NZ and the Gallipoli Campaign – The Anzacs…

The Gallipoli campaign

Page 1 – Introduction


The landing at Anzac, April 25, 1915

Each year on Anzac Day, New Zealanders (and Australians) mark the anniversary of the Gallipoli landings of 25 April 1915. On that day, thousands of young men, far from their homes, stormed the beaches on the Gallipoli Peninsula in what is now Turkey.

Key dates

25 April 1915: Gallipoli landings

8 May: NZ troops take part in Second Battle of Krithia

8 August: NZ troops capture Chunuk Bair

15-20 December: Troops evacuated from Anzac area

For eight long months, New Zealand troops, alongside those from Australia, Great Britain and Ireland, France, India, and Newfoundland battled harsh conditions and Ottoman forces desperately fighting to protect their homeland.

By the time the campaign ended, more than 130,000 men had died: at least 87,000 Ottoman soldiers and 44,000 Allied soldiers, including more than 8700 Australians. Among the dead were 2779 New Zealanders, about a sixth of all those who had landed on the peninsula.

In the wider story of the First World War, the Gallipoli campaign made no large mark. The number of dead, although horrific, pales in comparison with the death toll in France and Belgium during the war. However, for New Zealand, along with Australia and Turkey, the Gallipoli campaign is often claimed to have played an important part in fostering a sense of national identity.


Documents show John Key’s personal lawyer successfully lobbied him and Revenue Minister Todd McClay to stop IRD review of Foreign Trust regime, despite IRD concerns Foreign Trusts may hurt NZ’s reputation

Former Revenue Minister Todd McClay talking to journalists in Parliament. He is now Trade Minister.

By Bernard Hickey

Official documents show John Key’s personal lawyer, who runs a Foreign Trust law firm, successfully lobbied Key and Revenue Minister Todd McClay in late 2014 and early 2015 to stop an Inland Revenue Department review of New Zealand’s Foreign Trust rules that the industry thought could shut it down.

The rear-guard action was fought out through a series of emails, letters and meetings between December 2014 and March 2015 between key players in the foreign trust industry, Key, McClay and Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith. The partially redacted details from those documents were obtained from a series of Official Information Act requests from the Green Party, as published here.

The first documents disclosed begin with an email to McClay from Antipodes Trust, which is run by executive director Ken Whitney, who is John Key’s personal lawyer.

The name of the Antipodes Trust correspondent is redacted in the document. has asked Whitney if he wrote the letter, but he has yet to respond. TVNZ has reported Whitney wrote the letter, along with Stuff and NZ Herald.

“I am writing to you on behalf of a group of industry professionals operating in the New Zealand Foreign Trust industry. We are concerned that there appears to be a sudden change of view by the IRD in respect of their previous support for the industry,” Whitney wrote in the email dated December 3, 2014.

This followed the publication of a November 2014 document by the IRD signaling a full review of the Foreign Trust regime, given IRD’s concerns about the impact on New Zealand’s reputation caused by non-disclosure of trusts by ‘rogue’ operators. The issue blew up again earlier this month with the release of the Panama Papers, which showed Panama’s Mossack Fonseca used New Zealand trusts in structuring the affairs of a Mexican property developer and a Maltese politician. The Government initially denied the foreign trust sector needed reviewing, but relented after a week and appointed former PwC tax partner John Shewan to review disclosure.

An industry-penned briefing on the issue that was sent to McClay in December said it was concerned about the review, saying: “It is perplexing that the IRD is now talking about ‘shutting down’ this industry, when it has carried out no investigation of the industry and its benefits to New Zealand, and has not consulted with the service providers, despite many offers from the industry to do so.”

‘John told me this is review will not happen’

Whitney broke through to the Minister’s office by saying he had met personally with Key, who had told him the Government had no plans for a review.

“I have spoken to the Prime Minister about this and he advised that the Government had no current plans to change the status of the foreign trust regime applying in NZ,” Whitney’s letter to McClay said.

“The PM asked me to contact you to arrange a meeting at your convenience with a small group of industry leaders who are keen to engage to explain how the regime works and the benefits of an industry which has been painstakingly built up over the last 25 years or so,” the letter said.

The documents show that McClay then asked IRD officials to be at a meeting on December 18, 2014 he was having with Foreign Trust industry representatives from Antipodes, Cone Marshall, OliverShaw, an unnamed barrister and Anchor Trustees Ltd. The names of those involved have been redacted, although Interest has asked Whitney if he was present. The meeting was held at Antipodes’ offices at Forsyth Tower on Shortland St.

The industry group tabled an agenda paper that noted a potential review of the sector that could see income from foreign trusts taxed.

“This would close the industry down — these investors can have their funds managed in many other countries that do not levy additional taxes on them,” the industry paper said.

“The Group would like a commitment from Government as soon as possible that it will not conduct a public review of the foreign trust tax laws, but will instead direct officials to work with the Group to improve the existing rules and regulatory regime and ensure that in areas such as information sharing New Zealand meets its international commitments,” it said.

In the earlier paper sent by Antipodes to McClay, it noted some families and companies who had set up trusts here were concerned: “The recent announcement by the IRD has already resulted in concern by those persons, especially some US family offices that were planning to relocate to New Zealand.”

IRD explains why review necessary

For its part, IRD prepared a report for McClay ahead of the December 18 meeting that said the foreign trust sector in New Zealand had attracted criticism internationally, “along the lines that we are a tax haven.”

It noted that New Zealand was not a tax haven because tax havens were all about secrecy and New Zealand had information exchange agreements, although it noted its disclosure arrangements for Australian settlors of New Zealand trusts were more robust than with other countries.

“Having said this, the perception that we might be a tax haven is damaging to New Zealand’s ‘clean’ international reputation,” an IRD official wrote.

“This can only get worse in view of future developments by the OECD on BEPS, harmful tax practices, beneficial ownership and AEOI (Automatic Exchange of Information),” the official wrote.

“In particular, although the OECD’s Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP) and Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Practices and Glogal Forum on Transparancey and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (FHTP) have previously scrutinised our foreign trust rules, and identified no issues with the rules, the FHTP is currently redefining what the OECD sees as an unacceptable tax regime, and New Zealand will be subject to future review on the basis of the redefined criteria.”

IRD then detailed its concerns, including around the adequacy of disclosure and record-keeping requirements, IRD’s ability to ensure compliance and enforce the rules, and the increasing cost of enforcing the rules when there is no tax to be collected.

IRD worried about secret undisclosed trusts

IRD said there were 8,000 foreign trusts with New Zealand resident trustees that were currently active and disclosed to the IRD, although it said this was a significant under-estimate “because of the existence of structures whose purpose is to defeat the statutory disclosure requirements.”

IRD estimated the fees collected by the industry at NZ$24 million per annum on average, with the contribution to the New Zealand tax take from income and GST receipts from trust providers estimated at NZ$3 million per year.

“The next step is for us to discuss with you the merits of adding a review of foreign trusts to our work programme,” IRD concluded.

The email trail then goes quiet until a meeting is arranged between tax industry consultants OliverShaw and McClay on February 19, 2015, the details of which are largely redacted. Then a meeting between McClay and IRD officials is scheduled for February 24.

Read more:

I tried riding an e-bike, and it was nothing like I expected

me on a bike at brooklyn cycle shop
© Sun & Air Bike Shop

I was lost. That alone wouldn’t have been cause for alarm, but I was trying to maneuver a strange machine down the street at the time. As a car whizzed only inches away from my unshielded body, I started to think that leaving my phone at the bike shop was a bad idea.

It all started when New York City declared electric bikes legal a few weeks ago. These increasingly popular inventions are bikes with motors, kind of a cross between regular bikes and motorcycles. They use less energy than cars, making them relatively sustainable. So it was easy for Trek Bikes to lure me out to try one of their newest e-bike models. They directed me to the most Brooklyn kind of store imaginable: a bike shop/coffeeshop called the Sun & Air Bike Store.

A bike store employee pulled out a black bike that looked like it had gotten an MBA and was now working for Microsoft. As I examined the slick, heavy frame, noticing the “turbo” motor setting on an embedded display panel, I wondered if I’d perhaps bitten off more than I could chew. I hadn’t ridden a bike more than once or twice since moving to the city, mostly because the idea was terrifying. A few years ago, my roommate came home from his bike delivery job with a chin that wouldn’t stop bleeding due to a serious cut and a lack of health insurance. He’d been riding down the street, and a car door opened suddenly, smacking him in the face. And he was a pro rider on a regular bike; I was about to be an amateur on a weird invention.

“I’m a bit nervous about riding in New York,” I told the bike store worker.
“Do you have a bike?” she asked.
“In Illinois,” I responded.
She laughed. I might as well have told her I was still on training wheels.
“Take the bike lane down the block until you hit the water. Then you can ride back up the next block,” she told me. “Hm, is your bag in the way? I can hold onto that.”

