Key’s pecuniary interests

Yesterday Parliament published the Summary of annual returns as at 31 January 2016.

Coincidentally John Key’s and his financial interests are getting a lot of attention at the moment. here is his declaration:

Rt Hon John Key (National, Helensville)

2 Other companies and business entities

Little Nell – property investment (Aspen, Colorado) Bank of America – banking

4 Beneficial interests in, and trusteeships of, trusts

JP & BI Key Family Trust (beneficiary) Aldgate Trust (blind trust – neither trustee nor beneficiary)

6 Real property

Family home, Parnell, Auckland Office, Huapai, Auckland Holiday home, Omaha, Rodney Holiday home, Maui, United States of America

7 Superannuation schemes

Mercer Individual Retirement Plan (Parliamentary Scheme)

8 Debtors

JP & BI Key Family Trust – trust loan* Bank of America – short-term deposit

ANZ Bank – short-term deposit

Antipodes Trust Group Limited – short-term deposit

10 Overseas travel costs

Korea – official visit

Japan – official visit

Australia – official visit

Turkey – official visit

United Arab Emirates – official visit

Saudi Arabia – official visit

Kuwait – official visit Samoa – official visit

Rarotonga – official visit

Papua New Guinea – official visit

United States – official visit

Iraq – official visit

Morocco – official visit

Belgium – official visit

United Kingdom (x2) – official visit

Viet Nam – official visit

Philippines – official visit

Malaysia – official visit

Malta – official visit

France – official visit

Germany – official visit

The primary expenses relating to all travel were funded by the Crown. Some accommodation, internal flights and/or other incidental expenses were met by the host Government

11 Gifts

Large framed oil painting by William Tseng (item donated) – William Tseng

Wrist watch – Prime Minister of Kuwait

Pen set – Prime Minister of Kuwait

Coin set – Prime Minister of Kuwait

Helicopter flight and golf (Wairakei, x3) – Gary Lane

Accomodation and golf (Kinloch) – John Sax, Southpark Corporation Limited

Ceramic figure ornament of tea ceremony – Party Secretary, Guangdong Province Hu Chuhua

Shoushan stone carved ornament of an eagle (donated to Parliamentary Collection) – Chinese Ambassador

Helicopter flight – Central Water Plains Limited

Framed print of Manly, Australia – Premier Mike Baird

Framed print of motorcycle by Bill Burke (donated to Parliamentary Collection) – NZ Classic Motor Cycles Limited

Comemorative coin, Niue – NZ Mint Limited

Helicopter flight and golf (Tara Iti) – DB Breweries

Helicopter flight and lesson – Christchurch Helicopters

Commemorative coin, Singapore (donated to Parliamentary Collection) – Singapore High Commissioner

Helicopter flight (Kauri Cliffs, x 2) – Trevor Farmer

Honorary golf membership – Remuera Golf Club

Honorary Gold Membership – Wairakei

Set of golf clubs and golf balls – Srixon, Japan

Meat – Anzco

Source (PDF): Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament: Summary of annual returns as at 31 January 2016


Greens and foreign banks

The Greens recently released policy to promote Kiwibank over Australian owned banks.

More Green MPs than not deal with Kiwibank (or TSB, a New Zealand owned bank). Only three of them have mortgages with foreign owned banks and one has a Kiwisaver account with one.

All MPS are free to choose which banks they do business with, and may have good reasons for dealing with non-New Zealand owned banks.

Steffan Browning

  • Kiwibank Kiwisaver

David Clendon

  • ASB Bank – mortgage

Marama Davidson – none

Catherine Delahunty

  • ASB Bank KiwiSaver
  • Kiwibank – mortgage

Julie Anne Genter

  • Kiwibank – mortgage

Dr Kennedy Graham

  • Kiwibank KiwiSaver
  • Kiwibank – mortgage

Kevin Hague

  • Kiwibank – mortgage

Gareth Hughes

  • ASB Bank – KiwiSaver
  • Westpac Bank – mortgage

Jan Logie

  • Bank of New Zealand – mortgage

Mojo Mathers

  • Kiwibank – mortgage

Denise Roche

  • TSB Bank – mortgage

James Shaw

  • Kiwibank Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver

Metiria Turei

  • Kiwibank – mortgage

Source: 2016 Register of Pecuniary Interests






Media beatup over Key pecuniary interest

Media have run an alarming beat up out of a declaration by John Key revealed in the latest register of pecuniary interests.

Stuff: Prime Minister John Key linked to company specialising in foreign trusts

Prime Minister John Key has declared a financial link to a company specialising in foreign trusts.

