Whaleoil General Debate

keep-calm-and-don-t-shoot-the-messenger-3Morning everyone, and welcome to Whaleoil’s daily General Debate post (another one called Backchat will start at 6pm). To participate you’ll need to register a free Disqus account.

There are some rules, and if there is one thing about Whaleoil that you need to know is that these rules are dispassionately and strictly enforced.


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  • Kiwiracer

    I may be being a bit simplistic or even a bit thick, but at what stage does journalistic privilege override aiding and abetting a criminal. . . .(thief/hacker)

    • Richard

      Allegedly, when it is in “the public interest” which is pretty wide open to interpretation.
      This excuse was used in the Hagar case, but as it turned out, the only person to benefit from the whole exercise was Hagar himself in the form of profit from book sales.

      • Kiwiracer

        Now, to cast a pretty broad sword, wouldn’t the police/gcsb/sis mostly be acting in the ‘greater public interest’. . .could do away with the need for warrants

        • Richard

          Yes, they do all act in the public interest, but the requirement for warrants must remain. They mustn’t be allowed carry out operations on a hunch.

          • Kiwiracer

            I agree, and at 52 years old I am a realist, warrants must remain, but I am more of the opinion that journalist are careering out of control down a path of release the info, worry about the facts later

          • spanishbride

            Why not? That’s what Rawshark did ;)

        • MarcWills

          You’ve hit the nail on the head Kiwiracer. All that is now required is for all GCSB/SIS/Police staff to complete Journalism 101, then all their investigations can be counted as “in the public interest” and can be carried out without any further scrutiny in their role as “journalists”. The privileged ones apparently can use this free pass without any responsibility or accountability. The possibilities are limitless.

      • Sally

        That is the crux of the whole matter ‘what is public interest’ ? It is certainly not a political ideology trying to bring down another political ideology. It is not a couple of bloggers hating another blogger. It is not a person trying to stop the truth being written about them. It is not professional jealous from a couple of journalists. Lastly it is not because you just don’t like someone else’s opinion.

        Hager’s book exposed no corruption, all investigations cleared politicians.
        All it did was expose another journalist private correspondence.

        The biggest public interest is who was behind a criminal act to try and influence a political election.

    • sheppy

      Aiding and abetting will only kick in if someone on the right of politics does it, the leftests as usual are protected under their shield of sanctimony.

  • Korau

    The Panama papers are potentially bad news for Hillary Clinton. Not for the reason you are thinking, however.

    The papers were filched from an email server, and this will reignite the talk of the security of Hillary’s basement server. If the Panama papers could be ex-filtrated from an “official” server operated by a law firm, how secure were the emails in the basement server?

    Newsflash : Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson has resigned over documents in the so-called Panama Papers revealed details of his family’s tax arrangements.

    • Crowgirl

      If it turns out that the media have conspired with criminals again to steal and disseminate these financial records in order to embarrass and bring down governments/wealthy people even though there is no proof of wrongdoing, then we might as well do away with the rule of law.

      No one will be safe from this and the criminals and media will just think they can act with impunity. I’m peeved that the Icelandic PM has resigned because now they will be emboldened.

      I’m not hopeful however that anyone will be held to account for criminal wrongdoing, or that any of the victims will get a fair trial if it should come to that.

      I didn’t think I could be anymore disgusted with the media after they’ve set the bar so low before, but somehow they’ve managed it. My contempt is now visceral.

      • Wheninrome

        We don’t want the GCSB to have more powers to legitimately spy on anyone and gain knowledge of wrongdoing or future wrongdoing.
        We want to be able to infiltrate private servers and steal information.
        I think it shows the left for what they truly are, one law for you, no law for us because we know best what is good for you. Helen had it down to a fine art, who knows what information she might be sitting on. Lets face it the UN is the perfect place for those like her, running everyone else’s life.
        Don’t get me wrong, I have long felt our trust laws need a massive overhaul to bring them under the same scrutiny as our companies, both public and private, and this should include overseas entities.

