A very strange statement from Timaru financier Allan Hubbard in this story from the Herald after his company had been put into statutory liquidation by Justice Minister Simon Power:
Power said on Sunday there was not adequate documentation of loans made on behalf of 407 investors who were owed NZ$98 million.
“I think if Mr Key, who knows me, was in New Zealand, he wouldn’t have done that,” Hubbard told Radio New Zealand.
Hubbard thinks because Prime Minister Key knows him personally he would have overruled Simon Power, a member of Key’s cabinet exercising his statutory duty, in Hubbard’s favour.
That was after the Herald reported this from the Serious Fraud Office:
Earlier today, Serious Fraud Office director Adam Feeley says SFO staff have visited the offices of Allan Hubbard’s Aorangi Securities in Timaru and are satisfied an investigation into suspected serious or complex fraud is necessary.
Feeley said the SFO had started an investigation after careful consideration of information received from the Registrar of Companies.
“Based on the information we received from the earlier report, we were satisfied that, not only was it in the public interest to commence an inquiry, but that the inquiry should be conducted under Part 2 of the SFO Act – that is, it should be an investigation of suspected offences involving serious or complex fraud,” said Feeley.
John Key certainly knows the finance world inside out. But serious fraud is a serious matter. So is the publicly stated perception by a highly influential financier that the Prime Minister would corrupt the process of justice in his favour.
It’s not a good look.