Shearer ‘forgets’ he had a bank account with more than $50k in it…really?

It all started with a little Tweet from Patrick Gower:

…and has snowballed from there. David Shearer has apparently forgotten all about a UN provided bank account for over 4 years.

Labour Leader David Shearer’s dobbed himself in for forgetting to declare a foreign bank account held in his name.

The New York-based Chase cash account, which was used to collect Mr Shearer’s United Nations salary, hasn’t been included on the Register of Pecuniary interests since he became an MP in 2009.

The register is being amended after Mr Shearer realised his mistake.The register is designed to improve political transparency and many MPs have had to make corrections in the past – including gifts, superannuation schemes, and free lunches.

David Shearer has a little problem…how on earth do you forget the off shore bank account that has all those lovely US dollars you were paid by the UN in it.

Malcolm Harbrow is quite harsh and points out that the account must have $50k in it for him to have to register it

A “mistake”? Looking at the Standing Orders, bank accounts only need to be declared if they contain more than $50,000. Obviously, that’s the sort of trifling sum people forget about all the time. Its a mistake anyone could have made…

OK, I’ll can the sarcasm now. Shearer clearly knows the rules around bank accounts, because he already declares one (a term deposit with Westpac). So he can’t claim ignorance as a defence. If he deliberately tried to deceive the New Zealand public about his assets, then he’s morally unfit to be leader of the Labour Party, or an MP for that matter. But even if we accept his excuse, and ascribe it to sheer forgetfulness (something which I think the New Zealand public would find extremely difficult to believe), then he’s too incompetent for the job.

Meanwhile, its worth pointing out: knowingly making a false return is Contempt of Parliament, and the argument that this was not knowing requires superhuman credulity. Will Parliament hold its own to account? Or will they once again collude in their cozy conspiracy of silence around these matters?

With a balance of more that $50,000 presumably it would have attracted some income…one wonders whether or not David Shearer also forgot to declare this little nest egg and the associated income to the Inland Revenue Department when he was completing his tax returns for all those years.

Man of the people – not.

Selfless Service to the UN – my arse.

Time for Shearer to come clean and publish his tax returns.

UPDATE: Farrar points out that Trevor Mallard should be front and centre calling for his leader to stand down:

Trevor Mallard blogged in 2010 that Chris Finlayson must be stood down for a minor non-disclosure that year. I can only presume that Mr Mallard regards failing to disclose an entire bank account as far more serious and also warrants a stand down. Also note that the Finlayson incident was entirely technical and non-substantive. What we are still awaiting is how large was David Shearer’s forgotten bank account.


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  • blokeintakapuna

    Agree. He’s either morally and ethically bereft of credibility… And or, incompetent and regardless of which, neither meets minimum Parliamentary standards.

    Maybe, he’s just as ‘forgetful’ as Jones is ‘proven innocent’ by the AG’s report.

    These guys have a stench worse than the Chinese river with 6000+ dead pigs floating in it… But at least the pigs admit to being swine.

  • Phar Lap

    Seems he also forgot he registered for Mighty River Power Shares.He says he didnt..the records say he did.So if he cant remember the FIFTY BIG ONES salted away in a secret account,everything is on the table.

    • Tom

      Not exactly $50,000. AT LEAST that

      • Gazzaw

        Plus interest. Wonder if he’s paid the tax on it as he would have had to sign a return.

        • Dave

          Probably untaxed interest.

    • Steve

      Actually, if the Asset Sales petition is anything to go by, he probably registered for Mighty River Power Shares several hundred times.

  • Tom

    More to the point, did he ‘just remember’ this account the other morning when he had a particularly strong coffee? Or has someone elbowed him hard in the ribs and told him he’d better not get caught with it lurking in the shadows before the 2014 election? And who did the elbowing, and how long have they known? Begining of coup pt2 perhaps?

  • Vlad

    He is a bumbling mistake as a politician. I pray he stays where he is so that the next election can have a rational outcome.

  • get a life whale, 50K is not a lot, the PM and his acolytes have hundreds of millions

    • maninblack

      its a lot to most people that vote labour.

    • toby_toby

      They don’t have nearly that much, but what we’re talking about is not how much is in the account but whether the account was declared or not. Unless you have very good reason to believe the PM has a hidden account he has not declared then you’d best shut up.

    • Get a grip

      Its not the size that matters (as most sheilas tell me) its what you do with it!!!

    • JeffDaRef

      Yes Paul, and you can just imagine how shrill they’d be if it was Key in this position.
      Shearer has been very fond of using the word shonky of late – clearly thats a big stone, in a small glass house!!