      • Isherman

        If an investigation zeroed in on specific instances of wrongdoing or criminal activity that involved NZ based trusts by overseas interests, or could show that these trusts had links to organised crime, terrorism or the like, that would be one thing. Simply ‘revealing’ that people have offshore trusts is in and of itself hardly ‘news’. It really is basically a great big fishing expedition that so far has shown no illegal activity connected with trusts held here, and while I don’t discount that, until those individual instances can be shown, this just smacks of media driven political opportunism.

        • Crowgirl

          It’s truly disgusting and as I noted yesterday the CBC here have waded in boots and all on this issue, speculating and tut-tutting over it all, whilst pointing out that there is nothing illegal here. This is the same outfit who regularly pats themselves on the back about not going to air with unconfirmed information.

          They are beneath contempt.

          • Usaywot

            There was a comment on here yesterday stating that releasing the info of dictators, despots etc could earn you a very short life. I’d be running scared if I was the leaker. It all smacks of petty jealousy. Whaaa! He’s got more than me! It’s not fair!

          • Isherman

            My question as I intimated yesterday was quite simply, how do we know that these media entities will not simply focus on the activities of people who have a particular political position, and conveniently ignore others? They could sift through them and say..”oh, here’s a nasty capitalist right winger or conservative…lets dig into this deeper, but as for this prominent socialist figure who appears to have some dodgy links…lets not highlight that.”
            I for one simply don’t trust that the media will be perfectly impartial in what they choose to highlight and what they choose to conveniently leave out…much like they did with stolen material that formed the basis of Hager the horribles little effort.

          • Crowgirl

            I don’t doubt for a second that that’s what’s happening. It would appear David Cameron is blameless, but his dad is mentioned so we’re hearing about that. I’m not sure where the Icelandic PM falls on the spectrum, but I very much doubt a few thousand protesters outside his house represent the majority that would have voted for him. I hope his resignation is refused.

          • Isherman

            The Icelandic PM’s party is the ‘Progressive Party’, which despite its name is centre right.

          • Crowgirl

            No surprises there then

          • Dumrse

            Your last para hits the nail. I bet you a penny to a pound of goat poo, they are trawling/sniffing/looking for JK’s name and will not rest till it’s found or invented, whichever comes first.

        • Second time around

          There is no MSM interest in the legitimate uses of offshore trusts for. Does it mean that Lange-Douglas and successive governments wrote laws expressly to foster criminal activity, or is it just that MSM don’t research their stories.

      • Korau

        While I feel your pain, think on also of the culpability of Mossack Fonsec who held this trove of sensitive documents. Why, oh why weren’t they properly encrypted?

        Furthermore, with the power of today’s computers it is easy to encrypt documents on your local computer which are readable only by the designated recipient. This technology is hardly new, it’s been around since 1976. See http://computer.howstuffworks.com/encryption3.htm .

        I suspect the leak may be fatal to the business of Mossack Fonsec.

        • Crowgirl

          Until I know how the leaker/hacker/thief came on these documents, I can’t really lay the blame there. It may turn out that it’s someone who works there and therefore had legitimate access to the information, or it could be as sordid as someone smashing in some windows.

          It may be fatal to MF, but if everything is on the up ‘n’ up, then it will be vindication too.

          • Korau

            The most up to date rumour on this front is..

            “The leak, which accounts for more data than any previously verified data breach in the financial industry, is claimed by El Espanol to have been the result of an attack on Mossack Fonseca’s email servers. Those responsible for the attack, who have not been named, are claimed to have been exfiltrating data from the servers for around a year, with the most recent documents dating to December 2015. Clients named in the documents include [deleted as it would not be useful to repeat this info]”.

            If this was going on for a year that’s not a good look.

