The link between tax havens, criminals and the amoral rich

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, May 9th, 2016 - 162 comments
Categories: capitalism, john key, tax - Tags: , , , , , , , ,

What the Panama Papers expose, and what John Key and his supporters, fail to grasp, or wilfully

Former RBNZ Governor and Nat and Act Party leader Don Brash

Former RBNZ Governor and Nat and Act Party leader Don Brash

won’t grasp, is that there is no possible justification for tax havens.

Key quibbles about whether New Zealand is a tax haven, but his government set up a regime via a minor rule change in 2011 that opened the floodgates to criminals, oligarchs and the mafia as well as the plain wealthy, using a zero rated tax regime for foreigners.

This regime allows foreigners who register entities here to legally pay no tax on earnings outside New Zealand and disclosure rules are so poorly drafted, possibly deliberately, that they may as well not exist.

It allows companies and trusts to be shrouded in secrecy via nominee companies run by firms such as Antipodes Trust Group, run by Key’s “lawyer”, Ken Whitney, and Bentleys New Zealand, the local arm of Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, whose leaked files are now the focus of a global scandal.

Key might not accept it, and he can spin all he likes by saying that because Nicky Hager is involved, it is just a Left Wing conspiracy. But in anyone objective person’s books, New Zealand is a tax haven.

“It looks likes one, it smells like one, and it’s been used as one, then to all intents and purposes it is a tax haven,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said.

Former Reserve Bank Governor who is also a former National Party and Act Party leader, Don Brash, told The Standard, “if we were setting up a system that allows people to evade tax, that would be wrong.”

“The Panama Papers issue is either illegal, or verging on illegal, it’s tax evasion, rather than tax avoidance,” Brash said.

“It seems to me that people involved in Panama structures are almost certainly trying to evade tax and I think that’s entirely reprehensible.”

Brash said everyone has to pay their fair share of tax. “I myself would never attempt to hide anything in a tax haven. There is an ethical question.”

“If we do have a tax haven here, I’d be very unhappy. What’s going on in Panama seems entirely inappropriate, if not criminal. If that’s what’s happening, and New Zealanders are playing a substantive part in that, then that’s reprehensible. “

Brash, who has previously chaired four national committees of inquiry into tax matters said that if the zero tax regime for foreigners was doing damage to New Zealand’s reputation, “it isn’t worth 25 million bucks. But I don’t know how much damage it is doing.”

That begs the question as to why New Zealand has not just tolerated the establishment of the current tax regime, but actively facilitated it and supported it.

Key claims the $25 million in fees gathered by accountants and lawyers who administer these schemes are the justification. But surely, that is not worth sullying New Zealand’s “100 percent pure’ low corruption/high transparent reputation that is worth megabucks?

A recent story about HSCB bank, one of the world’s largest and murkiest banks, by International Consortium of Investigative Journalist (ICIJ), which has been given full access to the Panama Papers, shines light on the intersection of international crime and legitimate business.

Secret documents obtained by ICIJ via French newspaper Le Monde, reveal that HSBC profited from doing business with arms dealers who channeled mortar bombs to child soldiers in Africa, bag men for Third World dictators, traffickers in blood diamonds and other international outlaws. As well as Hollywood stars, monarchs, political leaders, businessmen and women, every kind of low life imaginable is in the files.

The leaked files, based on the inner workings of HSBC’s Swiss private banking arm, relate to accounts holding more than US$100 billion.

“The documents… show the bank’s dealings with clients engaged in a spectrum of illegal behavior, especially in hiding hundreds of millions of dollars from tax authorities,” ICIJ states.

Switzerland’s notorious secret banking system plays a vital part in the circle of dirty money.

Tax havens such as Niue, the Cook Islands and New Zealand also play a vital role, but it less important, as they can be relatively easily replaced by new havens, such is the simplicity, of setting up havens. Once the cash has been washed and laundered and declared ‘tax paid” via such havens, it can be stashed with more security and legitimacy in Switzerland.

The Mossack Fonseca files reveal what is so great about the New Zealand tax haven is its reputation as a good and clean place to do business.

The great thing about New Zealand, Mossack says in its promotional material , is that New Zealand has a reputation for its transparency and fiscal compliance. It is member of the UN, the OECD, IMF and belongs to the British Commonwealth.

The HSBC documents show celebs of all kinds including soccer and tennis players, cyclists, rock stars, Hollywood actors, royalty, politicians, corporate executives and old-wealth families held accounts in its Swiss private bank and many made special trips to Geneva to withdraw large wads of cash, sometimes in used notes.

The files also document huge sums of money controlled by dealers in diamonds who are known to have operated in war zones and sold gemstones to finance insurgencies that caused untold deaths.

How the offshore banking industry shelters money and hides secrets has enormous implications for societies across the globe.

Academics conservatively estimate that US$7.6 trillion is held in overseas tax havens, costing government treasuries at least US$200 billion a year.

That would pay for an awful lot of taxes that the likes of you and I have to pay.

French economist Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, told ICIJ: “The offshore industry is a major threat for our democratic institutions and our basic social contract.”

“Financial opacity is one of the key drivers of rising global inequality. It allows a large fraction of top income and top wealth groups to pay negligible tax rates, while the rest of us pay large taxes in order to finance the public goods and services (education, health, infrastructures) that are indispensable for the development process.”

The secret files obtained by ICIJ — covering accounts up to 2007 associated with more than 100,000 individuals and legal entities from more than 200 nations — are a version of the ones the French government obtained and shared with other governments in 2010, leading to prosecutions or settlements with individuals for tax evasion in several countries. Nations whose tax authorities received the French files include the U.S., Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, Britain, Ireland, India, Belgium and Argentina.

A US senate investigation in 2012 found that HSCB had lax controls that allowed Latin American drug cartels to launder hundreds of millions of ill-gotten dollars through its US operations, rendering the dirty money usable.

Later in 2012, HSBC agreed to pay more than US$1.9 billion to settle U.S. criminal and civil investigations and entered into a five-year deferred-prosecution agreement. The beauty of such settlements from the bank’s perspective, is that its dirt is never aired in public.

As well as high profilers such as Tina Turner and the late David Bowie, the reporters found the names of current and former politicians from Britain, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kenya, Romania, India, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Tunisia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Paraguay, Djibouti, Senegal, the Philippines and Algeria, among others.

None of this will come as any great surprise. Nor is it certain that having such an account, guarantees you are involved in dirty business. But there is certainly a smoking gun as to why you would use such an account.

In many ways, the most instructive comments on tax havens come from Mossack Fonseca principal Jurgen Mossack, who gave the most extraordinarily revealing interview to Pacific journalist Mike Field as far back as 2000, when he was already on the case and reprised recently in The Spinoff.

He told Field his business involved people “trying to avoid paying taxes in their home countries,” and it was all legitimate because it was avoidance, not evasion.

The OECD was using money laundering as a pretence to go after tax, he claimed.

“If OECD countries want to be serious about unfair tax competition they are going to have to close down their own operations first.”

The tiny state of Niue, population 1,100, where Mossack Fonseca set up in 1996 with thousands of clients, was not useful for criminal money laundering, because Niue had no actual banking system, he said.

Mossack correctly noted that money laundering via states like Nauru could only be done with the complicity of the world’s big banks such as HSBC because they have no proper banks for safely holding money.

Field has reported that vast amounts of Mexican drug money was laundered via US-based banks using shell New Zealand company fronts, mostly set up by father and son operation Geoffrey and Michael Taylor, who have registered a huge percentage of companies registered in New Zealand.

“Every operation of that scale needs the intervention of the big international banks,” Mossack told Field.

“When they see an unusual operation they must know it, and if they then continue the business it is because, either they are not interested in the morals of the story, or they see it as good business to continue these operations.”

“If you have figures of that sort… then the international banks know what they are doing.”

But according to Key, it’s all okay.

(Simon Louisson formerly worked for The Wall Street Journal, NZPA, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and was most recently a political and media adviser to the Green Party)

 

162 comments on “The link between tax havens, criminals and the amoral rich ”

  1. Anno1701 1

    Jesus wept, If Brash the libertarian thinks it looks dodgy ……..

    well what else can you say really !

  2. Magisterium 2

    [removed]
    [lprent: You were banned here. Added another week. ]

  3. ianmac 3

    Their bottom line is that Tax avoidance is legal and that Trusts are legal so why make a fuss Simon? John Key says it is all OK. He has avoided any disclosure improvements so lets just go back to our knitting. Yes?
    No. Thankyou Simon for a fullsome expose. My limited knowledge is steadily improving with your help. Keep it up.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      Key wanted to brand upgrade NZ with a change of flag, now he’s clueless to the undermining of our brand, and his lie that its to complex for him to understand how such legal entities can be used by criminals, and well Labour introduced them to that makes it all right, all damned by politician ineptitude.

  4. roy cartland 4

    Surprising no one’s come up with the argument on what the US wastes it’s taxes on. Are we up to 50% on Military spending yet? Close if not.

    I imagine if I had m/billions I could deceive myself into thinking I’d done the world a favour by not paying US tax and hiding it; with the intention of giving the other 50% I owe to worthy causes, you know, when I’m good and ready.

  5. john 5

    Some maths and perspective for you: (apart from none of this is illegal or immoral and only the ridiculous socialists think they are entitled to other peoples money).

    11.4 million DOCUMENTS.
    NZ mentioned 61000 times…how many times per document?
    Suggested example:
    Blah Blah (NZ) Ltd
    24 whosit street
    sometown
    New Zealand

    PO Box XXX
    Anytown
    New Zealand

    [email protected]

    http://www.blahblah.co.nz

    Would this be at the top of each page, of each document and therefore in a 2 page document (would suggest this is the minimum) if NZ is mentioned say 5 times per document in the text then NZ was mentioned 15 times per document.

    So out of 61000 mentions…that would be 4067 documents out of 11.4 million

    ie 0.036%.

    approximate size of NZ population….0.06% of the world population, means we are mentioned in the panama papers about half as often as you would expect on the world stage.

    • Richard@Down South 5.1

      You realise of course that money is owned by a government, and is only distributed for you to use?

      • john 5.1.1

        untrue.
        Governments are, even the ridiculous socialist ones, of the people either by vote or default.
        So the money belongs to those who EARN it. Not those who administer it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      It all adds up to the conclusion that NZ is a tax haven. I note that the document drop covers decades, whereas our “industry” has ballooned in just the last five years.

      • john 5.2.1

        Must be a VERY small haven then…..0.036% of a haven perhaps.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.1

          Was the point about decades a bit esoteric, sweety?

          I shall use your argument in court: “Your honour, my client only beat John about the head with a copy of the tax code for 0.036% of his life…”

        • North 5.2.1.2

          John brings into play the discussion between the ‘lady’ and George Bernard Shaw. Quantum is all that matters. To hell with principle.

        • Pat 5.2.1.3

          care to establish the dollar percentage to add to this amoral display?

    • Cowboy 5.3

      That comment needs to be called on the bullshit that it is.

      I don’t want a single cent of ill gotten gain laundered through this country. No one has yet come up with a good reason why we should provide these services apart from a few lousy mil in lawyers fees. Anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to condone the trashing of New Zealand’s hard won international reputation for such a pulpy amount needs to examine their own values.

      • Cowboy 5.3.1

        For clarity my comment was for John.

      • john 5.3.2

        and you proof or even evidence that any money administered here is ill gotten???

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3.2.1

          🙄

          …is invisible to John. Apparently.

        • joe90 5.3.2.2

          and you proof or even evidence that any money administered here is ill gotten???

          Not a sausage, yet, because the beauty of the scheme being sold is that there’s no mechanism to deem riches ill gotten or otherwise.

          But should the authorities look at your accounts the onus is on you to show that indeed, your deposits have been gained legitimately.

          See the problem…..

          • Psycho Milt 5.3.2.2.1

            The right-wingers have been running this one in their comments since the story broke. The foreign trust rules make it impossible to establish whether said trusts are being used for tax evasion and money laundering; and instead of saying “Holy shit, that needs fixing immediately,” our right-wing commenters say “You can’t prove it!” Classy.

            • McFlock 5.3.2.2.1.1

              Indeed.

              I wonder if they expect customs to have the same attitude – only give customs officers the power to examine bags if they know the exact serial number of the bag that needs to be searched. And then claim that although people might have used similar arrangements in other countries to smuggle drugs, there’s no evidence that any of the uninspected boxes were used to smuggle drugs into NZ. So therefore there’s no problem with the system.

              I suppose it only counts when rich people do it, though.

            • International Rescue 5.3.2.2.1.2

              For clarification…that’s not the line I’m running. I’m calling people out on claims that are revealing a> a profound ignorance of NZ’s laws and b> a profound and irrational hatred of John Key. If, in amongst the foreign trusts set up n NZ there is a single trust used to evade tax or launder ill gotten gains, we need to fix that. But the fact remains, there is no evidence that that has occurred.

              • wtl

                You said:

                …that’s not the line I’m running…

                Yet,

                …there is no evidence that that has occurred…

                is pretty much equivalent to “You can’t prove it!”.

                Edit: Plus, you also said “because at the moment nothing untoward has been proven.” in comment 8.1

                • McFlock

                  Doesn’t work – IR has installed logical contradiction filters, so pointing out their hypocrisy doesn’t result in their head frying like a Star Trek robot. They just reset and go on with more bullshit.

                • International Rescue

                  Yep you can’t prove it. When you can, come back with something.

                  • wtl

                    If you can’t see any contradiction in those statements, there is absolutely no point engaging with you, since you seem to be either completely clueless or deliberately disingenuine.

            • Jack Ramaka 5.3.2.2.1.3

              Typical legal argument deny, deny, deny?

              JK is not showing any leadership on this issue?

        • framu 5.3.2.3

          the actual question is “Does our regime make it possible?”

          if it does allow money laundering then it is, by design, a bad system that needs to be replaced

          no one has to prove any actual money laundering – all that needs to be proven is that it is possible using NZ law

    • dv 5.4

      There is that pinhead again (dancing in cause you get offended john)

    • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 5.5

      It seems to me that it’s not the frequency of NZ’s name appearing in the 11 million documents, which apparently date as far back as 1977, but the time we are mentioned.

      Key set this country up as a tax haven in 2011, so I imagine NZ is mentioned much more frequently in more recent documents.

      So, overall, we may have only been mentioned 60,000 times, but those 60,000 times may have all occurred in the last five years – a much more damning fact!

      • International Rescue 5.5.1

        The current foreign trust laws pre-date Key.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.5.1.1

          Apart from the ones that don’t.

          …reduces tax for non-residents…

          Keep twisting, I’m having fun.

          • International Rescue 5.5.1.1.1

            The foreign trust laws pre-date Key. The 2011 changes were minor, as excellently outlined here http://thestandard.org.nz/key-changed-the-law-to-turn-nz-into-a-tax-haven/#comment-1159088

            Figured out the difference between inequality and poverty yet?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.5.1.1.1.1

              Yes, tax avoidance makes both of them worse.

            • Sacha 5.5.1.1.1.2

              From that link:
              “In fact investors in a PIE – even if they are overseas – must meet full anti-money laundering regs which includes verified copies of passports and utility bills and this info is available for both the FMA and the IRD.”

              Where ‘available for’ means ‘only if they ask for it’. And why would they? Overseas jurisdictions also cannot see who the settlors or beneficiaries of any given trust are, just the carefully selected beige NZ names like Roger Thompson that won’t attract interest.

              Nice try.

              • International Rescue

                So? All you’re doing is confirming there are disclosure rules. And confirming the way things ave been for years. Thanks.

              • Andrew

                wrong, that info is needed for investing in PIE’s. the “only if they ask for it” stuff is the other trusts we are talking about, you know, the ones that have been around since the 80’s. the ones that the panama papers are actually taking about.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  How do you know what they’re talking about: had time to read them have you? Speed reading champion of the universe.

          • Andrew 5.5.1.1.2

            you missed a bit … “investing through New Zealand portfolio investment entities” …

            you were saying?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.5.1.1.2.1

              Yes, I was saying that changes were made by this government in 2011. If you look a little closer, IRD are very helpful:

              The [2011] Act introduces two new categories of PIE: “foreign investment zero-rate PIE” …Zero-rate PIEs are generally only able to invest offshore…

              You were saying?

              • Andrew

                I’m still trying to understand what you are getting at.

                We all know that the 2011 law change was to zero rate investment returns in PIE funds for foreign investors where the fund invests in overseas investments. Non-tax resident, you don’t pay NZ tax on income generated off-shore. Simple.

                But the facts are these, you can’t anonymously invest in a PIE and you can’t own more than 20% (ish) of a PIE, therefore they are extremely unlikely to be used to evade tax as the IRD knows exactly who is investing in these entities.

                The panama papers have nothing at all to do with these types of investments. Therefore this whole Key made us a tax haven with the 2011 tax changes to PIE funds, is, in a word, bollocks.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Perhaps you can explain what the changes to “Sections CP 1, CX 56, CX 56B, DB 54B, HM 1, HM 2, HM 6, HM 6B, HM 7, HM 8, HM 11 to 13, HM 19B, HM 19C, HM 31 to 33, HM 35C, HM 41, HM 44, HM 44B, HM 47, HM 51, HM 53, HM 55C to 55H, HM 60, HM 61, HM 64, HM 65, HM 71B, HM 82, IC 3, LS 1, LS 2, YA 1 and schedule 6” mean then.

                  The IRD says:

                  The PIE rules have had time to bed down and the relevant legislation is now relatively settled. At the same time, various reports (most recently, the report of the International Funds Services Development Group) noted there is the potential for New Zealand to become a “financial hub”, providing back-office services to international managed funds. To take advantage of such an opportunity, the over-taxation of non-resident investors in PIEs would need to be resolved. This is the objective of the new foreign investment PIE rules.

                  Key features

                  The Act introduces two new categories of PIE: “foreign investment zero-rate PIE” (referred to as “zero-rate PIEs”) and “foreign investment variable-rate PIE” (referred to as “variable-rate PIEs”). The rules for these PIEs aim to align the tax treatment of non-resident investors in the PIE with the tax treatment of direct non-resident investors. Resident investors in a foreign investment PIE will continue to be taxed as if they were in an ordinary PIE.
                  The new rules are optional. PIEs do not need to elect to become one of the new types of PIE and can continue to apply the existing rules, where PIEs are taxed at 28 percent on the income attributable to non-residents.
                  Zero-rate PIEs are generally only able to invest offshore. De minimis levels of New Zealand-sourced income are allowed, however. This allows such a PIE to finance its day-to-day operations with a New Zealand bank account, for example.
                  Zero-rate PIEs are taxed at zero percent on all PIE income attributable to certain non-residents.
                  Variable-rate PIEs can invest into both New Zealand and offshore assets.
                  Variable-rate PIEs face a variety of different tax rates on income attributable to non-residents, depending on the type and source of the income.

                  Which looks like something that was taxed at 28% became taxed at 0%, and is only available to offshore investors. And forget you ever heard the term ‘financial hub’. Just erase it from memory.

                  • Andrew

                    there is the potential for New Zealand to become a “financial hub”, providing back-office services to international managed funds

                    Financial hub != tax haven. “providing back-office services to international managed funds” != tax haven.

                    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the above. It is all above board, fully legal and compliant with the anti money laundering laws.

                    Once again, PIE managed funds are NOT used to avoid tax … sheesh … Off shore trusts in NZ have ALWAYS been zero rated for overseas income. Nothing has changed there. The change was only related to managed funds that were created in 2007/08 to bring them inline with the existing laws around overseas investments for foreign owned trusts.

                    You are putting 2 and 2 together to make 6.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      28 ≠ 0

                      I get that you believe what you’re saying, and yet we’ve learned how the “zero-rate” trick can be used to avoid tax – because it still counts as a tax rate.

                    • Andrew

                      I really don’t think that “trick” applies to managed funds. They would still have to declare income in their home country. To not declare income would be tax evasion.

                      Anyway, will leave it there. Ill go off and see if i can see anything about the “yes i have paid tax in NZ, it was just zero tax” trick that you mention.

                      Would be handy if an actual tax professional could clear this all up as there is a “lot” of reading between the lines going on.

                      Cheers

        • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 5.5.1.2

          IR @ 5.5.1

          You’ve missed the point I made – deliberately?

          The fact may be that NZ may be mentioned relatively frequency in papers dating from 2011, when the tax regime was changed by the National Government.

          This makes the 60,000 mentions of much more significance.

        • Pat 5.5.1.3

          you really are a broken record …it has already been established (and pointed out again today by tax experts) that the 2011 changes were what supercharged the desirability of FTs in NZ

    • Lanthanide 5.6

      How many ‘documents’ are emails which are idle chit-chat or unimportant office administrivia?

      Like – we need to buy a cake for X who is leaving today.

    • Richard@Down South 5.7

      Your math fails… if NZ was responsible for 99% of the ‘tax haven business’, im sure NZ wouldnt be mentioned in 99% of the documents… they could just say ‘NZ is responsible for by far and most of the ‘tax haven’ business… the fact we are mentioned so often, should be a badge of shame

      Let me put it this way…

      replace tax haven, and replace with ‘contact killings’… if that were the case, we’d be down right upset

      • International Rescue 5.7.1

        NZ is not a tax haven. NZ isn’t responsible for any contract killings.

  6. shorts 6

    this is possibly a dumb question, and a bit off topic – but where is the money?

    Is NZ a conduit to these peoples money going elsewhere or does some/most/all of it reside here?

    • Matthew Hooton 6.1

      It doesn’t even necessarily come here at all.

      • Anno1701 6.1.1

        yes no one is showing up at the airport with suitcases of Yuan/euro/pounds/pesos

        but there will be be (most likely) many many millions of $ worth of “assets” owned by these “structures”

        thats the point of them , say i live somewhere wth ooooh i dont know,how bouit a land tax, if my huge mansion is owned by an offshore company & i simply “rent” it from said company , then i aint liable for the tax…

        of course the double benefit is i can offset my payments (to myself via my offshore structure) as a cost for tax purposes

        i win both ways and my country of residence looses out….

        also a great way around currency controls (like in China ) as you can drip feed your money out of the country as “payments” to your offshore structure

        I would imagine quite a few foreign students here in NZ have there “rent” paid by the parents back home….

    • International Rescue 6.2

      A foreign trust can open accounts anywhere in the world. It is possible some of the funds will be invested here, but given our relative size, I would suggest a significant amount of the funds will reside offshore.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1

        Yes, and forget that you ever heard the term “financial hub”…it’s a distant memory, fading away, and…gone, never happened. A bit like your financial expertise.

      • shorts 6.2.2

        thanks for that -wasn’t totally sure as its not clear in all the articles I’ve read

        So we’re a clearing house or broker then, one that legitimises other people doing dishonourable things, cool

        • International Rescue 6.2.2.1

          We don’t legitimise anything. If you know of people laundering money in or through NZ, tell the authorities.

    • Pat 6.3

      of course the odd 10 million or so may find its way here….

      http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/invest/investment/default.htm

  7. International Rescue 7

    “but his government set up a regime via a minor rule change in 2011 that opened the floodgates to criminals, oligarchs and the mafia as well as the plain wealthy, using a zero rated tax regime for foreigners.”

    That is nonsense, and you know it. The essence of our foreign trust regime was established under a Labour Gvt, unchanged by a Labour Gvt, and largely unchanged by a national Gvt. Even your header is dishonest, because Brash clearly said “IF”.

    Here’s what Peter Dunne said “I am especially concerned at the revelation that the numbers of foreign trusts established in New Zealand has gone up almost four-fold in the last decade.” The LAST DECADE! Not since 2011.

    That said, please keep going. The over-reach, the eye watering hysteria, the involvement of Nicky hager, the shrill and irrational reaction of Little, is once again ensuring a two point bounce for national.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Reality check: RNZ, the ICIJ and TVNZ involved Hager.

      Beyond that, everyone knows you agree with the Prime Minister. I note he has changed his story from “it isn’t happening” to “Labour did it too”.

      Polly wanna cracker?

      • International Rescue 7.1.1

        Media and Hager. A really credible combination lol. Oh and no-one’s arguing ‘Labour did it as well’ because there is yet to be proven that there is an ‘it’.

        “The government’s proposed foreign trust policy is another area where we have worked extensively with affected taxpayers to produce good, workable tax policy.
        Under current law, foreign trusts that have New Zealand-resident trustees but receive no New Zealand income are not required to provide information to Inland Revenue on a regular basis, or to keep New Zealand tax records. There is no need for that, since they are not taxed here, and rightly so, because they are outside our tax base. ”

        Who said that OAB? Sir M Cullen. April 2005.
        http://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2005-04-29-tax-changes-announced

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1

          He said that too! Have another cracker.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.2

          Since you’re such a Google expert, explain precisely what changed in 2011 (it’s right there on IRD’s website). Oh damn, I looked it up by accident!

          …reduces tax for non-residents investing through New Zealand portfolio investment entities…look through company rules…

          Paging Dr. Dunning-Kruger.

          • International Rescue 7.1.1.2.1

            No much. Foreign Trusts began long before that.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Apart from reduces tax for non-residents 😆

              Oh look – it turns out your word ain’t worth shit. Who knew!

              • International Rescue

                You really have no idea what you’re talking about, do you?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  There were no tax changes in 2011 that affected foreign trusts. You’ve made clear you believe that.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Ah, so “minor” changes that Chapman Tripp described as “foreign investments will now bear no New Zealand tax on their income, whether or not the fund distributes that income” and an “attractive alternative to funds resident in Luxembourg, Ireland or the Caymans.” The IRD described it as lowering the tax rate for non-residents.

                      I’m glad we sorted that out.

                    • International Rescue

                      Read the IRD material OAB. And the Standard link. It explains it very well. The changes were sensible and minor.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sensible, minor, and reduced the tax rate for foreign investments to make us an attractive alternative to the Cayman Islands. That’s what the links say.

                    • International Rescue

                      “Sensible, minor, and reduced the tax rate for foreign investments to make us an attractive alternative to the Cayman Islands. ”

                      Not really. We have disclosure rules. We have many other impediments to being considered a tax haven. Educate yourself, OAB.

                      “New Zealand has evolved one of the best and most comprehensive asset protection and offshore tax minimization systems in the world whilst at the same time avoiding any issues of blacklisting as an offshore destination by the OECD countries. This plus a comprehensive bundle of Free Trade agreements and Double Taxation Agreements mean that today a properly structured and planned asset protection strategy involving the use of New Zealand companies and non-resident trust ensures the safest and most efficient structure possible.

                      You must remember that New Zealand is not a tax haven. Nevertheless, it is considered by many international investors and businessmen as the best jurisdiction to form asset protection structures and tax regimes for non-resident shareholders and/or beneficiaries. So the country can provide all the advantages of traditional “offshore” jurisdictions and even more because it is not blacklisted by any jurisdiction or authority in the world and has no connotations as a tax haven. New Zealand is a full member of the OECD, FATF and World Trade Organization.”
                      http://www.trust-nz.com/en-nz-as-offshore.html

                  • adam

                    One Anonymous Bloke you know that the hundreds of hours of work and research by international group of trusted journalist – is nothing compared to International Rescue, and his what 10 minutes of research, OK maybe 15.

                    OMG I’ve been laughing all day, and then International Rescue turns up, and sets off the fit of giggles again. I have to go cook dinner, this is just fantastic.

                    • Tricledrown

                      International ridicule.
                      So how come Mexican peddler of influence was rejected by just about every other tax haven but allowed in here.
                      I’ll tell you why the US government is going after those in tax havens.

    • North 7.2

      You know they’re worried when they start straw man screeching like International (Needs) Rescue. The straw man being that everyone’s claiming The Fake Man Key is personally financially, Panama-ed Up.

      Whoever said that ? No one actually. Aside from International (Needs) Rescue who in protesting too much actually implies it. You’re obviously worried aren’t you ‘Troll Sans Frontieres’ ?

      Give yourself a break dickhead. Accept that just like the outrageous, lying, tory toff Jeffrey Archer, there’s an exponentially developing theme that Mr Key is, well you know, just a little bit ‘icky’ in yet a further way. And in contrast to Thatcher supplicant, fan boy and jailbird Jeffrey, not even literate.

      • International Rescue 7.2.1

        hahaha. You say:

        1> “The straw man being that everyone’s claiming The Fake Man Key is personally, financially, Panama-ed Up. Whoever said that ? No one actually. ”

        then

        2> “Accept that just like the outrageous, lying, tory toff Jeffrey Archer, there’s an exponentially developing theme that Mr Key is, well you know, just a little bit ‘icky’ in yet a further way”

        It takes a special kind of moron to shoot yourself in the foot within the same post.

        • North 7.2.1.1

          I know you’re not open to it International (Needs) Rescue but I repeat…….there is a developing theme. Which is in complete contrast to the down home ‘have a beer with this guy’ shit. You know it what’s more.

          “My God……what if there’s no God ?”

          PS: you missed the bit about your protesting too much.

          • International Rescue 7.2.1.1.1

            You’re simply demonstrating how out of touch with reality the left have become. NZ’er demand evidence before believing the hype. They also know a winner when they see one. Key is a winner, for NZ and for NZ’ers. And there is nothing tying him or his Gvt to any wrongdoing. His popularity is about to go up though, because of the hash you are all making of this.

            • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Yep, Key is a real winner. And you are right, Kiwis can see it.

  8. Cowboy 8

    Yes clearly it’s all Labours fault as usual. I must have been mistaken thinking National are well into their third term.
    Frankly I don’t give a damn who’s fault it is or what the damn polls say I just want it cleaned up and cleaned up properly.Key will of course do something of little consequence to make it all go away.

    • International Rescue 8.1

      It isn’t anyone’s ‘fault’, because at the moment nothing untoward has been proven. All we know is that NZ has had foreign trusts for many years. Some non NZ residents administer their funds through these trusts, some of the funds reside in NZ, some don’t. NZ has disclosed details of these trusts on every occasion a request has been made by a country with whom we have a joint agreement. If there is a smoking gun here, it must be very well hidden!

      • Paul 8.1.1

        Another troll who thinks tax havens are moral.

        • International Rescue 8.1.1.1

          NZ is not a tax haven. I haven’t even commented on the morality or otherwise.

        • indiana 8.1.1.2

          Why is morality even a question? In any country, the governments legally allow people to conduct their financial affairs and even assist in creating avenues to do so. When those citizens use these means, they are doing nothing that is considered immoral. Countries don’t live in silos – they negotiate deals with each other to create these financial avenues.

          • International Rescue 8.1.1.2.1

            I also find it humorous that the left scream when someone tries to impose morality on them, yet try to define and impose their morality on everyone else!

            • adam 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Really, and you are doing what with that comment.

              Man your logic is so flawed, mind you, I get a good giggle from you inane rants.

              • International Rescue

                “…and you are doing what with that comment.”
                Making an observation.

            • adam 8.1.1.2.1.2

              Really, and you are doing what with that comment.

              Man your logic is so flawed, mind you, I get a good giggle from you inane rants.

          • North 8.1.1.2.2

            So what’s ‘legal’ definitionally passes the morality filter Indiana ? You would’ve been a wonderfully content Frau Indiana/Herr Indiana way back when. History tells you why morality’s a question, fool. But congratulations to you Frau/Herr. Soooo John Key !

            • indiana 8.1.1.2.2.1

              I don’t understand the link you are trying to make…last time I looked there was nothing oppressive about these financial agreements between countries that bring morality into question.

              • North

                We’re not talking about agreements between nations. We’re talking about enabling agreements between MF and some of the greediest, most amoral sociopaths on Earth.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.2.3

            When those citizens use these means, they are doing nothing that is considered immoral.

            Except when bottom feeding scum suckers claim that there is not enough money left in the public purse to feed hospital patients correctly, to ensure single bunking in prison facilities, to lower student numbers in class rooms, to pay a living wage, or to keep uni fees low.

            Then it becomes a matter of morality, shit head.

            Or amorality, as is the case with you.

            • indiana 8.1.1.2.3.1

              So which countries that we have agreements with are claiming that they are tax poor?

            • International Rescue 8.1.1.2.3.2

              Whose morality? The left long ago conceded any claim to morality when it taught us morality as subjective. Stop being such a hypocrite.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    HSBC fingered eh…how come the big US banks like GS, JPM and Citi never get fingered? Just their foreign competition.

    I guess HSBC doesn’t donate to US political campaigns like these boys do.

  10. Steve 10

    A crucial part of the set-ups we’ve been hearing about are LTCs (look-through companies).

    Why do they exist?

    How were they legislated for?

  11. Magisterium 11

    [removed]
    [lprent: You were banned here. Added another week. ]

    • Pasupial 11.1

      Magisterium

      Is there some point to that sentence fragment? Do you perhaps think that; the porn industry is entirely innocuous and that all performers are voluntary and paid lucratively?

      The context of the quote is Hager describing those who he is aware of having used tax havens:

      what I found was the full range of things people do in the shadows.

      Arms traders. Billionaires quietly shifting their profits out of impoverished countries. Business people eager to win big contracts in countries with corrupt leaders.

      Hard core pornographers, hiding the identity of those raking in the profits. Pharmaceutical company money invisibly moved around to buy influence. And, more than anything, huge numbers of people who appeared to be cheating their tax departments.

      None of this should greatly surprise readers. Tax havens say they sell “financial services” but what they mostly sell is secrecy.

      • Magisterium 11.1.1

        [removed]
        [lprent: You were banned here. Added another week.

        That is an additional 9 weeks plus 4 weeks for wasting my time. Set it until the 4th of July.

        If I see you writing any comments apart from one whine in spam before them, I will start doubling at 13 weeks per comment. ]

  12. Reddelusion 12

    Just change disclosure rules problem solved and move on , Albeit watching the left froth and thrash themselves in mock outrage is fun. new topic next week when this becomes fish and chip paper.

    • Paul 12.1

      Please find somewhere to spread your lies.

    • Gangnam Style 12.2

      “new topic next week when this becomes fish and chip paper.” Same thing was said last week about this topic.

      • Pasupial 12.2.1

        The; “fish and chip paper”, line is pretty old – dating from the days when printed newspapers were the news. Online discussions remain searchable and relevant in a way that was rarely the case with printed or broadcast (pre-filesharing) media. For example the ease with which I can reference this 2012 occurrence:

        New Zealand and Russia have been struck off a prestigious European Union banking and corporate “white list” over this country’s weak money laundering and terrorism financing controls.

        http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6938888/New-Zealand-removed-from-EU-white-list

        Likewise, anything published in the course of the Panama Papers story will remain fully accessible in the future. So I suppose the only viable response for those upset with the revelation of NZ’s tax haven status is to; spew forth as much nonsense as possible in the hope that it is their sound and fury that is remembered.

    • Tricledrown 12.3

      If Dotcom is targeted for very similar and in fact less serious than what Mossack Fonseca behaviour.
      Even if what they are doing in this country may not break our lax laws.
      What they are enabling is undermining the likes of sanctions on Putin’s Russia North Korea Drug Cartels etc.
      Very unlikely they are coming for any other reason other than laundering for legitimacy.
      TVNZ showed adds confirming that reason.

    • Tricledrown 12.4

      Blue Looney if your going to be John Key fanboy.
      Its fush’n’ships.
      Key speak.
      Running interference.
      Read who Mossack Fonseca does business with terrorists corrupt govt officials North Korea.
      Russia where sanctions have been imposed.
      These MF should be arrested and thrown in jail.

  13. Reddelusion 13

    Just change disclosure rules problem solved and move on , Albeit watching the left froth and thrash themselves in mock outrage is fun. new topic of mock outrage next week when this becomes fish and chip paper.

    • adam 13.1

      OMG this day just keeps getting funnier, you lot reaching back for every tried meme and trying to make it work for this. I’ve been laughing my head off.

      I think you want us to be upset when none of us are, we over being upset. This is just bizz as usual for this government, we all just enjoying watching them being exposed for the enablers that they are.

      Criminals and tax havens all hand in hand, a government selling our good name for 25 million pieces of silver.

      Lawyers, MP’s, downed PM’s, whistle blowers, more lies from Key, tax avoidance, corporations not paying tax, syndicates, tax not being paid, interconnectedness with the Cooks and other known odd tax countries, banks acting like money sharks, and the list getting longer everyday. Names named and you lot running like chickens with your head cut off.

      Nah mate it’s funny, no need for any of us to froth, will leave that to you and your’s.

    • Tricledrown 13.2

      Friends of the National Party who do business with North Korea Russia dodgy corrupt officials grifters and greasers peddlers of Influence.
      Don’t have the GSCB spy on them or have the police armed offenders squad arrest them.

    • whateva next? 13.3

      You must be on overtime by now? Make sure you pay your extra tax on the extra payment though eh?.

  14. Lanthanide 14

    “Former Reserve Bank Governor who is also a former National Party and Act Party leader, Don Brash, told The Standard,”

    I thought the term “The Standard” refers to the machine that this site is running on, and not a thinking breathing person? Why would Brash talk to a computer server sitting in Lynn’s apartment?

    Or does that definition only apply when moderating comments?

    Also is Simon Louisson now a journalist reporting for The Standard?

    • Simon Louisson 14.1

      It is a standard (excuse the pun) convention that when someone talks to a reporter etc the way to report it is to say; told Reuters or told The Standard etc — most people know this

      • linda 14.1.1

        https://youtu.be/gi0y4Y1bhIo
        could be john key

      • Lanthanide 14.1.2

        Yes, most people do know this. My point is that this site, for many years, has had the convention that “The Standard” is a computer that (now) sits in Lynn’s apartment. It is not a person, it does not have feelings or opinions, and it does not “post” anything. There used to be a username called “The Standard” until I pointed out the above, and so it was renamed to “Notices and Features” instead.

        Many people have been banned over the years for suggesting the “The Standard” holds an opinion on something, or that “The Standard” has posted something.

        So, I am asking if this established use of the term “The Standard” also applies to articles, or only when moderating comments.

        I suspect if we are now going to allow this use of the term “The Standard” in articles, that we can expect an increase of people using that term within comments. It would seem rather unfair to ban people for using that term, when articles on the site itself use it in the same manner.

        • lprent 14.1.2.1

          My point is that this site, for many years, has had the convention that “The Standard” is a computer that (now) sits in Lynn’s apartment. It is not a person, it does not have feelings or opinions, and it does not “post” anything. There used to be a username called “The Standard” until I pointed out the above, and so it was renamed to “Notices and Features” instead.

          It is an issue and always has been for the site. Hard to be a cooperative if we operate with a editorial group policy. So even our moderation policy is more a set of limits to prevent moderators (especially new ones) from going overboard and accidentally destroying community with personal in-group rules. We don’t have a hard and fast policy. Individual moderators tend to do their own thing.

          The line that I have always personally drawn and pushed (and got into the about) is that we do things individually. We cooperate despite our differences and what policy we have is there to restrain us. Amongst other reasons that is because I’m probably the most hard arse judgemental bastards on this site, and have the skills to over-express it. I need the restraints.

          On the other hand, Simon comes from a different tradition (journalism). He is a damn good writer coming into a quite different environment. So I haven’t bothered to point out that particular difference between blogs and journalism. I figure a commenter would tell him.

          No surprise who 🙂

    • North 14.2

      “The Standard” is a concept Lanthanide. Unrelated to the spectacularly broken promise of higher ones. The Fake Man had his tongue firmly up his arse when he mouthed the Crosby Textor script. We all know that’s true. The man’s as literate as an empty Cody’s can.

  15. When the money comes into NZ isn’t it converted to NZ $ ?
    Like they wouldn’t stash a million bucks worth of Pesos in someone’s bottom draw.
    So they must have to buy NZ$
    Is that why our dollar is so strong?
    And surely someone has a record of who or what is buying NZ$?

    • Kind of answered in the above comments. ops

      • Tricledrown 15.1.1

        NZ is being used as a half way house to give legitimacy to dirty money then it is transferred to Swiss bank accounts.

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          Right, so the money looks like it is coming from a “real company” with “real business” activities in NZ.

          • Kiwiri 15.1.1.1.1

            So money does come in and the NZ currency gets traded with incoming/outgoing flow of funds?

            Is this one of the reasons (not the only, nor necessarily the main, reason) that the NZ Dollar is so highly traded and quite likely overvalued for such a small economy in the scheme of things in the world?

  16. Jack Ramaka 16

    This must be the reason why NZ currency is so heavily traded, like in the top 20 currencies world wide however our foreign exchange receipts imports & exports are 100 + in the world?

    • Kiwiri 16.1

      Argh. I’ve just seen your comment, Jack, after typing the above and scrolling down to read some more. Thanks. I’ll keep my comment anyway. Great minds and all that .. you’ve put it in sharper detail (than my comments) with the second part of what you have typed.

  17. whateva next? 17

    Thankyou for giving us the facts Simon, so we can actually decide for ourselves. Mr.Key’s version simply confuses me, as indeed it is designed to do. Being patronised does not work well with grown adults (who work hard AND pay our taxes) FYI Mr.Key.

  18. Venezia 18

    It doesn’t matter what the right wing trolls are arguing to rationalise the use of foreign trusts and shell companies. John Key enabled the massive increase in these vehicles in the law update 2011. His selling point was a financial hub for NZ – but as a financial whizz kid, he also knew the truth. Such vehicles may be legal but they go beyond evading taxes. They are also used to commit serious crimes.
    Check it out here (and wait for more to come):

    https://panamapapers.icij.org/20160506-john-doe-statement.html

  19. Tricledrown 19

    Mossack Fonsecca implicated in Britain’s biggest gold hoist.
    Directly benefiting by keeping £60 million pounds of stolen money from violent murderous bank robbers.
    Because these bank robbers were locked up and lost their ability to access foreign laundered money.
    Mossack Fonsecca pocketed the money.

  20. Chuck 20

    Oh deary me…it seems the NZ Green Party has a large donor linked to these “tax havens, criminals and amoral rich”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/79814716/panama-papers-green-party-donor-listed-in-offshore-leaks

    Looks like the Green Party require some political advice on who’s money to take?

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    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    5 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    5 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    6 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    6 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    7 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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