Greens will finally close property speculators’ tax loophole

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, August 22nd, 2017 - 71 comments
Categories: capital gains, Economy, greens, tax - Tags:

The Green Party in government will end the tax advantages property speculators currently enjoy under National by implementing a comprehensive tax on capital gains, the Green Party said today.

The Green Party is the only political party to have consistently called for a comprehensive capital gains tax (excluding the family home) for more than 15 years. The IMF, OECD, and the Government’s own Savings Working Group have called for a tax on capital gains. National’s 2009 Tax Working Group found that the inconsistent taxation of capital in New Zealand breached all the principles of a good taxation system and significantly distorted investment decision across the entire economy.

“A comprehensive capital gains tax just makes sense and it’s time to just get on with it,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“We’re facing a housing and a climate crisis so a capital gains tax and a proper price on carbon are two measures we want to see addressed in a first term of a new government.

“New Zealand is one of the only countries in the developed world to not tax capital gains consistently, which has helped to fuel growing inequality between those who don’t own a home and those who now own ten.

“A capital gains tax will make houses more affordable for young buyers who are currently priced out of the market, while property speculators will lose the current tax advantages of investing in and sitting on property.

“A comprehensive capital gains tax would also benefit the economy by shifting capital out of property speculation and into productive enterprise, creating more jobs and lowering the cost of borrowing for business.

“Exporters would gain from a capital gains tax as it would help take the pressure off our overvalued currency – driven higher from highly leveraged borrowing in the housing market.

“Taxing capital gains more fairly is one of the most economically transformative initiatives we could take, and delivering a fair and workable new capital gains tax will be one of our priorities in government,” said Mr Shaw.

Green Party policy principles for a capital gains tax:

  • inflation adjusted
  • realisation-based
  • applies to assets sold in New Zealand
  • includes a blanket exemption for the family home
  • treats capital gains as income for tax rate purposes

71 comments on “Greens will finally close property speculators’ tax loophole”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Very good to call time on a loophole for property speculators. Is there any reason, other than potential loss of votes, for exempting the “family home”?

    I own no property, but my little nest egg of savings has the interest taxed consistently. this seems unfair if family homes are exempt from taxes.

    • weka 1.1

      I’m in two minds about it. I’d prefer if homes were homes not financial investments, and if a CGT were applied to the family home then that entrenches the investment ethic further and makes it harder to roll back culturally.

      But I also get what you are saying about fairness. Probably too hard for them to touch.

      Do you know what different CGTs do overseas in regards to the family home?

      • Andre 1.1.1

        The US applies a CGT to family homes, but with various exemptions that have changed over time.

        These exemptions have included things like allowing a taxpayer to get a CGT-free sale of a home once in their lifetime (leading to “tainted spouse” weirdness, google it if you’re interested), and at other times exempting the first $X of capital gains from a family home.

        Based on my experience with US CGT on family homes, my preference is for CGT to apply to everything, and the only concession family homes should have is a rollover provision to defer CGT when moving home.

        indiana below is correct that CGT won’t stop bubbles and won’t do much to reduce inequality. My argument for CGT is the fairness argument that those that benefit from capital gains should contribute some of it back to maintaining the society that made those gains possible.

        • weka

          yeah, that makes sense, keep it simple and apply across the board.

          “and the only concession family homes should have is a rollover provision to defer CGT when moving home.”

          What does that mean?

          I assumed that a CGT might slow down some turnover of housing as investment, but that it was one tool of many needed to address the housing crisis. But I agree the fairness issue is important.

          • Carolyn_nth

            I think the rollover means, when selling and buying elsewhere, people do not pay CGT. It’s rolled over to the new property. Therefore, they must only pay CGT when they finally sell up.


            Primary residence

            The law[51] lets an individual exclude from gross income up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple filing jointly) of capital gains on the sale of real property if the owner used it as primary residence for two of the five years before the date of sale. The two years of residency do not have to be continuous. An individual may meet the ownership and use tests during different 2-year periods. A taxpayer can move and claim the primary-residence exclusion every two years if living in an area where home prices are rising rapidly.

