PM declares deposit in trustee firm specialising in foreign trusts

John Key has declared a short-term deposit to a company which specialises in foreign trusts.

Prime Minister John Key has declared a short-term deposit in a trustee company that specialises in foreign trusts and also provides legal service for him.

The latest register of MPs' pecuniary interests, which was released today, lists a company called Antipodes Trust Group as a debtor in Mr Key’s entry.

There were no overseas trusts listed in the entry.

Antipodes Trust Group refers to itself as a “specialist provider of trustee and associated services for foreign trusts using New Zealand as their jurisdiction of choice” on its website.

It also says it offers a "tax-neutral environment for New Zealand-based foreign trusts, which are a well-established vehicle for carefully managing the inter-generational transfer of wealth."

The group’s executive director is Ken Whitney, who is also Mr Key’s lawyer. He had previously worked at Ross + Whitney but moved to Antipodes Trust last year.

“Ken Whitney has been the Prime Minister’s lawyer for a long period of time," A spokeswoman for Mr Key says.

"The difference between this year’s pecuniary interests and last year’s is that he has changed firms.  The short term deposit is used to pay for any costs incurred from the Prime Minister’s family trusts. The surplus funds are reinvested short term with New Zealand trading banks.”

Other entries on the register show Mr Key has declared gifts, such as overseas travel, wrist watches, a pen and a coin set.

He also declared helicopter flights, accommodation and golf outings to Wairakei from Alloy Yachts' Rich Lister Gary Lane.

RAW DATA: Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament: Summary 2016 (PDF here)

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