Obama calls for international tax reform – what will Key do now?

Written By: - Date published: 6:31 am, April 7th, 2016 - 122 comments
Categories: accountability, Ethics, International, john key, law, tax - Tags: , ,

John Key’s evasions on our country’s role as an international tax haven have been truly shameful, his usual mixture of outright lies, half-truths and evasions. Yesterday Vernon Small took him apart in this strongly worded piece:

Panama Papers: New Zealand’s trusted reputation demands changes to foreign trust rules

And to claim that the required level of record keeping is “full disclosure”, as Prime Minister John Key did this week, is a bleak joke. To claim it negates accusations NZ is a tax haven – because we do not have such levels of secrecy – is equally laughable. If it doesn’t make New Zealand a “tax haven” – and it sure looks like one – it at the very least makes it “a haven” from scrutiny. Just look at the advertisements spruiking New Zealand’s advantages to foreign trusts.

However you look at it, Key made a significant political blunder this week by instinctively defending the tax and trust regime (and by extension those who might exploit it) in the face of domestic and worldwide suspicion. Don’t ask me, ask the supporters of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

To make matters worse he cited the benefit to New Zealand – some $24 million in fees harvested by lawyers and accountants setting up and managing the funds. What price New Zealand’s reputation – something IRD and other officials had already warned about? And is it morally defensible to effectively say any loss of revenue from trusts here is some other country’s issue and we are focused on defending our own tax base? An “each country for itself” approach hardly sits well with international steps, which New Zealand has enthusiastically joined, to deal with corporate profit shifting and base erosion.

Yes, the Nats simply deny that we have a responsibility to do anything about tax havens. English says “the Mexican tax base is interesting, but its not our main priority”. Key literally shrugs the issue off. Here’s one of the excuses we have used for doing nothing:

[Key] said in 2013, after warnings from the IRD about possible damage to New Zealand’s reputation from its foreign trust law – that could see income “not being taxed either in New Zealand or offshore”- the new Revenue Minister Todd McClay had sought advice. “The advice they got was that it would require a lot of work from IRD officials, because this stuff is so complicated, and the argument was ‘was it worth it in terms of all the other issues on the IRD work programme?’ “

So that’s it. Not our problem if we’re running a tax haven. Shrug. We are happy to be a poor global citizen.

Unfortunately for John (ht Gordon Campbell) in 2011 Commerce Minister Simon Power was a whole lot more honest in describing the problems with our regulations:

… Simon Power acknowledged New Zealand’s reputation as a good place to do business had been harmed by overseas individuals using New Zealand registered companies “to commit or facilitate crime such as money laundering, tax evasion and fraud, in overseas jurisdictions”. Mr Power also said a lack of enforcement of current company law meant New Zealand authorities had been unable to help international agencies in trying to combat international fraud. He said the misuse of company structures by “a small number” of overseas individuals and New Zealand-based agents “threatens our international reputation as a good place to do business”.

Even more unfortunately for John, a much better man than he is prepared to take show some actual moral leadership on this issue. President Obama yesterday:

Obama calls for international tax reform amid Panama Papers revelations

Barack Obama has called for international tax reform in the wake of the revelations contained in the Panama Papers.

In an unscheduled appearance in the White House briefing room, Obama described the revelations from the leaks as “important stuff” and said the issue of global tax avoidance was a “huge problem”.

“We shouldn’t make it legal to engage in transactions just to avoid taxes,” he added, praising instead “the basic principle of making sure everyone pays their fair share”.

Do you hear that John? That’s the American President, your old golf buddy, calling for your action. When The Greens called for action you called them “barking mad” (another of your petty and offensive insults). But now it’s Obama – is he mad too?

What are you going to do now John?


According to the IRD:

Whether the rules surrounding foreign trusts should be changed was a “political question” and not up to Inland Revenue, Littlewood said. “It would be technically very easy for the Government to close this down.”

So it only requires the political will.



Far too much to read on this fast developing story:

Gordon Campbell on living in denial about the Panama Papers. “So now we know why New Zealand won all those awards for being the ‘easiest place to do business.’ Evidently, foreign firms that register in New Zealand can operate with impunity when it comes to complying with (a) our money-laundering and terrorism financing laws and (b) our international obligations on such activities.”

Toby & Toby on … the Panama Papers, NZ and ‘tax haven’ ridiculousness. Contains a list of quotes from various sources over the years describing us as a tax haven.

Liam Dann: Government has big questions to answer. “Perhaps, most worryingly, it is because we don’t require any detailed disclosure about those trusts and don’t have any capacity to share information with regulators in countries that might be seeking to chase trustees for tax.”

Panama Papers: Key defends offshore banking comments. “When the Panama Papers made global headlines on Monday, Mr Key was forced to defend his vision to model New Zealand on a country known for its secretive financial system and tax haven activity.”

NZ trusts prone to abuse – tax expert. “Overseas trusts such as those operating in New Zealand are by their nature prone to abuse and are a common method for tax evasion, an international tax expert says.”

David Cameron left dangerously exposed by Panama Papers fallout. 4 different stories in 2 days from Cameron, who is suddenly a big fan of privacy when it comes to his family finances.

