web analytics

Kiwis at centre of money maze: Hager

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, April 7th, 2013 - 107 comments
Categories: act, capitalism, overseas investment, tax, winston peters - Tags: , , , , ,

Yesterday I posted on how the international consortium of investigative journalists have exposed the global money maze that enable the wealthy to hide their wealth in trusts and tax havens.  Today Nicky Hager’s article explains how Kiwis are at the centre.  Lawyers, helped by accountants, lobbied each tax haven to write laws enabling their clients to use the tax havens. Some staff at the BNZ and ANZ helped clients move money in and out of such offshore accounts.

Hager outlines a complicated maze, involving the TrustNet, whose majority shareholder is Kiwi rich-lister, John Spencer. It winds through South East Asia, and Hong Kong.  People now based in Auckland are associated with a Hong Kong arrest warrant against one TrustNet client – and Kathy Odgers (AKA Cactus Kate) is one of the people named as being involved (though not necessarily illegally) in that network.

Leaked documents reveal one of New Zealand’s richest families was for a time at the heart of a major international tax haven company that hit the news in the United States last week. John Spencer, New Zealand’s richest man in the 1980s and still incredibly wealthy, was – with his family – majority owners of the company called TrustNet, whose extremely secret client records have been leaked en masse to a Washington DC-based journalism organisation. …

Surprisingly, the leaks show New Zealanders are involved extensively in this shadowy world of offshore companies and secret bank accounts.

The company at the centre of the Washington leaks was set up by New Zealanders, has been staffed by many New Zealanders and for 14 years was majority-owned by the Spencers.

The Spencers have courted controversy. John Spencer waged a 19-year battle to stop public access to the Stony Batter gun emplacement on his Waiheke Island farm, including barricading a public road. The Star-Times revealed in 2005 that his son Berridge and daughter Mertsi were secret National Party donors. And now Spencer is the Kiwi connection to secret tax haven records that may be the largest leak of financial information in history.

Hager goes on to explain the role of kiwis involved in TrustNet, set up 25 years ago, and using the Cook Islands as a tax haven.  He recaps the history of the Wine Box affair and Winston Peters’ role in it.  A company associated with the Wine Box affair was later renamed TrustNet.

The European Pacific tax expert accused in court of leaking the Winebox documents, New Zealand lawyer George Couttie, had moved on to work for TrustNet in Hong Kong. But soon after this accusation was made, according to internal documents, senior TrustNet staff recorded a terse company resolution that “accepted” his resignation “effective from the date hereof”.

In contrast, European Pacific’s former senior executive Geoff Barry was later hired by TrustNet and rose to become the chief executive officer. Today, 10 years later, he is executive director of TrustNet’s Hong Kong office.

Spencer’s ownership of TrustNet was never publicised. It came to light only during analysis of the leaked records. A note about an obscure offshore entity says “Client is our big boss, John Spencer”.

Hager then outlines the involvement of Trevor Clarke, a TrustNet client and former European Pacific manager.  He gives complex details of the involement of Penny Purcell, one of TrustNet’s NZ lawyers, in some dodgy Hong Kong operations. She mislead and/or misinformed some key people while investigations were in progress. Eventually Hong Kong police issued an arrest warrant for TrustNet client and Sound Financial Management shareholder, Canadian, Douglas Crankshaw.  He lives near Bangkok.

Purcell has since returned to help run TrustNet’s office on Auckland’s North Shore. She remains part of a network of New Zealand offshore lawyers scattered in tax havens around the world. They include former TrustNet lawyer Barry Mitchell who, according to court documents, gave assistance during the setting up of the Trinity investment scheme, New Zealand’s largest tax avoidance case; and Act Party-aligned blogger Cathy Odgers (‘‘Cactus Kate’’) who has worked as an offshore lawyer in the British Virgin Islands and Hong Kong.

So it looks like many of the activities of lawyers like Cathy Odgers, while being ethically questionable, are most likely within the law.  However, on occasions a few can step over the legal line into criminality, as appears at least one person seems to have done in the Hong Kong case.  Odgers, while associated with the complex maze, doesn’t seem to be directly implicated in this.  However, Purcell seems to have played a significant role.

107 comments on “Kiwis at centre of money maze: Hager ”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    The Cyprus situation has caught them all out.

    The haircut on the big depositors has revealed the tax haven scam to be very risky business.

