Clamping down on trusts

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 pm, June 7th, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: law, tax - Tags: ,

For a long time, I’ve struggled to understand the social value of trusts. Obviously, they’re useful for the people that have them but it seems that the value they get is nearly exclusively from preventing people making legitimate claims on their assets. Creditors, ex-partners, the government (and through it, the rest of us) end up not being able to get what they would otherwise be legally entitled to if the trust didn’t exist. They seem like artifices with little purpose beyond protecting people from having to pay their debts.

One of the most popular uses of trusts is to hide income for tax avoidance or evasion (depending on your point of view on its legitimacy). The Right’s ‘solution’ is to align the top tax rates so there is no tax advantage in putting income through a trust. Apart from being tax cuts for tax cheats and a path that virtually no other wealthy country has gone down, National hasn’t actually aligned the tax rates. The new rates will open just as large a gap between the top rate and the corporate rate as formerly existed between the top rate and the corporate rate.

As the Sunday Star Times explains, the rich can just use investment companies (owned by their trusts) to take advantage of the gap: “tax changes announced in the Budget will give the rich the 33% tax rate many have already granted themselves by using trusts to convert large swathes of their income into tax-free capital payments.”

Mucking around with tax rates isn’t a solution to the abuse of trusts and companies. The real solution has always been for the law to open its eyes to the abuse. So, I was happy to read about the IRD’s success in a recent court case against two surgeons.

Ian Penny and Gary Hooper cut “their salaries from above $650,000 and $302,000 a year to around $120,000 following the increase in the top personal tax rate to 39% on April 1, 2000.

Their families continued to derive substantial income above those figures through dividend distributions to family trusts from the companies both men established to employ themselves as top orthopaedic surgeons in Christchurch.

IRD claimed the change allowed both surgeons to exploit the difference between the 33% company tax rate and the 39% top personal tax rate, and both Penny and Hooper agreed in court that their new salaries were not commercially realistic.

Judges Tony Randerson and Grant Hammond found against the surgeons.

“I consider it is no coincidence that the restructuring of Mr Hooper’s practice occurred in 2000,” said Judge Randerson, while Judge Hammond described it as a “rather obvious, indeed blatant, strategem.”

The avoidance was “particularly marked in Mr Penny’s case where over $2 million in company profit was diverted via his family trust to himself in the form of unsecured, interest-free loans with no specified term for repayment.”

The court came up with a legally novel but pretty common sense concept of a ‘market salary’. As Justice Randerson held: “The difference here is that salaries were adopted at levels so far below ordinary commercial expectations that, in the absence of legitimate reasons for doing so, there is a strong implication of tax avoidance.”

In total, the court found the surgeons had avoided $168,000 of tax. That’s enough to pay a teacher or nurse for three years.

Thousands more very wealthy people have been ripping off working Kiwis for years. This decision will potentially result in many more similar rulings. It should stop the abuse of trusts and companies by rich people who are too greedy to pay their fair share and meet their legal obligations.

33 comments on “Clamping down on trusts”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    This is good to see. Not sure exactly what the consequences will be but I suspect that several thousand people are about to get a large tax bill back dated to when they set up their trusts.

  2. SHG 2

    Names and trusts.

    Rick Barker
    Barker Family Trust
    Upton Family Trust

    Brendon Burns
    BP and PL Burns Family Trust
    PL and BP Burns Family Trust

    Steve Chadwick
    Gonzo Family Trust

    Charles Chauvel
    Kittery Trust
    Pepperrell Trust
    Victory Trust

    Helen Clark
    Burke Trust
    FG Clark Family Trust

    Clayton Cosgrove
    Eagle Bay Family Trust
    September Trust (blind trust)

    David Cunliffe
    Bozzie Family Trust

    Kelvin Davis
    Davis Family Trust

    Parekura Horomia
    Panikau A2
    Mangatuna 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8
    Mangaheia 1B3Y and 2G1
    Tokomaru K4A and K4B1 trustee
    Tuatini Maori Township section 1 block vi lot 2
    Rosaleen Aorangi Smith Whanau Trust

    Raymond Huo
    Chesterfields Trust (family trust)

    Shane Jones
    Te Puna o Te Anaru Trust
    Castlerigg Trust

    Annette King
    King-Lind Family Trust

    Nanaia Mahuta
    Mahuta Whānau Trust

    Stuart Nash
    Nash Family Trust

    David Parker
    Karitane Trust
    Sue Wootton Family Trust
    FD Parker Children’s Trust
    Tarras Trust