            The tests may be waived for military service, disability, partial residence, unforeseen events, and other reasons. Moving to shorten one’s commute to a new job is not an unforeseen event.[52] Bankruptcy of an employer that induces a move to a different city is likely an unforeseen event, but the exclusion will be pro-rated if one has stayed in the home less than two years.[53]

            The amount of this exclusion is not increased for home ownership beyond five years.[54] One is not able to deduct a loss on the sale of one’s home.

          • Andre

            Say your first home was purchased for $250k, and you immediately do a capital improvement renovation worth $50k. It’s now some time later and you want to move to a new place, You sell your current home for $500k and buy the new house for $750k.

            With a straight across the board CGT with no concessions, you would be liable to pay CGT on $200k of capital gain ($500k sales price less cost basis of $250k initial cost plus $50k capital improvement). So you have to take out a bigger mortgage in your new place because of the tax bill, but the cost basis of the new place is $750k.

            With a rollover provision, no tax is due now because you’ve rolled the capital gain over into a new property, your mortgage is smaller, but the cost basis of your new house is $550k, being the $300k you’ve rolled over from your original house plus the extra $250k you’ve paid for the new place.

            Now you sell up completely, say because you’re moving overseas (or you kark it and your estate sells), and you get $850k for the house. In the straight CGT scenario you pay CGT on a capital gain of $100k, being the $850k sales price less the $750k cost basis. In the rollover scenario, you now pay CGT on $300k in capital gain, being $850k sales price less the $550k cost basis of the original house rolled over plus the extra paid for the new place.

            Either way the capital gain tax paid adds up to the same amount, it’s just with a rollover it’s deferred until some sort of final reckoning.

        • Paul Campbell

          The US applies income tax to all income … There a CGT is a lower tax rate applied to capital gains held for a long time.

          The family home is exempt, the rules keep changing, it used to be that there is no tax if you buy a more expensive home within a maximum time, and a one time tax holiday when you sell the house as you retire, now it’s more complex, something like $500k every 5 years

      • Carolyn_nth 1.1.2

        From what I can see on the wikipedia page, most countries exempt the primary residence from capital gains tax. Some have a restriction that this residence is exempt from CGT after a certain number of years residence at the property.

    • Bill 1.2

      Isn’t TOP policy an ‘elastic’ tax on the increase in value of all houses, inclusive of ‘family homes’, to be phased in over a period that would allow those poorer home owners, who would lose out in terms of a rates rebate balancing their tax obligation, time to move home?

      • weka 1.2.1

        I thought TOP wanted tax to be assessed per annum whereas a CGT is assessed only on sale.

        A policy that pushes people to sell and move because they can’t afford annual tax on their home is bad for at least 2 reasons I can think of. One is that it undermines that the building and land that one lives on is a home in the deeper sense. The other is that it disrupts communities. Hmm, another is that it further pushes poorer people to move out of areas that are gentrifying.

        • Bill

          From memory, the rates rebate most people would receive nullified the tax they’d be due for.

          • weka

            You mean they cancel each other out?

            Hmm, with the theory being that the rates accurately reflect the tax due?

            • Bill

              Yeah. Nah.But iike I said, it was only from memory.


              Shifting tax from income to wealth. Lots of checks and balances and subtleties to smooth the transition and ensure measures of equity.

              And even if you despise TOPs, there’s no denying some good ideas and intentions are in the mix.

      • alwyn 1.2.2

        The TOP policy isn’t a CGT at all.
        You will still pay the levy even if the value of your house was decreasing.
        Its closest equivalent is the FIF income you are deemed to make on some overseas investments.

    • KJT 1.3

      I prefer the “family home” to be included in a CGT. For the obvious reason that the wealthy, and their accountants, will drive a bus through any exemptions.

      Every spoilt brat will own a “family home”,

      A better way of exempting it is to allow an exempt sum for capital gains. Say $250k before it is taxed.

      That the usual suspects will find ways of avoiding it is not a reason not to have one.
      We still have income tax despite half of the richest in New Zealand avoiding it.
      Many of New Zealand’s wealthiest individuals pay tax on less than 70k of income. According to IRD.

      The reason for capital gains tax is both fairness, (Someone who earns 100k a year by hard work should not be taxed more than someone whose house price rises by 100k without any effort on their part), and to broaden the tax base.

  2. Tamati 2

    A “comprehensive” capital gains tax excluding the most widely held asset in the country.

  3. indiana 3

    “New Zealand is one of the only countries in the developed world to not tax capital gains consistently, which has helped to fuel growing inequality between those who don’t own a home and those who now own ten.”

