Why gun owners are aggrieved by new firearms legislation and have brought poor policing of the old law into their sights

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The New Zealand Police Association has declared it is both pleased and relieved that Parliament voted to pass into law the Arms Legislation Bill.

Association President Chris Cahill said many of the reforms heralded in the bill fall into the ‘better late than never’ category with some at least 30 years overdue.

“The shock to finally act was the murder of 51 people at prayer in two Christchurch mosques 15 months ago. What our politicians have passed today is law that focuses on the future safety of all of us. It also includes a powerful stated purpose – that in New Zealand it is a privilege, not a right, to possess and use a firearm, and with privilege comes responsibilities,” Mr Cahill says.

We suppose he issued this statement with a straight face.  But just just a few days earlier we were told the March 15 terrorist – according to Stuff sources – had been wrongly granted a firearms licence due to a string of police failures. Continue reading “Why gun owners are aggrieved by new firearms legislation and have brought poor policing of the old law into their sights”

Strong dairy receipts help lift the primary sector’s export growth – and its boost to the economy

The Covid-19  pandemic has  put  enormous  pressure  on  the country’s  primary  sector,  yet it  has  managed to  expand  export  receipts  by  $1.7bn  over  the previous year.

The  government,  or  at   least  several ministers  in it, are  celebrating  the  effort  of  the  primary sector  in  doing so,  and   recognise  the  sector  is a  key  driver  in rebooting  the  economy.

Yet  the  government,  with   its climate  change  measures  hitting    agriculture’s methane  emissions  and  its freshwater  reforms, has  done   little to  encourage  farmers to  expand  production.

When  Agriculture  Minister  Damien O’Connor says the government is focused on creating more demand, pursuing greater market opportunities to generate higher export returns and growing rural communities with new jobs,   the  response  down on the farm may be   no more than a  one-handed  clap.

Farmers  are  more  likely  to  be   grumbling  over the   government’s failure   to  drive down the  exchange rate.  Or  to do  more to build irrigation  schemes. Continue reading “Strong dairy receipts help lift the primary sector’s export growth – and its boost to the economy”

Oh, goody – Nash says some tax relief is in the offing but only a few of us will benefit from it

After a string of spending decisions over the past two days, the Government today announced some cheering news on the revenue-gathering side of its activities.  It is moving to ease financial stress for around 149,000 taxpayers by changing the rules around write-offs for tax debt.

As a consequence, fewer people will have tax bills to pay this year.

But not too many fewer.

According to Treasury figures,  we have 3,850,000 taxpayers who generate $36,850 million of revenue.  Around 4% of those taxpayers – by the looks of it – will benefit from the Government’s relaxing of the rules.

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash said Inland Revenue’s end-of-year automatic income tax calculation process for individuals is currently underway and is expected to run until early July.

This is the annual wash-up which results in people either having tax to pay or receiving a refund. Continue reading “Oh, goody – Nash says some tax relief is in the offing but only a few of us will benefit from it”

Parliament legislated at great speed to change the tax laws but slowed down when MPs’ pay cuts were at issue

The Covid-19 emergency has been used by the government to justify legislative urgency and curtail Parliamentary scrutiny.

The aim was worthy – to introduce  a package of tax reforms. The process was shabby.

Urgency provisions were invoked to have the package legislated quicker you can say IRD.

Just as shamefully, the government moved smartly this week to scuttle a bill aimed at lopping the pay of all members of Parliament.  Finance Minister Grant Robertson denied Parliament the opportunity to consider this measure, promoted by Act leader David Seymour, by vetoing its introduction.

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash, in charge of the tax package, was unapologetic about the unseemly haste he intended should be taken.  He issued a statement to proclaim:

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. Continue reading “Parliament legislated at great speed to change the tax laws but slowed down when MPs’ pay cuts were at issue”

A checkpoint charlie would be someone who doesn’t question the legality – but the PM seems comfortable they pass muster

We wonder if Stuart Nash is too busy trying to catch up with his small business duties to find time to reply to Point of Order’s questions about highly contentious goings-on in his police portfolio.

Nash was criticised earlier this week for providing the Epidemic Response Committee with scant information about the effect on businesses of an additional week of lockdown and another two weeks at alert level 3.

In his Police patch, meanwhile, the legality of checkpoints set up by Maori communities  has become a matter of confusion.

Point of Order has tried to establish if there is any statutory authority to legitimise these checkpoints.

Our questions to the PM and to the Police were not directly answered while our questions to Nash received only an automated response.  Continue reading “A checkpoint charlie would be someone who doesn’t question the legality – but the PM seems comfortable they pass muster”

Don’t bother lobbying the government about arming (or disarming) the police – Nash says it’s not his call

A white police officer who shot and killed an African American woman in her home in Fort Worth, Texas, in the presence of her eight-year-old nephew has been charged with murder after resigning from the force.

The Fort Worth Police Department said its officers had been responding to a call from a neighbour, who reported to a non-emergency line that Atatiana Jefferson’s front door had been left open. The responding officer fired a shot through a window, killing the 28-year-old woman.

American cops shot and killed 998 people last year, 11 more than the 987 they fatally shot in 2017. In 2016, police killed 963 people, and 995 in 2015.

Those statistics – a steady 1000 or so a year – were examined in a report in Britain’s The Independent:  Continue reading “Don’t bother lobbying the government about arming (or disarming) the police – Nash says it’s not his call”

Muneficent ministers go south with their millions (and demonstrate their prowess with te reo place names)

Was that the Easter bunny?

No – and there was more than one delivery of Easter goodies.

This lot did not go to the Far North.

The Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau, delivered his largess (paid for by taxpayers) to the top of the South Island.  The Point of Order Trough Monitor was immediately alerted.

His press statement referred to a region he called Te Tauihu (not to  be confused with Wellington’s Te Tauihu, the name of Wellington City Council’s te reo policy. Continue reading “Muneficent ministers go south with their millions (and demonstrate their prowess with te reo place names)”

Queue here to register your thoughts on a capital gains tax – but not if the queue gets too big

Labour  ministers’  enthusiasm   for a  capital   gains  tax   appears to  be waning  by the day.  Even the PM,  Jacinda  Ardern, no longer  seems to be talking  up  the need to  make the  tax system  “fairer”  by  bringing in  a  comprehensive   CGT.

Revenue  Minister  Stuart   Nash   went so far  as to  say  this  week   “there is  nothing to  consult  on”.

Here  is what he told  Parliament  on Thursday:

Nash: When I said I’m not consulting on a capital gains tax, I’m also not consulting on the 19 measures that the Tax Working Group considers would reduce compliance cost to small to medium enterprises.

Gerry Brownlee: Why not”?

NASH: Because—can I say this again—there have been absolutely no decisions made on this, so why would I formally consult when there’s absolutely nothing to consult on?” Continue reading “Queue here to register your thoughts on a capital gains tax – but not if the queue gets too big”

Sir Michael is being paid well while he takes his tax report for a spin

So  how  is  the  debate   on  a   comprehensive  capital  gains tax  going?

Not   well,  some would  say,  particularly  if  you have to pay  more than a  $1000 a  day  for  a   PR   snow job.

Questioned  in  Parliament   why  the  government  is  paying  Sir  Michael  Cullen more than $1000 a day of taxpayer funds to engage in political debate for four months after the Tax Working Group has been disbanded, including two months after the government will have announced its own position,  Finance  Minister  Grant Robertson explained the contract had been extended “because it’s necessary to respond to all of the misrepresentation and lies about the report”. Continue reading “Sir Michael is being paid well while he takes his tax report for a spin”

Stuart Nash has been remiss in staying silent about IRD’s political transgressions

Whether two examples of Inland Revenue’s follies amount to an “ongoing failure”to stay out of politics is open to argument.  But the Taxpayers’ Union is to be commended for drawing attention to IRD’s specific constitutional obligation not to enter politics and demanding that Revenue Minister Stuart Nash act immediately to restore the integrity and neutrality of his agency.

The demand follows IRD’s admitting it was wrong to ask for New Zealanders’ political persuasions in a survey they have been carrying out for the Government on the eve of the release of a crucial tax reform report.

The department has been researching the public’s views on globalisation and fairness in the tax system.

Among the survey questions, respondents were asked where they sit on the political spectrum.  This raised the issue of whether taxpayers are funding sensitive political polling.

And as Stuff now tells us: Continue reading “Stuart Nash has been remiss in staying silent about IRD’s political transgressions”