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Cunliffe failed to declare investment trust

Labour leader David Cunliffe, already in hot water over a secret trust used to solicit donations for his leadership campaign, now faces questions over why he initially failed to declare an investment trust to Parliament's Register of Pecuniary Interests.

Mr Cunliffe invested in the ICSL Trust in March 2012. Set up by ASB Bank, ICSL reportedly manages $8 billion on behalf of 20,000 clients - an average of $400,000 per investor.

The Labour leader did not declare he was a beneficiary of the ICSL Trust when he registered his financial interests for the annual Parliamentary Register of MPs' Pecuniary Interests for the year to January 31, 2013.

Mr Cunliffe's original return, which formed part of the Register made public in February 2013, declared only the Bozzie Family Trust, which owns his family home in Auckland's upmarket Herne Bay (the property owned by a trust because his wife was a lawyer and the trust was for liability reasons).

He did not declare the ICSL Trust until July 2013. The ICSL Trust was subsequently added to an "additional information" page for the Register on the Parliamentary website.

Mr Cunliffe told TV3, in a statement, that he did not initially declare the investment trust after receiving legal advice that he did no need to disclose it (according to the broadcaster's report).

The Labour leader said he later chose to declare the ICSL Trust in July after receiving advice from the Registrar, who said "if in doubt, declare it."

Another factor that changed between February and July 2013: there was heightened interest in MP's financial interests following the revelation that (then) Labour leader David Shearer forgot about a New York bank account containing at least $NZ50,000.

The July 2013 update included a flurry of late disclosures as MPs were inspired by the Shearer controversy to come clean, or otherwise had reason to elaborate on their initial declarations.

Email mistakenly sent from Cunliffe's office
On a more minor note, yesterday also saw the Labour leader acknowledge that a broadband policy document was mistakenly emailed to ICT Amy Adams' by a member of his staff, not anyone working with Clare Curran - who played the role of fall-girl for the gaffe.

Comments and questions

There's a very tricky pattern and trend emerging with this individual.

Once is a mistake, twice is a choice. Especially from someone who has spent so long in Parliament, who already knows these rules inside and out - he created them, so he certainly can't claim ignorance of them.

As a voter and long-term self-employed tax payer, I'm perturbed about the potential political/electoral corruption this individual might inflict upon NZ should he ever get anywhere near the levers of power.

His form to date would suggest he'd do what ever he could behind closed doors - away from public scrutiny. NZ deserves better.

The Auditor General needs to launch an Independent investigation into the murky financing and financial dealings of this wanna-be who is also trying to be Prime Minister.

NZ deserves transparency - and clearly this guy doesn't want it at all. We deserve transparency like Cunliffe often says - yet he goes out of his way to hide secret dealings and trust accounts - flouting existing ethical and transparency laws.

Would the protectors of our democratic processes please step-up and launch an investigation on behalf of all of NZ.

Rubbish and twaddle. Bury your head in your bias and get over yourself.

Yet - another day, another secret trust being discovered...

CunningCv's sanctimonious hypocrisy has hoisted himself by his own petard.

So it's either a self-hoisting, or multiple shots to his own podiatry regions, or he's tripping on his tongue trying to speak out both sides of his mouth at once.

...and then because his public charlatan act has been exposed for all to see as a result of his very own behaviours, actions and deceit - he tries to blame it on some political conspiracy.

No one but himself makes himself look like a right noddy! There's no conspiracy - except perhaps from within... and there's plenty of talk of that...

He has a history of breaching electoral law.

Oh dear. Here we go again.

Where is Transparency International these days?

Transparency international is a very left leaning organisation akin to the UN. They were very quick to comment on John Key and silent trusts, but strangely quiet when left are in the cross hairs

The sad thing about NZ politics now is that most people perceive all politicians to be dishonest and pursuing goals of self interest.
This is more so than ever before!

We can see this with the housing market in Auckland where nearly all politicians have investment houses and are reluctant to do anything to bring down or indeed stop rampant house price inflation.

All this is to the detriment of ordinary working NZers. in the future.

Politicians are all corrupt and self serving, that's why we need less of them and should shrink the role of government. Left wing politicians are the worst though due to the fact that just about every single one of them are career politicians and have no other way of earning a living - hypocrites the lot of them.

Surely you mean the detriment of middle-range existence NZers....................

To be fair, this is last years news, not this years. And he did declare it without being caught - probably laughing at how he got away with it while shearer didn't.

If it wasn't for those pesky kids.

Isn't it funny how silent Mr Edwards is here now on this clown, if "Dumliffe" was a National party person he would be into him boots and all, it is rather interesting how Cunliffe is a so called "rich dick" in the lowelife's political party, that prides itself in ripping the backbone out of the successful, and redistributing it to the tyre kickers, and now he is about to be on the other end of the "boot" Mr Cunliffe welcome to the results of hard hard work, hope you enjoy the consequences!!!!

This has gone past simply being tricky, it's now a sticky sticky mess.

Perhaps Cunlife and Mayor Brown could go into business together; the Retirement business, and quickly!.

I'm no fan of Cunliffe but to be fair to him he's not yet in the Len Brown category of low-lifes.

If you dressed Len up in a black rubber suit he could feasibly [snip - Editor]

My, my -- the Baptist Preacher (aka Editor) is out-and-about, preaching Temperance and Chastity. And it ain't even Sunday, yet.

You have to question the advice Cunliffe is receiving, this is the second time in recent weeks he has declared he "received legal advice" that turned out to be rubbish.

Either that or he is a charlatan.

But it's not the legal advice that's necessarily wrong. It's the lack of political awareness from cunliffe himself that is most disturbing.

Now we know that the ABCs actually did know what they were talking about.

Clear that honesty is the best Politics