    Australia has had a CGT for a significant number of years, yet inequality there is at least equivalent if not greater than NZ.

    The bright line test of 2 years has made it easier for the IRD to identify property speculators and tax accordingly on the gains they make. Extending the bright line test to 5 years makes sense to give the IRD a larger net to capture the speculators. A CGT will not change how property speculators behave – you can’t tax them out of wanting to build their portfolio – it hasn’t worked in Australia.

    • Warren Doney 3.1

      “Australia has had a CGT for a significant number of years, yet inequality there is at least equivalent if not greater than NZ.”

      Then we could achieve lower inequality than Australia if we implement CGT. Win!

      • indiana 3.1.1

        Reducing inequality does not make everyone richer, it make everyone poorer and disincentives them to achieve greater wealth. The couple in the article are example of people wanting to increase their wealth and be willing to pay the taxes associated with it, least of all the stress of being in phase of high debt. People who are not inclined to increase their wealth will be the ones who skew the inequality gap. But don’t worry just expect the government to give them money raised from taxing others to help reduce that gap. Win!

        • McFlock


          If being “inclined” to increase one’s wealth made it happen, there’d be no inequality because we’d all be rich to the limit of dreams of avarice.

          • indiana

            Not sure If I am reading your response correctly, but I’m inclined to think you fit into the group of New Zealanders who have no desire to increase their wealth. If you don’t believe you can grow your wealth, you never will.

            • McFlock

              I would like to increase the wealth of the nation and of people in hardship, but that’s not the same as my own wealth.

              I’m pretty comfortable where I am. Funnily enough, it just worked out that way – I never desired it or planned it out. Just luck.

              But then, on the flipside, some of those who are “inclined” to increase their wealth fail, and end up more poor than they were before.

              Inclination has fuckall to do with it. Most of it’s luck.

              • AB

                There’s also the problem of those who are ‘inclined’ to increase their wealth by means that beggar their neighbours e.g. creating bubbles by piling into residential property and turning their neighbours into lifelong renters or debt-serfs

        • Carolyn_nth

          HAhahaha. You are using an example, of a couple chalking up massive debt, by buying more and more properties as investment. With very little effort from these two, they are aiming to profit from private banks creating money via debt, thereby majorly contributing to the housing inflation bubble.

          Meanwhile hard working Aussies are having to pay the increasing amounts for entering the housing market or for rent.

          Man, what a joke!

          • indiana

            So is the idea of a CGT working in Australia to help reduce inequality that the Greens are pushing?

            • Carolyn_nth

              A CGT would most likely reduce inequality, especially housing inequality to some extent. Earlier this year, NZ’s housing market was judged to be the most over-inflated in 10 OEDC countries:

              Goldman compares house-price levels across economies using three standard metrics: the ratio of house prices to rent, the ratio of house prices to household income and house prices adjusted for inflation.

              “Using an average of these measures, house prices in New Zealand appear the most over-valued, followed by Canada, Sweden, Australia and Norway,” it said. “According to the model, the probability of a housing bust over the next five to eight quarters is the highest in Sweden and New Zealand at 35 to 40 percent.”

              While Sweden’s risk, according to Goldman, is just above 35 per cent. The risk of a bust in Australia is about 25 per cent.

              • Andre

                I really wouldn’t expect a CGT to do much for inequality.

                California is one of the few states to levy a state capital gains tax as well as the federal CGT (and the California CGT is at a particularly high rate), and California also has high inequality by US standards.

                My support of CGT comes from the fairness argument, that fairness requires that those who benefit from capital gains share some of those gains back to maintaining the society that made those gains possible.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              What are the Greens pushing? It’s hard to tell from that mess of a sentence.

              Whatever it is, I doubt it comes from any kind of sensible analysis of their policies.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Reducing inequality does not make everyone richer, it make everyone poorer

          Rubbish. Unmitigated, complete, farcical gibberish. Completely divorced from reality. Refuted by too many examples to mention.

          Let’s see: if this is true, it mean that eg: the states with the lowest inequality in the USA would also have the lowest net worth and productivity.

          I’ll leave it up to readers to check if there is any correlation whatsoever between these variables.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Reducing inequality does not make everyone richer, it make everyone poorer and disincentives them to achieve greater wealth.


