Green MP: Key not responsible for trust problem


So far the Panama leaks have been positively underwhelming.

A sure sign of this is a Green MP, Julie Anne Genter, admitting that John Key isn’t directly responsible for the [tax haven] laws and what people and companies are doing “technically legal”. 

This is probably the most sense we’ve had out of the Green Party in a decade. Genter’s only problem is Key hasn’t publicly rushed to face up to the problem and [rashly] proposed sweeping law changes [before he knows the details].


The problem for me is John Key’s reaction (or lack of) to this information. He may not be directly responsible for these laws, but a real leader would acknowledge the problem and do something about it, not make excuses. Yes, much of it may be technically legal right now, and that’s the whole problem! Our laws need to change to stop this massive tax avoidance by ultra wealthy.


So there you have it folks. The media can go home.

The politicians can get back to running the country and we can all get on with our lives.




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  • Brian Smaller

    While they were not actually part of the last Labour Government the Greens were fellow travellers with them on a multitude of policy platforms. Why didn’t the Greens do something about trusts when Labour was in power? I think it is very suspicious that they did not. What are they hiding?

  • Annoyed

    John Key’s getting a review done to see if there’s actually an issue. What kind of idiot would rush into banning something without even stopping to figure out if there’s a problem. That isn’t leadership, it’s idiocy.

  • Keeping Stock

    So that’s the guts of it then – John Key is not responsible for this problem, whiuch isn’t actually illegal anyway, so let’s smear and blame him anyway.

    Nice principled stance Green Party; not.

  • cows4me

    Since when have communists ever worried about tax avoidance, if they had their way tax would be obsolete. No such thing as tax if the state takes it all.

  • Seriously?

    Journalists now say the current innuendos are given weight because they come from “respected journalists” such as Vance, not just from Hager.

    There is good reason that journalists are among the least trusted professions in NZ. That reputation for untrustworthiness was earned. It is not a reputation earned by the Joe Hack on your local paper. It is a reputation earn by the self-important “respected journalists” who parade ill-informed opinion and innuendo as fact.

  • Wheninrome

    Isn’t this just the business of government, responding to changing times, hasn’t this been the business of past governments, respond to what needs to be done when problems arise as they have, and will do forever onwards. Perfection is unfortunately impossible given we are dealing with humans a most imperfect beast.
    Nothing new here apart from the over excitable press who need to go back to journalism school, and while they are there take a paper or 2 on political science.

    • jcpry

      I’d add that they need to retake the papers that had on ethics as well.

  • JustanObserver

    Is NZ a Tax Haven ? Do we encourage Tax Avoidance ?
    How about we clean up our Tax Laws and start collecting Tax from Maori Land, Maori Trusts, Maori Ventures.
    Including paying Rates and anything else …
    So they pay their “Fair Share”

    • Left Right Out

      Throw in churches etc as well…… There is no way sanitarium should be tax exempt ……

      you can bet though if you brought in a one rule for all there would still be complaints

      • kereru

        I totally agree about Sanitarium – it’s a business after all. But ordinary local churches like ours survive on donations by members of their congregations who have already paid tax. As in most churches, out of that comes insurance, maintenance, rates, utilities and salaries. Our accounts are audited every year. We run weekday groups such as ESOL, a craft group, and have a food bank which we supply out of our own pockets. We also have a kindergarten adjoining the church, and a hall in which a badminton group meets. Our doors are always open for anyone who needs help, which is given freely. We are not a business. We don’t make a profit. If our Pastor was paid for all the hours he works we wouldn’t be able to afford him.

        • Left Right Out

          Hi Kereru…. agree, churches is probably the wrong word…..there are many many churches out there running on the smell of an oily rag and survive on donations….. should have said religious groups. I’d like to know if tax is paid on the halal rort in NZ

          • kereru

            The Halal rort is itself a tax, paid to the Halal Certification Authority. What they do with it is an open question, but it’s nothing more than taxing ‘infidel’ companies to enable them to export to Islamic nations, while using the tax for who knows what. The HCA will insist it’s for ‘Muslim charities’ but those who know about the jizya payments non-Muslims have to make (Arabic for ‘protection racket’), are highly sceptical to say the least. We believe we are effectively funding our own demise, which is the MO of the Islamic world. The whole thing needs to be blown open – and soon.

  • RogerB

    Who in their right mind could possible describe Andrea Vance as “respected” . The requirement for a respected journalist is objectivity and balance – Andrea Vance fails on both counts – her blatant animus toward John Key has been apparent since she first joined the Press gallery (Corin Dann is in the same category ) . It never ceases to amaze me the whinging about Mike Hoskings and Paul Henry by the bitter left – hell they have everyone else in their corner but how dare Hoskings and Henry display a scintilla of support for John Key .
    If you want to see a true professional journalist ( who is respected by all side of the political spectrum) look at Sky News Australia and watch David Spiers in action – Dann and Vance wouldn’t get a look in !!

