Dom Post on Couch Trust

The Dom Post reports on the trust which has received the money that was owed to the taxpayers by NZ First:

A trust set up to receive half the misspent $158,000 that NZ First was ordered to repay was not registered till three months after Winston Peters announced he had donated the money to charity, documents reveal. …

Mr Peters’ so-called “blood-brother” and lawyer Bryan Henry, his solicitor , and Mr Henry’s colleague have full control over how the money is spent, including the ability to pay themselves all reasonable expenses. …

Ms Couch is not listed as a beneficiary or a patron, and the only mention of her is in the title of the trust. The three trustees have full control over where the money goes.

Meantime more fascinating information emerges on the trustees and settlor.  Whale Oil blogs:

is heavily involved in the Trinity Forest tax avoidance case – with links not to the Cook Islands as Winston is so fond of, but the British Virgin Islands. Gillespie held all the directorships for The Trinity Foundation (and related entities) and was a shareholder of The Trinity Foundation

Fact – Winston and his legal advisors are and continue to be involved with an Accountant at the centre of NZ’s largest case where the defendants were found guilty of a $3.7 billion tax avoidance

Now I hasten to add this is tax avoidance, not evasion. So Mr Gillespie personally has not been found to have done anything wrong. But as Winston has spent decades railing against corporates who avoid tax, it is ironic he donates to a trust controlled by his personal lawyers and an accountant in the centre of a $3.7 billion tax avoidance.

There are multiple links to media stories over on Whale’s blog.

Also just to show how small NZ is:

And the individual lawyers involved and named as promoters in the Trinity case?

None other than the same lawyers used by Vela Fisheries in their Court of Appeal case which surprisingly related to – TAX.

A very small world it is.

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