Russell and Hooton on trusts

An exchange on Twitter between Deborah Russell (@beefaerie)and Matthew Hooton (MatthewHootonNZ) on trusts.

Deborah Russell: I’m going to be on Breakfast on TV One tomorrow morning, shortly after the 7am news, talking about the

Matthew Hooton: Would you mind explaining that there are no such thing as ‘foreign’ or ‘family’ trusts in NZ law, but only ‘trusts’?

Deborah Russell: I’ll do my best. I have found that most people don’t quite get what’s going on. “Foreign trust” is only for tax purposes.

But the problem is “foreign trusts” and what gets shunted into them, and the lack of information about them.

Matthew Hooton: Also don’t dividends get taxed where paid? So a NZ trust owning e.g. Rio Tinto shares doesn’t get off tax on dividends?

Deborah Russell: They would get taxed in Australia, and in NZ, with our Double Tax Agreement sorting out how much tax is paid in each place.

So the NZ trust *would* pay tax on the Rio Tinto dividends. But the problem is “foreign trusts” and what gets shunted into them, and the lack of information about them.

I think it’s a moral issue, not a tax issue wrt “foreign trusts”. Happy to discuss at length sometime.

Matthew Hooton: Then should get an ethicist on not a tax expert

Deborah Russell: As my PhD is in Philosophy, and I’ve lectured in Ethics, Political Theory, AND Tax, I guess I fit the bill. And Business Ethics, Professional Ethics, Applied Ethics. And more.

Matthew Hooton: Excellent. You’ll be able to talk about the ethics of publishing 240,000 names & addresses, many who have done nothing wrong.

Deborah Russell: Many of whom *may* have done nothing immoral. People may have interesting reasons for consulting a Panamanian firm.

Matthew Hooton: The itself says being on The List does not mean the person has done anything wrong. So why issue the list if not to smear?

Deborah Russell: To crowd source knowledge.

So it could be interesting, just after 7 am on Breakfast, TV One.

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73 Comments

  1. @bryce_edwards

    Nicky Hager, TVNZ, and RNZ will release NZ-related #panamapapers research tomorrow at 6am

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  8th May 2016

      So the usual Lefty suspects have all been organised for their next attempt at a political hit on the Government. Ho hum.

      Reply
      • Hall

         /  8th May 2016

        Political hit? really? don’t be a drama queen. It will spark some debate on the issue which is how it should be, remember we are trying to be a democracy or have you forgotten.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  8th May 2016

          Come off it. This is a Lefty attack on the Government via whatever proxies they can lay their claws on and lining up all the critics ahead of time and with no opponents invited or prepared to respond. Low life pond scum, the lot of them.

          Reply
          • Hall

             /  8th May 2016

            Your paranoia is causing you to over react. The information will be released to the public, media, and government. And then anyone can respond as they please. Full transparency.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  8th May 2016

            Tosh. The Lefty spin having been manufactured for months will be released via tame media with no opportunity for informed response a full day before the actual data will be released.

            Reply
            • jamie

               /  9th May 2016

              Aren’t right-wingers also concerned about the NZ system being used to avoid tax and god knows what else around the world?

              If not, why not?

              I suspect that plenty of decent honest right-wing people in fact are very much concerned, including decent honest National party people.

              It’s a pity their leaders don’t seem to be representing those views.

        • David

           /  8th May 2016

          How else would you describe it? It’s not news, it’s a pre-packaged deal with the spin all built in,

          Reply
  2. Hall

     /  8th May 2016

    While there will be some legitimate reasons for using a foreign trust, the problem is there are more illegitimate reasons to use one. And it’s these illegitimate uses that are the issue. We must do all we can to stop criminal activity, so we need to find out how big the problem is so we can fix it.

    Now the Government doesn’t seem that interested in making changes so we need to take matters into our own hands. That’s why we should embrace what Hager is doing. He is shining a light onto this mess and that can only be a good thing.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  8th May 2016

      That is so ridiculous that it’s not worth bothering to refute it.

      Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  8th May 2016

      Typical National voter, embracing Hager.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  8th May 2016

        Obviously a Trojan horse. Open up Hall and a squadron of Lefties will fly out.

        Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  8th May 2016

          Do you mean in the sense that the Greeks came out of the horses arse?

          Reply
    • I agree. Whether one or ‘left’ or ‘right’ or neither, why doesn’t the thought that NZ may be facilitating protection of money gained from drugs, arms dealing, corruption, and so on, seem bother people? It bothers me. 😦

      Reply
  3. Don W

     /  8th May 2016

    Wasn’t Deborah Russell a Labour candidate at the last election .? Another one eyed, envy ridden, anti success lefty.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  8th May 2016

      Yes, Rangatikei

      Reply
    • David

       /  8th May 2016

      Yes she was.

      Reply
    • I’ve seen DR on TV twice and thought she came across very pleasantly. She also seemed to be intelligent and open to other points of view. So its no surprise she’s gone no where in Labour.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  8th May 2016

        Her previous comments on the Panama issues did not indicate an open mind.

        Reply
      • She was 33 on the Labour list last election. Andrew Little at 11 only just made it, most of the others held on to electorates.

        National’s Ian McKelvie got 18,753 votes in Rangitikei in 2014, Russell got 8,521. At 27.53% thast was slightly above Labour’s overall party vote but well above their Rangitikei party vote of 18.21%

        Reply
        • artcroft

           /  8th May 2016

          She’s wasted at 33. She deals well with the media and knows about more than just student politics.

          Reply
          • David

             /  8th May 2016

            The first time I heard her speak I was quite impressed until she started repeating Labour party attack lines verbatim and it became obvious she wasn’t quite what she made out.

            But, She did seem far better than the usual Labour drone.

            Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  8th May 2016

      Actually, if you read her blog, she’s probably the most objective lefty on this so far.

      There no doubt this a well planned (chuckle) hit by the usual suspects, but she’s far from being an idiot, just useful.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  8th May 2016

        “It’s shameful for New Zealand to be caught up in international tax avoidance,” Deborah Russell from Massey’s School of Accountancy said this afternoon.

        “The loophole in our laws that allows New Zealand foreign trusts to escape taxation has been known about for years, but nothing has been done to shut it down. This makes us complicit in schemes to avoid tax,” she said.

        https://yournz.org/2016/04/04/the-panama-papers/

        Reply
  4. alloytoo

     /  8th May 2016

    So what happened to the presumption of innocence?

    Russell seems to assume all are guilty, and only some “may” not be?

    Wow way to overturn 2500 years of legal principle. Clearly she’s a fascist.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  8th May 2016

      Well, the modesty fairy wasn’t invited to HER christening, was she ?

      Reply
  5. Don W

     /  8th May 2016

    As Labour doesn’t have any credible policies, out of sheer desperation they are trying to discredit the national lead gov’t, in the hope of gaining traction .

    Reply
  6. Any commentator worth their salary, wages, bribes etc has to ask “in such situations ” You have said this (whatever the questioner says), where is the evidence that any of the laws of New Zealand are broken? And will you be prepared to supply to a New Zealand Court of Law, the evidence that such a crime has occurred? If you are not prepared to put up, shut up. The Media is not interested in proof, they are just interested in innuendo. Talk is cheap, and they are trying to create a perception that something illegal has happened, working from a psyops principle of the more the untruth is repeated the more credibility it gets. Are Kiwis that stupid? NO, and once again, the plot will be recognised for what it is – an attempt to refocus us away from what is really best for New Zealand. Be very careful about what you believe and ask the hard questions.

    Reply
    • Hall

       /  8th May 2016

      BJ it has never been an issue of illegality. that’s not what this is about. The issue is about morals and ethics. When the wealthy avoid paying tax then people miss out on the social and economic benefits that that money would have paid for, this is immoral, because all people benefit from public spending, even the rich. So for them to not contribute is obviously wrong. And then we have money laundering which undermines the criminal and justice system. So we can’t allow this. It maybe hard for you to understand this BJ because it’s happening somewhere else. But you should care.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  8th May 2016

        Wrong. You’ve forgotten or never knew that the money not paid in tax might produce far more social and economic benefits than if given to politicians to disburse to themselves and their friends.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  8th May 2016

          lousy rationale,in fact an insult to average intellect.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  8th May 2016

            The average intellect is moronic. Your assumption then is that it is criminal for the Government not to tax at 100% because anything less denies social and economic benefits just like tax avoidance.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              The average intellect is moronic.
              That’s beneath you Alan. Too plutocratic for me e hoa. The average intellect has what’s been voting National back into office for the last 3 elections.

            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              * been 😳

          • Don W

             /  8th May 2016

            So do you believe that the state is the best provider of our needs payed for by high taxes.?

            Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  8th May 2016

            Blazer: “lousy rationale,in fact an insult to average intellect”

            You’ll be alright then Blazer considering you are far below average…..

            Reply
      • David

         /  8th May 2016

        “When the wealthy avoid paying tax then people miss out on the social and economic benefits that that money would have paid for, this is immoral, because all people benefit from public spending, even the rich.”

        Utter tosh. Bastiat sorted this one out 150 years ago. The money gets spent or invested regardless.

        Reply
        • Hall

           /  8th May 2016

          “The money gets spent or invested regardless.” not if it’s sent offshore.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  8th May 2016

            Overseas investments are also benefits.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  8th May 2016

              no they are investments Al…and I’m sure you realise investing involves risk.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th May 2016

              Sure Blazer. Investments involve risk without benefits. Lefty economic fantasies rule ok.

          • David

             /  8th May 2016

            To what purpose would it go offshore unless it was for spending or investment?

            Reply
      • Don W

         /  8th May 2016

        If this is about morals and ethics, and not an issue of illegality, how does the gov’t legislate for this without making it an issue based on enforceable law.

        Reply
      • “The issue is about morals and ethics.”

        That’s similar to recent lines claiming it was perception that mattered.

        Both are excuses for plastering blame without having to have tangible evidence. All you have to do is keep repeating that there’s a perception of bad morals and ethics.

        I have serious concerns about the state of our politics and media.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  8th May 2016

          Are morals ,ethics,transparency.accountability,integrity really not important anymore?Has the Greenspan ‘put’ of greed encouraged by Rogernomics,Thatcher and Reagan become so acceptable that venality is all that counts?

          Reply
          • They are very important.

            And it’s ethical to have good evidence when you make accusations.

            One thing that Russell said worries me – a reason for putting out masses of data is to crowd source information about people who are implicated. The trouble is that everyone included in the data can be implicated, whether guilty of anything or not, let alone found guilty.

            I don’t think many people would think it ethical of the police to publish a list of potential burglars to try and crowd source crime solving.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  8th May 2016

              the Police already appeal to the public for leads to solve crime.This is how most crimes are solved.As 94% of burglaries go unsolved(Auck),one would think the Police are not too concerned about it.Accusations with no evidence present opportunity for defamation suits.Its easy in NZ,but near impossible in the U.S.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th May 2016

              The way the Left will play this is to let the MSM publish all names connected with NZ without making any accusations for which they can be sued. Then the Lefty mob will be all over social media making scurrilous unfounded accusations for which they are not worth suing being penniless beneficiaries.

            • alloytoo

               /  8th May 2016

              In this context it is very difficult to distinguish the so called “crowd source” from a lynch mob.

              Sure lets overturn 2500 years of legal prudence, that’s always turns out well……witch trials, inquisitions…..Soviet purges.

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  8th May 2016

              Yes, but with the named people/companies they would have already highlighted any connections with Key in terms of being friends, associates etc and leave it out there for someone like Blazer to join some dots that don’t really exist………”that guy lives in John Key’s street and he has an overseas trust – off with their heads!”

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th May 2016

              … and self-appointed ethicist, Deborah Russell, thinks that is just fine.

            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              the Police already appeal to the public for leads to solve crime.This is how most crimes are solved.

              The problem with this analogy Blazer is that the police then quietly investigate all the leads they receive and if the information is credible they go and make an arrest, check for evidence of the crime, and then prosecute the alleged offenders.

              They don’t call for information then go on the teev, and publish in other media, all the information they received anonymously from everyone who dobs in the neighbours they hate, and all the other “dodgy characters” someone might suggest could’ve been the perp, but who it turns out lives lives kilometres away in another suburb, and was on holiday in Majorca that weekend anyway.

              Reminds me – has there been any Fuzzular update on that gang of vicious female thugs who beat up that young Indian shopkeeper?

  7. Blazer

     /  8th May 2016

    Deborah sounds like an intelligent and objective commentater…love the way she put ‘knowall’ Hooten in his place.Almost unbelievable how the right are reacting to these revelations.As has been said before …nothing to hide…nothing to …fear’!…remember!

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  8th May 2016

      Yes, I wonder how many Lefties will turn out to be in the 240K names and addresses and whether Hager will have managed to make sure none got left in?

      Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  8th May 2016

      “unbelievable how the left are reacting to these revelations”

      Fixed it for you.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  8th May 2016

        never try and fix something…that is not..broken…frosty.

        Reply
    • artcroft

       /  8th May 2016

      If there was something to hide Key wouldn’t have commissioned John Shewan to look into it. But since there’s nothing to find…

      Reply
  8. Pantsdownbrown

     /  8th May 2016

    I’m looking forward to Hager releasing all the NZ beneficiaries personal details for all of us to gork at and make unfounded accusations of wrong-doing & criminal activity!

    Will I have to wait long do you think?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  9th May 2016

      (Gawk. Gork is one of the two Ork gods. He is the more brutal but cunning out of the twins while Mork is the more cunning but brutal.)

      They only do this one at a time, and only when they criticise a Government Minister publicly.

      Reply
  9. alloytoo

     /  8th May 2016

    The problem with this unethical behavior is that we like a legal test to determine when the public interest is indeed a valid reason for publication of peoples private affairs, especially when said information is the proceeds of a criminal act.

    To my mind the uncovering of illegal acts should be the minimum threshold.

    Reply
  10. Pantsdownbrown

     /  8th May 2016

    “Matthew Hooton: The #ICIJ itself says being on The List does not mean the person has done anything wrong. So why issue the list if not to smear?

    Deborah Russell: To crowd source knowledge”.

    Ha! The left & MSM always live in hope that the end justifies the means………….”let’s smear the names of a few hundred New Zealand entities in the hope we can get some public information of possible wrongdoing on 2 or 3 of them”.

    This could be the MSM’s lowest point (which is quite hard to achieve with their recent track record).

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  8th May 2016

      It’s also possibly the lowest point achieved by an academic Lefty ethicist.

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  8th May 2016

        Slater was right though – A TVNZ & RNZ jack up with TV3 left out in the cold……..I can just see John Campbell and Hager on RNZ together in the morning salivating over the fact that some people with links to Key have legal overseas trusts……….

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  8th May 2016

          And Russell complicit.

          Reply
        • jamie

           /  9th May 2016

          It is possible that Mediaworks journalists are being kept away from sensitive information for good reason based on recent form.

          Reply
  11. Pantsdownbrown

     /  8th May 2016

    For anybody still left on here, any guesses to who will be named as having a foreign trust tomorrow?

    Don Brash? Sir Bob Jones? Earl Hagaman? Garth Barfoot? Adrian Burr? Mickey Mouse?

    Reply
  12. Ratty

     /  9th May 2016

    Deborah Russell knows her stuff

    Hooten has less knowledge

    Most people would have fuck all knowledge

    “Matthew Hooton: Would you mind explaining that there are no such thing as ‘foreign’ or ‘family’ trusts in NZ law, but only ‘trusts’?”

    Really ?

    Dumb shit

    Reply

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