INSANE, Dave! Occupy Dunedin STAYS in the Octagon.

DON’T MOVE. DON’T ACCEPT THE MARKET RESERVE. KEEP THE PROTEST CENTRAL AND HIGHLY VISIBLE . . . WHILE DUNEDIN CITY COUNCILLORS CONTINUE TO SELL OUR FUTURE DOWN THE TUBES.

### ODT Online Fri, 21 Oct 2011
Occupy protesters offered other site
By David Loughrey
Protesters in the Octagon have been offered an alternative site at the Market Reserve in Dunedin, a move Mayor Dave Cull said was designed to return the Octagon to all city residents. Mr Cull last night said council chief executive Paul Orders had organised a staff member to pass on the message to the group yesterday afternoon. The protesters had been invited to the council today to speak to Mr Orders, and give their response.
Read more

Images ©2011 Elizabeth Kerr

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

165 Comments

Filed under DCC, Economics, Events, Geography, People, Politics

165 responses to “INSANE, Dave! Occupy Dunedin STAYS in the Octagon.

  1. Elizabeth

    Follow Occupy Dunedin on Twitter:
    @occupydunedin

    *Twitter is open domain, you don’t have to be subscriber to read tweets.

    Email Address: occupydunedin@gmail.com

    Facebook: Occupy Dunedin

  2. Peter

    Nothing like out of sight, out of mind!

    • Elizabeth

      Chris Trotter cites Jim Anderton (then Labour Party president): “Always build your footpaths where the people walk”
      http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2011/10/encountering-resistance.html

      See Trotter’s political column in ODT today (page 17)

      • Elizabeth

        Also at ODT (page 17) today, an opinion piece by Darryl Wellington, a poet and critic living in Santa Fe, New Mexico:

        ### hispanicbusiness.com 19 Oct 2011
        Wall Street Protests Show U.S. That Class Matters
        By Darryl Lorenzo Wellington
        The movement called Occupy Wall Street has transformed the American political landscape. The protests initiated in New York have spawned many others in towns and cities around the country, as well as overseas. Haltingly, American pundits and politicians are taking note. Both have a tendency to downplay protests that address the subject of class. Many in the media first relegated the story to the back pages of the newspaper. Commentators mocked it. Republican politicians such as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney denounced, respectively, the “growing mobs” and the “dangerous class warfare.” Herman Cain, another presidential aspirant, was even harsher, saying: “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.” The protesters meanwhile kept making powerful statements with their slogan, “We are the 99 percent,” and with such chants as “Banks got bailed out. We got sold out” and “How do you fix the deficit? End the war, tax the rich.”
        Read more

  3. The stream of people coming through the Dunedin occupy has been amazing. People from ALL WALKS OF LIFE have been backing it and saying to all to stick to their guns.
    Including a Canadian from the tour boat yesterday who was right behind it.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    I too have been fascinated by the range of people who back it. The obscenity of our local situation seems to have woken up people at last. The amount of debt foisted on all of us, the disgusting riches paid out to a fortunate few. Many ordinary working people have been commenting on the salary of the first resignation from the 2nd-top tier of the pyramid of DCC managers, the payout for resigning being so much more than many people can expect for working for …… ages. Bearing in mind that “full time” employed now starts, statistically, with those working 30 hours a week. And of those working 30 hours a week I wonder how many are on broken hours, on call, and on the minimum wage. Rather a high proportion, I guess.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 22 Oct 2011
      Octagon occupation review ‘ongoing’
      By David Loughrey
      The Octagon site taken over by Occupy Dunedin will remain under “ongoing review”, with no promises from the Dunedin City Council protesters will not be moved on. Council chief executive Paul Orders yesterday gave the first indication of when the council might require the site vacated, noting it was “mindful of the need for the community as a whole to be able to access the space”. “This is particularly important given that the Octagon is booked for the upcoming Armistice Day commemoration on November 11.”
      Read more

      What’s this message attached to David Loughrey’s news item, from the ODT Online editor? “The post has been submitted for moderation and won’t be listed publicly until it has been approved.” The item appears in today’s print and digital editions of the newspaper (page 2).

  5. Peter

    I thought the Armistice Commemoration was usually held in the Exchange. If not, it could be held there. Usually when a space is ‘booked out’, another alternative venue is found.
    All this reminds me of the efforts made by the top brass in the DCC and ORC to prevent STS from holding the Town Hall meeting. Fortunately the venue had been booked and the deposit had already been paid before they got wind of the event and it was too late for them to circumvent it. The next tactic was to really pressure some of the speakers from taking part. One of them reported that they were just so ‘nice’ to him, but the intent was clear. Don’t speak.
    It seems that protest by the citizenry is very uncomfortable for some people here in Dunedin. Too bad that the consultation process has been abused so many times (not just with the stadium) and people now see it as a sham. People are left with no alternative, but to occupy spaces like the Octagon.

  6. Considering just what Armistice Day is I would have thought is would be held near a war memorial.
    But even if it is had in the Octagon I see no issue. They fought for our country so it was worth living here….

    And spot on with that last paragraph Peter.

    • Elizabeth

      ### radionz.co.nz Sunday 23 October 2011
      Radio New Zealand National 101FM
      Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw

      10:45 Notes from the South with Dougal Stevenson
      Dougal’s been down to the Octagon to talk to the ‘Occupy Dunedin’ protestors. (5′26″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

      11:05 Ideas for 23 October 2011
      2011 is shaping up to be an international year of protest with tent cities springing up in Israel, secondary school pupils occupying their schools in Chile, and hundreds of thousands of protesters taking to the streets of Europe. Chris Laidlaw talks to Mark Kurlansky the author of ‘1968: the Year that Rocked the World’ about parallels with that momentous year, and Jeremy Rose speaks to protestors in Tunis, New York, Tel Aviv, Wellington and Santiago. (52′29″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    Have you seen the list of Occupy pages on Facebook? The list goes on and on and on … so many places. And there is encouragement and support from one to the other, it’s truly a global movement.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 27 Oct 2011
      Protesters force council to check legal options
      By David Loughrey
      Time might be running out for a group of Dunedin protesters who are occupying an area in the central city, after they turned down an option of moving their protest from the Octagon. The Dunedin City Council is considering its legal options after Occupy Dunedin protesters yesterday said they were not interested in moving to the Market Reserve.
      Read more

  8. Interesting he says about free-market economics. I haven’t heard anyone talking about that myself.

    An interesting message in this video, about five minutes long http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Myqffx8Mdg4&list=PL80018E5CC93F8948&index=11&feature=plpp_video

    The banks they mention. That wouldn’t happen to be the same ones the NZ government is borrowing off would it?

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 28 Oct 2011
      English expresses empathy with protest
      By Dene Mackenzie
      Finance Minister Bill English yesterday expressed empathy with some of the ideals of the Occupy Wall Street movement, but says New Zealand has already moved to stop some of the financial excesses driving the protests. Speaking at Otago University Vote Chat, hosted by Bryce Edwards, Mr English said the Occupy Movement, particularly in New Zealand had a wide range of objectives including the end of capitalism.

      Asked by Dr Edwards whether he would be prepared to talk to the Occupy Movement in Dunedin’s Octagon, Mr English said he would, but the discussion would need to be around what would replace capitalism if it ended.

      Read more

  9. Peter

    Dave Cull needs to be careful how he handles the Occupy protest. So far, so good, but he needs to remember that he has already lost support from a fair number of his supporters, who wanted real change after the Chin Council, with his U-turn on the stadium. I suspect, from seeing how he seems to operate, he will try to judge where the wind is blowing and will jump onto that slipstream. He will be conscious he only has potentially more votes to lose, now he’s in the hot seat, if he misjudges.

  10. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 1 Nov 2011
    Octagon protesters calls on supporters
    By Hamish McNeilly
    The Occupy Dunedin movement is asking supporters to form a ring around the Octagon, after protesters were issued with eviction notices in Dunedin this afternoon. The group has until 8pm tonight to vacate the Octagon, which it has occupied since October 15.

    However a statement from the group has called on supporters to form a ring around the Octagon “to tell the council that the Octagon belongs to the people of Dunedin”. A meeting would be held at the site at 7pm to gauge reaction, with several [residents] indicating to the ODT they would not be moved.
    Read more

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-Dunedin/141220149310691?sk=info
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-Dunedin/141220149310691?sk=wall

    Channel 9 says: “Upon issue of the notice, the DCC’s offer to use the Market Reserve as an alternative location has been withdrawn.” Ch9 Link

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    There is a strong feeling that the police raid will take place at sparrowfart tomorrow morning. That is what has happened at other Occupy sites where attempts have been made to close down the movement.

    • Elizabeth

      Spokesman Anton Stiles said in discussion with the DCC, the group had offered to move to the city’s new Forsyth Barr Stadium – an offer that had been turned down by the council.

      ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 21:38 01/11/2011
      Occupy Dunedin protesters refuse to move
      By Wilma McCorkindale and Michelle Cooke
      Protesters camped on Dunedin’s Octagon have pledged to ignore a Dunedin City Council (DCC) trespass notice to be off the site by 8pm tonight. As the Dunedin Town Hall clock struck 8pm, there was no sign of officers moving in to enforce the eviction, in spite of an expectation police might seek to remove the protesters. The group, which has created a tent city on the centre city domain in sympathy with the US Occupy Wall St movement against worldwide economic inequalities and financial mismanagement, issued a press statement saying it would stay put.
      Read more

  12. Phil

    That’s a brilliant idea. Then the stadium could claim it as a legitimate venue booking, which would make a nice change from the continuing “watch this space” comments that are supposed to be fooling people.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 2 Nov 2011
      Octagon trespass notice ignored
      By Hamish McNeilly
      The Occupy Dunedin group remains camped in the Octagon this morning despite being issued with a trespass notice yesterday. The trespass notice was ignored by protesters and not enforced by police last night, exasperating Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull.
      The Occupy Dunedin group, ranging from toddlers to pensioners, marched around the Octagon shortly before the 8pm deadline, chanting “Shame on the 1%”, and “shame on the DCC”.
      Read more

  13. “The Occupy Dunedin movement had links with the Mana Party, the Unite union and the International Socialist organisation,” he said.

    No, wrong, anyone can speak there. And that included someone from the Labour Party early on in the protest.

    All the more mainstream parties seem to be dodging the whole issue.

    WHY?

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    If they checked the people involved they’d find all manner of shocking links – Mac users, Rugby deniers, lapsed vegans…. We need media who are ready to dig below the surface to expose the sinister drivers behind this squad of anti-lawn trouble makers posing as legitimate protestors.

  15. JimmyJones

    wirehunt, I said over here that the Occupy Dunedin movement had links with the Mana Party, the Unite union and the International Socialist Organisation (and the Greens). You didn’t disagree with me before, so why do you disagree now. I don’t see how you can, because the flags and banners were clearly visible. Read what I said before and check wikipedia to verify what these people really are.
    By the way, where have the minor lefty parties/groups gone. I can’t see their flags anymore. Perhaps they don’t want to be seen to be provoking violence as a way to gain publicity.

  16. Because you’re pushing something Jimmy. If you want I’ll get the flash words out. This is a non-partisan movement. The idea is to change the way bubbernment think.
    Yes there’s extremists there, but then I talk to people backing nats, labour, greens, mana that stop for a chat. Funny thing, they all come across as extremists. Go figure….

    Oh they wanted the flags there and more too. But read above.

  17. Occupy is an an anti-capitalist movement, and the views of its supporters are left-wing. Others may agree that life is tough for a lot of people in the world today. But the question is what can be done about it. Governments have tried to improve things by borrowing and spending large sums of money, but the resulting debt has made the situation worse.
    It is about time that Occupy told us what political system they are want to impose on us.

  18. Anti capitalist? That’s what the media is saying. But not the people there or me.

    It’s not anti capitalism, it’s anti corporate greed.
    MASSIVE difference.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 2 Nov 2011
      Ejecting Octagon protesters ‘not straightforward’: police
      Dunedin police say removing the Occupy Dunedin protesters from the Octagon “is not a straightforward matter’ and any action must be both reasonable and lawful.
      Read more

  19. In New Zealand, people are free to buy the products and services that corporations and businesses offer in the marketplace. If they make a profit, how is this greed?

  20. Is this the same market where corporations take manufacturing offshore?
    Is this the same corporations that stick the knife into local companies?
    Go and even try to buy NZ made now. (Good luck)

    But these places haven’t done it for greed. No. There is some other reason. Care to fill us in on what that reason is?

    • Elizabeth

      In 2007-2008 the world economic system was brought to its knees in large part by a variant mutation of the world banking system in which “sophisticated” financial instruments were devised to create obscene profits for a tiny elite. The bankers and brokers responsible continued to receive huge bonuses even as governments – using the taxes of everyday citizens – bailed them out. At the same time the taxation systems of many countries continued to advantage these elites and their powerful friends in business or government.

      ### ODT Online Wed, 2 Nov 2011
      Opinion: Smoko
      Increasing inclination to question ‘the system’
      By Simon Cunliffe
      Alan Joyce, the chief executive of Qantas, in the news over a shock lockout of airline employees and grounding of the fleet thought to have cost the airline millions of dollars, has trimmed the Aussie carrier of more than 1000 workers this year. His ostensible reason? The airline is uncompetitive and losing money – $200 million a year in its international operations, he says.
      In fact, across the entirety of its activities, Qantas is one of the more competitive airlines in the world and last year earned profits of $552 million. So from its perspective, the board of directors could justify rewarding Mr Joyce, even as industrial relations in the company reached a new low. As the chief executive played hardball over staff conditions and remuneration, they awarded him a 71% salary increase – to $A5 million.
      Read more

      • Simon Cunliffe is deputy editor (news) at the Otago Daily Times.

  21. I wonder if this was a bank NZ bubbernment dealt with? Interesting they went under betting on the Greek/euro bailout….

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/31/news/companies/mf_global/

    • Elizabeth

      The stand-off continued yesterday, with Dunedin City Council chief executive Paul Orders saying the council’s position was “clear” and the onus was on police to enforce council bylaws.

      ### ODT Online Thu, 3 Nov 2011
      Country’s eyes on city over Octagon evictions
      By Chris Morris
      The eyes of other New Zealand councils are on Dunedin as the city grapples with the legality of evicting anti-greed protesters occupying the Octagon. Wellington City Council staff yesterday confirmed events in Dunedin would be a test case for dealing with their own occupation, while Christchurch and Auckland councils were also monitoring developments.
      Read more

      ****

      ### ODT Online Thu, 3 Nov 2011
      Legality of eviction considered by police
      By Hamish McNeilly
      Police are considering their legal options with regard to Occupy Dunedin, while group members maintain they are not trespassing or camping but exercising their right to protest peacefully. There may not be sufficient basis to arrest and charge anyone with offences under the Trespass Act.
      Read more

      • Occupy Dunedin would hold its first public march at 11.11am on Saturday, November 5, starting from the Octagon.

  22. Peter

    I haven’t read any Camping bylaws, but I’d be surprised if they could remove the protestors under this pretext. Camping would be defined in court as a recreational activity, I would have thought, and clearly the presence of the protestors is not recreational, but political.
    To what degree would the NZ Bill of Rights have a higher status than a local council bylaw? More I would have thought, but I might be wrong.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 3 Nov 2011
      Octagon protesters offered compromise deal
      Protesters occupying Dunedin’s Octagon have been offered a deal that would allow them to remain indefinitely. The compromise would see the Occupy Dunedin encampment reduced to just one tent and an information kiosk, but with both – and any protesters who wished – allowed to remain on a “long-term” basis. The offer was contained in a letter from Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull delivered to protesters this afternoon.
      Read more

      DCC Public Notice:
      Compromise offered to Occupy Dunedin (PDF, 90.8 KB)
      This is a copy of the Mayoral offer of a compromise solution offered to Occupy Dunedin on 3 Nov 2011.

      Read other DCC notices to Occupy Dunedin

  23. For the ratepayers……. I’ll note the Mayoral bit at the top was in gold.

    Seems we’re richer than we thought…..

    On a side note, I gotta meet you one day Elizabeth. There isn’t that many copies of that, or was it borrowed? I know it’s on a site or two…

    • Elizabeth

      ### ch9.co.nz November 4, 2011 – 6:26pm
      Bill of Rights to outweigh City Council Bylaws in Occupy Dunedin protest
      A local legal expert that specialises in the Bill of Rights believes the Dunedin City Council and Police could find themselves in hot water if they forcibly shut down the Occupy Dunedin protest. It seems the Occupiers right to protests under the Bill of Rights outweighs City Council Bylaws, however the City Council are making sure if the protesters are in the Octagon, the Octagon isn’t go to be a holiday paradise.
      Video

      • Elizabeth

        Vandals or protesters?

        ### ODT Online Sat, 5 Nov 2011
        Graffiti blamed on protest sympathisers
        By Chris Morris
        Major bank branches on Dunedin’s main street are being targeted by protesters aligning themselves with the Occupy Dunedin movement. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull yesterday confirmed he had received a complaint from one George St bank on Thursday, after it and surrounding businesses were targeted with anti-greed graffiti for the third time in two weeks.

        Bank staff and nearby businesses approached by the ODT yesterday either declined to comment or denied any knowledge of the graffiti and vandalism problems.

        Read more

        ### ODT Online Sat, 5 Nov 2011
        Noisy nights of footpath-fixing work
        By Chris Morris
        Anti-greed protesters occupying Dunedin’s Octagon might need to invest in some earplugs. The Octagon is about to become a construction zone, with Dunedin City Council contractors set to begin night work to resurface footpaths in the area on Sunday. Council contract engineer Chris Hasler said the paving repair work would be carried out each Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night, between 8pm and 8am, for the next three weeks.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 5 Nov 2011
          Police keep eye on potential Octagon unrest
          By Matthew Haggart
          Police are keeping a “watching brief” on potential conflict between “anti-group” elements opposed to the Occupy Dunedin movement, after a planned protest against the movement fell through today. Inspector Alastair Dickie said police received information today an “anti-group” demonstration was timed to take place at 1pm at the Octagon. ”There were calls which went out via the internet for an anti-group to protest against [the occupiers]. We though this had the potential to become a conflict, so have monitored the situation,” he said.
          Read more

          Tweet (4 Nov 2011):
          @whatifdunedin @occupydunedin RT @ryanhellyer Deoccupy the Octagon… on.fb.me/v9aWVv. Time for Dunedinites to take back our Octagon! #occupydunedin

          ****

          ### ODT Online Sat, 5 Nov 2011
          False start for Occupy protest march
          By Matthew Haggart
          A planned march at the Octagon to highlight the cause of the Occupy Dunedin movement did not proceed today. A handful of supporters and a police contingent of three officers showed up to the Octagon for the 11.11am start of the demonstration. They were informed the march was not going ahead given “an advertising deadline” to promote the event had been missed. Spokesman Kieran Trass said the planned 11.11 march would instead take place on November 11.
          Read more

  24. The Thursday night one was ‘interesting’. The cops came earlier in the afternoon but protesters carried on taking care of him. Then he came back later and made a real hash of it.

    It’s been rather interesting seeing the state some people get themselves into around Dunners. If anything it’s taken a load off the cops having Occupy there as they have been ‘caring’ as much as possible for several well gone Dunedinists…..

