Two-thirds of New Zealand's 122 politicians declared an interest in one or more trusts this year, while three-fifths had interests in more than one property, the latest Parliamentary Register of Pecuniary interests shows.
Members of Parliament have to annually declare their financial interests, inclusing interests in trusts and real property. MPs also have to declare directorships and shareholdings in private companies, and say what gifts they had received over the past year. See the entire register here.
There were 81 MPs, or 66.4%, who declared an interest in a trust, while 71, or 58%, declared an interest in more than one property, the register shows.
Of the two major parties, proportionately National MPs were bigger users of trusts (48/58, or 83%) compared to Labour (21/42 or 50%), and a greater proportion of National MPs had interests in more than one property (38/58 or 65.5%) than Labour MPs (25/42 or 59.5%).
Of the minor parties, all of ACT's five members had interests in trusts, while two had interests in more than one property; three of the Green Party's nine MP's had interests in both categories; three of the Maori Party's five MPs (at January 31, including Hone Harawira) had interests in both categories; and United Future Leader Peter Dunne, who is in Parliament on his own, had an interest in a trust.
The National/ACT/Maori government is planning to remove gift duty, which many fear will unleash a wave of gifting into trusts. Currently assets can only be drip-fed into trusts to avoid gift duty.
Who owns the most - those with 6 or more interests in property
- Georgina Te Heuheu, National, interests in over 60 properties “held in common with many thousands of other Maori owners”
- Hillary Calvert, ACT, interests in 23 properties (including a church)
- Chris Tremain, National, interests in 20 properties
- Adams, National, 7 properties
- Paul Hutchison, National, 7 properties
- Mita Ririnui, Labour, 7 properties
- Gerry Brownlee, National, 6 properties
- Aaron Gilmore, National, 6 properties
- Housing Minister Phil Heatley, National, 6 properties
- PM John Key, National, 6 properties
Other points of interest from the register:
- Progressives leader Jim Anderton, who was the instigator of KiwiBank, owned shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which owns ASB in New Zealand.
- National list MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi listed two interests in real property, but had three mortgages from different institutions – one each from Westpac, ASB and National Bank
- National Whanganui MP Chester Borrows declared an interest in the Taranaki E-Learning Trust but was not a beneficiary (so was not included in figures above)
- Independant (former Labour) Te Atatu MP Chris Carter, and Maori Party Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui KATENE did not return their interests by the due date
- Labour list MP Charles Chauvel listed one house as real property, which was a jointly owned unit titled apartment in Sydney, Australia
- Finance Minster Bill English did not have any interest in trusts, and only owned one family property
- Rodney Hide, the ACT member for Epsom in Auckland, put down one interest in property, which was a family home in Wellington