    Lynne Pillay
    The Pillay Trust

    Mita Ririnui
    Ririnui-Calhoun Family Trust
    Te Aomihi Anne Ririnui-Horne Family Trust
    Riripiti Timi Waati Lands Trust
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust
    Ngati Awa Māori Trust Board
    Pukeroa Oruawhata Lands Trust

    Ross Robertson
    The Robertson Family Trust

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      The Court had found the creation of trusts was quite legitimate. And as the labour Mps arent funnelling there income through the trusts to lower their taxes in the manner of the surgeons, I dont see the point.
      Examining Keys affairs would probably find massive avoidance , at such point it would be turned around and run as a ‘labour smear’

  3. i find it a bit rich of shg pointing out labour trusts

  4. simon 4

    SHG

    the issue is not having a family trust, but rather are they being used to avoid paying tax on high incomes.

    so shg can you confirm that each of those individuals avoided paying the top tax rate on their primary income (like the surgeons) ?

    Or are you just not very bright ?

    • SHG 4.1

      shg can you confirm that each of those individuals avoided paying the top tax rate on their primary income (like the surgeons) ?

      Nope. Why don’t we have an enquiry and requires all MPs to detail their incomes and trust arrangements? I’m sure the Labour MPs will be right behind it, right Labour MPs?

      …Labour MPs?

      …Hey, where’d everyone go?

  5. that took you a long time, SHG, for something so transparent. Far more Nat MPs have trusts. And this decision doesn’t mean that all people with trusts are ripping off the tax man.

    I think that a lot of MPs put their assets in trusts in case they’re sued like Nick Smith. Do I think that’s a good thing? Probably not.

    • D14 5.1

      AND the mps income will be taxed at source at the appropriate rate. So there is no avoidance of tax as per the case quoted.

      • Marty G 5.1.1

        yeah. I seriously doubt Parliamentary Services lets MPs be employed as contractors with the money paid to their trusts.

    • Far more Nat MPs have trusts.

      That’s probably because there are far more National MP’s Marty 🙂

    • SHG 5.3

      that took you a long time, SHG

      Please, it took me about 30 seconds. Labour hypocrisy on the issue of trusts isn’t exactly a secret.

  6. vto 6

    This ‘rort’ only came about due to the rort that was Clark and Cullens 1999 envy income tax increase.

    • Marty G 6.1

      No it didn’t. That’s like saying speeding is the fault of car companies because cars can go faster than the speed limit.

      What happened to personal responsibility.

      How come nearly every country that is wealthier than us doesn’t have aligned tax rates and they don’t seem to have this problem?

      The rort was being allowed because the law was being blind to what everyone could see was happening. Now, it’s dropped the scales from its eyes.

      • vto 6.1.1

        Yes well it will be interesting to see if this goes to the Supreme Court. After all, trusts have been around for longer even than the NZ govt. It is the govts constantly changing rules and regs which are the problem.

        There is no problem in a business being owned by a trust. This is basic. And been about forever. The problem comes I guess in seeing ‘market’ wages as half-a-million plus. ffs, that is where you should be concentrating your energies. If anything, these surgeons are doing your own bidding marty by claiming that market wages are actually around 100k.

        Then there are the medical cartels. Surely a bigger rort. Like property investors claiming they buy properties for the income and not the capital gain. ha ha.

        • Marty G 6.1.1.1

          I don’t oppose high wages for surgeons. I wish there were more surgeons, which would bring the cost to more realistic levels. It’s the bludgers with shares, the CEOs, and the management class who take too much of the wealth at the expense of working Kiwis.

          But,on point, this concept of a market wage will be very interesting. IRD will have to start making determinations on what range is an acceptable market wage for various professions.

    • Don’t you love it how the right come up with simple slogans to justify their views on what can be very complex issues.

      Instead of “envy tax” what about “extra money so that the State can improve education standards and the company’s infrastructure”? I know that it does not have the same ring but it is more accurate.

      • vto 6.2.1

        Because mickeysavage, that is absolutely not how the envy tax increase came about.. The labout govt were satisfying a sector of their voting base who had just voted them in and who have / had a pathological envy / hatred / ‘just-not-fair’ attitude to the people who earned above 60k. Cullen always exemplified this. Anderton too.

        The envy tax increase was not necessary to raise ‘extra money’. Clark and Cullen knew there was ample money in the govts coffers and it was very clear at the time that these coffers would be swelling over the coming years. Income tax did not need to be raised.

        It was not about raising extra revenue it was about taking more off people earning over 60k because they were ‘rich’, in order to satisy an ugly sector their voting base. (believe it or not the left has ugly parts too you know)

        • Bright Red 6.2.1.1

          The 39% rate raised about half a billion a year. If it hadn’t existed either we would be in deeper debt now or there would have been worse public services.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.2

          No vto, it really was about raising the extra revenue which was needed to get our community functioning again. Unfortunately, we just voted in a psychopathic National government that will undo all that was being done with that extra revenue so that they and their rich mates can have more money in the bank while the rest of the country suffers.

  7. aj 7

    Envy?
    New Zealand is one of the OECD countries with the lowest tax burden on labour income. The average tax wedge (average income taxes plus employee and employer social security contributions minus cash transfers as a percentage of total labour costs) was below the OECD average for all households in 2009. The tax wedge is 18 percentage points below the OECD average for single taxpayers earning the average wage; only Mexico taxes single taxpayers with average earnings at even lower rates. Lone parents with 2 children at 67% of the average wage face a tax wedge which is even 33.4 percentage points below the OECD average; the tax wedge for these households is negative which means that the cash transfers they receive exceed the taxes they pay.

    http://www.oecd.org/document/29/0,3343,en_33873108_33873658_45147741_1_1_1_1,00.html

  8. kriswgtn 8

    I was under the impression brand Key was worth 43 Mill before he became king and now hes worth 50 Mill??

    Not bad for past 18 months if this is true-7 million diff

    If it is true I would be interested in hearing him explain how he has made 7 mill in past 18 months

    🙂 esp if he dont know what inside his blind trust

    • Bright Red 8.1

      No-one really knows what he’s worth. although he said he took big losses on his Merril Lynch shares, which is where most of his wealth was.

  9. Roger 9

    If right wing morons can call it envy tax, we should call it responsibility tax. By avoiding tax these surgeons are being irresponsible to society and themselves. They are shortchanging the health system so they have no right to complain about substandard equipment in their workplace. They are shortchanging the education system that ensures that their workmates will be properly trained so have no right to complain about muppets making mistakes. They are shortchanging the emergency services to have no right to call 111 if their place of work or residence is burgled or burnt down. There is no envy here, just a request for people to take responsibility for the functioning society that we enjoy.

  10. coolas 10

    My accountant advised on forming a family trust many years ago. My children are the beneficiaries and effectively own our family home, vehicles, and investments. I own nothing in my name.

    Income earned from my work is taxed as an individual, any surplus goes into the trust.

    The main reason for forming the trust, according to the accountant, was to have no personal wealth when the time comes for me to go into old age care, so the Govt pays the $30k+

    Last year the trust paid no tax although the income was over $50k. The ‘bean counter’ said this was because of ‘diminished value’ of investments.

    There must be many people like me whose work is unrelated to finance and rely on accountants to sort out the money. But it’s glaringly obvious that being able to employ a sharp accountant who reduces tax liability is iniquitous.

    ps. I would be happy to pay a higher rate of tax if it meant achieving a more harmonious and equitable society.

    • Alexandra 10.1

      The ability to avoid being asset tested if you go into a resthome or hospital is one of the reasons the not so wealthy are advised to set up a trust. Given that most people dont end up in one of those institutions, I think its around 12%. Losing control of your assets is a huge price to pay for the ..just in case senario. I do wonder about the wisdom of a trust in those circumstances and think the only one who benefits is the advisor . Personally I would sooner have the freedom to make my own financial decisionsm, including what I do with my assets.

    • Descendant Of Smith 10.2

      The establishment of trusts in this manner is simply designed to move the responsibilty for paying rest homes if you choose (or your family chooses for you) to go into rest home care from the individual to the state.

      Yet another example of the right saying that you should take care of yourself then expecting the state to do so while they keep their wealth.

      There are plenty of sad effects as a result of people being sucked into this approach however: A not so bad example.

      A freind of ours was convinced to do this by a lawyer as his wife had Alzheimers at a young age. She was never going to live until 65 – residential care is non asset tested until 65 – and didn’t. As a result he now has the family property in a trust, has few cash assets as the last few thousand he had went to establish the trust and a legal obligation to look after the interests of the benenficiaries of the trust that now include his children. He can’t simply up and sell as he could before he was deprived of his asset – nor does he have the money to dis-establish the trust even if he could get the agreement of his kids.

      He’s a few thousand dollars out for no real gain. Only happy person is his lawyer – and possibly the kids who now effecitvely have a share of dad’s home.

      Don’t necessarily expect to get the same care as a state funded rest home client either – my wife’s family experienced the move from fee paying to state funded after spending several hundred thousand in residential fees. As her money ran out she was moved from her own room to a room with other people – different funding different service. She was dead shortly thereafter.

