Red Alert

Declaration of pecuniary interests 101

Posted by on June 27th, 2010

Alll this stuff about Chris Finlayson not declaring his company directorship is interesting and puzzling.

Before being elected to parliament, I was the sole Director of Inzight Communications (my little company based in Dunedin) and I resigned as Director on the morning of 9 November 2008 ( day after election).

But when I filled out the pecuniary interest declaration in January 2009 I sought advice (from the Registrar’s office) and was told I needed to declare my directorship because I was still a Director on  8 November 2008, the day of the election. Which I duly did.

I have stuff-all assets (house, section and a bit of super) but I’ve sought advice from the office of the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests several times. Because I want to get it right. So why does Chris Finlayson allegedly seek advice from his lawyer and not from the Registrar’s Office?

I’m a first term MP. How long has he been in parliament?


44 Responses to “Declaration of pecuniary interests 101”

  1. Spud says:

    At least you’re honest Clare!

  2. Spud says:

    Sounds dodgy

  3. Loota says:

    N1 ClCu. IMO, the NACT mindset is that protocol, rules and regulations are there to be bent or circumvented as far as is possible. You can observe this in a lot of the plays that they make. They may appear to abide by the regs in public, but deals are cut in the back rooms with sleight of hand and obeying the spirit of the regs is not even considered.

    Points are awarded for playing the game to the very edge to see how much benefit you can suck out of it for yourself, in other words.

    Naturally, then, NACTs aren’t apologetic in the slightest when they get caught out because they know that’s the nature of this style of play; its the nature of this game. Sometimes the ball lands a smidgeon on the wrong side of the line, no big deal. In fact if you are a pro and playing it to the consumate edge, it will happen occasionally and actually means you are doing it right. From their value system.

    That’s why you never see any sincere hand wringing from the born and bred NACT camp for doing the wrong thing, the most you will get is the appearance of being sorry for the cameras. Sorry for being caught that is.

  4. Chris73 says:

    @Loota

    Chris73, Trolling final warning Trevor

  5. Richard Shaw says:

    Many lawyer’s exhibit an arrogant streak that manifest itself in this manner “My colleagues and I are the arbiters of the law; why should I seek advice of another”. I would suggest that this streak would be magnified once the prefix MP was added their name.

    Its seems Chris Finlayson has been caught by his own arrogance; not the type of lawyer or man we want for the Attorney General position.

    At best- arrongant,
    middle ground – dim witted
    At Wost-

  6. Rebecca says:

    Clare without passing judgement on Chris, some people are just naturally very honest so always want to make sure everything is above board with the i’s dotted and t’s crossed.

    I would even say that this is something girls do more than boys – boys seem to have this inherent thing where they always try to get away with as much as possible….they just love to push the boundaries….even the really good honest ones.

    So perhaps re Chris he took some care to declare things but didn’t exhaust all avenues….

  7. Richard Shaw says:

    Many lawyer’s exhibit an arrogant streak that manifest itself in this manner

    “My colleagues and I are the arbiters of the law; why should I seek advice of a lesser office”.

    I would suggest that this streak would be magnified once the prefix MP was added their name.

    Its seems Chris Finlayson has been caught by his own arrogance; not the type of lawyer or man we want for the Attorney General position.

  8. Richard Shaw says:

    sorry about

  9. Rebecca says:

    P.s. I note that poor Chris has the misfortune of being a lawyer AND a politician…..lawyers interestingly in the latest Readers Digest trust poll are above politicians who are slightly more trusted than telemarketers and slightly less trusted than sex workers…..! :)

    Lawyers, while above politicians I think were “sandwiched” (according to the woman from Readers Digest) between towbar drivers and an equally likable profession – real estate agents!

  10. Rebecca says:

    Loota re “the most you will get is the appearance of being sorry for the cameras.”…this is hardly exclusive to the NACTs…..CCs apology being a PRIME (most recent) example!

  11. Spud says:

    I actually believed Carter.

  12. Loota says:

    Hmmmmm Rebecca, I was wondering about who would suggest that point about CrCa…and you did not disappoint!!! ;)

  13. Rebecca says:

    That’s what I am here for – to bring in a little objectivity and remind Labour that there is a red sea between them and the moral high ground!

    The only one who truly ever brought morality and politics together was Jeanette Fitzsimmons.

  14. Richard Shaw says:

    @Rebbecca I actually thought the majority of politicians were Laywers :)

  15. Dorothy says:

    “Rebecca” here to be objective – my first laugh on a Monday morning!
    Here cos you are paid to bag Labour, more like.

  16. Anne says:

    @ Dorothy :wink:

  17. Spud says:

    Hi Anne :-D :-D :-D
    Becks, I’m speechless! :o

  18. I’m a first term MP. How long has he been in parliament?

    Just one term longer than you.

  19. Gary Jones says:

    Hehe. Dorothy calling a spade a spade.
    Hmm, a paid spade? How about, for a change, the spade digging NACT’s own hole?

  20. I reckon it’s probably ego, he’s thought because he’s a lawyer he didn’t need to consult with the Registrar’s Office…

  21. when I filled out the pecuniary interest declaration in January 2009 I sought advice (from the Registrar’s office) and was told I needed to declare my directorship because I was still a Director on 8 November 2008, the day of the election. Which I duly did.

    As it happens, the advice was bad. Debts, directorships etc, only need to be declared on an “as at” basis. If you weren’t a director on 31 January it didn’t need to be declared (Standing Orders, Appendix B, clause 4). Some things do need to be declared from the date of the election (Standing Orders, Appendix B, clause 8(2)(d)), but this only related to “activities” under clause 7 (see clause 8(1)) – things like gifts from lobbyists, subsidised travel, and discharged loans. Old, no longer live, directorships do not need to be disclosed.

    Which isn’t to say it’s stupid to put them down out of an abundance of caution, but the advice you got was wrong. Given whom it was from, that’s interesting in itself.

  22. ghostwhowalksnz says:

    If Finlayson asked for advice from his lawyer, he should ask for his money back. It seems like an easy scapegoat to blame some unknown person. In this case a lawyer who didnt know the meaning of the word ‘director’.
    Looks and smells like a coverup to me. Also Finalyson is the most reclusive front bencher around and could do with a good kick in the pants from the media

  23. Spud says:

    Yeah, where are the media in all this! :evil:

  24. Gary Jones says:

    @ Spud
    zzzZZZZzzzzzZZZzzzZZzzzzZzz?

  25. ghostwhowalksnz says:

    Wheres the media interest in Finlaysons travel to London where he stayed at the East India Club and the credit card payments are heavily blacked out.

  26. Spud says:

    Interesting! :evil:

  27. Tracey says:

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm

    Does this mean Chris didnt trust the advice of those paid for by taxpayer to give advice to MP’s on this stuff, so he got his own legal advice? Did this legal advice come from a specialist in this particular area? I know it seems an obvious thing but lawyers dont know everything about everything. For example, someone could ask me for advice on this very issue and I would be investigating it from scratch because i have no knowledge of this area.

  28. Rebecca says:

    Dorothy – if that’s the case well I am sure you are very jealous seeing as Labour don’t value your input enough to put you on the pay roll….

    Gary – I’m assuming gullible is not your middle name or did you truly not get to taught to believe everything you read & hear…..oh sorry, you’re a Labour supporter of COURSE that is news to you….

    Anne/Annette King – subtlety becomes you :mrgreen:

    Richard – not where the Labour party is concerned as (in terms of those who actually worked pre-politics) most appear to be teachers & unionists….

    Spud – yes the media only selects stories the public will find interesting….apparently no one bar people on here actually care! :wink:

  29. Tigger says:

    Gww- got a link to that receipt? Names of staff blacked out or services and goods?

    Finlayson’s actions truly puzzle me. He is so by the book and tends to dot every eye. Why the blind spot on this trust?

  30. Rebecca says:

    Tigger that’s what I think – it seems so odd so in that sense I waiting for a plausible explanation.

    However, I doubt there is one, he is a position where he of all people should be able to interpret what “pecuniary interests” are so he needs to go – perhaps before he is pushed.

  31. I’m in moderation?

    What did I do?

    =)

  32. Spud says:

    @Becks – How would they know? They don’t give the public a chance to see the stories! :evil:

    @Graeme – m oderation works in mysterious ways :-D

  33. Ianmac says:

    Graeme: I am sometimes in moderation but I think it might because some key words are suspect which automatically sets up an alert until cleared. Just a delay I think.

  34. Rebecca says:

    Well it would no doubt be for the same reasons that they don’t report every case of child abuse yet always report every murder…..they go by what is going to sell.

    How many New Zealanders even know who Chris Finlayson even is?

  35. Clare Curran says:

    @ Graeme Edgler 11.19am. Thnak you for taking the time to look that up. I’d be interested to hear from the Registrar’s office on it.

    I take the attitude though that it’s better to declare and err on the side of caution and open-ness than not. And I’m not sure what the rationale is to do otherwise.

    Particularly given the public desire for accountability.

  36. Simon says:

    Rebecca, I had to google him to find out.

    @Richard Shaw 9:37: “I actually thought the majority of politicians were Laywers.”

    Surely you mean liars?

  37. Chris73 says:

    As I’ve said before I’d demote him for a while and tell him go read some law books

    Politicians don’t just need to be seen doing whats expected but also should be seen to be going above and beyond the call of duty

  38. Rebecca says:

    Simon – me too! I didn’t realise he & the AG were one & the same! And good spotting – the incorrect spelling was perhaps deliberate….

  39. Akldnut says:

    So for 4 years he makes knowingly fraudulent declarations, I think I would like to see an itemised lawyers bill for the alleged advice from his lawyer or would that be kaka as well?

  40. Loota says:

    His lawyer huh, how do we know that wasn’t himself on an alter ego basis? Or did he engage Chen Palmer?

  41. Clare Curran says:

    @ everyone Let’s not bag lawyers or any profession. Seems a bit juvenile.

    My point was, and is, that in politics it’s a good idea to disclose. Whether you are required to or not. Shows a good example and a set of standards.

    We all make mistakes. But people want to know they can rely on us to manage the country and set policy and think about the future, without worrying that we are just looking after our own interests.

    May not be popular, but I believe that if you’re an MP you should be an MP and not try to run a business or manage share portfolios and all that. Maybe that’s naive, but that’s what I believe.

  42. Rebecca says:

    Re “May not be popular, but I believe that if you’re an MP you should be an MP and not try to run a business or manage share portfolios and all that. Maybe that’s naive, but that’s what I believe.”

    I agree. Just not sure if it is possible given one’s employment as an MP is less than secure than many positions in the private sector…..hard to give up everything if you’re a planner.

  43. Spud says:

    Well, people choose to run for office, and if you choose to run for office, then theoretically, you choose to play by the rules. :-D