New online tool for business owners

A new online tool to help small business owners quickly and easily choose their business structure has been launched by Small Business Minister Stuart Nash.

“Most businesses in New Zealand are either sole traders, companies, or partnerships. It can sometimes be daunting or confusing to decide which structure works best for your business,” Mr Nash says.

“New Zealand business structures have different legal and financial obligations which can affect the ability of a business to evolve or grow. It’s important for businesses get it right the first time.

“We are committed to helping New Zealand small businesses succeed, and that means ensuring they know where to get support from the very beginning.

“The online tool, developed by, asks small business owners three quick questions. The questions help determine whether a sole trader, partnership or company structure is likely to be more suited to their business.

“The new tool, Choose Business Structure, takes an all-inclusive view of the various obligations and considerations businesses will face, such as tax, ACC, financial statements, and indemnity insurance. It was developed in collaboration with the Companies Office, New Zealand Business Number (NZBN), Inland Revenue, ACC and the private sector.

“It also offers practical tips, comparison tables and suggests when a business owner should talk with experts. It gathers information in one place so that small business owners can quickly and easily make decisions with confidence. If you’re already in business, it’s also a good way to check that you’re operating under the right structure.

“There are of course other structures such as trusts, unlimited liability companies, and co-operatives. I encourage business owners to check the new tool and explore other resources available from MBIE,” Mr Nash says.

Choose Business Structure is part of the new suite of tools on  designed to help businesses, with guidance personalised to their individual needs. The tool follows the launch of a re-vamped ONECheck in May, which is now being searched almost 2,000 times a day.

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Police initiatives across Auckland

Two new policing initiatives are being launched in Auckland with the objective of preventing crime, improving community safety, and reducing reoffending.

Police Minister Stuart Nash will today launch an iwi community justice panel, Te Pae Oranga, at Hoani Waititi Marae in west Auckland, before travelling 50 kilometres to the east of the city to open a new Police base in Beachlands on the Pohutukawa Coast.

“The trustees of Hoani Waititi Marae in Glen Eden have a long history of leading innovative restorative justice programmes,” Stuart Nash says.

“Hoani Waititi was one of the first marae to deliver Family Group Conferences and the late Judge Mick Brown held the first Youth Court sittings there. That approach has been maintained by current leaders including Sir Pita Sharples and Dame June Mariu.

“Hoani Waititi trustees have worked in partnership with Police to establish the country’s eleventh iwi community justice panel, Te Pae Oranga. It is the first iwi panel in the Waitematā Police District and means all three Auckland policing districts now have access to the restorative justice initiative.

“The panel has real potential to reduce reoffending and victimisation in Waitematā, as well as keeping young people off the pathway of crime that leads to prison. At around $100,000 per year per inmate, we can’t keep building American-style mega prisons every few years as the main feature of our justice policy.

“The panels are not a soft option. Police must agree to refer an offender for a hearing. The offences are at the lower end of the scale, often involving careless driving or shoplifting, wilful damage or public disorder. The offender must admit guilt and be held to account for what they have done. They are open to Maori and non-Maori.

“Members of the panel, respected community figures, encourage the offender to deal with the issues that led to the crime and work on a plan to stop it happening again. The offender has to make good for the harm they have caused. That might involve an apology to the victim, financial reparation, or some form of community service.

“Early research shows reoffending by those who have gone through a panel hearing is around 12% lower than other justice processes. They are particularly effective in reducing offending by young Maori between 17 and 24. We know they aren’t the whole answer, and that they won’t work for everybody. But we are bringing a fresh set of eyes to the challenges of our justice system,” Mr Nash says.

“On the other side of town the new Beachlands community policing base is in a fast-growing suburb in the largest policing district in the country. Despite the modern residential subdivisions it retains some of its original rural characteristics such as isolated road access, and is 20 kilometres from the nearest Police station.

“The new community base will bring a valuable Police presence to Beachlands. As well as the growing residential population its beachfront location is a magnet for visitors. In the summer months Police have recorded an increase in seasonal crime such as property damage, theft and antisocial crimes linked to alcohol. 

“Beachlands has a strong volunteer network of neighbourhood watch and community patrols. Local businesses are also investing in crime fighting tools like number plate recognition cameras. The new Police base will offer greater assurance to locals who want to see more resources for crime prevention and community safety.

“The Beachlands community policing base has a public counter staffed from 9.00am to 4.00pm, five days a week. Volunteers help with office duties while three constables use the site as a base for getting out into the community. More constables may be deployed there as resources start to become available from the government’s increased commitment to policing in Budget 2018.

“My priority as Police Minister is to ensure Police are fully resourced to help keep our communities safe. That is why our first Budget devoted an extra $300 million to policing. It is a first step. There will be more in future budgets. We are well on the way to meeting our plan for 1800 extra Police officers and 485 Police support staff.

“These two initiatives show the value of Police working in partnership with local communities to enhance safety, focus resources on crime prevention and look at new ways to reduce offending,” Mr Nash says.

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Eighty new Police recruits begin training

Police recruitment is taking another significant step forward with the arrival of eighty new recruits who begin training today at the Royal New Zealand Police College.

Police Minister Stuart Nash has extended a welcome to the recruits of Wing 319 who arrived over the weekend and begin their formal training today.

“I am delighted to see the diverse demographics of Wing 319,” Mr Nash says.

“There are 37 women, representing 46 per cent of the new recruits in this wing. Police have a goal of women making up 50 percent of new recruits as part of the longer-term plan to have more women entering senior ranks.

“Fifteen percent of the new recruits identify as Maori, just under eight percent as Pasifika, and nine percent as Asian. The youngest recruit is 18 years old and the eldest is 46.

“There is a tough 16-week training course ahead of these 80 recruits and I wish them all the best. They have shown a great deal of dedication and hard work to even make it into formal training and I acknowledge their commitment and the support of their families.

“Before they arrive at Police College every applicant sits a series of tests. They have to demonstrate their fitness levels, reasoning abilities and character, undergo reference checks and a medical examination. They must prove their skills at communication, building relationships, solving problems and delivering a high standard of service.

“We are building a stronger policing presence in our neighbourhoods to increase community safety and prevent crime. We set aside $300 million in new operating funding in this year’s Budget as a first step towards our goal of 1800 new Police officers and 485 new support staff over three years.

“I offer my thanks also to the Chief Executive of MBIE, Carolyn Tremain, who has agreed to be the Patron of Wing 319. Ms Tremain will offer valuable guidance and act as a mentor to the recruits, sharing her extensive knowledge of leadership and service in the public and private sectors,” Mr Nash says.


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Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Claims Settlement Bill

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Multinationals to pay fair share of tax

New measures to ensure multinational companies pay their fair share of tax will come into force next week.

The Taxation (Neutralising Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) Bill tonight passed its third reading in Parliament. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says it takes effect from 1 July and will considerably improve the integrity of the tax system.

“Companies should ideally pay tax in the right country,” says Mr Nash. “This legislation will ensure that multinationals pay tax based on the actual economic activity they carry out in New Zealand.

“It is not in the interest of New Zealand taxpayers if multinational companies avoid paying taxes here. The changes address the problem of companies operating cross-border and using aggressive tax structuring to reduce the tax they pay.

“Estimates from Inland Revenue are that these measures could result in an extra $200 million of tax revenue each year, once fully phased in. This will contribute to other Government priority areas like health, housing, education and policing.

“Ultimately however this is a matter of fairness – multinationals paying their fair share. Most multinationals operating here pay the tax they should and are compliant. But some adopt base erosion or profit shifting [BEPS] strategies to minimise their tax obligations.

“The BEPS strategies distort investment and threaten the integrity of tax systems all over the world. It also means Governments lose out on tax revenue. Unlike smaller domestic companies and individuals, large companies with cross-border structures can exploit opportunities to get around tax rules.

Mr Nash says the BEPS legislation is a first step, and he has asked Inland Revenue officials to work closely with international agencies like the OECD and G20 to consider whether further measures are required.

“These changes enjoy the unanimous support of Parliament and are possible thanks to the work of MPs from all political parties, as well as valuable advice from tax professionals and useful submissions from members of the public.

“We will have a better, fairer tax system as a result of these changes,” Mr Nash said.

The changes will prevent multinationals from using BEPS strategies, including:

  • artificially high interest rates on loans from related parties to shift profits out of New Zealand
  • related-party transactions which are intended to shift profits to offshore group members in a manner that does not reflect the actual economic activities undertaken in New Zealand and offshore
  • hybrid mismatch arrangements that exploit differences between countries' tax rules to achieve an advantageous tax position
  • artificial arrangements to avoid having a taxable presence or a permanent establishment in New Zealand
  • tactics to stymie an Inland Revenue investigation, such as withholding relevant information that is held by an offshore group member.
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