web analytics

Light-fingered regulation

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, July 10th, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: crime, scoundrels - Tags: , ,

New Zealand-registered shell companies are being used for money laundering, according to Mike Field’s story in today’s DomPost. Here’s a summary:

in the last two years Fairfax Media has exposed hundreds of companies on the Companies Registry used to launder money.

Last week New Zealand shell companies, using an Albany, Auckland, address were key players in a missing US$1.2 billion (NZ$1.5 billion) from the Kyrgyzstan’s largest bank, AsiaUniversalBank, which, like Anglo Irish, had to be nationalised.

New Zealand has been struck off a prestigious European Union banking “white list” because of the ease with which shell companies can be used to launder drug and terrorist money. This came after revelations a Queen Street shell company washed US$680 million of what may have been Russian Mafia money through a Latvia bank.

Earlier this year Fairfax Media revealed another Queen Street company was implicated in a Ukrainian oil rig scandal involving a missing US$150 million. A London based non-profit NGO, Global Witness, last week said New Zealand had become part of the “off-shore” problem and was “a critical link in the ‘supply chain’ for corruption”.

Field goes on to say:

The government has repeatedly said it will tighten company registration to prevent money laundering, but the bill languishes well down on the order list.

The Companies and Limited Partnerships Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament on 13 October 2011. It is obviously not a priority. The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act was passed in 2009. Regulations requiring compliance do not come into force until June 30 2013. No hurry then.

Perhaps that’s why Key’s plan for New Zealand to become an international finance centre has been ditched – another casualty on the road to the brighter future.

Key’s government is big on regulating the behaviour of beneficiaries, but slack when it comes to money-launderers. So much for their beloved light-handed regulation.

16 comments on “Light-fingered regulation ”

  1. Is “light fingered regulation” where the middle finger extended vertically, the other fingers clutched in a ball and the back of the hand presented to the country?

  2. mike e 2

    Neo conmanKey all washed up in money laundering.Would you trust an investment banker.
    More scandal in UK Tory party as Osborne Caught himself lying.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Key’s government is big on regulating the behaviour of beneficiaries, but slack when it comes to money-launderers.

    The key differences between the two groups:
    1.) Beneficiaries are poor and the NACTs don’t know them or want to know them
    2.) The money-launderers are rich and the NACTs know them or want to know them and want to be just like them (there’s the true politics of envy).

  4. jbc 4

    NZ has been the easiest place to start a business for the past decade or more, and nothing has really changed in that respect across the last change of government.

    http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings/

    Having started a business in NZ and other highly ranked countries I can see why. NZ is super-lax on proof of identity, proof of beneficial ownership, etc. It is also pretty lax on enforcement and penalties.

    NZ has no national identification scheme and these have been roundly rejected. You don’t need a passport or drivers license to start a business. If you can’t enforce identity proof for locals then it is wide open for everyone else.

    The last government used to crow about this ranking whenever they received criticism about being anti-business.

    Now it is a bad thing, apparently. Contrast with:

    Setting up business: we’re prize winners

    New Zealand, a great place to do business

    etc.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Its a fundamental misunderstanding of what it takes to drive a powerful economy. Availability of capital, expertise and access to networks of influence and SME peers are key.

      Being able to register a legal company in 5 minutes is unimportant in comparison.

      • aerobubble 4.1.1

        Indeed. Its actually an additional tax to set up business relationships when you have to check who you are working says they are. Light regulation is as much a deterrent to business as too much.
        Too little quality and lots of quantity is a tax on your complaints department. Only an accountant PM, who free loads off confidence provided due to double entry accountancy, could insist he has the rest of the economy running well. He’s going to get us back to balance!!! Anyone who calls themselves a capitalist, or a business person, isn’t at all interested about getting back to balance, they’re interest in substantive matters like the cost of doing business being prohibitively high in NZ.
        The risk premium. The lax standards of government. Rubber stamping, looking active, shifting assets ownership around, all just lazy wasters on the tax payer dollar. The biggest bludgers are the National party cabinent.

    • Requiring a driver’s licence or passport to register a business would not slow the process down in most legitimate cases but it would make it much more secure. I don’t see why we can’t have a little of both.

      • jbc 4.2.1

        Requiring at least one director and the company secretary to be NZ residents would be a start. That, together with a little more regulation and a lot tougher criminal penalties for breaking the rules would also help.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1

          Requiring at least one director and the company secretary to be NZ residents would be a start.

          Ah, but that would be against the free-market principals of allowing foreign ownership.

