Tax expert lobbied Govt for change

Tax expert lobbied Govt for change

Robin Oliver is a tax expert. He was the advisor representing foreign trust specialists in a meeting with revenue Minister Todd McClay two years ago.

They were lobbying the Government against a possible tax on foreign trusts and the stakes were high. 

Big business brought in the big guns, including John Key's personal lawyer Ken Whitney who runs foreign trust specialist Antipodes.

In an earlier email to Todd McClay -- Mr Whitney highlights the fact he'd spoken to the Prime Minister who said no changes were on the cards.

Mr Whitney wanted to meet with McClay just to be sure but in the end no changes were made.

Robin Oliver admits this may look bad to some.

"I can see how people can create a fictitious scandal, yes," says Mr Oliver.

But he says it was all above board.

"Well if the Prime Minister's lawyer also has a concern with a policy direction he can raise it. It would be bad if he used some sort of inside information to get a special deal but there's no evidence of that."

The opposition says that while Ken Whitney may not have used inside information -- inside connections certainly helped.

Newshub today visited the offices of Ken Whitney where the meeting with Todd McClay took place. They would not comment.

Michael Woodhouse says the Prime Minister has rejected opposition criticism and the current revenue minister.

Parliament resumes next week so John Key can expect to face more pressure over New Zealand's foreign trust regime.