, it’s just none of that has applied to current New Zealand politicians yet.

            This is the smoking gun that this business is being conducted in New Zealand, and that our laws enable tax-dodging and crime.

        • Stuart Munro 1.1.1.2

          The poor fellow needs a therapy group – Tax-evaders No Longer Anonymous –

          “Uh, hi everyone – I’m John and I’ve been a tax-evader for thirty years…”

      • Keith 1.1.3

        We are quite low down accessories to criminal money laundering. Funny that doesn’t sound good either!

        • Puckish Rogue 1.1.3.1

          Are we money laundering now?

          • adam 1.1.3.1.1

            Wow Puckish the fear is coming through today.

            Spin everything, accept nothing, keep lying.

            Puckish Rouge is in the house.

          • Macro 1.1.3.1.2

            yes! and in more ways than one.
            and have been for about 4 years. The nact govt has a very large role in that as well.
            Were they a private individual the SFO would be prosecuting them in court right now.

          • Psycho Milt 1.1.3.1.3

            Are we money laundering now?

            Who knows? Certainly not the New Zealand government.

      • b waghorn 1.1.4

        You make it sound like tax evasion is OK as long as its only a little bit.

        • Puckish Rogue 1.1.4.1

          What Kiwis are tax evading according to the leaked documents?

          • b waghorn 1.1.4.1.1

            None that I’m aware of but we certainly seem to be helping unknown non residents avoid paying their share at home.

      • linda 1.1.5

        You think so iam just waiting on the words. Cartel ,cocain drug money. Theris e. No amount lies john key can mouth off the emporer has no cloths the national government to. Day. Nz looks dirty corrupt they should resign now this isnrt gongtpo stop،
        To clean up this a new governmemnt will be needed. A clean government .the people. Who caused this mess are tainted: we need a care taker government to an election is held and natioal need:to be investigated. By the incomeing government

    • AmaKiwi 1.2

      What would they say if there is a likelihood Andrew Little has a secret offshore trust?

      They’d strip him naked and rip him to pieces!

      • Puckish Rogue 1.2.1

        Well that could start with David Shearer I suppose

        • adam 1.2.1.1

          This living in the past, or hoping for the future. Poor Puckish Rouge, is this what dissociation of a poor fan-boy looks like?

          You can help,

          just call 0800-labour did it too
          or 0800 – it’s legal so what’s the problem
          or 0800 – it’s not the smoking gun, I don’t understand what they doing

      • BM 1.2.2

        You do have to wonder what he does with his money though , over 1 million dollars earned over the last 7 years and not a lot to show for it.

        What’s he spent the money on, gold plating his sex dungeon?.

        • alwyn 1.2.2.1

          There really is no need to descend to the left’s level BM.
          Leave the lefties to wallow in their own excrement.
          I imagine he has put the money in his wife’s name. Makes good sense if she doesn’t have a large income and they want to minimise the tax they have to pay. Saves having to declare it as well.
          That’s only supposition of course. He may have less benign reasons but I really doubt it.

        • Anno1701 1.2.2.2

          “over 1 million dollars earned over the last 7 years ”

          so about 150,000 a year ?

          maybe he spends it on I-Phones, sky subs and lattes ?

  2. Penny Bright 2

    Is a “high quality jurisdiction for trusts with a benign tax system in certain circumstances” – the new, long-winded definition of ‘tax haven’?

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11635826

    But Roger Thompson, a former IRD staffer who runs Bentleys, said New Zealand is not a tax haven. Instead it is a “high quality jurisdiction for trusts with a benign tax system in certain circumstances”, he told TVNZ.

    His services are used for legitimate purposes in compliance with the law, said Mr Thompson, and clients are rigorously vetted.Offshore companies and trusts are routinely used for entirely legal purposes, and Mossack Fonseca maintains that it has always complied with international protocols.
    ……”

    Whatever …..

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Tricledrown 2.1

      Even Hooton has tried to inoculate Key from this company.

      • Michael 2.1.1

        Of course he does. The guy gets paid to spin for the Right. It was interesting to hear Hooton on Radio NZ this morning throwing Thompson under the bus and distancing the rest of “the bsuiness community” from his actions.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.1.1.1

          Don’t you just hate it when people don’t pay their tax, Penny?

    • Matthew Hooton 2.2

      Pay your rates

  3. Its as easy to get a trust as it is to get library card.
    Photocopy of a driver’s licence and a power bill ???

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Do library cards cost $4,000 in your neck of the woods, with a further $3,000 fee each year?

  4. Nick 4

    I hope the police have the power to seize the funds as criminal proceeds.

    • save nz 4.1

      @Nick – if so Yay we are rich!!!

    • mary_a 4.2

      @ Nick (4) … that would be great.

      However, I think police will be under instruction to do a re raid on Nicky Hager’s property, for doing the work msm jelly bellied journalists are failing to do.

    • NZJester 4.3

      The thing is virtually non of that money comes anywhere near New Zealand. Just the initial set up fee and the yearly fee to print the letter to the IRD saying they have made no money in NZ and so need pay no tax. Those running the trusts in NZ would likely not know if they have made any money in NZ anyway as they most likely have never seen a single financial statement of any of the transactions that have taken place. We could seize the assets of those running the NZ companies, but that would small change compared to the tax avoided.

    • AmaKiwi 4.4

      “I hope the police have the power to seize the funds as criminal proceeds.”

      There is a technical problem. Unlike Kim Dotcom, he’s not on Hollywood/Obama’s hit list.

      It’s a simple question: Does he have friends or enemies in high places?

  5. Murray Simmonds 5

    What use is a prime minister who constantly strives to deny the reality that pretty much all of the rest of us know and share?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Great for the rich people of the world who want to avoid paying the taxes that they owe. Not so great for NZ.

    • AmaKiwi 5.2

      “What use is a prime minister . . . . .”

      He’s an elected dictator. He can do what he wants.

  6. RedBaronCV 6

    I don’t see how this can be allowed to continue on .
    It would take parliament about half a day to raise the tax rate it lowered in 2012 to 0% back up to say 70% effective immediately to start getting rid of the problem.
    Nothing but drastic immediate effective action is going to start cleaning this stain off us.
    If we could also arrange for all the laundered criminal proceeds to be frozen where they have landed . that would be an even bigger assist

  7. dv 7

    So has Bentley offices/home be raided by the police yet?

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      What laws have they purported to have broken?

      • dv 7.1.1

        Hager was raided, so were media offices.

        Collection of evidence to see if laws have been broken.

        • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1.1

          Hager used Illegally hacked emails, what laws have Bently alleged to have broken?

          • dv 7.1.1.1.1

            Don’t know what laws- need to have a raid to check of evidence.
            Happens all the time with gangs.

          • framu 7.1.1.1.2

            “What laws have they purported to have broken?”

            “Hager used Illegally hacked emails”

            so why did the police say he wasnt a suspect for any crime?

            • Bob 7.1.1.1.2.1

              “so why did the police say he wasnt a suspect for any crime?”
              Because Hagar admitted to using emails that were allegedly hacked and given to him by an anonymous source. The Police were trying to track down the hacker based on Hager’s own statements.

              • framu

                read this little chain of comments again bob .

                You appear to be in favour of the police breaking the laws of NZ in order to search the homes of people who have commited no crime just to go on fishing expeditions.

                thats what your saying

          • adam 7.1.1.1.3

            Spin everything, accept nothing, keep lying.

            Puckish Rouge is in the house

          • Macro 7.1.1.1.4

            The emails were in the public interest and given to an investigative journalist. That has been well established in court and the police acted illegally. Do keep up!

          • NZJester 7.1.1.1.5

            Why then was Whaleoil never raided for actually having done some actual hacking (A Labour Party Server) as well as using stolen information?
            Whaleoil received a stolen hard-drive and somehow the police came to the opinion it was not stolen even though the drive was taken from an office without the permission of it’s owner. How is that not stolen?

        • Matthew Hooton 7.1.1.2

          The raid on the media offices and Hager’s home were both appalling. Do you really want a repeat of that?

      • Ben 7.1.2

        You mean the laws put in place by the Labour govt?

        • lprent 7.1.2.1

          The general idea with laws is that they have to be reviewed, monitored, and strengthened.

          Instead National deliberately weakened them in 2011. Perhaps you should use you brain rather than being a stupid parrot of Key’s PR people’s lines.

          • Puckish Rogue 7.1.2.1.1

            So did these trusts start up only after 2011?

            • Macro 7.1.2.1.1.1

              FFS! read the post!

              Short answer – YES!

            • Lanthanide 7.1.2.1.1.2

              They started being actively used for foreign tax avoidance after LTC’s were created, which was on 1st April 2011.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The short answer is that Andrew and IR are either ignorant or lying:

                The Act introduces two new categories of PIE…The rules for zero-rate PIEs apply from the date of Royal Assent of the Act on 29 August 2011

            • left for dead 7.1.2.1.1.3

              If you had been listening to the current PM, you will have noticed he lied when he was talking to Paul henry this morning “that his government strengthened the rules” around this issue.