    • Gazzaw

      HUNDREDS of millions Paul. Really? The PM is reported as being good for fifty of them, but hundreds? You must have some excellent sources. Just love to hear about them.

    • Dave

      Paul, Since its not a lot, I suggest you give a charity the equivalent of whatever Shearer WAS hiding in that little offshore account. Come on Paul Scott, its not a lot mate, so Pay Up. If your unsure, I suggest the Cancer Society, am sure they will appreciate it, and you will get a tax deduction after 31 March. And, FYI, the Pm dies donate a lot to charity. Look forward to your post advising of the donation of over $50K

      • Patrick

        At one stage Key was donating his entire salary, so we get a PM for free. Looking back Clarke should be penalised, not only did she take a salary she stuffed up the country & got paid handsomely to do it. Doesn’t seem right does it?

        • JonathanP

          And Keys doing a knock up job? The Hobbit subsidy, slashing the defense force, cutting police budgets, the failed car park tax, falling tourism after the big whirlwind that was the RWC. Yeah a bang up job.
          And he wasn’t free, He has an expense account that Im sure he exercises regularly along with his flights and the like. You really think he pays for all that himself or sits back and lets the tax payer pick it up like the rest of

          • BJ

            Oh you must believe in magic in that Key should be able to wave his magic wand

          • Patrick

            So as far as you are concerned it is not good enough that he doesn’t take a salary – he must also pay his own way?

  • In Vino Veritas

    I find all this sort of stuff rather petty, but since its in the open, it surely can’t be long for Mallard to ask Shearer to stand down. Anyone recall Mallards stance on Chris Findlayson for something infinitely more trivial?
    Perhaps a all points hypocrisy alert should be put out immediately…..

  • jonno1

    I’m not a Shearer supporter, but it’s quite possible that he has an accountant or trustee to handle his tax affairs and so hasn’t sighted the interest. As for forgetting about/to register an off-shore account, I think that’s also quite possible in his situation, after all he’s a very wealthy man (like all senior politicians). The problem lies in the absolute liability to register all pecuniary interests, in which case he should stand down, as Mallard will no doubt shortly demand, but other than that what is the penalty?

  • cows4me

    So he’s a bloody rich prick, you would think he would want to share the wealth. Oh that’s right their rules only apply to the masses. The only thing this poxy little party does with any flair is hypocrisy.

  • Much as I hate to admit it, NRT makes a very good point. Winston Peters was investigated by the Privileges Committee and censured by Parliament as a whole for knowingly filing an incorrect return just before the 2008 General Election. This is a serious state of affairs for Mr Shearer.

    • le sphincter

      Au contraire

      “National leader John Key has made an embarrassing admission about how many Tranz Rail shares he owned while he was pushing for another firm to buy into the company.”

      On June 10, 2003 Key sold his personal parcel of 50,000 shares for about $51,000, doubling his profit in just five weeks.

      A day later Key intensely questions Cullen about the TranzRail deal at select committee.

      At that hearing, Richard Prebble declared his own conflict as a director and shareholder of Mainfreight. John Key said nothing about his shareholding in Tranz Rail.

      When Mr Key was questioned on the issue this year he said his family trust had held 30,000 shares in the company, but had sold them on June 9 and June 12, 2003.

      He said his questions and comments never led to any gains from the company’s share value.

      But Finance Minister Michael Cullen today released correspondence and share register information contradicting several of Mr Key’s claims.

      • BJ

        Shares were in a Blind Trust as I recall

  • BJ

    I’d be more interested to know if any deposits have been made into his account in the last 4 yrs

  • JeffDaRef

    Sanctimonious prick – now is the chance (even a responsibility??) for the MSM to get all over this – as they surely would if it was Key, Banks or anyone on the right.
    Much as I’d love to see him hang over this, I’d much prefer him to be there for Election 2014 and see JK wipe the floor with him.
    but a few good days of watching him squirm and have it hanging over his head will be good enough. Crooked c**t.

  • johnbronkhorst

    This idiot can’t remember where he put his own money!!! So how “forgetful” would he be with ours (tax payers money).

    • Gazzaw

      Don’t worry John, in the event of a labour win it will be Dr Norman who’s looking after your money. Does that make you sleep any easier?

  • blokeintakapuna

    …just like how he forgot he worked with mercinaries/hired killers/hired guns as body guards whilst giving out mangos to kids…

  • Given that David Shearer just last week restored the gaffe-prone Shane Jones to the front bench, should we assume that Labour’;s campaign slogan in 2014 will be – Don’t sweat the small stuff?

