Rodney Hide uses his HoS column to deride the left for leaping on the Panama Papers bandwagon.
The Panama Papers big reveal proved better in prospect than reality.
We had the promise of New Zealand as a tax haven, squillionaires hiding their ill-gotten gains, Prime Minister John Key shown to be dodgy, and the rich getting richer through wholesale tax avoidance.
The expectation was political carnage.
Labour Leader Andrew Little looked strong: he promised to ban foreign trusts, overturning law from Roman times.
Sure, it was Nicky Hager who has history of getting to 7 by adding 2 plus 2. But this appeared different. Hager was working with a team of top Television New Zealand and Radio New Zealand journalists .
Maybe, just maybe, they had something.
And then the Big Reveal. The names making the headlines were Alan Hubbard, as a shareholder of some or other company; a Tauranga-based Elvis impersonator, who had his address listed for a Mr Basil Al Jarah registering a company in the British Virgin Islands, and Greenpeace, but it seems Greenpeace was on another leaked database, and that it wasn’t really them.
There was one rich lister and political donor named but his donation was to the Greens, not National.
Oh, and it was explained, just because someone is named doesn’t mean they have done anything wrong or improper.
Turns out fewer than 200 New Zealand trusts have links to Mossack Fonseca, all of which are properly disclosed and subject to information sharing requests from other countries and Inland Revenue.
Confused? Yup. Don’t care? Yup.
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