          • Matthew Hooton 7.1.2.1.2

            Yep. I think we can safely say that after 8 years in power National has to take responsibility for whatever laws are on the books at the current time in a way they weren’t in their first term.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.2

          It seems that National specifically changed the laws so that NZ could be used as a tax haven by the criminals rich.

          • Anno1701 7.1.2.2.1

            they are quite of then the same thing IMO…

          • Anne 7.1.2.2.2

            On RNZ Guyon Espiner interviewed a financial expert who was instructed to conduct a review into our tax laws in 2011 (I think it was) and whether there needed to be any changes. I did not catch his name.

            He began by claiming everything was hunky dory (my term)… supporting JK’s claims and denying there was anything wrong. Eventually Espiner managed to tease a piece of information out of him. It transpired this fellow and his business mates did make one important recommendation: “there needs to be a tightening of regulations around Trusts in NZ.” They were told “there would be no changes.”

            The interview was around 6:30am and was in lieu of JK’s non-appearance, but has not appeared online.

        • Tricledrown 7.1.2.3

          Desperate blame shifting.
          John Key I will hold my ministers to a higher standard brighter future promise.
          Dealing with a company that is enabling our enemies.

      • Don't worry. Be happy 7.1.3

        What “laws have they broken” by building and enabling tax havens in NZ? Well if the funds have been looted wouldnt that be benefiting from the proceeds of crime? Same if the funds belong to drug kingpins….or arms smugglers…people smugglers…terrorists stashing away the proceeds of oil or antiqutity sales….that sort of thing Puckish Rogue. Accessories after the crime? Recipients of stolen property? White collar criminals in this country await their knighthoods. They should be fearing the Plod at their door.

      • AmaKiwi 7.1.4

        @ Puckish Rogue

        “What laws have they (Bentleys) purported to have broken?” to warrant a police search.

        Answer: Intimate business association with a large number of wealthy overseas criminals and/or suspected criminals.

        That’s more than ample grounds for seizure and a thorough investigation.

        • adam 7.1.4.1

          And if I remember rightly, if they are organised crime, and I’d say organising a trust meant you were pretty organised.

          Then can’t the police, seize all the property of said organisation working with and /or associated with organised crime? That making money off organised crime is illegal?

          Hey maybe one law this national government has passed can be put to good use.

  8. Don't worry. Be happy 8

    So the firm helping the filthy rich, the drug barons, arms dealers and dictators hide their fortunes in NZ trusts is called Bentleys. How appropriate.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Was thinking the same thing.

    • Macro 8.2

      And run by a very dodgy bastard
      http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/mossack-fonsecas-man-new-zealand-denies-any-wrongdoing-ck-188740

      With that, it’s off to New Zealand, where we find out that Orion Trust has been in business .since 2009 and that the letter signatory “Giselle Ocampo” is in fact Giselle Yajaira Ocampo Fonseca. Panamanian Giselle is clearly one of the “Mossack Fonseca” Fonsecas, since she’s also been a director of one of Mossack Fonseca’s UK companies, MF (Corporate) UK Limited since 2010.

      Her co-director at Orion, trust specialist Roger John Thompson, is one of the principals of Bentleys New Zealand, a branch of the Australian accounting firm. Thompson has another 150 or so New Zealand company directorships. Many of these appear to be trust companies, trustees or nominees; one of them is another Mossack Fonseca company, established in 2012. Bentley’s New Zealand, in other words, is somewhere near ground zero of the murky New Zealand foreign trust business.

      In a mildly intriguing coincidence, another one of Thompson’s companies, Halcyon Trustees, was directed, until just 10 hours after Daphne Caruana Galizia started hares in Malta with her booby trap post, by Geoffrey Cone, whom we met in our last post, providing control-concealing offshore structures to a controversial Slovakian magnate whose companies are now under police investigation.

      Mind you, Mossack Fonseca’s activities in the super-opaque New Zealand foreign trusts (since 2009, as Orion Trust) should be front and centre of official New Zealand concern. The already-mentioned article entitled The Law Firm That Works with Oligarchs, Money Launderers, and Dictators should offer a clue about the stakes. I commend it to the New Zealand IRD, to the NZ AML authorities, and to anyone else who’s interested.

      my bold
      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/03/mossack-fonseca-the-new-zealand-connection.html

    • doug stuart 8.3

      drug barons, arms dealers and dictators ? “who” no they use the Cayman island which is a British overseas territory. more left wing BS.

      • Anno1701 8.3.1

        “Cayman island”

        to obvious, they prefer somewhere with that “squeeky clean feel”

        like NZ…

  9. John Key pulled out of his regular Radio NZ Monday morning interview on hearing that RNZ is part of the investigation of the Panama papers.

    Huh???….

    • framu 9.1

      but he still went on with henry and rawdon

      • Sabine 9.1.1

        he needed stress relieve,

        i can see henry going down …..after all that is what he is paid for? Henry certainly is not paid to provide hard hitting journalism. 🙂

    • Mosa 9.2

      Watch the pressure that will be applied to RNZ.
      Key will only talk to Nat friendly organizations.
      He will avoid anyone who wants the truth and puts him under pressure to get it.

  10. Puckish Rogue 10

    Ok so from the other sides view, this was a big nothing. No links to John Key, no links to National MPs, no links to prominent business people that support National, just a confirmation that NZ is a small fish in a big pond.

    I’m also a little pissed at all this because I got up early and missed breakfast just so I could follow this and get a big reveal and instead…big nothing.

    Mind you it just follows on from other left/msm co-productions such Moment of Truth, a big build up followed by big nothing

    However putting on my neutral hat, if the left can convince the people of NZ that the perception is the reality then the left will have something but I don’t think it’ll happen

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Actually, it’s a big something. Why did National set NZ up to be a tax haven for rich criminals?

      • BM 10.1.1

        They didn’t, nadis pointed that out rather clearly a while ago.

        Key changed the law to extend NZ as a tax haven

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          You should re-read that thread – it clearly shows that National set NZ up as a tax haven in 2011 by a rule change. Sure, foreign trusts had 0% since 1988 but the rule change brought that to managed funds as well and since then foreign use of our non-disclosure laws and 0% tax have exploded.

          Correlation shows that something changed and the only thing that can be pointed to is the change to 0% tax and non-disclosure rules.

          • BM 10.1.1.1.1

            Nonsense, re-read it again.

            • Macro 10.1.1.1.1.1

              utter bullshit Bowel Motion.The use of these foreign trusts to hide and money launder only began in 2009 and really got going after the 2011 law changes which made the setting up of a LTC and their zero tax a matter of minutes with a compliant director who didn’t ask too many questions…
              the facts speak for themselves.
              number of foreign trusts 2009 less than 2,000
              number of foreign trusts 2016 around 12,000

              • BM

                Read the link you dopey old git, the answers are all there.

                • Macro

                  🙄
                  sorry but nadis (whoever they are) is well off the mark.
                  I’ve read all that nadis has had to say about this, both in the past and here. Nadis and Andrew below have only a one pea brain trying to deal with a complex issue and nadis and andrew are fixated on PIE funds and that is all they can think of. They are dead wrong on this matter. Your reliance on nadis or andrew as a saviour is simply grasping at straws.

              • Andrew

                growth looks fairly normal to me:

                http://www.radionz.co.nz/assets/news/67920/eight_col_graphnumber.jpg

                Nothing out of the ordinary seems to have happened after 2011.

          • Andrew 10.1.1.1.2

            Once again … the 2011 law change affected PIE managed funds only. It had nothing to do whatsoever with the “anonymous NZ trusts with only off-shore funds paying 0% tax” that have been around since the 80’s.

            PIE funds aren’t part of this whole Panama papers discussion. You can’t anonymously invest in a PIE fund. PIE funds cannot be controlled by a single entity.

            Correlation != Causation. There is clearly something else that caused the spike in those “other types of trusts”, not the “PIE managed fund types”.

            Hell, even the Chapman Tripp article that people on here refer to as the smoking gun:

            Foreign investors in a New Zealand fund with only foreign investments will now bear no New Zealand tax on their income, … snip … The tax change, which came into force in September 2011 …

            Goes on to say:

            For a New Zealand fund which is taxed as a PIE, has minimal New Zealand investments and no New Zealand investors, this reform makes New Zealand tax compliance very straightforward. There will be no New Zealand income tax.

            Hell, i get the fact that you want to pin this all on John Key, but the facts of the matter are this. The 2011 law change, had NOTHING to do with NZ’s status as a “maybe” tax haven with lax trust laws. Those laws have been around since the 80’s, and in my opinion DO need to be tightened.

            I will leave the last quote to Nadis, who i completely agree with, when he says:

            there are so many money laundering issues in NZ to solve – the fact “you guys” get fixated on the one thing that is not broken (PIE’s), just because it fits the “John Key is a crook” narrative, is great news for the real money laundering industry in NZ.