          A few people would be poorer but it won’t really affect them. Many people would actually be richer.

          The average would stay the same with the median rising.

          But don’t worry just expect the government to give them money raised from taxing others to help reduce that gap. Win!

          Much better to ensure that a few people don’t become overly rich in the first place as we cannot afford the rich.

        • KJT

          Well No! The”trickle down theory” was proven wrong some time ago. Increasing inequality in New Zealand has made the majority poorer and a few much richer. Whereas, when we were more equal we had one of the highest standards of living in the world.

    • Macro 3.2

      Australia’s inequality is due to their doing very little to enhance the wellbeing of their indigenous people. These poor folk who are forced to the very extremities of society, constitute the large percentage of homeless and dispossessed.

      • indiana 3.2.1

        What does that have to do with the Greens CGT proposal?

        • McFlock

          It means that your raising of the Australian CGT and inequality compared to NZ is irrelevant to NZ CGT proposals. Thanks for playing.

        • Macro

          What does your initial comment have to do with the Green’s proposal? If you fail to understand the reason for a massive inequality gap across the Tasman – but then blindly assert that their CGT has had no effect on inequality. There are in effect two societies in Australia – those who can buy and live in houses outside the indigenous settlements and those who cannot. But inequality is measured across the whole nation.

  4. Jeremy 4

    I wonder if it will also apply to shares (both foreign and domestic) and dividends and replace the current regimes for both?

    I think having a uniform system and rate for all investments will lead to more rational decisions.

    • I think having a uniform system and rate for all investments will lead to more rational decisions.

      That’s how the market is supposed to work. This having different rates for different things disrupts the supposed efficiency available from the market. Having no tax on one aspect of the market is a major disruption.

  5. savenz 5

    Personally against a capital gains tax as those who are the wealthiest can structure their affairs to avoid it just like many of the multimillion dollars companies do not have to pay any taxes as they earn billions and ‘apparently’ lose all their profits.

    Also 50% of the super rich are not on the high tax rate. With the increase in family trusts and overseas owners a capital gains tax is just another unfair tax that rich don’t have to pay but honest and disorganised people do.

    Would be interested in a small stamp duty of 1% on housing though. Most owners already pay 2- 4% of their property value in agents fees – and nobody is crying poor. That way no if’s or buts, or questions about taxation status, its just straight away, cash to the government to pay for hospitals and schools. (hopefully). Will make a crap load more taxes than this capital gains ideas that those that don’t really understand property and don’t own one, what is going on that think might work.

    Capital gains taxes only effect if you sell and ‘make a gain less all the many ways not to make a gain’. This means a capital gains tax can mean billionaires can go around buying up NZ property and not sell them, no taxes. However with a stamp duty, money to the government as soon as they buy them and on the wealth of the purchase, those with 50 million to spend pay more those on $250k pay significantly less. If the Greens were more serious about raising taxes they would be advocating a stamp duty.

    Also feel that the biggest money is made by banks and various paper money schemes. Would prefer to see a micro transaction tax on everyone who does any business here.

    We are in the 21st century it is a shame that many seem trapped in 20th century ideas on taxation – because that is what is fuelling inequality.

    Look at the UK and practically every other country with a capital gains tax. Does nothing to stop escalating prices so it’s about time Greens wake up about it and stop losing votes because people can already structure their affairs to pay less taxes so they are not going to stop with a capital gains tax. It’s just a negative policy that is not very practical when there are other policies that are much more workable for today’s times.

    In NZ, you can effectively put all your assets in family trusts and cry poor at every opportunity. In fact now it’s now considered shockingly bad planning, if you don’t do it.

    • indiana 5.1

      Trust laws with regard to how tax reduction gains can be achieved have been changed significantly over the past 5 years. Accountants will tell you there no benefit to having a family trust, if you want to reduce your taxable income.

      • Siobhan 5.1.1

        “Tax avoidance is not advisable or workable as the sole reason to set up a trust. However, often, an incidental result of a trust owning income earning assets is better tax efficiency for the family as a whole.”

        In other words, Tax efficiency…an efficiency not available to the prols.

        “This could be subject to attack by the general anti-avoidance provisions in the Income Tax Act but the method is commonly used.”

        In other words, being taxed is an ‘attack’.

