Key, Panama and Trusts: the Media(works) party have gone full retard as well

Before I get to explain why, let me introduce someone. Meet Deborah. Deborah is a politician. She is a Labour party candidate. This isn’t a secret. A quick Google search delivers it all, like the following:




So, as you can see by Labour cheerleader Shane te Pou’s Tweet, Deborah was on the Paul Henry Show this morning. She was asked to comment on John Key, the Panama Papers and trusts.

According to her Twitter profile description, including “tax, economics, business”, she seems to be a qualified observer. Some may even call her an expert. The Paul Henry show certainly did.


Not only is she an “expert”, she was introduced as:

Deborah Russell, senior lecturer at Massey University’s School of Accountancy, says the solutions to our foreign trust law problem are “obvious”, and the Government’s review is “a bit of a cover-up” that will achieve nothing.

As you can guess by now, Dan Satherly never exposes the fact she is Labour through and through, that she’s running as a Labour candidate and that she is, above all else, an aspiring Labour politician.

That puts quite a different slant on her “expertise”, don’t you think?

The thing is, this has to be a deliberate omission.

Ironically, Deborah herself said on the program:

“It walks like a duck, it talks like a duck — it is a tax haven, alright? There’s no doubt about it.”

That’s the expert for you.

Well, using the same solid academic and expert-like reasoning, “If it walks like a duck, it talks like a duck — it is a media party snow job, alright? There’s no doubt about it.”

Imagine for a moment if the Paul Henry Show had asked me to come on to comment on something, say, like the Auckland Council cost of re-cladding a building.  Do you think for one moment, Dan Satherly would have written an article titled:

“Auckland Council spending out of control – Expert”

Or do you think it would have read: “Right-wing blogger Cameron Slater mocks Auckland Council spending”?

The Media party almost always qualify their right-wing commentators, and almost never do so with their left ones.

It’s one thing to introduce someone like Matthew Hooton as a “commentator on the right”, as that is probably as gentle as it gets. But to drag on a died-in-the-wood Labour party insider, omit to mention this, and then sell her as an expert on international trust law stands out like dog balls.

The lust to drag John Key down over trust law, that was “fixed” twice by Labour and has been unchanged under National, has become irrational and the Media party have jumped into bed with Andrew Little.

Like backing Mr Seven Percent is a winning strategy.

Dr Russell says she has no doubt about Mr Shewan’s expertise in the minutiae of tax law, but doesn’t think he’s the right man for the job.

“There are ethical and moral issues here. It’s not about anything illegal; it’s about whether the law’s being pushed too far and we’re ethically compromised. I’m not sure that that’s what John’s going to be focusing on.”

In addition to tax, Dr Russell specialises in ethics — she says a truly neutral academic would have been a better choice to take a look at not just the legality of our trust laws, but how they’re being used. Mr Shewan is a former PricewaterhouseCoopers chairman.

Dr Deb will go far. Please note that her expertise in “ethics” is nowhere on her profile. The ethics of representing herself as an independent academic speaks for itself.


– “News”hub



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  • Seriously?

    What I found amusing about Russell’s appearance on Henry is that she said two things at the start of her interview:
    – The investigation needed someone other than a tax expert because is was about the moral rights or wrongs of tax avoidance; and
    – It was plainly obvious what was wrong with the current system and what needed to be done to fix it: automatic disclosure of the settlor and beneficiaries.

    Now, she is no doubt more qualified than me, but those two statement seem so contradictory that I started to laugh and then ignored the rest of her interview. I had no idea who she was, but her grinding of the axe was so obvious, and now it is clear why.

  • Cadwallader

    In a sense this person is now the norm for Labour candidates. She is a hypocrite, an academic, a delusional anti-Key proponent, a stooge for the msm given she avoids a full disclosure of her sympathies, and stands no chance of ever being an MP while Labour languishes. Her hysterics as to the appointment of Mr Shewan suggest either she is pipped she wasn’t chosen or that she is devoid of any true skills.

  • Nige.

    I would strongly urge anyone and everyone to share this article on social media as I have done, and I only share two or three articles a year. This is one of those times where the facts cannot be denied and it might just wake some of your left tending friends up to what is really going on with the “news behind the news” as TV 3 like to call it.

    • SAM51

      Ive just text PH and told him that he should have informed his viewers of her political slant. Perhaps others could to – text 3920 and start message with Paul.

  • Bud

    This is why I don’t watch pseudo-news shows like Paul Henry. Or actual news shows for that matter, you come away misinformed, which in my opinion is far worse than being uninformed…

  • Second time around

    She wrote an editorial for the Herald (31 March) on taxing multinationals (pre Panama)
    which gives some insight why people might wish to use NZ legal structures for their investments:

    “… the
    robust rule of law, our highly regarded judicial system, and all the
    smoothly functioning systems that make it easy for multinationals to do
    business here. We’re a low-risk location for business.”

    She does run the risk of muddling the academic freedom and informed debate aspects of an academic’s employment with her personal political freedoms Clearly the concern about Mr Shewan and the use of the term “cover up” are neither collegial nor professional, but do represent declared positions of the Labour leadership. We must presume that she was acting as a party hack and not speaking as a university employee.

    • Bud

      I don’t know, I always assume universities in general are at least as far left as Labour…

  • axeman

    So John Key has not been proven to have broken any law. If anyone is able to investigate it is IRD and that is where it should start and finish.
    He is like any other citizen and as long as he operates within the law he’s fine.
    Nothing to see here other than a Green Eyed Monster

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Wondered if you might pick up on this gem. Loving the consistency. First impression was another female making claims of her expertise and assumed ability. Then there was the duck quote which you have now revealed was about herself more so than the harping message of a tax haven. Expert? Yeah right.
    The danger is that this individual is in a position to play with peoples minds with the potential to fill the cavity full of her flavour of knowledge.
    As stated earlier we are many now asking questions about the validity of claims made by journalists, academics, experts and professors. Henry is renowned for trying to create the news and the Media party can be depended on to bleat it in unison.
    Thanks WOBH you are right up there with Dr Google for information that saves time as this individual did not rate the time to research with such rants.

  • JustanObserver

    so much potential material here for SonovaMin I am sure.
    walks like a duck … talks like a duck – it’s a tax haven

  • Alan Beresford B’Stard

    I almost fell off my chair when she said (on PH show) Shewan wasn’t the best man for the job, instead it should be an academic!

    • Left Right Out

      But then said if anyone knew the tax laws it would be him…. gold!!!

    • OneTrack

      A far left academic sufferring from KDS, no doubt. Can she suggest someone?

  • Christie

    Doesn’t she realise that ducks don’t talk?

    • Don’t question her, she is an academic!

  • Christie

    There has been talk of a central registry for Trusts in NZ for decades – and no Government so far has done anything about it. This may be the catalyst that finally makes it happen. Beyond that, however, this is all pure speculation. I work in the tax area, and I’d far rather have John Shewan looking at the matter than some Labour stooge.

  • Herb

    I just looked at her profile at Massey University I don’t see anything much there – particularly in her Research Outputs that qualifies her as an expert to comment on tax policy as it relates to international trusts – or to criticise the bona fides of John Sherwan.

  • sarahmw

    So surely to be fair other out there rich people with trust accounts should have the same scrutiny placed on them? Nicky Hagar, Leila Harre for example. Fairs fair. I won’t hold my breath though.

  • Toby

    Tthe hypocrisy is strong in this one.

  • Ross

    When will they realise that if people abide by the laws (that ironically Labour created) then no crime has been committed?

  • XCIA

    Here’s what I can’t quite get to grips with. Cullen made these comments in a statement in 2005, so why didn’t it fix what some have their knickers in a knot over…..”To ensure New Zealand can meet its international commitments to full disclosure with other tax jurisdictions, the Tax Administration Act will be amended to impose new requirements on foreign trusts set up here, Revenue Minister Michael Cullen said today. The law change will provide an effective mechanism for obtaining information on these trusts. New Zealand will collect, store and transfer the information to the relevant foreign tax authorities on request, and to Australia on an annual basis – as it has requested.”

    • Christie

      Yes. I think the problem is that many of these foreign trusts have no NZ tax liability – the income is earned offshore, and taxed in a foreign jurisdiction. In such a case, there is no disclosure required in NZ – and the speculation is that some of these Trusts may be being used to hide funds from illegal activities – although nobody knows that for sure.

      • Cadwallader

        Exactly. If I were JK I’d remind the Left and the msm that essentially if the procedures are lawful then they are nobody’s business but that of the participants. The problem is, the left are perpetually fascinated with money….other peoples’ money. Hence the embittered slingshots at the supposedly devious. The pettiness of Little and co is staggering.

        • Simon P

          It infuriates the left when they can’t get a slice of OPM.

  • Wheninrome

    This all reflects on NZ’s Tall Poppy Syndrome.
    “Let’s knock anyone who is successful, or more successful than me”.
    “He must be bad, no one gets to be that financially successful without being dishonest”.
    Why oh why can’t we embrace success everywhere in NZ, we love the all blacks (albeit when successful) just as we embrace all our sporting people when they do well. What is the difference if someone does well on the international financial scene, or politically is embraced by world leaders i.e. John Key, no we must try and find something to drag them down, it makes just feel better about our own miserable existence.
    Well I for one embrace John Key’s success. I will embrace Helen’s success if chosen for the Head of UN. just as I embrace Lydia Ko’s success and also the young people who are academically poised for success on the world stage. I take on board personally what they do for N Z and feel good. I like feeling good about life. MSM should try it.