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Two thirds of MPs have interests in trusts, 58% have interests in more than one property, register shows

Two thirds of MPs have interests in trusts, 58% have interests in more than one property, register shows

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

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Perhaps someone should have explained to Heatley what being "housing minister" actually means.

But it's great to see National so deeply committed to vigorously stamping out the housing bubble!

Total shit, when the people who make & change the rules have personal interests in the topic, it's going to be a personal judgment and not a better for NZ decision.

Bit like asking a real estate agent for investment advice.


Note that an interest in a trust is defined as when the member is a beneficiary.

Many trust deeds will list a few named beneficiaries only (such as the kids), however the Deed allows beneficiaries  to be added at any time. 

The power of adding new beneficiaries lies with the trustees .....but the real control is held by the individual who has the power to appoint and remove the trustees (and guess who this is likely to be?).

 The disclosures are therefore indicative only  - they do not tell the full story at all.

QED do not expect to see the so called "rebalancing" take place any time soon...this is a property ponzi scheme and pretty soon the immigration game flame will be turned up leading to claims that "recovery" is here, let the good times roll.....

That will leave the massive debts to be washed away year by year until your thousand dollars buys you a chocolate fish. The socialists will return to the pig trough and a great benefit splurge will begin again...with a property bubble in the 2020s....

And the winners are.......

And this will explain why debasement of the Kiwi will continue to be policy in NZ......

Jim Anderton owns CBA shares?! Tee, hee.

Hopefully you are correct Wolly, too many of us have too much to lose if the goal posts are changed. Beware of the Greenies,they are out to not only alter the goal posts, but chop them down.  There are those who want a level playing field, trouble is everyone gets levelled.

So, hope you are right with your prediction.

Alex Tarrant. What are you trying to achieve here? If your intent is to embarrass the lawmakers into changing the rules, it won't happen. Ask Bernard Hickey what happened in AU when he was in Canberra when there was an outrage over Australia's richest man Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer not paying any tax and his use of trusts to achieve that. The Labor Party were outraged and were going to close the trust industry down. They were going to change the rules. When they were re-elected it was quickly forgotten, quietly disappeared and never saw the light of day. And that was a Labour Government. See if you can see Bernard in the gallery of this video.