Pecuniary Interests

June 22nd, 2010 at 2:35 pm by David Farrar

Trevor Mallard blogged:

There was some publicity recently about Jonathan Young’s carelessness in relation to his declaration of pecuniary interest.

This week it is all about the hapless who is already in serious trouble for the way he kept on changing his description of his relationship with a Supreme Court judge in whose favour he intervened.

Trevor calling Chris hapless is a bit like me calling Usain Bolt slow.

Now it has emerged that Finlayson helped set up a company in 2006, after he became an MP,  and became a director then and has failed to declare it on any return since that date.

Trevor goes on to declare that Chris must stand down as Attorney-General due to this issue.

I’m amazed after the incidents of 2008, any Labour MP who was an MP in 2008 ever has the decency to try and talk with credibility about the Register of Pecuniary Interests. Hypocrisy is not an adequate term to describe this. It is more akin to the CEO of BP going lectures on environmental protection and good public relations.

In case anyone has forgotten let me remind you that every single Labour MP voted that Winston did not breach the rules of the Register when he did not declare a $100,000 personal donation from Owen Glenn, and also tens of thousands of donations from the Velas.

Even worse, Glenn was seeking appointment as a Consul, and the Velas had racing interests which benefited greatly from funding for the industry (such as prizes) which Winston got Labour to agree to.

Now this was exactly what you have a Register for – the abuses uncovered by the Privileges Committee (with help from the SFO) were as severe a conflict as one can have. Undisclosed personal donations from people you were championing.

And what was Labour’s response to the compelling testimony and proof, that exposed Winston as a liar and have broken the rules? They voted against the recommendation of the Privileges Committee, and oh yeah banked $100,000 cheque from the Velas a few days before the 2008 election, when it would not have to be declared until afterwards.

So pardon me while I vomit up, as I see any Labour MP thinking they have any integrity on this issue. It was a low point for parliamentary integrity – and not a single Labour MP had the guts to vote with their conscience.

Anyway back to Trevor’s allegations, I quote from a statement put out to those inquiring:

Since 2006 I have been a  director and shareholder of Te Puhi Trust (2) Limited, with two other directors.

The incorporation is a corporate trustee for a family trust. The incorporation owns no assets – Te Puhi Trust (2) limited exists only to be a trustee for the family trust, Te Puhi Trust (2), whose beneficiaries are the family and charitable causes.

I have no pecuniary interest in any of these entities, as confirmed in a letter from the trust’s lawyer today. Accordingly, I did not declare the directorship of the corporate trustee for the family trust as a pecuniary interest on the Register of Pecuniary Interests. There is no precuniary interest.

I have sought advice this morning from the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests as to whether a directorship with no pecuniary interests should be declared on the Register of Pecuniary Interests. I expect to have an answer tomorrow.

Now it is possible that the Registrar may say this should be disclosed, but if this is the case this is a technical breach which involves no possible actual gain by not having declared it. If Winston was a 95 on a 1- 100 seriousness scale, this is around a 2 or 3.

Trevor compares the issue to the problems David Parker had in 2006. Now I will agree that the A-G needs to be held to a higher standard of accountability than a normal MP. But the problem David Parker had is that his declaration that a company had resolved not to have an auditor was disputed by an aggrieved minority share holder who said this declaration was false as he had not agreed. It later transpired that the aggrieved share holder was no longer a share holder, but Parker actually thought he was a share holder when he signed forms saying share holders had unanimously agreed. But his case had an alleged victim claiming disadvantage.

Anyway let’s enjoy the hypocrisy of Labour claiming there is no need to disclose $100,000 donations towards your personal legal fees, but that you do need to disclose a non-pecuniary directorship.

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26 Responses to “Pecuniary Interests”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,222 comments) says:

    let me remind you that every single Labour MP voted that Winston did not breach the rules of the Register when he did not declare a $100,000 personal donation from Owen Glenn

    So pardon me while I vomit up, as I see any Labour MP thinking they have any integrity on this issue. It was a low point for parliamentary integrity – and not a single Labour MP had the guts to vote with their conscience.

    Some current Labour MPs did not vote in support of Winston.

