Shewan versus Little on no apology

John Shewan has released a letter he sent to Andrew Little’s office in June requesting an apology for Little’s remarks alleging Shewan’s involvement in helping the Bahamas preserve it’s tax haven status.

See Little slams Shewan who slams Little for the original allegations and Shewan’s response in April.

Shewan released the letter after Little this morning claimed he had not been asked to apoplogise.

Shewan’s letter to Little on June 10:

The suggested response is not acceptable. It does not recognise the severity of the incorrect statement made by Mr Little.

It’s reasonable to expect a person in Mr Little’s position to understand the impact and damage the statement he has made would have on me personally and the potential they have to negatively impact my business now and in the future.

I have been fair and extremely patient. It is close to two months since Mr Little caused me and my family considerable stress and humiliation.

My efforts to address the issue in a fair and timely way were responded to by procrastination and vain efforts to fob me off, whereas they could and should have brought a prompt resolution to this matter.

The statements made were patently wrong and damaging to my reputation and I now require an unqualified retraction which will go some way towards mitigating the damage that has already been caused.

A correction along the lines you are suggesting would be unacceptable.

I now request the statement I sent to you yesterday be issued with the following additions: ‘I apologise to Mr Shewan for any embarrassment I have caused him through my statements’.”

Please advise Mr Little’s position by 5pm today.

NZ herald reported earlier today that little was refusing to apologise and had not been asked by Shewan to apologise: Andrew Little on John Shewan: I will not apologise

Following the release of Mr Shewan’s inquiry yesterday, Mr Little said he did not need to go further.

“He explicitly said I don’t need you to apologise, I want a correction of a statement, and that’s what I’ve done,” he told reporters this morning.

And NZH later today: John Shewan says Andrew Little’s claims are misleading

When asked again to confirm that Mr Shewan had not asked for an apology, Mr Little said: “That’s my recollection of the first face-to-face discussion that we had.”

Little should be having a field day slamming John Key’s switch from denial there was any trust or disclosure issues to supporting the bulk of Shewan’s report and it’s recommendations to toughen up on trust disclosure requirements.

And David Seymour has highlighted Labour’s own shift in attitude on the trust issue and on Shewan’s report.

Andrew Little, then:

“John Key’s decision to appoint John Shewan to review New Zealand’s dodgy foreign trust rules shows a serious lack of judgement . . . A closed door review led by Mr Shewan will not restore our international reputation which has been so damaged by the Panama Papers.”

Grant Robertson, now:

“John Shewan’s report into foreign trusts is a rebuke to John Key . . . Labour supports the improved disclosure and transparency recommendations of the Shewan report. These will make for a system that is more open and will give foreign Governments greater ability to track down those who are avoiding their tax obligations.”

It’s no wonder Labour are struggling to get anywhere despite the growing number of  problems and stuff-ups the Government has been accumulating.

UPDATE: Andrew Little in Parliament today:

Andrew Little: If at least one member of the House is capable of accepting when he has got it wrong and publicly acknowledging that, when is he going to acknowledge to the public of New Zealand that he misled them about the state of our foreign trust tax laws?

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2 Comments

  1. Andrew Little in Parliament today:

    Andrew Little: If at least one member of the House is capable of accepting when he has got it wrong and publicly acknowledging that, when is he going to acknowledge to the public of New Zealand that he misled them about the state of our foreign trust tax laws?

    Little versus Key on trusts and havens

    Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  29th June 2016

    Tricky. Shewan has trapped Little. He can’t now apologise, whereas Shewan can pursue him for one.

    Reply

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