New Zealand Labour Party

Key needs to stop shifting and come clean

John Key’s position on his lawyer’s offshore trusts lobbying has changed yet again with the Prime Minister admitting he told Todd McClay that Ken Whitney had approached him, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“Yet again information has to be dragged out of the Prime Minister like blood from a stone. He has to be more open with New Zealanders.

“On Morning Report today, John Key admitted he told Todd McClay he had been approached by his lawyer on the proposed foreign trusts review by IRD. That should put significant pressure on a minister who was new in the job and keen to impress.

“John Key changed his position twice in the interview. He said ‘Todd may have known that he was my lawyer’. Just a minute later Mr Key said, ‘I told Todd McClay I had been approached by my lawyer as part of the industry group’.

“There is no way Todd McClay would not have felt pressure from above. That’s shown by the impressive speed with which Ken Whitney and his lobby group got a meeting with the Minister.

“Mr Key has also changed his position on Mr Whitney’s letter. Last week he said the approach by his lawyer was just like a person coming up to him on the street. This morning he said Ken Whitney had misrepresented his position.

“John Key needs to be direct and get his facts straight. This is too important to play his usual games on. His increasingly arrogant attitude is grating with New Zealanders.

“New Zealanders don’t like the global mega-rich hiding their wealth in secret trusts here and not paying their fair share. This out of touch Government doesn’t get it,” says Grant Robertson.