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Showing posts from April, 2016

National fails with the important stuff

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The health and resilience of our economy, our people and our environment are the important stuff any government should have as overarching priorities. The National Party is approaching eight years in government and its record in these three key areas is not particularly good. Our rivers are becoming increasingly polluted, we have one of the lowest GHG reduction targets and almost 1/3 of our children live in relative poverty.

National Governments do not have any historical reputation for championing social causes or lifting environmental standards, but they survive because of the perception that they can be trusted to manage our economy.

Displaying some rational economic vision and leadership is important for our ongoing survival as a nation in an often turbulent global economy. The Great Financial Crisis came about because of loose regulations and giving too much rope to financial institutions. New Zealand came through that crisis relatively unscathed but I would have thought that th…

NZ Tax Haven, "a quiet little achiever"

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The Pulitzer Center is a collective of independent journalists dedicated to supporting investigative journalism on issues of global importance. New Zealand's Nicky Hager is a member.

The Panama Papers has exposed one international operation (there may be more) that has been shifting secret funds belonging to corrupt politicians and dodgy companies to hidden trusts in a variety of tax havens. The politicians includes Putin and the King of Saudi Arabia and some of the companies are involved in profiting from the Syrian war. Interestingly New Zealand is listed as one of the significant tax havens where 12,000 foreign trusts have found a home. We share the tax haven status with the likes of the British Virgin Islands and the Sychelles.

The details exposed through leaked documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca make frightening reading as possibly trillions have been hidden away to avoid tax or hide illegally gained funds. New Zealand is referred to as being "quiet …