The Herald reports:
Labour leader Andrew Little has today backed down from comments that the man charged with investigating New Zealand’s offshore trusts industry had advised the Bahamas Government on protecting its financial sector from tax changes. …
On April 13, Mr Little alleged that Mr Shewan and Dr Brash had effectively advised the Bahamas – a country known for tax haven activity – on how to protect its offshore financial services industry and maintain its haven status.
Appointing him to lead an inquiry on New Zealand’s offshore trusts industry showed a lack of judgment, he said.
But today, in a short statement, Mr Little admitted that he was wrong.
“In April, I made statements concerning advice provided to the Bahamas government by John Shewan, the person appointed to review the disclosure rule concerning foreign trusts in New Zealand. Those statements were based on a report in a Bahamas newspaper,” he said.
“After meeting with Mr Shewan, I accept his explanation that while he advised the Bahamas government on tax matters he did not advise them on how to maintain their tax haven status.”
So two months later he announces on a weekend he was wrong and that he effectively incorrectly smeared Shewan.
I hope media give as much attention to his retraction as they did to his original comments.