    It only takes a few billion to leave the Cooks or the BVI and their banking system will collapse with it.

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      “It only takes a few billion to leave the Cooks … and their banking system will collapse with it.”

      OUR banking system! The Cook Islands don’t have their own banking system.

    • Russell 1.2

      The Cyprus situation caught out only the small depositors.
      All those Cypriot banks while closed at home remained open via their London branches and the money was whisked away by those smart enough to not trust banks.

  2. Anita 2

    Surely it matters most whether something is ethical, not whether it’s legal. If this shows us that governments are making unethical things legal, and it sure looks that way, then it’s a chance to lobby for law changes.

    • Yes, it matters, but lobbying won’t fix it because the civil system is fundamentally unethical – it lies about the nature of law itself.

      Open mike 28/03/2013

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Surely it matters most whether something is ethical, not whether it’s legal.

      You would think so but the laws have been carefully drafted to bypass morality.

      If this shows us that governments are making unethical things legal, and it sure looks that way, then it’s a chance to lobby for law changes.

      We shouldn’t need to be lobbying for them – the government should be taking action on the evidence. The fact that we will have to lobby for the needed changes and that it will be a hell of a fight against the Big Money protecting itself shows just how corrupt our government is.

    • burt 2.3

      Anita

      Apparently not. For example a PM might retrospectively validate an accusation of illegal behaviour and people who support that PM would argue strongly that it wasn’t illegal, and it was expedient, while dodging the ethics of using parliament to kill off a court case.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.3.1

        I remember you being all for that at the time, so I expect you’d be happy for John Key the Lying Prime Minister to do the same.

          • Ugly Truth 2.3.1.1.1

            I dunno, One Anonynous Knucklehead has been wrong about pretty much everything from what I’ve seen.

            • burt 2.3.1.1.1.1

              Clearly. It’s different when labour do it…. It’s great to put fine points of law and hide behind the supremacy of parliament defending completely unethical self serving behaviour when Labour do it. Can’t wait for the blind partisan supporters like one hand typist felux to support parliament bailing out anyone implicated in breaking any laws if that implication upsets the divine right of the governing party to do what the fuck they like in their own best interests.

          • felix 2.3.1.1.2

            whoosh

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2

        Man, are you still going on about that? You’ve had it explained to you so many times and yet you still choose to be ignorant and stupid about it.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    I’m glad that John Key has finally scored a win – NZ has indeed become a “financial hub” of the south pacific. A tax ducking, money laundering centre, that is.

    Note: the USA is now forcing Switzerland to give up the names of US tax dodging swiss bank account holders, destroying the Swiss model of banking secrecy.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-24/switzerland-next-swiss-banks-set-foward-confidential-bank-client-data-us-officials

    This change is going to catch out a lot of multi-millionaires, but will leave the billionaires untouched.

    In other words, the top 0.001% are leaving the top 0.1% twisting in the wind.

  4. wyndham 4

    I’ve just viewed the most biased, rude, interruptive “interview” that I’ve ever seen on television.

    Susan Wood, supposedly interviewing David Shearer, constantly cut across his attempts at answering questions, criticised his answers, pursued unreasonable personal details – – – the list goes on. I’m complaining to TVNZ and hope others do the same.

    This was not an interview. It was an interrogation by a totally biased and incompetent bigot.

    • Anne 4.1

      Did the same to Helen Kelly. Gave Micheal Barnett a clean run… her head nodding sagely at almost everything he said. Turned the telly off.

      Note: the new Q&A set is in dark blue with shades of matching white and a blue and white logo. National Party colours. Susie dresses in navy and white and Barnett wears a nice blue shirt. What do they call it now? Subliminal Psychology?

    • geoff 4.2

      Well where’s the link?

    • smokeskreen 4.3

      It was definitely an interrogation not an interview. David Shearer was given little opportunity to answer many of the questions before he was rudely interrupted – I’m sure many viewers would have “switched off” as I did. This is public broadcasting at its worst.

    • dumrse 4.4

      God give me strength. Thank christ we have somebody prepared to ask the hard questions and to make sure the respondent stays on track. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a response, you may just pass out.

      • Arfamo 4.4.1

        Don’t make me laugh. No point in asking “hard questions” so fast the interviewee can’t even get an answer in. She was just as bad with Nikki Kaye in the 2nd segment. Reckon TVNZ should be doing a drug test to see if she’s having amphetamines for breakfast.

