Another in a series of terrific articles by The New Zealand Herald on the Blue Chip mess.
This time, it seems the government was fiddling while Blue Chip investors’ money was burning.
Maria Slade reports today that two brief cases of original documents were handed over to property consultant Olly Newland [left] who has been helping the victims and the Serious Fraud Office.
It appears the Inland Revenue Department was pressuring the Blue Chip group of companies for income tax payable in 2005.
The documents – 40 or 50 files in their original folders – reveal that the Blue Chip property investment group was being pressured by Inland Revenue over hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid tax as far back as 2005.
The group did not fall over until early this year, when 22 of its companies were placed in liquidation owing around $84 million.
So a government agency was having a tough time with Blue Chip company 2 to 3 years before the whistle was blown? I wonder how many people got burned after the government knew or should have known there was a public risk?
Every public servant [civil servants, Oath of Allegiance, Parliamentary Oath & Executive Councillor] swears an Oath of Office to serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.
- Presumably, QEII would frown on enabling a theft of $84 million from 2,000 of her loyal subjects [many of whom were old enough to remember her coronation].
Somebody knew something. They reported their suspicions properly. Somebody else did nothing because it would have been embarrassing politically to pull the plug, even though that was their duty to do so.
Some of the two thousand Kiwi were sold down the river to avoid a political scandal. The Blue Chip fiasco was not an accident: This was perfectly predictable and made worse by government inaction. The scammers had some very good friends in high places, I think.
For example, Simnel Ltd – a company associated with Blue Chip founder Mark Bryers – was under pressure to pay a tax bill of $226,806.
As Newland said:
“It was all happening long before the whistle was blown.”
Note: It is my experience that federal public servants are meticulous in documenting that they had informed their political masters about a likely tax loss. They know their duty and they knew there was a vulnerability [public hazard] in failing to regulate non-bank lenders.
There exists a paper trail from the Blue Chip tax problem into the political elite. Unless I miss my guess, all roads lead to the office of the Prime Minister of New Zealand.