The latest register of MPs’ pecuniary interests, released on Tuesday, listed the Antipodes Trust Group Limited as a debtor in Key’s entry.

On its website, the Antipodes Trust calls itself a specialist provider of trustee and associated services for foreign trusts using New Zealand as their jurisdiction of choice.

It lists lawyer Ken Whitney as an executive director.

A spokeswoman for Key said Whitney had been his lawyer for a long time.

“The difference between this year’s pecuniary interests and last year’s is that he has changed firms.

“The short term deposit is used to pay for any costs incurred from the Prime Minister’s family trusts. The surplus funds are reinvested short term with New Zealand trading banks.”

So it seems to be a non-story.

One News was worse, making a big deal of the ‘perception’ of something being questionable but conceding that there was no problem revealed at all.

John Key left red-faced over trust deposit disclosure

The Prime Minister is at the centre of an embarrassing disclosure in the midst of the Panama Papers leak.

Parliament’s latest register of MPs’ financial interests show John Key has a short term deposit with a company called Antipodes Trust Group.

The company advertises on its website that it is “a specialist provider of trustee and associated services for foreign trusts using New Zealand as their jurisdiction of choice.”

Documents in the Panama leaks have made references to foreign trusts set-up here and Mr Key’s political opponents say the trusts are shrouded in too much secrecy and effectively makes New Zealand a tax haven.

Mr Key says the deposit with Antipodes Trust Group has shown up in this year’s register of his pecuniary interests because, in the past 12 months, his long-time personal lawyer went to work for the Trust Group.

Mr Key says the deposit is to cover any costs incurred by a family trust administered by his lawyer, Ken Whitney, and any surplus from the deposit is invested with New Zealand trading banks.

There is no evidence that either Mr Key, Mr Key’s lawyer, or the Antipodes Trust Group have done anything illegal or are in any way linked to issues raised in the leaks of documents from Panamanian law firm Mossat Fonseca.

They have left out the repeated suggestions of their being ‘perception’ of a problem, but have linked the Panama papers and Mossat Fonseca to the story even though they have nothing to do with it.

This is an appalling story.

It’s nearly as bad as some at The Standard trying to make something out of Key’s deposit with company specialising in foreign trusts.

Key’s statement:


Perhaps we should have an inquiry into media beat ups and perception mongering.

David Shearer’s pecuniary interests

David Shearer’s admission he had not previously disclosed having money in a foreign bank account invited (and received) criticisms about his memory and speculations on his wealth.

What are his pecuniary interests?

Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests: Summary 2012 [PDF 341k]

David SHEARER (Labour, Mt Albert)

4 Beneficial interests in, and trusteeships of, trusts
Sackville Trust
Lawrence Wat Trust

6 Real property
House, Avondale, Auckland
House, Point Chevalier, Auckland
Section (jointly owned), Whananaki

7 Superannuation schemes
United Nations Pension Scheme
Parliamentary Scheme – Sackville Superannuation Trust

8 Debtors
ASB – term deposit

9 Creditors
Westpac – mortgage

And this has presumably just been added:

Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament: Summary of additional information received from members for the year ended 31 January 2012

David Shearer (Labour, Mt Albert)

8 Debtors
Chase Bank – term deposit

All we know about the bank deposit is that it complies with these requirements:

You do not need to indicate the amount of the debt, only its existence.

You will need to include bank deposits if they are over $50,000.

That tells us very little about Shearer’s overall wealth. If you look at John Key’s declaration it is just as vague.

The 2011 register declaration is similar for Shearer, it shows he owns a different house and had just a section in Point Chevalier so it looks like he may have been in the process of building, and has since moved to this house.

The 2010 register declaration shows another house ownership – but no trusts and one ASB term deposit. The summary of additional information now also includes the Chase Bank deposit.

Shearer wasn’t in the 2009 register (he became an MP that year) but was in the additional returns:

David SHEARER (Labour, Mt Albert)

6     Real property

House, Kingsland, Auckland
House, Avondale, Auckland
House, Birkenhead, Auckland

7     Superannuation Schemes

United Nations Pension Scheme

9     Creditors

ASB – mortgage
Westpac – mortgage

He listed no bank deposits for 2009, although has now revealed he had the US account then.

I think it would be not unusual for someone like Shearer who has presumably had substantial income, tax free, from his UN work, to have substantial assets. Multiple real estate in Auckland can obviously be substantial. Trusts can mask real wealth.

I’m not surprised to see that Shearer now has two bank accounts with more than $50,000.

But the pecuniary interest register is so vague as to be virtually meaningless about MP’s financial interests.