Top Shows

Contact Q+A

Key admits mistake over shares

Published: 11:31AM Tuesday September 23, 2008 Source: ONE News

John Key is now admitting he should have been more honest about just how many shares he had in Tranz Rail.
The National Party leader's confession and apology comes after ONE News confronted him on Monday with evidence of his portfolio worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Key fronted up a day later with what was almost an apology.

"I'm a person that operates in an open way. If I've made a mistake I'll front up and say I made a mistake," says Key.

That came after an embarrassing interview with ONE News in which Deputy Political Editor Fran Mold asked him how many shares exactly did he and his family own in Tranz Rail.

"Fifty thousand at the maximum point. Sometimes 25,000 sometimes 50,000," Key replied.

He was asked if he personally bought 50,000 shares in Tranz Rail in 2005 and sell them five weeks later.

"Oh look actually maybe 100,000 from memory yes. Sometimes 50,000 sometimes 100,000 yep," he said.

He now admits he should have been more up front including during his interview with ONE News.

"I made a genuine mistake," he says.

It was out to him that he recollected it pretty quickly though.

"Yeah I made a mistake," he says.

The concern is though that his family trust owned up to 100,000 shares in Tranz Rail when he was openly questioning the government's plan to buy that company and even meeting with a rival bidder.

The trust also bought and sold half those shares within a short five-week period, doubling its profit on that trade. 

"In my opinion I should have acted to sell those shares earlier and that was a mistake," Key says.

He's getting a political hiding for it now.
"All I can say is that member can talk about getting caught because he's been caught red handed," says Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Key says it was his broker who managed the trust's portfolio and he says he made a mistake by not asking about the full number of shares he owned.

He says he found that out later and he should have make that public when he found out this year.
The sudden admission on Monday about just how many shares he did own comes after weeks of hammering the Prime Minister for not being honest about the Winston Peters political donation saga.

And Key sees a double standard in Clark's attitude.

"Why have ministers, their staff, their research unit having so much time to go through my five year old share dealings line by line but she has absolutely no energy or interest to do the same thing when it comes to Winston Peters?" Key asked.

But Clark says she won't be listening to any lectures on truthfulness from Key after Monday's revelations.

Most Popular