    • Tombstone 4.5

      Watched the interview and analysis that followed and was disgusted. Susan did nothing but shut David and Helen down at every given opportunity and then she found it amusing that David had to ask her to shut up on several occasions so he could respond to her question. Gutter level stuff from Susan. Interviews should be fair and balanced. This was anything but and her attitude toward Helen Kelly was nothing short of rude and arrogant as well. David should have asked Susan if she would be happy to publicly disclose how much money she has in her bank account? That would have shut her up. Have laid a complaint with the TV station. Disgusted.

  5. Blue 5

    No Anne, its your case I think they call it extreme paranoia. I saw Garner wearing a red tie during the election – shock horror.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Since set design and wardrobe choice by these professionals is an entirely meticulous and conscious process, I’d have to say that you were full of shit.

    • What is the difference between vigilance and paranoia, Blue?

    • Anne 5.3

      Oh dear, that right-wing bigot Blue is back. (Not our liberal minded lefty ‘blue’ btw).

      Can’t properly cogitate a bit of tongue in cheek. We must be fair, he/she can’t help it:

      New Study: Racists and Right-Wingers Tend To Be Dumb

      • Blue 5.3.1

        Ah it was humour. So you don’t actually believe that. Very good then. Also please point out where I’ve been “racist”. My Maori partner and children will be fascinated. Moron.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.3.1.1

          I think Anne was referring to the “dumb” part, in that stupidity predicts for conservative political opinions. The study mentions racism as it is a core belief for many conservatives.

          • Blue 5.3.1.1.1

            The most racist people I’ve ever met have been the core voters of the left wing, work boots overalls, vacant stares and poorly educated. All were stupid by definition. My experience of these people has at least as much validity as the accusations of “Anne” as any other. Her venomous and cretinous accusations of me are without foundation.

            • Murray Olsen 5.3.1.1.1.1

              It must have been terrible for you, meeting such horrible people. Can we take up a collection to help you get over it?

              • Blue

                So you’re saying racism with work boots is ok but racism in a suit is not ? Thanks Hone. I didn’t “meet” them, they worked for me, thankfully not for very long. Not only racist but really lazy.

                • Arfamo

                  How did they come to be working for you?

                  • Blue

                    Contract construction workers on my projects, Civil Engineer before my academic career (mathematics lecturer).

                    • Anne

                      Oh, so you know your times-tables then?

                      I’ll say it advance… get down off your high horse. I’m only teasing. 😛

                    • Murray Olsen

                      I’m glad I never learned any maths off you. By your logic, if a giraffe stands on my foot, I love anteaters. Hmmm.
                      I always thought Levy flights were interesting, but not as a model for human behaviour and logical thinking.

                • felix

                  “So you’re saying racism with work boots is ok but racism in a suit is not ?”

                  You’re the only person I can see here making a distinction between the two.

                  You’re also the only person here who seems to think “conservatism” = right-wing.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.3.1.1.1.2

              I think one of the most obvious marks of stupidity can be expressed by the phrase “anecdotes are not data.” Thank you for illustrating it so well 🙂

            • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.1.1.3

              The most racist people I’ve ever met have been the core voters of the left wing, work boots overalls, vacant stares and poorly educated.

              Well you claim to not be racist, but in reality you’re even more prejudiced than that.

          • Anne 5.3.1.1.2

            I think Anne was referring to the “dumb” part… Quite.

      • Blue 5.3.2

        Yeah, I really wish these right-wing numpties would stop using my name. People will think I have a split personality 😀

        [lprent: good point. After I do the rubbish chore, I will do a name separation with the search and replace tool or a database query. I will check, but I think the other Blue was originally True Blue. ]

        • Blue 5.3.2.1

          No fear of that Blue, most would wonder whether you have a personality of any kind.

  6. muzza 6

    Inside the investment banks, its called *structured finance*. Banks pay tax accountants and lawyers from nations to exploit the known loopholes to allow *legal activity* fiancing *deals* using shell companies around the world, not just the traditional taxt havens.

    There are networks of private money transfer infrastructure, which bypass the standard global jurisdictional gateways, which customer/payments data pass and are monitored on, such restrictions are for the non billionaires.

    Nothing is going to change as a result, this information has been public domain for a long time, its not the first time its come out, and won’t be the last.

    Its an insight into the world of those who control the money systems we are constrained by, although none of the names which feature in these investigations, are the top levels!

