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By Newsroom America Feeds at 29 Mar 2018


/////////////////////////////////////////// Feedback on ring-fencing rental losses

Posted: 29 Mar 2018 03:00 AM PDT

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash is encouraging feedback on a proposal to change the rules around ring-fencing losses on residential properties. An Issues Paper has been released by the Inland Revenue Department that proposes ring-fencing losses in an effort to level the playing field between speculators and investors, and home buyers. “Changes would make the tax system fairer by ensuring that investors could not offset their losses on some property investments against their other income,” Mr Nash says. “At the moment, tax is applied on a person’s net income, which means if a property investor makes rental losses those losses reduce their overall income, and therefore their tax liability. “The persistent tax losses that many property investors declare on their investments indicate that they rely on capital gains to make a profit. “In conjunction with the recently announced extension to the bright-line test, ring-fencing losses from rental properties would make property speculation less attractive and level the playing field between property investors and home buyers. The time is right to test the detail of this proposal with investors and other stakeholders. Mr Nash says ring-fencing losses would be a useful tool to dampen property speculation. “This measure would not preclude any solutions the Tax Working Group may come up with in relation to housing”. “I encourage the public to make submissions to Inland Revenue before the deadline of 11 May 2018,” Mr Nash said. For more information, including how to make a submission, see

/////////////////////////////////////////// NZ imposes travel restrictions on expelled Russians

Posted: 28 Mar 2018 09:14 PM PDT

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters have announced that New Zealand will impose travel restrictions on individuals expelled by other countries following the Salisbury attack. “We will be asking our security partners to provide those names to us,” said Jacinda Ardern. “Those names will then be placed on a travel ban list to ensure that individuals who have been found to undertake activities incompatible with their diplomatic status in other countries do not enter New Zealand.” The Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that New Zealand had clearly registered its deep concern over the Salisbury attack and the inadequate response from Russia to justified questions. New Zealand’s views have been conveyed through media statements and in direct discussions with the Russian Government, both in Wellington and in Moscow. “Like our partners, we are raising questions on legitimate matters of international concern,” said Winston Peters. “As we said soon after the Salisbury attack, there are serious questions here that Russia needs to answer.”

/////////////////////////////////////////// Further tenancy review exemptions to be considered

Posted: 28 Mar 2018 04:07 PM PDT

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford is pausing periodic tenancy reviews of public housing tenants while he considers whether the groups of tenants exempt from the process should be widened. Tenancy reviews determine whether a person or family still needs public housing and makes sure they are in a house that meets their current needs. They are on hold until the end of June. “While public housing is not intended to be a house for life, it’s important we recognise that some vulnerable groups of tenants will continue to need secure public housing and support for a long time,” Phil Twyford says. “I want to make sure that all our most vulnerable groups of tenants are recognised and protected; they should not be asked to do a tenancy review. “It is important that tenancy reviews involve those tenants who are ready to move towards more independence, not those who need the security of long term public housing.” Currently, the only public housing tenants exempt from periodic tenancy reviews are people 75 and older; people whose house is modified for their needs such as wheelchair access; households working with a Children’s Team in the Ministry for Children Oranga Tamariki; and those with an agreed lifetime tenure with Housing New Zealand. While exemption criteria are being considered, the hold on tenancy reviews will protect those, who could be exempt under new criteria, from taking steps to leave their housing in the meantime. The Ministry of Social Development is contacting tenants already in the review process to let them know they do not need to do anything more for the time being.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Govt to hold road safety summit

Posted: 28 Mar 2018 01:49 PM PDT

The Government will hold a Local Government Road Safety Summit in Wellington on 9 April, as it moves to make safety a top priority for transport investment, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. “As we head into the Easter break a hundred people have already been killed on our roads this year - a 56 percent increase since 2013. My top priority in transport is to stop so many New Zealanders dying on our roads," Ms Genter said. “I urge people to take care on the roads this Easter Weekend and to drive responsibly. “We know that the vast majority of serious crashes result from simple mistakes on the road. This highlights the importance of driving fresh and not taking risks, as well as the need for Government to do it’s bit to make our roads safer to drive on. “On April 9, the Government will hold a Local Government Road Safety Summit so we can hear directly from Councils about the barriers to, and opportunities for, improving the safety of our roads. “This is just the start of a long-term Government commitment to embedding road safety in transport thinking, spending, design, and operations to make our roads safer for everyone. “For too long, basic safety improvements and maintenance has been starved of funding while the previous Government poured money into a handful of pet motorway projects. “The Government is looking to boost investment for safety improvements like median barriers, passing lanes, and intersection upgrades on local and regional roads. “Road deaths are not an inevitability. Twenty years ago, Sweden had the same level of road deaths as New Zealand. Today, after heavily investing in safety, it is one of the safest countries in the world to drive in. If we had the same fatality rate as Sweden, 255 people who died on our roads last year would be alive today,” Ms Genter said.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Pacific excellence recognised at Prime Ministers Pacific Youth Awards

Posted: 28 Mar 2018 03:00 AM PDT

Excellence and achievement in commerce, the arts, sports, community and leadership among Pacific youth is being celebrated tonight at the prestigious 2018 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards. Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio says the awards provide an opportunity for high achieving Pacific youth in New Zealand to be recognised for their important contribution to the country by the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. The nine exceptional individuals aged between 17 and 24 will be presented awards by the Prime Minister at a ceremony held at the Fale o Samoa, in Mangere, hosted by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. “It’s my expectation that these recipients and all those who have gone before contribute to making New Zealand a far better and caring country for all New Zealanders,” Aupito William Sio says. “Each of their respective awards recognises their contribution to society, as well as excellence in their academic work, or demonstrating a skill in business. “The Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards recognises and celebrates Pacific youth success while also creating a network of young emerging Pacific leaders, showcasing Pacific talent to key stakeholders. As one of the fastest growing and youngest populations in New Zealand, the Government is committed to ensuring the Pacific community thrives and to help individuals achieve their goals and aspirations. The 2018 award winners have also been offered personalised leadership development opportunities through the Ministry’s partnership with Leadership New Zealand.  “I want to grow the next crop of Pacific leaders who are not only achieving excellence in their respective fields, but who are also prepared to give back to their community and hold fast to their heritage of languages and culture. “Being a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards not only makes their families and communities extremely proud and empowered, but it opens new doors for them, while offering new opportunities for their careers and lives. “Congratulations to all the winners tonight and to your families for providing support. We are all incredibly proud of what you have achieved,” Aupito William Sio says.

The 2018 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Award winners are: · Air New Zealand - Leadership and Inspiration Award (supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) - Asena Tolungamaka, 23, studying law is of Tongan descent, from Auckland. · Ako Aotearoa - STEM Award - Lupesina Koro, 18, studying a conjoint Engineering and Commerce degree of Samoan and Tokelauan descent, from Auckland. · Auckland Council - Community Star Award -Teri Tuuau, 22, studying law is of Samoan descent, from Auckland. · BNZ - Commercial and Corporate Award (supported by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples) - Hazel Umaga, 24, studying business is of Cook Island, Maori and Samoan descent, from Auckland. · Creative New Zealand and Massey University - Arts and Creativity Award - John Belford-Lelaulu, 24, an architect who owns the social design business MAU Studio is of Samoan descent, from Auckland. · Deloitte - Business and Entrepreneurship Award - Taylor McDonald, 21, completing a conjoint degree in business and design of Samoan and Maori descent, from Auckland; · New Zealand Institute of Sport - Sports and Fitness Award - Monique Lawrence, 19, fitness student of Samoan descent, from Auckland. · New Zealand Institute of Sport - Sports and Fitness Award - Elena Euese, 19, fitness student of Samoan descent, from Auckland. · Pacific Cooperation Foundation – International Scholar Award - Charlie Sofe, 21, engineering student studying in Christchurch is from Samoa. Further Information can be found here.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Justice Minister moves on year and day rule

Posted: 28 Mar 2018 01:37 AM PDT

Justice Minister Hon Andrew Little’s Crimes Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today. “The Crimes Amendment Bill updates the law by repealing three obsolete provisions in the Crimes Act which do not reflect how the criminal law should operate in today’s New Zealand. “The year and day rule’ and spousal immunity from prosecution for accessory after the fact will be removed. In addition, the offence of blasphemous libel will be repealed. “These are somewhat minor changes in the context of our criminal law code that should have happened a long time ago. A more thorough review of the Crimes Act is underway but won’t be completed until 2019. “This Government is committed to ensuring the criminal code in New Zealand is fit for purpose, reflects current attitudes on the place of the criminal law, and does not prevent those who break the law from being held to account. “The Bill repeals the law which protects people who help their spouse or civil union partners evade justice. This protection creates an anomaly. It does not apply to other people in close personal relationships who are protecting someone. There is no justification to continue this immunity from prosecution where a person deliberately obstructs justice. “The Bill repeals ‘Blasphemous Libel’ which has not been prosecuted in New Zealand since 1922 and raises potential Bill of Rights Act concerns. “This provision is seen by many as an archaic and obsolete provision that has no place in a modern society that protects freedom of expression. “The Bill also repeals the ‘year and a day rule’ which prevents people from being prosecuted for causing the death of a person who dies after that length of time. “With advances in medical science and life support machines that may keep victims alive for longer than a year and a day, there is no justification for this rule. It dates to medieval times and has been repealed in other Commonwealth countries so it’s timely that New Zealand catches up and removes this outdated law. “The rule, along with a range of other factors, was a potential bar to prosecution in the CTV building collapse following the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. In that case the cause of death may have related to faulty building design which occurred many years prior to the building collapse. “Tidying up criminal law to keep it relevant is paramount to this Government. The Bill has been referred to the Justice Committee for consideration and is open to public submissions,” says Andrew Little.

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