Whaitiri raises flag on CGT impact for collective ownership

MAORI land recovered under Treaty of Waitangi settlements will need special consideration under any capital gains tax (CGT) regime, says Ikaroa-Rawhiti Labour MP Meka Whaitiri.

As a Maori MP, she did not want CGT to unfairly affect collectively-owned Maori assets.

“It is different if you own your family home, if you earn a wage, yes, you are subjected to taxation.

“If you have an interest in a block of land, all I’m saying is that the tax system must be fair enough across the capital value of assets.’’

Maori-owned assets returned through the treaty process were to redress Crown breaches of the treaty, she said.

Many iwi had lost their land and been denied economic values and income for over a century.

“I’m pretty sure, in due course, when owners are deriving meaningful and sustainable income from their assets, they can start paying fair tax.

‘‘We are nowhere near that when you consider a century of raupatu, or land confiscation.

“It’s going to take time.’’

The tax working group looking into CGT has raised issues about potential exemptions or deferrals on CGT for Maori organisations, but did not cover the issue in its formal recommendations.

The working group said the Government should consider that some types of transactions relating to collectively owned Maori assets “merit specific treatment in light of their distinct context” — such as treaty settlements.

The government should engage further with Maori.

The group suggested a CGT exemption method, or deferral until the next sale, could be applied to iwi when transferring assets to associated hapu or marae, particularly after a Treaty of Waitangi settlement when assets are distributed.

Ms Whaitiri said the public should analyse the report “and make sure they understand it”.

The Government was undertaking due process while critics were “jumping the gun”. Whatever was decided, after public consultation, would not be implemented until after the 2021 election.

“Voters will be well informed as to whether they want Labour’s tax plan or the other one’s tax plan,” said Ms Whaitiri.

MAORI land recovered under Treaty of Waitangi settlements will need special consideration under any capital gains tax (CGT) regime, says Ikaroa-Rawhiti Labour MP Meka Whaitiri.

As a Maori MP, she did not want CGT to unfairly affect collectively-owned Maori assets.

“It is different if you own your family home, if you earn a wage, yes, you are subjected to taxation.

“If you have an interest in a block of land, all I’m saying is that the tax system must be fair enough across the capital value of assets.’’

Maori-owned assets returned through the treaty process were to redress Crown breaches of the treaty, she said.

Many iwi had lost their land and been denied economic values and income for over a century.

“I’m pretty sure, in due course, when owners are deriving meaningful and sustainable income from their assets, they can start paying fair tax.

‘‘We are nowhere near that when you consider a century of raupatu, or land confiscation.

“It’s going to take time.’’

The tax working group looking into CGT has raised issues about potential exemptions or deferrals on CGT for Maori organisations, but did not cover the issue in its formal recommendations.

The working group said the Government should consider that some types of transactions relating to collectively owned Maori assets “merit specific treatment in light of their distinct context” — such as treaty settlements.

The government should engage further with Maori.

The group suggested a CGT exemption method, or deferral until the next sale, could be applied to iwi when transferring assets to associated hapu or marae, particularly after a Treaty of Waitangi settlement when assets are distributed.

Ms Whaitiri said the public should analyse the report “and make sure they understand it”.

The Government was undertaking due process while critics were “jumping the gun”. Whatever was decided, after public consultation, would not be implemented until after the 2021 election.

“Voters will be well informed as to whether they want Labour’s tax plan or the other one’s tax plan,” said Ms Whaitiri.

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