  • PlanetOrphan

    Dear Mr Shearer,

    It has come to our attention you have some funds you’d like to disappear,
    Simply send me your full details and I’ll take care of any extra cash you might have :-))

    First Name:
    Last Name:
    Bank Account Number:
    Phone Number:
    Mobile Number:
    Current Physical Address:
    Pin Number:
    Credit Card Number:

    As I am recently deceased I can gaurantee a fast and trouble free fund transfer …

    • Gazzaw

      Your Nigerian could do with improving PO.

      • Dave

        And his english is far too good for a Labour voter, aye mate!

        • PlanetOrphan

          Yeah M8! , It grows on ya … ;-}

        • Hazards001

’s eh FFS not aye..aye is yes if your a swabbie!

      • PlanetOrphan

        What’d I miss? , thought I was onto a winner M8! :-.{

  • steve and monique

    Hell forgot I had a $50,000 grand bank acc,yeah right. tui billboard anyone

  • Dave

    I disagree he is unfit to run the Labour Party, I mean, hiding a bank account with OVER $50K for four years, deceiving the people of NZ, thats key qualities for a senior labour party member or unionist. Congratulations David, it seems you have the balls and Credibility to lead the LIEbour party of NZ, or at least the memory to do it.

    • Ronnie Chow

      Manchurian candidate .

  • JonathanP

    All the rabid wolves come out now, Where were they when their Fuhrer was forgetting so many other things. But by all means grab every last little straw possible.
    Hes been found wrong and corrected the problem just as John Key would have so why the uproar?

    • So for four years, Mr Shearer just “forgot” that he had at least $50k tucked away in an overseas bank account? That’s like Winston Peters forgetting all those phone calls and e-mails from Owen Glenn that preceded the $100k donation.

      • JonathanP

        I’m not defending the guy, he clearly fucked up/forgot, but he’s certainly not the first and won’t be the last. I just find it humorous how people here are taking to it like he is the devil yet there has been little or no word over Keys forgetfulness many times and often support.

        • BJ

          John Key’s forgetfulness at times is totally understandable because he’s usually being put on the spot about one thing thing from the past while he has 100’s of subjects in front of him every day.
          Mr Shearer did not forget about a bank account his UN salary was paid into – he’s done nothing but talk about his backstory – so that should have kept it in the forefront.

        • Goldie

          Most workers don’t “forget” about $50,000 they keep in an offshore account.

  • Pissedoffyouth

    John key forgets to put rubbish out today – Labour and Greens insist on an enquiry

    • Pissedoffyouth

      John Key forgets to breathe during scuba training, massive outrage and John Cambell bursts a vein on his forehead

      • Pissedoffyouth

        David Shearer forgets he has twice the average income sitting in an overseas bank account – silence

        • le sphincter

          John Key forgets to admit he has conflict of interest in owning tranzrail shares while getting inside information as an MP andnational transport spokesman

          • Goldie

            The shares were in a blind trust, fool.

          • johnbronkhorst

            sphinky…don’t let any facts deter your comments.

  • unitedtribes

    He would have got regular correspondence from the bank unless it is administered by an off shore trust in some tax haven that has been instructed not to contact him in person. Otherwise there would have been at least quarterly statements.

  • BJ

    TV3 just mentioned his disclosure briefly, matter of factly saying parliamentary records will be adjusted accordingly.

  • Says DPF: Cactus Kate has raised an interesting point. Did Shearer declare the bank account to the IRD? If he did not, then that is even bigger trouble. If he did, then how was it included for tax compliance but not for transparency requirements? If every year you are filing a tax return that includes income from the foreign bank account, that should prompt you to remember it for the Register of Pecuniary Interests.

  • Pingback: Shearer’s ‘gotcha’ meets bum bite | Your NZ()

  • Phar Lap

    Noticed Lie-bour party channel TVNZ refused to send a reporter or camera around to query him face to face like they would have done with the existing Government.Maybe they would be frightened to find another Lie-bour Party politician in the same vein as Shane Jones.Nothing suspicious here move on,only if the accused is a Lie-bour Politician.

  • P1LL

    How the fuck do you forget that you have over $50,000 in a bank account ??

  • blazer

    ‘Late additions to the register because of oversights are not unusual – last year, National’s Phil Heatley added a KiwiSaver account, Labour’s Jacinda Ardern added tickets to a Tony Blair speaking event, and National’s Chris Tremain added Rugby World Cup tickets.

    However, some late entries are more controversial – last year Act leader John Banks belatedly declared a gift basket from Kim Dotcom he received while he was on holiday in Hong Kong. He had said he did not realise it was over the $500 limit'(NZH)

    • Pissedoffyouth

      did Johnny forget to file it on his tax return for years?