        I could go on, but you get the idea, family trusts are ‘handy’.

    • It is a fair point that the mega rich will avoid this one by mitigating their structures and affairs as they do now and that only the honest idiots will end up paying much. Yet it is something surely and a start. Unless we destroy the mega rich they will always avoid everything so In some ways they are outside any normal consideraton.

      • savenz 5.2.1

        My point is mega rich can’t avoid a stamp duty so why not start with that if you are serious about a property tax, rather than going with the tax that the mega rich can avoid.

        A stamp duty can’t be avoided by those who leave the country.

        Or by money launderers.

        Or by anybody.

    • Personally against a capital gains tax as those who are the wealthiest can structure their affairs to avoid it just like many of the multimillion dollars companies do not have to pay any taxes as they earn billions and ‘apparently’ lose all their profits.

      That’s not an argument against a CGT but an argument for closing the loopholes that rich fraudsters are using to steal from the rest of us.

      Look at the UK and practically every other country with a capital gains tax. Does nothing to stop escalating prices

      True but that too is not an argument against a CGT but an argument to stop the private banks creating money.

      In NZ, you can effectively put all your assets in family trusts and cry poor at every opportunity. In fact now it’s now considered shockingly bad planning, if you don’t do it.

      And that is an argument to ban trusts so that they can’t be used for tax avoidance.

      • mikesh 5.3.1

        The Income Tax Act already has a provision which would prevent a trust being used for tax avoidance. The difficulty lies in proving that that is what it is being used for. One wouldn’t want to ban trusts altogether though; they do have their uses. The trick would be to refuse recognition of trusts that do not have a legitimate purpose. For example I would regard a trust set up to support one’s children as illegitimate as I would expect parents to support their children themselves rather than pass that responsibly over to a trust. If one feels it necessary to provide for the support of one’s children after one’s death a trust could be set up in one’s will.


    “a proper price on carbon ” James????

    The carbon price must be a LARGE ONE HERE!!!!

    Not a small increase from the current ridiculous price it has sunk to now.!!!!!!!

    Carbon pricing now is a joke,

    National are using cheap phony Ukraine credits to keep building “Roads of Diminishing Returns” Patrick Reynold of “Greater Auckland Transport” calls National’s “Roads of National Significance” .

    We see these National fools are pushing for yet more roads for truck freight around our country !!!!

    So a hefty increased price on Carbon UPWARDS TO $200 US IS SUGGESTED NOW will persuade the freight back to environmentally friendly low carbon rail right???

    Indicative Carbon Prices- NZUs
    21-Aug-2017 NZUs- $17.95

    Some 40 countries and more than 20 cities, states and provinces already use carbon pricing mechanisms, with more planning to implement them in the future.


    Our Environment Centre has received more than 2000 letters and petitions from residents from Napier to Gisborne fed up with 24/7 heavy truck traffic waking them all hours and poisoning the air with diesel smells.

    People complain of overwhelming exhaust smells and heavy soot covering their homes since the rail service stopped three years ago.

    Our centre believes the environmental impacts being felt must be taken into account when considering the saving of the Gisborne/Napier rail. It is vital for the public health and well-being of our communities and future generations to retain the rail link.

    How safe is the air that we breathe?

    The two pollutants which give most cause for concern are the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM2.5). Earlier this year, the UK’s highest court ruled the Government must take action to cut NO2 pollution.

    The UK has been in breach of EU limits for nitrogen dioxide so it (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) published a consultation on draft plans to improve air quality.

    This problem is now occurring in our cities and towns along heavy freight truck routes and rail is recognised as the answer for movement of freight and passengers.

    Governments knew this 16 years ago when they conducted a study of rail versus road freight emissions, so why has the treasury advised we close all regional rail in New Zealand?

    Evidence: the New Zealand Government in 1999 produced an “Impacts of Rail Transport on Local Air Quality” report.
    Related articles:

    The MoT Fuels and Energy Management group report shows how fuel-efficient and low-pollution rail transport really is. # 363.73926 RAI # 4037.

    The report confirmed that rail freight per tonne per kilometre travelled had extremely low NOx levels compared with trucking’s freight per tonne per km higher levels (four times) of all harmful pollution emissions.

    Quote from page 34 of “Impacts of Rail Transport on Local Air Quality” report: 5.5: Locomotive Emissions; Opportunities for Reduction.

