Prime Minister John Key faced an array of questions today a review of New Zealand’s foreign trust disclosure rules. He said that while New Zealand is not a tax haven, his government is committed to doing things the right way and will change the disclosure rules if necessary. He then rebuffed further questions, saying any further comment had to wait for John Shewan’s findings and recommendations. Key added that it was “very technical stuff” and commented that there was a tendency for a “bush lawyer” mentality in this discussion.
The Prime Minister said that his approach to trusts in his personal capacity has been “100 percent appropriate”. He also denied flip flopping on his position last week, saying that he is committed to evidence-based change and is now waiting for further evidence.
Key was reluctant today to discuss the legal dispute over the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary saying the matter was before the courts. He did say that the Government position is clear and that the species being discussed were migratory. This has been the line used by Key since the debate between the Government and Maori leaders over the Kermadec sanctuary began.
The Prime Minister is off to China on Sunday and mentioned that business and trade would be the focus of his discussions there. Key said that although Malcom Turnbull is also about to go to China these were not competing trade missions.