    SNAFU

  7. Bet John Key feels “comfortable” about this.

  8. Matthew 8

    Maybe these are the people we should use to fill the new Wiri prison…..

  9. ianmac 9

    The very rich have great power. There is probably no way of bringing to justice to either the “legal” or the illegal. The only one who has battled (and earned undying hatred of the rich) was Mr Peters and the Winebox Enquiry.
    Wouldn’t it be interesting to total every dollar in those havens and compare with the total wealth of say NZ or the USA or China or the UK?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Wouldn’t it be interesting to total every dollar in those havens and compare with the total wealth of say NZ or the USA or China or the UK?

      The estimates I read say that it’s thousands of billions of dollars, held invisibly in tax havens.

      In comparison, annual Australian GDP is around US$1400B.

      • muzza 9.1.1

        Or Global GDP of about 50-70T, including the financial services sectors.

        Makes it all look very sick once people start to understand the annual derivatives markets alone, are *transactions* worth orders of magnitude the global productive, and un-productive capacity of the entire world, currently!

        • freedom 9.1.1.1

          and are being traded by increasingly autonomous systems in astronomical volumes within infinitesimal time scales that are altogether impossible for humans to track, let alone interact with.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            Yep. High frequency automated algorithmic trading. Makes a mockery of the market and its rules. And the exchanges and authorities let it happen.

    • ianmac,
      The first step toward justice is to stop paying tribute to injustice. Taxation was originally a form of tribute.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        Absolute garbage.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2

        What UT said is meaningless rhetoric but we should be used to that by now.

        • Ugly Truth 9.2.2.1

          Definition of TRIBUTE

          1 a : a payment by one ruler or nation to another in acknowledgment of submission or as the price of protection; also : the tax levied for such a payment
          b (1) : an excessive tax, rental, or tariff imposed by a government, sovereign, lord, or landlord (2) : an exorbitant charge levied by a person or group having the power of coercion
          c : the liability to pay tribute

          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tribute

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.2.1.1

            Your dictionary games are irrelevant.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2.1.2

            Throwing out a dictionary definition doesn’t magically make your original comment (or, in fact, any of them) any more meaningful.

      • muzza 9.2.3

        CV, DTB – You guys might not agree with some of UT’s comments, but again it seems the general message is going right past you, or perhaps its in the too complex basket, and better to rubbish what UT posts on!

        Perhaps you two can give your view on why taxes even need to be paid, where that money ends up, why NZ has so much debt, how much tax or borrowing goes into servicing that debt, what jurisdiction the state has to remove your hard earned cash before you even get to see it, and how it has the power to turn people into IRD tax collecting agents.

        Perhaps while you’re there, explain how the state has the authority to remove a child from its birth parents, and why our institutions are so broken, and the legal/judical systems continue to apply laws in uneven, injust ways, seemingly at the expense of the average kiwi.

        Think international, and domestic!

        Note: I’ve said it here previously that I would doubt there are more than a few people in NZ who have any idea, which are the legally binding treaties, agreements and governing boundaries, which NZ (whatever the hell that actually means), is controlled by internationally, so why the hell would anyone who comments here be one of them!

        At least UT sounds like he/she is trying to dig through some of the mesh!

        • Draco T Bastard 9.2.3.1

          Perhaps you two can give your view on why taxes even need to be paid,

          1.) Because we use money to distribute the nations resources
          2.) Because of the financial system that has the money being created by the private banks which leaves the government having to raise money
          3.) Because of the dead weight loss of profit which removes so much money from circulation requiring ever more money to be loaned into existence via the government loaning it from the banks (see 2.)

          where that money ends up,

          A lot ends up in the hands of the banksters (see 2. above)

          what jurisdiction the state has to remove your hard earned cash before you even get to see it

          Two points:
          1.) Because we agree to it – consent of the governed
          2.) Because we do each need to do our bit to support society so that we have a society to live in

          …and the legal/judical systems continue to apply laws in uneven, injust ways, seemingly at the expense of the average kiwi.

          Yes, it needs looking at. Trying to deny reality of our governance as UT does won’t change that though.

          At least UT sounds like he/she is trying to dig through some of the mesh!

          No, he just sounds like a fool who wants us to live in the 14th century under the brutal rule of the aristocracy.

          • Poission 9.2.3.1.1

            “and the legal/judical systems continue to apply laws in uneven, injust ways, seemingly at the expense of the average kiwi.”

