John Key owned racehorse share

Last updated 18:14 20/05/2014

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Prime Minister John Key has declared he once owned a stake in a racehorse, a week after NZ First leader Winston Peters faced controversy over his share in a racing syndicate.

Key said he owned the horse, which he dubbed a "donkey" due to its lack of racing success, as part of a syndicate with nine other people.

Key bought his share in 2007 and sold it in 2008. He never thought to declare it in Parliament's register of pecuniary interest until he was asked about it by media, he said.

"I can't see why I'd need to declare it, but honestly it's so long ago I can't really be bothered going through the arguments so I've declared it."

Key said the horse was a failure and said he had never kept his prior ownership a secret.

"It should be more correctly referred to a donkey than a horse.

"I think it managed to win one race where everyone else was running in the other direction and it now lives in Noumea – apparently, hopefully, a happy life."

It was also revealed last week that Peters once had a partial share in a racehorse which he had failed to declare.

Peters said he bought the a share in the mare, Bellazeel, as a donation to charity before he returned to Parliament in 2011 and that it had never made him any money.

He had not needed to declare it because he bought it for charity and did not make any money off it, he said.

He no longer owned a stake, but could not say when he sold it though he did so after becoming an MP again.

"I only had an interest for a short time, but it's been out to pasture for years," the former racing minister said last week.

MPs must declare all property, shares, directorships and gifts to the registry.

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