Shouldn’t wait to be asked to apologise

Andrew Little maligned tax expert John Shewan when he was first appointed to examine New Zealand’s trust rules more than two months ago.

Last week Little retracted his statement. He didn’t say he  was sorry and did say he hadn’t been asked to apologise.

Shewan said that was misleading and he had asked Little for an apology because Little had dilly-dallied so long in setting the record straight.

Little shouldn’t have to have been asked to apologise for what he said.

He was wrong to make the unfounded accusation in the first place. He compounded that by waiting so long to admit he was wrong and compounded his error again by not apologising when he made the admission, regardless of whether or not an apology was requested.

His original attack was an attempt to discredit the government, just as his misguided and misinformed attack on Earl and Lani Hagaman who have now launched defamation proceedings against Little.

They too were caught in the political crossfire.

Personal attacks on politicians aren’t edifying but they are unfortunately accepted as a normal part of parliamentary discourse.

Politicians casting aspersions on people outside parliament is fortunately more unusual and even more unacceptable.

An MP who does that and is subsequently proven wrong should not only admit the mistake s/he should  apologise, and do so at the earliest opportunity.

Little’s refusal to apologise shows he isn’t sorry and therefore probably hasn’t learned from his mistake.

22 Responses to Shouldn’t wait to be asked to apologise

  1. Dave Kennedy says:

    This is a huge distraction to shift attention away from Shewan’s report, which is a damning one. The robust disclosure of foreign trusts that Key claimed was occurring was a total fabrication. The fact that the Minister’s responsible for oversight have no knowledge of what the trusts are really hiding was already telling. The Government was told many times over the last few years that there was an issue with disclosure and risks to our reputation and they were ignored.

    Little made some ill-advised comments and an apology does sound reasonable, but it is nothing to the massive apology that Key and his Government owe to the countries that lost tax because of our foreign trusts and an apology to the New Zealand people for us becoming regarded as a tax haven.

    There are two possibilities of why the trusts continued with such minimal disclosure, either the Government supported the trusts because of the money it generated for its mates (Key’s lawyer included) without caring about the potential for tax evasion, or it was just massively incompetent. Either way it looks bad.

    It took international shaming for Key to apologise for his highly offensive claim that the opposition was “backing rapists” and I’m not holding my breath for an apology about the foreign trusts.

    We are already being globally shamed because of our pathetic climate emission targets, our pitiful support for refugees, our shocking treatment of children and now this.

    Andrew Little has already admitted he was wrong but I don’t see even that admission from Key…shocking!

  2. Little would be wise to apologise to Shewan so it all goes away. He will probably apologise to the Hagaman’s before it goes to court so he might as well apologise to Shewan. Problem for him is that there is a smoking gun in both instances.

  3. Dave Kennedy says: A slightly more balanced report. I would have thought an apology about the misinformation provided regarding the robust nature of foreign trust disclosure is the more significant.

    Little’s mistake just reflects on himself and Shewan, Key and his Government have embarrassed us internationally.

  4. Mr E says:

    “Little’s mistake just reflects on himself”

    Badly too.

    In this case – he has made mistake after mistake after mistake, when he could have sorted it easily.

    I smell blood – I predict little will apologise.

  5. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you are so transparent. Joining the contrived and faux attack on Little to distract attention away from the real guilty party.

    Key needs to redeem some credibility by apologising to all those Governments that have been defrauded of income through the foreign trusts he deliberately protected for many years. New Zealand’s reputation on the world stage is slowly sinking into the mud.

    You are often talking about the potential damage to our international reputation from the behaviour of others but when it comes to the most shocking revelation in some time you are strangely silent.


    This makes shocking reading as it exposes Key’s blatant lies:

  6. Mr E says:

    Ummm Dave,

    I am on topic….. You are off ….trolling.

  7. Dave Kennedy says:

    Nice try, Mr E. I am providing the context for the apology and you are DESPERATELY trying to ignore it. Context is everything 😉

  8. Mr E says:

    Poor try Dave,

    John key has nothing to do with Littles nasty slur of Shewan.

    Nor did he have anything to do with Littles poor timing and failure to deliver on an apology after request.

    Nor did he have anything to do with erroneous acknowledgement of an apology.

    Poor try.

  9. I suppose the difference is that Key is not auditioning for PM as he already got that job three times, and also there is no smoking gun for whatever you accuse him of Dave. Little is dealing with two smoking guns he fired at Hagermans (?) and Shewan, but his targets are taking aim at him now. Key isn’t the one in over his head here…

  10. Dave Kennedy says:

    Within all the tax evading foreign trust debacle and the revelations of Key’s dupilicty, Ele chooses to focus on Little.

    Mr E, I’ll say again, context is everything and your support of National’s and Ele’s desperate distraction is so transparent 😉

  11. Mr E says:

    “Within all the tax evading foreign trust debacle and the revelations of Key’s dupilicty, Ele chooses to focus on Little.”

