Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mike Butler: Another billion dollar tribe

South Island tribe Ngai Tahu’s 2014 report boasts a net worth of $1.075-billion and distributions of $21.96-million which is 13.6 percent of the tribe’s total net profit of $160.58-million.

Charitable distributions for the 2014 year were grants to: Runanga $5.76-million, healthy environments $7.4-million, marae communities $4-million, natural environment $2.7-million, and education $2.1-million.

Ngai Tahu distributes more than the other billion dollar tribe, Waikato-Tainui, whose charitable distributions of $6.1-million over the past year only make up about nine percent of the tribal corporation’s consolidated net profit of $70.9-million.

A negligible amount of $409,000 is listed as tax on comprehensive income summary. From April 1, 2003, any organisation that administers a marae situated on a Maori reservation may qualify for an income tax exemption as a charity, as long as it uses its funds to administer and maintain the marae’s physical structure and land, or for charitable purposes.

The exemption gives tribes a huge competitive advantage over other businesses and enables them to build their empires with their hands deep in taxpayers’ pockets.

A non-Maori business posting a $160-million profit would expect to pay around $53-million in tax.

Ngai Tahu's assets by sector currently comprise 14 percent development properties, 19 percent investment properties, 14 percent rural land, 23 percent Ryman Healthcare, 12 percent capital, 5 percent tourism, 13 percent seafood (including quota).

Ngai Tahu’s main business before 1998 was claiming money from the government and through this lucrative endeavour managed to benefit from five full and final settlements.

This tribe also made money out of selling the South Island before 1840, and selling it all over again to the New Zealand government after 1840.

Despite wealth past, present and future, Ngai Tahu routinely claims that they were hard done by. Leader Mark Solomon told Television New Zealand’s Q&A show on June 6, 2010, that:
Ngai Tahu lost 12 billion dollars worth of assets and accepted as a compensation $170-million. Do the maths. The fact that people in New Zealand argue that the settlements are far too high, if they looked at the reality of what Maori have lost, and then look at the compensation, Maori should be being thanked for the levels of the settlements they accept, not be derided by the rest of the community.

Ngai Tahu’s 2014 report,


Barry said...

I think that traitorous politicians have done this to NZ.

Anonymous said...

In 1840, Ngai Tahu owned nothing.

Leaving aside the fact that by the time the Treaty was signed, they’d already sold most of the land several times over to Sydney-based speculators (most sales annulled by Land Commissioner Spain and the land returned to be sold all over again, this time to the Crown), land ownership as it is normally understood was unknown in pre-Treaty New Zealand.

Property rights come about in one of two ways:

1.What in a pre-legal society might be termed “Customary Title.” This is not ownership at all, merely a temporary right of use or occupation, lasting only until extinguished by superior force.

2.Legal ownership. This means the ability to exclude others by the force of law. The underlying requirement is a universally recognised, settled form of civil government that protects property owners against violent dispossession, and provides for ongoing security of tenure, i.e. “time without end in the land.”

Former Auckland University Professor of Maori Studies, Dr Ranginui Walker, has stated: “On the eve of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, there was not one inch of land in New Zealand without its Maori owners.” Such an assertion, while politically useful, is factually vacuous.

Prior to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840, there was no such thing as a collective “Maori.” Nor was there any settled form of civil government. The functional social unit of pre-European Maori society was the hapu, or sub-tribe. Each hapu was in a Hobbesian state of nature (“War of every man against every man”) with every other hapu, rendering life “nasty, brutish and short.”

In his book Maori Land Tenure: Studies of a Changing Institution (1977), Sir Hugh Kawharu blatantly sets out to fabricate a universally recognised body of Maori property rights pre-dating the Treaty of Waitangi. By implication, these were rudely subsumed by white-settler governments, who substituted their own Eurocentric notions of property ownership. This now widely accepted thesis is arrant nonsense designed to fudge or remove the fact that “Customary Title” is in practical terms no title at all.

Within the hapu-controlled estate, whanau groups sometimes enjoyed the exclusive rights of occupancy or usufruct that Kawharu has identified, but the only universally accepted concept of land ownership BETWEEN hapu was "Te rau o te patu" or "The Law of the Club."

This means that before 1840, though various Maori tribes were effectively the sole occupants of New Zealand, they were never owners. In the absence of a settled form of civil government, hapu merely used or occupied land only until someone else came along and took it off them.


Anonymous said...

I operate in a business sector (buses) that now has to compete with a tribal partnership owning one of NZs largest bus companies. Facts and information on how much tax these companies actually pay, is very hard to pin down. As a taxpaying company, can I assume I will now pay more tax to cover the tax GoBus are not going to pay from now on? Any suggestions welcome.

Ray S said...

The establishment of maori corporations under the guise of charities is a massive rort of the taxpayer. As a charity they pay no tax on profits. How a government intent on 'balancing the books' can turn a blind eye to this beggers belief.

Anonymous said...

People tend to forget the story of Kupe, who came to NZ and took over from the Mori Ori.
The Spanish Conquistadores took over and annihilated Inca Society in the name of God.
Look what Mugabe and his thugs did in Zimbabwe.

Sot lets ask the question, who were the original "owners of NZ".

when the brits came to NZ, they found a country run by savages the fought and killed each other.

Another question. wHO IS RIPPING WHO OFF?


RC said...

and the catholic church pays no tax or the brethrens who run huge farming operations let us stop all these charities which are just businesses.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are simple, some would say unfair. They run like this.
Share holders are the owners of a business so surely members of a tribe are the owners of tribal businesses. If a tribe makes a profit of $165 million profit surely that could be attributed equally to all shareholders. Would this not mean that those "Shareholders" currently receiving some form of benefit should have their benefits reduced as happens for all other beneficiaries who earn some income from investments or other work? Seems like double dipping in a big way to me. What do others think? Can't write my name I want to keep my house intact.

Barry said...

I think that Anonymous at 5:43 PM on October 15 put it accurately and beautifully. I think that any other account of the position in 1840 is lying.

Barry said...

I too (Anonymous at 8:15 PM on October 15) would like to see the full details of the taxing of ngai tahu's various incomes.