Cunliffe late to declare investment

David Cunliffe
David Cunliffe
Labour leader David Cunliffe has had another hiccup with trusts - this time for failing to disclose an investment one until soon after MP David Shearer was caught not declaring a US bank account in the MPs' register of financial interests.

Mr Cunliffe invested in the ICSL Trust - set up by ASB - in March 2012 and it should have been in his return filed by February 2013.

However, he did not declare it until July 2013. That was soon after Mr Shearer was required to also lodge a late register entry for his account with the Chase Bank.

A spokesman for Mr Cunliffe said the initial legal advice was that the ICSL Trust investment did not need to be declared.

Mr Cunliffe sought advice from the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests, who advised that if there was any doubt, it should be declared.

He was not the only MP to put in a late addition to the register last year, possibly because of confusion after the rules relating to trusts were changed in 2012. Minister Nathan Guy put in a late return for property held by trusts, including farmland, a beach place and a flat.

Other MPs who also added trusts to their returns late included Labour's Carol Beaumont and Ross Robertson, National's Simon Bridges and Shane Ardern and NZ First's Denis O'Rourke.

- By Claire Trevett of the New Zealand Herald

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