Wellington seminars

I spent yesterday afternoon at a couple of policy-focused seminars in Wellington.

The first of them –  “Tax on Tuesdays: Time to Even it Up” – was hosted by Victoria University’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, in conjunction with (if I heard correctly) the PSA and something called the Tax Justice Network Aotearoa NZ.  So the orientation was fairly left-wing, and explicitly focused more on fairness than, say, efficiency or prosperity.  But there were some interesting speakers, even if they didn’t have much time each so couldn’t dot all the i’s, cross all the t’s etc.

The first was Andrea Black, former Treasury/IRD official, former independent expert adviser to the recent Tax Working Group, tax blogger (and occasional commenter here), who focused on taxation of capital income.  After repeating her support for a capital gains tax, her distinctive argument was for an increase in the company tax rate to match the maximum personal income tax rate.   The main arguments appeared to be that (a) the most assured way of being able to tax the incomes of rich people in New Zealand was to tax companies (since in closely-held companies much of profits are distributed by way of loans –  not taxable in the hands of recipients –  rather than as dividends), and (b) the old argument about cleanness, minimising avoidance etc in having the company tax rate, the trust rate, and the maximum personal tax rate aligned (there being plenty of evidence that people will do what they can to defer tax by being paid through companies etc where possible).

I wasn’t really persuaded.  With dividend imputation, the company tax rate in New Zealand bears much more heavily on foreign investors (none of whom needs to be here) than it does on domestic shareholders.  In a country with low rates of business investment and now relatively low rates of foreign investment, it seems cavalier to be calling for increases in company tax rates which the global trend is clearly downwards (at 33 per cent the company tax rate would be the second highest in the OECD).   In defence of her position, Andrea invoked some old IRD analysis that company tax cuts haven’t made much difference to investment –    IRD has a strong institutional bias towards a simple tax system and little real focus on productivity, economic performance or anything of the sort – while noting that “if you did care about foreign investors” –  there were various technical tweaks (I didn’t catch them, but perhaps thin capital rules?) that could be adjusted to compensate them at least in part.

As if to forestall a question, Andrea alluded to this chart I’ve used several times –  a version of which appeared in the TWG’s own background document last year.

corp tax 2017

Prima facie, it didn’t as though – by international standards – we were undertaxing business income.

Now, of course, there are some well-recognised caveats to this data.  First, it doesn’t take account of dividend imputation in New Zealand (and Australia, but not elsewhere), and the TWG suggested there were some issues around consistency of treatment of government-owned businesses.  On the other hand, in many countries lots of stocks are owned by long-term savings vehicles with much less onerous tax provisions than their peers in New Zealand would have, and our tax system (mercifully) has fewer deductions and “holes” in it.     In yesterday’s presentation Andrea suggested that in many other countries various classes of business income that would be incorporated –  and thus captured in the chart – here wouldn’t be treated the same way in other countries.

All that said, if anyone is seriously suggesting that the chart of OECD data is substantially misleading about the New Zealand position –  say that in truth we might be in the lower half of the chart on an apples-for-apples comparison, the onus is probably on them to demonstrate that more specifically.    The OECD data itself suggests we have taxed businesses quite heavily going back 50 years, to (for example) well before imputation was ever on the scene (chart in this post).  Perhaps it is just coincidence – and I’m certainly not suggesting it is the only factor –  that business investment as a share of GDP has been low by OECD standards throughout almost all that period.

The second speaker was inequality researcher Max Rashbrooke.  His focus was on taxing wealth.  He doesn’t like the idea of a land tax (partly because land is held more widely than most assets, partly because Maori land would have to be “omitted for justice”) or the risk-free rate of return deemed income method that has been proposed by various groups (including the McLeod tax report, and TOP) because he doesn’t believe it is right or politically feasible to include the family home.    His argument was for a wealth tax, levied at (say) 1 per cent per annum on net wealth, but applying only to those with net wealth in excess of (say) $1 million.  This was sold as something of a moneypot, with revenue estimates of $6 billion a year.

Based on what he told us yesterday, the ideas didn’t seem to have been advanced in much detail yet, including the question of how one might get annual valuations of unlisted companies.   I asked about what proportion of his estimated $6 billion of revenue would come from ordinary middle-aged and elderly Auckland homeowners (given his unease about taxing the family home), but he didn’t know.   Personally, I couldn’t help thinking that a better approach would be to fix the urban land market at source – kill off the regulatorily-induced artifical land values, and (a) the cause of justice and fairness more generally would be served, and (b) there would be nothing like $6 billion per annum of revenue on offer.

The third speaker was someone called Michael Fletcher, of IGPS, who was apparently an advisor to the Welfare Working Group.  He was mostly talking about the welfare system –  in lots of detail, but with a view of the place of the welfare system that was so different to my own that I’m not going to spend much time here on what he said.  There was the odd striking statistic, notably his suggestion that perhaps 100000 people may be entitled to the Accomodation Supplement but not getting it (and he highlighted how easy the Australian comparable entitlement is to access, if you are entitled to it, relative to New Zealand), but I was left unchanged in my view that so much could be done for the better, for those at the bottom, if only the urban land market were freed-up.  Rents, after all, should have dropped very substantially in real terms over the last decade –  in a functioning market that would be an expected corollary of steep falls in long-term real interest rates – and haven’t because central and local government rig the system against renters and new purchasers of dwellings.

For myself, on tax I remain tantalised by the idea of a progressive consumption tax. In the abstract, it gets around all the debates on capital gains taxes, realisations (or not), company taxes, gift or inheritance taxes or whatever, and has the appealing the feature of taxing people on what they consume not on what they produce.  Of course, no country runs such a system –  which does have formidable practical issues.   And if one wants to align company and personal rates – which has some appeal (although the Nordic model questions that), better to lower the personal income tax rates by 5 percentage points (max rate to 28 per cent) and add a Social Security Tax of 5 percentage points on labour income up to a certain threshold.  New Zealand and Australia are, as I understand it, the only OECD countries not to adopt some such model (we do it on a very small scale with ACC).

From Victoria University, it was up the street to The Treasury where Alan Bollard was billed as speaking on

“New Zealand as a Leaky Economy: Are We Responding to Changes in Globalisation?”

As Alan is a smart guy, has been one of the “great and the good” of the New Zealand establishment for decades –  chief executive of one body after another for more than 30 years – even as New Zealand’s economic performance has continued to languish, and has recently finished a stint as Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, it should have been interesting and stimulating.  It wasn’t.

Here was the summary that drew me along

For the last few decades New Zealand’s general policy approach has been to pursue economic openness (with some protections), in order to get the benefit of international growth drivers. Some of the political and economic developments around globalisation today are challenging that traditional approach.

Traditionally we think of external economic balance as the current account. Dr Bollard’s approach would go much wider, exploring our patterns of merchandise trade flows, services trade, short term capital movements, outward direct investment, labour movements, economic migration, data movements, business mobility and other less tangible flows (e.g. intellectual property, human capital) across borders.

Much of the debate centres on our inflows. This seminar turns the spotlight on outflows. It questions whether we are leaking value internationally: losing talent, falling off the value chain, undervaluing services, losing businesses (including their ideas and their taxes) to overseas interests. Questions abound: do we really leak value, do we have any alternatives, and what might “sticky policies” look like?

But there just wasn’t very much there.

He talked under various headings.

On goods market trade, what he had to say seemed to boil down to the fact that distance really matters for New Zealand and that two-thirds of our exports are still commodities, noting the failure of the Fonterra value-added dream.    We draw on tangible and inflexible resources (natural resources) whereas places like Hong Kong or Singapore (or, one could add, major European or North American cities) don’t.

On services trade, there also wasn’t much there.  He noted that New Zealand had long been a net services importer, but beyond noting –  rather misleadingly – that tourism and export education had been doing well, there wasn’t much beyond noting various global trends and technologies.

On international capital markets, there also wasn’t much.  As he noted, we typically have current account deficits, have modest savings rates, and have a banking system mainly run by Australian banks.  The claim that markets internationally are “increasingly globalised” seemed odd, both against the backdrop of smaller global imbalances than were apparent last decade, and the rising tide of restrictions in various places on foreign investment (whether US restrictions on China, or New Zealand restrictions on purchases of houses or farm land –  both of which he noted).

Of the market in labour, there was (surprisingly) little or no mention of immigration policy, but quite a focus on the outward flow of New Zealanders (and the high skill levels of many New Zealanders).  His assertion is that “talent is increasingly mobile”, and yet across the board for New Zealand that also looks not really true –  it is harder for New Zealanders now to go to Australia than it was and, as a result, that net outflows of NZ citizens) are much smaller (share of population) than they were several decades ago, even as the productivity and income gaps have widened further.

In discussing the market for corporate control, Alan listed various facts and factoids, including the suggestion that one of the biggest assets now owned by foreign companies was “our data”, and the notion that New Zealand ideas leaked abroad (but then, as he had noted earlier, this is hardly new –  Glaxo having been founded in the 19th century New Zealand).

And then as he got to the end and turned to policy, he could only conclude that there were – in his view – ‘no easy answers’, including noting that we were constrained by various international agreements (he didn’t tell us what interventions he’d propose if we weren’t).  There was favourable mention of the student loans policy that bears more heavily on people if they leave than if they stay, repetition of an old (misleading) line that houses have become international financial assets, and really not much more.  And there was the old question of who do we make New Zealand policy for: New Zealand or New Zealanders, and who counts as New Zealanders in this context, but few or no attempts at answers.    The fact that New Zealanders would be crewing many of the America’s Cup yachts of other countries, and that some New Zealanders would be playing for other countries’ RWC teams was mentioned, but not in a way that left me any close to sensing that he was doing more than lamenting New Zealand’s continuing economic decline –  without, in the hallowed halls of Treasury, being so upfront as to mention it –  which sees able New Zealanders looking abroad for better returns to their talent (as able people from many middle income and poor countries do –  see African or Latin American players in European soccer leagues).

To his credit, Alan took a lot of questions.  In many cases, the questioners seemed to be attempting to get Alan to endorse their preferred line of argument or policy option.  Actually, that included his wife –  Jenny Morel –  who suggested that Alan was underplaying the success of our high-tech firms (citing the repeatedly spun and highly misleading TIN report), to which Alan returned to his theme that such companies can and do leave very quickly, and noting again the loss of able people (explicitly highlighting that the two Bollard children are now living and working abroad, apparently permanently).

A Treasury official asked Alan about the real exchange rate, noting that many conventional analyses (and, perhaps, unconventional ones like my own) stress the role of a persistently overvalued real exchange rate.  Alan was pretty dismissive of the issue, suggesting if there was an issue it was nothing more than cyclical.

Perhaps, but when the gap between productivity and income levels in New Zealand and the rest of advanced world has kept widening for decades, and yet the real exchange rate has been high and rising this century and the foreign trade shares (imports and exports) have been falling, it looks like an issue that might repay rather more attention.  In my experience, Alan always tended to treat the real exchange rate as a financial variable, whereas is generally better seen as a real phenomenon, the outcome of various domestic pressures and imbalances (the price of non-tradables –  driven by domestic forces –  relative to the global price of tradables).

Alan Bollard wasn’t purporting to offer some fully-developed story of New Zealand’s economic decline, so I won’t fault him for not doing so, but it ended up as a rather strange talk.  The subtext was of the failures –  and yet those declining trade shares were never mentioned, nor (for that matter) the productivity story –  and there was the mixed pride and regret of older parents whose children have joined, perhaps permanently, the diaspora.  It was as if he knew there were problems, perhaps even rather serious ones, but wasn’t able or willing to think hard, or talk openly, about causes and what aspects New Zealand authorities could so something about.  That’s a shame.



28 thoughts on “Wellington seminars

  1. Thanks Michael. I know the company tax rate will always be a point of difference for us.

    I understand the concerns about business income but I come from a place of being concerned about personal services income earned within a company structure as is the case for a lot of closely held companies. I had been a proponent of making such companies flow through to the owners – as is the case largely in the US – but have been convinced by other tax people that this is too complex and raising the company tax rate is far simpler. So long as adjustments are made for foreign capital. Yes I was talking about thin capitalisation.

    I do understand your point and I accept my argument will not get traction outside parts of the tax community but we do have a problem with untaxation of personal income earned in the company form.


    • THanks

      What is the practical problem with compelling distributions each year (as they do in Ireland, as I understand it, even for listed companies)? Seems reasonable to use a corporate form for limited liabilty, but not use it for income sheltering.


      • I am not sure there are practical problems. Particularly if they were notional rather than cash.

        More just general resistance to the idea.

        Although what you are suggesting could also be called ‘integration’ And different classes of share tends to be given as the reason why that wouldn’t work.


      • Personally I have not seen very much undertaxation in companies having handled more than 2,000 plus small business accounts currently and through my 30 years in NZ having handled more than 20,000 different clients in varying types of small businesses. Profits are usually fully distributed and taxed in the hands of the owners. There may be some income sharing proportion distribution that may occur to reduce the tax rate between husbands and wives and not paying FBT on private vehicles but that is pretty much the extent of undertaxation that actually occur with most of our small businesses.

        Company profits might be taxed at the lower rate of 28% but as soon as that is distributed to owners there is another 5% tax paid on the fully imputed dividends paid to owners that earn more than $70k as the imputation credit reserve is only up to 28%. Can’t really claim undertaxation on that basis.


  2. Perhaps mandatory distribution would worsen the effective tax burden for foreign investors in a NZ sub (by reducing the value of a deferred dividend)?

    As you suggest, no cash needs to pass. For NZ-owned firms it seems quite appealing as an option, so it would be interesting to understand any good reasons not to go that route.

    Doing so would probably leave me more interested in a Nordic model – which has its own admin issues for closely-held companies.


  3. With no change to the company rate or and increase but greater allowance for deductible debt – I am not sure there would be much of a change to foreign (widely held) investors. As company tax is a final tax and if paid no NRWT.

    So then why do it?


  4. But without cross-border imputation don’t (say) ANZ in Australia – or their shareholders – pay tax on dividends received from ANZ NZ? If so, forcing distribution would bring forward that tax liability.

    If I’m wrong about that, I can’t see any particular downside to mandating full distribution each year


    • It is not practical to force a full distribution as companies do need to retain some profits for expansion. The profits kept in the company is already tax paid at 28%. That is why most accountants would distribute fully to owners if there is no cash held in the company. Cash sitting in a bank account held by the company earns interest at 3%. Most business entrepreneurs would not leave cash sitting in a bank account earning that rate. It is not in their nature. That level of forced intervention is just unnecessary.


    • Pretty sure the dividends are exempt in Australia. A participation exemption is pretty standard. Forcing distributions would be an extra compliance cost for a benefit I cant see. Banks also have other classes of share so the allocation of imputation credits might be an issue.

      I am not sure there is a lot between us in practice.

      Currently any closely held company can elect to be look through. This has the effect of forcing distributions. There are compliance issues with this but it is a choice. In practice it is those whose companies where when the profit is allocated the tax is less – make that election.
      This would continue under an increased company tax rate and so more are likely to make that election. So an increase in company tax rate would have no real effect on small not very profitable companies. This is most likely to be where all the startups sit.

      Widely held fully distribute. So instead of shareholders paying 28% company tax and 5% rwt they would pay 33%company tax. So no reall effect on widely held companies.

      Foreign investment. An increase in company tax could be countered by an increase in allowable deductible debt. Or something techy with a degree of refundabiityof imputation credits. This is before we get to a discussion of the merits of the cut in company tax which is what the IR work suggests.

      Then what is left is profitable closely held companies where the shareholders and directors are the business. There have been soaring loans from such companies to their shareholders since the 28% rate came in. Alongside dividend avoidance behaviour to clear those loans.

      Your suggestion of forcing distributions on this group is equivalent to my original view of mandating the flow through company rules on them. Either way the shareholders in this group will pay 33% tax.

      To me – now – it is just simpler to raise te company tax rate.


  5. As I understand Andrea’s concern, there is quite a bit of evidence that closely-held companies are distributing profits to shareholders by loans rather than dividends, thus allowing continued deferral of the additional 5% tax (without cash continuing to sit in the company bank account). This might apply, for example, to consultants operating through a little company.

    Liked by 1 person

    • IRD has the discretion to deem a dividend on loans from closely held companies so it is not a common practice to defer income by a loan to shareholders. Most accountants can’t be bothered as the fee paid by clients are far too low to get IRD’s attention and to have to undergo a tax audit and tax query which the client would not pay for. IRD’s IR4 company tax return forms require loans to shareholders to be declared to IRD.

      What does occur often is that Shareholders would provide a loan to the company usually in the first 2 to 3 years of a startup. Tax is not paid on loan repayments on the initial loans provided by shareholders. These amounts can be substantial and would be likely where Andrea’s concern is rather wrong and misplaced as these are usually already tax paid funds provided to the start up company anyway.

      Therefore a forced distribution would be totally unfair where loans are being repaid.

      Therefore I think Andrea is wrong to be concerned. Sure, some clients can get aggressive with costs to reduce profits and save on the 28% tax but over 5% savings few would even bother.


      • But I was surprised recently when a rather large multinational Accountancy firm got rather confused with Look Through Companies loans to shareholders and tried to warn me about deemed dividends of that shareholders loan. I had to remind that tax partner that there is no such deemed dividends with Look Through companies as profits are fully distributed to owners. Any shareholders loans from Look Through Companies are already fully tax paid by shareholders.


      • Note that Look Through Companies(LTC) for tax purposes operate along the lines of Limited Liability partnerships(IR7 not IR4) and therefore all profits are fully distributed and fully taxed in the hands of shareholders. These Look Through Companies(LTC) can show significant Shareholders loans from closely held companies. I think Andrea is looking at the wrong numbers in her analysis of closely held companies. She needs to exclude Look Through Companies from her analysis of closely held companies.


  6. Michael
    I agree with you as regards Allan Bollard’s lecture. It felt as if we were being pointed towards the big hole in NZ economic policy… but then it traversed the landscape without really giving tangible form to either the problem or the solution. For me he was at his most tangible when talking about the “value add production curve”

    And his tidy anecdote about NZ cows and Fonterra selling milk powder to Singapore based manufacturers of high value dairy products. But I was still unclear about the “so what?”. OK NZ-inc makes milk powder and other people make ice cream and baby formula… but was there a solution?
    Was he advocating that Government should have an industries policy… picking winners?
    Where did the knowledge that others are making money from NZ milk get us?


  7. Seemingly as an ignorant amateur the real tax problem is the lack of net income for the low earners and far too many opportunities for the well off. Perhaps a payroll tax added on top of existing income tax and paid from the employer or by the equivalent self-employed and the revenue used in total to be paid back to every citizen as a reduction of the bottom income stream as a nil tax band.


  8. It seems to me when I hear people of a certain age and stage talk about their children and their success on the world stage it seems to come with a touch of lament that their children can’t seem to have a glittering international career and a kiwi lifestyle at the same time.

    Last time I heard this I asked the person speaking to me if they had ever considered that while raising their children they had encouraged them to attend top universities and shoot for a high profile role at a top bank, consulting or law firm and thought that their child would ever be content with returning to New Zealand for a lot less pay and opportunity.

    The response I got was that the (adult) child and their family weren’t happy living in the (prosperous) city that they live in and would return to New Zealand if they could.

    I asked what was stopping them as if you are a kiwi citizen it’s pretty straightforward to just return home. They said well the missed opportunities of course. I asked what value they would put on such missed opportunity to which I got a blank stare.

    Which got me thinking for particularly skilled kiwis a cohort of which would probably return home if they could what is the average ‘price’ (in terms of forgone income etc.) they would pay to return? Has there ever been any analysis on this? Did Alan Bollard offer any insight as part of his anecdote?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not aware of any analysis along the lines you talk of, altho the choice keeps getting harder as the income/productivity gaps widen a bit more each decade. Alan didn’t – and given he was raising it in response to a question posed by his own wife, I guess I’d have been surprised if he had.


    • I offer a few comments, based on my own observation only… one difference between business professionals in NZ and other developed countries is that we tend to rush through our university education, at a young age, work for a few years in NZ and then travel and work, usually in the UK. Assuming leaving high school at 18, doing 4-5 years at university, 2-4 years working in NZ, that means the average OE participant is reaching London at age 25-28 (my case was 27). Once there, we do a few years casual work, travel and party a lot, at which point either you get serious and move into a proper job with high pay and responsibilities, or you come home. If you stay, this is also about the time people marry and settle down. Once you settle down, the idea of moving back to NZ becomes a big challenge – very disruptive on many fronts (partner, children, schools, housing etc.) Some serious analysis has to be done before jumping into that. In contrast, most business professional Europeans I know do their equivalent of an OE before starting work, either directly after school (the gap yah) or during studies as internships. When it comes time to settle down, they are in their own country, starting on a career and therefore very unlikely to migrate.

      Even if you miss the “lifestyle” (i.e. what you remember from your childhood, growing up in a house your parents had paid off by age 40), that lifestyle is a myth now… The best I could offer my foreign spouse is to move to a smaller, crappier house in a bad part of Auckland, still with a crushing mortgage, long commute, dodgy neighbourhoods. Forget owning a bach and long summers at the beach… You can always rent one now from the lucky families who own one already, but of course, you can also rent holiday homes in Europe too, and fly cheaply to a variety of equally pleasant holiday destinations.

      To go back to the question about analysis of the cost of staying or coming back to NZ, one statistic I think is telling is the numbers of Kiwis versus Aussies living in the UK – roughly 60,000 according to 2011 census NZers, and 130 – 200,000 Australians. Taking even the higher number, this is three times as many Australians, whereas there are five times as many in general. It is safe to say, there would be an equal lifestyle migration “pull” for both nationalities, yet the Kiwis choose to stay in the UK in greater numbers… that difference I submit is proportionate to the economic difference between Australia and NZ.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for those perspectives. As someone who has mostly lived in NZ, I sometimes wonder what the vaunted “NZ lifestyle” really now is, other than perhaps memories of childhood (that everyone has re their own place). And every place has its attractions – in our small coastal capital city, I go walking by the sea every morning, which I couldn’t do in London or Paris, but there are plenty of things one can’t do here one can do there. And, over time, income differences really begin to count, esp when NZ refuses any longer to let the market work to ensure the young generation can purchase decent houses at modest income multiples. With every passing year, I worry more about the prospects of my own teenagers.


      • I am sympathetic with this. I did my OE (24-28) in the UK during the ERM recession in the 90s. We may well have stayed if the economic climate was better for us and could have lived in London. Coming home pregnant with pounds and before housing got silly – we have had a comfortable life since then in NZ.

        Everything is now much harder here for my children though than was for me at same age. And now my ‘pregnancy’ has just moved to London himself. Earning alot of money and having a great time. Which is absolutely wonderful until the potential future complications- for me only – of English girlfriends arise.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for this observation and this would gel with my experience of my own peer group. For me personally I got it all a bit mixed up and did the 4 to 5 years straight out of uni overseas and ended up back in NZ somewhat by accident and have become in a sense ‘stuck’ here in the same way others get stuck in London, Singapore, San Francisco or wherever.

        The problems with Auckland are exactly how you describe them and one thing for me that I always find quite tough when returning from overseas travel is how poor Auckland just feels as a place – the place I have ended up calling home.

        For some people that were fortunate through timing or circumstance they probably still can have a great kiwi lifestyle/dream. Unfortunately for me it is the place I am stuck in for the foreseeable future with a poor facsimile of that dream – and what is particularly concerning is that I am comparatively quite fortunate compared to many people here…


      • My first property was in Mt Roskill off Duke St. Paid $130k. It was nestled in amongst state housing. They found a dead body in the park nearby one day. It was considered a bad area. Today it is not. I think todays kids expect too much.


  9. It’s all in the mathematics

    As foreign companies (or foreign investors if you will) increase their NZ GDP footprint, BUT, using transfer pricing and thin capitalisation, minimise their NZ tax contributions (as a share of GDP), then the natives have to pick up the burden that is shifted onto their shoulders.

    Meantime our potentates are frothing at the mouth over wellbeings, and mental health, and sexual harassments, and Ihumatao, and getting wellington moving, and subsidies for top-end $70,000 EV’s.

    The lack of action on zero-taxation of multi-nationals in NZ is on-going. Watch the TV news, listen to the radio, listen to the BS spin from the wellington twerps and you won’t hear a thing about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Another example announced on the television news tonight

      Tim Cook of Apple announced the upcoming launch of AppleTV in 100 countries including NZ at $4.99 per month

      The list now includes Netflix, Prime TV, Prime Video, HBO, AppleTV which amount to straight transfers of value/wealth from TVNZ1, TVNZ2, TVNZ3, etc, paid directly to USA, no GST, No tax

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is also unclear to me why there are GST free retail shops for travelers who use roads and other public amenities. Also lawyers do not charge GST for overseas buyers of NZ property.


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