            Solve these:

            1. – Law firms don’t have to comply with the new AML law
            2. – Accounting firms don’t have to comply with the new AML law
            3 – Real Estate agents don’t have to comply with the new AML law

            Fixating on this clearly irrelevant (in terms of money laundering/tax evasion) 2011 law is fantastic news for the lobby groups representing those three sectors. It is beautiful, beautiful misdirection. Fix a problem that doesn’t exist while ignoring those that do, and continue allowing billions of dollars of money laundering through law firms trust funds.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.2.1

              What caused it then? What changed to cause the sudden, unexplained jump in foreign trusts and other money laundering vehicles?

              It can’t have been the 1988 laws as they’ve been around far too long to not have been noticed by foreign rich pricks.

              • Andrew

                No idea. Maybe a lot of people lost a lot of money in 2009 and decided they wanted to start using trusts to shelter money from bad business dealings, etc. Maybe after 2009 external governments around the world started to go after high end individuals wanting them to pay more tax than they felt they should. Maybe it was the look through company legislation that Lanthanide mentions below.

                Time will tell.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Or maybe there was a law change in 2011 to do with reducing taxation and disclosure.

              • Would it have anything to do with FATCA ?

              • Henry Filth

                What caused it? New Zealand’s reputation for honesty, the rule of law, government guaranteed real property rights, that sort of thing.

                To be a tax haven, you have to be honest. You’ll note that Nigeria, Russia, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe (amongst others) are not famed as tax havens.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Honesty’s the thing. For example, “0% tax rate” is an oxymoron.

            • Lanthanide 10.1.1.1.2.2

              On 1st April 2011, Look Through Companies came into excistence. That appears to be one of the vehicles that Mossack Fonseca were basing their NZ operations on.

              I agree that PIE Funds are a red-herring, but they weren’t the only law change in 2011.

              • Andrew

                That may be so, and one area that i haven’t looked into, but will now. But whenever anyone mentions the “2011 law change that turned us into a tax haven”, they are talking about the 0% rating of PIE funds for foreign investors.

                Which is, of course, a nonsense.

                • Lanthanide

                  They *were* talking about that, agreed.

                  But the latest news seems to be about LTC. I don’t understand how LTCs provide an advantage – if you can find out I’d be interested to know.

    • Tricledrown 10.2

      Laundering Nationals PR.
      Stuck on Spin cycle.

    • weka 10.3

      It’s nit about National you Numpty, it’s about New Zealand.

      And stop looking for the smoking gun. You’re missing the forest for the trees.

      Of course that’s if you actually want truth as opposed to being here as a cheerleader for Key.

      • Puckish Rogue 10.3.1

        No Weka, its exactly about John Key and National. Its about a weak opposition that can’t land a hit on John Key that’re hoping that this is finally the one thing that will bring down John Key

        Its about journalists with personal agendas conspiring with political parties to attempt to topple a government.

        That’s what its about, that’s what its always about and it didn’t work before and it won’t work this time.

        I accept that you may not think like this but an awful lot of posters on here do

        • maui 10.3.1.1

          Comment of the week, lol

        • mary_a 10.3.1.2

          @ Puckish Rogue (10.3.1) … oh well you got that off your chest.

          So how do you feel about your beloved leader misleading Parliament time and time again, stating that NZ is NOT a tax haven?

          And the tax laws on trusts were relaxed in 2011 to accommodate dirty money being hidden in NZ tax free, from dodgy international investors. By the way, this was on “honest” John’s watch!

          You do realize misleading Parliament is an offence don’t you?

          As far as Opposition is concerned, I think when challenging Key this week in Parliament over NZ’s part in the Panama Papers, you might witness your dodgy leader, slithering and sliding around, like a reptile, avoiding having to respond directly to questioning. Either that, or he will be a non show, as he was on RNZ this morning!

          • BM 10.3.1.2.1


            And the tax laws on trusts were relaxed in 2011 to accommodate dirty money being hidden in NZ tax free, from dodgy international investors. By the way, this was on “honest” John’s watch!

            Complete and utter shit.

            Key changed the law to extend NZ as a tax haven

            • Richardrawshark 10.3.1.2.1.1

              “Since the law changes in 2008 and the update in 2011 the number of foreign trusts has more than tripled to 10,697 this year from 3311 – according to Inland Revenue.”

        • Anno1701 10.3.1.3

          u mad bro ….?

        • Tricledrown 10.3.1.4

          The fact is PR no amount of laundering by the right with sanitize this mess Keys money hub policy has damaged New Zealand’s reputation.

          • Puckish Rogue 10.3.1.4.1

            So please explain to me how this right here will be any different to the dirty Politics launch and The Moment of Truth?

            It will cause the exact same reaction as last time and that is a slight bump in the polls to National as the voters show what they think of the lefts smears

            • framu 10.3.1.4.1.1

              that little goal post shift is a bit of a regular mate

              • adam

                Why you think, we think of our Puckish Rouge as our resident PR spin merchant framu.

                He always spins it this way ,or that, all in an effort to create confusion or a deflection. lets not forget he re-frames the debate, or as you said, moves the goal posts.

                Yes Puckish is Fan-boy of the highest order.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  PR makes the same comment over and over and over again:

                  “I agree with the Prime Minister”.

                  • adam

                    Sorry about poaching your fan-boy line One Anonymous Bloke, it is very appropriate, and a very adept analysis of that cluster of writers.

    • Richardrawshark 10.4

      “Since the law changes in 2008 and the update in 2011 the number of foreign trusts has more than tripled to 10,697 this year from 3311 – according to Inland Revenue.”

      • Inky 10.4.1

        Anyone see similarities between Trump fanboys and Key’s? Trump has said he could kill someone in public without it denting his popularity, and I believe that to be a rare truth to emerge from his mouth.

        Ditto the doting Key lovers. Even if it was proven beyond a doubt he was making mega-squillions out of these tax havens, it wouldn’t worry his fanbase. They’d overlook that it’s a global expose involving probably hundreds of journos world-wide and say Hagar concocted the whole panama papers deal.

        It would make no difference to them, they’d continue to kiss the Key poster on their bedroom wall before turning in at night. No amount of proof of wrongdoing will ever change them. There are none so blind as Key and Trump followers.

  11. Penny Bright 11

    “John Key pulled out of his regular Radio NZ Monday morning interview on hearing that RNZ is part of the investigation of the Panama papers. …”

    Oh dear.

    Whatever happened to ‘nothing to hide – nothing to fear’ NZ Prime Minister John Key?

    Is this a KEY moment in the ‘feather-dustering’ of the man who was supposedly New Zealand’s most ‘popular’ Prime Minister?

    ie: ‘One minute you’re the rooster – the next minute you’re the feather duster’?

    In my considered opinion, the NZ public were sold a Wall Street bank$ter ‘puppie dog’ pretending to be an ‘okey-blokey’ Kiwi Prime Minister – and now they’re ‘getting it’.

    (Let’s not forget that NZ Prime Minister John Key is STILL a shareholder in the Bank of America? )

    How is Prime Minister John Key going to spin this ‘NZ is not a tax haven’ goatsh*t into honey, when he’s apparently not talking to major NZ media who have investigated the Panama Papers?

    How on earth does THAT work in supposedly ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ New Zealand?

    (Looking forward to today’s post-Cabinet Press Conference – or will the PM throw a ‘sickie’ – or something?)

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Puckish Rogue 11.1

      Oh Penny sorry to have to break this to you but this will lead to a percentage jump in the polls of 2-3% for National

      • Tricledrown 11.1.1

        When 70% of NZers are pissed off about NZ being used to launder money.
        Our Chinese free trade Deal will now be under scrutiny.
        Our relationship with Australia who ate increasing the IRD numbers to investigate these very matters.
        The EU US UK and Australia who ate trying to shut down tax havens will livid.
        No more golf with Obama.
        The US will be furious with New Zealand for dealing with a company that undermines the eat on terror.
        The sanctions on Putin.
        The fight against Drug Cartels.
        PR launderer or Nationals Dirty linen.

        • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.1

          What you want to happen and what will happen are two very different things, you’ve whipped yourselves (you and others on here) into a lather over what Saint Nicholas of Hager has to say and now you believe that same righteous indignation you have is what everyone else in NZ thinks because how can they not see what you see because its so obvious

          and you’re just going to be disappointed because its turned out to be a flop.

          A Big Nothing.

          • Tricledrown 11.1.1.1.1

            Shifting the blame is not going to work.
            Matthew Hooton has even called Key NZs biggest Bullshitter.

          • mary_a 11.1.1.1.2

            @ Puckish Rogue (11.1.1.1) … but this issue isn’t about Nicky Hager. He’s only one journalist involved in exposing and reporting NZ’s involvement in the Panama Papers.

            You seem to be getting yourself into a bit of a lather here. Why would that be? Dear leader under threat perhaps?