            It is the government and practitioners that have conspired by proxy ( not necessarily intentionally, a Buffoon would suffice eg Dunne) to add unnecessarily complexity to both legislation,tax systems and the resulting information entropy.

            The so called information age has allowed a greater access to information for a broader spectrum of the populace, similar to the enlightenment of the printing press during the renaissance.The response has been to add greater complexity to legislation and regulatory systems with inbuilt outs for those with ready access to advice and decrease the ability for a larger population to disseminate the information .

            The subsequent consequences is the rule of lawyer’s and not the rule of law eg Ferguson.

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jmxqp/features/transcript

    • freedom 9.3

      You may be interested in the eye-watering figures that punctuate this story.
      It exposes succinctly how laws are not for everybody

  10. Poission 10

    The problematic issue is that the tax and asset wealth avoidance is largest in countries that can least afford such as africa asia etc.

    If as evidence suggests the wealth in Africa was not siphoned off it would as a whole be a set of creidtor nations and not debtor nations.Time to terminate the foreign blind trust regimes.

    http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/front_content.php?idcatart=2&lang=1

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      If as evidence suggests the wealth in Africa was not siphoned off it would as a whole be a set of creidtor nations and not debtor nations.

      That’s true of all nations that allow “foreign investment” because all that foreign investment does is siphon wealth away from that country.

  11. Rich 11

    So who are the “Kiwis” that the SST is being so coy about in the paper article?

  12. felix 12

    Ah, so these are those rich people we’re supposed to thank for paying so much tax.

    • emergency mike 12.1

      Hit. Nail. Head.

    • Blue 12.2

      You’re welcome

    • burt 12.3

      No felix, we all know that strongly progressive taxation always ends up crushing the middle earners – just some of us choose to ignore that when the party advocating such policies is the party they support and parrot BS for.

      • Colonial Viper 12.3.1

        Middle earners make $40,000 pa

        Jacking up rates on those earning over $100K pa and over $500K pa won’t touch them.

        • burt 12.3.1.1

          Tell that to 75% of high school teachers classified as rich under the last labour government.

          • lprent 12.3.1.1.1

            Under a progressive tax system? Next you’ll be saying that teachers were taxed at 39% for their income.

            FFS, you really need to go and learn something about taxation regimes rather than sprouting gormless slogans.

      • lprent 12.3.2

        The last time we had a strongly progressive tax system in nz was under National in the late 70s and early 80s. The main reason it became strongly progressive was because of a high dollar inflation.

        Basically you are full shit because whenever you look at where a progressive taxation system starts cutting into middle incomes, you invariably find that first there was a dumb government (like our current one) borrowing heavily rather than making decisions about sustainable future development. A few years later there is a combination of silly austerity coupled with inflation done to ratchet the tax take done by conservatives because they still won’t fix the fucking problem that they caused in the first place because it requires actual change.. Nationals SMP for sheep being a prime exhibit.

        The problem isn’t with the progressive tax system, it is usually with foolhardy conservatives in government refusing to face the future.

  13. felix 13

    John Spencer has turned out to be such a disappointment since the days of the blues explosion.

    • ghostrider888 13.1

      well, that Muddys the Waters; guess Kate will be dusting her broom. New Zealand; a land of constant sorrows?
      speaking of the ‘Blues”, heres a few lines of The Green God / Manalishi

      (“better than Clapton” says John (Mayall) )

      look at me with those Brown Eyes

      (uncredited)

  14. prism 14

    How the rich manage to keep their money and cope with the weight of responsibility of all that bread.
    A good cover piece by the nz herald – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10665826
    “John Spencer – jet-setting septuagenarian and heir to his grandfather’s Caxton paper empire founded in 1890 Mr Spencer spends our winters in the Northern Hemisphere’s aquatic playgrounds particularly around Monaco aboard one of the world’s finest motor yachts, “…

    Mr Spencer’s fortune came from the forestry and milling business he took over from his father Berridge in 1981 but he sold out to Carter Holt Harvey in the late 1980s for about $300 million. For 19 years, he waged a battle with Auckland City Council to prevent public access to his Waiheke farm, stopping tourists getting to Stony Batter gun emplacements in a fight which went to the Privy Council…

    Mike Lee on the Spencer family and touching on its battles with local authorities to get what it wants. “”John Spencer is an unusual man. He lives in New Zealand but it appears to me that he doesn’t really seem to see himself as a part of New Zealand or a member of New Zealand society. The same goes with his attitude to Waiheke Island. Clearly there were the years of needless, hugely expensive litigation with the Waiheke County Council and then the Auckland City Council over a public road on Waiheke which in 1992 John Spencer barricaded under mounds of earth and effectively appropriated for 10 years until the force of law finally intervened – behaviour one would expect more from young radical members of an aggrieved iwi with a valid, long standing historic claim.”

    • Anne 14.1

      I apologise to karol for going off thread on this post but here’s a recommendation to those who are interested in the Wine Box Affair. I guess it was a forerunner to what is now going on at a global level.

      If you haven’t already done so read (or re-read as I plan to do) Anthony (Tony) Molloy’s book “Thirty Pieces of Silver”. He chronicles the story from start to finish and succeeds in proving beyond reasonable doubt that tax evasion to the tune of millions of dollars by some of NZ’s richest citizens really did occur. That is a rough summation of the book.

      He passed all his notes etc. on to the police but guess what… nothing happened. Political interference? I guess so. This happened during the 1990s and not surprisingly by the time the book was publicly released all the major players had shot through to Geneva where they remained for the next ten or more years.

      A disgraceful episode, and an excellent example of the power of money and how those who pillage it by unlawful means are frequently never brought to justice.

      • karol 14.1.1

        It’s not at all off topic, Anne. In the Stuff Hager article there’s a reference beside a mention of Winebox, to (see breakout). It doesn’t seem to be with the online article. I suspected it was in the hardcopy.

        Using the Auckland Libraries’ member access to press display, I have found that, indeed, there is an article outlining the Winebox affair, beside the Hager article, in the Sunday Star Times today. it gives an outline of the case, with some old piccies of Peters and Fay etc, with Peters looking pretty young.

        There’s also some other articles on the issue, including one pointing to some Kiwis, only referred to by one initial, who have benefited from the tax havens:

        South Auckland farmer/lawyer -J
        Airforce Officer & commercial pilot -B
        SAS soldier – W: with 3 Brit SAS officers via British Virgin Islands they set up a company that appears to do something in Sierre Leone, at an address used by mining companies during the civil war there – not clear what the company does.
        Busineesman – L: lived in US & NZ since 2001. Filed for bankruptcy in 2009. “In 2006, TrustNet incorporated three new companies in the British Virgin islands for L.”

        This all seems to be buried in the Money section, even though there’s a double page spread headed “FOCUS” pp A10-11:

        • Anne 14.1.1.1

          It’s not at all off topic, Anne.

          I should have been clearer with my remark karol. I was actually referring to our little right-wing friend Blue. Coudn’t resist the temptation to tease him/her. A bit naughty but they do ask for it sometimes.

        • Murray Olsen 14.1.1.2

          Susan Wood’s first husband fits the description “Airforce Officer & commercial pilot -B”
          One day we might know.

    • karol 14.2

      Interesting (2010) article, thanks, prism.

      So, basically it says that the currently living generations owe their wealth to inheritance. The Spencer wealth was developed in the late 19th century, through timber and printing businesses – that at a time when it was possible for Pakeha settlers to get in on the ground floor and establish their wealth foundation. (Albert Spencer, founder of Caxton Paper, born in 1866 in NZ, father was a chemist according to a cached version of an article I couldn’t directly access)

      Then, in a 2nd article on the same 2010 date, we see that during the 1930s Berridge Spencer made more money out of buying up a lot of real estate on the North Shore. Son John Spencer continued on with this buying up of residential property.

      And in 2010 the Spencers were able to sign a special deal with Takapuna Council to the effect that heritage regulations/protections didn’t apply to them.

      So John Spencer did not earn the foundation of his wealth, but continues to skew the system in his own favour.

  15. prism 15

    It does seem to me that many of the wealthy are living off their parents’ legacy. I wonder if that applies to much of NZ.

    I think it may be harder to start up a little firm and expand to a decent size these days. Possibly because so many people are contractors, and the reality between these near-employees and the small entrepreneur is muddied.

  16. Instauration 16

    I have all the Winebox stuff on a ST506 HDD – in a cardboard box – inside my Scud shelter – if only I could find a ST506 controller and 8mhz bus to deliver it..

