Panama papers investigation – “NZ a tax haven”

Nicky Hager says “What the Panama Papers show without any doubt at all, absolutely conclusively, is that New Zealand is functioning as a tax haven.”

That in itself may or may not be a serious issue for New Zealand. Any country can potentially be used in some way by someone as a tax haven.

It could be argued that Inland Revenue enables tax evasion because some people in New Zealand evade tax. Should we clamp down on the grey economy?

The key issue is whether New Zealand allows trusts that are out of the ordinary and what trusts are used for here can’t be used elsewhere.

Does New Zealand need to clamp down on trusts? Or are we just one option for rich people wanting to hide income and if we weren’t available they would simply do it somewhere else?

If the latter then it is an international issue and the motives for singling out New Zealand should be examined.

Nicky Hager has a reputation for politically loaded revelations so this will require substantial balanced analysis.

One News: Panama Papers investigation: ‘NZ absolutely, conclusively is a tax haven’

Tens of thousands of Panama Papers documents reveal how New Zealand, Niue, The Cook Islands and Samoa have become prime destinations for the rich to hide their financial secrets.

 The documents have been subject of an investigation by ONE News, in partnership with RNZ News and investigative journalist Nicky Hager.

Hager says: “What the Panama Papers show without any doubt at all, absolutely conclusively, is that New Zealand is functioning as a tax haven.”

It can be revealed that at the centre of the New Zealand operation is Roger Thompson, a former Inland Revenue worker.

His accountancy firm – Bentleys, in the heart of Auckland’s business district – is the New Zealand agent for Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Mr Hager describes it as “an ordinary office in the middle of Queen Street where nobody would look and where it’s only inside the computer files and the filing cabinet that you would realise that that is the centre of all kinds of tax haven activity in our country”.

For $4000 this New Zealand agent creates trusts for wealthy foreigners who use New Zealand’s limited disclosure rules to stay anonymous, even to tax authorities.

An admin fee of almost $3000 a year will see Bentleys send a one-page form to Inland Revenue. It confirms foreign trust clients don’t need to pay any tax under New Zealand law.

Mr Hager says: “IRD never knows who the real people are who are behind these trusts. They never get to see the accounts. They never get to see what business they’re doing.”

The point has just been made on Breakfast that what is happening in New Zealand isn’t illegal.

Andrea Vance has fronted the One News investigation – working closely with Nicky Hager – and she made the point that it raised important moral questions that needed to be considered.

The investigation into the Panama Papers New Zealand is a journalistic collaboration by reporters from ONE News, RNZ News and investigative journalist Nicky Hager.

It may be difficult separating political activism from legitimate legal and financial issues.

So it needs to be properly thrashed out whether New Zealand should allow this legal activity (legal on the New Zealand trust side of things at least).

Also:

Radio NZ:

Leave a comment

191 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  9th May 2016

    I remember many years ago, (pre-dirty politics), hearing from someone I know that Nicky Hager was living off a family trust that was in the Cook Islands.

    So, if this is true, then this is a little like the fox in charge of the hen house. I would be interested to know then if Hager’s name is in those released, and if so, will anyone pick it up and report it.

    I am not saying this is true, but it was something that was openly discussed amongst many people in Wellington – some of whom were on the fringes of the circle Hager hung around, so it is just rumour and I accept that, however, much of what these guys are trying to smear people in NZ with is just rumour as well.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  9th May 2016

      what rumour’ trying to smear people? …be explicit..

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  9th May 2016

      Missy, is it reasonable for me to see your post as simply an effort at smearing?

      Reply
    • jimbob

       /  9th May 2016

      Pretty certain Hager operates through a Trust as protection against getting his ass sued. We certainly know Cunliffe has them, set up by the hypocritical Greg Presland.over at The Stranded.
      Good job for a real “investigative writer”.

      Reply
      • Ratty

         /  9th May 2016

        Just about anyone who has Assets at any form of slight risk has a Family Trust, it really is a “so what ” (being sued, business failure, matrimonial protection, providing the gifting has been completed)..

        Not many Tax advantages since distributions to your five year old niece were taxed at 33%

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  9th May 2016

          When was that ? My resident withholding tax has never been anything like that, as far as I can remember-it’s 17.5 % now, which I do grudge.

          I wish that people would learn the difference between tax avoidance (legal) and tax evasion (illegal)

          It seems that almost every country in Europe is a tax haven, inc. the UK, so this really is a non-story unless someone is committing the crime of tax evasion here-which they would hardly be doing with the government’s blessing.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  9th May 2016

            I see ‘so everybodys …doing it’!

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  9th May 2016

              Why not ? Some people still seem not to know the difference between tax avoidance (legal) and tax evasion (criminal) The IRD would hardly have helped me to commit a tax crime when they told me what I could avoid paying tax on as a self-employed person.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  9th May 2016

              If Hager thinks that having money in a trust makes him immune to being held accountable, he may be for an unpleasant surprise one day. Having money in a trust doesn’t make him-or anyone else-above the law.

    • Bruce

       /  9th May 2016

      Hager has a NZ family trust
      He admits it is so he can’t be sued for the rubbish he writes and smears he spreads.
      The only issue I have if NZ actually is a tax haven is why I cannot use it not to pay tax. We should all be aspiring for equal treatment.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  9th May 2016

        The companies who use other countries as tax havens aren’t using the roads, hospitals, schools and other things paid for by taxes.The residents are.

        Reply
        • jamie

           /  9th May 2016

          So the crooks in country A use the roads, hospitals, and schools in country A and use the trust structures of country B to avoid being taxed in country A, and you’re ok with that because they don’t use the roads, hospitals, and schools in country B.

          Meanwhile the crooks in country B use the roads, hospitals, and schools in country B and use the trust structures of country C to avoid being taxed in country B, and you’re ok with that because they don’t use the roads, hospitals, and schools in country C.

          And so on, and so on, and all these crooks get roads, hospitals, and schools and none of them pay any tax anywhere and you’re ok with it because you’re only focused on the tax system of one country.

          These people, these companies, these crooks, they don’t care about our quaint notion of “countries” being separate things. They’re not even multinational, they’re beyond nations altogether. They walk between the raindrops, to paraphrase Mr Stone.

          And they are using our quaint notions of “countries” to take advantage of us all.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  9th May 2016

            Don’t be disingenuous, that is not what I said. I was talking about a legal concept, not criminals engaged in tax evasion which is illegal.

            Don’t try to put words in other people’s mouths. You just sound silly.

            The fact that your envious nature sees this as a crime doesn’t mean that it is one. TAX AVOIDANCE IS LEGAL. IT IS NOT TAX EVASION, WHICH IS NOT. THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

            Reply
            • jamie

               /  9th May 2016

              “The companies who use other countries as tax havens aren’t using the roads, hospitals, schools and other things paid for by taxes.The residents are.”

              Do you not understand that these companies are using roads, schools and hospitals somewhere?

              If you do understand that, then my comment will make sense to you.

              If you don’t, then it is beyond my patience to bother with you.

            • Blazer

               /  9th May 2016

              chopping peoples limbs off is legal in Saudi Arabia=thats o.k then in your world?

            • jamie

               /  9th May 2016

              Probably Blazer. The beheadings are ok too according to John Key because they’re doing it to “their own people”.

            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              What is it with all the visual shouting today. My eyes are taking a fair blimmin pounding. 😳

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  9th May 2016

            No, honest people in country B which has corrupt politicians and officials prefer to have their assets administered by honest and trustworthy people in NZ which also has straightforward and principled tax laws which will not interfere with their affairs so long as they do not involve NZ. Whether or not that affects their tax status in their home country could well be a secondary consideration.

            Reply
            • jamie

               /  9th May 2016

              I’m not blind to the fact that what you describe will no doubt apply to some of the people/companies involved.

              I’m not naive enough to believe that explains the vast bulk of the 12,000 trusts.

  2. Higherstandard

     /  9th May 2016

    Hagar spinning like a top for certain corpulent German interests methinks and the media going all in as they like copy and paste reporting.

    Reply
  3. Pantsdownbrown

     /  9th May 2016

    Heard Hager just before – he said there’s this legitimate financial business in Auckland, New Zealand that deals in trusts…………interesting

    Anyhow when is the ‘big reveal” we were promised?

    Reply
    • artcroft

       /  9th May 2016

      On TV One Roydon Christie confronted John Key with the fact that seven, count them seven, TVNZ journalists and Nicky Hager had declared NZ a tax haven. Key countered that the OECD and World Bank disagreed. Point to Key. What tossers. Does TVNZ think were idiots.

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  9th May 2016

        and people wonder why Hager deliberately left out all the ‘dirty’ MSM journalists in his ‘Dirty Politics’ book……….come join the pied piper……..

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  9th May 2016

          pathetic,even by your low standards PD.

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  9th May 2016

            Why? Hager clearly stated he left all the MSM journalists out of ‘Dirty Politics’ in a lecture he did (its on record). Then you have to ask yourself if he was such a fair, open and unbiased journalist why would he do that?

            The answer is he NEEDS the MSM in order to spin his stories, blog writers not so much………

            Reply
            • Agree PDB. Also incredibly dangerous to have media in positions of being able to be extorted which is what has happened. Is that what gets up your goat the most about DP? It’s my No. 1 beef with Hager.

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  9th May 2016

              I wouldn’t mind Hager so much if he just came out and said what he really was…………a political activist & writer.

            • PG posted at the time about that. Hager did an interview with The Spinoff and states he protected journalists from exposure.

              https://yournz.org/2015/11/04/spinoffs-spin-on-hager/

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  9th May 2016

              It’s interesting how Hager says the MSM publically apologised about their role in ‘dirty politics’ – to who? to Hager personally??

              I don’t remember the MSM doing anything of the sort in public – in fact they seemed quite righteous and on a crusade against whaleoil and the like as if they were lily white.

      • Missy

         /  9th May 2016

        At the risk of repeating my insults – What an idiot! What qualifications does a journalist have in trust law, and international law? Christie is so far up himself it is a wonder he hasn’t turned himself inside out.

        Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  9th May 2016

          By that standard Missy, journalists would only be able to comment on matters that relate specifically to the qualifications they hold – rather limiting on the power of journalism, don’t you think?

          Reply
        • duperez

           /  9th May 2016

          What qualifications does anyone have to have to comment on anything? For example, using your contribution in Open Forum Monday, what qualifications do you have to comment on the ability of MI5 and MI6 to do their jobs?

          Reply
        • Another foreign emigre.

          What is it in this country? It’s not as if Techs up and down the country (Massey anyone) don’t turn out thousands of these diploma students? Why the need to import the likes of Vance and Christie. Hardly think left wing journo is on the Immigration endangered job list. If it is, I demand they remove it forthwith !

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  9th May 2016

            It thoundth like you mean with thum conthiderable forth going by the exclamathian mark.

            Reply
            • Yeth, you’re quithe rithe. Bot and hothered am I gezza.

              !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (just for you mateth)

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  9th May 2016

              When I wath at thecondary thcool, we read a thtory in German by Goethe (I think it wath hith and not Thciller’th) about a young man whothe parenth called him Thithiphuth. Well, as he had a lithp, that’th how he thaid hith name. If that wath me, I’d give mythelf a new name

            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              You mean to thumthing like Thpenther? o_O
              At leatht itth got one fewer eth.

            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              Thyit! I realithe now I thyould’ve thaid one leth eth. :/

    • Missy

       /  9th May 2016

      Wow! A legitimate financial business that deals in trusts? Really? It wouldn’t be an accountancy firm by any chance – you know the type of business that deals in trusts… [sarcasm aimed at Hager]

      What an idiot he is.

      I would be interested to know what Cunliffe’s trust lawyer knows about this, and how many overseas trusts he has help set up…. Though I doubt we will find that out, because even if he is named in the papers that were hacked, Hager and co will never name him in NZ.

      Reply
      • The source data is available to anyone and searchable. Your attempts at misdirection are amateurish at best Missy. Try harder.

        Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  9th May 2016

          What misdirection? Explain?

          Reply
          • Sure PDP (my favourite Righty)

            Missy attempts to state that what is being revealed is all legitimate. That’s the gist of her first paragraph.

            Then a personal attack. Smear 1.

            Then she calls “Cunliffes trust lawyer” and their activities in to question as a sort of false equivalence. Notably she does not say his name ergo it is only important that a Left politician gets smeared by what she said. Misdirection 1.

            She also states the PPs were “hacked”. Unless Missy works for a Security Service she couldn’t possibly have any grounds to make that statement. Misdirection 2.

            Hager and Co won’t name him…. Hager and Co don’t need to name him, anyone can find anyone on those lists and talk about it. Misdirection 3/Smear 2.

            This is 100% obviously a smear. I don’t agree ideologically with a lot of positions Right wingers take but at least many of you (Alan, Traveller, PDP) keep it factual and argue the actual nuts and bolts.

            Missy is just a smearer with what looks like an agenda.

            Reply
            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  9th May 2016

              Hmmmm – I think you may be reading a tad too much in that post of Missy’s don’t you think?

            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              Yeah … I’m with PDB here think. Not really seeing some sort of organised deep cover conspiracy with Missy part of it going all out to wreak havoc on the leakers and squeakers really.

        • Iceberg

           /  9th May 2016

          That’s the most amateurish attempt at misdirection so far.

          Reply
  4. So, we ask ourselves is this is the vehicle leftist activists and The Media Party feel will finally bring down the government. Imagine the hours Mr Hager spent labouring over the Panama Papers trying to twist the content in a way that might destroy his nemesis Key.

    From the Labour Party spending campaign money pouring through records to destroy Key prior to his first term, to this latest ‘tie him in any way they can to the PP’ their obsession with digging non existent dirt and their unrelenting personal attacks have become more deranged. Their collective judgement has been coloured to the degree they cannot see that the only ones damaged by their dot-joining frenzy are them.

    The tax laws are not illegal, they weren’t structured or implemented by National. When you start a tax conversation, and you frame it in part as ethical tax evasion, you need to remember it reminds people of the HUGE taxes they pay. Rather than agitate about whether some foreigner is paying his fair share in his own country they’ll be reminded that they pay far too much tax, and they’re unconvinced the money serves the greater good. In any tax conversation the old chestnut redistribution is at the forefront of people’s minds, not some dodgy ex public servant in Queen St. Most dissatisfaction centres on a belief that monies are channelled disproportionately to people who are criminal, slothful, destructive of society, and who have little respect for what is good about this nation. I put it to you that few, apart from the beltway and left, believe Vance and Hager are in any sort of ‘serve the nation’ category. Irish emigre Vance reminds us that it’s all too often people offered sanctuary and a new home here, people with no personal or patriotic investment out there stirring. Personally, I resent my taxes funding any news organisations whose idea of public duty is politicising masking as investigation.

    This last week has seen YET another barely human couple murder YET another one of our helpless and trusting babies. There is no question that a culture of hatred and violence thrives with sanction in certain demographics in this country. Why are journalists serving us up a low calorie beltway breakfast about foreigners structuring their affairs to legally avoid excessive taxes their own country? Imagine if they spent just a fraction of the time they’ve done on this matter investigating the hatred culture of child abuse and murder in NZ.

    Reply
    • Or hacking in NZ. All sides that is. That’s quite important. Nice comment Traveller.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  9th May 2016

        Handbags. Cheap. Order now. Pete might take the orders for me. Hope you don’t mind faux leather. 🙂

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  9th May 2016

          That should’ve gone up under the sock comment – soz 😳

          Reply
          • TG. I’d think you were targeting me Gezza. Please note it was with considerable difficulty I denied an exclamation mark it’s rightful place within this post.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              I obviously couldn’t have meant you Trav. You wouldn’t tackle an antagonist with faux leather would you? ❤

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  9th May 2016

            I like vinyl handbags (faux leather be damned, mother dear, I call it by its real name) as they don’t need some unlucky animal to lose its life to make them-the good ones look as good as leather, they cost far less and don’t need to be polished all the time. As for killing beautiful pythons to make shoes and handbags-how anyone can think that their skins don’t look and feel far better on the pythons is beyond me. I was privileged to stroke a pet python in Canada, and she was the loveliest, softest thing imaginable.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              Oh god, I feel awful now. 😦 So, all your shoes must be made of plastic, or hemp, or what, Kitty? o_O

  5. Blazer

     /  9th May 2016

    usual Nats response,deny and divert.Keys govt has no qualms about trashing NZs international reputation ,so long as it benefits a few of his donors.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  9th May 2016

      Fuxake Blazer. How do you know anybody involved in this is a donor to Key or the Nats?

      Reply
    • Lost your irony there blazer!

      It is people like News of the World reporter Vance and Hager many see as set on destroying NZ’s reputation. Let’s deal in some cliches here. I think you’ll find Key is friend to the leaders of the world. He deals in relationships, advancing the NZ brand and exemplifies the Kiwi who punches above their weight. Key is friends with icons like the ABs, he’s lauded by political trailblazers like the Obamas. Hager, on the other hand sneaks around, deals and profits from stolen goods using criminal hackers. He shares information ( how is that moment of truth?) with recidivist criminal foreigners facing extradition on copyright infringement, money-laundering and racketeering and traitors lie, Snowden and Assange. Like it or not that’s the way most of us see it.

      You pretend otherwise all you like, but the last round of hate from the machinations of Hager and the fawning Media he so kindly “protected” was nothing but miles of column devoted to a yawning chasm of nothingness. Ultimately the left collapsed and the centre-right triumphed. DP hurt nobody but small fish like Slater and, of course the left themselves. This will be the same. Roll on 2017.

      #ripdotcom #adioshone #l8rh8rs

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  9th May 2016

        If John Key did do what Blazer suggests, it would be the own goal of the millenium. It would be using a mackerel to catch a sprat.

        Reply
  6. Iceberg

     /  9th May 2016

    When I was a “destitute” student, or shortly thereafter I headed off on my OE. I was lucky enough to end up in Monaco (in the kind of way you end up in places in the Hangover, but without the Tiger, pretty sure Mike Tyson made an appearance though). Read this next bit and weep freely if you like. I was also fortunate enough to be “accommodated” by the family of one of the models who wore a bikini and held the drivers umbrella at the Grand Prix. Let that sink in. She was a student in London at the time. Anywho, there I was in Monaco, dazzled by the super yachts, streets lined with Ferraris and bikinis (still weeping? ) and I asked her family why the place was so rich. “Because it’s a tax haven”

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  9th May 2016

      Monaco has an area of 2.02 km2 (0.78 sq mi) and a population of about 37,800; it is the second smallest and the most densely populated country in the world.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  9th May 2016

        One of Monaco’s main sources of income is tourism. Each year many foreigners are attracted to its casino (where citizens are denied entry) and pleasant climate. It has also become a major banking center, holding over €100 billion worth of funds. The principality has successfully sought to diversify its economic base into services and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries, such as cosmetics and biothermics.

        The state retains monopolies in numerous sectors, including tobacco and the postal service. The telephone network (Monaco Telecom) used to be fully owned by the state; it now owns only 45%, while the remaining 55% is owned by both Cable & Wireless Communications (49%) and Compagnie Monégasque de Banque (6%). It is still, however, a monopoly. Living standards are high, roughly comparable to those in prosperous French metropolitan areas.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monaco#Economy

        Reply
        • Dougal

           /  9th May 2016

          Other fun facts are, countries that hols tax haven status have a positive effect of the surrounding countries in that (especially in the EU) the surrounding countries, primarily those who boarder them invariably need to curb tariffs or at least keep them to a minimum to compete.

          Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  9th May 2016

      Sorry but we don’t use the words “Tax Haven” around here.

      No Iceberg, we are a

      high quality jurisdiction for trusts with a benign tax system in certain circumstances

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  9th May 2016

      Add Lichtenstein, Cayman Islands, London, Singapore …

      Reply
      • Dougal

         /  9th May 2016

        Andorra..Also a Tax Haven. As a foot note has the highest life expectancy in the world. It’s a well known fact money cannot buy you health. If you could, just ask Steve Jobs. To be a true Tax Haven or at least be advanced the status, you would need to start by being “duty free” on all goods. Of particular interest is their banking industry contributes 19% of GDP. I say to all those who think IF we were a tax haven, why would this be bad for the economy? Looks to me like all those countries that are in fact tax havens are some of the wealthiest in he world?

        Hagar is nothing more than an idiot who has lost his village.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  9th May 2016

          Add who knows how many other places.

          The village has changed its name so that he can’t find it again.

          Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  9th May 2016

    No sign that this hyperventilating Lefty hit job is getting the traction they want yet. Breaking news – a NZ tax professional has a business managing NZ registered trusts taking foreign clients. Shock, horror …

    Reply
  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  9th May 2016

    When did Hager last have a smear test?

    Reply
    • Give this man a Tui!

      Reply
    • Nelly Smickers

       /  9th May 2016

      Whenever I go for a Smear Test, the thing that I find odd is why the doctor goes out of the room while I take my nickers off……..

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  9th May 2016

        Is he getting a hedge trimmer?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  9th May 2016

          Possibly Nelly’s name upsets him?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  9th May 2016

            Does he have a mask on when he comes back?

            Reply
            • Nelly Smickers

               /  9th May 2016

              Last time I was there, he wanted me to provide a urine, blood and stool sample – so I just left my panties XD

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th May 2016

              That is your worst comment ever, Nelly!

            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              I reckon. Still think one day she’ll manage to top even that though. 😮

  9. Pete Kane

     /  9th May 2016

    Russell got some flack here yesterday – listening to here with Sainsbury this morning, I would be interested at the issues people take with her comments.
    http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Yes-we-are-a-tax-haven—expert/tabid/506/articleID/121888/Default.aspx

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  9th May 2016

      Did she say anything? I rarely listen to audio or watch video. I much prefer transcripts or articles that I can skim to the interesting bits. I resent having to plod through verbiage sequentially.

      Reply
    • Pete Kane

       /  9th May 2016

      Listening to RNZ this morning Gezza, they have put some real research time into this. now whether they get it right is always another story. (TVNZ too). One thing for sure media organisations like return for their buck (time) so, one thing that I think we will agree on is this is not going away anytime soon.
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201799936/new-zealand's-part-in-the-panama-papers

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  9th May 2016

        How can Andrea Vance’s accent possibly be legal?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  9th May 2016

          And I wish The Herald & Stuff.co would find a way to paste video clips into their articles that don’t bloody autoplay so that you have to scroll through hitting stop stop stop if you want to actually read the blimmin article and not be distracted by the video clip racket.

          Surely they can find a way to set the video clips up so I can just hit play when I’m ready to just look at Jessica cos I’ve already read what she has to say? >:D

          Reply
  10. Zedd

     /  9th May 2016

    q) IF Aotearoa/NZ is not a ‘tax haven’ as Key & Co. state.. then WHY are these foreign companies setting up these ‘trusts’ here ?
    Why not in their own countries ??

    a) same reason many ‘invest’ in Seychelles, Cayman Islands etc.
    Its not that hard to ‘join the dots’ unless you have blinkers on OR your head in the sand ! :/

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  9th May 2016

      You are ignoring the difference between investing in a country and registering a trust in a country.

      Reply
    • Ratty

       /  9th May 2016

      Apart from the Asset protection ?

      Just a note.. the Foreign Trust may be exempt from Tax, however they will have to expatriate Income at some stage, and when it is expatriated (all things being equal) then the personal Income is taxed.

      If John Key received Income from a Foreign Trust, he would still be taxed on that distribution for example.

      Reply
    • So what Zedd. Why does it worry you what Foreign taxpayers do to organise their fiscal structuring? How does this affect you? How does it affect the rest of NZ?

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  9th May 2016

        hit a raw nerve did I ?

        its called Int’l credibility..
        most ‘honest people’ pay due taxes, some spend their time trying to avoid it !
        I believe thats called ‘corrupt, crooked, dishonest……..’ :/

        Reply
        • The only thing wrong here is that an increasingly out of touch left wing and their Press enablers are heading to their own try line and the only ones clapping are themselves It’s like Sports Day at the asylum.

          Reply
    • Ratty

       /  9th May 2016

      Oh and it isnt Foreign Companies settling Trusts here… It’s individual

      Reply
  11. Hall

     /  9th May 2016

    NZ is a tax haven. Because we have a system where we facilitate tax avoidance. It’s that simple. It’s interesting to note that it’s illegal for kiwis to set up foreign trusts overseas because that’s classed as tax evasion by the IRD. But it’s okay for nz to facilitate other people to avoid tax. That’s the irony of this whole situation. It’s only legal in this country because the people who benefit from it lobbied the government to make this legal. It’s like the mongrel mob lobbying the government to decriminalize P production so that they can have legitimate business. Foreign trust do nothing to serve the public interest, they only serve to enrich the elite. Lets get rid of the damn things.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  9th May 2016

      NZ is not a tax haven because we are not a low tax jurisdiction.

      Reply
      • Bruce

         /  9th May 2016

        “Expert”? She doesn’t work in the NZ foreign trust industry, lectures at a rural “University” and is a raging member of the Labour Party!

        Reply
        • Ratty

           /  9th May 2016

          I haven’t found anything she has said to be incorrect when stripped down to Tax and Trust Law..

          She is very knowledgeable in this area..

          Unlike……. every other commentator in the Universe

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  9th May 2016

            Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Episode #1.5 – Quotes:

            Ford Prefect: [regarding Hotblack Desiato] He’s spending a year dead for tax reasons.

            Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th May 2016

        Labour candidate politicking and masquerading as independent. Obviously administration of foreign trusts provides jobs and income for NZers. And those are taxable here so she is straight out wrong.

        Reply
        • Ratty

           /  9th May 2016

          Where is she incorrect about Trusts ?

          You went sideways

          Reply
          • Ratty

             /  9th May 2016

            Cos… with that logic we may as well legalize Heroin exports

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              Manufacturing Heroin is illegal here though Ratty.

            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              So’s importing and then exporting it.

            • @Ratty

              you mean like the ‘precursors’ for Meth/P flooding in from China (?), since the customs searches & travel visas have been ‘relaxed’ ! :/

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th May 2016

              Cost/benefit, Ratty. Yes, there would be something in it for us. No, the costs of heroin exports would likely outweigh those benefits.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  9th May 2016

            “Nothing in it for us” is plain wrong.

            Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  9th May 2016

      It is not illegal for NZers to set up trusts overseas. Obviously immigrants may already have done so. The principle simply is that NZ residents must pay tax on all earnings and non-NZ residents do not have to pay NZ tax.

      Reply
      • Ratty

         /  9th May 2016

        “…and non-NZ residents do not have to pay NZ tax….”

        Ummm, they do on New Zealand Income

        Reply
    • Hall

       /  9th May 2016

      It’s interesting when faced with the facts that the right wing commentators on this blog still try and justify tax evasion. It’s sad really and shows their comments are emotion based and not fact based, if their comments were ships they would be at the bottom of the ocean because of all the holes in ships hull, shonkely patched up with duct tape. My response to them is when you’re explaining you’re losing. Let your captain JK go down with his ship.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  9th May 2016

        Thank you for that explanation Hall. 😎

        Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  9th May 2016

        As told to us by a proudly stated ‘ National supporter’……………a bit of a ‘twist’ in what you say……..

        Reply
        • Hall

           /  9th May 2016

          I support National when they do the right things. Obviously I’m not going to support them when they do the wrong things. I’m not a “groupie” who blindly follows, no I hold them to account when necessary.

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  9th May 2016

            I’m still waiting for your ‘facts’ showing any tax evasion?

            Tax avoidance is suggested (and not illegal), tax evasion is currently not shown. – show me where it is and I will support your statement.

            Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th May 2016

        The biggest tax evaders are those who earn next to nothing throughout their lives.

        Reply
        • Hall

           /  9th May 2016

          7.4 Billion dollars lost due to tax evasion by nz elites per year and 500 million to multinationals. Compered to 22 million in benefit fraud. Alan do some research before making ridiculous accusations.

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  9th May 2016

            What’s benefit fraud have to do with tax evasion? (your spelling hasn’t improved since you previously posted here either).

            Reply
            • Ratty

               /  9th May 2016

              “The biggest tax evaders are those who earn next to nothing throughout their lives.”

              I know these people, they pay my fees

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th May 2016

              Only some of them, Ratty.

            • Blazer

               /  9th May 2016

              check your own grammar…

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  9th May 2016

              For your information I saw my grammar just last week Blazer – she’s doing pretty well for an 87 year old…….

            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              (PDB … we need to talk about gork and gawk. 😕 )

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  9th May 2016

            Pulling a number out of thin air has little credibility, Hall. Here’s another number for you: $2B – http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/257185/economic-crime-costs-up-to-$9-point-4bn

            My point is simply that some people contribute a lot to the country and others contribute nothing. Some of the latter complain a lot.

            Reply
            • Ratty

               /  9th May 2016

              Oh I could tell you some stories

            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              Could you do so, with names & other details redacted to protect the guilty then?

      • Iceberg

         /  9th May 2016

        “their comments are emotion based and not fact based.”

        Just wanted to Bump the hypocrisy

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  9th May 2016

          Little Susie’s school mistress came to the house to see why Susie had been missing school so much lately. Susie answered the door.
          ‘Hello, Susie, is your mother at home ?’
          ‘Nah, she ain’t here.’
          ‘Susie, Susie-where’s your grammar ?’
          ‘She ain’t here neither.’

          Reply
  12. I have often wondered what drives Nicky Hager and believe he is able to be assessed by the company he seeks and who are his friends. On 31 October 2012 Hager gave a speech to a range of people at the Maidment Theatre in Auckland as a Bruce Jesson Lecture. During that lecture Hager said this

    “The Bruce Jesson Lectures are an ideal time to talk about politics because that is what Bruce himself was so good at. When I was at university I was strongly influenced by his writing, in particular his analysis of New Zealand society. It was a time when quite a lot of progressive people subscribed to millennial socialist beliefs — the idea that one day the workers would inevitably overthrow capitalism and good times would follow — beliefs that caused a lot of heart ache and confusion when the realities of China and the Soviet Union became apparent and particularly when the Berlin Wall fell. But Bruce argued that these theories had always been ill-fitting for describing and understanding New Zealand society . He talked instead about an independent, New Zealand-grounded left.” Hager devoted the majority of his lecture to an explanation of his approach to Investigative Journalism. Some relevant excepts are”

    “We live in an era where the public spaces are cluttered with paid spokespeople and commercial agendas: where lobbyists for foreign-owned banks are more likely to be heard commenting on economic news than community groups, where legions of other PR people vie to promote their clients’ interests and where the public spaces available for real democratic activity are shrinking. ” and this about NZ’s third place in the Freedom Index for business …”We should not be surprised at the Heritage Foundation approval. New Zealand, despite being a country with a deeply embedded national belief in fairness, has had the fastest growing economic inequality of any OECD country in recent decades. This doesn’t come from nowhere. It is the utterly predictable consequence of a highly deregulated economy. Stripping away social protections, labour protections, financial regulations and the rest can usually be directly measured in increased inequality, as well as the resulting social damage and strain. The economic freedom worked, with huge transfers of money to banks, uncontrolled house inflation and ample “freedom” for companies with economic strength to increase profits including in ways that were harmful to the environment and public. The only way this can change is for governments to change the policies.”

    The comment about “fairness” as an important indicator of Hager’s abiding morality. But, I have to ask why he rates Bruce Jesson’s beliefs as being fundamental to Hager’s own beliefs (see the first quote above). His fascination with the Left is clear when one looks at just who BruceJesson was to New Zealand politics.
    Read this from Wikipaedia “uce Edward Jesson was the son of Victor John and Edna Cavell (née Taylor) Jesson and the great-grandson of an immigrant from Leicestershire in England.

    He was educated at Christchurch Boys’ High School (where he read Darwin’s Origin of Species while a “lab boy” in the biology laboratory and became an atheist) and the University of Canterbury, where he gained a bachelor’s degree in law. He worked briefly as a law clerk, but refused to swear allegiance to the Queen, and was never admitted to the Bar.[citation needed]

    He had two daughters,Rebecca Ngaire (Education)and Linley Kay (Botanist).[citation needed]

    Political activism[edit]
    As a student in the 1960s, he was initially attracted to the Communist Party of New Zealand which tried to groom him to be the party’s lawyer.[citation needed] The CPNZ had been the first communist party in the world to side with China in the Sino-Soviet split. However, Jesson struck out on his own, writing a number of polemics such as Traitors to Class and Country: A Study of the Conservative Left and publishing a journal called Te Tao (“The Spear”). As a student he was involved in anti-Royalist activities, being associated with the burning of a New Zealand flag by another student during a visit by the Queen Mother. He founded the Committee to Oppose Royal Tours .

    Republicanism
    Jesson was a republican who championed an independent political and intellectual culture in New Zealand.[citation needed] He rebelled against the habit of the New Zealand Left to take its political cues from overseas countries. He founded the anti-royal Republican Association in 1966, later moving to Auckland (first to Pokeno, later Otahuhu and finally Mangere) and forming a political party (the original Republican Party) to push the republic issue in 1967. Around 1970 he also associated briefly with Trotskyist activists such as Owen Gager and David Bedggood, and he contributed occasionally to journals such as Dispute, New Zealand Monthly Review and Spartacist Spasmodical.

    When activity in the fledgling Republican Party petered out, Jesson wound up the party in 1974, but continued to publish a widely read pro-republican broadsheet entitled The Republican (1974–1995), covering both republican and leftwing issues in a plain and unpretentious style. This journal also featured articles by many other New Zealand leftists. (The Republican merged into Chris Trotter’s New Zealand Political Review in 1995). Jesson was a founding member of the Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand, until his death in 1999.”

    So Hager loves Jesson’s political style. Suprised?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  9th May 2016

      I was a slightly younger contemporary of Bruce’s at CHBHS where he was a nerd’s nerd. The above bio leaves out some important stuff. He wrote a column for the (NZ) Independent business paper for several years and was always interesting, rational and informed. He was elected to the Auckland Regional Council and became Chairman. His tenure was marked by very good financial and general management as well as reasonably harmonious relationships having taken over when it was in some disarray.

      Hager may be a fan but I doubt the admiration would have been reciprocated.

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  9th May 2016

        It was the Auckland Regional Services Trust (quite different, and a body formed to sell the regions assets under warren Cooper. Obviously Jesson and friends had other ideas).

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  9th May 2016

        Nice bit of balance there Alan…very good for some here to appreciate it.

        Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  9th May 2016

      Good round up – Hager is a greens party supporting activist writer, hence why he once attacked the Labour govt over ‘Corngate’.

      Corngate also shows how far back the duo of Hager and John Campbell go which continues to this day with this latest beat-up.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  9th May 2016

        Facile rubbish short on any substance.Whats new from a rabid National party supporting fanboy,who can never accept any criticism of his hero Key and the crony capitalism he practices.

        Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  9th May 2016

          What are you spewing about now Blazer?? I know this morning was a big fizzle but don’t get upset!

          Reply
      • Blazer

         /  9th May 2016

        heres what Don Brash has to say…you know who he is …right…some ‘beat up’!

        “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.”

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  9th May 2016

          That’s just a silly comment from Brash. As Ratty points out, it is a zero tax regime for foreigners who have no NZ income which is entirely rational and sensible. If there is any issue it is disclosure rules, not tax rates.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  9th May 2016

            yeah right Al…a former Reserve Bank governor,ex leader of the Nats,chaired 4 inquiries into taxation matters in NZ…WHAT WOULD HE KNOW COMPARED TO YOU,PANTS,AND OTHER ASSORTED RESIDENT ‘EXPERTS’!

            Reply
            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  9th May 2016

              You wouldn’t listen to Brash any other time Blazer – but desperate times call for desperate measures…….today you were expecting a full house and all you ended up with was a pair of number 2’s, and Hager was the joker of the pack.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th May 2016

              I can’t help that, Blazer. If Brash said that about the zero rate then it WAS a silly comment. Knowing the media, though, I would first check the reporting and context.

            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              Turn the volume down a bit eh Blazer, my eyes are ringing now … 😳

    • Blazer

       /  9th May 2016

      thanks for that.Jesson did great work and we should applaud Hager for having the courage to continue with it, despite the usual attempts from the right to smear him and discredit him.BJ cites a brief bio but does not raise any compelling reasons for his distaste for the viewpoints of Jesson or Hager.

      Reply
  13. Thanks for the comments. I reckon, a further analysis of his lecture to identify his “investigative journalism” comments in so far as he is aiming to achieve a revolutionary change by the masses as emphasised by him in his Jesson Lecture viz …”New Zealand, despite being a country with a deeply embedded national belief in fairness, has had the fastest growing economic inequality of any OECD country in recent decades. This doesn’t come from nowhere. It is the utterly predictable consequence of a highly deregulated economy. Stripping away social protections, labour protections, financial regulations and the rest can usually be directly measured in increased inequality, as well as the resulting social damage and strain. The economic freedom worked, with huge transfers of money to banks, uncontrolled house inflation and ample “freedom” for companies with economic strength to increase profits including in ways that were harmful to the environment and public. The only way this can change is for governments to change the policies.” I mean the structure of our economy has drawn compliments from may quarters, including Australia and the OECD, yet Hager is proposing the election of a Government which will destroy the frame work of achievement over the last ten years amongst a really dodgy global economic situation. His claims substantiate the Prime Minister’s comment about Hager’s knee-jerk conspiracy theory.

    Reply
  14. Blazer

     /  9th May 2016

    ‘ I mean the structure of our economy has drawn compliments from may quarters, including Australia and the OECD’…do tell!So you think increasing inequality and the concentration of a nations assets in the hands of very few is admirable….do you?

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  9th May 2016

      Blazer: “concentration of a nations assets in the hands of very few”

      What National assets do you speak of? Be specific……..

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th May 2016

        I presume he means local government assets. They are our best example of large assets totally in the hands of a very few select people who haven’t earned or paid for them.

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  9th May 2016

        I speak of….
        ‘The World’s Top 1 Percent Controls Half of Household Wealth – Fortune
        fortune.com/2015/10/14/1-percent-global-wealth-credit-suisse/
        Oct 14, 2015 – The top 1% now owns half the world’s wealth. The richest 1% of the world’s population now owns 50% of its total wealth, according to a report by Credit …’

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  9th May 2016

          Try actual NZ data, Top 1% own just 16% of net worth. Lucky we live here, eh?:

          Percent of total net worth Cumulative(%)
          Top 1% 16.4 Top 1% 16.4
          Next 4% 21.3 Top 5% 37.7
          Next 5% 14.1 Top 10% 51.8
          Next 40% 43.0 Top 50% 94.8
          Bottom 50% 5.2 All 100.0

          http://www.stats.govt.nz/~/media/Statistics/browse-categories/people-and-communities/families/wealth-and-disparities-in-new-zealand/wealth-disparities.pdf

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  9th May 2016

            Ha! Was just about to post the same………pesky facts won’t get in the way of Blazer’s agenda though.

            Reply
          • Blazer

             /  9th May 2016

            Thanks Al…so the top 10% only own 51.8% of the wealth!!!!Wunderbar!!!Hey that leaves the other 90% with……48.2%!

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th May 2016

              Considering many of them have never saved in their lives and rely on the Government to save for them and pay them a pension, what do you expect?

        • Iceberg

           /  9th May 2016

          You speak about it like it’s a bad thing Blaze? If the 1% didn’t have all that wealth, they would have no private jets, to get them to climate change conferences.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  9th May 2016

            the only good thing about …global warming ..I guess…no more…Icebergs!

            Reply
          • Well Blazer, he gotcha this time. Well done PDB, you saved me from having to chase it up myself.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  9th May 2016

              from that report…’Last December the OECD also said the Gini co-efficient – a broad measure of inequality – rose faster in New Zealand than in many other OECD countries between 1985 and 2011. Growing inequality meant New Zealand’s economy had only grown by 28 per cent between 1990 and 2010, rather than the 44 per cent growth it should have had.

              The new Treasury report acknowledged inequality in this country did rise from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. But it said that since then inequality had – with some variability – remained either constant or had fallen slightly’…..and this is something to be proud of!!!!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th May 2016

              @Blazer, NZ joined the rest of the world in many ways including inequality due to the reforms implemented after Muldoon’s autocracy was overthrown in 1985.

              Contrary to your beliefs the alternative was not Nirvana but bankruptcy.

    • You have been well and truly brainwashed by the psyops being waged by the far-left cabal Blazer. For from praising the PM I was trying to paint an objective picture about the background to the Hager Manifesto for the revolution in New Zealand. Your claim that New Zealand’s wealth is being concentrated in the hands of the few does not stand up to objective assessment see the statistics put out by NZ Statistics if you scoff. Not a single New Zealander is in the wealthiest people grouping (multi Billionaires). It is hilarious that the majority of them are Russian and Chinese communists or socialists and we know just how ineffective socialism was in distributing the wealth of nations. I subscribe to freedom of thought word and deed, reward for success, consideration of fellow man, charity, belief in God, good manners, ethics and allowing anyone to have and publicise opinions on any subject. To be regarded as a bootlicker by you is just a tad beyond the pale, bully boy!

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  9th May 2016

        ‘ Your claim that New Zealand’s wealth is being concentrated in the hands of the few does not stand up to objective assessment see the statistics put out by NZ Statistics if you scoff.’…it does though …..10% own 51.8% of the wealth ffs!Where/when did I describe you as a ‘bootlicker’….do not make things up BJ.

        Reply
        • So how is this not a booticking claim? Your quote “Facile rubbish short on any substance.Whats new from a rabid National party supporting fanboy,who can never accept any criticism of his hero Key and the crony capitalism he practices.”

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  9th May 2016

            that was responding to Pantsdown…O.K…will give you the benefit of the doubt.

            Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  9th May 2016

          How do you expect to own any wealth if you haven’t saved and accumulated it over your lifetime? Young people will always have little or no wealth, older people on average a lot more. What distribution do you think is acceptable? How are most people able to accumulate wealth if the State taxes their disposable income in order to save for them and pay them a pension?

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  9th May 2016

            have a look at that gravy train called the Council….giving their lowest paid workers a raise would have cost 23mil…cant afford it they said,but decided they could afford around that sum to make streetsigns in Aucks a uniform colour!Take a look at how many seat warmers are on 100k at the Council and the salaries of the top management…quite ludicrous,but so common …because ‘its the going rate’…

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  9th May 2016

              I wouldn’t mind so much when they say you have to pay big money or you won’t attract the best into the job if didn’t so often very soon become obvious they appointed a monkey on a mega-salary.

  15. Kitty Catkin

     /  9th May 2016

    My income is much, much smaller than that of my lawyer, who is also a friend (handy for scrounging free advice) and also that of the man who runs the local spray-painting business and many others whom I know. Why is this ? Why do I live in a little house whereas they live in big ones ? Unfairness or the simple fact that I haven’t earned these things, in any sense of the word ?

    Reply
  16. Nelly Smickers

     /  9th May 2016

    As a few posters here will be aware, I haven’t been paying as much attention to this matter as perhaps I should have, in order for me to comment with a lot of intelligence. However, now that the final of The Batchelor is on tonite, I am able to devote a little more time elsewhere.

    To that end, I decided today to conduct some ‘in-depth research’ into a Tweet made this morning by none other than John Campbell. That referred me to a comprehensive RadioNZ article, about what has become colloquilly known as, ‘The Panama Papers’

    Now, what I have been able to deduct from the evidence that they have presented, and seemingly overlooked by a lot of people, is that there is DEFINITELY SOMETHING VERY SHIFTY going on here in Aotearoa, in relation to setting up these ‘Offshore Trusts’.

    If you click on the below mentioned link, you will see that in one particular case, not only are we providing Trust arrangements for two individuals domiciled in Columbia of all places, (recognized as one of the most corrupt countries in the world), but both of them are bloody CAR DEALERS!! 😎 😎

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/panama-papers/303356/nz-at-heart-of-panama-money-go-round

    Reply
    • David

       /  9th May 2016

      Columbia is only about half way down the corruption index, it’s moved a long way in the last couple of decades.

      Besides which, one of the best reasons to have a trust based in a country with a good legal system is because you live in one without such a legal system.

      Reply
  17. Ratty

     /  9th May 2016

    I can be the Trustee of my Grandmothers Trust, of which My Grandmother (resident in the UK) is a Settlor and she died 20 years ago..

    I have a Foreign Trust

    Reply
  18. We have said a lot about the use of Trusts by foreigners and New Zealand’s involvement in Trusts. I was particularly happy to read this”
    “New Zealand parliament has carefully legislated for the protection of foreign or non resident trusts and their assets. The New Zealand Foreign Trust regime is considered to be one of the best if not the best offshore trust regimes in the world today.
    Z’s anti-money laundering laws now in effect with banks expected to pry more into customer identity and account activity

    New Zealand’s long awaited anti-money laundering laws are now in place, almost four years after Parliament passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act.

    Passed by Parliament in October 2009, the Act’s aims are to detect and deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism, maintain and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation by adopting, where appropriate in the New Zealand context, recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental body established by the Group of Seven (G7), and to contribute to public confidence in the financial system.
    Trusts can trade, invest in assets of any kind, hold or sell property, invest overseas and even play on the stock exchange.
    In 2007 by the Income Tax Act 2007 the New Zealand government legislated that any non resident that establishes a trust in New Zealand can utilise the trust to hold assets or invest in transactions or even trade and pay ZERO TAX IN NEW ZEALAND provided that the settlor is a non-New Zealand resident and the trust does not conduct any taxable activities in New Zealand.”
    Note the fact that NZ Parliament has carefully legislated for the protection of foreign or non-resident trusts and that The New Zealand Foreign Trust regime is considered to be one of the best if not the best offshore trust regimes in the world today.
    Source: http://www.trust-nz.com/offshore-trusts.html.

    Note also that it was 2007 when the basis of present laws were passed by the Seventh Labour Government with Michael Cullen and subsequently Phil Goff in the Minister of Finance portfolio. Because of weaknesses in that act, NZ’s anti-money laundering laws were updated onnow in effect with banks expected to pry more into customer identity and account activity

    New Zealand’s long awaited anti-money laundering laws are now in place, almost four years after Parliament passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009. The Act was passed by Parliament in October 2009. Its aims are to detect and deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism, maintain and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation by adopting, where appropriate in the New Zealand context, recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental body established by the Group of Seven (G7), and to contribute to public confidence in the financial system. So, what now? It seems that Labour wants to change the rules again to stop Foreign Trusts. If it does this, then NZ Family Trusts will be in jeopardy on the basis of whats good for one should be the same for all. What a hot potato that will be for Labour _ and they have the Hager Manifesto to blame. Remember this quote:
    “Trusts are considered sacred cows in New Zealand law and if properly structured cannot be set aside by a court, by a government, by a wife, by a creditor or by any inheritance disputes. They are the legal Fort Knox of asset protection.”

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  9th May 2016

      grasping at straws…. its all Labours fault!Simon Louisson….
      ‘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.’

      Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  9th May 2016

        Because quoting from the Standard wins every time. You know TS is a Labour run hit blog, don’t you Blaze?

        Reply
  19. Ratty

     /  9th May 2016

    “Note also that it was 2007 when the basis of present laws were passed by the Seventh Labour Government with Michael Cullen and subsequently Phil Goff in the Minister of Finance portfolio. Because of weaknesses in that act, NZ’s anti-money laundering laws were updated onnow in effect with banks expected to pry more into customer identity and account activity”

    The Income Tax Act 2007 was hardly a motivator in regards to Anti-Money Laundering Legislation and Terrorism..esp when the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act was inacted in 2009 and came into full force in 2014.

    Reply
  20. I have not yet seen one iota of evidence that the NZ Trust Laws have caused either damage or embarrassment to anyone at all. I have seen some comments from people who have not yet grasped the opportunities that are within our law to protect their assets. That is their problem. Since ancient times, it has been a human right to order one’s affairs to minimise ones tax obligations within the prevailing law. To demand that I or you give up that right so someone who did not have the native wit to use the same law for their benefit is a non-sequitur. Hager’s Hollow Journalism will cause much angst and anger amongst families in NZ . Why is he being so destructive – or is he trying to achieve a revolution before his time is up?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  9th May 2016

      He believes his ends justify any means. That enables him to create and attack enemies without compunction and without any necessity to be fair.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  9th May 2016

        Nicky is a crusader for truth and justice. If he wasn’t a crusader for truth and justice he would have to settle for life as a ticket-writer.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  9th May 2016

          I didn’t TV3’s news. Fell asleep during Richard Long’s sports segment of TV1. He does that to some people.

          The TVOne headline news segment seemed to be all about how Key’s sounding a bit worried and changing his story from “No problem at all with foreign trusts” to” We’ll be looking into it to and if there’s a problem we’ll soon be doing something to fix it” – i.e. that he’s done a U-turn. I’d maybe do a U turn for Jessica so who knows. … 😎

          Reply
    • Hall

       /  9th May 2016

      BJ the more I read your comments the more apparent it is that you have no idea what you are talking about. The issue is FOREIGN TRUSTS not family trusts, they are two totally different structures. Hager is pointing out the problem associated with foreign trusts. The issue is that foreigners from certain countries can take advantage of soft laws here in NZ so that they can avoid paying tax to their country of origin. The irony is that our government won’t allow kiwis to avoid paying tax to the IRD but they don’t mind if foreigners avoid paying tax to their tax departments. How can we demand multinational pay their fair amount of tax when we facilitate tax avoidance to wealthy foreigners. Don’t worry BJ no one is going to touch your family trust.

      Reply
      • I thought we were talking about Trusts. The law on Trusts is the same for NZers as it is for Foreigners. The tax laws differ. I also note that Peter Dunne said he was “especially concerned” at the rapid rise in foreign trust numbers in New Zealand, from 1949 in 2006 to 10,697 in 2016.” What a huge number. But maybe overseas investors would rather invest in a country that has a good reputation for adherence to law, rather than Banana Republics? I wonder how much you know about the financial consequences of baad-mouthing your own countries reputation. Guess who is going to lose? What is the motive of those trashing our laws on Trusts? Who are they and what is their aim/purpose? These are the questions that demand answers.

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th May 2016

        Our laws are not soft, they are entirely principled, correct, fair and honest. The only issue that can be raised is whether there is appropriate and sufficient disclosure. Shewan will advise sensibly on that.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s