      • WILD KATIPO 11.1.2

        (Let’s not forget that NZ Prime Minister John Key is STILL a shareholder in the Bank of America? )

        Say what???…

        Wasn’t the Bank of America recently prosecuted for money laundering?

      • Stuart Munro 11.1.3

        Among tax-evaders.

        Name and shame them.

        Australia’s RWNJ government, with an similarly corrupt PM doesn’t imagine they can brazen it out. Key is counting on the stupidity of his supporters to get away with this shit.

        Yes, I’m sure a fake poll is being prepared even as we speak – I expect National to bounce to 60%. No basis in reality however – the axe is being sharpened for John.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    It is a completely unworkable system if you want to avoid corruption, crime and large scale tax dodging.

    Works perfectly if that was what you intended to set up and it really does look like that was what National intended to set up – a tax haven for rich criminals.

  13. The Other Mike 13

    Noted the PM did NOT pull out of his usual TV1 Breakfast spot today…

    (Oh – it’s all Nicky Hager’s fault, too!)

    • TC 13.1

      Rawdon, hoskins and henry provide a platform for his BS and spin. They are part of his conjob.

      Expect those and other helpful outlets like blokey FM and granny to do the usual whitewash routine.

      • mary_a 13.1.1

        @ TC (13.1) …

        So far Granny and Stuff haven’t published much today. Just gone through the motions of the obligatory reporting, then disappeared out of sight as soon as possible. And the little snips that have appeared were snugly tucked away, out of view of too much public scrutiny!

        More to come tomorrow.

  14. Tax Haven? How about we call it what they really are. Secrecy Jurisdictions Legal black holes, Laundering stations for drug money, illegal weapon trades, subversion of sovereignty, bribe havens. In other words the filthiest of the filthiest of what mankind is capable of and the effective separation of the Über wealthy from any meaningful law to curb their criminality!

    But conspiring? Neh, our elite would not do that. Ever! John Key never conspired and day in his life!

  15. Reddelusion 15

    Another damp squib so called left wing hit, Hager involvement a big plus for the right, so we tighten our disclosure rules, problem solved, little angry andy list mp looks silly again, muck of Kim dot con, hager and loony left ftiends tar labour again scaring the middle ground the do desire. who needs friends when you have Nicky hager on your team

    • Tricledrown 15.1

      Having a company that is undermine the War on terror.
      War on drugs.
      Sanctions on Russia and North Korea the very examples you right wing but jobs refer to when your loosing an argument.
      Is total hypocracy.
      And will be punished by the voters and our allies on the war on terror.
      Key will have boot Mossack Fonsecca out of any of our jurisdictions pronto or he is history.
      No golf with Obama
      But some bare horse back riding with Putin .

    • framu 15.2

      it helps if you dont use all the rehearsed lines in the same comment

    • maui 15.3

      I wouldn’t worry about your credibility rating. It’s all sweet!

    • But , but, but…. what about when May 10th comes- tomorrow ! – and it all comes out…

      You know what they say about lost reputations … one person tells another person,… that person tells another …. until ten people know all about it…

      In this case… the whole world knows about it.

      And that wont look good if among those trusts were a few assorted arms dealers and drug operations and crony mates deals and tax evasions….

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.5

      “So-called” by no-one except wingnut parrots.

  16. Matthew Hooton 16

    Have you seen the documents Simon? Can you point me to them on Internet. Cheers.

    • Hey !…today’s just the curtain raiser…

      May 10th is coming like a freight train.

      Shucks …another late night ahead , eh Matty?… better stock up on coffee.

      • Puckish Rogue 16.1.1

        Ah so today was just the teaser and really its tomorrow its all coming out…

        🙂

        At least snake oil salesmen are entertaining, this is just fast becoming a bore (same outcome though)

        • WILD KATIPO 16.1.1.1

          Ohhhh methinks not at all.

          Tell me… you know how a snowball gets bigger as it rolls downhill?… its sorta like that…

          And then you get buried alive by it.

          • Puckish Rogue 16.1.1.1.1

            I’m sure that’s exactly the same reasoning behind the publishing of the Dirty Politics book and the Moment of Truth

            Didn’t happen then, won’t happen now.

            • adam 16.1.1.1.1.1

              The fear is strong with this one.

              You on fire with the spin and petty attacks today Puckish.

              Bad weekend?

              • Puckish Rogue

                Excellent weekend actually, the sun was out, watched Civil War and had a great dinner on Sunday night so alls well in the world

                I was expecting something this morning but instead got a Big Nothing.

                Tell me how this will be any different to the Dirty Politics launce or The Moment of Truth

                • adam

                  Keep telling yourself we playing gottcha politics, if that what you want to play.

                  You the one making the comparisons, not me.

                  I’m just saying your attacks, as usual – are spin. Just seems to be a level of fear under it….

                • Richardrawshark

                  You might of got nothing, but who are you, do we care what you got this morning, no not really.

                  Tell you what I got, a big fat present that proved John key led us down the path to the land of tax haven and it’s spin day 1.

                  Loving it so much because as I expected the initial spin is out. But it’s real weak.

                  After next parliamentary sitting come back and see us sometime PR.

                  We will continue this chat and remind you what you said at this moment.

                  Bad John the witch pulled out of RNZ this morning and cancelled all other engagements. He did pop on with his Mates Paul and Rawdon to lay out the initial pre prepared spin while he works out his strategy this morning ..

                  Granny been flat out on puff pieces and is at the ready no new opinion pieces from weighty journalists, so nationals machine is in full swing.

                  But Winstons a lawyer, gonna be fun times in the beehive.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Oh I’ll be here after the next parliamentary sitting, I’ll also be here after the 2017 election, will you?

                    • adam

                      Puckish Rouge our resident soothsayer

                      You know it’s May 2016, and we have real issues to deal with.

                      I know you want to live 18 months from now, but adults deal with what’s in front of them.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Heres the thing, I’m confident of another National victory at the 2017 election in spite of some the nastiest, sleaziest mud-slinging we’ve ever seen in NZ (vote Positive all right)

                      I’m so confident I’m calling it now (and have been for months) even though I know that if National lose I’ll never hear the end of it

                      But that won’t happen because this is a non-event of interest to political tragics only

                      In short its a Big Nothing

                  • McFlock

                    It is one of those funny things in life: when Key was halfway through his career as a financial gambler, Peters was dropping a winebox full of shonky Pacific island tax documents in the House.

                    Now Peters is back in the House, perfectly placed to confront Key about shonky Pacific island and NZ tax dealings. “Boo!” indeed…

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      At least if Winston gets involved it’ll be a bit more interesting

        • Nick 16.1.1.2

          @PR …I dont find jk entertaining……damn good snake oil salesman though

    • Sabine 16.2

      ahhhh

      the difference between a journalist and a PR man.
      The one finds and reports about the happenings in the world, and the other needs to be pointed in the right direction.

      Poor Matthew, needs to wait for someone to point him the right direction.

      • Stuart Munro 16.2.1

        It’s very hard to spin when you’re not sure how much the hackers have unearthed. If Hoots runs interference for Vampiresquidcorp when only Omnishambles & Blindtrusts-R-Us have been unearthed it’s pretty much an own goal.

    • Simon Louisson 16.3

      I would have thought you have enough expertise to find such stuff on internet.
      If you attempting to doubt the authenticity of the material, then that sounds like spin, which I understand is an area you have considerable skills.
      Spinning is what Key excels at — on TVNZ he quickly worked on the meme that it is a Left wing conspiracy because Hager is involved.
      He is still refusing to address the undeniable fact that NZ is operating as a tax haven used by criminals, the mafia and the plain rich who want to avoid paying their fair share of tax

      • WILD KATIPO 16.3.1

        And not to mention possible prison time for illegal activity’s , which, because of the opaqueness of our trust laws lends itself perfectly for those so inclined…

      • Matthew Hooton 16.3.2

        Sorry, I can’t find any of the source documents supporting today’s stories on the internet. Do you know where they are?

        • Tricledrown 16.3.2.1

          The Serious Fraud Office has them Mathew.

        • dv 16.3.2.2

          Ask Nicky Matthew.

          • Matthew Hooton 16.3.2.2.1

            He and ICIJ say they will keep the actual documents private.

            • adam 16.3.2.2.1.1

              Matthew are you a journalist, or a public relations spin doctor? I thought you were going for the I’m a journalist angle?

              Because when you say “He and ICIJ say they will keep the actual documents private” makes me doubt that you are seriously about journalism as a career.

              • Tricledrown

                Matthew is a trained coporate PR shill who is trying to influence govt policy to the right the further the better.
                He is also am Key apologist.
                Saving Keys are with superior spin.

              • Matthew Hooton

                Here’s the page where ICIJ says it won’t publicly release the documents (or even hand them over privately to law enforcement): https://www.icij.org/offshore/search-offshore-leaks-data

                ICIJ alone will decide what the documents mean and who gets to see which of them.

                • adam

                  All that does Matthew, is show they will not be bullied by government to handing over files. I would have thought a freedom lover like yourself would respect that.

                  Also they will be giving people access to files and information, just not dumping it like wiki leaks – so the person who disclosed it will get caught out. Which I think is eminently sensible seeing how the the US government, and others have treated past whistle blowers.

                  You know protect the sources – integrity in doing your job as a journalist. Not beginning a slave to the first, second or third estate.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Well that makes it easier for them to say and edit whatever they like doesn’t it

                    I’m sure there are no ulterior motives at play here, nope, none at all

                    • Lanthanide

                      That’s how journalism works. There are ethical standards they need to uphold.

                      If they were to release all of the documents, then it is likely that some innocent people could be caught in the crossfire.

                    • Richardrawshark

                      PR, your like a kid. Your arguments are reeking of desperation. Maybe it’s all imaginary and there is no documents.

                      What is reality if no one is observing the documents are they really there?

                      If Trust laws were functioning prior to 2008 and 2011 when National changed a few things what were the consequences of those changes..

                      “Since the law changes in 2008 and the update in 2011 the number of foreign trusts has more than tripled to 10,697 this year from 3311 – according to Inland Revenue.”

                      So we see a sudden influx of trust registrations. interesting.

                      When we follow the chain we see cause and effect.

                      Who do we blame for the effect, those that made the change.

                      It’s pretty simple stuff mate.

                    • adam

                      Fear, and being scared is making you sound like deranged real low life today Puckish, I think you should maybe give yourself a break, and go have something to eat.

                • Lanthanide

                  It seems reasonable that journalists wouldn’t release the raw information, but instead take their time to comb through it and release important and verified stuff.

                  Just like Nicky Hager didn’t rat on various journalists who were operating very much in the grey margins, or Whale Oil’s private health problems. Hager only reported on things in the public interest, like you cheering on his murder.

                  Just like Snowden’s documents weren’t released, but instead were carefully processed and reported on by The Guardian and others.

                  I guess if you want the inside running, you’ll have to give up your PR job and become a real journalist.

                  • Gangnam Style

                    Funny, Hooton was arguing yesterday about all the innocent people that could be caught up in the releasing of names, & now he’s on here moaning they are not releasing everything after all. Spinning in all loopy directions.

                  • Chuck

                    “Just like Nicky Hager didn’t rat on various journalists who were operating very much in the grey margins”. Nor the Labour / Green MP’s who also participate in “Dirty Politics”.

                    This is the reason why the voters of NZ rejected Hagers “Dirty Politics” by delivering National the result it achieved in the last election. They could see Hagers book for what it was…an attempt at a political hit job.

                    And yes I have read Dirty Politics…picked up a copy at my local hospice shop for $2.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I don’t think you can equate National winning the last election with the public “rejecting” Hager’s book.

                      Elections are very seldom over one single issue.

                      For all you know, National would have gotten 54% of the vote, except for Dirty Politics knocking them down to 47%.

                    • framu

                      “Nor the Labour / Green MP’s who also participate in “Dirty Politics”.”

                      so then wheres the years of rumors backed up by evidence that both labour and the greens were running a tax payer funded secret attack machine run from party offices?

                      oh – it doesnt exist does it – because they werent doing that, only national were

                      But like a good spinner, you are trying, like so many others before you, to paint the perps as the victims

                      its the veitch defense of politics

          • b waghorn 16.3.2.2.2

            “Ask Nicky Matthew”

            It shouldn’t be hard we all know hooton knows were he lives, chop chop

            • Gangnam Style 16.3.2.2.2.1

              Always in the back of my mind whenever I see anything from Hooton, chop chop, utterly despicable.

  17. Pasupial 17

    I have to express my thanks to Simon Louisson for his series of posts on this issue (they have certainly got me spending more time on this site recently). He has succeeded in making a fairly dry matter of paperwork juggling into a gripping story; by providing much needed context, for those with too limited time to follow all the threads for themselves.

    The attention that the trolls & spinners are lavishing on him today could be thought of as a form of applause as well.

  18. Tricledrown 18

    Key shifting the Blame to Hager will come back to bite him.
    The Chinese govt will be wanting their Money back that Key has promised them.
    Now with NZ deeply involved in aiding and abetting Mossack Fonseacca.
    Trade Deals military ties will be looked at.
    Korea for example will not be happy with Key promising to stand by them while enabling North Korea to launder money through Mossack Fonsecca.
    Huge ramifications blaming Hager will only remind people how dodgy and a good liar Key is.

    • alwyn 18.1

      Are we supposed to believe any of your statements Tricledrown?
      As I pointed out yesterday you managed to fit 3 lies into only 2 lines of comment.
      That was in addition to your lies about Stephen Joyce of course.
      Why should we believe anything you say? Your record to date is abysmal, isn’t it?

      • Tricledrown 18.1.1

        Alwhynger desperate denials for Key fanboy.
        Matthew Hooton must be in the same league as me calling Key a big Bullshitter.
        The fact your are answering your question for me rather than putting any relevant facts answers your lack of credibility.
        Doesn’t it.

        • alwyn 18.1.1.1

          “relevant facts”
          I listed 3 lies that you made in only 2 lines of comment. Plus another one about Joyce.
          I notice you don’t deny that you were lying. Rather hard to do when you know that they are lies. Why don’t you give up? Be an adult and admit you lied. Only two year olds keep denying obvious truths.

      • adam 18.1.2

        Pot, kettle, black, on the lie front alwyn.

        Want a napkin. You seem to have dribbled on yourself again.

      • Tricledrown 18.1.3

        Was that the Cook Islands money go round $700 million recovered from tax dodgers I was wrong 2 of the four big banks caught out.

  19. ianmac 19

    Can a very rich NZer send his data to Panama who sets him up with a Trust in say NZ?
    The Trust would have a fancy anonymous name, and avoid any exposure. The NZ IRD would not know who he was because of the Haven nature of our Trusts.
    If so, then any very rich NZer could be hiding in the Panama papers.

    • Wayne 19.1

      ianmac,

      But they (a very rich NZer) would also be running the risk of doing jail time for blatant tax evasion. And it is my understanding of the disclosure rules that the IRD would know the identity of the settlor (the very rich NZer) of a foreign trust established in NZ.

      So would they think it worth running such a risk? Rich people tend to go for legal tax avoidance schemes (which are not criminal, though the IRD may knock them over in which case they do not reduce taxes) rather than criminal tax evasion.

      Every accountant or lawyer knows the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Probably 80% of IRD case law is about tax avoidance schemes.

      • Tricledrown 19.1.1

        The Fact that the 4 largest bank got caught in the Wine box doing exactly what you claim could not happen is pure BS .
        Corporates don’t face jail time and are to big to bankrupt.
        Nothing is stopping individuals from running to havens why do they have offices.
        The Prime Minister David Cameron won’t reveal his tax history.
        John Key won’t if he was clean he would.
        Having a lawyer who is deeply involved in trusts makes one very suspicious.

        • Wayne 19.1.1.1

          tricledrown,

          The banks got caught on a tax avoidance scheme, not tax evasion. They ended up having to pay tax.

          Basically the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance is that a tax avoidance deal requires the actual transfer of rights and obligations, but if the prime purpose is to reduce tax, then it will fall afoul of tax avoidance rules. In contrast a tax evasion deal does not usually involve the actual transfer of rights and obligations. Such transactions are a sham and thus will be tax evasion.

          Tax evasion also includes not declaring income that is earned. I presume in foreign trusts the non-resident beneficiaries have to declare any income received in their country of home residence, and if they do not they will be a guilty of tax evasion in their own country.

          A classic case of tax evasion in New Zealand is cash payments to tradesman/women, or restaurants and similar cash based businessses not declaring their cash receipts. It might be a small amount per person/business, but it is a big amount over tens of thousands of taxpayers.

          • Wayne 19.1.1.1.1

            alwyn,

            I was actually thinking of a more recent tax avoidance scheme that was being used by the banks rather than the wine box affair which is now nearly 30 years ago.

            In any event the the scheme failed to reduce the banks tax liability and the banks ended up paying the tax.

            The point I was really making is that banks and other businesses spend quite a bit of effort in constructing schemes to reduce their tax, using the usual array of companies, partnerships and other legal vehicles. If the courts think the principal reason for the arrangements is to reduce tax, as opposed for instance to reduce a banking risk, then the tax avoidance element fails.

            But it is not tax evasion.

            • alwyn 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Fine. However it was Tricledrown who brought up the WineBox, not you.
              Actually I doubt very much if he knows what the WineBox affair was.
              He seems to be totally incapable of telling the truth about anything..
              I’m not sure whether he is a congenital liar or a complete idiot.
              His ultimate, as far as I can see, was 3 lies in a 2 line section of comment.
              It is a waste of time debating him(her) frankly. He(she?) is an imbecile.

        • alwyn 19.1.1.2

          More lies by tricledown.