    “Based on these inventory results, there does not appear to be a specific need to target the emissions from the rail sector in managing local air quality.

    The only emission of any significance from locomotives is of NOx but the output relative to other combustion sources is still minimal in terms of total activity measures.”

    Why the Government needs to support rail for public urban residential health & safety:

    -Evidence of much higher diesel air emissions emerging, thanks to the Volkswagen diesel scandal.

    -Doubts are emerging about our urban air quality, public health and safety and emissions of truck freight 24/7 through our urban residential zones as New Zealand has set no standards.

    -Since the VW diesel scandal, similar diesel truck emissions cheating was uncovered.

    -No safeguards for communities near truck routes.

    -We need the protection of public health agencies along with MoT oversight.

    Government, please heed our call for the reinstatement of provincial rail services, to protect the health and well-being of all our regional communities, as overseas governments are doing.

  7. John Stone 7

    Capital Gains Tax will help speculators and developers as they pay tax already as its their only income. It will hit those that buy – do – up etc and sell on the side – note (they get an unfair advantage over someone who is deemed a speculator,developer). Problem with leaving out the family home is how long do they live in it before its the family home (plenty of young couples buying doing up and flicking for a bigger better suburb etc)? Carolyn nth made the original point to leave out the family home is not fair to savers.

  8. Ad 8

    The Greens have just lost two key staffers:

    This ain’t pretty.

    Tory Whanau has been appointed acting chief of staff. Awesome name.

    • Right-wing MSM creating a crisis where there isn’t one in their ongoing attempts to undermine the Greens. It’s not as if they’re leaving because of some grievance and someone else will step up.

    • CoroDale 8.2

      Really looks like stream-lining for internal harmony. Positive changes.

      Hands being tied by internal blocking in economic policy development. Eyes on Barry (oh, look and me, I’ve got a degree in economics) sorry, no pressure 😉 Normal in the neo-liberal construct of democracy.

      Compared to the policy catastropies of Labour (say nothing of Narcissistic National) the Greens still look like a serious least bad option from the top three parties, even on economics!

      The potential problem is that Green policy aims to not increase foreign lending. Well shit like this needs to be cut out quick at Caurcus level during post election negotiations. Can’t sit on hands while waiting two years for Commission reports to return regarding Social Credit. The next govt will be holding some very hot potatoes.

      These changes within the Greens should be assumed positive.

    • KJT 8.3

      Another Ad, and media beat up.

      • CLEANGREEN 8.3.1

        Greens new three policies this election are;

        1 Climate change.
        2/cleaning up our rivers.
        3/ end child poverty.

        NO NO NO James you bloody forgot the “environment’ what a clanger.

        Who instructs these dickheads?

        First a bad environment is the cause of climate change!!!!!!

        Health of all living creatures ;

        Since we are defined as part of the ‘environment’ The Green Party has left us humans and all other species out of the picture?

        They had better clean up that silly mistake.

        • weka

          Those three policies aren’t new, the Greens have been working on all three for a long time.

          They haven’t stopped working on the environment. Here are their main policies for the election.

          And their overall Environment policy,

          If you want to see what they work on most weeks of the year, follow their blog and news pages, their twitter and FB accounts, and what they do in parliament. The environment is core to it all.

          btw, it’s not down to Shaw. The Party develops policy and direction. That’s the caucus of which Shaw is a part, the exec positions, various committees and the members. Which isn’t to say the co-leaders don’t lead, but just that they’re part of a much bigger picture in terms of what the focus is.

        • In Vino

          Surely Climate Change = the Environment?

    • esoteric pineapples 8.4

      Interesting CV for one of them. There in lies the problem methinks.

      “Morris-Travers was appointed chief of staff in May last year. She was an MP from 1996 to 1999, first with NZ First and then as an independent. She was a minister in the National Party-NZ First coalition.”

      • CLEANGREEN 8.4.1

        Brilliant stuff that esoteric pineapples,

        Now we know for sure that the green party have been infiltrated by National it seems.

        Bloody hell is that why the current lot I bump into are a belligerent lot?????

      • mary_a 8.4.2

        @ esoteric pineapples (8.4) … Just read about it in NZH.

        A former Natz/NZF MP working in the Greens? Bit suspect, considering recent issues affecting the party! An attempt to destroy the Greens from within perhaps, taking out the left bloc?

        I don’t understand why someone with such obviously Tory leanings, would be employed as a staffer in the Green party in the first place.

        Please excuse my ignorance here. I’m not wanting to cause offence, but one “Tory Whanau” stepping up as acting Chief of Staff for the Greens? Really? Is this for real, or is someone taking the piss?

        • Carolyn_nth

          She’s actually just stepped down:

          The resignation of communications specialist Joss Debreceny follows the departure of the party’s chief of staff Deborah Morris-Travers, although she will keep working for the Greens on a special anti-poverty project.

          Morris-Travers was appointed chief of staff in May last year. She was an MP from 1996 to 1999, first with NZ First and then as an independent. She was a minister in the National Party-NZ First coalition.

          Debreceny was also appointed in May last year, having previously worked in communications in both the public and private sector.

          Edit: Oh. LOL. Tory Whanau is actually her name, and she is stepping up to acting chief of staff.

          But, in practice, she’s not the kind of Nat tory family that Morris-Travers came from.

          Tory Whanua was working for the Plunket before working for the Greens

        • weka

          Tory Whanau has been working for the Greens for a while, she’s not new.

          Morris-Travers was a NZF MP 20 years ago. I’d be more interested in where she is at now.

          • In Vino

            My neighbour’s daughter’s name is ‘Tory’.
            Nothing political, just an abbreviation of ‘Victoria’, as ‘Vicky’ is.
            Since it is a highly emotive term here, I thought I should mention this in case there are a few here who are not aware.

          • Carolyn_nth

            RNZ news is reporting that they understand the stand downs were due to a review of the kind of advice Turei was getting before she resigned.

            • weka

              was that on Checkpoint?

              It doesn’t strike me as a crisis, it seems normal to me that there would be some changes given what the Party has just been through.

  9. Peter 9

    So would the proposed CGT also apply to Motels? (they rent out accommodation) Farms? Businesses (think TradeMe, The Warehouse, Orcon – all sold to make their founders many untaxed millions), that old picture that you picked up at a flea market for a couple of dollars and later found to be an untraced Goldie?

    Or will it just apply to residential rental property and nothing else?

  10. mikesh 10

    I suspect the naughty speculators will be laughing all the way to the bank, with 85% of their “ill-gotten gains”.

    Actually tax is already being paid on capital gain. The purchaser of a property pays for the capital gain from his tax paid income. The property being sold is still the same property that the seller bought at an earlier date so nothing has been created to underpin any additional income. Therefore, if a capital gains tax is applied, the same slice of income is being taxed twice.

    The real problem with a capital gains tax, though, is that it is an example of the operation of Gresham’s Law. Overseas experience with capital gains tax indicates that it is ineffective in keeping down housing prices. It’s main effect seems to be that it would shut out other measures which are likely to be more effective, such as land taxes or property taxes.

    • Sable 10.1

      Well said. Just look at Sydney if you want an idea of what a joke capital gains taxes are.

  11. timeforacupoftea 11

    The only fair way is to remove cash from society remove Income Tax and GST.
    Then collect a transfer tax on all electronic transactions in and out.

    I would not know how many % would be needed. 1 or 2 maybe.

    I was out probably a year back now with some pretty bright sparks from banks, accountants and sharebrokers. They were thinks 2 or 3 %.

    They were saying that excise taxs on fuels, alcohol and ACC could be removed as all transfer tax income would cover everything.
    Would virtually not need a TAX department either.

  12. Sable 12

    Seems the Greens like the idea of being in opposition. Lots of mum and dad investors have property (including myself ) we worked damned hard to get faced with exaggerated property prices compliments of governmental incompetence.

    Now we are expected to pay for their F**K ups yet again with with yet another property tax imposed. Meanwhile government in this country are bathing in lakes of public money they waste on nonsense whilst we are compelled to pay “voluntary” school fees and take out private health insurance.

    How about shutting out or greatly restricting foreign property investment instead, making big corporations pay their share of tax, require MNO’s keep a certain portion of their earnings in NZ (as China and others do) and ease the tax burden on ordinary Kiwi’s?

    Of course this would require guts, conviction and common sense and both are in my opinion in short supply in NZ politics.

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  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    1 day ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    2 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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. ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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, ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    7 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago