GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Collins already looking for the loopholes


It was interesting to watch Judith Collins commenting on the Cullen tax review on TV3 yesterday morning. It revealed a lot about how her mind works.

She zeroed in the recommendation that personal assets such as paintinga and jewellery would be exempt from the proposed Capital Gain regime and promptly announced that the rich would just switch from accumulating untaxed wealth on property to wheeling and dealing are and diamonds.

This is ceratinly a lady with an eye to the main chance offering a great tax avoidance tip to all of you who can afford to have a Picasso hanging on your wall and trays of diamond rings locked up in your private family vault.

And that’s the trouble with compromise attempts to close the huge and festering gap between the rich and the poor in our country isn’t it?

That unless you tax money that’s invested in ANYTHING that turns a profit then the rich are going to find a way to escape the tax net (and their responsibility to the society the live in).

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And if you also refuse to remove taxes that keep low income people poor – such as GST on food – then you will do nothing to solve the very great problem of inequality and unfairness in our land.


Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. Heres a reason why many Maori are poor … Because, since 1840; Post Treaty Settlement(s). Maori iwi entities have been paying a 99% Capital Gains Tax on all Settlements! The Crowns own Office of Treaty Settlements Red Book allows for only a 1% pay out of the quantums ‘negotiated’ settlement thats ‘agreed’ too even though the Crown holds all the cards as well as gets to shuffle the deck! So the wealthy NZ’ders should shut up and cough up at least 40% CGT!

    • Māori are poor because the crown just showed up one day and gave these wonderful bits of paper to low investment IQ individuals for all the assets of New Zealand. Those who refuse to play the game properly get punished.

  2. Up to a point. But it is the overinvestment in housing that has made homes unaffordable, both to rent and to buy. And that is what keeps the poor poor. The greater flaw in the wealth tax recommendations is the exemption of owner-occupied homes, which will continue to encourage people to pour money into oversized mansions. If the rich gamble their money into bidding up a fake Da Vinci from $50,000 to $600,000,000 and down again, sure, it deprives the nation of revenue, but it won’t put anyone on the street (except, with luck, the Da Vinci buyer).

  3. true Bryan

    if the coalition Govt. did gain a second term, with the holy grail of just the Greens as a partner, then the political priority would have to be getting Labour to relinquish its 30 year love affair with the Reserve Bank Act, SOEs, and free in and out flow of capital etc. i.e. the cosy Neo Liberal consensus between Labour and the Nats…

  4. The CGT thing is a minor sideshow to the report which is suggesting a level playing field of tax for all.

    The report is not about cgt it is about levelling the tax playing field.

    The media are only interested in asking the usual suspects about cgt.

    Level tax paying fields are SOOOO BORING.

    The media are despicable. basically they are too bloody lazy to do any real work. OK they are short of revenue, who isnt, aprt from the top 1%?


    • If you have nett assets of NZ$113,000 you are in the top 10% of wealth holders in the entire world, so basically the vast majority of NZ home owners are at least 10%ers. Those who rent and own a decent boat or car or a fancy bit of artwork, again 10%ers.

      The be in the top 1%, of the entire world, of nett wealth holders you need to have NZ$1.1 million which means anyone on Auckland or Tauranga who owns their own home is a 1%er.

      1%ers, NZ like most countries is chocker with them, they are your and my neighbours.

      It’s the 0.1%er’s who have the real coin.

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