      In Australia this was always referred to as the cockroach syndrome. Once you became state funded you got moved to the room with the cockroaches.

      If you didn’t work hard all your life so you could have decent care in your old age what the hell did you work for?

      Remember right wingers (whingers) your kids do not need your money cause all they have to do is get off their bums and work hard. You don’t need to let them inherit a cent cause they can all be self made millionaires – I mean they’ve got your genes haven’t they. You can therefore spend all your money on the best care you can get.

      And remember too the state doesn’t take your money – the private enterprise free market rest home does.

  11. prism 11

    Reality rules and it says that if we had to run the country on the revenue from the tax level of poorer people then we couldn’t have the standard of resources and infrastructure that we have.

    The tax rate for the wealthy has come down sharply in recent decades and stats show their incomes have followed a nice upward curve that is in contrast to the lower income earners. Unhappily many wealthy people are so far from the experience of living comfortably on an average salary, that they freak out into ‘miser mode’, a bit like Howard Hughes.

    If the surgeons are doing a good job, they are worth high money, it’s hard work. They are paid well, live well, and can make decisions to take their families to Hawaii for a holiday where apparently the elite go. Nice. Yet the desire to accumulate exponentially can mean they don’t want to contribute to the system that provides the place and currency for the use of their skills. Trusts are useful to guard and control assets etc. but why should the wealthy avoid tax and governments allow this (yet have huge marginal tax on every earning initiative that beneficiaries make).

    I did a Development paper which looked at Mao’s reasoning and his achievements in China. He was hard on medical people at the high end, and spent money instead bringing field medical workers to all and ubiquitous treatment units.

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    Envy tax what a joke I dont envy anyone, what I do dislike is bludgers, the worse type are rich bludgers. These people are takers they think its their right to have a luxury life style and the rest of society is in existence to fund them they fleece Mum and Dad investors and when it all fails they still have their homes cars and overseas holidays.
    Now I am not talking about kiwi small business people who are battling away in their own business with a few employees, I am talking about ticket clippers like Key.
    They have never built a business in their life let along worked the business, my dislike for them is not based on envy its based on the fact that what they do is morally wrong, they don’t pay their own way, they don’t help build our Nation.
    People who have their own business ,employ others deserve a medal as far as I am concerned and I dont care what money the make good on them as long as they also pay their taxes its all good.

    Rich Bludgers on the other hand make me sick

  13. ieuan 13

    It surprises me that the IRD had to even fight this in the courts, it seems that in this case that it is very clear that the setting up of the trust was simply to avoid taxes.

    Marty you would have to admit that the best way to eliminate the trust tax rout is to align the tax rates for trusts and other income.

  14. Herodotus 14

    I agree with Gareth Morgan in this article regarding the front to increase of personnel tax to 39% and as GM states it was all about perception and not on reality. Lets just put the knife in and twist it into the workers back by the so called protectors of the workers, the nurses, police teachers that cannot use tax limiting vehicles to hide behind yet they can pay the 39% marginal tax rate and like Maori will vote for us no matter what. Hopefully Lab will have learnt their lesson Not to take their voter base for granted.
    With so much discussion about tax and the various vehicles to hide behind perhaps we will get a real discussion and action points from what has been a previously passive Labour party and the Greens.
    p.s. It good to be back !!!(Early haha) IPrent!!
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10648752

    • vto 14.1

      Completely agree heredotus. Helen Clark knew when the rate was raised to 39% that it would affect her salary and wage earner voters only. Slammed the salaried and waged she did. She knew that business people and truly rich would get around it. She knew that. Doesn’t make her a very person, on this issue, does it.

  15. vto 15

    You know Marty, there is a major flaw in this IRD case against the surgeons whose companies earned circa 500k while they paid themselves only 100k.

    Any money in excess of 100k that was used for their personal benefit by the company or trust is deemed income / dividend and becomes taxable at the personal rate not the company rate. For example, company car, cellphone, conferences (holidays of course), etc. And who paid the kids school fees? Insurances? Petrol, etc etc etc.

    Methinks there was another way the IRD could have attacked this structure. The rules were already there to ensure all personal income (whether via trust or company) was taxed at the personal rate… Unless the surgeons and their families really did live on 100k. But if they lived in Fendalton in a big mansion and drove late model euros then they would not have….
    (all provided my tax understanding is correct….)

    I see that the IRD is now going after Kruckzeiner for living on company loans rather than income. Same logic being applied by IRD.

    where will it all end?

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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
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    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • More disappointment
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
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    7 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
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    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    7 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
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    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
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    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
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    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
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    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
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    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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