  17. Lloyd 17

    If John Spencer doesn’t consider himself part of New Zealand why don’t the people of New Zealand Just take away all his New Zealand dollars? He obviously has no connection to them. It could be described as a reality tax.

  18. karol 18

    Nicky Hager will be on Morning Report after 8am this morning on the money maze.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission report shows progress
    Health Minister Andrew Little welcomes the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission’s assessment that transformation of New Zealand’s approach to mental health and addiction is underway. “This is an important step in the Government’s work to provide better and equitable mental health and wellbeing outcomes for all people in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Over $300m returned to COVID-hit travellers
    The Government’s Consumer Travel Reimbursement Scheme has helped return over $352 million of refunds and credits to New Zealanders who had overseas travel cancelled due to COVID-19, Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says. “Working with the travel sector, we are helping New Zealanders retrieve the money owed to them by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Hundreds more schools join free lunches programme
    An additional 88,000 students in 322 schools and kura across the country have started the school year with a regular lunch on the menu, thanks to the Government’s Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches programme. They join 42,000 students already receiving weekday lunches under the scheme, which launched last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s balanced economic approach reflected in Crown accounts
    New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected. The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU). The operating balance before gains ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Over half of border workforce receive first vaccinations
    More than half of New Zealand’s estimated 12,000 border workforce have now received their first vaccinations, as a third batch of vaccines arrive in the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. As of midnight Tuesday, a total of 9,431 people had received their first doses. More than 70 percent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boost in funding to deliver jobs while restoring Central Otago’s lakes and waterways
    The Government is significantly increasing its investment in restoring Central Otago’s waterways while at the same time delivering jobs to the region hard-hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, says Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor.   Mr O’Connor says two new community projects under the Jobs for Nature funding programme will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers
    The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend. Following two new community cases of COVID-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt committed to hosting Rugby World Cup
    The Government remains committed to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 should a decision be made by World Rugby this weekend to postpone this year’s tournament. World Rugby is recommending the event be postponed until next year due to COVID-19, with a final decision to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Support Available for Communities affected by COVID-19
    Community and social service support providers have again swung into action to help people and families affected by the current COVID-19 alert levels. “The Government recognises that in many instances social service, community, iwi and Whānau Ora organisations are best placed to provide vital support to the communities impacted by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt announces review into PHARMAC
    The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The Review will focus on two areas: How well PHARMAC performs against its current objectives and whether and how its performance against these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Impressive response to DOC scholarship programme
    Some of the country’s most forward-thinking early-career conservationists are among recipients of a new scholarship aimed at supporting a new generation of biodiversity champions, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has awarded one-year postgraduate research scholarships of $15,000 to ten Masters students in the natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to ANZLF Virtual Indigenous Business Trade and Connections Event
    I acknowledge our whānau overseas, joining us from Te Whenua Moemoeā, and I wish to pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you all today. I am very pleased to be part of the conversation on Indigenous business, and part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Main benefits to increase in line with wages
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today that main benefits will increase by 3.1 percent on 1 April, in line with the rise in the average wage. The Government announced changes to the annual adjustment of main benefits in Budget 2019, indexing main benefit increases to the average ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Maru (Taranaki)
    A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Ngāti Maru and the Crown settling the iwi’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The Ngāti Maru rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Support in place for people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases
    With a suite of Government income support packages available, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni is encouraging people, and businesses, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases to check the Work and Income website if they’ve been impacted by the need to self-isolate. “If you are required to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on passing of former PNG PM Sir Michael Somare
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her condolences at the passing of long-serving former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. “Our thoughts are with Lady Veronica Somare and family, Prime Minister James Marape and the people of Papua New Guinea during this time of great ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the National Māori Housing Conference 2021
    E te tī, e te tā  Tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou  Ki te whenua e takoto nei  Ki te rangi e tū iho nei  Ki a tātou e tau nei  Tēnā tātou.  It’s great to be with you today, along with some of the ministerial housing team; Hon Peeni Henare, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Drone project to aid protection of Māui dolphin
    The Government is backing a new project to use drone technology to transform our understanding and protection of the Māui dolphin, Aotearoa’s most endangered dolphin.    “The project is just one part of the Government’s plan to save the Māui dolphin. We are committed to protecting this treasure,” Oceans and Fisheries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New water regulator board announced as major Government reform moves forward
    Major water reform has taken a step closer with the appointment of the inaugural board of the Taumata Arowai water services regulator, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. Former Director General of Health and respected public health specialist Dame Karen Poutasi will chair the inaugural board of Crown agency Taumata Arowai. “Dame ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • North Auckland gets public transport upgrade