    [DPF:Yep I accept those who were not Labour MPs in 2008 have not given up their moral right to comment on the pecuniary interests register]

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  2. curia pigeon (204 comments) says:

    So it’s a good ol’ page worth of shoot the messanger. Is that really the best you’ve got David?

    [DPF: Not related to this thread but can you change your posting alias. Using curia in your name mucks any searching on that phrase, which I like to do]

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  3. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    Hmmm when in trouble mention Winston.

    This is from Parliamentary standing orders:

    4 Contents of return relating to member’s position as at effective date of return

    (1) Every return of pecuniary interests must contain the following information as at the effective date of the return:

    (a) the name of each company of which the member is a director …

    So 2 questions?

    1. Was Finlayson a director of one or more companies?
    2. If so why wasn’t this disclosed?

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  4. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    curia, which part of “no possible actual gain” is too complicated for you?

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  5. RightNow (6,350 comments) says:

    I think you could have let them stew a bit longer DPF, they were clearly getting their hopes up about this one.
    Besides, it’s more fun when they get all worked up about it and then it blows up in their faces.

    The messenger – that’s a laugh. The ‘messenger’ is a collective of muck rakers that spend their time (and taxpayers money) looking for dirt on members of the current government, because there’s no other reason for the collective (‘messenger’) to exist. They contribute nothing to the country, they just want their team to be in power so they can redistribute the earnings of the productive to the beneficiary classes in order to secure more votes.

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  6. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    Mickey, what is your actual concern?

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  7. RightNow (6,350 comments) says:

    Mickey Presland, I’m sure Cactus Kate will be able to clarify the answer to question 1 for you in due course. For entertainment value I’d rather see you chase this in the public glare though, I love it when you guys get the eggy on your glum little faecies!

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  8. tom hunter (4,012 comments) says:

    Mickey, what is your actual concern?

    A left-wing government led by Labour is not in power.

    Actually that is Mickey’s only concern – ever.

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  9. Don the Kiwi (1,341 comments) says:

    Mickey.

    What part of …“There is no pecuniary interest.” …..don’t you understand.

    Spoofhead.

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  10. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,684 comments) says:

    The National Party must be paying Mallard for this stuff.

    Don’t these idiots in Labour have any clues as to the difference between a corporate trustee of a family trust and a company which holds assets and trades?

    If they are so dumb it’s no wonder they paid three times the price for a train set.

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  11. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    I think Trev might be angling to have a shot at the leadership, his recent statements seem to be aimed at getting Chris Carter in behind him.

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  12. serge (108 comments) says:

    So, no wonder young New Zealanders are leaving the country. Our political scene is more like a kindergarten than a mature group of elected officials entrusted with the affairs of New Zealand.

    But then again, our productivity is very low, from the top down, and it shows.

    In spite of all of this, viva Nueva Zelandia, I say!

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  13. RightNow (6,350 comments) says:

    backster, you really think Mallard wants Carter in behind him? I have to admit he’s been an unexpected defender of Carter on Trev Alert.

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  14. Nigel (503 comments) says:

    Personally I think the comparing of different governments response is a very bad place to go regarding something like this, it’ll spiral downwards & that is a very bad thing.
    Each case should be dealt with on it’s own & what Labour might have done historically is that historical, they were poor ( very poor ) in terms of governance, but to bring that into context of the current govt just lowers the bar of accountability & I think should be avoided.

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  15. Mike (3,234 comments) says:

    Rightnow
    he knows the power is in the feminazi homosexual group so he’s keeping his flank and arse covered! :-)

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  16. Honest John (204 comments) says:

    pia: What part of “parliamentary standing orders” don’t you understand? or are the rules only there for the left to follow?

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  17. burt (7,096 comments) says:

    In the context of the $100,000 donations from the Vela family that were not disclosed we should also consider the tax cut for the racing industry that Winston managed to get into the 2006 budget. In not declaring the donation(s) the door is wide open for allegations of special favours for secret big business backers… In hindsight it is now obvious why Winston was always accusing National of such corrupt behaviour.

    Of course it was different when Labour did it – they were good and only National were evil and corrupted by the use of secret trusts. I know this cause The Spencer Trust Winston said so….

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  18. alex Masterley (1,439 comments) says:

    Don’t you do much trust work Mickey?

