Sounds like someone might have had another legal letter

Andrew Little has backed down over his outrageous comments over John Shewan.

They were as intemperate as his comments about the Hagamans.

Labour leader Andrew Little has today backed down from comments that the man charged with investigating New Zealand’s offshore trusts industry had advised the Bahamas Government on protecting its financial sector from tax changes.

Former PricewaterhouseCoopers chair John Shewan travelled to the island nation with former National Party leader Don Brash in 2014 to provide advice on GST changes.

The trip was arranged after a meeting between Prime Minister John Key and Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie.

On April 13, Mr Little alleged that Mr Shewan and Dr Brash had effectively advised the Bahamas – a country known for tax haven activity – on how to protect its offshore financial services industry and maintain its haven status.    Read more »

Rodney Hide on Panama Papers

Rodney Hide discusses the Panama Papers at NBR:

I must admit to bitter disappointment.  I wouldn’t have had such high hopes if it was just Nicky Hager but the big reveal was to be different: top journalists at TVNZ and RNZ had spent a week-and-a-half trolling though the data ahead of its public release.

They were promising the “biggest new development” in the “Panama Papers scandal.”

I had some qualms. The information was private and personal. It was stolen. Innocent people’s private affairs were to be made public.

There was also the promise of political carnage.

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

And it was not just Mr Hager: TVNZ’s Andrea Vance said New Zealand “ticked all the boxes.”

Fantastic.   Read more »

Are the Panama Papers a “New Zealand Embarrassment”?


We’re hearing a lot in the media, in opinion pieces and on social media that the “revelations” in the Panama Papers have embarrassed New Zealand on the world stage.

Let us actually look at the numbers. To do this we turn to Google and its ability to dig through news articles from around the world.

Here is the result:

unnamed-2 Read more »

“A big fat flop” – Duncan Garner on the Panama Papers

Duncan Garner explains why the Panama Papers were “a big fat flop”.

Are we a tax haven for foreigners? Probably.

If we are allowing some people in other countries to avoid paying tax in their country then that’s a tax haven, isn’t it?

But has the sky fallen in here? Nope.

Even the Government’s arch-enemy, Greens co-leader, James Shaw, says he’s seen nothing illegal. He doesn’t even think we need to scrap foreign trusts.

The Panama Papers have highlighted the scale of the issue but they’ve told us nothing new, yet.

It’s actually been a big, fat flop.

Read more »

Andrew Dickens on the Panama Papers

Andrew Dickens is really stepping up in the past few weeks. His column from yesterday explains how middle NZ feels about the Panama Papers:

We’ve had a few days of the Panama Papers and I’m picking most people have no idea what’s going on.

Today 200,000 names and all the papers were released by the International Consortium of Journalists who have been looking at this for a year.  They’ve been looking at the papers sourced from an illegal leak by a whistleblower.

Now how about that for journalists deciding to be judge, jury and executioner.  Being one of the 200,000 doesn’t automatically mean you’re a bad person. However many people, who have no idea what’s happening, will think these named people and entities are dodgy in some way or another.  It’s incrimination by insinuation.  It’s not pleasant.

Read more »

They seem to be missing a word in the headline

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 9.35.18 PM

The NZ Herald has joined in with the Media party pile on regarding the Panama Papers.

Hamish Fletcher has joined the other idiot journalists clutching at straws. and decided to call NZ a tax haven and talk about tax evasion schemes.

New Zealand is complicit in tax avoidance schemes, says an academic.

“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.

Another tax law expert has also said that the rules around the what foreigners with New Zealand trusts must disclose to Inland Revenue are “weak”.

[…]    Read more »

Aren’t the Media party so proud of themselves today

TVNZ have put out a media release this morning boasting of their awesomeness over the so-called Panama Papers.

Let’s dissect this, shall we?

This morning, a major investigative collaboration between ONE News, RNZ News and journalist and author Nicky Hager exposes more New Zealand links to secret offshore trusts that are operating in this country to avoid paying tax.

Major investigative collaboration? Oh come on, there was no investigation on the part of the journalists nor from political activist Nicky Hager. Once again, just like Dirty Politics they are laundering the criminal efforts of an anonymous (to some) data thief.

It’s the biggest new development in the Panama Papers scandal since the tax haven records of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca were first leaked in April.

The big new development appears to reveal that lawyers and accountants set up trusts.   Read more »

Green MP: Key not responsible for trust problem


So far the Panama leaks have been positively underwhelming.

A sure sign of this is a Green MP, Julie Anne Genter, admitting that John Key isn’t directly responsible for the [tax haven] laws and what people and companies are doing “technically legal”.  Read more »

Where is Team America when you need them?

The Dodgy North Koreans are back in the arms smuggling game, they probably never left it truth be told.

Panama’s president said a North Korean ship was intercepted attempting to smuggle suspected sophisticated missile material from Cuba through the Panama Canal, at which point the captain tried to kill himself.

Outlining a dramatic sequence of events, President Ricardo Martinelli said the ship was targeted by drug enforcement officials as it approached the Panama Canal and was taken into port, but a search revealed a cargo of far greater concern.  Read more »

Today’s Trivia



Today’s Trivia was received via the Tipline:

Panama Hats are from Ecuador — they became known to the world when worn by Ecuadorians working on the Panama Canal.

Read more »