New Zealand

Has NZ been left with a financial T-Rex?

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key has resigned.  I’m surprised at the timing – just after the Kaikoura earthquakes, and on the same day that Italy’s prime minister resigned.

It reminds me of that scene in Jurassic Park where the kids got left with T-Rex.  But let’s hold that uneasy thought for the time being.

he-left-us

Key should have resigned like he promised when it was proven that the GCSB is carrying out mass surveillance of us New Zealanders.  But when the Snowden revelations did indeed show that in 2015, nothing happened.  At least he would have had some credibility if he’d kept his word.

But he hasn’t kept his word.

For instance, he wasn’t going to raise the GST tax.   John Key’s changing opinion on GST rise.

On gay marriage – before his government passed it into law in 2013, he previously said “he did not believe there was a big demand for gay marriage in NZ and that civil unions were enough.”

Has John Key left big shoes to fill?  No, those big shoes look more like flip flops.

John Key flip flops like a girl changes clothes

His comments were flip and his neo-liberal financial leadership was a flop.

flip-flops2

So what has John Key done in the three terms he’s been in?

He raised GST to 15%, turned NZ into a tax haven for the one percent, sold NZ land to overseas investors thereby pricing our children out of the domestic housing market, signed NZ up to the TPP, sold state houses – which forced vulnerable NZ families into living in cars, and under his watch New Zealand’s gross debt has soared to a whopping half trillion dollars.

That’s what we know he’s done.  So what’s happening behind the scenes that we don’t know about?

How about New Zealand’s exposure to derivatives? 

Former Canterbury University accountancy lecturer Dr Susan Newberry, now professor of accounting at Sydney University’s business school, still keeps a fascinated eye on the “New Zealand experiment”. And some of what she sees she finds a little alarming.

Does the average Kiwi know the country’s balance sheet now has a derivatives exposure of $180b, she asks? That is rather a lot of those “financial weapons of mass destruction”.

It means the NZ tax-payer is on the hook if it all goes wrong and there is the international equivalent of a bank-imposed mortgagee sale. (Think Greece, Iceland and Ireland.)

But hey, what could go wrong?  It’s like 2008 never happened!

John Key was directly involved in the development of derivatives – the financial contracts and credit default swaps that no-one understands, which led to the toxic sub-prime housing loans, which led to the Global Financial Crisis. The likes of Merrill Lynch and the Bankers Trust profited from foreign exchange trades and derivatives speculation at the expense of national economies.

In transforming NZ into a tax haven and creating the speculative housing bubble, he’s done the same thing to NZ that he did to Ireland, when as head of global foreign exchange for investment giant Merrill Lynch he shifted a considerable amount of his business to Ireland in the mid-1990s to take advantage of a 10% tax rate for foreign investors.

Fran O’Sullivan: Key chases luck o’ the Irish

That’s what you get when you elect a banker for Prime Minister.  He’s done really well for the one percent.

Meanwhile, have we in NZ been left with a financial T-Rex?

derivatives

Other links:
The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies

Another Very Short Collection of John Key’s Lies

Trading Places: Running NZ like an investment fund

Don’t let the door hit your arse on your way out Johnny

A shaken nation

At midnight on the day globalists John Kerry (US Secretary of State) and John Key (prime minister of NZ) met in Wellington, NZ suffered another huge earthquake.  It did damage to the top part of the South Island and the capital, Wellington.

This quake was different because it was actually two huge earthquakes that happened simultaneously. Two earthquakes, that lasted two minutes, with two people dead, affecting two islands (the North and South Island) – and the land has undergone a two-metre shift south of Marlborough …with aftershocks felt in Seddon.

(The fact that Seddon is affected again is significant. I’ve explained in a previous post that the prominent statue of Richard Seddon outside NZ’s Parliament Buildings has come to represent the authority of the government in NZ. Is the nation being shaken because the government is again doing something out of its mandated authority?)

And all this has happened during a super-moon and before a huge storm.  There were also strange lights, seen flashing across the sky in Wellington while the earth shook. These lights are an extremely rare occurrence, happening in only 0.5% of earthquakes.

Strange bright lights flash across Wellington sky during earthquake

What was the reason for Kerry and Key’s meeting?  Ostensibly Kerry had stopped into NZ on his way back from a trip to observe “climate change” in Antarctica – even though NASA found that it is not possible to say whether it is warming or cooling overall, and the ice sheets aren’t melting.

The real reason he was in NZ was probably to plan a way to get the TPPA finalised before Trump quite rightly puts a kibosh on the deal.

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with John Key in Wellington with the future of TPPA on the line

Kerry and Key are not New Zealand’s friends. They are a threat to New Zealand’s sovereignty.

The TPPA has been negotiated in secret, aided by a compliant media. New Zealanders are not privy to this deal. It’s frightening.

Free trade agreements are not about jobs; they are about strengthening corporate power and maximising dividend returns to shareholders. Under the TPPA, corporations will be able to sue our government with lawsuits conducted in secret, foreign tribunals.

APEC is another globalist trade bloc designed to benefit the oligarchs.  This quake has forced John Key to delay his trip to APEC in Peru until later in the week.

Bollard, former governor of New Zealand’s central bank said “Many of the 21 APEC economies are seeing a rise in anti-globalization sentiment, and a key topic for the leaders in Peru will be on what this means for global trade.

Bollard believes the backlash against formal trade deals may lead members to conclude that APEC — which is non-legally binding, consensus-driven and takes incremental steps — is more crucial, as it works on a range of areas like food security and reducing inequality.”   Source: Leaders of TPP nations to review options with US President Obama

I shudder to think what “food security” and “equality” are going to look like.

Again I ask, is the earthquake a sign that the NZ government acting outside of its mandated authority?  The pattern of ‘two’s associated with this quake appear to be a sign, but God knows what it means.  I’m just thankful there wasn’t more loss of life.

It is significant this earthquake happened on the same day in history that New Zealand’s first governor, Governor George Grey arrived – on the 14 November 1845.

Coincidence?

Parliamentary Service has also released CCTV footage from the Speaker’s corridor, showing portraits of previous Prime Ministers swaying and banging against the walls.

http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/underneath-parliament-in-a-quake-2016111416

nz-prime-ministers-nov-2016

"From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our State,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand."

Links

Another major earthquake in New Zealand.

Leaders of TPP nations to review options with US President Obama

CERN boffins see strange … oh, wait, that’s just New Zealand moving 2m north

Enormous Earthquakes Hit Both Sides Of The Pacific And Experts Warn The San Andreas Could ‘Unzip All At Once’

A red flag?

chinese-flag-kowtowIn politics, a red flag is a symbol of socialism, communism, and left-wing politics; it has been associated with left-wing politics since the French Revolution (1789–99). (source: Wikipedia)
A red flag is also a warning symbol.

Which brings me to our national flag.  This year, we the people of NZ were subjected to a fruitless, polarising debate about changing our flag – and no-one knows why.  There had been no mandate from New-Zealand-flagus to do so.  It was called Prime minister John Key’s ‘vanity project’ and cost NZ $26 million dollars.

A two-stage binding referendum on the flag change was held in 2015 and 2016.  In 2015 we were asked to pick the design of the new flag.  Shouldn’t the first question have been whether we even wanted it changed?  NZ chose to retain the current flag in the second 2016 referendum.  So the issue is done and dusted.

BUT here’s the red flag … it turns out the communist government of China was behind the flag change.

On February 18 2016 Prime Minister John Key had a secret lunch with a select, small group of communist Chinese leaders who wanted the Union Jack on our flag gone – because of the Boxer rebellion – a war they had with Britain which happened between 1899-1901!  China needed to be told it happened over a century ago, didn’t involve NZ, and to get over themselves.  Any New Zealander not of Chinese extraction will say “we don’t care.”

What I do care about is why communist China was allowed to interfere with New Zealand’s domestic affairs – and why this meeting was not picked up by the media.  Not many New Zealander’s know about this.

Here are the few news articles I could manage to find about the meeting kept secret from the public.
Key criticised over secret flag-funding lunchKey criticised over secret flag-funding lunch
PM accused of lack of transparency over secret lunch with wealthy Chinese
John Key’s secret flag donor luncheonJohn Key’s secret flag donor luncheon

Do you see this involvement by the totalitarian dictatorship of China in our domestic affairs as a red flag?  I do.

China lost no time getting rid of the old Hong Kong flag in the 1990’s.  Did they try the same thing in NZ?

hong-kong-protest

Hong Kong protest – is it time for NZ to do the same?


Extra links:
Key and the Chinese Connection
Flag it: What else would $26m buy us?Flag it: What else would $26m buy us?

NZ government in denial over housing crisis

Auckland Housing Crisis cartoonNew Zealand has got a previously unheard of problem – homeless families are sleeping in cars, while nearly half of the houses in our largest city Auckland (49%) are being snapped up by foreign investors and then sitting there empty!  The Chinese were the biggest group.  Last year in June it was 41% of Auckland homes. 

John Key, our prime minister and former banker who worked at Merrill Lynch, glibly believed most of the investors in the property market would be locals.  It was clear the government either didn’t have a clue or didn’t care.  NZ doesn’t have a foreign buyers register or any rules around speculation on houses.

Last year a whistle-blower from the real estate industry said mainland Chinese money snapped up at least 80 per cent of residential sales in parts of Auckland in March but were nearer 90 per cent in May, 2015.  Of course the whistle blower lost his job.

Here’s the radio interview about it: Property insider: It’s bigger than you think
“Property speculation is rampant, and I believe on the strength of these numbers that offshore Chinese investors are a very significant part of what’s going on,” said Phil Twyford, the MP for Te Atatū.  When he was accused of being racist for pointing it out, he said “I’m speaking for young New Zealanders who want affordable home ownership. If we solve this problem, if we ban foreign buyers, that will make a big difference.”
Leaked data shows Chinese offshore buyers fuelling ‘rampant’ Auckland property speculation, Twyford says.

“What I’m saying is that there is a tsunami of Chinese investment headed towards international real estate markets, including New Zealand. These numbers are coming from Juwai.com, the preeminent Chinese website that markets real estate, including New Zealand real estate. There’s a whole industry marketing our houses to Chinese investors.”

There are more than 6,000 real estate agents in Auckland.
Here’s a quote from Juwai.com about their buyers,

“Property is investment of choice – a stable investment exemplifying wealth & status. Chinese buyers spent US$37 billion on international residential property in 2013. 70% pay cash for property purchases.”

It quoted there are 63 million upper-middle-class Chinese and 2.8 million high-net-worth Chinese.  Less than 1% of them can read English.

The Chinese have deeper pockets than New Zealanders.  Our children will be the tenants of Chinese landlords – if they’ll even rent to them.

And then we hear that while people sleep in cars as the city grapples with homelessness, more than 33,000 Auckland dwellings are officially classified empty.  They’re called ghost houses.” That’s the size of a NZ town.  Running on Empty: Auckland’s “ghost” house problem.

The Minister for Housing Nick Smith replied “Diddly Squat” when asked about the percentage of foreign property buyers.  In fobbing the journalist off, it appears our government favours money over people.

Diddly squat

Opinion: ‘Diddly squat’ – Govt incompetent on housing

This is an article from 2012: Bernard Hickey: Govt eyes blind to housing crisis


More links:

1949-state-house-in-taita

Homeless family: The realities of living in a van

Kids living in vans? I’m mad as hell

NZ in Panama paper leak 60,000 times

key-panama-lieHere’s a story of greed and hypocrisy.  This is what happens when a country elects a banker as prime minister. 

New Zealand is one of the highest taxed nations when it comes to income tax, and we also pay 15% GST on everything we buy.  Even children have to pay tax after the government cut children’s tax credits in 2012.

There’s no privacy protection for us when it comes to the government or IRD.

Also, under the US FACTA law (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), any NZ citizen unlucky enough to be born in the US will be reported on by the NZ government to the IRS if they try to open a bank account, or file a company return.

So that’s what happens to individuals.

But if foreign investors park their money here, no questions are asked and no tax is paid.

Our prime minister John Key got the law changed for this in 2011 when he wanted to turn NZ into a “financial hub” – like Ireland.  When he was head of Merrill Lynch’s derivatives and global foreign exchange business in London, he shifted a lot of the bank’s business to Dublin.

The result was Ireland’s financial crisis, where the clever use of tax-haven rules and a huge credit boom permitted real estate prices and construction to grow quickly before declining ever more rapidly.

Even though John Key was fully cognisant of Ireland’s collapsed banking system and financial hub collapse, he was cock-a-hoop about doing the same thing to New Zealand.

Glib, smooth and dismissive, in December 2010 Key rubbished objections to his plans and directly specified a 0% tax rate, telling the Minister of Economic Development Gerry Brownlee to deliver him a paper that had zero rating of funds.

In February 2011 Gerry Brownlee (Minister for Economic Development) delivered what he wanted, and in May 2011 the international financial “advisors” started drooling.

The law change in September 2011 to 0% tax  for foreign investors made NZ a tax haven.


When a 60 minutes report came out in 2012 about wealthy foreigners dodging tax, Peter Dunne (government lapdog minister) and John Key described it as “legitimate tax avoidance.”  Under the law John Key said that tax evasion is illegal, but tax avoidance is not.

But this is what the IRD department says to the NZ tax payer about tax avoidance:  What’s wrong with tax avoidance

Nothing got done about this issue.

Now in 2016 the birds are coming home to roost.  We have NZ trusts at the centre of Malta money scandal, and NZ is mentioned in the Panama paper leak 60,000 times.

What else are we going to find?

Prime Minister John Key’s register of interests has revealed he has a short-term deposit in a company specialising in New Zealand foreign trusts.  Source: Edwin Mitson, Business Desk, Yahoo! Finance.

He has refused to disclose his tax details.

When Key was asked if it was right that trustees did not have to tell the IRD who was behind the trust, what assets it had, its income, its beneficiaries, the residence of its settlor nor the nature of its assets, Key deflected reporters by saying they should “ask the IRD.”  Even though he was the one who demanded the tax shelter for foreign investors in 2011.

Iceland’s prime minister resigned last week after being the first major casualty of the Panama Papers leaks which revealed how the super-rich manage their money.

Will there be calls for John Key to resign if we find his hand in the cookie jar?  Unlikely.  He previously promised to resign if it was proven that the GCSB carries out mass surveillance of New Zealanders. When the Snowden revelations did indeed show that in 2015, nothing happened.


Links:

2010 Key itching for quick action on financial hub

2011 Key changed the law to extend NZ as a tax haven

New Zealand now an attractive tax location for offshore managed funds

2016 Panama papers: NZ trusts at the centre of Malta money scandal, Mossack Fonseca papers show

Panama papers: Mossack Fonseca ‘bragged about lax New Zealand tax rules’

Calls mount for tighter rules on foreign trusts as Key denies NZ a ‘tax haven’

Quote: “Whilst the PM has been shaking hands with devious financial operators around the world and promoting our tax system, and doing little to ensure its integrity, we are now known as one of the world’s ‘quiet tax havens’ as the leaked documents reveal.”

He said Key and his colleagues were doing nothing for NZ’s international reputation, with more than 12,000 trusts set up here that pay no tax on their overseas’ earnings.

Tax toll on NZ