Connections between ex-Prime Minister and ANZ NZ chairman Sir John Key and departing ANZ chief executive David Hisco go further than just their business link.

Last year, Key sold Hisco his beachfront holiday house north of Auckland. But Key said the deal was not part of the investigations which have subsequently resulted in Hisco's departure.

Property records show 43 Success Court, Omaha was sold by Key and associates to Hisco and associates mid-summer in February last year.

The beach house at Omaha. Photo / Natalie Slade
The beach house at Omaha. Photo / Natalie Slade

John and Bronagh Key, along with lawyer Ken Whitney and trust expert Ian Nugent, had their names on the title of the modern beachfront home fronting the golden sands until last year.


The records show that last February, it was sold to David Hisco, Deborah Walsh and Craig Mulholland.

The property is 1044sq m or nearly a quarter of an acre.

Auckland Council records show the $3.6m house is worth $2.5m in land and $1.15m in buildings. Annual rates are $7065.98. The house is 240sq m, has four bedrooms and is listed as freestanding.

Omaha Beach Golf Club lists Hisco as a member.

This morning at ANZ, Key answered questions about the property sale, saying it was not part of the transactions that were investigated by the bank.

"That is a very transparent issue," Key said.

But he was hazy over whether he was chairman of ANZ NZ at the time, saying he would have to go back and check on that.

Key joined the board of ANZ NZ in October 2017 and then became chairman in January 2018. The house sale went through on February 15 last year.


"At the time he bought our beach house I can't remember if I was on the board, I wasn't chairman, I don't think," Key said this morning.

Key said he did make sure the senior executive at the ANZ's Australian parent were aware of the transaction, including the board chair and Australian CEO.

"I had a house for sale and they wanted to buy it," Key said.

Today, Key cited Hisco's personal use of chauffeur driven cars and wine storage costs using the bank's money as reasons for him leaving the $3m-plus a year job.

ANZ revealed today that concerns about Hisco's personal expenses stretched back nine years.

News of his departure today - and the reasons for it - had been met with "shock and disappointment" among ANZ staff. Hisco had previously been on sick leave due to ill-health.

Key said Hisco believed he had an agreement with the previous group chief executive of the Australian bank over the use of chauffeur-driven cars.

In 2014, the Herald reported how the Keys had bought a piece of beachfront land in 1990 for $147,000. They built the white stucco home on the site.

A spokeswoman for Key told the Herald in 2014 that the family would spend their holidays that year at their $5.6 million townhouse on the southern side of Maui in Hawaii.

Departing ANZ chief executive John Hisco and associates bought the Keys' holiday house in February last year. Photo / Supplied
Departing ANZ chief executive John Hisco and associates bought the Keys' holiday house in February last year. Photo / Supplied

"The prime minister heads to Omaha as often as he can. It's a stunningly beautiful beach, a great place to really relax and one of the great things about it is that it is so close to Auckland. At Omaha the prime minister likes to relax with his family and friends, play a bit of golf and spend time on the beach," a spokesperson said at the time.

Posing in front of the house in shorts and T-shirt for the Herald on Sunday in 2007 - a year before he became the 38th prime minister of New Zealand - Key said he used to keep a picture of the place on his desk when he was based in London as a foreign exchange trader.

One of his neighbours had just sold his place for $3 million at the time, he noted in 2007.

"This is expensive real estate," he said back then.

"We used to use it quite a bit, but now very infrequently. It's a function of the amount of time you have to put into the job," Key said in 2007.

The Keys' main home for some years has been their multimillion-dollar mansion in Parnell's St Stephen's Ave. They have sold that and are now building a multi-level home with underground carparking on what was the tennis court.