Read more:

New Zealand Bans All New Offshore Oil Exploration

New Zealand Bans All New Offshore Oil Exploration

The New Zealand government will grant no new offshore oil exploration permits in a move that is being hailed by conservation and environmental groups as a historic victory in the battle against climate change,” writes Eleanor Ainge Roy in an article for The Guardian. “The ban will apply to new permits and won’t affect the existing 22, some of which have decades left on their exploration rights and cover an area of 100,000 sq km.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her government “has a plan to transition towards a carbon-neutral future, one that looks 30 years in advance”.

“Transitions have to start somewhere and unless we make decisions today that will essentially take effect in 30 or more years’ time, we run the risk of acting too late and causing abrupt shocks to communities and our country.”

“Today’s announcement is significant internationally too. By ending new oil and gas exploration in our waters, the fourth-largest exclusive economic zone on the planet is out of bounds for new fossil fuel exploitation. New Zealand has stood up to one of the most powerful industries in the world,” said the Greenpeace New Zealand executive director, Russel Norman.

“The opposition party slammed the government’s ban as “economic vandalism” and said it made no environmental sense,” reports the article.

“The Labour coalition government was elected last year and made tackling climate change one of the cornerstones of its policies, committing to transition to 100% of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2035 and making the economy carbon neutral by 2050.”

“Globally, everyone needs to be making these kinds of decisions to meet their Paris targets,” said Ardern, as reported in Bloomberg.

“We have to start taking those obligations seriously.”

Article Source: The Guardian, Eleanor Ainge Roy, April 12, 2018
Image Source: Wikipedia

  Contesting New Zealand’s Discovery

Contesting New Zealand’s Discovery

A history book by New Zealander Winston Cowie called, Conquistador Puzzle Trail, which suggests that the Spanish or Portuguese may have discovered New Zealand before the Dutchman Abel Tasman is causing a new stir. Spanish newspaper El País reports.

Cowie’s book takes aim at the official story that Tasman was the first to arrive to the country in 1642 – claiming instead that Spanish or Portuguese sailors could have arrived up to a century earlier.

Around 430 copies of the book, published in English in 2015 and translated into Spanish last year, have been distributed for free in high schools and universities in New Zealand. The volume is presented like a jigsaw puzzle, allowing the reader to piece together the story of the country’s discovery through mysterious elements ranging from old European artifacts found in New Zealand to an ancient specimen of a native Tasmanian tree that grows in northern Spain.

Cowie himself travelled to the Galician city of A Coruña in 2009 and 2012 to research the alleged expeditions that set sail for the Pacific in search of spices in the 1500s.

Some New Zealand intellectuals have dismissed the book, while others have described it as “fascinating.” Renowned New Zealand historians however have warned that the nation should not allow itself to be brainwashed by this theory.

“I want all students to read this and, after becoming teachers themselves, change the perception of the European discovery of New Zealand,” said Cowie on a visit to Galicia. “What’s needed is a major public debate and more research,” he added.

Cowie and the Spanish Embassy in Spain successfully rallied to update New Zealand’s official encyclopedia. The Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand now lists Cowie’s book in its bibliography and has a section on a possible earlier discovery of New Zealand by Iberian sailors. It reads: “Spanish or Portuguese ships … may have reached, or become wrecked on the New Zealand coast. But there is no firm evidence of Europeans reaching New Zealand before Abel Tasman in 1642.”

Cowie was born in Dargaville in 1982. He is based in the United Arab Emirates.

Original article by Silvia Pontevedra, Melissa Kitson, El País, April 4, 2018.

Photo by Óscar Corral


Rivers where you can still find gold

NZ Onscreen – Story collection for Anzac Day – April 25

Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story

This documentary tells the stories of the New Zealand soldiers who were part of the identity-defining Gallipoli campaign in World War I. In the ill-fated mission to take a piece of Turkish coastline, 2721 New Zealanders died with 4752 wounded. As part of research, every one of the then-surviving Gallipoli veterans living in New Zealand was interviewed, with 26 finally filmed. Shot at a barren, rocky Gallipoli before the advent of Anzac Day tourism, this important record screened on Easter Sunday 1984, and won a Feltex Award for Best Documentary.

The fight was as much with the landscape as with the Turk. “It was hell heaped up”, one Anzac said/

– Presenter Leonard Thornton

Lots more stories for readers. Refer link below: