Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Forgetting what we didn't know

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  • Russell Brown,

    Also, a chocolate fish to anyone who can find that 2012 60 Minutes report on the TV3 or Newshub websites. The internal link from the programme brief is broken, but on past form, it'll still be there somewhere. (MediaWorks' habit of hiding historical content is really quite odd.)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Johnson,

    Garner and Gower seem to be primarily obsessed by the bland indifference of the blue ribbon citizenry of N.Z and their ability to hold majorities in parliament and/or water down any potential opposition Governments vision .

    A large chunk of the conservative electorate are not issue based but in love with the weird security of the big blue N. Very difficult to shift public opinion with such crosby textor enablers running our news services.

    Garner types are crosby textors dream news dudes, shallow, impatient and so ready to move away from issues that may involve digging and serious analysis. It’s a sad joke.

    To dismiss this story as nothing is jaw dropping. Why did both gentlemen become journalists? Surely not just to be a t.v celebrity.

    hamilton • Since Mar 2016 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • tom dale, in reply to Russell Brown,

    the link is
    http://www.tv3.co.nz/October-7th---Treasure-Islands/tabid/2059/articleID/79738/Default.aspx
    but the video has been set to private, presumably because they called NZ a 'Tax Haven', as referenced in the response here
    http://www.tv3.co.nz/Treasure-Islands-Response-Blog/tabid/2059/articleID/79917/Default.aspx

    Since Apr 2015 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    "But the database already tells us some more subtle things. For instance, while it lists only 47 Mossack Fonseca-connected offshore entities in New Zealand, there are 547 in the Cook Islands, 9611 in Niue and 13,418 in Samoa."

    Well, well, well, if that does not tell us something!

    I am still intrigued by that John Doe manifesto, where he mentions Key in relation to the Cook Islands tax haven Mecca. I wonder whether Key was involved in some consultations and activities before he became PM, while he worked for Merril Lynch or so. Some research may be worthwhile to dig further into his past, and whether advice was given to some small Pacific Island governments then.

    And re Garner and Gower, are they perhaps not just envious and angry that their employer and they were left out of the collaborative work that TVNZ, RNZ and Nicky Hager did together? They presented more on the Panama Papers than Mediaworks would have been able to get their hands on.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart,

    From Naked Capitalism back in 2011, way before dodgy company registration related to money laundering, tax evasion, etc was fashionable.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/08/new-zealand-company-registry-whack-a-mole.html

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Does Guyon Espiner! always have the pling at the end of his name now, like Yahoo!

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Interestingly, it's possible to drive a coach and horses through our overseas ownership laws by having the property owned by a company with anonymous bearer shares:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/79802634/overseas-investment-office-unsure-who-owns-onetai-station

    Could be El Chappo for all the OAI knows.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Others have suggested that Duncan Garner, Gower and others are just sulking because they weren't part of this innovative media collaboration

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/panama-papers/303461/how-rnz,-tvnz,-hager-joined-forces

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Marc C,

    Sorry, I see you already suggested this. FOMO of the cool journalist crowd.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to tom dale,

    but the video has been set to private, presumably because they called NZ a ‘Tax Haven’, as referenced in the response here

    You win your (currently virtual) chocolate fish!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • John Palethorpe,

    The PM's reaction to it has been the same on any issue where there might be a cause for the Government to take action, he makes it about him - then marginalises the story repeatedly, allowing the idea that there's nothing that needs to be done to be repeated again and again.

    He ducked RNZ yesterday in order to go on Mediaworks and NZME progamming, knowing it'd turn into videos/articles/commentary across their respective radio and web platforms - making the story about what he has said, about it not bothering him and how it's that Nicky Hager and the conspiracy again.

    That's before the stories have even started to develop, like Matt Nippert's excellently weird Elvis impersonator tale this morning - before the stories have been written, it's already been very publicly written off by the Prime Minister, who trades on his ability to strangle any potential issue in it's cradle - in part because he's very, very good at selling a 'Don't worry about it' line.

    Garner and Gower are stuck in the soap opera, the soap bubble where Nicky Hager and TVNZ and RNZ are somehow all gunning for John Key and are disappointed when they're presented with evidence of NZ being used as a location for mass tax avoidance because there's not enough crash bang personality in it.

    Garner can't rail on air in favour of stringent tax reform, Gower can't fill his two minutes gurn with an explanation of the system and potential replacements. It speaks volumes about the direction and quality of their journalistic instincts and their need to keep their mill well gristed with the punch and judy stuff.

    That's not to say they're useless - Garner's advocacy on many issues, including the death of that young lad Moko, has been brilliant. But today, by saying that people shouldn't care about the Panama Papers and should care about Moko, he reveals that he thinks people can't care about both. It's reminiscent of the 'Don't talk about NZ poverty, there's kids starving in India' argument about #FeedTheKids, except both of these issues are domestic.

    Maybe if NZ companies paid their taxes, overseas corps paid their tax there - we might have better, more effective social services and a reduced poverty rate. That's a reach, when stories need to be obvious instead of oblique, but it's within the sphere of conversation.

    There's a vein of street dog territorialism about how the PM, Garner and Gower appoint themselves as arbiters of what stories are important, and like street dogs, it usually means lots of stuff gets piss all over it.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • John Palethorpe, in reply to John Palethorpe,

    Bloody hell John, say what you really think.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    Heh. It's not the real 60 Minutes account – someone noticed the Twitter handle was available and grabbed it. But still!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to tom dale,

    the video has been set to private, presumably because they called NZ a 'Tax Haven', as referenced in the response here

    Is it possible that after TV3 lost the rights to the 60 Minutes name to Sky/Prime, they can no longer host footage bearing the 60 Minutes Trademark?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I did look for the footage the other day, and found it excerpted here:
    http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/govt-rejects-tax-haven-claim-2012100818#axzz48DfUtovD

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Tom Johnson,

    A large chunk of the conservative electorate are not issue based but in love with the weird security of the big blue N. Very difficult to shift public opinion with such crosby textor enablers running our news services.

    I don't blame the majority for not drawing the connections of why the activities of people offshore, whom they've never met, will have any effect on their wellbeing whatsoever. I think there's something to be said for explaining to people how things like this are actually relevant to their daily lives, whether it's through satire or simply explaining it in terms people are used to.

    Exposing politicians as corrupt or deceptive goes so far, but after a point people just throw up their hands and scream that it's too complicated and abstract, and they're all useless, and the politicians in power ride it out.. which is more or less what happened in 2014, and is very possibly what's happening now.

    In the end I reckon it's actual policies, or perceptions of policies and the effect they'll have on people's day-to-day lives, which make the difference. Australia has some really good examples of explaining complicated concepts in ways that make them relevant. eg. How do you explain the effects of something like Negative Gearing on house prices to the populace? The Project had a go, in prime time TV in a way that you'd almost certainly never see Seven Sharp or Story bother with. (facebook video link).

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to izogi,

    The media in Australia is only addressing is because the govt is bricking itself about how a manufactured bubble fits in within an economic environment where the China story is looking increasingly sketchy and potentially destructive by the hour.

    Macrobusiness has been on top of it for years and the mainstream media in Australia has only recently started to react as they’ve been largely buying into the bullshit.

    Also, nobody has tried to quantify the impacts of negative gearing on consumption and investment decisions. The lack of behavioral research into it appears to be non-existent.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    Be that as it may, it's the type of explanation of complex topics that I wish our local high profile media were providing more of. As it is, I'm not sure some of them even understand nor care about the issues themselves.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Johnson, in reply to John Palethorpe,

    New Zealanders flock to the National Party or the principle of the National Party which is the feel of steady ship politics and as few changes as possible unless it involves lowering a tax.

    John Key is the happy face of a passionately conservative ruling body, the face they were so badly needing after a succession of unfriendly charmless leaders. Our conservatives has ruled tax havens are cool. Why? It doesn't work as a conservative principle or an economic one.

    hamilton • Since Mar 2016 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to izogi,

    Sure, but a core explanation of the benefits of NG isn't actually that complex. What is more complex is understanding to which NG factors into decision variables and then modelling that into the impact on house prices.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I see Slater got diversion. Despite previous convictions for name suppression breaches. Cops and tories protecting their own, I guess.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers,

    I feel like you're being a little unfair to Duncan Garner with your opening paragraph. He's only talking about the NZ context so any mention of Iceland's PM is irrelevant. To me, his article seems like a reasonably fair synopsis of the situation so far, especially since it's aimed at a mainstream audience.

    Everything else about this situation is pretty awful though: John Key completely discrediting Nicky Hager and, by association, ICIJ. Yuck. John Key's personal non-lawyer looking more dodgy by the day. Ew! Nothing to see here. Move along!

    Unfortunately, I think we all knew there would be nothing really high-profile for NZ here, otherwise it would've come out a few weeks ago. I'm not surprised that a Panamanian law firm hasn't exposed any kiwis though.

    But that doesn't mean that there won't be problems found in the next major leak, or the one after that. These high profile massive leaks are getting more common, it seems to me.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Johnson,

    I think this is big news. All trading countries need to be confident that other trading communities are not diminishing the annual fiscal base of another nation, doing this through effectively hiding the money from the citizenry.

    Why can’t we have some grown up eyes on this ridiculous banking rort. Banking is an untouchable magic hand of freedom that can never be reformed because..banking.

    hamilton • Since Mar 2016 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Good column by the Herald's Matt Nippert on getting access to the data today:

    A small Herald team, including a data specialist capable of wrangling the entire dataset and matching it against official records, has spent the morning poring over the results. So far we've found more than a dozen people and entities which justify ongoing interest and investigation, including several facing criminal charges abroad and New Zealanders with chequered reputations who seem to be repeating old tricks.

    The Cook Islands and Niue also figure in structures which feature the names of prominent United States and United Kingdom investors. The head of a United Kingdom property investment fund worth about $1 billion is named as the shareholder of the fund, based in Asia, through Niue. The address for the ownership skips back through Niue to an address in Brazil to Panama.

    The richest person in an Eastern European country appears to have used Mossack Fonseca to safeguard his wealth and provides a contact address in Mount Eden. A member of the Russian mafia appears to have used a North Shore law firm to go into business with teacher of Japanese massage therapy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell, in reply to Marc C,

    I wonder whether Key was involved in some consultations and activities before he became PM, while he worked for Merril Lynch or so. Some research may be worthwhile to dig further into his past, and whether advice was given to some small Pacific Island governments then

    Really? After all this time you still think the PM has scandals waiting to be uncovered that will lead to his downfall?

    Would you like to buy a large bridge in Auckland? I have photos. It's really nice.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 125 posts Report Reply

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