Tax Free Hideouts, Overseas Investment Thresholds, And The TPP

The government is determined to press ahead with the law changes needed to implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership as quickly as possible – before people get their heads around what is really happening. And there is plenty happening.

The Overseas Investment Office is under scrutiny for letting unsuitable buyers buy up land, and the Panama Papers indicate foreign trusts can use New Zealand as a tax haven. At present anyone, anywhere can invest up to $100 million in New Zealand without needing government approval.

Once the TPP is ratified that threshold will be raised to $200 million. Expect the concept of ‘sensitive land’ to get some serious legal scrutiny as well. Which begs the question why even bother with the Overseas Investment Office? Continue reading

Lack of companies regulation makes New Zealand a haven for pirate capitalism

New Zealand’s lack of controls on company regulation and overseas investment risk turning it into a “third rate Cayman Islands” of unregulated financial deals.
Alliance Economic Development spokesperson Quentin Findlay says allegations that Vanuatu based companies had used New Zealand’s lax companies laws and regulations to establish thousands of dummy corporations were highly concerning, when such activities had been allegedly used for money laundering or arms deals, according to media reports.
He says it is not surprising that these events had taken place given New Zealand’s ‘wild west’ free market approach to finance and investment.
“The lack of adequate regulation and controls allows the creation of dummy companies with little or no scrutiny. This is a result of the deregulation approach which provides little or no protection against bad practices.”
Mr Findlay says it is alarming United States authorities seemed prepared to take action, while those in New Zealand appeared to dither.
“This is an embarrassment to New Zealand.”
Mr Findlay referred to the 2009 case involving the Overseas Investment Office and American firm, Cedenco, where unacceptable practices were ignored.
The Alliance is calling for a thorough review of the Companies Act and related legislation, and for the Government to impose regulations to stop New Zealand’s slide towards a haven for pirate capitalists.