4 May 2016

Further revelations don't blunt PMs faith in lawyer

6:33 pm on 4 May 2016

Prime Minister John Key insists he has complete confidence in his personal lawyer despite revelations today that Ken Whitney was involved in setting up a dubious trust.

John Key during bridge run on the GCSB/ SIS report.
Last photo of JK for RNZ 2016!

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Court documents show that in 2014 the High Court criticised Mr Whitney for his role in setting up a trust for a bankrupt property developer.

The High Court found Mr Whitney helped to set up a blind trust, which the judge described as a sham to conceal the developer's identity and allow him to carry on his business.

Mr Key has already defended Mr Whitney's connection with the trust industry this week.

In 2014 Mr Whitney wrote to the then-Revenue Minister, Todd McClay claiming John Key had advised him the Government had no plans to change the foreign trust regime in New Zealand.

Mr Key said he had complete faith in Mr Whitney.

"Lawyers ultimately in their careers deal with lots of people and lots of clients but in my dealings with him he's been thoroughly ethical. I've know him for a long period of time.

"Sometimes lawyers do get criticised but in this particular case I have complete confidence in him."

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs