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Tough on tax cheats?

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, April 18th, 2013 - 51 comments
Categories: class war, national, tax, welfare - Tags: , , ,

Yesterday Brian Rudman asked why the government wasn’t chasing tax cheats with the same “enthusiasm” with which they were hounding beneficiaries. A dangerous question for the Nats, because it highlights all too clearly their prejudices and priorities. I wonder if that is why we got this hurried little press release later in the day:

Dunne: 1170 tax evasion cases for nearly $200m in two years

Inland Revenue successfully pursued 1170 cases for just short of $200 million in evaded taxes in the two years to June 2012, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said today.

“I trust these figures will end the bizarre fiction from Labour that the Government is tough on welfare fraud, but soft on tax evasion,” Mr Dunne said.

Oh please. 1170 cases and $200 million is a tiny drop in the bucket. Half of NZ’s “super rich” dodge taxes. Tax cheats are costing the country up to $6 Billion per year (compared to around $39 Million for Welfare cheats).

Dunne’s big-sounding numbers represent only a tiny part of a huge problem. The government will be tough on tax evasion when it starts recovering a significant proportion of that (up to) $6 Billion. They’ll be treating welfare and tax cheats equally when they are treated equally in the courts, and treated equally in the extent to which they are hounded and demonised. Until that time, this government is tough on welfare cheats and soft on tax cheats, and they shouldn’t bother trying to pretend otherwise.

51 comments on “Tough on tax cheats?”

  1. ianmac 1

    Of course the super rich have the luxury of indulging in Tax Avoidance. It is legal you know, so says Mr Dunne. We cannot indulge in Tax Avoidance if we are on wages or Salaries though. And would the MPs declare Conflicts of Interest should a Bill limiting Tax Avoidance ever arise? Doubt it but the vote would be interesting. After Conflicts were declared there would be only 5 people left to pass such a law.

  2. Adrian 2

    But the best is the extra handout to private schools. A few years ago a young person of good left wing stock needed to attend a private “gurrls” school in Chch for a few months and while there did an informal, admittedly anecdotal, survey on how many of the parents were on a income dodge of one sort of another. She got 30%+ definites, about 15-20% probablies and a lot who wouldn’t say. Yeah, they really need the extra money.

  3. tamati 3

    I’m sorry, but just how is anyone able to accurately estimate the number of tax “cheats” out there?

    You don’t know what you don’t know right?

  4. weka 4

    Great article by Rudman (although he might want to do one about setting the media onto tax cheats as well as Bennett).

    This is a keeper:

    Victoria University tax lecturer Dr Lisa Marriott estimates that in 2011, tax evaders cheated the country of between $1 billion and $6 billion, while welfare fraud cost $39 million. She told 3 News: “The problem of tax evasion is at best-case scenario 25 to 50 times the financial amount of welfare fraud, and at worst-case scenario, potentially 100 to 150 times the amount.”

  5. It must also be remembered that usually when someone on welfare gets done for fraud they have to pay the entire welfare assistance back that they received over the time they were cheating the system, not simply the amount they cheated the system of. This means that the statistics of “savings” made to the NZ public through catching welfare fraud are in reality a lot lower.

    The cited “around 39 million” that benefit fraudsters are “costing” the country, is not what they are duping the system out of; that figure will be substantially less.

    Conversely, the estimated 6 billion that tax cheats are defrauding the country, is the estimated amount that they are defrauding the system. Unlike the beneficiaries, they are not required to pay the entire income that they received over the amount of time they were cheating the system. If they were, then there would be even more disparity between the numbers involved in benefit fraud compared to tax cheats.

    I suggest that the NZ government imposes the same rules for each type of fraudster. Require both to pay the entire income back over the time they have been defrauding the country, not simply the amount they have cheated.

    Thats fair isn’t it?

    • Raymond a Francis 5.1

      You obviously don”t know how the IRD works when it catches tax cheats
      http://www.ird.govt.nz/how-to/debt/penalties/criminal-penalties/

      You get caught and you pay and pay

      • blue leopard 5.1.1

        @Raymond A Francis

        Yes, you are correct I don’t know the penalties for tax avoidance.

        Thanks for the information.

        The page you link to indicates higher penalties than I was aware of, however there doesn’t appear to be anywhere on the page where a tax fraudster is required to pay back the entire income they received for the time they were defrauding the system.

        I believe this type of approach is one to put off people from attempting the activity.

        Most people in NZ would be stung pretty badly by a $25 000-50 000 fine, however the people with the most money, will not, yet these are the very people that should be being targeted.

        People with the most money are the ones that are creating skewed political decisions throughout the world and leading to things like The Global Financial Crises, and whom are profiting whilst everyone else is feeling negative effects of these skewed political decisions.

        Is there anything other than respect for ethical behaviour that would stop any of this behavior from occurring again?

        Nope

        (Noting that respect for ethical behaviour appears to be sorely lacking in those with powerful positions, in fact from recent examples provided by Our Leader, it seems likely that honesty and ethical behaviour “probably didn’t get multi-millionaires to where they are today”. I would guess such qualities are probably pretty uncool in such circles.)

        But no, keep on targeting beneficiaries, they are the REAL cause of societies problems…….yawn

        • Chris 5.1.1.1

          You don’t have to pay back the income (you didn’t defraud the state of the income).

          For avoidance on top of any fines you do have to pay back the tax shortfall – along with late payment penalties and interest.

          http://www.ird.govt.nz/how-to/debt/penalties/shortfall-penalties/sf-penalty-abusive.html

          For evasion it is the same except you have to pay 150% of the tax shortfall

          http://www.ird.govt.nz/how-to/debt/penalties/shortfall-penalties/sf-penalty-evasion.html

          Is that what you mean or are you trying to say they should forfeit any income they did actually earn for those years? Because as I said above they didn’t actually defraud the state of that income – they did however defraud the state of the tax on the income.

          If you want to argue the penalties should be harsher then fair enough but forfeiting any income would be too harsh in my opinion.

          • blue leopard 5.1.1.1.1

            The only reason I am talking about forfeiting income is that is what beneficiary fraudsters are required to do. Shouldn’t each case of fraud have the same penalty?

            There is a very easy way of not experiencing these penalties.

            Not defrauding the system.

            • Chris 5.1.1.1.1.1

              As far as I am aware all fraud is treated the same – you required to repay what you received fraudently.

              In the case of beneficiary fraudsters it is the income they received from the benefit that they were not entitled to. In the case of tax fraudsters it is the tax that they were required to pay but didn’t. Other fraud is pretty much the same as I understand it.

              • I asked someone who had been done for benefit fraud how they managed to clock up the amount that they were expected to pay back. They informed me that they were expected to pay back the benefit for the entire time that they had defrauded the system, not solely the amount they had “gained” by doing so. This would be the case for someone working part-time and not telling the department they were working these hours. They would still be entitled to a certain amount of assistance, however they would be expected to pay the whole amount of assistance they had received back.

                Perhaps things have changed, however this is what I understand to be the case.

                All fraud is not treated the same. It appears that more effort (and success) is being applied to people on benefits defrauding the system than other people defrauding the system of substantially more amounts. This is what this article conveys.

                • Chris

                  Sorry should’ve clarified – I was only talking about the financial punishment not the amount of effort going into following this up or jail time imposed.

                  Can’t really comment on the case you referred to, as I said that wasn’t my understanding of how it worked. I did try and look online and from what I could see they always try and recover the overpayment plus penalties, which is the same as tax cheats. Although to be honest the only sites I could find were the not the most reliable looking and I couldn’t find official advice either way.

                • Mary

                  I don’t think that is right. Only the amount that the person was not entitled to can be recovered. There have been cases where the Department of Social Welfare has tried to recover the gross amount before tax but the courts said no. There are also cases where the courts have said the amount the person is not entitled to must be offset by any other benefit the person was entitled to. You might be thinking of cases where Work and Income has imposed a monetary penalty for fraud, which can be done under section 86(2), up to three times the amount defrauded.

                  What’s really hideous about Borrows’ latest fraud bill is that partners of beneficiaries who’ve committed fraud can be convicted also, even if they don’t know about the offending!

                  • MrSmith

                    “What’s really hideous about Borrows’ latest fraud bill is that partners of beneficiaries who’ve committed fraud can be convicted also, even if they don’t know about the offending!”

                    I really think this is a bit of dog whistling from the Nats, it will never fly, on another angle, isn’t it your right not to take the stand against your partner? or am I thinking of American law.

                    • Mary

                      Yes, it is a dog whistle, but the Bill proposes a new offence where the partner or spouse of a beneficiary who has been convicted of benefit fraud or who’s had a penalty imposed for fraud can also be convicted if they’ve benefited either directly or indirectly from the fraud and that they’ve been “reckless” in regard to knowledge of the fraud. It means that the spouse or partner is criminalised under the new and separate offence even if they don’t know what their partner is doing is fraudulent. It’s not about giving evidence against your spouse, but it does ignore the principle that that restriction is based on which is that the criminal law should not interfere with the sanctity of marriage. It’s going to cause all sorts of trouble such as increased violence towards women, relationship break ups etc.

  6. DH 6

    Tax is an area where the political left need to get smart IMO. Take family trusts. They’ve been going so long now that every tax dodger has one. Not everyone who has a trust is a crook but every crook has a trust, right? So now that nearly every dodgy bastard in the country is corralled into the one pen it’s time to whack a 40-50% tax rate on the income of family trusts.

    Family trusts endow certain privileges on the beneficiaries of the trust. Those privileges are enabled by the state so beneficiaries should pay for the right to use them. User pays after all.

    I’d think very few people with family trusts vote for the left so it would be a nicely targeted tax that hit the tax cheats & white collar crooks where it hurts. Those honest people with trusts can unwind them without penalty if they don’t like the higher tax rate whereas the dishonest would face exposure of their true financial dealings if they unwind their trusts. They all walked into the trap willingly, now to close & padlock the gate.

    The best way to catch white collar crooks is to try & think like them ;-)

    • weka 6.1

      “I’d think very few people with family trusts vote for the left”

      Why on earth would you think that?

      My parents have a family trust. I don’t know why they set this up originally, but the most valuable thing about it has been to protect assets stripping by the govt should either of them require state care due to age/disability (likely). They consider their assets to be intergenerational ie they have received benefit from what their forebears did and they want to pass that on to subsequent generations. They are well off (freehold house, holiday house, some investments depleted by finance company collapse) but not massively rich. My mother votes on the left, I suspect my father swings between NZF and Labour (he would have voted National as a young man).

      They pay tax on income from the trust (likewise with other income above their super), so I’m not sure why you would perceive them as potential tax cheats. In all likelihood, if the govt hadn’t sought to asset strip elderly people (in part a Labour govt policy I believe) they probably wouldn’t have needed a trust.

      • DH 6.1.1

        “My parents have a family trust. I don’t know why they set this up originally, but the most valuable thing about it has been to protect assets stripping by the govt should either of them require state care due to age/disability (likely). ”

        So your parents, and you I might add if you’re a beneficiary, are gaining a financial benefit from being permitted by the state to have a family trust. Don’t you think they should be paying for that privilege? Why should they get benefits that people without trusts don’t get? What makes them more special than other people?

        There’s no tax on assets so I don’t really see your intergenerational argument, those assets can still be transferred tax free. It’s the income from assets that are taxed and income isn’t intergenerational.

        By ‘very few’ I meant as a proportion or percentage. There’s hundreds of thousands of family trusts so there will obviously be, number wise, a lot of left voters in that bunch.

        • ghostrider888 6.1.1.1

          Like the way you think DH; always thought “trust” was a rather ironic definition.

        • weka 6.1.1.2

          “So your parents, and you I might add if you’re a beneficiary, are gaining a financial benefit from being permitted by the state to have a family trust. Don’t you think they should be paying for that privilege? Why should they get benefits that people without trusts don’t get? What makes them more special than other people?”

          I’m a beneficiary, but not until they die, so in that sense I am not that much better off than if I were simply a beneficiary of their will (except for how the trust protects their money). Do I think they are more special? No. They’re just lucky to be well off. Do I think someone is special because they are allowed to save for their retirement and I am not? No. Do I think some very rich people are special because ACC doesn’t asset test, so very rich people get the same entitlements as very poor people? No.

          But I think you are blind in this instance to assume that all use of trusts creates iniquity.

          “There’s no tax on assets so I don’t really see your intergenerational argument, those assets can still be transferred tax free. It’s the income from assets that are taxed and income isn’t intergenerational.”

          The way I understand it is that if either of my parents require long term hospital care, then the govt would seek reimbursement via asset testing (as I say below, the rules have changed off and on). If the govt takes that money from my parents, it in effect makes more dependent on the govt. I’d rather be a beneficiary of my family than the govt, mostly because of the bene bashing culture that now exists, but I think it is fair to say that my forbears have paid tax with the belief that the govt would look after us when we needed it. That contract has been broken.

          You can read my comment below (reply to Ssssmith) for more on how I view fairness.

          • DH 6.1.1.2.1

            “But I think you are blind in this instance to assume that all use of trusts creates iniquity.”

            I haven’t said or made that assumption. I merely observed that people who create trusts do so to gain an advantage for themselves, and that since trusts are enabled & permitted by Govt I think it reasonable that trust users should pay extra for the privilege.

            But this has wandered off a bit. The intention wasn’t to criticise trusts as such but to make the observation that they have become a vehicle of choice for those who avoid tax. They’re also used by those who wilfully evade their debts, like the bankrupts who live the life of Reilly off the trust leaving a trail of unpaid debts behind them. They’re used to hide ill-gotten gains. They’re used to hide the real security holder & ownership of limited liability companies.

            In short trusts are being abused & exploited by crooks & people with questionable ethics, to the extent that IMO they’re doing far more harm than good. To that end I mused that there was an opportunity to turn it into an advantage, ie use the situation to identify & trap all the abusers and then deal with them appropriately.

            Keep in mind that my comments are directed at the topic of the thread (tax cheats), and my proposition that we need to think smarter on the issue.

      • joe90 6.1.2

        Paying for the care you receive is asset stripping and asking other tax payers to pay for the care you receive is protecting intergenerational wealth…….. petty bourgeoisie..

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 6.1.3

        What a load of tripe.

        The government of any type has continually increased the amount of assets you can keep, including adding things such as ten grand for pre-paid funerals.

        You can keep more assets now than you ever have been able to.

        When you go into rest home care you pay your fees to the rest home. You don’t pay your fees to the state and nor does the state take your money.

        What you are saying is that you want the state to pay for your private rest home care.

        You could of course look after your parents like many used to but nope don’t want to sacrifice to do that.

        The state will lend you the money via a caveat on your house – to pay for your private care – in certain circumstances where you might not want to sell the house eg other family members living in it but generally I would say if you are in a rest home you no longer need your house do you. Can’t live in two places at once.

        Reality is you the family strip your parents of their assets by not looking after them and having them go into private care. Lets not pretend that when you hand over money to a private business that the state is somehow taking it.

        The rest home is taking it, the rest home is asking it, the rest home is taking it.

        Hope that’s clear enough. Don’t like the fees take it up with the rest home. It’s called private enterprise.

        Got the money to pay then pay.

        For fucks sake your parents deserve to have good care in their last days – let them have it. It’s their money not yours. They have worked all their lives keep them in the best care they can have.

        Any kids with any decency would be saying to mum and day it’s your money you keep it.

        Man in some people the right wing meme of stand on your own two feet disappears quickly in this area.

        The first step to deal with ripping off the state with trusts would be to have a register of all primary beneficiaries of trusts, plus any secondary beneficiaries who have disbursement a paid.

        Annual returns of all disbursements to be filed.

        • weka 6.1.3.1

          Wow, so many assumptions in one comment.

          Of course it’s not my money, it’s my parents’ (technically). THEY are the ones who want to be able to leave some for subsequent generations, and THEY consider the money/assets to belong to the family intergenerationally. You think it is THEIR money, they don’t. I personally assume that it has nothing to do with me, but if there is money left at the end of their lives then I will be very fortunate. I am aware however of how this will impact on me. The idea that money/assets can only be owned individually is a nasty modern one. I know that previous generations in my family placed a value on looking after each other. In the past they did that themselves, in the past few generations it’s been done with accrued wealth. Personally I’d be happier with the old system, but that ship has well and truly sailed.

          I, and they, weren’t talking about private rest home care. They are quite capable of selling the house they live in to pay for that if the time comes. Personally, I believe that they would be better off paying for care in their own home, but it’s not my decision.

          The asset stripping I was talking about was for hospitalisation as an elderly person. The rules have been bounced around alot in the last decade or so (including how much can be transferred and who long it has to be transferred before it is exempt from the govt), but there was a time when they felt the need to protect their assets from the govt.

          As someone with a now permanent disability I am not in any position to look after my parents.

          As someone who was born into the middle classes but is now 2 decades into life in the underclass, I appreciate the great difficulty in creating fairness here. But I do know that when the govt looked at asset stripping the elderly, it looked to me like impoverishing subsequent generations.

          You have to understand here also, that I am legally not allow to save for my ‘retirement’. There are also gross structural inequities in many places in different systems in NZ. For instance, were I on a decent salary when I became disabled, if my disability was the result of an ‘accident’ I would be in a far better position financially than I am now. People with long term disabilities related to health are treated appallingly. I may as well have been thrown on the scrap heap.

          I also know many people in my situation who don’t have well off families and so I can understand why my situation seems unfair compared to them. IMO the solution is to give them better state support, and let my family support me as it can now and when the time comes.

          So, having said all that, you can now fuck off with your ableist and classist assumptions about me and what I was commenting. Next time try checking out things you don’t know instead of making assumptions.

          • karol 6.1.3.1.1

            Also, on the idea that people are less likely to look after their elderly parents at home – in my family, one of my grandparents and some of my great grandparents didn’t make it to their 60s – some were in their 60s when they died. When my father died, he was younger than I am now.

            People are living longer, and more are in need of professional care in their final years.

            • weka 6.1.3.1.1.1

              It’s also true that end of life disability has increased. My great grandparent’s generation all seemed to have died of things like heart attacks but were otherwise relatively healthy when they died. Some of them even just died of old age. Now it can be expected that many people will have many years with increasing levels of disability, and the difficulties that creates for care.

          • Descendant Of Sssmith 6.1.3.1.2

            What is the state care you refer to?

            If your parents are hospitalised in a public hospital there is no charge (though after 13 weeks any super or benefits will be reduced), if they need residential care for health reasons before the age of 65 it’s not income or asset tested, and if they need residential care after 65 it is income and asset tested but provided by the private sector and various residential trusts.

            http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/life-stages/health-older-people/long-term-residential-care

            As far as I know the state no longer has long term geriatric wards where free care was provided.

            I’m always happy to be wrong but I can’t think of any public care for the elderly where you have to pay the state for your care.

            Also note while your comments generated my response the response was generic rather than aimed at specifically at you and I didn’t presume anything about your personal circumstances.

            and you did say “due to age/disability (likely). ” which doesn’t refer just to hospitalisation.

            The question of whether the state should provide long term geriatric care instead of subsidising such care by NGO’s and the private sector is a slightly different ball game as far as I am concerned and the trust issue is not relevant to that.

            You’ll note from the above link you have to be reasonably unwell to be eligible for any rest home care – there’s a medical assessment first and a income and asset assessment second.

            I’m not sure but maybe what you are saying is that once someone is unwell enough to require a level of care equal to hospitalisation then any income and asset testing should cease.

            Years ago I’m well aware that some hospitals had long term geriatric wards, as kids we used to visit them and keep the old people company, but as far as I know those in these wards had no means of support where they could have paid.

            If there are any situations where the state actually takes money to pay for care by the state I would be keen to hear about it. I genuinely can’t think of one that isn’t for non-residents.

            • weka 6.1.3.1.2.1

              “Also note while your comments generated my response the response was generic rather than aimed at specifically at you and I didn’t presume anything about your personal circumstances.”

              Perhaps you shouldn’t have used the word ‘you’ and ‘your’ so many times in your comment then. It looked pretty personally directed to me.

              I’m off to watch a movie, might try and pull out the relevant stuff tomorrow. All I know is that at the time they set up the trust, the govt was looking at asset testing. For a time the safety of a trust was removed I think, then put back with the five year proviso (if the money was in the trust for less than five years then the govt could still access it). I gave up following this some time ago for various reasons.

              WINZ also introduced scrutiny of trusts at that time, requiring them to be declared on forms.

              • weka

                And in case it makes the anti trust people feel better, if I inherit any money upon my parents’ deaths, WINZ will most likely take it off my benefit ie I will be expected to live off the inheritance until it is gone and then I can apply for entitlements again. Probably the only way around that would be to buy a house I intended to live in, or spend it really quickly. But like I say, mostly I just don’t think about it because it’s nothing to do with me unless it happens.

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  Another one of my bugbears – people conveying you have to have no assets to get a benefit. I have posted before about a union delegate who in the 80′s told people this with the result many. People spent all their redundancy needlessly.

                  Only what used to be called supplementary payments and emergency payments are asset tested.

                  The benefit whether it be unemployment, sickness, invalids, DPB is only income tested.

                  You can still get a benefit and have money in the bank. It’s the income off it that matters.

                  One of my neighbours just whittled away 20,000 + of his inheritance cause some one at WINZ told him he had to spend it after he was made redundant. Fortunately he spoke to me when his wife got sick and I was able to tell him it wasn’t true and he was able to go back and get it sorted out.

                  Please don’t perpetuate this notion that you have to have no money to get a benefit. You may not get as much if it is substantial but it’s the income tat matters.

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    I could probably have said something like people instead of you but that does seem much clumsier.

                  • weka

                    Again with the assumptions.

                    Most people I’ve known on long term SB or IB rely on supplementary benefits to survive. So yes, assets are an issue in the context I was talking about.

                    I can’t survive on the base benefit alone, so my statement stands. If I inherit cash assets, WINZ will take a chunk of my benefit off me, forcing me to live off the cash asset until it is gone. Then I will have to reapply. It’s an asset stripping policy that impoverishes many long term beneficiaries with disabilities.

                    The asset limits are something like $1,000 for TAS/SNGs and $8,000 for AS.

            • joe90 6.1.3.1.2.2

              We’ve just finished wrapping up our parents estates.

              Dad’s estate was able to retain $160K plus $10K in funeral expenses and another $10K for every year that he was in care – a total of $230K to be disbursed.

              The balance of his estate was paid to the state.

              Because mum was never in care her estate was able to disburse the entire amount.

    • Chris 6.2

      If you honestly believe that all honest people with trusts can unwind them without penalty you do not understand the tax rules around the disposal of property work.

      In addition your solution to the trust problem exposes the fact that you don’t understand how trusts are used to avoid tax. Putting a 40-50% tax on trusts does nothing as trusts are already taxed at the highest rate. The avoidance (not always avoidance but anyway) that people use is to pay out distributions to each beneficiary – thereby utilising the lower marginal tax rates they have. Putting the trust rate up to 40-50% does nothing to stop this and solely penalises the more honest people who actually leave income in the trusts (to be taxed at the highest tax rate).

      Honestly it seems a lot of people don’t understand how trusts work at all – they simply know they are used for tax ‘avoidance’ and that is about it

      • DH 6.2.1

        I’m hardly going to write new tax legislation in a few paragraphs Chris. The catches you speak of can be fixed by the same Govt that sets tax rates. The laws covering trusts were enacted by Govt, Govt can change them.

        • Chris 6.2.1.1

          I’m aware you are not going to write tax legislation in a few paragraphs but what you were talking about shows a complete misunderstanding of the issue.

          I agree government can change them but the way to fix this issue if they wanted is reasonably simple and can be done by taxing all income received from trusts at 33% (as is currently the case for minors).

