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Mallard asks further questions over Finlayson

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Chris Finlayson
Chris Finlayson

Wellington, June 29 NZPA - Labour MP Trevor Mallard has accused Attorney-General Chris Finlayson of yet again not declaring a pecuniary interest.

Mr Finlayson did not declare that he was a director and shareholder of Te Puhi Trust (2) Ltd in the annual Register of Pecuniary Interest because he had no interest in the company, which was a corporate trustee incorporation for a friend's trust, he said.

Mr Finlayson said he sought advice from the trust's lawyer, who told him he had no personal or pecuniary interest in the company.

However, he referred the matter to Registrar of Pecuniary Interests Dame Margaret Bazley, who said the rules stated all company directorships needed to be declared and there were no exemptions.

He has since amended the register to include the Te Puhi Trust. At the same time he also amended it to include his directorship in the Diana Bremner Trust Nominees Ltd.

Mr Mallard today questioned Prime Minister John Key in Parliament about his confidence in Mr Finlayson.

Mr Key said he was "proving himself to be an outstanding Attorney-General".

"Would Mr Finlayson continue to enjoy his confidence as Attorney-General if a further false declaration came to light?" Mr Mallard said.

Mr Mallard then presented a Companies Office record that he said showed Mr Finlayson "made another false declaration".

That record shows Mr Finlayson was a director of the Diana Bremner Trust until March 9, 2006. He entered Parliament in 2005.

Mr Finlayson's office today confirmed with NZPA that he had amended his register to include that directorship.

It was a similar issue to the Te Puhi Trust in that he did not have an interest in the trust and therefore did not declare it, a spokesman said. He had now done so.

The changes would appear on the register once Dame Margaret updated it, the spokesman said.

Members of Parliament are required, by law, to declare their financial interests to avoid any abuse, or appearance of abuse, of their position for personal gain.

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