122 comments on “Obama calls for international tax reform – what will Key do now? ”

  1. Paul 1

    Check his share prices?

  2. Paul 2

    Blame Labour.

    • McGrath 2.1

      We can blame Labour actually . See Dr Cullen’s statement in 2004 about the trust amendment act 2005

      “Under New Zealand law, foreign income derived by non-residents is outside the New Zealand tax base, and rightly so. The government has no intention of changing that. Because they are not taxed here, foreign trusts that are set up here do not have to file New Zealand income tax returns or keep records if they receive only foreign-sourced income.

      http://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2004-07-27-new-requirements-foreign-trusts-nz

      Personally I’d like to see an IRD investigation into foreign trusts, with any discovered loopholes closed accordingly.

  3. Paul 3

    Say “I’m comfortable with that.”

  4. Murray Simmonds 4

    Yes, but see this comment on Zero Hedge:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-05/rotschild-admits-america-biggest-tax-haven-world-obama-slams-tax-evasion

    Key and Obama apparently have more in common than I thought!

    (The point being: The USA is now the Tax Haven Of Choice for foreign investors, and Obama was speaking from a position of total hypocrisy.)

    The above paper is well worth a read.

  5. Jester 5

    It is concerning that Nz resident tax cheats seem to act with impunity here.

    All this hooha over other nationalities ripping off their own countries, we should be prosecuting the local scumbags for stealing off us off as a first priority!

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      We need to do both but we can’t do it by just changing a few bits of legislation here and there.

    • NZJester 5.2

      We can’t prosecute him while he is still Prime minister! ;-p

    • Tautuhi 5.3

      But if you steal a Pinky Bar from 4 Square you will get 6 months inside.

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        And if you steal $100M from the nation, you get a knighthood and lots of board seats.

  6. Murray Simmonds 6

    And by, the way, Thanks Anthony Robins for an EXCELLENT summary of the situation. Its important to keep this issue on the front burner. It is Key’s “Achilles Heel”, in my opinion.

  7. TepidSupport 7

    Yep. It’s non action and lack of agreement of the issue that will isolate JK from “mums and dads” and “middle income NZ” who like a fair system where everyone contributes.

    • Nessalt 7.1

      appealing to middle new zealand after running them down as benny bashers? labour and the left have lost that ground except the dripping wet sub set

  8. Incognito 8

    Key will do what he always does: lots of rhetoric, spin, and bluster, etc., but no real action of any importance or with real impact.

    We, New Zealand that is, have earned a well-deserved reputation as a ‘clean’ country in many aspects. Being a small nation is often seen as non-threatening in geo-politics and you don’t have to be big to be big in global ‘finance’.

    NZ is now a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Helen is going for the top-job. We consistently rate as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. John Key has got skin in the game and he will do nothing to upset the apple-cart.

    Key is Obama’s innocent-looking little nephew and butter wouldn’t melt. Yeah right!

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Key will do what he always does: lots of rhetoric, spin, and bluster, etc., but no real action of any importance or with real impact.

      I’m of the opinion that he’ll make a bit of fuss and then make some law changes that will make it even easier for international entities to hide their money while promising to do the exact opposite. The same as he did for Zero Hours contracts.

      We consistently rate as one of the least corrupt countries in the world.

      NO, we’re consistently perceived as being one of the least corrupt countries in the world – by ourselves. I suspect that that perception is taking a hammering.

      • NZJester 8.1.1

        NO, we’re consistently perceived as being one of the least corrupt countries in the world – by ourselves. I suspect that that perception is taking a hammering.

        The smoke and mirrors game keeps fooling a lot of the sheeple. Especially with the help of their tame MSM.

      • Incognito 8.1.2

        NO, we’re consistently perceived as being one of the least corrupt countries in the world – by ourselves. I suspect that that perception is taking a hammering.

        No, it is not ourselves that we have to worry about so much; those ratings are entirely subjective.

        The international rankings published by Transparency International – the global coalition against corruption are also based on perception:

        ”Based on expert opinion, the Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide.” http://www.transparency.org/cpi2015

        Perceptions matter, a lot, which was the point I was trying to make as well.

    • Tautuhi 8.2

      Most popular PM ever.

  9. AB 9

    Local law and accountancy firms doing nicely from facilitating the foreign trust scams – they’re National supporters/donors most likely.
    That’s all that matters

  10. Murray Simmonds 10

    “Key will do what he always does: lots of rhetoric, spin, and bluster, etc., but no real action of any importance or with real impact.”

    That’s right Incognito. He’ll do what Obama is doing (see above).

  11. vto 11

    Obama: “important stuff”

    Key: “I’m relaxed”

    what a most pathetic man, cowardly, weak, liar, selfish, uncaring, lazy …

    when was the last time such terms were ladled onto a prime minister?

    pathetic

  12. Whispering Kate 12

    Somebody wrote in reply to a Liam Dann post in the Herald yesterday “why do people who are so rich go to such great lengths to avoid tax” and to me it was quite a profound statement. Why do they? – they have extraordinary amounts of dosh that they could feed the planet forever, what on earth can they do with it, is it a game, or a vindictive sort of thrill that they can get away with it. Are they mentally unwell and need treatment. You would think it would become a burden for them to have to make sure it’s safely stashed away in these tax havens or laundered if its dirty – whatever. What sort of human beings are they with such black souls. Even when they do spend some of their fortune for humankind its because its a tax break – nothing is given freely.

    I am watching “The Night Watchman” on TV right now and the rogue in it is a world-class arms dealer. He is involved with government at a high level and is leading a risky life. He has so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it, he is unhappy, trusts no one and and is vicious to boot. How can having that much money give you peace and a happy life. Something to think about today.

    • Anne 12.1

      why do people who are so rich go to such great lengths to avoid tax” and to me it was quite a profound statement. Why do they? – … Are they mentally unwell and need treatment.

      From observing a couple of relatives who are ‘reasonably comfortable thank-you’, I would say so. It is an all pervading obsession (not unlike rugby mad Kiwis 😉 ) and they become incapable of thinking about anything else. And as the millions mount up, it spawns further obsessive behaviour until a time comes they are no longer in any sort of real world. A good example of the extent of the madness that envelops the most seriously afflicted is Donald Trump. He should be removed from society and kept in an isolated institution where his particular brand of maniacal egotism is no longer a threat to mankind.

    • RedLogix 12.2

      “why do people who are so rich go to such great lengths to avoid tax” and to me it was quite a profound statement. Why do they?

      Usually because:

      They are trying to work out childhood trauma inflicted by a parent who made them the family scapegoat; they are still trying to win the approval of the unpleasable.

      Or for emotional reasons their ability to trust other people has been damaged, so they are using money to create an illusion of control in over their lives.

      Because our system is set up so that money generates more money most very rich people very early on learn the habit of not spending money if at all possible.

      While it is true there are some people who will invest into their business and community in order to build wealth; they are a minority who face substantial head-winds. In my experience many very rich people are emotionally damaged individuals whose behaviours make the ‘trickle down’ theory a risible, driveling lunacy from the outset.

      • Gangnam Style 12.2.1

        A hoarding disorder I have always thought.

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.2

        There is a kind of emotional obsession which makes people dedicate their lives, time and energy to ever more $$$. Money that in the final analysis, they can’t ever spend or enjoy.

        A billionaire can’t eat ten dinners in an evening. So they end up doing crazy shit like going to $10,000 dinners instead, hobnobbing and impressing other members of the oligarchy.

        • Olwyn 12.2.2.1

          I think the point is almost as much about ensuring that those not allied to their own circles don’t have as it is about having. They want their dominance to go unchallenged, and if others start getting comfortable, they might start posing challenges. Of course, if too many others get too uncomfortable, their challenges may become more menacing than they would otherwise have been, but as long as that possibility has not yet become a reality, it can be kicked down the road.

        • grant elmsly 12.2.2.2

          obsession with getting money is based on a vindictiveness that ignores the fact that NZs infrastructure, people and peaceful culture allows one to make money.
          If one can ignore all who were stomped on for one to accumulate vast wealth one can then put it in a NZ trust, Then one can conveniently deny people who did contribute to your fortune in your lifetime and get a name as a goody good philanthropist after you die

    • alwyn 12.3

      You are aware that “The Night Watchman” is fiction I hope?

      • Whispering Kate 12.3.1

        That is with tongue in cheek I hope. Arms dealers like in “The Night Watchman” exist today and the USA and other countries who make military hardware couldn’t manage without them wheeling and dealing to keep the arms industry in business. The world is filled with filthy investment dealers dealing in filthy money making and laundering. Its a laugh that we are meant to be clean and green – we are experts at doing laundering that’s for sure.

      • McFlock 12.3.2

        Ever hear of Victor Bout or Adnan Khashoggi?

        • alwyn 12.3.2.1

          Khashoggi, at least didn’t seem to fit the image that RedLogix has about the rich. He proposes “Because our system is set up so that money generates more money most very rich people very early on learn the habit of not spending money if at all possible”. Khashoggi seemed only to willing to spend it most lavishly and appeared to greatly enjoy it.

          What can one really say about Bout? One countries hero is another countries traitor. He was rather like Snowden, wasn’t he? I confess I had to look Bout up on Wiki. Only after seeing the post did vague memories of him drift back into my memory.
          Sic transit Gloria mundi

          • McFlock 12.3.2.1.1

            Like most of Le Carre’s ouvre, there are solid real-world examples of his characters, even if the work itself is fiction.

            Why are you talking about what RL said when your comment You are aware that “The Night Watchman” is fiction I hope? was directed at WK (FWIW I think you’re both referring to the show “The Night Manager”)? Oh, that’s right, I forgot – your objective is to disrupt, rather than contribute.

            • Whispering Kate 12.3.2.1.1.1

              Oops McFlock, it was “The Night Manager” I was referring to. A pretty grim series but obviously based on what is happening in the world. Lots of filthy money being laundered through trusts and overseas accounts. The people who peddle in it and live off the earnings could live under a hot shower and never be clean.

              • alwyn

                Yes, I was meaning that show too.
                If you really want grim, of course watch the Blacklist.

    • miravox 12.4

      Because they can. They’re highly competitive and it’s a game. 20 cents or 20K, it makes no difference – they’ve beaten the taxman.

      They also lack empathy and lack understanding. Have you seen some of these people on their tropical holidays making a game of bargaining down some poor market seller to the lowest possible price rather than a ‘fair’ price. just so they can brag they outdid their mates? Nevermind the seller needs the 20 cents they ‘saved’.

      Winners!!! all of them.

    • AB 12.5

      They are utterly convinced of their own superiority – and believe they deserve their wealth and that it is a sign of their superiority. Taxation is just inferior people trying to steal their money.
      Whether it is a mental disorder on its own or a complex of others – narcissism, paranoia, sociopathy, who knows?
      What I would suggest is that neoliberalism’s cult of hyper-individuality gives these sort of people licence to indulge such tendencies. Much in the same way that when you have violent, authoritarian governments a constant supply of willing torturers seems to become available from within the general public.

      • Halfcrown 12.5.1

        “Taxation is just inferior people trying to steal their money.”

        So right. Didn’t Bob Jones refer to tax as theft

        • Gangnam Style 12.5.1.1

          From the Night Watchman ‘I am my own man, no one is my boss’ about sums up how the rich see themselves & their attitude towards others.

          • Paul 12.5.1.1.1

            They see themselves as the archetypal Ayn Rand hero, John Galt.
            They are above others.
            It’s impossible to reason with them.
            More radical solutions are necessary.
            1789 comes to mind.

    • Incognito 12.6

      Hah! Happiness comes from freedom and freedom means being detached; the last thing we want to give up is ‘our’ (illusionary and fragile) Ego. Money, wealth, riches, and all hedonistic behaviours and rituals feed Ego and this vicious circle goes round and around.

  13. roy cartland 13

    Don’t forget NRT in your research, this is pretty stinging:

    “The 1% are the common enemy of every country in the world. They loot, they pillage, they steal, and they don’t pay their way. We should be clubbing together against them in collective self-defence. Instead, Bill English wants to defend them. And the reason why is obvious: because he’s one of them, not one of us.” [my emph.]

    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2016/04/poor-global-citizenship.html

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      +1

      We cannot afford the rich.

    • seeker 13.2

      Thatcher, as soon as she was elected PM famously and repeatedly asked, “Are they one of us?”
      I could not understand what she meant for quite a long time. I had never heard a leader of my country ask such an unnerving, divisive or indeed hideous question.
      Then I began to find out for real that that was who she was. Gross (and not in the economic sense).

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    LOL what a joke; Obama is utterly owned by the big investment banks, and the USA is effectively one of the biggest and longest standing tax havens in the whole world.

    They even managed to get Obama to sideline Elizabeth Warren from the White House economic team, while all the former Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan cronies stayed on whispering in Obama’s ear.

    I can’t believe that people can even take Obama preaching about international tax havens seriously.

    This is the man looking to make mega-corps even less accountable through mechanisms like the TPPA.

    This shit is just the 0.001% trying to placate the public through PR. Don’t be so easily bedazzled.

    • alwyn 14.1

      Are you really that keen on Elizabeth Warren? She is surely one of those mad people with a passion to hang on to every penny she has ever earned isn’t she?
      There are a variety of estimates of her net worth but they are generally in the $4 – $14 million US dollar bracket. Say $6 – $20 million New Zealand dollars. This is a middle of the road estimate of $US7.5 million.
      http://members-of-congress.insidegov.com/l/143/Elizabeth-Warren
      As for ” get Obama to sideline Elizabeth Warren” .
      Just when did this happen? It wouldn’t have been when she became a Senator would it?
      A rather less flattering, although probably accurate review is here
      http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/01/worth_14_million_elizabeth_warren_thinks_shes_not_a_wealty_investor.html
      Doesn’t it rather remind you of Cunliffe, who considered a multi-million dollar hose to be just a “do-upper” rather than a mansion?

      • Hami Shearlie 14.1.1

        David Cunliffe said that when he bought his house it was a do-upper – he never claimed that it still was – I saw it and it was a very nice house but hardly qualifies as a mansion – John Key’s little beach house was just as flash inside!

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.2

        Are you really that keen on Elizabeth Warren? She is surely one of those mad people with a passion to hang on to every penny she has ever earned isn’t she?
        There are a variety of estimates of her net worth but they are generally in the $4 – $14 million US dollar bracket

        Warren is upper middle class, and deservedly so. She is not a member of the Investment Bank Goldman Sachs oligarchy which is why they screwed her over in the White House.

        And she is an economist who understands how fucked up most economic theory is.

        She grew up during a time when you could get ahead with intelligence and hard work.

        She is very clear that in the USA, those times are over now and inherited and corporate wealth rule the roost.

        The fact of the matter is that if you are a single digit millionaire, the oligarchs are out to take your minor wealth in order to add it to their big pile.

        • alwyn 14.1.2.1

          “Warren is upper middle class”
          You certainly have high standards for actually being rich then.
          Consensus would be that Warren (and husband) would be in the top 0.3% of Americans and the top 0.02% of people in the world.
          https://www.quora.com/Is-being-worth-10-million-USD-considered-rich
          Sanders at least really is in the middle class, although you might consider him to be incompetent because he hasn’t saved more

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.2.1.1

            At Warren’s net worth of US$4M to US$14M even John Key is probably 5x to 10x richer than Elizabeth Warren.

            And that’s the issue here. The real problem are the 0.001%. The oligarch class.

            Single digit millionaires fly first class with the rest of the cattle.

            Oligarchs fly their own G650 Gulfstream.

      • Paul 14.1.3

        Here to distract not contribute again…..

      • North 14.1.4

        Well done there Trolwyn……..trying the hackneyed and risible “Metiria’s Got A Flash Coat !” screech on Warren.

        • greywarshark 14.1.4.1

          Careful North – your clever portmanteau word is close to our esteemed commenter Olwyn who is far away from that moniker!

          • North 14.1.4.1.1

            Yeah, sorry about that Olwyn. Esteemed as you say GWS. No I mean that bullshitty one who claims the authority of having been historically active on The Left at some point but won’t when asked come up with the provenance.

            • alwyn 14.1.4.1.1.1

              Don’t be mean to Colonial Viper.
              He really was involved, and quite effective as well when they really were the “left”.

  15. Murray Simmonds 15

    ” . . why do people who are so rich go to such great lengths to avoid tax” ”

    I’ll take a simplistic approach:

    They are consumed by their own greed.

    • greywarshark 15.1

      Perhaps a short clip from Eat the Rich would be instructive?
      (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKLA4K5WyZE
      or
      Peter Greenaway’s The Cook the Thief his Wife and her Lover – what an analogy for the way our world is going!
      (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP-VumkuYHY

      It has just been announced that there is a scientific breakthrough in transferring body parts between different species. This will help the rich live longer. For the last two years scientists have been developing their expertise and now can successfully transplant pig hearts into baboons.
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201796116

      However we have had this experiment under wraps for almost thirty years and can demonstrate working models in a central location in Wellington. The address will be publicly announced at a later date, but the information is well known among the cognoscenti.

  16. One Two 16

    Global Taxes

    Managed by the same mob like cartel who are currently destroying life on this planet, through the very systems they designed and control

    The ‘leak’ is as managed as Obamas predictable response

  17. Ralf Crown 17

    What Obama calls for is an international tax cartel to maximize the rip-off by tax. People must understand that corporation do not pay any tax at all, tax is a cost like other costs they add to the price, paid by you and me. As far as individual taxes, they just want to rip-off anyone who got savings. Money easy to take, just call it tax. New Zealand already has one of the worst reputation in the world of “snoopers” running the errands of the Big Brother in Washington.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      And a stupid libertarian wonders in to call tax theft.

      • travellerev 17.1.1

        Actually I agree with him. Money is created out of thin air by privately owned banks and we pay interest on everything we borrow. It is a system set for looting and wealth transfer. Here is Money as Debt I explaining money creation for dummies (Which by the way you are not)

        Here is the link to the Bank of England stating exactly that:

        http://positivemoney.org/how-money-works/how-banks-create-money/

        • Lanthanide 17.1.1.1

          That youtube video still doesn’t explain:
          1. Why this is bad
          2. What an alternative good system would look like or how it would work

        • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1.2

          Actually I agree with him.

          Why?
          What has the creation of money got to do with his idiotic assertion that tax is a “rip-off”?

          And, yes, I’m quite aware that money is created ex nihilo.

          • Ralf Crown 17.1.1.2.1

            This is difficult to grasp, once money is created out of thin air, it is moved around, this is the opportunity to fleece the system with tax. Once the money is in the control of the bureaucratic mafia, they need much of it for their fat salaries, fine offices, ivory towers, nice cars, fat parachutes, nice travel, and fat pensions. If the tax is 60% to 80%, which it is in some countries, if the guy needs $20 for food, he first has to earn $80 to feed the system with tax, the politicians and the bureaucrats. Same for corporations, even if the tax is lower. To go to the doctor you must pay the GP about $100, he has to pay tax and expenses too, then eventually you can get the hospital care, which in New Zealand is third world standard (WHO). The more money floating around in the system, the more profit for the parasites. I am often in China, there is hardly any tax, and you go straight to the hospital, no GP to pay, no bureaucrats, and it costs you $4. That is what tax is about. The more they can get their hands on the more they want and the more they spend.

            • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1.2.1.1

              Wow, you talk shit.

              This is difficult to grasp, once money is created out of thin air, it is moved around, this is the opportunity to fleece the system with tax.

              No, once it’s created by the private banks it’s an opportunity to fleece the rest of the population part of which is by not paying the taxes that they’re supposed to.

              If the tax is 60% to 80%, which it is in some countries, if the guy needs $20 for food, he first has to earn $80 to feed the system with tax, the politicians and the bureaucrats.

              So, tell me, which countries in the world have a 60 to 80% flat tax?

              The more money floating around in the system, the more profit for the parasites.

              That bits true – the parasitical banksters and corporations.

              I am often in China, there is hardly any tax, and you go straight to the hospital, no GP to pay, no bureaucrats, and it costs you $4.

              $4 in a country that pays about $2/hour is pretty high but it’s still got nothing to do with tax.

              That is what tax is about.

              Tax is payment for services rendered. Doing it directly would cost more and we’d get less service. We’ve seen this over and over again since the 1980s and the imposition of neoliberal bollocks and privatisation as an economic system. If we still owned Telecom as a state monopoly we wouldn’t have to subsidising it to get FTTH – that would have been part of the service and we wouldn’t have lost more than $20 billion dollars in dividends to the bludging shareholders.

              • Ralf Crown

                *Yes, it is an opportunity to fleece the system, you fleece the ones that been saving and planning, to feed the lazy and incompetent.
                *In countries as Norway, Sweden and Denmark, the official average tax is 52%, for a successful one man business it hits 80%. People have been charged over 100% in tax. This is including all money the state take, many taxes has, as in New Zealand been renamed “fees”.
                *Parasites, I am talking mostly of nonproductive as lawyers and accountants, who are the center of the tax planning. Lower the tax, simplify the system, and they will be out of work.
                *In China an engineer is earning about four times as much as an engineer in New Zealand. *Nobody works for 2 dollars an hour as some people have to do in New Zealand.
                *Services, what services. Third world health care. No trains. In China I pay 20 cents for a bus ride, in New Zealand it costs 8 dollars.

    • Paul 17.2

      Are you really that stupid?

      • Ralf Crown 17.2.1

        The corporates are not stupid, the tax maffia increase their cost, aka tax, they just all increase the price to cover it, and you pay. Where would otherwise the money come from.

        • Colonial Viper 17.2.1.1

          Corporate mega-profits and the oligarchy they support are the true theft from society.

          Huge transnational corporations, like Apple, are also the worst abusers of tax haven schemes which steal directly from public services like health and education.

          Not that you care about stuff like that, but just saying.

          • Draco T Bastard 17.2.1.1.1

            +1

          • Ralf Crown 17.2.1.1.2

            And what do you think the oligarchy is doing with the money, they invest it, and that creates jobs. What they hand over to the politicians and bureaucrat mafia is creating jobs too, for the like-minded of the mafia. More bureaucrats. Apple, as everyone, minimizes their tax costs, otherwise they go out of business and others take over and place jobs in Africa or Laos, not in you hi-tax neighborhood. All corporations just have to do it to keep the prices down in the competition with the next corporation. Politicians force up the tax cost, fine, they can do it, same for everyone, and they just stick it on top of the price and you pay. All prices go up to pay the increased taxes, nothing gained, except for the mafia.

            • pat 17.2.1.1.2.1

              good grief

            • Colonial Viper 17.2.1.1.2.2

              you dick head, the “wealthy” “invest” their money in “financial instruments” in offshore tax havens.

              What kind of fucking jobs do you think that kind of pseudo-economy produces, if you arent a waiter in a five star restaurant, a Ferrari dealer, or a crooked tax haven accountant?

              • Ralf Crown

                Right, they do, and those financial instruments finance jobs. But I agree with you, they don’t invest in rip-off anti tax havens as New Zealand. So to attract those investment, to create jobs and welfare, why nor be a tax haven, or – of course – kiwis can carry on fighting the windmills.

            • Draco T Bastard 17.2.1.1.2.3

              Apple wouldn’t exist without all the research paid for by the US Federal government because they don’t do shit. Apple then repay the US taxpayers generosity by not paying the taxes that they should do because of their greed.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    The advice they got was that it would require a lot of work from IRD officials, because this stuff is so complicated, and the argument was ‘was it worth it in terms of all the other issues on the IRD work programme?’

    It would be a lot of work. Designing and creating an entire new tax structure fit for purpose would take a lot of time and effort but that is what needs to be done. These Panama Papers are proof of that.

    • greywarshark 18.1

      Well DTB we have got all the time left in our world. Soon it may become some other entities world if we don’t change our thinking and behaviour.

      I think that you are right and we must do something serious about reforming the tax system. It must be (as in the phrase used I think in Key’s Budget speech) ‘fit for purpose’, that meaning it brings in centrally and locally enough money or credits to aid all people to live an enjoyable, simple life in harmony (as much as humanly possible) with each other and the planet.

      We are clever humans, if we want it so, we can do it. Between dystopia and utopia there is a plateau that is right for us, livable and manageable where we can be gracious people, not snarling, snatching, sneering cheap copies of our potential form.

      But we are up against entrenched, embedded thinking.
      The Mafia’s treasury sounds caution.
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/300862/taxing-foreign-trust-income-could-end-industry-ird
      We must keep a flow of money into the country to make it appear that at any time the credit agencies look, we seem to be in balance sufficient to meet their criteria of a financially stable country. According to their criteria, which will be reviewed if the financial sector and economy collapse in the next 24 hours.

    • Mike S 18.2

      Not difficult in relation to the foreign trusts as per this comment in the article, from IRD

      “Whether the rules surrounding foreign trusts should be changed was a “political question” and not up to Inland Revenue, Littlewood said. “It would be technically very easy for the Government to close this down.”

      • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1

        That’s playing at the edges. More needs to be done. As I said: Designing and creating an entire new tax structure fit for purpose

        What we have is something that’s been tampered with for centuries and nobody really knows how it works any more nor its purpose. This is why it has so many loopholes in it and why it needs compete replacement.

  19. alwyn 19

    If anyone wants to read a balanced view of the situation they might care to read this opinion piece in the Herald.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11617423
    Have a look at the comments about what the Chinese could do to Fonterra.
    International taxation is like Global Warming. To solve it every country has to buy into it.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      And the RWNJ pops in to tell us that it’s just too hard.

      • alwyn 19.1.1

        You appear to have clicked on the wrong “reply” icon when you put this comment in.
        Nothing in what you say has any relevance to my views or comment. Try harder in future.

        • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1.1

          You’re the one who said: International taxation is like Global Warming. To solve it every country has to buy into it.

          Within context that’s implying that it’s something that’s simply too hard to do and therefore we shouldn’t do anything. Especially in light of what you said about China and Fonterra.

          Does every country in the world have to take action against this theft? Well, it would make it easier but we could do our part without waiting for everyone else.

          This comes back to my idea of setting standards for who we trade with having to meet rather than having FTAs. A tax haven wouldn’t meet those standards and thus we wouldn’t allow trade with them. Of course, this does mean that NZ would have to meet those standards as well, i.e, we couldn’t be a tax haven.

          • alwyn 19.1.1.1.1

            “Within context that’s implying that it’s something that’s simply too hard to do and therefore we shouldn’t do anything”.
            Rubbish. That may be your view but it isn’t mine. To make it work we need to get general agreement on the rules. That isn’t impossible and although it may be hard it isn’t “too hard to do”.

            “Does every country in the world have to take action against this theft”.
            Who is the theft from and what do you want us to do? Do you really think that all trusts are for the purpose of theft?
            If I was an Opposition Singaporean Politician I would probably want to get ownership of any property or assets out of the country. Upset the Lee family there and a compliant judiciary will force you into bankruptcy.

            However, what do you see as the major problem with International Tax and New Zealand? It makes a huge difference whether you think it is supposedly insufficient collection and dissemination of information about a trust or whether you think we should start taxing people who do not live in New Zealand, do no business in New Zealand, but have set up a New Zealand registered trust which actually has no property in New Zealand and has beneficiaries who also don’t live in New Zealand.
            Which is the subject of your concern.

            • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1.1.1.1

              hat may be your view but it isn’t mine.

              So, now you’re saying that your view is contrary to what you wrote?

              Who is the theft from and what do you want us to do?

              The theft is from communities and nations and we need to do our bit to stop it.

              Do you really think that all trusts are for the purpose of theft?

              Considering that’s what they’re inevitably used for – yes.

              If I was an Opposition Singaporean Politician I would probably want to get ownership of any property or assets out of the country. Upset the Lee family there and a compliant judiciary will force you into bankruptcy.

              Then the Singaporeans need to do something about that. We may be able to help with that through diplomatic channels but what we shouldn’t be doing is helping people dodge their local laws.

              However, what do you see as the major problem with International Tax and New Zealand?

              I see NZ tax laws helping international criminals escape justice.

              whether you think we should start taxing people who do not live in New Zealand, do no business in New Zealand, but have set up a New Zealand registered trust which actually has no property in New Zealand and has beneficiaries who also don’t live in New Zealand.

              I think such a person shouldn’t have a trust in NZ as the only reason for such a trust is nefarious purposes.

              • McFlock

                Do you really think that all trusts are for the purpose of theft?

                Considering that’s what they’re inevitably used for – yes.

                Interesting point. Trusts are used to keep assets away from situations like bankruptcy – assets that would otherwise be used to clear the debts. What is an ethical reason to have a family trust?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  For example, a family might set up a trust to ensure that offspring exhibiting National Party values would not be able to sell family assets for personal gain.

        • McFlock 19.1.1.2

          Interesting: you can’t see the relevance, therefore you believe the relevance must not exist.

          Tory worldview right there…

      • Reddelusion 19.1.2

        And the guy who pontificates endlessly, simply pontificates leftie dribble with his desired outcome, never backed by a workable or the mechanics of a practical solution, simply wacky proposal that work in his world, ie his living room and Pc

        • adam 19.1.2.1

          It’s been a bad few weeks, I know, and it’s hard to be smug when you are on the end of such a kicking.

          But Reddelusion, if you put in the effort, and give up on the diet of infallibility you just may survive the fact that this national government are the protectors of uber rich criminals, and those who practice tax avoidance as sport.

        • Draco T Bastard 19.1.2.2

          I’ve backed all my words with a workable solution. You, on the other hand, merely exclaim that we need to continue with the present failed system and offer no solutions at all.

    • miravox 19.2

      A balanced view? or self-interested view? From a partner and director of an accounting – oops ‘professional services’ – firm caught up in the LuxLeaks, that is.

      According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), files used for the LuxLeaks revelations come from employees or former employees of Luxembourgish subsidiaries of the international accounting firms: PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG (the “Big Four”).

      Between December 2014 and April 2015, three people were indicted in Luxembourg in connection with LuxLeaks revelations. No multinational corporation faces charges in any country or at the international level, due to the so far legality of tax rulings.

      Your last sentence – yup it seems the accountant/authors agree with with Obama. As the heading of this post says, Obama is calling for international tax reform. That these arrangements are legal is the problem.

      • Colonial Viper 19.2.1

        The Big Four make a shit tonne of money administering these tax haven regimes for major corporates and their wealthy shareholders. And the big banks have been caught doing similar for drug cartels.

        They’re the last people who want tax laws tightened up and simplified.

  20. Murray 20

    John Key seams to have said that NZ having having shelters to facilitate the wealthy evading tax and criminals laundering money doesn’t really mater very much because it’s legal in NZ. What does that say about his mind set ?.

  21. Murray Simmonds 21

    This is absolutely astounding:

    A must-watch video for all Bernie Sanders fans (I’m one!).

    He’s speaking out on America’s free trade deal with Panama and how its all about assisting that country’s endeavours to acquire tax-haven status.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-06/blast-past-%E2%80%93-hillary-clinton-vs-bernie-sanders-panama

    The interesting bit is that he gave this speech to Congress in – wait for it – 2011.

    No, not this week, but 2011.

    I’m impressed.

  22. Murray Simmonds 22

    P.s.

    You get a free trade deal with the USA if you agree to keep your country’s tax-haven status alive and well.

    Sounds familiar?

    No wonder the TPPA was negotiated in such secrecy!

  23. Murray Simmonds 23

    According to the US-based “Automatic Earth” website, “The Financial Times” has an article on John Key (if I read it right.)

    Unfortunately, its behind the paywall.

    My curiosity is killin’ me. Any subscribers among TS reader?

  24. Murray Simmonds 24

    Sorry – misread that its john Kay (not Key). May’ve been wishful thinking on my part.

    Time for that trip to Specsavers, i think.

  25. rod 25

    NZ is not a tax dodgers Haven. It’s a tax dodgers Heaven. Three cheers for John Key .
    Nothing to see here!

  26. Tautuhi 26

    Is John Key a New Zealander and is he working in the best interests of all New Zealanders?

    He was head hunted out of New York and the Federal Reserve by the mother of the National Party and Fay Richwhite, Michelle Boag for what?

    Can anybody answer this question?

  27. Tautuhi 27

    Why are we worrying about this minor issue I am more worried about these lazy dole bludging [r0b: A week off for drive-by racism. Bye], if they would get off their asses and do some work the country wouldn’t be in such a mess.

  28. Goon 28

    No this is bigger than WikiLeaks and Snowden. With our robot comrades doing all the work and money shuffling turning into a drag on productivity there is increasing idleness. The only acceptable answer to this for the large moderate vote seemingly wealth redistribution. Voters are increasingly going to apply pressure for a fairer tax system. Any politician who doesn’t understand this simply shouldn’t be in the game.

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  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    7 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    7 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    7 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    1 week ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Kiwis having their say on first regulatory review

    After receiving more than 740 submissions in the first 20 days, Regulation Minister David Seymour is asking the Ministry for Regulation to extend engagement on the early childhood education regulation review by an extra two weeks.  “The level of interest has been very high, and from the conversations I’ve been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government upgrading Lower North Island commuter rail

    The Coalition Government is investing $802.9 million into the Wairarapa and Manawatū rail lines as part of a funding agreement with the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), KiwiRail, and the Greater Wellington and Horizons Regional Councils to deliver more reliable services for commuters in the lower North Island, Transport Minister Simeon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government moves to ensure flood protection for Wairoa

    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced his intention to appoint a Crown Manager to both Hawke’s Bay Regional and Wairoa District Councils to speed up the delivery of flood protection work in Wairoa."Recent severe weather events in Wairoa this year, combined with damage from Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023 have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • PM speech to Parliament – Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Report into Abuse in Care

    Mr Speaker, this is a day that many New Zealanders who were abused in State care never thought would come. It’s the day that this Parliament accepts, with deep sorrow and regret, the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  At the heart of this report are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges torture at Lake Alice

    For the first time, the Government is formally acknowledging some children and young people at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital experienced torture. The final report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-based Care “Whanaketia – through pain and trauma, from darkness to light,” was tabled in Parliament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges courageous abuse survivors

    The Government has acknowledged the nearly 2,400 courageous survivors who shared their experiences during the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State and Faith-Based Care. The final report from the largest and most complex public inquiry ever held in New Zealand, the Royal Commission Inquiry “Whanaketia – through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Half a million people use tax calculator

    With a week to go before hard-working New Zealanders see personal income tax relief for the first time in fourteen years, 513,000 people have used the Budget tax calculator to see how much they will benefit, says Finance Minister Nicola Willis.  “Tax relief is long overdue. From next Wednesday, personal income ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Paid Parental Leave improvements pass first reading

    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden says a bill that has passed its first reading will improve parental leave settings and give non-biological parents more flexibility as primary carer for their child. The Regulatory Systems Amendment Bill (No3), passed its first reading this morning. “It includes a change ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Rebuilding the economy through better regulation

    Two Bills designed to improve regulation and make it easier to do business have passed their first reading in Parliament, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. The Regulatory Systems (Economic Development) Amendment Bill and Regulatory Systems (Immigration and Workforce) Amendment Bill make key changes to legislation administered by the Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • ‘Open banking’ and ‘open electricity’ on the way

    New legislation paves the way for greater competition in sectors such as banking and electricity, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says. “Competitive markets boost productivity, create employment opportunities and lift living standards. To support competition, we need good quality regulation but, unfortunately, a recent OECD report ranked New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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