Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Revealed: MPs' gifts and interests

Register details helicopter rides, smartphones and rounds of golf as well as property, shares and new trusts.

Prime Minister John Key.
Prime Minister John Key.

Helicopter rides, smartphones, golf memberships and a Hobbit statue are among the gifts declared by MPs over the last year.

The latest returns in the register of pecuniary interests revealed which MPs held the most directorships, property, shares and other interests in 2013. The report also showed which MPs had created new trusts.

Act Party leader John Banks created a legal war chest to fight a private prosecution taken against him last year.

The register named a "Special Donations Account" for Mr Banks' court battle with accountant Graham McCready, who accused him of falsely declaring donations during his 2010 mayoral campaign. A Crown prosecutor has since taken over the case. A spokesman for Mr Banks said the trust contained "less than $100,000". Another trust, the Pukenui Family Trust, was also being used to pay for Mr Banks' legal fees.

Labour MPs Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little disclosed a "Labour Whips Fund", which was used to take donations from MPs and others for their defence against a defamation claim by Cabinet Minister Judith Collins.

Labour leader David Cunliffe's new trust, which he used to fund his party leadership bid, was included in the register. The TR Trust collected about $9500 in donations from Mr Cunliffe's supporters Selwyn Pellett, Perry Keenan and Tony Gibbs and two anonymous donors.

More than half of MPs declared a trust or an interest in a trust in the register. The annual returns revealed that two National MPs benefited from the Government's partial sale of state-owned power companies.

Speaker David Carter bought shares in Mighty River Power and Meridian Energy.

List MP Paul Foster-Bell purchased shares in Mighty River Power, though he noted that this was before he entered Parliament last May.

The register detailed the various gifts that MPs declared.

In the past year, Prime Minister John Key was given three golf memberships from New Zealand clubs, as well as two rounds of golf at the Kauri Cliff course in Northland and two helicopter rides.

He was also given an iPad by the Sultan of Brunei and three smartphones by Samsung - though these are still in their boxes.

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said the gadgets were stored in the parliamentary precinct.

The most unusual gift was an Azog the Defiler on Warg statue given to National minister Craig Foss.

The register showed Parliament's biggest landowner was National MP for Napier Chris Tremain. He declared 17 properties in Hawkes Bay - eight houses or apartments, nine commercial properties, as well as four blocks of land. National MP Ian McKelvie declared five properties.

A Herald investigation last year found the total worth of his portfolio was $68.4 million.

- NZ Herald

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