In a move to try to reduce the pressure on the government following the release of the Panama Papers, John Key has held a short press conference at the Beehive to say a few things on the issue. We have a transcript of the briefing.
KEY: Hello all. Thenks for coming. I just wanted to clear up a few things about New Zealand tax law that has come under a bit of fire in the last week or so. First of all… New Zealand is not a tax haven. There is nothing in our tax or trust laws that mean we are definitely not a tax haven.
SOPER, ZB: What about the fact many of the New Zealand trusts in the Panama Papers are blind trusts?
KEY: Well.. perhaps some of those are a bit secret, but that doesn’t mean we are a tax haven.
HOSKING, ZB: I think you’re lovely.
KEY: Thenk yoy Moyke, and in answer to your question, yes I am.
WATKINS, STUFF & THAT: Do you have any money in any of the blind trusts that the Panama Papers mention?
KEY: Absolutely not.
WATKINS, STUFF & THAT: But what about the money you’ve deposited with that lawyer? You know.. the one that sets up blind trusts.
KEY: I think you’ll find if you say any more they’re going to sue your bottoms. You know they’re lawyers, don’t you?
GOWER, NEW SHUB: But you do have money deposited with that lawyer?
KEY: Yes. But I don’t know what he’s done with it?
SOPER, ZB: Where is it then?
KEY: With the lawyer.
GOWER, NEW SHUB: In his office?
KEY: Which one? The New Zealand one or one of the other… more tropical ones?
WATKINS, STUFF & THAT: Any office. Has he put the money in a blind trust?
KEY: I don’t take a blind bit of notice what he does with the blind trust… (slight pause for effect, but gets nothing) …oh come on! That was gold.
KEY: Tough crowd.
GOWER, NEW SHUB: So you are saying you’ve never benefited from any money deposited in a blind trust in any country around the world?
KEY: Well… I worked in finance in the ’80s…
SOPER, ZB: Is that a yes?
KEY: Yeah, nah… that’s a “I worked in finance in the ’80s.” Thenks for coming.
*press conference ends*