A group of New Zealand law firms identified in the Panama Papers as having links to Mossack Fonseca were among the firms that lobbied the government to keep the Inland Revenue's stance on foreign trusts in 2014.
RNZ News, One News and Nicky Hager have had access to the Panama Papers since last week and today reported that Auckland-based law firm Cone Marshall, Anchor Trustees, John W. Hart and Asiaciti Trust were linked to Mossack Fonseca.
The law firms were active in calling on the Government to maintain New Zealand's position on foreign trusts being established in New Zealand when rumours circulated Inland Revenue could be making changes in 2014.
The Panama Papers revealed the firms all had links to Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the centre of the offshore tax documents leak.
Prime Minister John Key's personal lawyer, Ken Whitney, had links to Mossack Fonseca through two companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, RNZ News, One News and Nicky Hager reported.
Offshore companies and trusts are routinely used for entirely legal purposes, and Mossack Fonseca maintains that it has always complied with international protocols. A reference to a person or entity in connection with the Panama Papers is not therefore in any way indicative of any wrongdoing or impropriety.