    • Elizabeth

      ### nzherald.co.nz 5:30 AM Sunday Nov 6, 2011
      Herald on Sunday – Editorial
      Protests voice of wider unease
      As police and the city council in Dunedin wrestle with the niceties of whether city bylaws take precedence over the Bill of Rights Act, encampments continue to spring up around the world under the common banner of “Occupy” and are now in 70 major cities and at almost 1000 sites worldwide. Some criticism has concentrated on protesters’ perceived double standards, charging them with enjoying the fruits of capitalism (because they wear clothes and shoes and eat food manufactured by global corporations) while presuming to deride it as unsustainable and corrupt.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Sun, 6 Nov 2011
        Business
        Banks’ profits inflame critics
        By Dene Mackenzie
        The banking system in New Zealand became a political issue this week when the Green Party co-leader, Russel Norman, accused the “big four” of strip mining the economy. The ANZ result seemed to be the last straw for Green Party co-leader Russel Norman, coming so soon after the results from Westpac and BNZ which showed improved profits. The record profits posted by ANZ bank highlighted the ongoing weakness of having 95% of New Zealand’s banking industry owned by Australians, he said.
        Read more

  25. Both interesting articles Elizabeth. How much is the deficit? Isn’t it around that number?

  26. Hype O'Thermia

    Won’t someone please remove the sticker off NZ’s back, the one that reads “I’m stoopid. Rip me off then kick me in the bum.”
    Or is that no longer possible, is it much like the old story about mice who couldn’t find one to tie a bell round the cat’s neck?
    Left turn, right turn, does it still have to be this way?

  27. Remembering our leader’s background…..

  28. Just did some numbers (roughly) they came out at $1,215 per household per year is going to Aussie in profit payout.

    The math: $9b divided by $4m, divided by five years, x 2.7 people per household. Does this look right, can someone confirm please?

  29. JimmyJones

    That looks correct, wirehunt, except that I don’t agree with Green leader Russel Nornan’s figure of $8.9 billion. He forgets that New Zealanders own a big chunk of those Australian banks. That means that some of the $8.9b stays here. And some profits from the Australian part of the business get paid to the NZ owners also.
    Russel Nornan is trying to scare us with big numbers, but there is nothing to show that the big banks overcharge their customers or underpay their workers. Hard for the Octagon Tent-people to believe, I guess.
    More discussion at the ODT here >> ANZ reports $1bn profit

  30. Peter

    Jimmy. You say, ‘There is nothing to show that the big banks overcharge their customers or underpay their workers.’
    One could agree with your comment or not. For myself, I don’t really know. In the end, this is more an opinion – or as Richard (bless him) used to say, an own fact!

  31. Maybe this is a good indicator then, old article but the point is why are they getting huge pay rises yet the staff have to fight for 3%

    “Annual reports out this week from National Australia Bank (NAB), ANZ and Westpac, show their respective New Zealand CEOs – the BNZ’s Andrew Thorburn, ANZ’s Jenny Fagg and Westpac’s George Frazis – were paid a combined A$9.41 million in the year to September. That’s up from A$5.5 million last year although Frazis joined Westpac half way through the last financial year, in March 2009.”

    From http://www.interest.co.nz/news/51318/anz-bnz-and-westpac-ceos-paid-combined-nz12-million-finsec-floats-idea-executive-salary-controls
    Which was the first I clicked on, old but interesting numbers.

  32. JimmyJones

    Yes, I agree Peter. I guess to determine overcharging or underpaying you would have to compare them to the NZ owned banks or other countries. Please don’t think that a big profit is proof of overcharging or underpaying, it might mean that they have lots of happy customers or some clever-dick futures traders.
    wirehunt, the pay of the CEO doesn’t tell us whether the other workers are highly or lowly paid. They must be fairly satisfied because they took the job and they all get up each morning and go to work.

  33. Hype O'Thermia

    Going to work demonstrates nothing regarding satisfaction with pay and conditions unless for large numbers of the workers there exist practicable options for employment in better workplaces, and by the look of the unemployment stats that is not the case.

  34. Interesting what ANZ is up to…..

    “ANZ have been progressively increasing work output from offshore offices. ANZ’s Bangalore office has been operational since 1989, making it one of the first organisations to employ IT staff based in India. ANZ employs around 4,800 staff in Bangalore, India.[10] 1500 IT positions, 2000 positions in Payments and Institutional Operations and International and High Value Services and 1300 positions in Operations Personal Banking have been shifted from Melbourne to India. In 2006, ANZ predicted that by 2010, over 2000 jobs would have been shifted from Australia to Bangalore.”

    I used to bank with National, Jimmy, till I busted them fair and square RIPPING ME OFF with bank fees that I shouldn’t have been paying.
    But their profits will be up even more next year won’t they, winding down the National bank should get rid of a bunch of staff and buildings etc. And hell, they should almost be able to give the remaining staff a pay CUT, what with all the unemployed bank workers that will be around….

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Mon, 7 Nov 2011
      Protesters turn deaf ear to contractors
      Hardy Occupy Dunedin protesters stayed put last night despite the din generated by nearby workmen. A handful of protesters went about their business as Dunedin City Council contractors began lifting and scraping paving bricks at 9pm in preparation for a concrete cutting tool to be used later in the night.
      Read more

      ****

      ### ODT Online Mon, 7 Nov 2011
      Seeds sown for Octagon regrowth
      Occupy Dunedin protesters have started a grass-growing operation in the Octagon. Up to 100 occupants set up camp in the Octagon three weeks ago and their presence has killed off a large patch of lawn on the public space. Spokesman Keiran Trass said grass seeds were sown on Saturday morning and the area had been roped off to protect it.
      Read more

  35. JimmyJones

    wirehunt, you quote someone saying that some jobs have been shifted from Australia to India. I presume that you think that the Australian workers are worse off. I think that you are jumping to conclusions – just because some jobs get moved to Bangalore, doesn’t mean that there will be a reduction in the Australian workforce. I see that between the 2010 and 2011 financial years that the Australian workforce increased (23,633 to 24,162). It seems to be a win for workers in both Australia and Bangalore. Do you not see this as a positive thing?
    The representatives of Mana and ISO are fundamentally hateful and pessimistic and will try to trick you into being like them. The rest of us are more optimistic and less paranoid. Join us; we are the 99.9%.

  36. But I’m not like them Jimmy. I in fact can think and do for myself.

    Aussies doesn’t want to see these jobs going overseas, just like us in NZ don’t.
    I work in Aussie a lot (although not in the last 18 months)
    Their tax take will be down a huge amount, the reason is simple. The people I work with there do an average of 65-70 hours per week and sometimes more, but not in the last 18 months they haven’t. Those that are working are in workshops and are lucky to get 35 hours a week. There is also plenty of self employed in this lot who aren’t on the dole but haven’t been earning. The hidden number, and it’s hidden here to would be very surprising to see.
    So there is a large skilled workforce standing around with not much to do, but backhanders are going on along with other behind closed doors thing’s and workers are being bought in on the cheap OR the work is being taken to them.
    Refer NZ government allowing train contracts to go overseas.

    So we are being asked to be competitive with these offshore workforces but the playing field is not level.
    Corporate profits are up because prices in ‘first world’ are high but they are producing these products in second/third world countries where costs are a lot lower.

    Notice something here? How long do you think this can last?

  37. Elizabeth

    ### guardian.co.uk Sunday 30 October 2011
    Business: Heather Stewart’s economics comment
    They may be saying it in a kooky way, but the St Paul’s protesters are right
    By Heather Stewart – The Observer

    What the Occupy London crew has correctly identified is that the relationship between finance and the rest of the economy is seriously awry.

    Gathering outside their tents in the shadow of St Paul’s soaring facade, the Occupy London protestors are a motley crowd, with their bagpipes, dogs and earnest discussion groups at the “University of Tent City”, but their anger is heartfelt. Three years on from the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the emergency nationalisation of large parts of Britain’s banking system, the heavy cost of the credit crunch to the economy is still being felt. As the Treasury imposes the hardest public spending cuts in living memory, unemployment has hit mid-90s levels and economic recovery has stalled. Yet, as sharply dressed financiers slip in and out of the bars and coffee shops of Paternoster Square, the protesters can see all around them that it’s business as usual in the City. Bonuses are back; London house prices are defying gravity, buoyed up by salaries out of line with the rest of the country; and many of the traders who retreated temporarily to their wine cellars are back at their desks.
    Read more

    This article appeared on page 2 of today’s ODT World Focus supplement.

  38. Elizabeth

    ### guardian.co.uk Sunday 30 October 2011
    The protesters seem more adult than politicians and plutocrats
    By Andrew Rawnsley – The Observer

    With a few nylon tents and some amateurish banners, the Occupy movement has rattled the establishment.

    The mayor of London demands a law against it to stop tent villages “erupting like boils” across the capital. If you lived like Boris, you too might be a bit paranoid about boils. The prime minister interrupts a trip to Australia to announce that the government is poised to intervene. Meantime, the Church of England is split down the aisle about whether the Christian thing is to embrace the protesters encamped on the doorstep of its cathedral – after all, St Paul was a tent-maker and Christ had a robust approach to moneychangers – or to join forces with the mammonites who run the City of London and have the protest camp evicted. Much of the mainstream media side with the establishment by dismissing them as an incoherent and unrepresentative fringe. Well-paid television interviewers sneer that the protesters are spoilt brats while grand columnists scoff that they will achieve nothing.
    Read more

    This article appeared on page 3 of today’s ODT World Focus supplement.

  39. “The result, according to the latest report by Incomes Data Services: Britain’s top executives gave themselves a 49% increase in their salaries, benefits and bonuses in the past year. It does not even occur to the business and financial elite that it might be good old cynical public relations to moderate their greed while so many of their fellow citizens are suffering the consequences of corporate follies……..”

    • Elizabeth

      ### idealog.co.nz 7 November 2011 at 3:59 pm
      Sustain
      Who are the Occupy Wall Street protestors? You might be surprised
      By Deirdre Robert
      The Occupy Wall Street movement, and the ‘We are the 99%’ spinoff it inspired, still remains a bit of an unknown quantity. Its popularity, however, continues to spread around the globe with protests popping up in more than 80 countries. But if your assumptions are that it’s no more than a group of pot-smoking, unemployed lefty hippies with nothing better to do, think again.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Police have announced they will not evict Occupy campers from the Octagon. (via RNZ News at noon)

        ### ODT Online Wed, 9 Nov 2011
        Police refuse to evict occupiers
        By Chris Morris
        Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says he is “completely at a loss” after police yesterday ruled out enforcing trespass notices that would have forced Occupy Dunedin protesters to quit their Octagon encampment. Dunedin-Clutha area commander Inspector Greg Sparrow issued a brief statement late yesterday, confirming police would not act on the trespass notices issued to the protesters by council staff last week. Police had been considering their legal position for the past week, but Insp Sparrow yesterday concluded the trespass notices did not meet “the test of balancing the rights and freedoms of all parties”.
        Read more

  40. That will put the cat amongst the pigeons!

  41. Hype O'Thermia

    I think Our Dave’s been kicked where it really hurts – in the ego. Nowt’s so vengeful as a Big Fish with wounded pride.

  42. Hype O'Thermia

    So security guards can do what – an estimate will do, I’m that puzzled – to earn their pay (from our rates, as if any of us needs reminding)? March around looking staunch and saying “Go away or we’ll be very very cross”?

  43. Hype O'Thermia

    You mischievous devil, Elizabeth – you used the infamous phrase “call the dogs off”!

  44. JimmyJones

    Poor Dave, either he looks like a violent persecutor of smelly hippies or else he looks feeble and useless. So far his idle threats have made him look feeble. A messy confrontation would be a dream come true for the tent-people. I think, however, that they are tired of waiting because it looks like there are only about ten still there.

  45. Hype O'Thermia

    “Smelly hippies”? Have you been there and talked with some of them? Doesn’t sound like it.

    • Elizabeth

      Protesters expect boost
      One of the protesters Bert Holmes says he expects more people will join the occupation in light of the police decision. “I would believe that there would be more active support from within the community who potentially saw the trespass notice as something negative,” he says.
      RNZ News Link

  46. JimmyJones

    No, Hype O’Thermia, I haven’t talked to them. I can see that some of them don’t look like smelly hippies, but they all deserve insulting names because of the lack of honesty about who they are and their political purposes.
    Bert Holmes deserves a special mention (as a Green party official pretending to be politically neutral).

    I have some questions:
    – Why did the national organisers decide to remove all political banners
    – Why did the Mana tent-people resist removing their banners
    – How were they persuaded to comply
    – Apart from supplying Green party staff member Bert (as spokesman), what other assistance has the party provided
    – How many tent-people are now attending the daily meetings
    – How many tents are occupied at night
    – Apart from election campaigning (for the left and for specific leftist parties) what do they hope to achieve. Last I heard they were undecided
    – I have assumed that the main nationwide organisers are Matt McCarten and John Minto (Mana & Unite) with help from the Green party NZ, is this correct?

    • Elizabeth

      When you’ve got a spare moment JimmyJones, Occupy Dunedin I’m sure would assist you to obtain the answers. They’re fairly welcoming sorts. I don’t care about their party affiliations. People in the street waving party political leaflets or door knocking offend me more.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ch9.co.nz November 9, 2011 – 6:26pm
        Do you believe Occupying the Octagon is a good way to get a message across?
        The Occupation of the Octagon has been going on for about a month, with supporters and opponents on both side of the group’s cause. But how many people know what they’re actually protesting about? The 9 Local News Word on the Street team hit the Octagon today to ask if you believe Occupying the Octagon is a good way to get a message across.
        Video

  47. Ok. If anyone needed proof that Cull is thick this is it. Why he thinks local law is above national law has me beat.

    And we’ll be paying the bill for how many lawyers an hour????

  48. Jimmy, have you been to any of the election ‘forums’ being held around the place?
    I went to one last night in Mosgiel. You want to know something? They are ALL, every last one of them saying the same thing. Better NZ, better education, better health, blah blah blah. They don’t even totally disagree on how to get there.
    When I got up at the end and asked a question NOT ONE OF THEM ANSWERED IT!! Yes their mouths moved and words spilled out. But no answer.
    Then they wonder why I gave them a roasting.

    The question was rather simple (and there is an interesting story that happened afterwards). But my question was “What are they all going to do about big companies and corporations dodging tax?”

    The way I worked out that question? 50% of dairy farmers said they ran at a loss, 62% said they made under $20,000 WTF?????????? This isn’t the same farmers that had yet another record payout we’re talking about is it? YES!! Now you’ve gotta ask your, that dog is getting a real hard time at the moment…..

    Oh, that wee side story. After giving them a roasting and listening to the non answers the meeting finished. First person up to me was an ex farmer, “yes we have some ‘work-arounds’ but don’t go telling everyone that….” He was in fact quite shocked I’d even revealed that much.

    Now this is just one business ripping the guts out of the country, so add how many others to the list (banks $8.9 billion GONE) +? +? +? and then wonder why the country is stuffed. Is this really rocket science? We, and by WE I mean EVERYONE has to pay tax. Or no one. Which is it??

    On the political, since you’ve pigeon holed me, I wasn’t going to vote (I am researching a no confidence vote still). But after listening last night the democrats will be it if I do. They get fractioning and what it’s doing to our country. That one thing is why we are here.

    And yet another side issue, but very relevant to What if? One of them was also talking about getting rid of all local body debt. Gone.

  49. JimmyJones

    wirehunt, I went to the election meeting at the art gallery on Monday. There were some different aproaches to fixing the economy – the christian guy said trust in Jesus and have lots of babies; the Alliance people will make everything free. I don’t think Social Credit has the answer; they think our reserve bank can print an endless supply of $ without any bad effects. If it worked everyone would be doing it.

    How do you know our big companies are dodging tax. I know that Telecom and ANZ (NZ) pay normal amounts of tax. How many do you think aren’t paying their fair share?
    I think that your farming figures are out of date. Last time this was discussed, most people didn’t consider that farmers have costs (as well as revenues). Tax is paid on profit not revenues. Profit = sales (revenue) – costs.
    Do you think that farmers don’t pay enough tax? Why?

  50. Hype O'Thermia

    Isn’t there a way IRD / fraud investigators / WINZ / drug squad gets onto cheats by comparing their lifestyle (cars, property, o’seas travel etc etc) with their “official” income? If I noticed a farmer’s family with a classy new go-to-town motor with a towbar, and shop-bought clothes and the kind of hairstyling that doesn’t come cheap and needs frequent upkeep, and kids in private school uniforms, and a declared income like a solo parent’s, I’d be asking a question or 2. Wouldn’t you? Aren’t the authorities able to collate lifestyle expenditure information and compare it with income where there seems to be an anomaly?

  51. It’s not that simple Hype, even though really it is. But you’re right.

    However, what the farmers tend to do is if they’re looking like having a tax ‘problem’ (and this goes for others too) they might buy another farm, tractor, helicopter, business, so hiding it from the taxman. Or in fact getting money back off them with the negative gearing etc. But I’m not an accountant and don’t know the finer details. If however you pay big bucks to one, or some of them, you too would possibly not pay much. That accountant’s bill of course is the first thing off the tax. Then you might go get a trust, just like John Key has, because that’s another work-around.

  52. Hype O'Thermia

    Yes wirehunt, I get what you’re saying but they are still living way more conspicuously comfortable lives than people on weekly wages, even though their declared income is about the same amount. To make it convincing they’d have to be shopping at Pak-a-sad for baked beans on special and six-packs of 2 minute noodles and wearing polyester that’s seen better days.

  53. Mike

    Jimmy: only companies pay tax on their profits, ordinary people, you and I, pay tax on our revenue. The cocky who’s put his house, his farm, his petrol, … into his holding company understands this, it’s how he can claim poverty while raking it in from Fonterra .. it’s why the silly notion of corporate personhood is a sham.

  54. JimmyJones

    Wrong, Mike. Individuals pay tax on their profits. Individuals that incur expenses in earning their income get a tax deduction just like Telecom. For most employees, their employer pays for all the work related expenses and so all of their pay is taxable. Some employees have to pay for their own tools, union fees, safety gear etc. These are a cost to them and reduce their net pay (profit). Tax is payable on the amount left after expenses.

    Who is it that you people think is not paying enough tax? Some farmers? most farmers? all companies? And why do you think this? Every time you believe a slogan on an ISO banner or listen to the man from Mana, you will be wrong; and if you can’t back up your claims with facts, you will look foolish.

  55. Hype O'Thermia

    JimmyJones, putting in writing “if you can’t back up your claims with facts, you will look foolish” is the kind of thing that not uncommonly comes back and bites the writer on the bum. You not uncommonly put your name to various assertions and opinions, demonstrating that you are not risk-averse. Sometimes the courage of one’s convictions is no substitute for kevlar underpants.

  56. JimmyJones

    Yes Hype O’Thermia, courage is never enough (easily confused with overconfidence). I just hope that I am shielded by a few facts; and if that doesn’t hold, I hope that the bites don’t hurt too much.

  57. Mike

    Jimmy: try and write off your commuting costs, the cost of a suit, the food it takes to power your body while you work – all the costs of being an employee – with the IRD – they will laugh at you. But my business can write off equivalent things: a company car, a new coat of paint on the building, electricty etc. Businesses get all these write offs and a lower marginal tax rate – government treats them better than people.

    Here’s a common case: if I own a house and have a mortgage I can’t claim my mortgage interest or rates as expenses on my taxes, if I have a company that owns an apartment building I can (and rent one to myself effectively passing on that tax write off).

    Now I’m technically part of the “1%” I own a business, but, despite the regular pleadings from my accountant, I don’t play those silly tax games (and given the IRD recently coming down hard on various professionals I’m feeling very glad I didn’t).

  58. JimmyJones

    Mike, you haven’t shown that there is a difference (company vs employee). Commuting costs might be a grey area, but if you travel to work in a company car then I guess that that part should be subject to fringe benefit tax. Having breakfast or lunch shouldn’t be a valid expense for anyone. Any worker that needs special clothing (a suit, even) should be able to claim a deduction. The expenses you listed for your business look like valid business expenses. Rent or interest on a mortgage on a building, which is intended to make an income, is tax deductible for individuals or companies – and not deductible if it is just your home.
    As far as I know the company tax rate (28 or 30% or similar) is higher than what most individuals pay. I think you have to be a real fat-cat rich-prik to pay more than that.
    To me it looks like: one law for them, and the same law for us.

  59. Mike

    Corporate income tax is 28%, the high personal marginal rate is 33% the next highest rate is 30% – anyone earning over $48k is paying a higher marginal rate than companies do.

    ANZ may have paid a lot of tax last year, but they didn’t pay their fair share.

    There’s lots of incentives for those who own companies to game the system, and lots of accountants who want to show them how – I think mine thought I was a fool for turning his suggestions down apparently morality is a liability in NZ business.

    Really though I think you are missing my main point – things like food, clothing and housing are equivalent to things that a company gets to write off in effect a person is taxed on their income while a company is taxed on their profit. Many countries get around this issue by offering real humans a “personal exemption” which means the first X$ is tax free – here we’ve simplified our system so much it has become regressive.

    BTW I’ve done very well from Key’s tax cut for the rich but I’d rather not have, just like the stadium I think that borrowing billions to give tax cuts to the wealthy is a false economy we will be paying for for years. I think it was a selfish mean spirited move to pay off his supporters; done by someone who has worked in an end of the financial markets where long term thinking is frowned on.

  60. James

    I was going to get slightly distracted by some of the small-scale ways in which in which individuals don’t get a fair chomp of the saveloy (e.g., some business people who get their families clothed for free due to purchasing legitimate business expenses from certain suppliers).
    However, the most obvious way to minimise tax paid is to reinvest profit into the business*, reducing the current taxable profit. In the mean time, the value of the business hopefully grows as a result, and when the business is sold, the capital gain is not taxed. Erk. It sounds like I’m arguing for a capital gains tax. Hah!

    *Often the reinvestment will be for capital purchases, which only reduce profit incrementally over time via depreciation or interest costs, but do still reduce current tax paid, increase the value of the asset, and should also increase future profit.

  61. JimmyJones

    Mike, ANZ (NZ)’s 2011 taxable income was $1750m and resulted in $507m tax to pay. The effective tax rate is 29.0% so it looks like they are paying their fair share. How much do you expect them to pay?

    Companies and self-employed have more opportunity to avoid tax than employees. Some of them might avoid paying tax and break the law, but I think you are claiming that there is some fundamental or legal bias against wage-earners.

    You keep saying that “a person is taxed on their income while a company is taxed on their profit”, but I have said that companies and wage-earners are treated the same under the tax law. Specifically, expenses incurred in earning an income are tax deductible for each type. Most wage-earners don’t have to pay any expenses and can’t claim any tax deduction; but some do.

    You are wrong when you say “things like food, clothing and housing are equivalent to things that a company gets to write off” because you are saying that personal expenditure is equivalent to a company’s expenses incurred in earning an income. You need a better example. You all seem quite desperate to find some scapegoat that will somehow prove that we are all victims of the wealthy and the corporations.

  62. Mike

    I expect a fair share would be the same as a human earning the same amount 33% not 4% less.

    I don’t want to do away with corporations – I own one after all – I do want them to be less evil, more human scaled and to be less involved in the concentration of wealth – no one really deserves a million dollar salary.

    The ANZ is a particular case in NZ the aussie banks suck billions out of our economy this is not good long term it’s one reason we don’t have as much capital available to grow our economy.

  63. JimmyJones

    James, claiming a tax deduction for clothing your family sounds illegal to me. Both individuals and corporates sometimes do illegal things.
    Your method of reducing tax paid looks like a hopeless failure. It is very common for profits to be reinvested into the business, but the usual purpose is to enlarge the business and increase the profit. The consequence of more profit is more tax paid.
    By the way, all profits are taxed before paid to the owners or reinvested.

  64. Mike

    What James suggests is one reason why farmers cry “poor” and then retire to be well off – their house is owned by the farm corporation, so are their vehicles, a lot of meat probably comes from the land – money gets reinvested in buying and improving land and when they retire the bulk of their profit comes in the form of capital gains.

    Profits are taxable in NZ but (unlike the rest of the western world) capital gains aren’t – this causes distortions in the way we do business – convert your profit into a capital gain (even if you lose 10-20% of it in the process) and voila! free money (not really free – it means the rest of us must pay higher taxes to offset your free lunch)

  65. JimmyJones

    Mike, have you stopped claiming that “a person is taxed on their income while a company is taxed on their profit”.

    Also I don’t know any farmers, but I haven’t heard them complaining about being poor. So, who says they are complaining (did I miss something)? and who says they are poor? If wirehunt’s farming figures are from 2009 then they are too old to bother with.

    You say that “their house is owned by the farm corporation, so are their vehicles, a lot of meat probably comes from the land”. Are you trying to say that farmers are avoiding paying fringe benefit tax? If so it looks like you have no evidence. “Phill Gough told me so” doesn’t count.

    The “money [that] gets reinvested in buying and improving land” is all tax paid, by the way, so I ask what the fukc has it got to do with you what a farmer spends his money on. All farmers deserve to retire well off (with some capital gains) because they all work bloody hard; a lot harder than the Octagon layabouts, loosers, users, street-kids and druggies that don’t seem to know what a toilet is for.

  66. James

    Jimmy, a tax deduction for family clothes would certainly be illegal. However, if through promotions or a loyalty scheme a percentage of what you spent with the supplier was returned to you in a non cash form, that would not. (A little like using airpoints from business travel for private travel; but instead of getting $100 worth of airpoints, you get several thousand dollars worth, because of the amount of business you do with that supplier).

    Other classics: The family owned company, that starts ’employing’ family members to reduce marginal tax rate exposure.
    Or at the grand end of the scale: Guiness Peat bought a company solely for the tax losses, which meant they would not have to pay tax for some years.

    Also, while “reinvestment” might be post-tax, not all expansion is. If your business is getting too profitable, buy another farm/office block/rental property/heat pump/centre pivot irrigator, depreciate it, reduce your taxable income, leverage it, so that the interest also decreases your taxable income…

  67. Mike

    I haven’t stopped claiming it – but you do realise I’m being rather tongue in cheek here right? Pushing an analogy to make a point which I don’t think you get – people and companies are not treated equally by our tax system – generally, people come off worse.

    I think that lots of farmers avoid types of FBT (I’ve never met Goff, never joined a party) – do you know of a farmer who owns his farmhouse (rather than his company owning it)? Working farmers are typically cash poor but asset rich (until they retire) partly it’s due to investing spare cash in capital improvements (breaking in land, buildings, equipment) for that capital gain payoff.

    Suppose my company has $100k – my company can pay it to me and I pay 33% income tax – or I can buy a cowshed, pay 28% company tax on the asset and then sell the company. Its value is now worth $100k more (a capital gain) than I paid for it but I only had to pay 28% tax – I can also legally depreciate the asset over some time at a rate that’s higher than its real loss in value; in effect recovering that $100k investment while preserving some of the capital gain.

    Your ordinary working stiff doesn’t have opportunities to do this sort of thing.

  68. JimmyJones

    James, loyalty schemes aren’t illegal, yet; do you want them to be? You could make a case that FBT should be paid in that situation. It seems a little petty, but you might have a point.
    ‘employing’ family members to reduce marginal tax rate exposure sounds like tax avoidance to me; this is for a discussion of the effectiveness of the IRD.
    Based on what I know about Guinness Peat, they would never buy a company solely for the tax losses. The primary goal is always a short or long-term profit. A consequence of a short or long term profit is paying tax. Do you think that they should only be allowed to start short-term projects and not long-term? Do you think that there is some tax they haven’t paid?
    Your second pay-less-tax scheme is no better that the first. There are many ways to run your business less profitably including buying a useless asset, but there would be no advantage unless you could somehow extract the value later, in a tax-efficient way. It seems unlikely that you would be better off compared to suffering from the high taxable profit.

  69. Mike

    My accountant has suggested to me several times that I find a way to employ my wife with some make work and pay her at her lower (than mine) marginal rate to reduce our tax bill. I refused, it seemed plain wrong – but I have to assume that many people do take his advice and it was legal.

  70. James

    Jimmy – GPG has never been about making taxable profit, but capital growth. There is a nice summary here:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/company-taxation/news/article.cfm?c_id=691&objectid=10378462
    Essentially, the original company (and the origin of the GPG name) was used as an investment vehicle as it had tax losses. The reverse takeover of Brunel in 2002 was because they’d run out of tax losses. Their strategy has never been about increasing the taxable profit. They don’t buy companies that are profitable, they buy rubbish companies, and attempt to sell them on at a capital gain, thereby increasing the companies assets. Sometimes, they may return the companies to profit, but this is not part of a buy and hold strategy, merely to convince the new owner to pay more than the company was purchased for.

    And I didn’t suggest buying a useless asset. You buy a productive asset that reduces your current taxable profit, but that increases your future revenue. When that future revenue threatens to increase your taxable profit, you can always just buy another productive asset.

  71. JimmyJones

    Mike, James mentioned that, and I said: ” ‘employing’ family members to reduce marginal tax rate exposure” sounds like tax avoidance to me; this is for a discussion of the effectiveness of the IRD.

    James, Guinness Peat is a poor example because it is not a NZ company. I would describe Guinness Peat’s strategy slightly differently: I think GPG’s purpose is to increase shareholders wealth by increasing the shareprice by increasing the net asset value of the company. It does this mainly by buying and improving the profitability of poorly performing businesses and selling them for a higher price based on the improved profitability. Reviving a business can take a long time. Now and then GPG sells one of its projects and tax is payable on the capital gain. As well as this tax, many of their projects pay tax on their profits as they are being revived. The consequence is that GPG pays tax every year (at least for the last 7 years). Every project is expected to be profitable. For the ones that make a loss, a tax credit is of some use, but pretty useless compared to a taxable profit, eg if a stadium loses $15m each year it would generate $4.2m of tax credit. If this is useful to the owner, then effectively the loss would be only $10.8m ($15m – $4.2m). Profits are better than tax losses.

  72. James

    Jimmy – Guinness Peat is only not a New Zealand company for tax advantages. Your statement of their strategy seems the same as mine. And while they do pay some tax, they also have 1 billion pounds of deferred tax losses available to book against future profits (which they didn’t acquire all that tax loss through losing their own money).

    However, I think arguing about examples is to miss the point. You suggest that there is one law for all. I agree. The difference is in the interpretation of the law. For a wage/salary earner, this law is executed in a black and white fashion. But for businesses there is a continuum from black (tax evasion, tax avoidance), a grey area comfortably beyond where you are likely to get pinged (tax minimisation), and white. And most businesses are very good at minimising their taxes.

  73. JimmyJones

    Yes James, I would agree with that. My guess is that wage and salary earners would be just as tempted to evade/avoid tax as businesses, but they don’t usually have the opportunity (because of IR12s and PAYE etc). I suspect that big business is more honest with their tax affairs than the self-employed/small business because they have external auditors and paper trails and disgruntled employees that talk too much. There will always be some tax minimisers, but sucking out that last dollar of tax would come at greater cost to the IRD and to businesses (more compliance costs and more IRD intrusiveness). I think nothing needs to change.

  74. Mike

    Jimmy: sure we should change things: I’d start with what every other western country does – tax capital gains – not the wimpy arsed Labour plan, do it like they do in the US tax it at ones marginal rate. I think carving out an exemption for a family home is a good idea – allow people who are buying more expensive homes to trade up keeping their equity but trigger the tax when they sell and don’t buy again or buy a cheaper home at which point you get to dip into a fixed lifetime exemption of say $300k per person (twice that for a couple).

    I also like the US reduced capital gains tax on long term capital gains – you pay 5-10% less on an investment you hold for a long period – this discourages speculation and churn and encourages people to put money into wealth creating investments – better for everyone because it drives a healthier economy

    oh yeah and if you win the pokies or the lotto that’s a short term capital gain just like if you win on the stock market or the ponies

    Yes of course there’s a law about tax fiddles with your relatives – people still do it – the two dentists who were in court this year for doing other things my accountant suggested (he sent out a nice email recently saying that wasn’t such a good idea after all). I think the IRD should be coming down hard on people doing these sorts of fiddles, I don’t think it’s likely while the Nats are protecting their power base

  75. JimmyJones

    Mike, I think the new government should focus on reducing spending instead of taking more tax. So, I am opposed to a capital gains tax.
    Many won’t realise that we have a CGT for shares and property where your purpose is a capital gain (or if your behaviour indicates such). Labour proposes taxing us 15% on the capital gains, but most current payers pay 30%. Depending on how it is implemented, there could be a reduction in tax collected. The ones that benefit will be property speculators and such, and the ones hit hardest will be mum and dad rental house owners. Not every single thing needs to be taxed.
    “I think the IRD should be coming down hard on people doing these sorts of fiddles” – doesn’t the two dentists prosecution indicate that they are. What makes you think that they are not being tough enough?

  76. Mike

    I think everything should be taxed and equally too mostly to avoid the sort of crap that results in what we’re talking about above where people can arrange their affairs to avoid paying tax it’s how some very rich people pay less than you or I – we should all be paying our fair share

    Of course your mom and dad landlords should pay tax on all their incomes it’s not fair if they can avoid paying their share because there’s no CGT, they’re just sponging off the rest of us

    It’s those sorts of societal fairness issues that the occupy people are decrying and I agree with them

  77. JimmyJones

    Mike, if we have gone from “corporate greed” and the evil ANZ, down to mom and dad landlords and uncle Jack who won $10 tax-free on the dogs at Forbury, then I think my job is done here. Is there anything else?

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Nov 2011
      Groups co-ordinate, attempt to organise ‘revolution’
      By Chris Morris

      Mr Holmes said technology being used as part of the group’s protest was a useful tool for getting their message out and debating the issues, but the continued occupation of the Octagon was the key symbol.

      Occupy Dunedin protesters camping in the Octagon are joining forces with other protests around New Zealand, as the anti-greed movement attempts to organise itself into an international “revolution”. The Dunedin protesters staged their first “People’s Parliament” in the Octagon at 5.30pm yesterday, timed to coincide with other parliaments at other protest camps in Auckland, Wellington and other centres. The event attracted 11 people.
      Read more

      ****

      ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Nov 2011
      Protesters hold forum
      By David Loughrey
      The first attempt at what its proponents say is an example of “real democracy” developed into a small and sometimes passionate discussion in the Octagon yesterday. The “Occupied Cities of Aotearoa”, the various groups around New Zealand protesting corporate greed and social inequality, organised the “People’s Parliament” yesterday.
      Read more

  78. James

    Jimmy — Just to clarify, I initially wondered if Labour’s CGT proposal meant that traders would be taxed less than currently — however the 15% CGT rate was for capital gains outsider trading/speculation, with those taxed as currently.

    On whether big business minimise their taxes, I think they are better advised by their lawyers and accoutants, but are still actively engaged. The Trinity Forestry deal was eventually ruled to be tax avoidance. On the entirely legal front, some companies actively use debt and interest expense to reduce taxable profit.

    As we’ve discussed here in the past, this is why when the stadium costs went up, the council decided to move it into a holdings company, so that the interest expense could be used to offset otherwise taxable revenue. Thus, assuming DCHL makes enough profit, it will escape paying ~$3.6 million a year in tax.

  79. JimmyJones

    James, I also wasn’t sure about Labour’s CGT policy as applied to current CGT payers. Labour’s “Labour’s Fairer Tax System explained” (pdf, page 12) says There is no intention for traders in capital assets to be taxed less than at present once a CGT is in force. The Expert Panel will explore means of ensuring that this does not occur.. After reading this, I am still not sure – because describing their “intention” is a lot different to saying what they “will” do. Their intention is to not make a commitment until their Expert Panel has solved the problem. The problem being that the proposed new CGT (15%) is about half the rate of the present CGT and it doesn’t seem feasible to have two tax rates applying to the same type of transactions and activities. For now, I will stick with what I said before:
    Labour proposes taxing us 15% on the capital gains, but most current payers pay 30%. Depending on how it is implemented, there could be a reduction in tax collected.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Mon, 14 Nov 2011
      Auckland Occupy protesters threatened with trespass
      Auckland Council has formally asked Occupy protesters to leave Aotea Square and is threatening a trespass notice if they ignore the request. Protesters have been camping out in the central Auckland square since last month as part of a global protest movement. Auckland Council said today it had presented a formal request for the protesters to name a specific date they would leave the square. If the request was ignored, a trespass notice would be issued. APNZ
      Read more

      Other stories:
      Occupy movement extends to South Australia – AAP
      Occupy protesters pushed to decamp in Portland – Reuters

      • Elizabeth

        Some fascination here, the trend #ows – watch what’s going on in USA with Occupy and police, news crew choppers grounded, the works…
        https://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23ows

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 16 Nov 2011
          Opinion divided over protest
          By Chris Morris
          The tents are dwindling at the Occupy Dunedin encampment in the Octagon, but the battle for public opinion continues to rage. Dunedin City Council figures released yesterday showed council staff and Mayor Dave Cull had received 626 phone calls and emails since the protest began on October 15. Most of those received in the first week were from Dunedin residents opposed to the protest, but the comments since have largely come from protest supporters across New Zealand and overseas.
          Read more

          {NOTE: The ODT Online poll is not scientific. It allows an individual user to vote more than once. -Eds}

        • Elizabeth

          ### ch9.co.nz November 16, 2011 – 6:43pm
          Open to the view of all
          While some Occupy sites in America were torn down by authorities overnight, Dunedin’s Occupy protesters continued their campaign. As there seems to be no sign of an un-occupation, a local politics specialist says as the public are the ones protesting, the rest of the public need to be open to that.
          Video

        • Elizabeth

          Radio New Zealand National 101FM
          Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw
          Listen on 101 FM or online at radionz.co.nz

          20 November 2011
          10:40 Notes from the South with Dougal Stevenson
          Dougal has been thinking about the Occupy Dunedin protesters and the moral high ground. (4′57″)
          Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

        • Elizabeth

          Register to read D Scene online at
          http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

          ### D Scene 23-11-11 (pages 8 & 9)
          Occupy movement in Octagon has valid concerns
          By Gillian Bremner
          The history of our society is, at least in part, a series of attempts to apply just the right amount of restraint. At the time when Dunedin was first being settled, London was the centre of the largest empire ever known. Wealth flowed into London from all corners of the globe, and for Britain it was a time of unparalleled prosperity and progress. For the majority, though, the London of the day wasn’t a good place to raise a family.

          • In the last two or three decades inequality has been growing again after sweeping economic reform and deregulation of labour markets. New Zealand achieved the fastest growing gap between rich and poor in the developed world.
          • In New Zealand the richest 1 per cent of the population owns three times more than the combined cash and assets of the poorest 50 per cent.
          • The chief executive of one of the mainstream banks in New Zealand earns an annual salary of $5 million while we have over 200,000 children living in poverty and rank ninth worst in the developed world in the gap between rich and poor.

          We need to thank the Occupiers for their determination, commitment and courage in highlighting the issues.
          {Read more} #bookmark

          • Gillian Bremner is the chief executive of Presbyterian Support Otago.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 17 Dec 2011
          $3500 bill for Octagon grass as protesters hint end is near
          By David Loughrey
          Dunedin City Council contractors moved on to the Octagon yesterday to replace turf damaged by the Occupy Dunedin protest, as one of the more established protesters hinted the occupation may be drawing to a close.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 21 Dec 2011
          ‘Right time’ to end Octagon occupation
          By Hamish McNeilly
          The Octagon’s occupation may be over but Occupy Dunedin protesters are promising a new phase to highlight their cause. The handful of remaining protesters packed away their tents, removed the tarpaulins covering their communal area, and mowed the lawns before vacating the site they had occupied since October 15.
          Read more

          Timeline (via ODT)

          • Sep 17: Occupy Wall Street begins in New York, with protesters rallying against such issues as social and economic inequality.
          • Oct 15: Occupy Dunedin with about 100 protesters and 30 tents, begins in the Octagon.
          • Oct 20: Occupiers offered alternative sites, such as Market Reserve, by Dunedin City Council.
          • Oct 27: Finance Minister Bill English says he empathises with some of the ideals of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
          • Nov 1: At 3pm, DCC officials flanked by a security guard issued the group with a trespass notice warning them to cease camping in the Octagon. The 8pm eviction deadline comes and goes with no police presence, and several hundred marching in support of the cause.
          • Nov 6: Paving repair work begins in Octagon
          • Nov 8: After reviewing legal avenues, police rule out evicting protesters.
          • Dec 16: DCC contractors replace turf damaged by the occupation.
          • Dec 20: Occupy Dunedin protest ends.

          ### ODT Online Tue, 20 Dec 2011
          Occupy Dunedin protesters quit Octagon after 66 days
          By Hamish McNeilly
          Occupy Dunedin is occupying the Dunedin Octagon no more, with the protesters pulling down their tents and tarpaulins in the city centre today.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ch9.co.nz December 20, 2011 – 7:04pm
          Occupy Dunedin protesters leave the Octagon in defeat
          Occupy Dunedin protesters are no longer camping out in the Octagon, taking down their tents today. The local protest began in an effort to show solidarity with the international Occupy Wall Street movement in America, and had occupied the main centre of the city since the 15th of October, a total of 66 days. Upon hearing news that the occupiers have moved on, Dunedin Mayor, Dave Cull, said “better late than never”.
          Video

          ### ch9.co.nz December 19, 2011 – 6:51pm
          Dunedin ratepayers cover the cost of Occupiers attempted to dig vegetable patch
          The repair work on the grass in the upper-Octagon has been completed following damage believed to be caused by the Occupy Dunedin protest group. New turf had to be laid after the grass became damaged as a result of the Occupation. It’s understood the Occupiers attempted to dig a bed for vegetables in the lawn, causing damage to the sand-carpet beneath the topsoil. Repair work came at a cost of $3,500
          Video

  80. Ahmad

    You have to register all your personal details (short of your shoe size) with the ODT before you can submit a comment (which still gets moderated) on their website. (That’s insane by the way). Yet they can’t sort out an online poll that only allows one vote per user.

  81. Peter

    I don’t know anything much about computers, but I wonder if it has partly something to do with the technology they have at the ODT. I understand journalists there are frustrated with what they have to work with re the computer system. (I must add this information is second hand so would need to be verified.)
    As for censorship – all par for the course. To be fair, I’m surprised, sometimes, by what they do publish given their sensitivities, but if you want to be really critical of the activities of Malcolm Farry, Eion Edgar – and their inner circle – forget it. It won’t get published unless there is no option, ie same news published elsewhere.

  82. Hype O'Thermia

    As reported it sounds like it’s only a hint if you really REALLY want it to be.

  83. wirehunt

    Now we need a way to get rid of Cull and the rest of the idiot brigade…

    He could do without commenting like that the gutless POS. When they say bs like this it gets right under my skin.

  84. Peter

    Dave Cull’s comments about the Occupiers were petty and vindictive and most unbecoming of someone in his position. Why did he have to make such comments? What did he prefer? A physical confrontation involving the police? The police showed admirable common sense over the whole thing. They used their brains in terms of the law.
    Dave Cull would have felt the pressure, from one side, for them to go and typical of him decided where the strongest wind was blowing from and made a decision on that. That is the basis of his decision making as far as I can see.

    • Elizabeth

      It’s totally perverse that the mayor has bothered himself with ineffectual legals and pompous pronouncements to ‘learn’ the Occupiers while doing A BIG FAT ZERO on speed uptake of what sound financial management might be for reduction of the council’s MASSIVE DEBT. Only in Dunedin!

      • Elizabeth

        Time for ‘the legals’ to be explained by Dave Cull, so-called mayor, and NZ Police.

        ### ODT Online Sat, 24 Dec 2011
        Octagon protester charged
        By Eileen Goodwin and David Loughrey
        A protester was arrested and his tent removed by police, after the Occupy Dunedin group sprang back into action yesterday in “solidarity” with its Auckland counterparts. The 49-year-old Dunedin man, who refused to be identified, had pitched his tent on the grass, and was arrested and charged with wilful damage and taken into custody, about 3.30pm.
        Read more

  85. JimmyJones, (re comment way back up) it would have been nice to sit in the Octagon pissed with a nice big joint in hand. Yet I didn’t do that when I was in there, too busy dealing with the haters.
    But I’ve been too busy working on a station up Ida Valley, which is also the only reason I couldn’t get into the Occupy thing lately. Now working pretty well seven days a week BUT backing the Occupy movement makes me a bum going by your theory, although how the hell you figure that has me beat.

  86. If only I had the money and a bored legal team…..

  87. JimmyJones

    Wirehunt, you must mean where I said “All farmers deserve to retire well off (with some capital gains) because they all work bloody hard; a lot harder than the Octagon layabouts, loosers, users, street-kids and druggies that don’t seem to know what a toilet is for.”.
    I also said “I can see that some of them don’t look like smelly hippies, but they all deserve insulting names because of the lack of honesty about who they are and their political purposes” but I need to distinguish between the very smelly hard-core political crusaders like Bert Holmes (Green NZ party official) and Derwin Smith (ISO etc); and the others including born-again hippies, radical vegetarians, Sustainability freaks, homeopathic revolutionaries and various other cling-ons. The difference is that the cling-ons didn’t realize that they were being used as part of a campaign to promote general leftist politics and specific support for Green NZ and Mana/Unite.

    The crusaders will deny that they were electioneering and they also claim to be non-partisan, but anyone who saw the early banners knows that they are a bunch of slimy-eel liars. Just to rub it in: Bert, Derwin and their associated organizations are, in their own minds, fighting for some sort of marxist revolution, Derwin says things like “As part of this fighting movement we need to lay the foundations for a mass workers party so when the time comes – there will be the political clarity and militant leadership needed for the working class to overthrow capitalism and institute a truly free society“. They all can’t wait for the Revolution, but probably they argue about whether it should be a Marxist, Leninist or Trotskyist type. The dick-heads think we need to be saved from capitalism.

    Their world view is based on hate, envy and a strong sense of entitlement. Anyone that thinks that these people have the answers to the worlds problems should keep looking. They are the opposite of people that work hard and hope to receive above average rewards for their above average efforts, skills or good ideas. If your greatest aspiration is equality, then please keep it to yourself. Dunedin and its people should hope for much more.

  88. Jimmy, take your head out of the dark place it is now and put it in the sun. And listen up.
    What I do for these farmers is kill shit. They pay me to kill shit. I do it day and night. A gun (sorry, several guns), dogs and motorbikes are tools of trade. Vegan I AM NOT!!
    Then when that drives me to drink I go work for oil companies. Get paid alright for that too. Then when a day turns up spare I’m away photographing events, weddings, sports etc. Is today your first day off for a month??? I work fucking hard for my money when the work is there, and am happy to do it, but get really fucked off with wankers trying to pull the wool.

    I know how the system works, maybe better than some. The reason I back and am/was involved with it is I do know how the system works pretty well. Do you? Do you really believe it works as it is? Do you even know what the system really is?
    Of course that would never come out, hell that would make Watergate look tiny….

  89. JimmyJones

    wirehunt, when you work out what the actual problem is you will be better able to fix it. You need to narrow it down; blaming the system won’t get you far. Finding the solutions might be harder than sleeping in a tent and standing underneath an ISO banner.
    If you think that Derwin and Bert have the answers, then that could be coz they haven’t told you what they are trying to achieve. They might not want you to know the plan. People like them are the problem, not the solution.
    Anyone who thought they were part of a grass-roots, neo-hippy, save-the-world protest, was being lied to because they were being used by ISO, Green NZ and Unite/Mana to promote their politics. Decisions like the removal of political banners were not made locally. That should have been obvious to anyone at the meetings. Bert was part of the national command and control structure, but he probably won’t admit it. Unite doesn’t count as grass-roots either.

  90. Calvin Oaten

    Wirehunt; if and when you do manage a day off you could profitably spend it perusing the Queen’s English. That way you won’t have to continuously resort to profanity. It ill becomes you in a public forum, and adds nothing to your arguments, however well intentioned they might be.

  91. Hype O'Thermia

    And conspiracy theories are SUCH a turn-off. As soon as anyone starts going on and on about conspiracy theories I file all their utterances under “green ink” – see http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-gre5.htm.

  92. JimmyJones

    After 3 or 4 years as the DCC’s public relations partner, it seems like the ODT are starting to panic as the truth starts to spurt out of the holes in their fictional world. Closing threads is like trying to save the Titanic with sticking-plasters. I expect them to do a big policy flip as reality finally becomes obvious to their readers.

  93. Mike

    To be fair we were decidedly off-topic …. I had fun though, I think it’s time to advocate for a hoard of monkeys (err … um … well more of them) at the real world stadium.

    Just to be slightly off-topic here too I think there’s some value in estimating the real ‘opening cost’ of the stadium ourselves – the fixed costs – it goes something like $4m for the reduced ‘rent’, 1% (of $220m) for insurance – $2.2m, 2-3% for a long term maintenance fund ($4.4m), something of the order of $750k for salaries, …. (RWC subsidies $1m) ….. so something like $12m all up … again we assume rugby has only half the major events and there are 12 of them …. it’s going to be upwards of $500k per event …..

  94. Jimmy, Occupy is much bigger than a few activists in Dunners, even in Dunedin there were a very small percentage of the activist type, you named two or three, well you can get more than that at most union meetings. It has been nailed down roughly where the main issues come from. It’s just the muppets in power here and in other countries don’t want to see it. Or refuse to, or maybe are in fact all a part of it.

    It would be very interesting to see how much tax would be paid if trusts were gone since you’re all real keen on that. I note our esteemed leader has one of those tax dodges too. Now why on earth would he need that if everything is above board???

  95. Just to add: You won’t see too many farmers that don’t have a trust either…..

  96. Calvin, it seems that there needs to be in fact much much more of that profanity, cause at least then you have some idea that the person talking is straight shooting.
    Look where all the flowery talkers have got us so far, seems they speak with forked tongues, it’s just the bulk of people don’t understand what they are really saying with all that flash speak. Or maybe they can’t be bothered listening to it. You choose. But I know there is plenty of lies when they do speak.

  97. Hype O'Thermia

    Wirehunt, you assert that people who use profanity are
    straight shooting and people who don’t, aren’t. This is just plain silly. Some of the dumbest posts I have ever read on internet sites involve obscenity, profanity and the kind of shooting that in real life with real guns results in targets missed and “accidental” (read: caused by hot-heads acting without thinking) injuries or worse. Straight shooting is good whether it is done noisily or in disciplined, highly trained. intelligent silence after carefully identifying the target, the important thing is correctly identifying the target, not loosing off shots like in an old-time shoot-em-up for the Saturday matinee.
    Tough luck, Wirehunt, you’re showing your green-ink credentials again. An increase in profanity levels will not change this. If you want your points of view to be taken seriously observe, evaluate, think first. “Shoot” after this procedure has been completed adequately.

    • Elizabeth

      Many trusts are family trusts simply set up to carry the value of a couple’s sole asset, their family home, as they near retirement age. It’s legal. There is no crime.

      Trusts are long-established in law. Google ‘trusts’ to establish the legitimacy of trusts, how they work and why. Trusts are not the sole province of the wealthy.

  98. Phil

    And unfortunately many trusts are set up with the sole intention to abuse the system and to take rights which people were not originally entitled to. We have a Minister of Finance who rather enjoys those luxuries. Not to mention a former prime ministers’ wealthy mother receiving subsidised care because of a family trust. Talk about leading by example. No wonder there’s little incentive to do the right thing. Maybe not legally criminal, but very often morally criminal.

  99. JimmyJones

    wirehunt, if you had some evidence that the esteemed John Key was dodging tax with his blind trust, then that would be a big story. Or maybe you think that all rich people are thieves, liars and tax-cheats. You better be careful not to work too hard, or else you might become one of them.

    I don’t think Occupy was big, it was just organized to happen at many locations at once. In Dunedin only 0.1% of the population actively supported it (0.01% during the latter part).

    You say that in Dunedin there was a very small percentage of the activist type but you haven’t justified that claim. I claim that the national and local organizers were the hard-core political crusaders (like members of Unite-Mana, GreenNZ and local nut-bars like the ISO and Alliance). No grass-roots, no spontaneous outrage, just politics and a bunch of cling-ons.

  100. JimmyJones

    Phil, rarely have I seen that many weasel words in one place as in your last comment. Vague, undefined assertions from unknown sources don’t persuade me.
    Hasn’t there been some changes to the laws about trusts in recent years; are you saying that you think there are still some problems?

    • Elizabeth

      Yes trusts have been required to ‘tidy up their paper work’ recently.
      And yes, for those who may think otherwise, they are taxed.

  101. Hype O'Thermia

    Taxed at the maximum personal tax rate I think, not a way of bypassing the IRD.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 29 Dec 2011
      Council bid to imprison protesters rejected
      By Matthew Theunissen
      A judge has rejected as “draconian” Auckland Council’s application to send Auckland Occupy protesters to prison if they do not leave Aotea Square, where a handful still remain despite a court order. Last week, a judge ordered the occupiers to leave the square, where many had been living for up to 10 weeks. Most moved to other parks but about six or seven defied the order and stayed.
      Read more

  102. Phil

    Ah, JJ. Your comment clarifies a few things for me from another site. Probably for Mike also. Solved one mystery. Anyway, for the benefit of anyone who can’t be arsed looking for themselves (yet again) any further than Wikipedia, Bill English was pinged after removing his name from his family trust which owned a residential property in Wellington so that he could claim an accommodation allowance and it was Jim Bolger’s mother who had her property assets removed from her name prior to the government introducing asset testing for the elderly. When caught, Bill subsequently repaid his accommodation allowance, while claiming he had done nothing wrong (which is, of course, the very reason why people repay money). The point of my post was (and I’m pretty sure that everyone else here figured it out) that there are often less than honourable reasons for setting up family trusts and those reasons are often attached to people who do know better and should be behaving better.

  103. JimmyJones

    Phil, the mystery is why you chose to use slimy accusations instead of responding in a more grown-up way to my criticism of your weasel-word comment. When you say “Ah, JJ. Your comment clarifies a few things for me from another site. Probably for Mike also. Solved one mystery.” you are again using weasel-words to accuse me (and Mike) of being or doing or saying something. Looks like green-ink to me. Try not to assume that all criticism is personal criticism; relax.

    Once more you have failed to make a convincing case: when you say “there are often less than honourable reasons for setting up family trusts and those reasons are often attached to people who do know better and should be behaving better” you are using weasel-words instead of specifics; in this context “often” means the same as “sometimes” and tends to exaggerate the impression of the frequency of occurrence. And why is it so hard to say what those “less than honourable reasons” are, and I think that the “people who do know better” would like you to be specific. Using slimy and vague language is a dishonourable way to slither away from the rebuttal of your points. If you don’t have the courage to say what you mean, then don’t say it.

    Also you haven’t yet answered my question: “Hasn’t there been some changes to the laws about trusts in recent years; are you saying that you think there are still some problems?”

  104. Hype O'Thermia

    Phil, “should be behaving better” is the reason Bill English repaid his accommodation allowance. He technically had the right – just – to claim it but relying on a technicality only keeps one out of jail, it doesn’t make one electable because in using a family trust of one’s own in that way one loses the trust of others. As for Mama Bolger, for a long time it has been necessary to plan well in advance (and I think this applied then) and shift one’s assets gradually into a family trust, so that the final dollars are in there five years before claiming any state-paid assistance e.g. rest home.

  105. Spade.

    Trusts are a scam and have been for a very long time now. Why would companies (smaller ones) have all their assets tide up in them then hire those same assets back off the trust to the company. Because they want something to do??
    If you have a trust and your accountant doesn’t or hasn’t found some different ways to go about things, well it’s only time!

    And before anyone says ‘protecting assets’, well that’s a tax dodge for a start.

    Hype, the stats would go something like when 95% of the flash talkers open their trap it costs all of us money (see that stadium) when 95% swear and talk they are good to go. So yes the numbers do line up, just not how they are meant to… Maybe I should change that to suit wearers. You decide.

  106. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 27 Jan 2012
    Power to evict Occupiers with council, law expert says
    By Debbie Porteous and David Loughrey
    The power to do something about protesters occupying Dunedin’s Octagon lies with the city council, not police, and the council now has the ammunition it needs to act, an Otago University law professor believes.
    Read more

    In the item, Cr Neil Collins talks about himself and his co-councillors… ‘”layabout rabble” who were giving the Octagon a bad look’.

  107. Anonymous

    One the one hand, the Occupy protestors have wasted a few thousand at most of ratepayer money.
    On the other hand, the previous Council has wasted several hundred million of ratepayers’ money.

    • Elizabeth

      Spoken like the bogglehead the Mayor has become.

      ### ODT Online Sat, 28 Jan 2012
      DCC will be watching for returning Occupiers: Cull
      By Emily Menkes
      Occupiers may have been absent from the Octagon yesterday, but it is expected they will return, and when they do the Dunedin City Council will be watching, Mayor Dave Cull says. […] He said he was frustrated and confused as to why police had not acted on a complaint of wilful damage the council laid with them this week after a tent was erected by protesters on a patch of roped-off, under-repair lawn in the Octagon.
      Read more

  108. Hype O'Thermia

    And council have wasted their own and police time lavishly on damage that is of minuscule importance compared with that done by trail bikes and cars on grassed areas, and broken glass in all parts of town – ever see a wheelchair user stranded in the rain by a puncture, waiting patiently for the (excellent) repairman to arrive? – and all manner of other small matters. Compared with Fubar the White Elephant and his chums in the middle of the room, nearly everything is small, and a little area of damaged grass so close to the free savouries you don’t have to make any effort to see it, is the perfect size for small brains to get to grips with.

  109. Well we all know who the “layabout rabble” are, dishing out salaries of 310, spending our money at a horrendous rate, living beyond OUR means. Yep, we should evict them charge the layabout rabble, I’ll get onto the cops tomorrow to get up to the council and arrest them all……….. The council layabouts that is.

  110. Anonymous

    How much did it cost to install the “sprinklers” (aka anti-protest deterrents) in the Octagon? Somebody got uppity enough to waste money on this unnecessary expense. So just wondering why they were necessary, given there is a natural resource called rain.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 16 Oct 2012
    Sprinklers tested near protesters
    By Eileen Goodwin
    A year after Occupy Dunedin took over the heart of the city, they were back yesterday to re-occupy the Octagon – for a while anyway.
    The arrival of the handful of protesters with a tent yesterday morning seemed to remind the Dunedin City Council it was time for routine maintenance of the grass.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/230530/sprinklers-tested-near-protesters

  111. I wonder if they have a good sprinkler system in the council offices?…..

  112. Anonymous

    I’m not sure if Dunedin’s water system has the sustained volume and pressure to wash away the grubbiness associated with the Dunedin City Council. Still a water cannon would be helpful to keep the Stadium Councillors and Dave Cull in line – each time they try pissing on the ratepayers they can be hosed down until their wee brains get the message.

  113. Hype O'Thermia

    Following on from Anonymous’s training suggestion, you can get “bark-stop” collars for training dogs. I wonder if mayoral chains….

  114. Anonymous

    Aww, look, Stuff thinks the 1% are fun-loving, shoulder-tapping, best-of-friends, your boss-is-great type of people. And they’re not even the ultra-wealthy, ultra-greedy anymore. They’re just highly-qualified, misunderstood, desperate-for-company executives.

    Suddenly I want to be best mates with Grady Cameron…

    Seriously, this is the sort of upchuck I expect from the GOB Times in Dunedin.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8139773/Befriending-the-boss-a-lucrative-move

  115. Hype O'Thermia

    Befriending, an example of how language changes. We don’t go around ranting about niggers and darkies any more do we, not unless we’ve got a swastika tattoo, so why should it be acceptable to say brown-nosing, crawling and social-climbing when the word to use is “befriending”?

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