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  19. nickb (3,629 comments) says:

    very poor choice of words backster my boy.

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  20. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    Point being, Chris may or may not be in breach of the letter of the rules, he’s asked for a clarification. But his statement does seem reasonable – he had no pecuniary interest, so he didn’t put it on the pecuniary interests register. As DPF says, if this turns out to be incorrect, it isn’t exactly crime of the century.

    As to why bring up Winston. Well, why not. Free kick really if Trevor’s so stupid as to have a go on this topic.

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  21. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    Mallard like the rest of the Socialists dont understand the principles of good governance let alone practise them Mallard admitted to me last week on Red Alert that he was confused in reference to Chris Carters behaviour.

    You see these people wouldnt know the meaning of good governance if it smacked them in the chops. They are a bunch of governance idiots and 9 years proved that.

    They are unprincipled immoral and unethical governance pygmies.

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  22. lofty (1,295 comments) says:

    And so mickey, do you have a comment on the hypocrisy of Labour claiming there is no need to disclose $100,000 donations towards personal legal fees, but that you do need to disclose a non-pecuniary directorship?

    You ask reasonable questions Greg, but in return you should also supply reasonable answers to questions asked of you…don’t you think?? If you agree, give up some answers, or do you not have enough knowledge of the inner workings of the party to be able to give answers?

    If not why would you ask questions here and expect reasonable answers?

    If there is a case to answer here Greg, it should be answered, no question, but the same behoves the labour party & it’s apparatchicks to answer historical questions of mismanagement & wrongdoing… don’t you think?

    Why on earth do you think NZ abandoned labour in droves last election, and still it goes on, the labour party thumbed it’s nose at common NZ’rs, allowed itself to be hijacked by minority groups (as usual) and still it self destructs.

    Labour has abandoned & treated it’s supporters with contempt Greg thats why, and you know it.

    Jeeze it started with those mongrel’s, douglas, prebble, clark, etc etc etc turning over Lange, you know that too eh?

    Lange was the last principled labour MP that I can remember., even with his warts and all.

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  23. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    Lofty

    I despise Peters. He is one of the reasons that I became politically active after a period taken out for family and business. I prefer that his kind do not inhabit Parliament. I prefer the more thoughtful less egotistical type politicians who are not right wing and he failed on all counts.

    I actually thought he was given a hard time with the Owen Glenn money. I thought he was being cute. The deal was structured so that he had plausible denial or so he thought. The privileges hearing decision was not out of the range of what could be decided but hey if he is guilty then so is Blinglish and Heatley and Key and Finlayson …

    I would prefer that Labour never again went into coalition with his party. Amongst other things Labour’s climate change policies were stuffed up by having to accommodate the views of his netherandals.

    What about a real comparison. David parker thought he had mucked up his Companies Office records and resigned. He was reinstated when it was confirmed that he did not actually muck up his Companies Office records. He was also subject to intense criticism.

    Finlayson appears to have done much worse. He did not muck up his Companies Office records but he declared that he was not a director of two companies when it seems clear he was. I accept that it was probably a mistake but the Attorney General needs to be perfect. If you read Key’s and Hide’s comments about Parker then this does appear to be the test.

    So if it is good enough for Parker it is certainly good enough for Finlayson.

    Finally the first name is Micky. Speculate as much as you want.

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  24. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    David Parker stated he had unanimous agreement of shareholders when there was a shareholder who hadn’t agreed. That is very different from not declaring, on the pecuniary interests register, something that you have no pecuniary interest in. It isn’t that he hid it, he took advice, the advice was that he had no interest, so he didn’t declare it. It may be that the advice was wrong, but you can’t blame him for relying on it.

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  25. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    PaulL

    David Parker stated he had unanimous agreement of shareholders when there was a shareholder who hadn’t agreed

    Not true. The original shareholder became bankrupt and the OA became the shareholder and agreed to the resolution. To top things off David wrote to the OA and received his confirmation. I suspect that you also think that the moon landing was a fake …

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  26. GPT1 (2,043 comments) says:

    Parker’s mistake was probably worse but was very low level.

    A couple of appearances in court and Mallard thinks he’s an expert. What a dork.

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