I don't use Uber but I did have the app on my phone as I was thinking about it. As of this discussion I have deleted it because I don't want to encourage another life sucking culture at all. It is an example of a good idea that would work if drivers had a fair say on true costs but that looks like it is not going to happen now.
Great news well done Russell and all the other award winners.
Analysis of the database will take time and given the NZ crew only just got full access – as per the attached image – a simple high level search on New Zealand shows links Offshore Entities (16) Officers (58) Intermediaries (5) Addresses (391). The real stories will be a bit more hidden than that and there are other searches to be made including the ones on other Pacific Islands as mentioned earlier (by others.)
What I’m concerned about is the reputational damage to NZ business. When 300 economists can sign their names to say that essentially the secret trust business is one that should be controlled or shut down then NZ has to take notice.
Regardless of what the NZ trusts actually do – they are seen to facilitate dodgy practices in other places. If NZ ever wants to collect tax from the bigger trans national companies who are “legitimately” not paying tax in NZ, UK, U.S or most places then we need to have a clean out.
If 35 or so other nations can commit to changing this then New Zealand should be part of that. Ironically Australia has tightened up the rules on transnationals and is doing the same on the #panamapapers.
Like or not these wider issues are connected and that could be part of the reason for some of the denial that is coming from National party hacks.
Of course they will. The most simple fix that can be put in place fairly quickly is an inter country data sharing arrangement so lets join other governments and do that.
If New Zealand is as squeaky clean as National party politicians think then they should show a leadership position and put some controls in place. Make that trusts regime more transparent to other governments and stop facilitating questionable business.
As for Garner and TV in New Zealand. Have stopped watching long ago.
Also don’t look now but a proposed merger between NZME & Fairfax – two basket case businesses with a failing business model in a sunset industry will be somewhat distracted by the blood on the streets if allowed to merge as they cull their head count. That is a greater threat to media than anything else. ( but off topic so)
A very long time ago I remember a magazine / newspaper called Hotlicks which disappeared and then came RipItUp. As an earnest music fixated teen like many others I waited each month to find out the latest from RIU on NZ music news and other music.
It was the (music) journal of record back in the 70’s and 80’s. Then it got a bit more complicated. Running a business is never easy especially with a tiny population.
Well done Simon for rescuing this archive. Back when AudioCulture was just an idea I asked Murray about all of the past issues and it seemed like it would be good if somehow those back issues could be found and saved.
In a pre-internet world New Zealand was extremely isolated. yes you could get an NME or another music mag but RIU represented the heart and soul of NZ music for many years. Awesome news.
As Thomas Piketty notes in a recent issue of the Guardian
Panama Papers: Act now. Don’t wait for another crisis
Thomas Piketty – Financial secrecy represents a huge threat to the fragile global system, and we won’t solve the problem by politely asking tax havens to stop behaving badly
"There is still a complete lack of transparency as far as private assets held in tax havens are concerned. In many areas of the world, the biggest fortunes have continued to grow since 2008 much more quickly than the size of the economy, partly because they pay less tax than the others."
"There is still one question outstanding: why have governments done so little since 2008 to combat financial opacity? The simple answer is that they were under the illusion that there was no need to act. Their central banks had printed enough currency to avoid the complete collapse of the financial system, thus avoiding the mistakes which post-1929 led the world to the brink of complete collapse. The outcome is that we have indeed avoided a widespread depression but in so doing we have refrained from the necessary structural, regulatory and fiscal reforms. “
Ironically whether it is the good guys avoiding tax on a massive scale like the Nippert articles show or the really dodgy “bad guys” skirting around the edges like the #panamapapers shows – that governments need to work together to be more transparent so that there is some fairness in global business.
I’d also note that Deborah Russell went on record to say that the Governments appointee ( Shewan) is not independent and in fact he famously was on the record with advising Westpac bank to on $918m IRD tax claim against them. In that instance he was definitely on the side of the poachers – not the game keepers.
I’m guessing that as the value of the land goes up the rates also go up and that starts to make the returns from the music venue business look fairly slim. I wonder if there is scope for certain venues to be given cultural character ratings that allow them to continue for specified uses in return for some form of targeted rates relief?
Just an idea. Clearly KA is a cultural icon and well regarded by many of us but the reality is that as property values rise the pressure to change usage to earn more returns must be quite real.
FWIW - I see that the redevelopment of the Orange Ballroom at the top of Newton road looks to be almost finished. That building had a very good "dance-floor" and almost certainly still does. The way that they "wrapped" the new development around the old building looks to be smart. Haven't seen inside or anything since it was re-developed but if there was a "sympathetic" re-development of the KA & nearby gym site and it was able to keep the music venue then that would good.
I keep thinking back to the old Gluepot days. Really that space was tragic in retrospect. Sight-lines were not brilliant and while it was a great venue that was mostly in spite of the lay out rather than because of it. And of course our collective memory of gigs there and say in the Rhumba room or any number of venues that have now gone are mostly about the musical magic rather than the venues themselves.
I have just spent some time at an apartment on Karaka St earlier this afternoon. There are already plenty in the area and ironically at least some of those people live there in part because the KA is nearby and that makes the neighbourhood more liveable.
What is right next to the KA is a car parking area which can and probably should be developed. As for that gym. It has one of the worst driveways ever and definitely not great use of that site. I signed the petition because I do think having some extra publicity over the process will help unravel what is really going on.
The KA is one of only a handful of live music venues of that size which is a step up from the small bars but not too large. That scale is a rarity. The combination of the outside space and the inside stage is also rare and if I lived there I would want to see it continue. But also understand that the owners have bills to pay and the rates on the site may be forcing their hand.
Having an undeveloped parking area next door must be a very un-economic way to use that land. It would be great to find out more. Building a liveable city s much more than just housing.
Later, National can propose its own, with a different name, to wild applause from the usual suspects.
Actually National doesn't have to propose its own they can just continue on with Labour Party policies which are in effect UBI to all intents and purposes.
I wrote about this last week after watching Robert Reich at the #futureofworkNZ conference which as I understood it was a public way of open sourcing policy.
I only watched the one discussion but it was very clear to me that a formal UBI was seen to be years away but we need to talk about it now kind of tone going on.
"His (Key's) support for the Labour Party “working for Families” allowances and tax credits is definitely a form of UBI even though he doesn’t recognise the policy intent."
A few days later Bernard Hickey wrote in Bernard Hickey: Key fickle on minimum wages
To quote from Bernard:
"John Key described the idea, suggested as one of many at Labour's Future of Work Commission, as "barking mad" and "utterly unaffordable". In 2004, he described Working For Families as "communism by stealth", yet he kept that programme more than eight years as Prime Minister.
He is also a staunch defender of several other limited versions of Guaranteed Minimum Income New Zealand already has.
The biggest is superannuation, the minimum income guaranteed to anyone over the age of 65. Some argue it is utterly unaffordable in the long run as the population ages, but Key is not one of those.
Working for Families is another. It effectively guarantees a minimum income for families with children, albeit through a tax-credit system that supplements earned income, rather than an untaxed benefit independent of other income."
Clearly there is a public policy debate needed. It should be much more of a zero base process though and accept that compared to many other countries we already have the equivalent of UBI style allowances built into our tax structures.
I would think that any future UBI style policies would recognise existing allowances and not just plonk extra expense on the top.
Thanks Hilary for this profile of a real pioneer - much appreciated.