MP for Epsom, ACT Leader
You may see a story in the Herald this morning about me having an interest in property. While sensationalized, the story is substantially accurate. I thought I should give you a clear picture of the facts (for your own benefit and in case you just happen to want to put anyone you encounter straight on the matter).
The key facts you may like to know are
- Parliament has a register called the Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests, in which MPs have to declare their interests
- In February I voluntarily corrected my earlier returns, to declare interests in some properties and a Kiwisaver account. I had not declared these before, as an honest mistake
- In reality I have no legally enforceable rights in any of the properties, being a discretionary beneficiary in other people’s trusts that own them, but Parliament’s rules ask that such interests be declared
- I lived overseas when Kiwisaver was established, but was opted in as part of a second job upon return (having opted out on my main job). When I discovered this, I had to call AMP to get access to the account (my superannuation is through a separate scheme, which I declare)
- I have not benefited from these ommisions, and nobody forced me to correct the record. Nobody had detected these omissions in the nearly seven years I’ve been a Member of Parliament, if I’d stayed silent it’s likely nobody ever would have. Correcting the record was an entirely voluntary choice
Everyone makes mistakes, the question is how you deal with them. I believe I’ve made the right choices, that ACT’s supporters would expect here.
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