    The newly completed Hibiscus Coast Bus Station will help people make better transport choices to help ease congestion and benefit the environment, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today. Michael Wood and Phil Goff officially opened the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station which sits just off the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting work to protect Northland reserve
    New funding announced by Conservation Minister Kiri Allan today will provide work and help protect the unique values of Northland’s Te Ārai Nature Reserve for future generations. Te Ārai is culturally important to Te Aupōuri as the last resting place of the spirits before they depart to Te Rerenga Wairua. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Critical step to new housing deal for Pacific communities
      Today the Government has taken a key step to support Pacific people to becoming Community Housing providers, says the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This will be great news for Pacific communities with the decision to provide Pacific Financial Capability Grant funding and a tender process to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation opens on proposed Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on a proposed marine mammal sanctuary to address the rapid decline of bottlenose dolphins in Te Pēwhairangi, the Bay of Islands. The proposal, developed jointly with Ngā Hapū o te Pēwhairangi, would protect all marine mammals of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Three District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.    Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.     Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access
    Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access The Government changed the KiwiSaver rules in 2019 so people with life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early The four conditions guaranteed early access are – down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder An alternative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank to take account of housing in decision making
    The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into account government policy relating to more sustainable house prices, while working ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investment to reduce cochlear implant waitlist
    The Labour Government will invest $6 million for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year to significantly reduce the historical waitlist, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Cochlear implants are life changing for kiwis who suffer from severe hearing loss. As well as improving an individual’s hearing, they open doors to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori wards Bill passes third reading
    The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill passed its third reading today and will become law, Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. “This is a significant step forward for Māori representation in local government. We know how important it is to have diversity around ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers 1,000 more transitional housing places
    The Government has added 1,000 more transitional housing places as promised under the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (HAP), launched one year ago. Minister of Housing Megan Woods says the milestone supports the Government’s priority to ensure every New Zealander has warm, dry, secure housing. “Transitional housing provides people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrives safely – as the first vaccinations take place in the...
    A second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday at Auckland International Airport, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “This shipment contained about 76,000 doses, and follows our first shipment of 60,000 doses that arrived last week. We expect further shipments of vaccine over the coming weeks,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible
    The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today welcomed Moriori to Parliament to witness the first reading of the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill. “This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from all the parties involved. “I am delighted to reach this significant milestone today,” Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government action reduces child poverty
    22,400 fewer children experiencing material hardship 45,400 fewer children in low income households on after-housing costs measure After-housing costs target achieved a year ahead of schedule Government action has seen child poverty reduce against all nine official measures compared to the baseline year, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Entries open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
    It’s time to recognise the outstanding work early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura do to support children and young people to succeed, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says. The 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are now open through until April 16. “The past year has reminded us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Jobs for Nature benefits three projects
    Three new Jobs for Nature projects will help nature thrive in the Bay of Plenty and keep local people in work says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan. “Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Improvements to the Holidays Act on the way
    The Government has accepted all of the Holidays Act Taskforce’s recommended changes, which will provide certainty to employers and help employees receive their leave entitlements, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said the Government established the Holidays Act Taskforce to help address challenges with the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ’s credit rating lifted as economy recovers
    The Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and faster than expected economic recovery has been acknowledged in today’s credit rating upgrade. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) today raised New Zealand’s local currency credit rating to AAA with a stable outlook. This follows Fitch reaffirming its AA+ rating last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake
    Tena koutou e nga Maata Waka Ngai Tuahuriri, Ngai Tahu whanui, Tena koutou. Nau mai whakatau mai ki tenei ra maumahara i te Ru Whenua Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga ora ki te hunga ora Tena koutou, Tena ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government reaffirms urgent commitment to ban harmful conversion practices
    The Minister of Justice has reaffirmed the Government’s urgent commitment, as stated in its 2020 Election Manifesto, to ban conversion practices in New Zealand by this time next year. “The Government has work underway to develop policy which will bring legislation to Parliament by the middle of this year and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New creative service aims to benefit 1,000 peoples’ careers
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni today launched a new Creative Careers Service, which is expected to support up to 1,000 creatives, across three regions over the next two years. The new service builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago