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”

Racing industry put money on NZ First but Peters has yet to come home a winner

Can Winston Peters revive  the   NZ   racing  industry?

Last  year  he famously said: “I’ve got no interest in being the Minister of Racing presiding over a dead horse.”  But  many  within  the  industry fear  that   unless  he  moves  swiftly,  the animal,  despite  its staying  power over the  decades,  will  indeed  expire.

The Deputy Prime Minister last year commissioned John Messara, described as a top administrator and stud owner in Australia, to review the NZ industry, which has been ailing  for the past decade.

After he  received  the report  last August, Peters noted Messara’s  warning  that thoroughbred horse racing “is at a tipping point of irreparable damage” and declared:

“My  intention is to have officials produce a Cabinet paper with a set of recommendations for decision. While it is too early to say what Cabinet will agree upon, the severity of the situation means the status quo is unlikely to prevail.It’s reform or die, there’s no off-course substitute”. Continue reading “Racing industry put money on NZ First but Peters has yet to come home a winner”

Capital gains tax: hear what Peters (as PM) has to say about something NZ First opposes

Anticipating the release of the Tax Working Group’s report, Point of Order on Tuesday said the  question  of a capital gains tax being endorsed by the government is whether   the concept can be sold to  NZ  First.  Its leader,  Winston Peters,  in the past  has been  vocal in  his  opposition to a  broad-based  capital  gains tax.

Early yesterday, a few hours ahead of the report’s release, the NZ Herald echoed our thinking.

Whatever Sir Michael Cullen recommends in his final Tax Working Group report today may be off the table if Labour can’t get New Zealand First and Winston Peters’ support for it.

Peters has made it clear in the past he is not a fan of a capital gains tax.

Just before the 2017 election, he told TVNZ’s Q&A that a capital gains tax was “off the table.”

“The two factors are – it doesn’t work and the second thing is there is no fairness if you haven’t got capital losses as well.” Continue reading “Capital gains tax: hear what Peters (as PM) has to say about something NZ First opposes”

Statutory requirement for Chinese companies to spy helps explain NZ’s policy shift

As the debate on China’s sensitivities rolls on, more and compelling information is coming to hand to explain why the Government is recalibrating NZ’s relations with Beijing.   In 2017, China enacted a national intelligence law which requires all Chinese companies to “support, provide and cooperate” with the government’s national intelligence work wherever they operate.

Despite the protestations by the likes of Huawei, Chinese trading companies or airlines working in NZ have to comply.  This has profoundly shifted the nature of the relationship coming atop a new Chinese regime much more statist than before.

The sheer complexity and enormous ability of the 5G broadband system’s enhanced information reach enable it to hoover-up hitherto encrypted material. The system signals a new phase in the information war. Continue reading “Statutory requirement for Chinese companies to spy helps explain NZ’s policy shift”

China and NZ foreign policy: Peters knows choices must be made

Let’s get the China situation into perspective. The halcyon days of recent years are past.

The Key government indulged in the shadow of a benign Beijing penumbra after New Zealand became the first country to recognise China as a conventional economy, acceptable to western norms. NZ was blessed by nomination as a safe destination to the new travel-conscious middle class.  Ministers indulged in frequent visits here and there.  NZ has became an almost overwhelming beneficiary of inbound Chinese tourism.

Time has moved on.  Under  its current leader, China launched a vigorous “road and belt” philosophy which – according to MFAT insiders – had two objectives: Continue reading “China and NZ foreign policy: Peters knows choices must be made”

Cash contributions for Maori projects are no secret – but what about the constitutional changes?

Just a few days before Waitangi Day the government announced it has earmarked several million more dollars for Maori projects.   During Waitangi Day commemorations it may express its willingness to give iwi leaders a greater say in governance, too (but without providing critical details).

Empowering iwi leaders in the name of “partnership” is a matter with profound constitutional implications, of course.  But when Point of Order raised questions last September about the government’s co-governance agenda and the constitutional  impacts on all Kiwi citizens, we received no answers.

The cash component of the government’s generosity is not so secret.  Some of it was included in announcements made by the PM and the Minister of Handouts two days ago at Otamatea Marae. Continue reading “Cash contributions for Maori projects are no secret – but what about the constitutional changes?”

Winnie and the whinny vote – or how to gee-up NZ First through the racing industry

Racing  Minister  Winston Peters,  adopting  the  mantle of  Moses  in  leading his people to the  Promised  Land,  spoke this week  of  how  the government  values  the racing industry.

The industry is a major employer which makes a significant contribution to the country’s economy …. We are out to change this industry for the better and change it we will”.

Peters  was  speaking   at  the  opening of the 2019  National  Yearling Sales  at  Karaka,  the showcase  of the  NZ  bloodstock industry.   He had  an  attentive audience  as he  insisted real progress has been made in the last year.

We are not making vague promises to you.

“We recognise that genuine development is needed for the racing industry to go to the next level”. Continue reading “Winnie and the whinny vote – or how to gee-up NZ First through the racing industry”