  • Cadwallader

    The MSM continues negativity unabated. This morning there was a glimpse of optimism in the dairy industry given the rise recorded at the overnight auction. What led the news at Radio Live? Nothing to do with this good news, rather, the lead was the resignation of the PM of Iceland. I anticipate the MSM will spend the next day or so likening Iceland’s leader to JK. What disease do these people have? Is it incurable?

  • LabTested

    Eagles of Death Metal – the band caught up in the Paris Murders a few months ago. They have a concert a few hundred km from here in 4 months time. The GF grabbed my credit card and ran out to buy tickets (and probably shoes)

    • LabTested

      and a month after that – right here in town. We have Rammstein – Tickets booked. Credit card was maxed out today

  • R&BAvenger

    The whole ‘Panama Papers’ thing ( a play on the ‘Pentagon Papers’ of Daniel Ellsberg, to make it seem more legit) in my layperson’s analysis is this.

    As per Michael Cullen’s statement in Cam’s article yesterday “Foreign trusts will be required to have an IRD number, keep records for New Zealand tax purposes, provide certain information when they are first set up in New Zealand or appoint New Zealand trustees, and provide information to Inland Revenue on a regular basis.

    Under New Zealand law, foreign income derived by non-residents is outside the New Zealand tax base, and rightly so. The government has no intention of changing that.”

    So it seems that under NZ and international tax law it is legit.

    However, if you simply put a lump sum of money in them without providing a stream of foreign income to them are you doing anything illegal?

    In NZ, only if you are not complying with the requirement of NZ tax law as above. In your own country or internationally, if you don’t disclose it to your taxman, or others who have an interest in your financial affairs, such as a pecuniary register for politicians then perhaps you are doing something illegal, in your own country.
    So Spittle’s analysis yesterday morning that the government was saying ‘Nothing to see here, move on’ is actually correct, both by Angry and the government.
    Do my thoughts stack up?

    • Wheninrome

      A cynic might think that the present labour party Little et al don’t like the past labour government given Cullen was the engineer or our overseas Trust laws. So who do they like, it is fast boiling down to just themselves and the repetitive MSM and by the numbers this seems to be a fast falling number.
      There are lots of laws which have to be revisited because of changing times, it is not until something goes wrong that the “loopholes” are discovered, then and only then can you move to “shut the door” on that little loophole, or make a change if unintended consequences from the passing of a law occur.
      Let’s face it if man had the foresight to see and know everything that was going to happen in the future he probably wouldn’t have left the cave, he certainly wouldn’t have let his woman out.

      • Aucky

        And Cullen is highly unlikely to come out in support of Little given that he has sold his soul to the Nats by way of some highly paid sinecures and a knighthood.

    • Seriously?

      I think we (and most other countries) completely abuse the trust structure.

      Leaving tax avoidance aside (maybe that is an issue for the other country rather than us), the main reason that is given for setting up trusts is to isolate assess from risk, be it from creditors or potential ex-spouses. If a creditor or an ex-spouse has an otherwise legitimate claim to the assets, why should we let the creation of a trust defeat that claim? Surely their claim should not be artificially circumvented?

      Recent Court decisions are eroding the protection a trust offers, and that is my view is a good thing.

      In my experience people set up these trusts, and happily treat the assets as there own when it suits them, but invoke them when it doesn’t.

      • Cadwallader

        I am not so sure. Had I not incorporated a family trust in the 1990s to own/ring-fence my private home I am certain I’d not have taken the business risks which I have in the intervening years. That said, I think the uses of trusts have been over sold by some lawyers and financial advisers. Particularly the latter class. I can not see the merit in an employee incorporating a trust in the normal course of events. I am aware that the now apparently defunct Money Managers would advocate trusts for a raft of reasons including protecting the home from the costs of rest home care. I am uncomfortable with this approach. (Personal thoughts only here!)

        • Seriously?

          But if something had gone wrong with your business risks, a creditor was out of pocket as a result, and that all came about due to some wrongdoing on your part (personal liability for directors is far from a given), is it fair that an artificial structure prevented the creditor from accessing what was otherwise rightfully theirs?

          Or to put the same thing another way, the extra asset protection may encourage you to take risks that are otherwise inappropriate as the potential downside falls on your creditors no you.

          • Cadwallader

            I liken the use of a trust in to protect assets for commercial reasons as akin to the advantages derived through the use of a limited liability company. For enterprise to flourish it is wise to allow those who undertake risks to protect themselves. When persons do business in the routine run of things, we all take risks. have been left unpaid, as most business people experience, through a debtor’s default. This happens. Nobody likes it but business needs to continue.

          • Seriously?

            Yes, I agree, but we have rules that delineate the boundaries of protection that limited liability companies give to those that own and run them.

            Trusts seek to add another layer on top of those rules by making the potential target for action (if they have committed some wrong sufficient for the corporate veil to be lifted) litigation proof (making them assetless, personally, even though we all know that is not the reality).

            I don’t think that’s fair to the creditor (who in most cases is also a person or company taking business risks and creating wealth in the process).

        • jonno1

          You are right to feel uncomfortable about establishing a trust in order to obtain a rest home subsidy as this is not a legitimate purpose, making the trust a sham that can be reversed. No reputable advisor would suggest this. The purpose of my family trust is to simplify execution of my estate, the secondary beneficiaries being my children who will also become trustees. This means they can liquidate my businesses and sell/let the family home at their leisure.

          Edit: I do not intend this event to take place for some considerable time yet!

  • sheppy

    Yesterday on the first hour of Paul Henry there was no mention of how untrustworthy Journalists are in the survey, but both politicians and bloggers albeit without any names were mentioned.
    Keep on spinning Journo’s, its going so well!

  • Korau

    The Swiss (that race of heroically phlegmatic folks) have got their lederhosen in a tangle over a handshake. And of course at the root of the problem is the “Religion of Peace”.

    A Swiss secondary school has caused uproar by allowing two Muslim boys not to shake hands with women teachers – a common greeting in Swiss schools.

    The boys had told the school in the small, northern town of Therwil it was against their faith to touch a woman outside their family.

    A local teachers’ union said the exemption discriminated against women.

    More here : http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35967349

    Shortly Muslims will require all non Muslims to walk about calling out “unlean, unclean”. Read about this at Leviticus 13:45.

    • Isherman

      Funny how that rule doesn’t seem to apply in the instances of groping, sexual assault or rape as we have seen in Germany, Sweden and elsewhere huh?

      • Andy

        When I have met muslims out there in public and when I handed them change, I always used my left hand.

        • Isherman

          The ‘unclean’ one.

  • I need some help with research from someone who is a Clearnet and/or Vodafone customer that uses the Clearnet and/or Vodafone email system. i.e, your email address ideally is [email protected], second best is [email protected].

    It’s going to involve perhaps 30-90 minutes of your time over a week or two.

    if you want to know more or are happy to help, email me at [email protected]…. and I’ll explain what’s going on and what I need from you. It’s very easy and neither “dirty” nor “dodgy” ;) You can of course back out after I explain the requirements.

    • Time For Accountability

      Unfortunately I use Microsoft Exchange on line as part of an office 365 system so probably cannot help even although I use and are happy with Vodafone as an ISP.
      Not quite sure what you are checking but if relates to security read this.
      When a contract is completed with Vodafone services the customer hand writes a password on the application form which appears to be loaded into their computer records for anyone to see.
      I had the interesting status where I had a separate cellphone in my name used by and paid for by a another person. That person was housed at her majesties pleasure so never paid the final bill. I did not know of the overdue amount and received a letter some months later from the Vodafone debt collecting agency based in Australia where the sent a copy of the application form with the password clearly stated in my handwriting.
      So the issues were Vodafone passed on my password to a third party being their debt collection agency who in turn sent it through the post and which was opened by a staff member. I went into a Vodafone shop to check one aspect and they were able to bring up a copy of the application form so any vodafone employee in any shop could do that.
      I was assumed they would change the system.
      They did not because the last time a dealt with them I asked to check another on my Vodafone accounts and yep you guessed it. The password was in plain sight.
      PS. I paid the bill because it was due but was given a credit for future services but not for new items. Who wants to buy a new phone or tablet 5 months into the year so never found an opportunity to use the credit.
      I have no real gripe other than it is a huge security flaw in a major organisation that ought to be very security conscious.

  • Sailor Sam

    My wife and I are in the midst of a holiday in Australia, having spent the last 10 days with 2 grandkids, whom we brought over who went back UMNR with AirNZ yesterday.
    We had a ball and I only glanced at WOBH infrequently and a newspaper and some other stuff even less.
    Just had a glancing look at the TV here, the (left wing, government owned) ABC is all over the “panama papers” looking for the OZ connections, especially from the conservative side of political life.
    Life without media is very relaxing.

  • JustanObserver

    So, just musing . . .
    If NZ was set up as a ‘Tax-Haven’ under Hulun’s reign, and,
    Hulun hasn’t paid tax since she has been employed by the UN, and,
    By being part of the UN that makes her on offshore resident . . .
    Does that mean that Hulun knowingly set up NZ as a ‘Tax-Haven’ so when she got her UN job and Tax-Free Salary, she could set up trusts here in NZ so she never will need to pay tax again ???

    • Isherman

      Its funny how the left are so keen to talk about ‘secret trusts’ & ‘disclosure’ all of a sudden, and of course, some left bloggers would be well qualified to speak on the subject of using trusts to keep things quiet, given that they have been involved in setting up and advising secret trusts for donations to would be party Leaders in the recent past:)

  • Hard1

    Kim Fulton is a NZME. News Service regional reporter

    Today she writes an article sponsored by Fresh Funerals owner Jude Mannion.

    As this is a paid advertisement, should it not be declared as such ?


  • Keanne Lawrence

    Hypocrisy was on display again from Angry Andy as he tried to bash the Government over being a “tax haven” which he had read somewhere. Along with his wonderful side kick Robbo that gave an outstanding illustration of ignorance of tax issues and the trust laws of the land.
    It might have even been amusing were it not so pathetic.

  • Eiselmann


    Gareth Morgan Foundation wades into the sugar tax idea , no surprise on which side.

  • Seriously?

    US election odds update

    The punters think that Trump’s bubble may be starting to burst, but he is hanging in there still. Sanders is continuing to eat into Clinton’s favoritism, but Clinton remains a hot favorite as the Democratic nominee and a firm favorite as the next president.

    Republican nomination:
    Trump: 2.20 (on 31/3 was 1.62, on 21/3 was 1.42)
    Cruz: 3.10 (on 31/3 was 6.00, on 21/3 was 8.20)
    Kasich: 9.40 (on 31/3 was 11.00, on 21/3 was 15.50)

    Democrat nomination:
    Clinton: 1.19 (on 31/3 was 1.13, on 21/3 was 1.09)
    Sanders: 6.40 (on 31/3 was 9.40, on 21/3 was 15.00)

    Next president:
    Clinton: 1.60 (on 31/3 was 1.47, on 21/3 was 1.43)
    Trump: 8.80 (on 31/3 was 6.00, on 21/3 was 5.30)
    Sanders: 10.00 (on 31/3 was 15.50, on 21/3 was 32.00)
    Cruz: 16.00 (on 31/3 was 25.00, on 21/3 was 40.00)
    Kasich: 25.00 (on 31/3 was 32.00, on 21/3 was 38.00)

  • Karma

    Sigh. This has just been shared on my Facebook page. Can Labour not see that rich pricks hide their money to keep it away from wastrels like them?