          • DH 6.2.1.1.1

            “what you were talking about shows a complete misunderstanding of the issue. ”

            Er, no. You haven’t really understood what I said. My argument was that family trusts can be viewed as a net that’s conveniently caught a large proportion of the fish that need to be caught. They even swam in willingly, couldn’t resist the bait. The idea is to keep them in the net while tightening the noose. The tricky bit is figuring out how to release all the innocent people from the net while keeping the big fish in it. Where there’s a will there’s a way….

            • Matthew Whitehead 6.2.1.1.1.1

              If income from trusts is taxed at the maximum individual rate, then there’s no longer any point using them to shelter income from tax. (The point of using the trust as a shelter is to pay out income to family members under the maximum rate, or to launder money for political donations)

              Add to that that political donations from trusts can only be made if the trust keeps a list of all contribitors to the trust and agrees to make it public, and then they’d actually be an honest mechanism- and all of the “innocent people” with trusts are using them to keep money without the complications of having it in their own bank accounts, so they probably won’t mind a little extra tax applying.

        • tamati 6.2.1.2

          The laws covering trusts are actually some of the oldest common law and were developed during the Crusades. The government has obviously modified some of the rules around Trusts and have clamped down pretty hard out those using them fraudulently. A trust can be easily broken up by the courts, if it is thought to be used fraudulently.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 6.2.2

        The other thing of course is that the money is now the beneficiaries rather than the person who put the money in.

        The trustees have to look after the interests of the beneficiaries.

        If the beneficiaries are wider than the people putting the money in things can get a bit complicated as well – particularly if they are not co-operative in unwinding it.

        One of the reasons I get a bit tetchy about trusts is that I’ve seen quite a few parents and intellectually disabled dispossessed of their assets via trust mechanisms. Playing on the fears of the elderly that the state will take their money and having them set up completely unnecessary trusts just so the kids can have money has led to some horrible situations. You can’t escape the realisation that many of these trusts are simply the financial abuse of the elderly and the unwell.

        The lawyers and accountants get their fees though.

  7. Jasper 7

    Sentence – Daily Cost – Annual Cost
    Community Work – $7, – $2,484
    Supervision – $12, – $4,486
    Community Detention – $17, – $6,092
    Home Detention – $58, – $20,972
    Imprisonment – $249, – $91,000

    Blue-Collar versus White-Collar Offending
    Is benefit fraud similar to tax evasion?
    Benefit fraud is the act of receiving money from the state that one is not entitled to, whereas tax evasion is the act of not paying money to the state that one is obliged to. Both offences require deliberate planning and action. The victim in both cases is the same: the state, the taxpaying community, and society as a whole.
    Benefit fraud is also lower in financial terms than other fraud categories – averaging $67,000 per offender.
    One important difference remains: typically benefit fraud is committed by lower-income earners, whereas;
    Tax offences, particularly those that are prosecuted, differ with the degree of education, planning and deception required to commit these offences. Moreover, they are often undertaken by high-income earners.
    The range of tax fraud offending is within a range of $98,000 to $1,700,000.

    While there has been an overall trend away from custodial sentences, this does not appear to be visible in benefit fraud sentences. A majority of the benefit fraud offenders received a custodial sentence (60%).

    So Chester Burrows time to have a re-think of the current policy?? Send people to prison at an annual cost of $91,000 to the tax payer to recover/punish someone for $67,000 or less? Not rocket science.

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    ...
    Labour | 23-07
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    Mana | 23-07
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    Labour | 23-07
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    Labour | 22-07
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    Labour | 22-07
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    Labour | 21-07
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    Labour | 21-07
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    The Daily Blog | 28-07
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    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Shasha Ali – I am an indigenous person but I will never call ...
    Yesterday was indeed a politically hectic day in Aoteaora New Zealand, especially if you are an activist that cares about both human and non-human animal rights. Protest actions were organised to demand an end to factory farming from about noon, and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine or ‘Pro-Peace’?
    Latest protest for people of Gaza in Auckland In the past couple of weeks I have heard a lot of people say that they are neither Pro-Israel nor Pro-Palestine; they are pro-peace. This is a stand that I respect. Everyone...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
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