    This is Ele’s blog, she can write about what ever she wants. That is the blog owners right. You are a guest here Dave as am I. It is not right for anyone to attempt to change the topic whatever the motivation.

    I’d like to say I am surpised that I have to remind you of that, but I can’t.

    It is the same old thing on a different day.

  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, of course it’s Ele’s blog and I would never question her right to express her views. But I’m also sure she hasn’t appointed you as her policemen and your arrogance in continually taking on that role is actually an insult to Ele herself when you feel that your paternal involvement is necessary. as the owner of the blog she is welcome to question the appropriateness of my comments, it is not your job.

    It is also interesting how you have used this argument before to try and shut down a line of discussion that you didn’t like (even when you yourself often stray from the original thread).

    My comments are directly aligned to Ele’s post. If Ele regards Little’s behaviour is out of line then perhaps John Key could apologise for calling members of the opposition “barking mad” for suggesting the very same things he has accepted from Shewan’s report. I don’t think even Little went as far as as calling Shewan barking mad.

    Context is everything!

  13. Mr E says:

    I commented on topic, and you criticised me for not going off topic.

    When I pointed out your error in thinking, you suggest I am an arrogant policeman.

    As time progresses it seems you are trying harder and hard to adopt the persona of a troll. You may not like me pointing it out, but I think everyone has a responsibility to point out wrongs in a reasoned way, in a fair manner and in the right forum.

  14. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, there is more evidence of your trolling behaviour than mine. You have a short memory and obviously have no idea what the definition of a troll is.

    “In most cases, though, trolling is easy to distinguish from true, thought provoking debate. Trolls tend towards clearly inappropriate language (sexist, racist and so on) and depend on generic usernames or anonymous posting statuses…the most effective approach is to ignore them.”

    Mr E…Anonymous? accountable? hmmm…;-)

  15. Mr E says:

    “there is more evidence of your trolling behaviour than mine. ”

    At least you have admitted your trolling behaviour. That is the 1st step.

    I wonder if you can take the next.

  16. Dave Kennedy says:

    Nice try, Mr Anonymous 😉

  17. Mr E says:

    I’m perfectly happy being anonymous Dave.

    Your constant raising of it is pointless and trite.

    Your name calling is not an appealing characteristic. And doesn’t seem to fit with the Green Party principles.

  18. Dave Kennedy says:

    Spoken like a true troll, Mr ‘anonymous’…fact is name calling? How deep do you want to dig?

    You know the colour of my caravan and have spies attending my events while you take cover in your little bunker, chucking out dud grenades…and I lack principles?

    Self awareness?

    You have deliberately dragged this thread into personal accusations and all to draw attention away from the apology that Key owes with a certainty much greater any that Little owes.

    Context, Mr (Trolling) E, Context!

  19. Mr E says:


    Yes my name is Anonymous, and I use spies. Because organic matter in soil speeches are worth spying on. And old orange caravans are important secrets worth investing in. These are the facts Dave. Of course they are.

    Honestly….. The degree of silly paranoia seems very high.

    Never the less, we now have multiple cases of Little not apologising on request. One that is reportedly heading toward court. – that’s not news. Not even worth discussing. It’s just a silly distraction.

    Ah the left. Sensibility is high on the radar.

    Don’t look here. Look over there!

  20. Name witheld says:

    “”Don’t look here. Look over there!”
    Ahhhhhhh… The squirrels have returned.
    Of course the shrill and desperate green defence of Little is that, thanks to the “MoU” he is their man now.
    A dim and dour lying union leader has raised the IQ and the appeal of both parties it would seem.

  21. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you know about me because my background is accessible and the personal context that informs my views is transparent. I have also clearly explained my intentions for commenting here.

    I am intrigued by the extent of your efforts to find out about me and how you continually engage in discourse, your interaction with me is actually the best evidence of me not being a troll. If my views had no impact or had no value, you wouldn’t bother…another own goal I’m afraid.

    The foreign trust issue is a huge one for this country as in the world of financial investment and money management we are regarded as a tax haven. Shewan’s report provided strong evidence that the PM virtually lied to the nation about the levels of disclosure and the risks to our reputation. In terms of our global financial interactions we are actually known as a soft touch and a bottom feeder (hiding criminal funds and supporting tax evasion).

    The report poses huge questions regarding this Government’s ethical drivers when it ignored constant warnings about the low levels of disclosure for the foreign trusts and was so willing to bow to the wishes of lobbyists.

    My initial comment on this thread was to questions Ele’s motivation for the post and why she has ignored the bigger issues. The focus on Little is obviously intended as a distraction.

    NW, comprehension? I haven’t defended Little at all, I just believe the need for his apology is a minor issue compared to the apology owed from Key and his Government for letting our country down yet again. Being regarded as a tax haven is so embarrassing and now we even have this to explain…

  22. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oops, “My initial comment on this thread was to question Ele’s motivation…”

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