          • jbc 4.2.1.1.1

            Not at all. Director does not mean shareholder, just someone who is legally accountable and with fiduciary responsibility to the company. Someone to put before a court.

            It’s not a tall order at all – if you really do want to have a company in NZ.

  5. jbc 5

    Being able to register a legal company in 5 minutes is unimportant in comparison.

    I totally agree with that, and that’s what I always thought when “easiest place to start a business” was trotted out over the past decade or so.

    My points were (implicitly):
    1. The likely connection between “ease of starting a business” and NZ shell companies being used for shady dealing.
    2. That “ease of starting a business” was never (to my recollection) a bad thing during the past government tenure.

    Yes, the whole “ease of starting a business” thing is mostly meaningless – unless you are at the bottom of the ranking. It is what happens after that that is important.

    Add some tough identity checks and accounting regulations. No argument there.

  6. muzza 6

    The City of London being the home to the financial industry almost completely deregulated, is simply extended to the little outpost of NZ.

    Why would it be any surprise!

  7. You guys really, really don’t get it do you?

    John Key has done exactly what he set out to do. He allowed this country to become a financial centre of massive proportions. Just not the centre you would want but one which the Banksters desperately needed.

    The bankers are the biggest drug dealers of them all and were getting caught left right and centre and were having to pay huge fines. They needed a place to launder their money and were the muppets were stupid and naive enough to think the slow attempt at regulation was just a bit of a lapse from their otherwise honest government.

    In fact it has just come out two days ago that Bank of America in which John Key has most of his paper wealth in shares was laundering big money for the same Mexican drug lords as Wells Fargo in the previous link.

    John Key is a criminal banker connected to the most criminal banks and does their bidding every which way they tell him too. Even Roubini is calling for the banksters to be strung up in the street, and he is as mainstream as they come.

    Only one country in the world still looks at the banking world as a righteous industry and that is New Zealand. The rest of the world is getting ready to throw them of a cliff see here, here, here, here and here.

    The last link, about a Dutch pension fund to sue Goldman Sachs about LIBOR should worry you greatly because the Cullen Fund had a Merrill Lynch “wealth” manager/investment banker (i.e. Derivatives peddler) on its initial board of Guardians. Talk about having the fox in the hen house!

    • muzza 8.1

      Ev, most people don’t want to “get it”, it would shatter their illusions about all which they believe to be how the world “functions”

      Sadly the “not getting it” is allowing the rot to continue, and it will get worse, should people not man up, and take back what they have, and are losing each day.

      The banking fraud is the one of the largest conspiracies of all time (certainly the worst financial conspiracy ever known), and its been so very easy to see coming, understand what is happening, and thus smelling John key, the minute he turned up in NZ politics.

      People will get what they allow to happen to them, the sad part is that those who know, and try to spread info, in the desire to get more people “up to speed”, so that hopefully critical numbers can be reached, get to go largely the same route, as those who want to use silly name calling, and ignore whats goin on.

      Maybe we get our country back, maybe we dont…

      Those who refuse to get their head out the sand, are part of the problem, they could well be part of the solution, if only they pulled it out!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • APEC finance ministers focus on inclusive, sustainable COVID recovery
    APEC finance ministers will continue to work together to respond to the effects of COVID-19 and ensure a sustainable and inclusive recovery while capitalising on the opportunity to build a more resilient future. The New Zealand Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson chaired the virtual APEC Finance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Improvements to child and maternity facilities at Timaru Hospital on track
    Improvements to child and maternity facilities at Timaru Hospital are well underway, and the next stage of the project will begin next month. Health Minister Andrew Little visited Timaru Hospital today to view progress onsite. “The improvements are part of South Canterbury DHB’s four-year refurbishment project and will create a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Govt responds to independent review into WorkSafe
    The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says. The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) today released the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Prevention funding to reduce tamariki in care
    A new iwi-led prevention programme will receive funding from Oranga Tamariki to help reduce the number of tamariki and rangatahi coming into state care, Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis has announced. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (Te Rūnanga) will receive $25.9m of Oranga Tamariki funding over three years to improve outcomes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Transforming New Zealand’s mental health legislation
    Public consultation is now open for Aotearoa New Zealand to have a say on the repeal and replacement of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992. “’He Ara Oranga, the report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction’ made it clear that we needed to replace ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework
    Kia ora koutou katoa Today I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders to share a plan that will help us stay safe from COVID-19 into the future. A future where we want to continue to protect people’s lives, but also to live our lives – as safely as possible. Our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Business boost to transition to new COVID framework
    We know that over the last twenty months the approach New Zealand has taken to COVID and Delta has saved lives and livelihoods. Along with one of the lowest mortality rates in the world, we have also had strong economic growth, low unemployment and one of the lower levels of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • COVID-19 funding boost to protect maōri communities
    Tēnā koutou katoa As you have heard from the Prime Minister, the new protection framework will support us to keep people safe especially our vulnerable communities and minimize the impact COVID-19 has on business and our day to day lives. If you want to protect yourself, your whanau and your ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New COVID-19 Protection Framework delivers greater freedoms for vaccinated New Zealanders
    New COVID-19 Protection Framework provides pathway out of lockdown and ability for businesses and events to re-open to vaccinated New Zealanders Simpler framework to minimise cases and hospitalisations without use of widespread lockdowns Auckland to move into the new framework when 90 percent of eligible population in each of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New fund to accelerate Māori vaccinations
    The Government has established a $120 million fund to accelerate Māori vaccination rates and support communities to prepare for the implementation of the new COVID-19 Protection Framework. The new Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund will directly fund Māori, Iwi, community organisations and providers to deliver local vaccination initiatives for whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government extends hardship assistance for low income workers
    Income limits for Hardship Support through the Ministry of Social Development have been temporarily lifted so more people can recieve assistance. “Cabinet has agreed to make it easier for low income workers to recieve assistance for items such as food and other emergency costs,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “We know the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • More support for learners with highest needs
    Students most in need of extra help in the classroom are the focus of a new review that gets under way today, Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti says. About 50,000-80,000 children and young people are expected to benefit from a Ministry of Education review into Highest Need Learners that will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Parts of Waikato to stay at Alert Level 3 for next six days
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 will remain at that alert level till Wednesday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Based on the latest public health information, maintaining level 3 in those parts of the Waikato continues to be the most prudent course of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Hon Peeni Henare September 2021 Proactive Diary Release
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ passes world-first climate reporting legislation
    New Zealand has become the first country in the world to pass a law that will ensure financial organisations disclose and ultimately act on climate-related risks and opportunities, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark and Climate Change Minister James Shaw today announced today. The Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister NZ UK FTA opening remarks
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. I am delighted to announce today that following a conversation with Prime Minister Johnson last night, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have Agreed in Principle a historic high-quality, comprehensive and inclusive free trade agreement. I’m joined today by the Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand secures historic free trade deal with the United Kingdom
    A boost of almost $1 billion to New Zealand GDP, unprecedented access for New Zealand exporters to the UK market UK to eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports, with over 97% being removed the day the FTA comes into force NZ exporters to save approx. $37.8 million per year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show more people in work
    Benefit figures released today show a year on year fall of 9,807 people receiving a Main Benefit in the September Quarter.  “The Government is working hard to tackle COVID-19 and it is clear our strong response to the initial outbreak has created a resilient labour market which is providing opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health reforms bill introduced to Parliament
    Legislation central to fixing the health system has been introduced into Parliament by Health Minister Andrew Little. “Rebuilding the public health system is critical to laying the foundations for a better future for all New Zealanders,” Andrew Little said. “We need a system that works for everybody, no matter who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NCEA and NZ Scholarship Exams to proceed
    NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Limited change to onsite learning – for senior secondary students – in Level 3 regions
    Onsite learning at schools in Level 3 regions will start from next week for senior secondary school students to prepare for end of year exams, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Secondary schools in these regions will start onsite learning for years 11 to 13 on Tuesday 26 October,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Guaranteed MIQ spots for health workers
    The Government is changing the way managed isolation is co-ordinated for health workers, guaranteeing 300 spots a month for the health and disability sector. “Our world-class workforce is vital in rebuilding the health system and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Andrew Little said. “Whether it’s bringing doctors or nurses in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt helps to protect New Zealanders digital identities
    Making it easier for New Zealanders to safely prove who they are digitally and control who has access to that information is one step closer to becoming law, Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, Dr David Clark said. The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill passed its first reading today ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Red tape cut to boost housing supply
    New building intensification rules will mean up to three homes of up to three storeys can be built on most sites without the need for a resource consent New rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes built in next 5-8 years Bringing forward ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
    Further Government support for New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainable business organisation will open up opportunities for dozens of workers impacted by COVID-19 to jump start a nature-based career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Partnering to Plant Aotearoa, led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), is a collaboration with iwi, hapū and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago