Should We Worry About Green and Maori Party Taxes?

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 am, July 30th, 2023 - 163 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, Economy, election 2023, greens, maori party, tax - Tags:

We need to recognise our risk to the capital flight risk of the 1%, but also recognise the benefit to the 99% of us.

The Green Party summarised moves in tax are:

  • • 2.5% Wealth Tax on assets worth more than $4million (minus debt) for couple and $2 million (minus debt) for individuals. Family home and retirement savings exempted are mostly not affected.
  • 1.5% Trust Tax
  • 45% tax on income over $180,000
  • Corporate tax rate of 33% (back to the 2007 level)

The Maori Party summarised tax moves are:

  • 2% Wealth Tax on assets over $2million
  • 8% on wealth over $10million
  • First $30,000 tax free
  • $70,000 to $180,000 38% (up from 33%)
  • 42% tax on income over $180,000
  • 48% on income over $300,000
  • Corporate tax rate of 33% (back to the 2007 level)
  • 33% tax on houses untenanted for 6 months or more, or on land undeveloped for 6 months
  • Remove all GST from food

So let’s say on October 16th 2023 a government is formed that implements this level of tax, and it all starts (for arguments sake) on the same week government is formed.

What’s likely to happen next?

Let’s start with people with not much and earn under $30,000 a year. All the 1.5 million New Zealanders on NZSuper and other benefits get a big injection of cash per week. Some stress comes off their lives. All things being equal (though they never ever are).

New Zealanders who don’t own $4million in assets (net of debt), and don’t earn over $180,000 a year – which is 99% of us – are fine. So long as our houses are rented out and any land we have is developed.

Those who are aspirant to $4million or aspirant to earning $180,000+ – say another 5% of us, may start to make different plans.

But here’s where the policy effects get tough. New Zealand has 8,500 people approximately with wealth over US$10m. Of that, currently 12 people have wealth of more than $500m.

Why should the 4.99 million of us care about them through these big tax policy changes?

Well the quick answer is they matter because they own the companies that employ us. Where they go, go our jobs. Now of course that doesn’t matter if you are one of the 1.4 million retired or on a benefit: under Greens and Maori Party you are already much better off.

A further 19% are employed in the public sector. Temptable elsewhere, but that’s true now not just on October 15th.

For those not in the public sector, that 8,500 people’s ownership matters a lot.

It might matter to those companies who liked our previous tax level and for whom 5% extra tax makes a difference.

But are we really vulnerable to capital flight caused by tax changes?

Our large companies have been increasingly foreign owned for decades. The state-owned entities NZSuperfund and ACC have grown their share of assets in New Zealand. But our largest companies are now headquartered overseas or at least have share registers dominated by non-New Zealanders.

In land, 56% is privately owned but only 3.3% of that is foreign owned. But it is concentrated at the top, with 6 of the 10 largest private landowners are foreign.

So the risk of capital flight about land ownership appears low.

But our companies are in total about 50% owned by foreigners. Figures compiled by Bill Rosenberg of the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa show foreigners owned 47% of shares in firms back in 2016, the highest level since 2002 when it was 60%.

It is certainly the case that cross-border Merger and Acquisition activity in New Zealand almost always takes our scarce capital away from us where it’s needed, than bringing it back.

Companies based elsewhere who don’t want to pay an extra 5% in tax may decide to leave. Some of them anyway. Doesn’t mean the assets we need to service go down the tube, since some are very fixed here such as all ports, airports, power generators, dairy companies, corporate farms, wineries and breweries, sports teams, timber companies, meat companies, road and engineering companies, supermarkets, real estate, airlines, fishing companies, iwi companies, land developers, and … actually that most of the private companies employing over 50 people and generating salaries over $100,000 …. Hmmm that’s almost all spatially fixed capital … maybe the fear of capital flights isn’t as high then. Indeed for the most part we are both so foreign owned and so spatially bound that capital flight is a lessened risk.

Tax changes of 5% at the corporate level aren’t going to change that.

So who might leave with these tax changes? What banner headlines are we going to get on ZB of the NZHerald that “X Richlister says ‘will the last person to leave turn out the lights?’” arf arf.

Well the answer to capital flight risk is not really corporations.

It’s the specialists. Let’s set out those who have $4million or well over $180k of income who might look elsewhere:

  • Top Rugby players who’ve done five seasons in France and invested hard and fast
  • Top surgeons 10+ years in practise.
  • Top utility or airport or port or supermarket company executives who like it here (but are often headhunted anyway)
  • Top land developers and their ‘influencer’ partners who can do similar land deals in Australian east coast cities.
  • Top manufacturers who are still here but haven’t been bought out (there are still a few).
  • Top medium business owners and their teams who haven’t listed and aren’t yet ready to sell out.
  • Top lawyers or tech geeks in software or engineering who have been in partnership for at least 20 years and are at the peak of their earning power, ready to consider the Big Liquidation before retiring.

It’s those of the 1% who chose to stay. Not even the Mr Darcy’s of this world decided to shift their capital holdings overseas. Sure they had Caribbean or colonial interests, and adventure was adventure, but home was home.

The risk of capital flight is real. It happened when France introduced a wealth tax in 1989.

For those who are at risk of moving – the specialists listed above – they are indispensable to us and they take over 20 years to replace. And those who seek to replace them will expect the same wealth accumulation the previous generation had.

There have been reports going back to 1967 on the desirability of taxing realised capital. It wasn’t just the Cullen Tax report of 2019.

The Ross Report of 1967 Taxation in New Zealand: Report of the Taxation Review Committee (Ross Report) concluded “the introduction of a realised capital gains tax is desirable on the grounds of equity provided the rates of tax are moderate”.

99% of us under Green and Maori Party tax proposals will be fine. Except that the 1% have a group among them that employ us and feed us and entertain us and perform surgery on us and fire our aspirations – and take about 20 years to replace if they leave.

How much attention ought we pay to that part of the 1%?

163 comments on “Should We Worry About Green and Maori Party Taxes? ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Interesting take.

    I know a couple of very senior surgeons. One is a dyed in the wool nat and would never think about voting differently. He might move.

    Another votes and supports Greens because he is that concerned about climate change. He would never move.

    And among the ranks of lawyers and judges I know there are a significant number who support Labour. They would not move and in many cases would support a wealth tax.

    • Ad 1.1

      And then you find multi-millionaire morons who leave because they don't like the science curriculum. Or something. It's not always rational.

      • Charlotte Rust 1.1.1

        That article is ridiculous, for a start she would have to realise the market in NZ for bright wallpaper is tiny given our population and therefore wealth compared to Australia. Marc Ellis has an Italian wife and maybe she wanted to go back to family. With a population of 5mill we are always going to be small and sleepy compared to Australia and Britain etc. Some of the super rich might like their lifestyle here so will suck up the tax changes rather than relocate. I’m sure they own some beautiful slices of land they’d rather not leave to go live in a foreign country and the difficulties that incurs. Not to mention leaving family behind.

  2. pat 2

    It would not simply be capital flight that may result…it would be the likely reduction in investment and (re) finance….in an economy that persistently runs (large) trade deficits and produces little of that which it needs to function.

    • Ad 2.1

      It's not the Iranian revolution or Russian sanction regime.

      Have you seen countries in which this degree of tax change killed off reinvestment?

      • pat 2.1.1

        Any country that cannot borrow in its own currency….and that privilege( or leverage) comes with conditions.

        How confident are you that we will be viewed such and what are you prepared to risk?

  3. arkie 3

    If the concern of capital flight of the 1% prevents necessary changes that benefit 99% of us then we are being held hostage.

    The IMF has been repeatedly calling for a broadened tax base:

    For the longer term, the IMF said targeted government spending would be needed to tackle the challenges of climate change, an ageing population, and infrastructure gaps, including freeing up bottlenecks, and possible changes to superannuation.

    It also revived its call for tax reform, including a capital gains tax.

    "A well-designed tax reform could allow for lower corporate and personal income tax rates by broadening the tax base to other more progressive sources, such as comprehensive capital gains and land taxes, while also addressing fiscal drag and improving efficiency."

    Our current taxes are amongst the lowest in the OECD; 31/38:

    The World Bank rates us as 2nd in the world for ease of doing business:

    The World Bank’s Doing Business survey of business regulations has again ranked New Zealand 2nd in the world for overall ease of doing business.

    Why should we continue to advantage the 1% at the expense of the rest of us? Who do our major parties represent? Why should those struggling with increased inequality give up their aspirations of getting by comfortably so that those at the top can avoid their responsibility to society? Tax the rich.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1

      Tax the rich.

      Now there's an idea yes

      To shamelessly paraphrase David Attenborough:

      All our societal problems become easier to solve with less inequality and harder – and ultimately impossible to solve – with ever greater inequality.

      Such ideas aren't for everyone, of course, but they are unashamedly "for the many".

      The point is, we can improve. And the starting point for that is to get over the awkwardness and start acknowledging the problem.
      (Cough Cough)
      "Hey, aaah… do you reckon we could pass something down for these guys over here?"

      For a few Kiwis, even the thought of contributing more money to our Govt by way of tax is too much to stomach – ‘unfair‘, they cry, Unfair!

      Why poverty in New Zealand is everyone's concern
      Liang describes poverty as a "heritable condition" that perpetuates and amplifies through generations: "It is also not hard to see how individual poverty flows into communities and society, with downstream effects on economics, crime and health, as well as many other systems. Loosen one strand and everything else unravels."

      A Kete Half Empty
      Poverty is your problem, it is everyone's problem, not just those who are in poverty. – Rebecca, a child from Te Puru

  4. weka 4

    Family home and retirement savings exempted.

    Not quite. They're saying that most family homes and retirement savings won't be affected because the tax targets the top 1% of New Zealanders. Do you want me to edit that sentence? GP policy wording is "This will not affect most family homes or retirement savings"

  5. Blazer 5

    Can't see why the 1% would be concerned at all.

    There are around 75 tax havens around the world.

    Here's some food for thought.

    'As this chart illustrates, higher marginal income tax rates didn’t necessarily result in a higher income tax burden for the wealthiest taxpayers. In fact, as the top marginal income tax rate has fallen, the top 1 percent’s income tax burden has increased.

    The Top 1 Percent’s Tax Rates Over Time | Tax Foundation

  6. Shanreagh 6

    2.5% Wealth Tax on assets worth more than $4million (minus debt) for couple and $2 million (minus debt) for individuals. Family home and retirement savings exempted.

    Ad, you state that this (bolded) is The Greens policy but it was not when it was discussed here some time back as I remember arguing that to include them in a wealth tax crossed purposes with other Govt initatives over the years of:

    • saving for one's retirement (on the basis that National Super as we know, and at levels as we know it, may not be available). On that basis it is nuts, not to mention unfair, that having heeded the call that extra taxes are now levied
    • encouragement to buy a home to live it with all the benefits to stability for individuals and communities that accrue, also has been the subject of explicit Govt support over the years in the way of accessing loans from Govt agencies etc etc.

    If these are not included and the wealthy as we know them are caught and not Joe Blow doing what is best for themselves and family then this is a great advance from the Greens and well done them…..

    Could you pl confirm as this change will make a defintie difference to how some former Greens supporters feel about voting again for 'their' party.

    • weka 6.1

      it's a mistake in the post, see my comment above. What the GP policy says is "[the tax] will not affect most family homes or retirement savings"

      That means a very small % of people will pay the tax on assets that include the family home/retirement savings. The policy also clearly gives a mechanism for people affected who don't have the income to pay yearly – they can defer payment until the house is sold or the person dies. Like a CGT or death tax.

      However, this post is about capital flight risk from the proposed taxes, so please keep on topic.

      • Visubversa 6.1.1

        It would be interesting to know what "small % " would be caught by the changes in the market and the appreciation in the value of properties.

        There are many Auckland properties like mine which have increased considerably in value because of changes in demographics and changes in the way people want to live these days.

        I am still living in the house I bought in 1981. At the time I bought it – the area was deeply unfashionable and regarded as a slum. The house was a mess and infested with rats. Over the 40 odd years I have had it – I would have put something like a million dollars of investment in repairs and development. The land value alone is now over $3 million. That is because many people now want to live closer to the CBD and use public transit rather than sit for hours on motorways.

        We rent out the larger part of the property and live in the "granny flat". This supplements our pensions and enables us to live reasonably comfortably in our older age.

        I have never voted Green (and never will) so it makes no difference to our votes, but we are not alone in having our concerns about our long term investment in our family home threatened in this way.

          • Visubversa

            It says I will pay an extra $52.500 pa in their asset tax and get $24 per week tax saving on my income. No thanks.

            • arkie

              I have never voted Green (and never will) so it makes no difference to our votes

              You're welcome. We all have our own priorities.

            • bwaghorn

              So to be clear, you'd be paying $52 ,500 a year in wealth tax??

              On a pension with a rental income you pay tax on already?

              • weka

                for a couple to pay $52,500/yr in an asset tax, the assets would need to be just over $6,000,000.

                If the couple didn't have the income for that, it could be deferred until sold. Over 20 years, that would be $1,050,000. That would leave the couple around $5,000,000. That's rough figures and doesn't take into account increases in asset value over the 20 years.

                We're not talking poor pensioners here.

                • bwaghorn

                  Does the wealth tax target liquid cash, so instead of 6 mil in proportion they had 6 mil in the bank and down sized to something cheap

                  • weka

                    I'm not sure what you are saying there. The wealth tax would affect all assets, no matter what form. But only assets in the clear (so assets less debts).

                    If you have a $6m house and you sell it and live in a $1m house and have $5m in the bank, you still have $6m of assets

                • Shanreagh

                  We may however be talking of pensioners who are asset rich and cash poor. The assets cannot be used to buy bread.

                  ‘We’re not talking poor pensioners here.’

                  it is this kind of comment that signals to me that a large part of the so-called need for the low level of threshhold is firmly in the camp of the ‘politics of envy’ rather than a clear and careful look at the issues as evidenced by the Treasury workings I linked to above.

                  • adam

                    Universal super or do you want North Korea?

                    Or Russia, where Putin removed theirs.

                    ‘politics of envy’ = is that code for the ‘politics of protecting cupidity’?

                    • Shanreagh

                      Not in my book.

                      It means we should critically examine why we support some thing like this as envy is a poor motivator and a troublesome frame of mind for a person to be in.

                      Our fascination with rising income inequality as a public policy dilemma provides a political justification for encouraging envy. Reducing income inequality through redistributive policies aims to punish the "haves" as much as it claims to help the "have-nots." Focusing on relative disparities suggests that people have the right to resent others’ good fortune, hard work, or income. As philosophy professor David E. Cooper articulates in his essay "Equality and Envy," "The idea that some should have less because others have less is an extraordinary idea—yet it is entailed by the egalitarian idea."

                      My Bolding


                      This is an interesting read.

                      More: What can we do…..?
                      ‘In focusing attention on relative disparities, we encourage people to resent others’ good fortune, hard work, or income.

                      If income mobility is an economic prescription for lifting families out of poverty and into the middle class and beyond, what contributes most to such mobility? What steps can individuals take, supported by sound public policy, to move up the income ladder?

                      The research is clear: education is unquestionably the most important factor and is in fact growing in importance. ‘


                    • adam

                      You are ‘politics of protecting cupidity"

                      Oh well.

                      Have a nice week.

                  • weka

                    We may however be talking of pensioners who are asset rich and cash poor. The assets cannot be used to buy bread.

                    I am fast running out of patience with you willfully misrepresenting the arguments in this debate. You continually ignore the fact that cash poor people would be able to defer payment.

                    My examples take into account cash poor people including my comment that you replied to, so please stop with the misleading responses.

                    it is this kind of comment that signals to me that a large part of the so-called need for the low level of threshhold is firmly in the camp of the ‘politics of envy’ rather than a clear and careful look at the issues as evidenced by the Treasury workings I linked to above.

                    If you are going to run this kind of slur politics instead of arguing the actual issues, then you can expect some push back about why you are so keen to protect the extreme wealth of some rather than lift everyone out of poverty. We're talking about people with $6,000,000 worth of assets here vs people who can't afford to feed their kids.

                    None of the alternatives I've seen you give are about paying for a GMI etc do that everyone can be lifted out over poverty. Your ideas are all tinkering around the edges of poverty.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      We're talking about people with $6,000,000 worth of assets here vs people who can't afford to feed their kids.

                      Well put – difficult to reconcile prioritising private wealth over the elimination of poverty with any progressive policy/action.

                      Quite mind-blowing really – if the apparent fears of asset-rich commenters here are genuine, then how to explain them? Maybe increasing uncertainty in all our futures has something to do with it.

                    • weka []

                      it’s certainly interesting, although perhaps not surprising, to see people focussing on their property generated wealth to the exclusion of what the tax is for.

                    • Shanreagh

                      The reason I don't give much credence to the idea of deferring is that I think it is a crock. Same with the idea of deferring rates until death. It is actually no solution and an admission that there is something wrong both with the philosophy behind the scheme or the mechanics ie threshhold is set too low.

                      You can see the same argument advanced by local authorities about exorbitant rates. 'Oh just put it on tick and pay it later.' The fundamental question is though what has gone wrong with the idea of rates collection being used to fund a local authority and this manner of collection rasing enough.

                      To me looking at first principles the concept of rates and raising money to fund local authorities needs looking at to see if it is fit for purpose.

                      To me also therefore the idea of defering wealth tax because it is beyond the means of the so-called wealthy it is targetted at is a contradiction in terms. The concept of wealth means one does not have a problem funding day to day living expenses plus a well targetted additional impost. So a proper wealth tax along the Treasury work. If this is done it should not need to target the only home they have and that a family lives in or the prudent savings they have made for retirement.

                      So me not mentioning the admission of failure inherent in the people to whom it is aimed at not having money to pay it does not mean anything wilful from me in the slightest. It means only that I believe it is no solution and points to fundamental design problems just as the rates paying for local authorities is now in need to review as the concept may have past its use by date.

                      If things are going to be deferred until death then why not have a death duties tax instead? You have not answered this?

                      My view also about the so-called purpose is that poverty of the level that The Greens are saying exists, and I have seen that spouses in wealthy single income families may be counted, is such that explicit funding should be made available through the relevant vote.

                      This means that funds to alleviate poverty are explictly budgetted on and voted on every year as part of the Budget process. It should not be included or hidden in a tied taxation regime. This puts it in front of the electorate every single year that there is work to be done.

                      Also what would be the matter with using The Treasury figures on the wealth tax they were working on? Why are these unacceptable?

                • Visubversa

                  That is what the calculator told me. I have a high land value because of current demand, and the home I have lived in for over 40 years – part of which brings in an income to supplement my pension income. There is no indicator for gross or net income. It did not add up to anything like $6 million.

                  My home is my main investment. I have worked all my adult life and spent my $$$ on my home and my education. I had time out of the workforce in my early 50's to go back to Uni to retrain for a new profession.

                  • weka

                    maybe do it again. Are you single or a couple? What's the net value of your asset?

                    The income calculation sits independently from the asset one afaik. You can run the assets one alone.

                    The maths is relatively simple. If you are single, and your home is worth $3m, you would owe 2.5% tax on $1m, ie $25,000.

                    If you are a couple, you would pay no tax.

                    If the assets are $4m, then the single person would owe 2.5% on $2m ie $50,000. A couple would owe no tax.

                    • Jester

                      Assuming an older couple on super, no other income, with an Auckland house now worth say $3 million due to inflation over 25 years, when one partner passes away, and the surviving partner inherits the house and lives for a further 10 years, wont they be up for $25,000 per year x 10 years = $250,000 under the Greens policy?

                      Because almost everyone becomes single at some stage (when a partner dies), I think this tax will affect a lot more than 0.7% of the population eventually.

                      Or have I calculated something wrong?

                    • weka []

                      No, I think you have calculated it correctly. It’s a conundrum for the Greens’ policy. It seems unfair on single people. But someone in the situation you described accrued a large amount of their wealth simply as a result of being born in a certain decade and thus being in a position to buy a house when they were still cheap and then the value of that increasing exponentially because of the housing crisis. That’s no longer possible of course, so the issue should abate over time.

                      I’ve been thinking about the conundrum a bit. In order for the policy to have a degree of fairness in it for single people (why should single people pay tax when a couple wouldn’t, couples get to share expenses that a single person has to pay on their own, there are barriers in society for single people, but also for couples eg on welfare, and so on), it’s predicated on the house being a financial investment. Couples have double the earning power (generally) and also, you want the tax to be individualised. So a single person with a $3m house is twice as rich as a couple with a $3m house. This only makes sense if it’s a financial asset.

                      There are issues in that about pressures on people to sell and move, and on inheritance. But when it comes down to it, if we think about the people who can’t afford to pay rent or are living in a car or have hungry kids, it just seems bizarre.

                      Ultimately the Greens are asking for a very large attitudinal change across society. They’re very good at effecting that kind of change over time, and I see the work that Turei did on this flowing through to now and into teh future. In five years we will either have some kind of fairer tax system, or it will be normal to be thinking it’s an option.

                    • weka []

                      Because almost everyone becomes single at some stage (when a partner dies), I think this tax will affect a lot more than 0.7% of the population eventually.

                      Not sure about this one. Presumably if the tax was introduce now, there would be (newly) widowed people who would be affected. Is there a reason this number would increase over time?

                • Shanreagh

                  Not if you spend the $5m….having worked out the moves beforehand.

                  Weka, you mentioned that epople are not putting up examples and is it any wonder when you make comments as you do about ‘apparent’ wealth.

                  I at least got from V that cash poor/asset rich is not buying the bread. The $$$$$ wealth is not realised until the asset is either sold or on death. To me it makes perfect sense to make any tax payable at that time and not put people on very low incomes on a treadmill amassing debt at the end stages of their lives.

                  I know the latest insult word is ‘incrementalism’ but why were death duties and a financial transactions tax ruled out by The Greens? Were they even looked at?

                  • weka

                    Weka, you mentioned that epople are not putting up examples and is it any wonder when you make comments as you do about ‘apparent’ wealth.

                    No idea, you'd have to be more specific. I've been laying out the political and financial arguments. What I am seeing from you is that you believe you should get to keep all of the capital gains accrued from the increase in property market values above $2m. I can't see the rationale for that apart from you want to keep all that money.

                    There are other issues there about principles, but you never put them alongside the principle of raising everyone out of poverty. None of the alternative suggestions you have made are designed around that.

                    Thing is though, you don't have to share personal details. You could easily make up some scenarios about fictitious people and present them so that we can see what your argument really is. I'm still not convinced that it's even an issue.

                    Visubversa by her own account is wealthy. The WT would take a small part of the very large capital gains accrued from the increases in the property market. She can sell up and spend until there us under $4m left, and she will still be wealthy.

                    Meanwhile, without a wealth tax, there will be multiple generations of people forced to live in a grinding poverty.

                    • Belladonna

                      Visubversa by her own account is wealthy. The WT would take a small part of the very large capital gains accrued from the increases in the property market. She can sell up and spend until there us under $4m left, and she will still be wealthy.

                      This scenario, however, will result in no gain to the NZ tax system. Encouraging consumption, which is what this policy would result in, is of no benefit to either the NZ economy or the NZ tax system.

                    • weka []

                      Talk me through this. A couple owns a freehold property with two houses on it. They live in one and rent the other out for extra income on top of their pension. The property is worth $4m. No wealth tax applies.

                      Say the property is worth $5m. They would owe $25,000 in tax per year on the $1m above the threshhold. They can’t afford that, so they defer the tax until the house is sold 20 years later. That’s $500,000. That leaves them with $4.5m.

                      Are you saying that many people in that situation would sell their two houses now, move into something cheaper, let’s say a $1m house, spend $1m, and invest the remaining $3m. so that they can avoid a $25,000 tax bill the following year when the WT kicks in? What would they spend the $1m on that wouldn’t become an asset?

                      Would you do sell your home and disrupt your life in this way? Why?

                    • arkie

                      When people consume they pay GST, they pay for goods and services provided by other people who in turn pay taxes and purchase goods and services from other people who also pay taxes and on and on it goes. This process IS the economy. Money sitting in savings accounts is not doing the 'work' that money spent on consumption or even investment is.

                    • Belladonna

                      The obvious scenario, would be to sell up the rental property (which takes them over the 4 million mark); spend some on non-qualifying assets (nice luxury holiday abroad, couple of cars – maybe even expensive EVs), etc,), then disburse the rest of the 'excess' to the family to help the grandkids get a foot on the property ladder – either direct gift to those actively looking to build a deposit, or in fixed deposit for younger kids).

                      It might also make sense to sell out the home (if it's going to push the surviving partner over the single income wealth cap), purchase a smaller (but still very nice) apartment with 1.5 million, and think about more liquid assets for the remaining money.

                      With no gift duty – liquid assets can be transferred to family at will, while property is much harder to realise.

                      Most wealthy people would rather their money went to family, than to the taxman.

                    • weka []

                      Most wealthy people would rather their money went to family, than to the taxman.

                      Perhaps. Were they not going to do gift money to their kids anyway? I can’t see this is a problem for society tbh, seems like a reasonable and sensible use of wealth to me.

                      But as for buying extra cars, those cost money to run, so it’s not a goer for cash poor wealthy people. And the left leaning ones who would go to all this trouble so that anyone but the poor taxman can have a portion, have a distinct ethical problem.

                    • Belladonna


                      When people consume they pay GST, they pay for goods and services provided by other people who in turn

                      You are assuming that the consumption is in NZ – the biggest expenditure when people cash out houses is a nice long overseas holiday.

          • Ad

            OK I just did the calculator and I'm up for another $40,000 in tax per year even without putting in Kiwisaver or partners' income.

            Hmmm I don't think I'll be voting for this.

            • arkie

              That's fine. The climate and the roughly 1,000,000 New Zealand workers who earn less than $40,000 annually can wait I guess. We all have our own priorities, just as long as it doesn't personally cost us eh?

              • Ad

                The rational workers earning $40,000 are being recruited by Australia already, or are already there. Members of every single branch of my family on both sides have done so, and there's really no financial reason for them to come back.

                Of course you can always eat NZ's 'lifestyle' for breakfast.

                • arkie

                  Those 1,000,000 workers earning under $40,000 at March 2022 have all already moved to Australia and therefore NZ shouldn't do anything about our increasingly unequal society or take action on climate change? Is that your argument? I think that truly demonstrates how few people in that situation you actually have talked to. Why should we export those you deem 'rational' only to import others to do the roles they vacated at the same low wages? It's a nonsense idea born of an unwillingness of a few to pay more back to society that allowed them to succeed IMO, but you are free to do you.

              • Belladonna

                The wealth tax doesn't seem to have anything to do with the environment – it's being promoted as a way to lift 'people out of poverty'.

                • arkie

                  Strangely enough parties have more than one policy and the Labour party has repeatedly demonstrated this term that they aren't prepared to do what's necessary regarding the climate either. The Greens have independently costed policies both to address social inequity and take strong climate action. Funny that.

                  • Belladonna

                    However, the wealth tax (the policy being discussed here) has no environmental aspect – that I'm aware of. It's purely a social equity policy.

                    • arkie

                      There are reasons arguably more important than the wealth tax to vote Green. It clearly needs to be reiterated that climate action necessarily involves everyone and restructuring of society and its purpose; so far the orientation towards profits over people has lead us straight off this cliff into global boiling. Other values are possible.

                      Yes, the planet got destroyed. But for a beautiful moment in time we created a lot of value for shareholders

            • weka

              OK I just did the calculator and I'm up for another $40,000 in tax per year even without putting in Kiwisaver or partners' income.

              To be paying $40,000/year in WT, you would need to have over $3.5m in assets on your own.

              How does the WT compare to a GCT and a death tax?

        • weka

          People arguing against the tax don't want to give actual scenarios. Which I understand, who wants to talk about their finances in public. However, let's play with some hypothetical scenarios so we can see how the tax would work.

          If a property is worth $3.5m, then there will be no tax for a couple.

          But let's say the property is worth $4.5m, then the tax would be $12,500/year.

          If the couple doesn't have the income to pay a WT now, they can defer it until they sell or it is sold after their deaths. That accrued tax will still be a small portion of the wealth. After 20 years it would be $250,000. That would leave the couple with $4,250,000 plus any extra appreciation on the property in the meantime.

          It's harder on single people. A $4.5m property would have a WT of $62,000/year, or $1.25m over 20 years, leaving $3,250,000 plus appreciation.

          I appreciate that you put a lot into improving the property and paying off the mortgage. And yet, the bulk of the value of the asset comes simply from the increase in property values in that time.

          Given that the tax can be defered, can you please explain what the threat to your family home is?

          • Visubversa

            It basically means that I will sell it before such a tax comes into effect. We will buy a cheap apartment and spend a chunk of $$ on having a good time.

            • weka


            • Shanreagh

              Sounds like a plan……why should anyone not be free to avoid an unfair tax?

              People are free to arrange their assets in such a way as to give them most benefit. Tax equity, Estate and Financial Planning foundation course – it is so basic that it is not even 101.

              Conspicuous consumption and over capitalising on one's family home is a way to avoid this, so making sure you always have a mortgage. Anathema to those of us brought up in the notion of being debt-free. To not be aware of this idea is to turn from or not be honest about the unintended consequences of the policy.

              Oldies gonna have a ball I think.

              Of course a way that thinking people might view as a solution is that donations to a recognised charity, these could be specified, to the extent of any so-called debt on death of a poorly targetted wealth tax could be a logical way of discouraging this consumption.

              But no.

              We are all so wealthy……..some of us are so wealthy we live on the National Super alone. And for single wealth-dripping pensioners that is hard yakka.

              • Belladonna

                Actually, I think that for many of the 'wealthy' caught in that asset rich/cash poor scenario – they would sell up (as above), but also contribute towards the mortgages of their grandchildren (or in trust for those too young to buy). Their children are likely to already have assets approaching the tax cap. But anticipating inheritances for their grandchildren is likely to appeal.

                It won't necessarily make them happy (they'd prefer to remain in their own home) – but they'd rather see the money going to their family than to the taxman.

              • Belladonna

                Conspicuous consumption and over capitalising on one's family home is a way to avoid this, so making sure you always have a mortgage.

                This would possibly play out in my family. Depending on the valuation at the time, I *might* qualify for the wealth tax. But my brother, who earns way more than me, and owns a house considerably more valuable than mine, won't. Because he chooses to have a mortgage, and spend the money on having a nice lifestyle with lots of overseas holidays, and nice cars, etc. (he also has no children, so doesn't have that cost to consider)

                It feels like the prudent (people who chose to pay off mortgages early) are penalised for the benefit of those who choose a life of conspicuous consumption.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                How's this for an idea – the IRD calculates how much wealth tax a small number (<1%) of asset-rich Kiwis will contribute, and individuals have the option of donating their wealth tax contribution to a registered charity (or charities) of their choice.

                Plus you'd get some of the contribution/donation(s) back as a tax credit.

                NZ has over 28000 registered charities (something for everyone!), including those supporting services that imho should be fully state (i.e. tax) funded.


                • weka

                  The wealth tax is designed to lift everyone out of poverty. Diverting revenue away from that into the private and NGO sector would be hugely problematic

                  Unless we make all taxation discretionary. People can choose where their PAYE or GST goes 😉

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Just trying to figure out how to make a wealth tax less unappealing to asset-rich nay-sayers. How about a govt/charity split – a % (say ≤20%) of any wealth tax contribution could go to registered charities.

                    St John Ambulance, Blind Low Vision NZ and the Fred Hollows Foundation, Deaf Aotearoa, Hospice – NZ, CCS – Disability Action, Alzheimer's NZ and the Neurological Foundation, Plunket Society, CanTeen, Barnardos NZ, NZ Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity NZ, AVIVA, a selection of food-providing charities, RSPCA and Forest&Bird, Community Law Centres o Aotearoa, etc. etc.

                    There's a lot of unmet need in NZ – a few Kiwis might not know that.

                    ‘Sensible’ Sentencing would benefit – into each life some rain must fall.

                    • weka

                      Again, the point of the tax isn't to tax people and give the money away, it's to pay for social security to lift everyone out of poverty. If you start hacking into that budget, then it defeats the purpose of lifting everyone out of poverty.

                      The asset rich naysayers are a fairly small group. It's the general public that will eventually decide we need a wealth tax.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    The asset rich naysayers are a fairly small group. It's the general public that will eventually decide we need a wealth tax.

                    Poll Shows Clear Appetite For Tax Reform [19 July 2023]

                    ~53% of the general public have decided, but some who aspire to be asset rich will be in the ranks of the ~35% of Kiwis (including our PM) who aren't sold on the idea of a wealth tax.

                    NZ Election 2020: Jacinda Ardern shuts down wealth tax again as Green candidate sparks fresh speculation
                    [13 October 2020]
                    The Greens want Kiwis with a net worth of more than $1 million to pay 1 percent of their wealth above that threshold to the Government as tax. Those worth more than $2 million would pay out 2 percent as tax.

                    I would very much like to see a wealth tax implemented in NZ. I was in favour of the wealth tax the Greens campaigned on in 2020, and I'm in favour of the higher threshold wealth tax they're campaigning on now.

                    A 2.5% Wealth Tax on net assets – things like properties or shares – worth more than $2 million

                    But it's not only the general public that gets to decide this one – our elected representatives will never be representative of voter wealth.

                    So, how to make a wealth tax more palatable (both politically and personally) to Key MPs? Proposing a 'charity tax' might have value as an 'awareness raising carrot' and/or an 'embarrassment stick'.

                    • weka

                      what is the point of the wealth tax if its not going to be used to end poverty?

                      You still haven't addresses my point.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    I'm sold on a wealth tax to help end poverty. The Green's proposal:

                    A 2.5% Wealth Tax on assets – things like properties or shares – worth more than $4 million (minus mortgages and other debt) for couples and $2 million (minus mortgages and other debt) for individuals. This will not affect most family homes or retirement savings.

                    TPM's ideas look good too:

                    A 2% tax on net wealth over $2 million, rising to 4% on net wealth over $5m, and 8% on wealth over $10m

                    Here’s hoping the Greens + TPM have ~20 MPs after the election – and then we wait, and wait, for Parliamentary Philanthropy to break out.

                • Shanreagh

                  Yes that is similar to the idea that I had re the mounting, mounting costs of assessed taxes & possibly rates that are not being able to be met by the so-called wealthy. If they are held until death they come back into the estate and the person who has died/executors have the chance to wipe the 'debt' by donating to any of the charities on a list.

                  Of course I also believe that the need to have a deferral programme signals that there are design faults in the programme itself or the threshhold. (I'm picking the threshhold is too low and catches way too many people.)

                  The Treasury figures are much more realistic. People who have assets of $5m excluding the family home are much more likely to have liquid assets sufficient to pay a tax whether it is charged annually or on death.

                  People whose assets comprise a freehold house and a retirement fund do not have liquid assets, unless they mortgage their home or borrow to pay this debt. They are probably likely to have rates deferrals as well. To me these two facts seems to say 'design faults' in the tax or rates mechanisms, rather than too much money.

  7. weka 7

    For those who are at risk of moving – the specialists listed above – they are indispensable to us and they take over 20 years to replace. And those who seek to replace them will expect the same wealth accumulation the previous generation had.

    How many of those people would give up living in NZ in order to avoid the tax. How much money does a surgeon need? Would be good to see some figures on what the loss is and how much it would impact them in reality, or if it's more a perception/values/psychology thing.

    • arkie 7.1

      It's largely a myth:

      While travel may be a classic “luxury good”, migration is not. Moving one’s home, life and family to a different place is mostly about people who have a poor economic fit with where they live, earn below-market incomes, and are struggling to find a livelihood. Higher income earners show low migration levels because they are not searching for economic success – they’ve already found it.

      The Forbes list of the world’s billionaires offers an international look at elite migration, and takes us higher up the food chain to the greatest corners of wealth.

      Analysis of this list shows most of the world’s billionaires – about 84% – still live in their country of birth. And among those who do live abroad, most moved to their current country of residence long before they became wealthy – either as children with their parents, or as students going abroad to study (and then staying).

      People with high levels of education have very high mobility – but only for a short period after finishing their education. If you know people who have been geographically mobile, the chances are they have a higher-level education. However, once they have made a solid start to their career, the chances are also that they will not move again.

      Migration is a young person’s game, and moving overwhelmingly occurs when people are starting their careers. By the time people hit their early forties, PhDs, college grads and high school drop-outs all show the same low rate of migration.

      Typically, millionaires are society’s highly educated at an advanced career stage. They are typically the late-career working rich: established professionals in management, finance, consulting, medicine, law and similar fields. And they have low migration because they are both socially and economically embedded in place.

      • Belladonna 7.1.1

        That does not, however, seem to affect Kiwis moving to Australia. Perhaps it's because it's a similar lifestyle/culture, or there are no immigration barriers.

        But there are a lot of Kiwis who move across the ditch – enticed by substantially higher salaries. Not necessarily the wealthy – tradies, nurses, etc. can all earn quite a bit more in Oz than they can in NZ – and (depending on where you live) – have substantially lower cost of living.

        Now, many of them don't intend to migrate – but after you've been there 20 years – and had an Australian-based family – they've effectively migrated. We saw this in the argument about the 501s – where, despite their passports, Australia really was home for them.

        • That may change as, power rent food and transport start costing far more.

          Rentals are short, power surging 27% Plus a very hot summer coming, and water charges are eyewatering to say the least. Yes pay is higher, but it needs to be.

          • Belladonna

            Cost more where? Here in NZ or in Australia? Or both?
            I don't see costs of living going down anywhere.

            The Australian Bureau of Statistics is reporting the average wage across the ditch was A$94,000 – equivalent to $102,500 – last November and Statistics New Zealand says the average weekly earnings equates to an annual wage of $77,844 in the year to December 2022, the pay gap is surely tempting.


            • Patricia Bremner

              Not working out the tax and costs on that income in Australia is misleading. Many will go, but for the reasons I listed many will return. It is not all beer and skittles in Aus. They could be like Spain next summer. I was listing what might stop people moving there. QLD is the most popular destination for Kiwis. The costs were for QLD.

              • Belladonna

                It would take a heck of a lot of tax and costs to make up for a 20K difference in the average wage. Not to mention 10% super.

                No doubt we'll see if Kiwi workers are flooding back from QLD in droves.

                Personally, I don't expect to see it.

                I now have friends pepper-potted around a lot of QLD – great options for me to go visit – but not so good for the NZ economy.

                • Ad

                  A real test of our comparative attractiveness would be to simply completely adopt the income tax brackets of Australia:

                  – $0 – $18,200 tax free

                  – $18,00 – $45,000 taxed 19%

                  – $45,000 – $120,000 taxed 32.5%

                  – $120,000-$180,000 taxed $30,000 + 37 cents in the dollar

                  – $180,000+ taxed $51,667 + 45 cents in the dollar

                  The big leap for NZ is the first $18 k free. That is a tonne of revenue foregone, and I'm not sure we could afford that.

                  But tax alignment across Australia and New Zealand would be a very simple way of proving our actual competitive advantage to Australia. And a very small step from there to monetary union.


                  • Belladonna

                    It's interesting to consider.

                    I can see two potential fish-hooks:

                    • Australia has both a larger absolute tax base (more people, earning more money), as well as more people (both proportionally, and overall), in the higher tax brackets. Which would impact on the 'affordability' of the first 18K free.
                    • The philosophical issue of a group of 'tax free' people. It's much easier to characterise them as bludgers – not contributing to society, while continuing to claim those benefits.

                    One additional factor to off-set against this is the cost of collecting and administering the tax of this group of low tax-payers. Is it economic for the government to do so? If not, then it should be easier to argue for tax-free status to some income level.

                    • Ad

                      Yes the first point is a reason I put that up there:

                      New Zealand simply can't afford a tax cut that big….

                      … unless you tax the rich a whole heap, which will make them move to Australia.

                      Those who are rich enough or aspirant enough to move will likely do so. Or so all those doctors, nurses, teachers, sportsmen, engineers, construction workers et al keep telling us.

                      The big reason not to adjust the NZ tax system too much is Australia.

        • weka

          … Not necessarily the wealthy…

          This conversation is about wealthy people though. Someone with a high income, lots of assets, or a business that makes a lot of profit.

          • Belladonna

            Yes. The wealthy would have an incentive to leave NZ. I was pointing out that so do the not-so-well off.

            And was in response to the post about 'moving being a young person's game'.
            Pointing out that the low barrier to moving to Oz – enticed working people of all ages, and wealth levels.

          • Belladonna

            "a business that makes a lot of profit."

            My understanding is that the proposed wealth tax, though, isn't on the profit a business makes (that's already taxed) but on the value of the company (a very tricky thing to assess, indeed).

            I work for a company where we import as a wholesaler and then retail a suite of specific, value-added-in-NZ, products to a small customer base [i.e. small number of large customers, rather than lots of little ones] In NZ terms we're a medium sized business (70+ employees, around 2/3 highly specialized professionals)

            Our major competition is not in NZ – but is two Australian firms (demonstrating that Oz can sell in this NZ market)

            CER means there are no import taxes, duties or tariffs on Australian products or services – even where there is a NZ option for supply.

            If there were an annual wealth tax – on the assessed value of the company – over and above the standard income taxes that he (and I and all of us employed) pay. Then my boss would have every incentive to shut up shop here, and open in Australia (we already have an Australian warehouse operation, as a foot in the door).

            His NZ business might take a little knock (we have a really strong NZ reputation) – but would then be able to expand in Australia as well as NZ. So there would be little downside for him. There would, however, be a lot of downside for the NZ-based employees, and a substantial net loss for the NZ tax system.

            Can I guarantee that he would do this if a wealth tax on unrealized capital was established? Of course not. But, I see it as a significant risk.

            • weka

              does the wealth tax apply to companies?

              I was talking about the increase in the corporate tax rate.

          • Shanreagh

            So why does The Greens policy target?

            Someone without a high income (National Super is not a high income!) , without lots of assets, one house and retirement savings is not lots of assets, or a business that makes a lot of profit (many who have businesses that will be caught don't make a lot of profit if they do research & design or invest in the company itself thus enhancing the ability to employ staff.

            What is wrong with the levels that The Treasury was working on?

      • bwaghorn 7.1.2

        "Higher income earners show low migration levels because they are not searching for economic success –

        Monet can't buy happiness but it sure increases the chances of being happy

        • Belladonna

          A Monet on my wall would certainly increase my chances of happiness…. 😉

          • bwaghorn

            Heh selling one would bring more.

            But would it be taxed while it hung on your wall?

            • weka

              if it's hanging on the wall of a house in a country that has people that can't afford to feed their kids, then yes.

    • Sabine 7.2

      They are not leaving because maybe they have to pay more tax – and for what its worth, Labour has enjoyed a full majority + Green Party support and TPM support if they would have wanted to change anything on how taxes are levied, they are leaving because there are more opportunities elsewhere.

      One can argue that this was always this way, and its now just this generations turn, but then again, we must also admit that NZ is no longer a place that offers opportunities to the young, the mobile, the skilled and the cashed up.

      AS for the financial transaction tax, we already have one. Pay Wave fees, Credit Card fees, online payment fees on websites are all just that, a financial transaction tax, and guess what the end consumer will pay it in full – as they do with GST which also could be considered a financial transaction tax – and the professionals who have all their wealth locked up in business and are only 'beneficiaries of that wealth will write it of as a business expense.

      The reason for many to not vote Labour / Greens / TPM is not their tax policies, but all the other shite they said and did during the last several years. And the 'self ID' is the biggest issues.

      Would i vote for any of these parties? No. On the grounds of my sex will i cast my vote, and there are not enough empty promises the presses could print that would make me forget that these supposedly left parties have thrown women / girls under the trans bus cause dignity, safety and respect is not for females, according to that lot but for males who like to take their dicks into female spaces and who need women/girls – human females to be their domesticated support and affirmation animals.

      so yeah, nah nah….and always keep in mind, the rich don't pay taxes as they write them off as business expenses. You however will keep paying them in full.

      • Shanreagh 7.2.1

        Would i vote for any of these parties? No. On the grounds of my sex will i cast my vote, and there are not enough empty promises the presses could print that would make me forget that these supposedly left parties have thrown women / girls under the trans bus cause dignity, safety and respect is not for females, according to that lot but for males who like to take their dicks into female spaces and who need women/girls – human females to be their domesticated support and affirmation animals.

        Yes my feeling too Sabine.

        While I am interested in the policies put out by the three parties TPM, The Greens and Labour and can see the pitfalls in the wealth taxes proposed especially by TG & TPM, for me it is realy like arguing about the number of angels that can dance on a pinhead. (And that can be enjoyable, if theoretical) I am hardly likely at this stage to vote for any party with an un/der developed wealth tax proposal as I would not be voting for them anyway because of their lack of regard for women as evidenced by their uncritical adoption of Self ID.

        The party that did have a fully costed/well thought out wealth tax being looked at, Labour, has had to put it to one side. This puts them marginally ahead of two non-starters TPM & TG!

        • Phillip ure

          So…who will you vote for…

          Which parties are on your shortlist..?

          • Shanreagh

            I am looking at dear old Labour……with the hope that they may pull one out of the hat wth such things as breaking up electrical monopolies, the supermarket duopoly, better taxation across the board, Three/Five Waters, a review of rating mechanisms to raise $$$$$ for local authorities, working on housing (rent to buy given another boost)………

            Otherwise after railing against the anarchic concept of 'Don't vote it only encourages them' in my youth I may do this…….I am hoping not too though.

            Kellie Jay Minshull is coming to NZ again later in the year. Enough time for the PM to work out ‘what is a women?’ and reflect on it.

            • Sabine

              Like the empty words of the leaders of Labour in the UK? Women are females, but males who identify as women are also females and both are the same type of females even though some females err women have penises?

              Nah, the current lot in Labour is just beyond credibilaty. The guys in the UK have done well to stop Self ID under the Tories they would be dumb to let in by believing the self serving and trying to survive Labour Party of the UK.

              This is were iI give our Labour doodas some kudos, they are so far down the ideology they will pretend that the last PM is only a women if they identify as one just to make sure everyone knows that they could not be 'transphobic' eva.

          • Sabine

            Legalise Aotearoa

            Womens Rights Party


            really depending on my mood.

            The first because we should have had the weed decrim discussion a long time ago, and their manifest is one that harms no one.

            The second becasue we obviously need a womens rigths party as the established parties currently in government are happy to write women of as an after thought in someones fantasies.

            The third because N/A will win, not because they are good but because Labour is so arrogant and out of touch, to keep things real, also he acknowledges the material reality of women/girs as human females rather tehn human males with varied interests.

  8. Alan 8

    I do work for 3 agriculture related businesses, they are all NZ owned and have their Head Offices here but derive over 85% of their revenue from export sales.

    They all have some local manufacturing/production and some Asian based manufacturing/production.

    They employ about 750 staff directly plus provide work to a host of NZ based suppliers ranging from their office supplies through to component/raw material suppliers, accounting and legal suppliers etc. etc.

    They would all shut their NZ offices and operate from Asia if this type of tax regime was put in place.

    And this is the tip of the ice burg.

  9. Alan 9

    So you don't care about the hundreds of NZers who would lose their jobs directly and the dozens of local businesses that would lose a valuable customer?

    • Blazer 9.1

      NZ's biggest export is profits…start with the banks.

      You are scaremongering.

      • Alan 9.1.1

        It is harsh reality, it may not be want you want to hear, but it is reality.

        • Phillip ure

          Just repeating yr straw man b.s. doesn't make it any more credible… and it is just pearl-clutching…

          And why do you never answer questions by those who show you the respect of presenting counter-arguments/questions to your adsurd/alarmist claims..?..(c.f. above..)..

          Are you just here to shout..?

  10. Tony Veitch 10

    How much attention ought we pay to that part of the 1%?


    With climate change biting us seriously on the bum, NZ is increasingly seen as a 'lifeboat' in a tempestuous sea of catastrophe. Wealthy NZers would be stupid to shift, even to Australia!

    And impose a ftt before introducing higher taxes!

    • Phillip ure 10.1

      I agree with the call for an ftt..

      Once again this is a simple/small tax on businesses/transactions that will be no large burden for those taxed…

      ..but will deliver a windfall of what we need to get so many things fixed up…

      Why has this eminently useful option seemingly fallen off the policy tables..?

      • Shanreagh 10.1.1

        Yes a FTT is just one of the range of taxes that could have been explored along with death duties, tax on empty houses etc etc.

        Just too hard for the Greens and TPM it seems to finesse a basket of such arrangements ….not when a bulldozer approach is so much more satifying especially when you combine it with a spot of of the politics of envy……building on NZ's current grumpiness.

  11. Mike the Lefty 11

    The ones who will worry most about Green and Maori Party proposed taxes are the property and wealth speculators who have had it so good so far.

    The more these greedy b….s moan, the better I like these policies.

  12. UncookedSelachimorpha 12

    Good post and questions.

    Capital flight? Difficult to put your forest, factory etc in your carry-on or even in checked-in baggage. Instead you would sell the business to someone who was willing to live in a more equal society.

    Might be necessary for the government to step in with capital where necessary, as has been done before. They can borrow money at far lower rates than almost anyone. Done properly, the profits come back to benefit everyone, rather than a handful of wealthy investors – e.g. look at Sweden's state-owned mine, imagine that in NZ.

  13. Jack 13

    We shouldn’t worry about TPM, the greens and labour’s plethora of taxes because they won’t be anywhere near power for 6, possibly 9, years.

    • bwaghorn 13.1

      And by then nz will be ready for sweeping tax reform because national and act will have fucked us royally, housing ownership will be out of reach of a greater %, if you can't afford health insurance go die quietly, workers rights will be eroded to levels not seen in a 100 years,

      • Jack 13.1.1

        We’ve already been fucked royally. That’s why the left won’t see power again for a long long time. And the next time they do it will be a centrist party akin to Lange/Douglas.

        • bwaghorn

          How, most of us have jobs , housing is on the improve, something 7 house luxon hates no doubt, they are turning the health system around , stream lining it , cutting staffing even ,something nats love.

        • bwaghorn

          Still waiting to here how labour screwed the country???

        • bwaghorn

          Got nothing huh

        • Patricia Bremner

          Who has been F Royally?

          Business given assistance and loans, people helped during a pandemic Hospitals and roads built, infrastructure underway….. house building, sports teams given assistance, wages and conditions able to be negotiated, Treaty settlements…. just a few of the hundreds of improvements.

          Your cries of "don't tax us or we will leave" are getting so self interested. It is about fairness and equity for NZ.

          If your firm would retreat to Asia so be it. But that sounds rather pathetic when you won't even give a general outline of why it would happen so we don't believe that.

          Unbridled capitalism is harmful, as it causes inequities, and Governments have to govern for all.

        • Belladonna

          "centrist party akin to Lange/Douglas."

          I really don't think that anyone else would characterize Douglas and the 4th Labour Government as 'Centrist'.

          • Shanreagh

            No Douglas was not a centrist, he was a promtoer of orthodox right wing econmomics as per the Chicago School.

            Lange was the proponent of the idea that the $$$ coming in from these so-called greater efficiencies would lead to increased wealth across the country ….Lange did not get a look in. Trickle down is/was an illusion.

            What with the likes of Rodger, Caygill, Bassett, Douglas followed by Ruth Richardson we had a series of Ministers who were 'so dry they were almost inflammable' as the saying went back in the day.

  14. Adrian 14

    Years ago I read a comment by an American politician who said the problem with raising the taxes on the rich is that it gets the most push back from the poorer classes because everybody thinks they are going to get rich. As Ad alluded to at the start,"aspiration "is a key motivator either way.

    • arkie 14.1

      A testament to the effective marketing of capitalism, but the vast majority are closer to homelessness than we will ever be to being a millionaire, all it would take is a couple of weeks with no income.

      We have to examine the rationale that was cited to justify the neoliberal reforms in the first place. The argument was that the concentration of wealth upwards would lead to it 'trickling down'; this is obviously and very apparently untrue. Paper after paper has confirmed this:

      Overall, our analysis finds strong evidence that cutting taxes on the rich increases income inequality but has no effect on growth or unemployment. We employ a measure of top 1% share of pre-tax national income that includes both labor and capital income, which makes it less likely that tax shifting and avoidance are driving the results. In fact, our results are more in line with Piketty et al. (2014), who suggest that lower taxes on the rich encourage high earners to bargain more forcefully to increase their own compensation, at the direct expense of those lower down the income distribution.

      David Hope, Julian Limberg, The economic consequences of major tax cuts for the rich
      Socio-Economic Review, Volume 20, Issue 2, April 2022, Pages 539–559

      Taxes on higher incomes were much higher prior to the 1980s reforms and since then inequality has run away, public services are run down and aside from superannuitants, state beneficiaries have been largely standing still.

      Do we want a fairer society as well as better funded public services? Seems obvious. Tax the rich.

  15. Tiger Mountain 15

    Capital Flight is a tired projection/metaphor regurgitated by fifth columnists and opportunists whenever capital gets half seriously challenged.

    As Mike the lefty alluded to above, it is also members of the petit bourgeoisie hooked on property, that may squeal as much as any 1%ers on paying a fairer share–“where they gunna run to”?

  16. gsays 16

    Should We Worry About Green and Maori Party Taxes?

    Depends on who 'we' are.

    If y'all have property port-folio or have capital that may fly away, maybe. A member of the Professional Management Class perhaps.

    Or, if you are part of the great unwashed, then I'm picking you are prepared to risk the unforseen consequences of capital flight, sky's falling etc.

  17. Shanreagh 17

    Wouldn't it have been great if Hipkins had not felt that he had to rule out the eminently sensible wealth tax that The Treasury had been working on. This makes much more sense than the attempts by TPM & The Greens, not the least being that it was developed by people who actually know what the figures are and how they relate etc. My view is that this was done because the electorate had been scared' by the ideas put forward by The Greens and now TPM.

    Revenue Positive Items Net Wealth Tax

    • The net wealth tax will require around 46,000 individual New Zealanders with net worth (assets less liabilities) of more than $5m to pay a 1.5% tax on their net wealth.

    • Taxpayers will only be taxed on their wealth that is above the $5m threshold. Applies on an individual basis so a couple will have $10m before having to pay.

    • Will apply to all assets owned by high wealth taxpayers, except for the family home (and some other exemptions, such as personal assets e.g. cars, boats).

    • Forecast to collect $3.4b in 2024/25, increasing to $3.7b in 2026/27.

    I am yet to see justifcation for the reason, other than admin convenience, that the family home is included. It seems odd that the Treasury paper has a higher cut-off rate $5M, excludes the family home and yet draws in a a sizeable amount.

    It would be interesting to find out why the Treasury figures are/were unacceptable.

    PS Living in a big city it is easy, as Visubversa says
    30 July 2023 at 11:46 am
    to have a high valued property as one’s home…even if it is in the so-called wrong end of town. The home owner cannot turn back the increase in value that has been caused mostly by actions completely out of their control such as inflation, yet we are so-called wealthy…..ha ha.
    Again, I think it was Visubversa, again who mentioned that the need for supplementary taxes could be considered as a failure of our main source of income through tax and that is PAYE or words to that effect. (I may have got this wrong).

    • Shanreagh 17.1

      Again, I think it was Visubversa, again who mentioned that the need for supplementary taxes could be considered as a failure of our main source of income through tax and that is PAYE or words to that effect. (I may have got this wrong).

      I think it was Molly and on my way through to find it I found this excellent example from her of work on the fallacies of home ownership & capital gains.


      16 July 2023 at 2:28 pm

    • weka 17.2

      This makes much more sense than the attempts by TPM & The Greens, not the least being that it was developed by people who actually know what the figures are and how they relate etc.

      Again you mislead the debate. From the Green Party policy (linked in the post),

      The calculations for the Income Tax, Trusts Tax, Corporate Tax and net Wealth Tax revenues were done with models created by the Parliamentary Library. Data for the models were sourced from Inland Revenue’s systems of personal income tax returns, Stats NZ Household net worth statistics, Parliamentary Written Question 15528 (2023) 1 June 2023, The Treasury’s data on the Revenue Effect of Changes to Key Tax Rates, Bases, and Thresholds for 2019/20, the HYEFU 2022 and He Tirohanga Mokopuna 2021 The Treasury’s combined Statement on the Long-term Fiscal Position and Long-term Insights Briefing.

      • Shanreagh 17.2.1

        Once again you say I mislead when I do not. I just say something you disagree with. Big difference, at least in my book.

        Surely I am allowed to express that I believe the Treasury papers that I have quoted show a greater rigour, even unfinished, than the policy that has resulted from an analysis by someone (nameless) in The Green Party.

        I actually don't know of any PS who would deny that The Treasury knows its stuff. Even though during 46 years in PS mostly at HO level and running policy & $$$$$ decisions past The Treasury we used to get grumpy at them with cabinet papers analysis sometimes. We never doubted that they knew their stuff.

        Treasury is also the agency that is least likely to see merit in a tied tax as is being proposed by The Greens. Treasury follows the usual Vote theory of wanting to allow a govt of the day as much freedom to meet the priorities it (the Govt) sets from as much of the funds that come into Govt. Tied taxes lessen the ability of a Govt to do this, ie to address the priorities and the challenges it faces.

        This time, looking at the released papers has also convinced me that they are more likely to be correct than someone's analysis cobbled together with a good dose of shrieky shock horror 'but the rich, the rich' policy.

        Treasury focuses on 46,000 tax payers that they call 'high wealth taxpayers'.

        • The net wealth tax will require around 46,000 individual New Zealanders with net worth (assets less liabilities) of more than $5m to pay a 1.5% tax on their net wealth.
        • • Taxpayers will only be taxed on their wealth that is above the $5m threshold. Applies on an individual basis so a couple will have $10m before having to pay.
        • • Will apply to all assets owned by high wealth taxpayers, except for the family home (and some other exemptions, such as personal assets e.g. cars, boats).

        How is it that figures in The Treasury paper show the family home can be excluded, have a higher threshhold and still raise significant amounts? To me this is what confirms my suspicions from earlier on that the foundations for this Greens policy are 'iffy'. (Confirmed by the Treasury paper)

        Just ball park knowledge from living in a city would make one doubt the wisdom of including the family home which is not a liquid asset as wealth, as well as non liquid retirement savings which usually cannot be touched unless one emigrates or buys a first home.

        Hipkins rightly canned the work on the wealth tax, the chatter/fear shown in the internal polling had got out of hand in my view. But in fact the tax that Treasury was working on showed merit and was far more sensible than either TPM or The Greens. That is my opinion.

        Also in line with stock standard Vote: management the way to deal with poverty is explicitly & publicly through individual policies of govt that have been costed and with a policy basis that shows intellectual rigour.

        So what exactly is wrong with adopting Treasury's model? Over $5m, excludes the family home and raises …….

        Forecast to collect $3.4b in 2024/25, increasing to $3.7b in 2026/27.

  18. adam 18

    If you're lucky you should pay more tax.

    AND take a bit of pride in doing it.

    • bwaghorn 18.1

      Yip we should have a rebranding from tax to societties agreed contributions , gotta pay my sag!!

    • Shanreagh 18.2

      How do you do this though when your so-called richness is actually your family home? Send in a weatherboard or two or the second toilet?

      You seem to have missed the point that the so-called wealth is not that at all.

      Perhaps you think it is fair to include the family home?

      Why do you think that is fair?

      Hopefully you can explain without diverting to the view that it is 'because I think you are a rich prick because you have an owned home and I haven't' ie politics of envy.

    • Belladonna 18.3

      Excellent, so Maori land will be included in the Wealth tax.
      That should up the total quite a bit.

      • Shanreagh 18.3.1

        And just how will they do this with shareholdings in the 1000s, sometimes tens of thousands? Surely this would be notional wealth in a big way just like the inclusion of the family home is notional wealth.

        It gets worser and worser…….and more ridiculous. What a mean sprited bunch of people we have become.

        Surely the way to alleviate poverty is to:

        1 look at the Weag report and implement anything that has not been implemented

        2 place a premium on education so people can be aspirational realistically and this means identifying and dealing with gifted children explicitly and trades training explicitly.

        3 place a premium on healthy people and healthy bodies ie policies on smoking, alcohol,vaping and gambling

        4 Look at our housing policies is rent to buy going far enough, etc etc.

        If the Govt needs to get more funds to meet its programmes then there are a number of ways of increasing the take. Some involve several of the now dirty words of 'aspirational' and 'incremental'. Actually when you deal with people paying attention to these words and 'doing' them stands more of a chance of bringing along people than some value laden scheme about what constitutes wealth.

        It is part of a historical social contract that the people allow themselves to be taxed. (Rebel barons and the Magna Carta)

        The taxes that people pay need to be certain and only as much as is needed.

        • Ad

          RE point 2: did you have any education policy in mind? Going to university or a polytech doesn't appear attractive to young people in NZ

          RE point 3: alcohol, gambling and cigarettes are already massively taxed. And NZers are already drinking less and smoking much less

          RE point 4: Minister Wood changed the policy yesterday.

          With the government going into deficit this fast and deep, it is safe to say that they don't have enough tax income to pay for the services we are consistently demanding.

          • Shanreagh

            My ideas were to raise a consciousness of what can/needs to be done to alleviate poverty. It is not just about giving people money.

            To my mind there are many other tax tweaks that can be done rather than a wealth tax. People have just got fixated on a wealth tax as that is the only thing that has been put up, no alternatives, no other ideas etc.

            That is my plea.

            Much more that can be done in the way of taxes on sugary/fatty foodstuffs.

            Well I don't know I guess it depends who you talk to or mix with….I know of Pasifika and immigrant families who are very focussed on getting all of their children educated to university level. I know through personal experience that gifted children, especially those say from Pasifika or Maori families are often not recognised and not encouraged.

            Lifting people from poverty is much more than $$$$.

            Implementing the Weag report etc.

            • Ad

              One of the easiest wealth transfers off those who own property towards the state would be to increase GST on rates to 20%.

              Government makes a fair amount off GST on rates and though unpopular with Councils it is a pretty mind tax on property that goes towards the consolidated accounts of the state.

              Fixed income retirees may well indeed protest at it, but I would hope that a mild increase in property taxes would encourage their children to act to protect the family home with their own personal subsidies.

  19. MickeyBoyle 19

    Te Pāti Māori and the Greens wealth and capital gains taxes are pointless unless they plan to govern alone.

    What are they, many on this site and in the wider public not understanding when PM Hipkins said "there will be no wealth or capital gains taxes whilst I am PM".

    Are you expecting him to win the election and immediately stand down so these policies can be implemented? Or are you planning for him to be rolled pre-election?

    Wealth and Capital gains taxes cannot happen with Hipkins as PM.

    • SPC 19.1

      True, but Labour Party voters and members who do not agree are free to vote Green or TPM to say so.

      • Phillip ure 19.1.1

        And if only him and his intransigent/irrational stances on such tax matters are left standing between labour and a coalition agreement/third term…I'd put money on him being rolled..

        Why wouldn't you….?

        • SPC

          The alternative to giving confidence and supply to Labour, is NACT.

          Greens will not support a National led government, do you expect TPM to?

          The idea of a parliament where Labour Greens and TPM got over 50% of seats and National formed a government is somewhat unlikely.

          It would take Labour c35%, losing a significant share of its vote to Greens and TPM to make Hipkins and caucus think again. If they fell to 25% and Greens rose to 15% and TPM to 10%, then maybe.

          • Phillip ure

            I am expecting such rises for both..

            • Shanreagh

              Yes I think so too Phillip. We just have to hope that the left who vote usually for Labour don't lose their nerve and not turn up.

            • Ad

              Unfortunately the polls for Labour and Greens don't support you.

              Looks more like Labour 25% Greens 8%.

          • Phillip ure

            Because the urgencies of the environmental message have suddenly ramped up…and the release of credible policies from the greens… will ensure a good result for them..

            And tmp have plugged into the zeitgeist with their brace of old school labour party/poverty busting policies ..

            This is why I think both will do well..

            And standing together they will be much stronger than standing alone .

      • Shanreagh 19.1.2

        True, but Labour Party voters and members who do not agree are free to vote Green or TPM to say so.

        This is sensible not!

        Letting the Nats/Act come up through the middle is a really good way to show that you did not like Labour canning its version of a wealth tax.

        • SPC

          You do not seem to understand MMP.

          Voting for a party to the left of Labour, does not assist NACT in any way.

          • Shanreagh

            I know what MMP is thanks very much. The comment was in terms of what some call (not me) 'wasting' a vote rather than tactical voting, rather than a comment on MMP. If a person votes for a minor party on the left that has no chance of forming, or being part of a left leaning Govt, unless the 'senior' party on the left pulls in enough votes then it is possible that this type of voting will allow the Nats through. That was all I meant.

            So if the Greens get 8% and Labour get 28% and TPM gets 5% then the Nats/Act, who seem to see that dangers of splitting votes better than some on the Left can, may sweep in or chug in ….

            My view is that the benefits of MMP do not outweigh the need to think tactically. Some elections it is much more cut & dried and choice is great but in view of the unfinished work for Labour and the horror, for me anyway, of a Nact pact we need to get out and vote, and vote tactically.

            This time I think the key thing is to get the Left in again. Realistically neither The Greens nor TPM are going to get enough votes by themselves or together to form a Govt unless Labour & Nats really bomb out. We need to make sure that we get as many votes to the left but if Labour gets a hiding then all the left votes in the world for TPM or Greens won't help, in my view. Especially as parties have ruled out working with others…..a mistake in my view as a minor party can carry policies through as part of a coalition with anyone really. Leavening can be important. I was around when there was a close FPP result and the amount of working together and talking together Nats/Lab that resulted was great.

            If Labour gets a decent number of votes and this is accompanied by a good number for TPM and The Greens then that will be great.

    • Shanreagh 19.2

      For me the ideal solution would be for Laboutr to get enough seats to govern alone.

      Then it could pick the better of any policies that other parties might have for further scrutiny by The Treasury etc.

      Or maybe it will need some support from TPM/The Greens and work on a range of new ideas that won't need to have a wealth tax when there are much better ideas to enahnce tax take should this be needed. .

      • Belladonna 19.2.1

        Well, you had your ideal scenario in 2020. How has that worked out for you?

        TBH – I sincerely doubt that we will ever see a majority single party government under MMP in NZ ever again.

        • Shanreagh

          I liked it. of course we did not see it at its best with Covid, and now this series of unforced errors that the Labour Party is confronting. I was glad Labour had the ability to be quick on its feet to deal with Covid rather than having to indulge in argy bargy with minor parties on NZ's Covid response.

          We needed/need more small parties to be ginger group though.

          It is the current iteration of The Greens policies and the copycat TPM (on the wealth tax) that are putting me off voting for a smaller party.

          I would rather that Labour was able to push through some better policies without the handbrake of smaller parties but having the smaller parties as ideas fountains/allies with Ministerial posts if need be to push these ideas through. Shaw I think did OK but Davidson was invisible except for her unfortunate spurging on cis/terf etc.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          I sincerely hope that we won’t ever see a majority single party government under MMP in NZ ever again, given the circumstances that delivered same in 2020.

          But never say never smiley

          • Belladonna

            That is a prayer to which I can sincerely say, Amen.

            How strange to be on the same side of a discussion. smiley

  20. Ad 20

    From comes Rob Campbell's take on the inability of a more progressive tax system to actually fix the public services upon which most of us rely:

    "…tax is not the reason people suffer various forms of poverty.

    Lack of wealth, income and control of resources are major reasons, coupled with limited access to appropriate infrastructure of health, energy, housing, education etc.

    That is where the real issue lies, and that just again highlights the deficits we are apparently trying to avoid dealing with. It's not the tax that is the problem."

    Well Mr Campbell I just wonder if you could rearrange IRD so that it feeds the public services with income, but at the same time takes less from the poor and more from the rich.

    Who knows it may not solve it, but tax is for the most part what those public services need.

    Not particularly fun this morning to hear that PM Hipkins could only countenance a 14% pay rise from teachers by reallocating out of the Education budget from other Vote Education items. It's like he was proposing that every single government department has some hypothecated instrument as devoted to its own service as Transport is.

    I'm pretty confident I know what Thomas Piketty would do with that line of argument.

  21. KJT 21

    This policy changes taxes for most, from most tax coming from those who gain money by actually working, reducing their taxes! Most people! To more tax on those who gain money just by sitting on an asset. WITHOUT WORKING FOR IT!

    Of course those that may have to pay them advance all sorts of self serving and fatuous reasons why we shouldn't reverse the big tax shift, to workers, that was done from the 80's onwards.

    Apparently sitting on an asset and gaining through speculative price rises, shouldn't be taxed, but it is fine to keep reducing the standard of living of workers with GST, income tax from the first dollar and ever more expensive services.

    My caveat is the wealth tax should be on realisation, inheritance, gifting or sale. It is too messy otherwise.

    It is not envy. It is about those who have extracted the most from our tax funded functional society, paying their share.

    • weka 21.1

      how would you manage tax on realisation on something like shares, or expensive paintings and cars?

  22. SPC 22

    New taxes announced by parties so far.

    Structural policies and reforms should promote durable and inclusive growth . Revenue policy has a role to play in aligning tax collection with long-term economic priorities. A well-designed tax reform could allow for lower corporate and personal income tax rates by broadening the tax base to other more progressive sources, such as comprehensive capital gains and land taxes, while also addressing fiscal drag and improving efficiency.

    The authorities should continue to promote innovative investment and digitalization to support medium-term growth. Capital spending should aim at reducing the infrastructure gap and supporting the transition to a net zero carbon path. Tackling inequality should remain a priority, including through reducing barriers to education. In addition to improving education outcomes, boosting digitalization and the development of the information and communications technology sector can improve productivity.

    As the minimum wage has become increasingly binding after the rapid increase in recent years, further increases should be aligned with underlying labor productivity growth to avoid undue spillovers to overall wages.

    The IMF think we should reduce upward pressure on employment cost by reducing tax on lower paid workers (and maybe lower rent costs), via a broadening of the tax base.

    And of course to also invest more in infrastructure to build a more resilient economy and improve productivity.

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  • Gordon Campbell On The Government’s Assault On Maori
    This isn’t news, but the National-led coalition is mounting a sustained assault on Treaty rights and obligations. Even so, Christopher Luxon has described yesterday’s nationwide protests by Maori as “pretty unfair.” Poor thing. In the NZ Herald, Audrey Young has compiled a useful list of the many, many ways that ...
    3 days ago
  • Rising costs hit farmers hard, but  there’s more  positive news  for  them this  week 
    New Zealand’s dairy industry, the mainstay of the country’s export trade, has  been under  pressure  from rising  costs. Down on the  farm, this  has  been  hitting  hard. But there  was more positive news this week,  first   from the latest Fonterra GDT auction where  prices  rose,  and  then from  a  report ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    3 days ago
  • ROB MacCULLOCH:  Newshub and NZ Herald report misleading garbage about ACT’s van Veldon not follo...
    Rob MacCulloch writes –  In their rush to discredit the new government (which our MainStream Media regard as illegitimate and having no right to enact the democratic will of voters) the NZ Herald and Newshub are arguing ACT’s Deputy Leader Brooke van Veldon is not following Treasury advice ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Top 10 for Wednesday, December 6
    Even many young people who smoke support smokefree policies, fitting in with previous research showing the large majority of people who smoke regret starting and most want to quit. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Wednesday, December ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Eleven years of work.
    Well it didn’t take six months, but the leaks have begun. Yes the good ship Coalition has inadvertently released a confidential cabinet paper into the public domain, discussing their axing of Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs).Oops.Just when you were admiring how smoothly things were going for the new government, they’ve had ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Why we're missing out on sharply lower inflation
    A wave of new and higher fees, rates and charges will ripple out over the economy in the next 18 months as mayors, councillors, heads of department and price-setters for utilities such as gas, electricity, water and parking ramp up charges. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Just when most ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How Did We Get Here?
    Hi,Kiwis — keep the evening of December 22nd free. I have a meetup planned, and will send out an invite over the next day or so. This sounds sort of crazy to write, but today will be Tony Stamp’s final Totally Normal column of 2023. Somehow we’ve made it to ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Has the greenhouse effect been falsified?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealaders  have  high expectations of  new  government:  now let’s see if it can deliver?
    The electorate has high expectations of the  new  government.  The question is: can  it  deliver?    Some  might  say  the  signs are not  promising. Protestors   are  already marching in the streets. The  new  Prime Minister has had  little experience of managing  very diverse politicians  in coalition. The economy he  ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    4 days ago
  • You won't believe some of the numbers you have to pull when you're a Finance Minister
    Nicola of Marsden:Yo, normies! We will fix your cost of living worries by giving you a tax cut of 150 dollars. 150! Cash money! Vote National.Various people who can read and count:Actually that's 150 over a fortnight. Not a week, which is how you usually express these things.And actually, it looks ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Pushback
    When this government came to power, it did so on an explicitly white supremacist platform. Undermining the Waitangi Tribunal, removing Māori representation in local government, over-riding the courts which had tried to make their foreshore and seabed legislation work, eradicating te reo from public life, and ultimately trying to repudiate ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Defence ministerial meeting meant Collins missed the Maori Party’s mischief-making capers in Parli...
    Buzz from the Beehive Maybe this is not the best time for our Minister of Defence to have gone overseas. Not when the Maori Party is inviting (or should that be inciting?) its followers to join a revolution in a post which promoted its protest plans with a picture of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Threats of war have been followed by an invitation to join the revolution – now let’s see how th...
     A Maori Party post on Instagram invited party followers to ….  Tangata Whenua, Tangata Tiriti, Join the REVOLUTION! & make a stand!  Nationwide Action Day, All details in tiles swipe to see locations.  • This is our 1st hit out and tomorrow Tuesday the 5th is the opening ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Top 10 for Tuesday, December 4
    The RBNZ governor is citing high net migration and profit-led inflation as factors in the bank’s hawkish stance. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Tuesday, December 5, including:Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr says high net migration and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Nicola Willis' 'show me the money' moment
    Willis has accused labour of “economic vandalism’, while Robertson described her comments as a “desperate diversion from somebody who can't make their tax package add up”. There will now be an intense focus on December 20 to see whether her hyperbole is backed up by true surprises. Photo montage: Lynn ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • CRL costs money but also provides huge benefits
    The City Rail Link has been in the headlines a bit recently so I thought I’d look at some of them. First up, yesterday the NZ Herald ran this piece about the ongoing costs of the CRL. Auckland ratepayers will be saddled with an estimated bill of $220 million each ...
    5 days ago
  • And I don't want the world to see us.
    Is this the most shambolic government in the history of New Zealand? Given that parliament hasn’t even opened they’ve managed quite a list of achievements to date.The Smokefree debacle trading lives for tax cuts, the Trumpian claims of bribery in the Media, an International award for indifference, and today the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Cooking the books
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis late yesterday stopped only slightly short of accusing her predecessor Grant Robertson of cooking the books. She complained that the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU), due to be made public on December 20, would show “fiscal cliffs” that would amount to “billions of ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Most people don’t realize how much progress we’ve made on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The year was 2015. ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars was at the top of the music charts. Jurassic World was the most popular new movie in theaters. And decades of futility in international climate negotiations was about to come to an end in ...
    5 days ago
  • Of Parliamentary Oaths and Clive Boonham
    As a heads-up, I am not one of those people who stay awake at night thinking about weird Culture War nonsense. At least so far as the current Maori/Constitutional arrangements go. In fact, I actually consider it the least important issue facing the day to day lives of New ...
    5 days ago
  • Bearing True Allegiance?
    Strong Words: “We do not consent, we do not surrender, we do not cede, we do not submit; we, the indigenous, are rising. We do not buy into the colonial fictions this House is built upon. Te Pāti Māori pledges allegiance to our mokopuna, our whenua, and Te Tiriti o ...
    5 days ago
  • You cannot be serious
    Some days it feels like the only thing to say is: Seriously? No, really. Seriously?OneSomeone has used their health department access to share data about vaccinations and patients, and inform the world that New Zealanders have been dying in their hundreds of thousands from the evil vaccine. This of course is pure ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • A promise kept: govt pulls the plug on Lake Onslow scheme – but this saving of $16bn is denounced...
    Buzz from the Beehive After $21.8 million was spent on investigations, the plug has been pulled on the Lake Onslow pumped-hydro electricity scheme, The scheme –  that technically could have solved New Zealand’s looming energy shortage, according to its champions – was a key part of the defeated Labour government’s ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: The Maori Party and Oath of Allegiance
    If those elected to the Māori Seats refuse to take them, then what possible reason could the country have for retaining them?   Chris Trotter writes – Christmas is fast approaching, which, as it does every year, means gearing up for an abstruse general knowledge question. “Who was ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Forward to 2017
    The coalition party agreements are mainly about returning to 2017 when National lost power. They show commonalities but also some serious divergencies. Brian Easton writes The two coalition agreements – one National and ACT, the other National and New Zealand First – are more than policy documents. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Fossils
    When the new government promised to allow new offshore oil and gas exploration, they were warned that there would be international criticism and reputational damage. Naturally, they arrogantly denied any possibility that that would happen. And then they finally turned up at COP, to criticism from Palau, and a "fossil ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the government’s smokefree laws debacle
    The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out – for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable ...
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 links at 10 am for Monday, December 4
    As Deb Te Kawa writes in an op-ed, the new Government seems to have immediately bought itself fights with just about everyone. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Monday December 4, including:Palau’s President ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Be Honest.
    Let’s begin today by thinking about job interviews.During my career in Software Development I must have interviewed hundreds of people, hired at least a hundred, but few stick in the memory.I remember one guy who was so laid back he was practically horizontal, leaning back in his chair until his ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he left off. Peters sought to align ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Auckland rail tunnel the world’s most expensive
    Auckland’s city rail link is the most expensive rail project in the world per km, and the CRL boss has described the cost of infrastructure construction in Aotearoa as a crisis. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The 3.5 km City Rail Link (CRL) tunnel under Auckland’s CBD has cost ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • First big test coming
    The first big test of the new Government’s approach to Treaty matters is likely to be seen in the return of the Resource Management Act. RMA Minister Chris Bishop has confirmed that he intends to introduce legislation to repeal Labour’s recently passed Natural and Built Environments Act and its ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • The Song of Saqua: Volume III
    Time to revisit something I haven’t covered in a while: the D&D campaign, with Saqua the aquatic half-vampire. Last seen in July: The delay is understandable, once one realises that the interim saw our DM come down with a life-threatening medical situation. They have since survived to make ...
    6 days ago
  • Chris Bishop: Smokin’
    Yes. Correct. It was an election result. And now we are the elected government. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    6 days ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 26, 2023 thru Dec 2, 2023. Story of the Week CO2 readings from Mauna Loa show failure to combat climate change Daily atmospheric carbon dioxide data from Hawaiian volcano more ...
    6 days ago
  • Affirmative Action.
    Affirmative Action was a key theme at this election, although I don’t recall anyone using those particular words during the campaign.They’re positive words, and the way the topic was talked about was anything but. It certainly wasn’t a campaign of saying that Affirmative Action was a good thing, but that, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • 100 days of something
    It was at the end of the Foxton straights, at the end of 1978, at 100km/h, that someone tried to grab me from behind on my Yamaha.They seemed to be yanking my backpack. My first thought was outrage. My second was: but how? Where have they come from? And my ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Look who’s stepped up to champion Winston
    There’s no news to be gleaned from the government’s official website today  – it contains nothing more than the message about the site being under maintenance. The time this maintenance job is taking and the costs being incurred have us musing on the government’s commitment to an assault on inflation. ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • What's The Story?
    Don’t you sometimes wish they’d just tell the truth? No matter how abhorrent or ugly, just straight up tell us the truth?C’mon guys, what you’re doing is bad enough anyway, pretending you’re not is only adding insult to injury.Instead of all this bollocks about the Smokefree changes being to do ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The longest of weeks
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday Under New Management Week in review, quiz style1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Suggested sessions of EGU24 to submit abstracts to
    Like earlier this year, members from our team will be involved with next year's General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). The conference will take place on premise in Vienna as well as online from April 14 to 19, 2024. The session catalog has been available since November 1 ...
    1 week ago
  • Under New Management
    1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. Under New Management 2. Which of these best describes the 100 days of action announced this week by the new government?a. Petulantb. Simplistic and wrongheaded c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • While we wait patiently, our new Minister of Education is up and going with a 100-day action plan
    Sorry to say, the government’s official website is still out of action. When Point of Order paid its daily visit, the message was the same as it has been for the past week: Site under maintenance is currently under maintenance. We will be back shortly. Thank you for your ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago

  • Ministers visit Hawke’s Bay to grasp recovery needs
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon joined Cyclone Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell and Transport and Local Government Minister Simeon Brown, to meet leaders of cyclone and flood-affected regions in the Hawke’s Bay. The visit reinforced the coalition Government’s commitment to support the region and better understand its ongoing requirements, Mr Mitchell says.  ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity
    New Zealand has joined the UK and other partners in condemning malicious cyber activity conducted by the Russian Government, Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau Judith Collins says. The statement follows the UK’s attribution today of malicious cyber activity impacting its domestic democratic institutions and processes, as well ...
    2 days ago
  • Disestablishment of Te Pūkenga begins
    The Government has begun the process of disestablishing Te Pūkenga as part of its 100-day plan, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Penny Simmonds says.  “I have started putting that plan into action and have met with the chair and chief Executive of Te Pūkenga to advise them of my ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend COP28 in Dubai
    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will be leaving for Dubai today to attend COP28, the 28th annual UN climate summit, this week. Simon Watts says he will push for accelerated action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, deliver New Zealand’s national statement and connect with partner countries, private sector leaders ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to host 2024 Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins yesterday announced New Zealand will host next year’s South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM). “Having just returned from this year’s meeting in Nouméa, I witnessed first-hand the value of meeting with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security and defence matters. I welcome the opportunity to ...
    2 days ago
  • Study shows need to remove distractions in class
    The Government is committed to lifting school achievement in the basics and that starts with removing distractions so young people can focus on their learning, Education Minister Erica Stanford says.   The 2022 PISA results released this week found that Kiwi kids ranked 5th in the world for being distracted ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister sets expectations of Commissioner
    Today I met with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to set out my expectations, which he has agreed to, says Police Minister Mark Mitchell. Under section 16(1) of the Policing Act 2008, the Minister can expect the Police Commissioner to deliver on the Government’s direction and priorities, as now outlined in ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a strong and stable ETS
    New Zealand needs a strong and stable Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that is well placed for the future, after emission units failed to sell for the fourth and final auction of the year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says.  At today’s auction, 15 million New Zealand units (NZUs) – each ...
    3 days ago
  • PISA results show urgent need to teach the basics
    With 2022 PISA results showing a decline in achievement, Education Minister Erica Stanford is confident that the Coalition Government’s 100-day plan for education will improve outcomes for Kiwi kids.  The 2022 PISA results show a significant decline in the performance of 15-year-old students in maths compared to 2018 and confirms ...
    4 days ago
  • Collins leaves for Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today departed for New Caledonia to attend the 8th annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting (SPDMM). “This meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security matters and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Pacific,” Judith Collins says. ...
    5 days ago
  • Working for Families gets cost of living boost
    Putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families is a priority of this Coalition Government, starting with an increase to Working for Families, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “We are starting our 100-day plan with a laser focus on bringing down the cost of living, because that is what ...
    5 days ago
  • Post-Cabinet press conference
    Most weeks, following Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds a press conference for members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. This page contains the transcripts from those press conferences, which are supplied by Hansard to the Office of the Prime Minister. It is important to note that the transcripts have not been edited ...
    5 days ago
  • Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme scrapped
    The Government has axed the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme championed by the previous government, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “This hugely wasteful project was pouring money down the drain at a time when we need to be reining in spending and focussing on rebuilding the economy and ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ welcomes further pause in fighting in Gaza
    New Zealand welcomes the further one-day extension of the pause in fighting, which will allow the delivery of more urgently-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of more hostages, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said. “The human cost of the conflict is horrific, and New Zealand wants to see the violence ...
    1 week ago
  • Condolences on passing of Henry Kissinger
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today expressed on behalf of the New Zealand Government his condolences to the family of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has passed away at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut. “While opinions on his legacy are varied, Secretary Kissinger was ...
    1 week ago
  • Backing our kids to learn the basics
    Every child deserves a world-leading education, and the Coalition Government is making that a priority as part of its 100-day plan. Education Minister Erica Stanford says that will start with banning cellphone use at school and ensuring all primary students spend one hour on reading, writing, and maths each day. ...
    1 week ago
  • US Business Summit Speech – Regional stability through trade
    I would like to begin by echoing the Prime Minister’s thanks to the organisers of this Summit, Fran O’Sullivan and the Auckland Business Chamber.  I want to also acknowledge the many leading exporters, sector representatives, diplomats, and other leaders we have joining us in the room. In particular, I would like ...
    1 week ago
  • Keynote Address to the United States Business Summit, Auckland
    Good morning. Thank you, Rosemary, for your warm introduction, and to Fran and Simon for this opportunity to make some brief comments about New Zealand’s relationship with the United States.  This is also a chance to acknowledge my colleague, Minister for Trade Todd McClay, Ambassador Tom Udall, Secretary of Foreign ...
    1 week ago
  • India New Zealand Business Council Speech, India as a Strategic Priority
    Good morning, tēnā koutou and namaskar. Many thanks, Michael, for your warm welcome. I would like to acknowledge the work of the India New Zealand Business Council in facilitating today’s event and for the Council’s broader work in supporting a coordinated approach for lifting New Zealand-India relations. I want to also ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition Government unveils 100-day plan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has laid out the Coalition Government’s plan for its first 100 days from today. “The last few years have been incredibly tough for so many New Zealanders. People have put their trust in National, ACT and NZ First to steer them towards a better, more prosperous ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    2 weeks ago

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