A little more detail to flesh out Tane’s post. The core of the H-fee story is this:
In 1987, head of Equiticorp Allan Hawkins illegally helped Elders Merchant Finance in New Zealand with the takeover of another company. In return, Elders paid Hawkins $66m through a series of sham foreign exchange transactions. There were two so-called ‘H-Fee’ payments, which were fraudulent and illegal. When all this was uncovered, it was described as the biggest fraud in Australasian history. Hawkins and Kenneth Charles Jarrett, the head of Elders, went to jail.
John Key had joined Elders Merchant Finance in 1985. He was head of foreign exchange from 1985 until he left Elders. Key told the media and the Serious Fraud Office that he left in 1987, before the H-fee transactions took place in January and August 1988: “Just one small issue: Three months before any of those deals got decided, I had left Elders.”. Key has also said that, if he had been working at Elders when the H-fee transactions went through, he would have been making the transactions.
Actually, as now established by the Herald, Key left in June 1988, after the first H-fee. That means John Key was the head of Elders Forex when massive illegal transactions were being conducted by that business group. Key himself says that he would have been the one making the transactions. It remains to be seen if Key actually signed off the deals, but he clearly knows more than he led us to believe. Why else would he lie about the date that he left Elders on multiple occasions?
As so often with Key, we are left asking the same question: ‘if he has nothing to hide, why all the lies?’