  • rangitoto

    How do RNZ conclude “NZ at heart of” when we are told NZ is mentioned in about 0.5% of the stolen data. Some kind of new math?

    • Miss McGerkinshaw

      When I was younger (still in single digits) so pretty new to math using some formula long lost in the archives I did manage to work out when I would be older than my brother. So maybe they are, in single digit age, at least mentally, and hence are able to make 0.5% at ‘the heart’, by which I assume they mean in the middle.

  • Catriona

    Well, I never. A rare show of sense from a Green MP.

    • Woody

      Even though was actually an own goal.

  • metalnwood

    Technically my big shower head is legal, right Julie?

    The world is your oyster, debates can never be lost when you can argue that something someone does you don’t like is only able to do it because it’s ‘technically’ legal.

    • rangitoto

      How about it’s technically legal to have Green MP’s in parliament even though they have never won a single electorate seat.

      • Left Right Out

        Wish I could up vote this comment more rangitoto

    • kereru

      Is that the same as ‘perceived’ as being legal or higher up the scale of legality? I’m confused.

  • Left Right Out

    Interesting change in direction here….. the left can’t find a way to link all this rubbish to JK, so back to attacking his leadership.

    Oddly though I’m not sure what more one is to do with trying to fix any HDPA’s sorry “loopholes”…. He’s started an independent inquiry, he has IRD officials looking at the issue and waiting for recommendations… I would have thought this was good practice

  • haysel

    Maybe, just maybe one left wing MP has worked out that by making this yet another lame hit job on a very good PM and not maintaining the focus of the hit on tax avoiding corporates and wealthy individuals not paying their fair share, they’ve straight away last the public. We’ve round our eyes, changed channels and gone back to work. Hager’s a sad little man.

  • Christie

    Our laws need to change to stop this massive tax avoidance by the ultra wealthy?

    I keep saying this until I’m blue in the face. Trusts protect assets – they don’t provide a way around paying taxes. All trusts that generate income are liable for tax, even foreign trusts. The fact is that most of the owners of the assets in these foreign trusts should be paying taxes in their own jurisdictions – and if they are not doing so, it is tax evasion, which is a crime. If they owe tax here, and are not paying it, that is also tax evasion. Trusts are not a vehicle for tax avoidance.

    • localnews

      legally a trust is its own entity. It is incorrect to talk about the individuals involved, as if the trust has been set up correctly they are removed. That is the whole point, and the reason for the name

  • InnerCityDweller

    There is no such thing as “technically legal”. It either is or it is not.

    Unless of course she’s happy for us to call her “technically a human being”

    • or “technically an MP”

      • InnerCityDweller

        imagine the outrage if someone actually put that to her

  • Murray Pratt

    Well then, this shows a majority of Green MPs in a hypocritical role then. Marijuana is technically not legal right now. They shouldn’t worry too much about the Panama papers, but concentrate on the roolies papers they use for their joints.

    I love how TV3 has taken the high moral ground over Hagers latest pop gun misfire, maybe we will see the left news Vs the left news in a show down. If I was John Key, I would be looking at reducing funding for TVNZ until they start reporting from the fence as it should be, or inviting Fox News to run an Australasian channel.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    We all knew Robbo is an absolute putz and knows only enough about economics to be written on the back of a stamp with a felt tip pen. Genter still has room for her name and party sanction as well. Pesky list MP of the worst kind. Imported.

  • wanarunna

    And in breaking news, journalists break laws to prove that rich people don’t. Film at 11:00.

  • Peter

    The main outcome of this fiasco has been my increased respect for JK on his front footing this…..

  • Cynical Guy

    The sense I get of this in the smoko room from some pretty hardened types is that no one gives a rat’s. I also sense that the reason Trump and the chap Duterte in the Phillipines are popular is that the very same hardened types out there are sick to the back teeth of media beat ups and hit jobs and political half wits. No one’s listening to the message any more. Thankfully new media exists so you can choose where to get your news from.

  • Rick H

    Yes, much of it may be technically legal right now, and that’s the whole
    problem! Our laws need to change to stop this massive tax avoidance by
    ultra wealthy.

    This should read – -Yes, much of it may be technically legal right now, and that’s the whole
    problem! Our laws need to change to stop this massive trough still being available to List MP;s, which all of the Greens are, and most of Labour.