Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Gueez ... when you're in a hole stop digging.     The fallout from the Panama Papers continues although not perhaps in the way the Little man envisaged.

The time line ....

In April and following publication of the Panama Papers the government commissioned John Sherwan, ex Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers and acknowledged tax expert, to lead an inquiry on the rules governing foreign trusts operating in NZL.     Little responded by claiming that Sherwan was not a fit and proper person to conduct the inquiry because he had previously advised the Bahamas government on how to preserve its tax haven status.

Sherwan responded by saying that Little had it wrong; that he had never tended such advice to the Bahamian government and requested that Little retract his statement.

On 10 June and with no sign of any retraction Sherwan sent the following letter to Little's office ....

The suggested response is not acceptable. It does not recognise the severity of the incorrect statement made by Mr Little.
It's reasonable to expect a person in Mr Little's position to understand the impact and damage the statement he has made would have on me personally and the potential they have to negatively impact my business now and in the future.
I have been fair and extremely patient. It is close to two months since Mr Little caused me and my family considerable stress and humiliation.
My efforts to address the issue in a fair and timely way were responded to by procrastination and vain efforts to fob me off, whereas they could and should have brought a prompt resolution to this matter.
The statements made were patently wrong and damaging to my reputation and I now require an unqualified retraction which will go some way towards mitigating the damage that has already been caused.
A correction along the lines you are suggesting would be unacceptable.
I now request the statement I sent to you yesterday be issued with the following additions: 'I apologise to Mr Shewan for any embarrassment I have caused him through my statements'." 
Please advise Mr Little's position by 5pm today.

On 18 June and shortly before kick-off in the NZL vs Wales Test Match Little released a statement retracting his comments but with no apology.

Yesterday afternoon (28 June) Little, in responding to questioning, said he was not apologising to Shewan because he (Shewan) had never asked him to do so.

Yesterday evening Shewan responded by releasing his 10 June letter and, in doing so, effectively called Little a liar.

Not much more to say.   What a f****p.   His colleague MPs will be rolling their eyes in disbelief as to how this has played out.    The old saying of 'when you're in a ditch, stop digging' has never been truer.   Grant and Jacinda will not be displeased.


Paulus said...

I hope that Little has a Trust Fund to protect his family home as he will be up for considerable legal fees in two actions against him.
He cannot use the Parliamentary "Leader's Funds".
The Labour Party are bust.
His own MP's will not divi up from their salaries for him. (Not bloody likely.)
The Unions will not pay from their ill gotten gains
Grant and Jacinta must be smiling quietly.
Oh Happy Days !

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


Does he have a family home?

Does he have a family?

I've not heard of either.

The Veteran said...

Adolf ... I think we can safely leave family out of the equation. I think 'pollies' families should be off limits. It's not them that were elected.

Nick K said...

What Little actually meant was Shewan never asked for an apology in their face-to-face meeting. He was referring to that, and not the letter. But what's really bad for Little is that this is lost in the noise, and the perception is that Little is a duplicitous shitwit.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

The perception is accurate.

The Veteran said...

Nick ... I'm aware that's the line Little's parroting but really that's him dancing on the head of an non-existent pin given Shewan's letter of 10 June ... you're right about perception because that's the reality.

paul scott said...

I see. Sherwan writes Little's apology to himself, plus additions.

The Veteran said...

Paul ... that's the way it's done if you are defamed. You tell the person who defamed you what he/she need to do to remedy the situation. Up to them whether they agree or not and OTY to take the matter further.

What is instructive is that no-one from tribe Labour is rushing to defend Little on this one ... defending the indefensible (in this case the lie that Shewan never asked for an apology) is never a smart move. My contacts within that Party have it that Little has lost the plot on this one (or had it lost for him by McCarten). What it has done is to weaken Little's authority in their caucus.

Gerald said...

I see. Sherwan writes Little's apology to himself, plus additions.

And those additions are interesting.
"Shame and humiliation on my family."
Date by which apology should have occurred.

All setting the for scene for future legal action.

No wonder it was referred to his lawyer.