          “the 4 largest bank got caught in the Wine box”.
          Please explain how the 4 largest banks, by which I assume you mean ANZ, ASB, BNZ and WBC were involved.
          Do you ever bother to check anything before you start spraying b**s?
          The main component of the Wine Box affair was the so-called Magnum transaction by a company called European Pacific. There was an incidental matter in which BNZ were involved but the judge found that “from BNZ’s perspective as an investor it appeared conventional and therefore the bank was not involved in tax evasion”.

          Why are you quite incapable of telling the truth?
          Did you take lessons from Senator McCarthy? Certainly your approach sounds very much like his technique, described as ” the term is used more generally in reference to demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents”.
          Recognize yourself? You should.

      • reason 19.1.2

        A man who was at one time the richest New Zealander ( and national party supporter ), devoted his life to not paying tax …… http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8515361/Money-trail-leads-home-to-New-Zealand

        Mathew Hooten supports tax havens and the rich criminals who use them ….. he tried to have harm done to nicky hager for exposing them…..

        Mathew Hooten is a dishonest toe-rag who pretends to be concerned about wife beating or domestic violence …………. yet he has ties to the liquor industry as detailed in ‘Dirty Politics’ ………….. he also was a don brash man so it would seem he likes attacking the weak and disadvantaged in society.

        And we also know he supports tax havens ……………..

        Wayne the bad Mapp ……………… is as honest as a National Government Ukrainian carbon credit……. the ones new zealand is presently trying to defraud the world with…. …. “It reveals a shocking truth: New Zealand has been a willing participant in a wholesale climate fraud.”

        “We’ve been dealing with criminals and fraudsters in order to meet our international obligations. If our reputation wasn’t shot to pieces after Paris – where we revealed our weak kneed 2030 target – it will be now.” http://i.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/75315901/dealing-with-criminals-in-climate-fraud

        In a way the National governments fraudulent Ukrainian carbon credit s show exactly how they operate ……………. tax havens are driven by the same ethics .

        Normal people call it “cheating”…….. I’m not sure how cheating is supposed to stop climate change but the cheats do make money on it …..

        Wayne the bad Mapp smells of corruption …… http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/collins-offered-mapp-job.html

        • alwyn 19.1.2.1

          ” and national party supporter “.
          You said it.
          What evidence do you have that he was a National Party supporter?
          Should be pretty easy to provide some evidence, if it is true.
          What evidence do you have?

          • reason 19.1.2.1.1

            Its in the link I put up troll ………………..

            The commentators on the stuff page mention it too.

            If you watch the Hollow Men you will see how the Nats use trusts and to keep their donations anonymous ………………… http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/the-hollow-men-2008

            Just like they’d like to keep tax haven users anonymous.

            And they have appointed a 2.2Billion dollar fraudster John Shewan to check out their legalized tax haven and make sure its all ‘legal’.

            Johns john attempted to steal 2.2 Billion dollars from New Zealand on behalf of profit gouging aussie banks in a tax fraud …………

            Welfare fraud was aprrox 22 million in 2010 ……..

            How many years of welfare fraud = johns john Shewans tax fraud.

            All these tax frauds and other greedy bastards are why our kids get huge student debts on something that was once free in NZ ……… and why they are speculated out of ever owning their own homes.

            Why do you support such greed and cheating alwyn troll?

            And don’t ask me another question until you complete my maths question to you …………….I’ve asked you to do the sums before…. to rude to answer?, prick……… or trolls math block ?.

            2.2billion dived by 22 million = years http://www.victoria.ac.nz/research/expertise/business-commerce/fraud-sentencing

            • alwyn 19.1.2.1.1.1

              I asked “evidence do you have that he was a National Party supporter”
              Your reply is that “Its in the link I put up”.

              Perhaps you could go a little further and tell me exactly where it is in the article? The closest thing I can find is this statement.
              “The Star-Times revealed in 2005 that his son Berridge and daughter Mertsi were secret National Party donors”.
              His children, not HIM. I asked for your evidence about the father, not his offspring.

              Are the parents to be blamed for the sins of the child?
              I have read claims that Helen Clark’s parents supported the National Party. I have no idea if it is true but if so are they to be expelled from polite society because their daughter, like Darth Vader, crossed over to the dark side?

          • Tricledrown 19.1.2.1.2

            The Spencer family have a long history of political involvement with National.

            • alwyn 19.1.2.1.2.1

              “The Spencer family ….”. That may very well be so. The claim was specifically about John Spencer, not the more nebulous “family”.

              I suppose one could say that the Rockefeller family have a long history of involvement with the Republican Party. That is true.
              John D Rockefeller IV would have justly objected if you tarred him with that brush. He was, for 30 years, a Democratic Party Senator in the US Congress.

    • Anno1701 19.2

      yes technically, if they set up a “foreign trust or IBC” in another offshore jurisdiction

      lets say the Seychelles

      they could then funnel money through that vehicle into another off-shore structure in Nuie or the cook islands , which for all intent & purposes practically ARE NZ

      which is why they are so appealing ,much like the British used to use the channel islands as they were practically part of the UK, just google “the sark lark” for more info on that

      Did you know NZ has one of the easiest regimes in the developed world for offshore baking licenses, the funnt thing thing is your not allowed to call them a bank, seriously you cant use the word “bank” in the title … might attract a little to much attention that way

      http://www.interest.co.nz/news/60461/entities-peddling-unregulated-nz-offshore-finance-companies-world-tout-their-benefits-and

      143 NZ registered companies were implicated, over a four year period, in criminal activities overseas

      http://www.interest.co.nz/news/55479/commerce-minister-simon-power-wants-taxman-help-crack-down-nz-registered-companies-implic

  20. John Gorter 20

    Interesting thing. Key says we are a footnote as there are 215000 entities and we are only 350 of them. That means we are involved in 0.16% of them. We are however only 0.006% of the worlds population. Possibly we aren’t that insignificant.

    • alwyn 20.1

      I suggest you do your calculation again.
      I’ll give you a clue if you can’t see it. We are not “only 0.006% of the worlds population”. As your report would say “Must try harder”.

      • Draco T Bastard 20.1.1

        6.4285714285714285714285714285714e-4

        Is what my calculator tells me is the percentage NZ’s population is of the worlds population.

        • alwyn 20.1.1.1

          Amazing. I have never seen a calculator that calculates to about 32 decimal places and still gets it wrong. Actually I’ve never seen a 32 digit calculator before.
          That converts to an even more erroneous number than John Gorter gave.
          Try again. I suggest you simplify it. Take the world population as 7.4 billion and New Zealand’s population as being 4.6 million. That’s near enough.
          Please remember you are trying to calculate the percentage of the world population that New Zealand’s is.

          • Draco T Bastard 20.1.1.1.1

            /facepalm

            Forgot to *100

            Still, the 0.16% is significantly greater than the 0.06%

            • alwyn 20.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes I know. It is very easy, and I assure you I checked my calculation several times before I dared to go into print. JG was only out by a factor of 10 which is actually harder to understand.
              On the other hand is you only looked at countries where one would dare put your money we are probably under-represented.
              Who knows, we’ll see if anything comes out tomorrow.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I’m pretty sure that there is plenty of countries that will be represented where you wouldn’t dare to put your money.

                As has been pointed out, the records go back decades but our participation in the tax haven business only goes back 5 years. To make a proper comparison you’d have to compare the same comparative time in other tax havens careers.

                And then there’s the fact that any representation is a black mark that we shouldn’t have.

  21. Tricledrown 21

    Thompson Mossack Fonsecca NZ office man and board member involved with Equitycorp that says a lot.

    • Tricledrown 21.1

      Now Matthew Hooton claims Key does not move fast enough from pressure from business to clean up trusts.
      But When Ken Whitney approaches Keys minister 48 hrs later the tightening of rules that Hooton claims NZ businesses wanted rules tightened .
      Were dropped instantly.
      Hooton inoculating the argument.
      Spin spin.

      • Tricledrown 21.1.1

        Matthew Hooton John Keys bag man laundering Keys Dirty lies.
        Trying to shift the argument sideways.
        Key was responsible for loosening the rules around trusts .
        Take responsibility from the party of personal responsibility.

        • ianmac 21.1.1.1

          Hooten says that the “trusts” lawyers have been calling for transparency laws to be toughened since Key became the Leader in 2006. Key said yes yes. Good idea but did nothing for the duration. The Tax chap who met with the Minister in 2014 also said that that was what they asked the Minister to do as well. Action? No action.
          1. If so it means Key was lying when he said he knew nothing when his lawyer asked and sent his man off to the Minister. He had been lobbied for years.
          2. The doubts and suspicion lies at Key’s door through his refusal to act. (Has he got something to hide?)

        • left for dead 21.1.1.2

          Matthew Hooton John Keys bag man laundering Keys Dirty lies.

          That must hurt Matthew, who loathes the current PM, but has too spin for the torys.

  22. adam 22

    I love how the rightwing trolls on this site think this is got-ya politics and are treating it as such. Keep it up BM and Puckish, keep it up.

    It is way more simpler than that. We are seeing we have helped out international tax avoiders, tax dodgers and their associated criminal mates get away with ripping off other countries of their rightful tax.

    I’d have thought the right would be all over that. As they were with paper boys and girls not paying there fair shear.

    But instead you seem to want to defend the 2011 regulation changes, and you want to avoid the connections with the Cooks, Samoa, and other Pacific tax havens. You want to spin, rather than face the problem.

    Long may you keep doing it. It just goes to show how out of touch a segment of the national party activist base are with the world, and New Zealanders.

    • Puckish Rogue 22.1

      Seriously?

      As john Key said if any New Zealanders are found to have dodged tax the IRD will be all over them

      You’re saying the Right are out of touch? Maybe certainly more in touch then Labour

      This will be just like the H-Bomb, the Dirty Politics launch or The Moment of Truth

      A Big Nothing

      • adam 22.1.1

        Fear, fear, fear.

        Big, you the one saying big. This is not big. It’s just more of the same, and there will be months of this.

        Spin, spin, spin.

        Go for the labour card, and you know I’m not labour – but try and make something else in any desperate attempt to spin.

        Scared, scared, scared.

        It not about New Zealanders, it’s about New Zealand. Let me know when you get that.

        • Reddelusion 22.1.1.1

          Fear fear fear

          Come on this whole saga is hilarious, seeing you guys froth at the mouth is pure theatre Better than going to the movies,

          • adam 22.1.1.1.1

            I’m not frothing at all Reddelusion, I’m just having fun.

            And now I’ve had some more – ah its great to see you’ll so clutching at straws

      • Psycho Milt 22.1.2

        As john Key said if any New Zealanders are found to have dodged tax the IRD will be all over them

        Well, duh – that’s their job. Of more interest is whether any New Zealanders are offering foreign trust services that are tax avoidance or money-laundering schemes, but if there are IRD won’t be all over them because our law enables the provision of tax avoidance and money-laundering schemes to foreigners. Perhaps Key should pay some attention to that one, before even more people start thinking of us as another Cayman Islands?

      • reason 22.1.3

        [deleted]

        [lprent: Going too far. Banned for a week. ]

    • Chuck 22.2

      “I love how the rightwing trolls on this site think this is got-ya politics and are treating it as such. Keep it up BM and Puckish, keep it up.”

      Adam…all over this thread (and other related threads on TS) has people making all sorts of links and / or criminal wrong doing by John Key / National and “offshore tax havens”.

      Even the poster of this tread – Simon Louisson, is showing his colours “Spinning is what Key excels at — on TVNZ he quickly worked on the meme that it is a Left wing conspiracy because Hager is involved.”

      So yeh…its “got-ya politics”. Which is a shame…but don’t worry an investigation will be held and if any NZ laws need tightening then they will be.

  23. Magisterium 23

    [lprent: You were banned here. Added another week. ]

    • framu 23.1

      “Starting to see a trend here.”

      yes, there is quite a trend of people claiming it as a big fail to get key despite any and all attempts to show where that assumption is wrong

      • Magisterium 23.1.1

        [removed]
        [lprent: You were banned here. Added another week. ]

        • framu 23.1.1.1

          “Key Derangement Syndrome”

          quite sane thanks so it doesnt apply

          but did you note that its not the lefties banging on about “getting john key” on this topic?

          thats a mistake you, BM and PR are making and no one else

          • Gangnam Style 23.1.1.1.1

            They have their script & they are sticking to it, regardless of reality.

    • joe90 23.2

      Starting to see a trend here.

      Yeah, plumbing, lots of DIY plumbing.

      //

  24. reason 24

    I’m seeing lots of national party trolls supporting the rights of the rich to steal …..

    These rich criminals should have all their NZ assets seized ……

    John keys house would make a nice woman s refuge or cyfs accommodation.

    • save nz 24.1

      Personally wondering if the trolls are paid to post pro government propaganda.

      If so, no doubt the taxpayers are paying for it, and its being siphoned off a government budget somewhere.

      • Puckish Rogue 24.1.1

        Yes, yes we are. No one could possibly post what we post because we believe it ourselves, that’d just be plain silly.

      • Magisterium 24.1.2

        [removed]
        [lprent: You were banned here. Added another week. ]

      • Reddelusion 24.1.3

        Stop wondering, we do it for humanitarian reasons, hopefully to educate and cure you of your delusions

    • mary_a 24.2

      @ reason (24) … “John keys house would make a nice woman s refuge or cyfs accommodation.”

      True.

      However, I think I’d decontaminate and possibly exorcise it first, before opening it up to society’s deserving needy.

  25. Puckish Rogue 25

    I just hope something more interesting is released tomorrow morning, this was a Big Nothing so if they have anything left nows the time to release it

    • mary_a 25.1

      Puckish Rogue (25) … be interesting to watch your beloved leader’s body language at his post cabinet press conference today! Or will he be a no show?

    • adam 25.2

      Board tired meme Puckish Rouge, this one hold no water, try again.

      Please for full disclosure on the relevance on my remark, refer to weka’s fine response to your over repeated meme.

  26. Richardrawshark 26

    Just had a look at the Panama papers database. IRD will be having kittens, I see the spin now, there’s only a small percentage compared to other countries, we are hardly mentioned.

    Sadly the truth lies in the quality of the small amount of information. Which is not small. In fact it’s a horror story.

    It’s quite easy to pull up trusts and even officers and master, there’s a nice graphic which shows the way the trust is organized. in and offshore, the names of companies and who is linked to those companies.

    Some of these trusts are like spiders webs you click a link and multitudes of more links appear, colours represent offshore, you see how it’s in some structures going out from one company offshore and coming back into another company owned by the same trust.

    It’s definitely going to take a squad of experts to sift through those complicated set ups.

    These are not simple little Trusts to protect the families tequila planation in Los Lunatics mexico.

  27. Robert Guyton 27

    Puckish Rogue’s position on every single issue is: “It’s Nothing“.
    He follows up with “This will increase National’s support in the polls”.
    That’s all.
    It’s a formula he sticks to like glue, every single time something is revealed about Key and National. Most readers here will see his comments as conscious interference, (trolling).

    • Puckish Rogue 27.1

      Its actually based on past events. The H-Bomb, The Moment of Truth and the Dirty Politics launch all turned out to be nothing and gained National a bump in the polls

      Theres nothing shown here by the left to suggest this will be anything different.

      • Paul 27.1.1

        Do you have anything constructive to say?

        • Reddelusion 27.1.1.1

          Problem is Puali anything that does not fit your KDS narrative is considered not constructive, so from your perspective the answer is no

        • dv 27.1.1.2

          I am surprised that Puck has has time to spend all day on this blog- I don’t know how he gets the time to read the 11 million doc to be so sure that nothing to see and spend all day here.

      • adam 27.1.2

        Boy you believe that lie don’t you Puckish rouge. Nothing to see here move along.

        Tired meme bro. This is none of those things, they were in the past. So get over it.

        There is no smoking gun, just a long, long process which exposes the law changes in 2011, and the enabling by this government of criminals. And tax avoidence, fraud, non-payment, choice a name I don’t care – but tax was not being paid.

        And your mate Bash – what about him, he have KDS now does he?

        OMG I’m laughing so much it’s hard to type.

  28. Paul 28

    Just been on the Herald and Stuff’s website.
    Nothing visible on this story on either.
    Next time our right trolls talk about the media in Russia, North Korea, Zimbabwe etc, they might want to put the mirror in front of the neoliberal media here.
    Just as captured.
    Just a different ideology.

    • Reddelusion 28.1

      Because there is no story only a fantasy in your mind. My god after todays big reveal the Peter Pan papers is a very apt description of this whole silly saga, left wing hit with a wet bus ticket,

      • Paul 28.1.1

        You clearly would defend anything.
        You are a crazed ideologue.
        Trillions of dollars in tax havens is news.
        The Bachelor is not news.

      • Richardrawshark 28.1.2

        Sorry Red, i’d shut it on this one or your going to end up with egg on your face and looking a right dick. no ones saying Keys directly involved, but He and nationals Trust law changes have been pointed out, That caused the ability for a tax haven business / personal setup if required.

        I looked at the papers they are in they leak site, there a good list of NZ companies, within 5 minutes of research it was apparent most of the non descript trusts were elaborate setups far more advanced in disguising income than you would ever think.

        Instead of spouting a denial rhetoric, perhaps get off your ass and challenge your beliefs and check it out yourself. Until you do your opinion is uninformed and infantile.

        • International Rescue 28.1.2.1

          “That caused the ability for a tax haven business / personal setup if required.”

          Sorry Richard, I’d be very careful commenting further when you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. The current trust law was established in 2007.

          “In 2007 by the Income Tax Act 2007 the New Zealand government legislated that any non resident that establishes a trust in New Zealand can utilise the trust to hold assets or invest in transactions or even trade and pay ZERO TAX IN NEW ZEALAND provided that the settlor is a non-New Zealand resident and the trust does not conduct any taxable activities in New Zealand.”
          http://www.trust-nz.com/offshore-trusts.html

          • Richardrawshark 28.1.2.1.1

            “Sorry Richard, I’d be very careful commenting further when you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. The current trust law was established in 2007.”

            Your welcome apology accepted. I never said it wasn’t formed in 2007 but it was working sweet as until when was that again….2011? or was it 8. But whenever, the tax rate changed from 28%-0% and by whom.

            A, National 2011.

            • International Rescue 28.1.2.1.1.1

              ‘I never said it wasn’t formed in 2007 but it was working sweet as until when was that again….”

              You really don;t know what you’re talking about do you? The law is working no differently today than it did in 2007.

              [You show all the signs of being a troll. Your comment is abusive and dishonest. The law was changed during this Government’s term and this made a fundamental difference (/key-changed-the-law-to-turn-nz-into-a-tax-haven/). If you do not lift the quality of your comments I will personally ban you and I am one of the more gentle authors here – MS]

              • International Rescue

                MS…you clearly aren’t following the debate. If my comment was abusive, you’ve been living under a rock. One rule for all?

        • Reddelusion 28.1.2.2

          I suggest you don’t comment on what you don’t understand. You are trying (desperately I add ) to find a conclusion that is not there A bit sad really, Heres a little help if the premises are false the conclusion based on those premises is also false but hey it’s keeping us all amused, keep it up 😀

          • Richardrawshark 28.1.2.2.1

            I suggest you watch tv1 news, if you insist after that we are not a tax haven..

            then it’s pointless conversing with a full on national party member.

        • Chuck 28.1.2.3

          Sorry Richardrawshark, your comments over the last few days has been pretty clear that Key is involved – just one comment from many…from 7th May you commented:

          “I’ve had a good look around now, all I can think of is the obvious, it was a shot across John keys bow, in 2 days, err maybe three, 9th May the united journalists are going to release a 90’000 page searchable database of company tranactions from memory.

          The manifesto has come out 2 days before the database goes live.. got to be.. a sweaty John Key couple days anyways, as he probably figures the same thing.

          all I can now think. Why else would they mention his name like that prior to a release of data…”

          At least in a round about way you now concede Key is not involved.

          • Richardrawshark 28.1.2.3.1

            /yawn

            In so much as he aided and changed the Laws to suit trusts in a manner like Switzerland to be a haven. of that there is not much doubt. He’s been interviewed in the past and said something of the sort.

            Then woe behold after a couple quick law changes people come in registered trusts fly up and half of south America signs up to a trust.

            As in directly guilty I should be more elaborate I forget trolls on here look for and angle to make an argument.

            I meant I didn’t think there was an implication or it likely even possible he’s so stupid, john key himself, to have a trust and evading tax.

            Now he’s come out and flip flopped again.. you’ll say he hasn’t, we’ll say he has…HE HAS.. flip flopped ..again. and now they will tighten up any holes in his non tax haven first rate nothing to worry about trust system HE set up.

            IE he got caught ..creating a tax haven in secret for his mates, and they now have to shut it down and change the rules back..

            sorry but…

            HA HA It’s deserving of a laugh.

            • Chuck 28.1.2.3.1.1

              In terms of flip flopped…you get the gold metal…

              “As in directly guilty I should be more elaborate I forget trolls on here look for and angle to make an argument.”

              If you want to live in an echo chamber than make an approach to the owner of this blog to exclude all commentators that have any differing views…

  29. Reddelusion 29

    now now Paul be nice. just because some one does not agree with your warped world analysis, does not make them a crazed ideologue

    similarly your opinions are not your own, you don’t think for yourself you simply link left wing nut job website or commentators profusely as fact. may be one day if you synthesised what you read with alternate views and get out more, educate yourself beyond left wing mantra you may become more enlightened ( free advise)

    • Richardrawshark 29.1

      But you use words like, nut job, loony left etc, now from a impartial viewpoint you seem to have a hatred and bias to anything left.

      I’d say somethings happened in your past to create this and you need a good hug.

      Time to let it go and move forward. Feel the love coming at you. <3<3<3

      xxxx

      • Reddelusion 29.1.1

        I feel the love

        I don’t hate left wingers ( I was one once but grew up) I just have a very strong bs meter while sanctimonious lefties especially the champaign socialist types tend to be …. Of the highest order

  30. Tom 30

    “TVNZ said its investigation link NZ-based trusts to multitudes of secret central and south American deals involving middle men. Israeli Assaf Zansuri is a Bentleys client who brokered a deal to sell drugs to Mexico to spy on drug cartels.”

    The guy brokered a deal to sell DRONES not drugs. I.e. he was assisting the Mexican government to crack down on cartels.

  31. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 31

    What I would be interested in knowing is – where has Key parked his $50 million plus fortune while he’s been PM?

    A very apt comment was made on one of the blog to the effect that the lawyers setting up trusts in NZ would also be doing the same for their own fortunes – in offshore trusts where they will pay little or no tax.

    Where does Key’s blind trust pay tax? In NZ? Or is it registered in the Cayman Islands? Or one of the other known ‘tax havens’?

    This won’t be one-way traffic – our filthy rich will be doing the same as the overseas filthy rich – perhaps just not with MF.

    • Chuck 31.1

      This type of comment is a text book example of KDS…it drags down any legitimate criticism of Key into well…the gutter.

      Key has made mistakes for sure, but he is a mile ahead of any person the opposition has to offer the NZ public.

      Keep this up and Key will have a 5th term as PM.

    • Wayne 31.2

      Tony Veitch,

      The PM specifically answered these questions in Parliament. He said he has no connection with offshore trusts. He said he had spent time specifically checking this. I assume one of those checks would be with the trustees of the blind trust.

      Despite what you think, no senior politician, irrespective of party, would make such a statement in parliament without being able to verify it. The downside consequences would be enormous.

      And his statements have clearly been accepted by the opposition, irrespective of party. Not one of them has subsequently suggested he has any personal investment (direct or indirect) in offshore trusts.

    • Richardrawshark 31.3

      Think you will be able to look that up tomorrow when the second part of the release comes, if , in any way keys portfolio has a link to a MF structured trust/scam.

      As he’s just found out Witney is connected to MF, he might unwittingly have one or two. Who knows.

      • International Rescue 31.3.1

        Hager and his mates have had the full docs of a week. If the best they have is already out, this is a big yawn.

      • Chuck 31.3.2

        I thought your said this was not “get ya politics”?

        Its taken you less than a couple of hours to go back to any way or might / unwittingly “Key has links to MF or trust/scams etc”

        I suggest you read Wayne’s comment above…its sensible and logical.

      • Reddelusion 31.3.3

        And he may also be the anti Christ, head of the illuminati, a lizard man, elvis in disguise, lord Lucan maybe? Who knows

    • whispering kate 31.4

      I wrote something just like that on another column. I can’t understand why this has never come up in any discussions on TV by commentators – that if overseas investors are laundering their money through NZ to wherever – then it has to be discussed that Kiwi investors are doing exactly the same thing with other tax haven jurisdictions. Yes, where has the PM got his money hidden and is his family listed on the trusts so that he isn’t implicated. Odd really – its pretty obvious that this sort of dodgy stuff is working both ways.

      Also he has been quoted as saying “we have no obligation to other countries ….” in regard to the tax avoidance/evasion going on. Does that mean he has no obligation to this country and that he and his other low life mates are denying this country tax which could be spent on a struggling health system, a low-morale police force, the defence force which is struggling – beggars belief really, what a low life he is with his low life mates.

      • Gangnam Style 31.4.1

        One of the examples he said today to legitimise tax secrecy was maybe if you did not agree with your countries inheritance laws, so I think asking Key where his money is hoarded is a great idea, considering his moral compass is quite skewered.

        • Reddelusion 31.4.1.1

          Or a country where government has a history to nationalise and or steal private property with out redress due to weak or lack of separation of state and judiciary , what sort of government is that ?

          • Tricledrown 31.4.1.1.1

            a dictatorship like Russia North Korea.
            Putin has been caught hiding $1 billion +

          • Gangnam Style 31.4.1.1.2

            Probably not the kind of place to make $millions legit so you have to hide maybe? Even Mike Hosking held Key up on that one, he said ‘So if I don’t like Keys Govt can I hide my money from the tax man’.

  32. Whanga Bar 32

    “Welcome to New Zealund, a 100% pure high quality jurisdiction for trusts with a benign tax system in certain circumstances, how may we assist your financial burden?

  33. I wonder how people are going to see New Zealand now that this whole finance fiasco has been found out. Beside the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean, the people who want to hide their real moneys are going to have to figure out a new place to stash all their secret cash. In my honest opinion, they’ve got so much money in their pockets as it is, why be so obsessive about having to pay some of it back to the government as if it would make a dent in their actual net worth.

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